Keynote Speaker

Charles Martin

Charles Martin is the New York Times best-selling author of fifteen books, published in more than thirty-five countries and translated into as many languages. His titles include Long Way Gone (winner of the 2017 Christy Book of the Year award),Chasing Fireflies (winner of the 2007 RT Reviewers Choice award), When Crickets Cry (winner of the 2007 Christian Book award for fiction).

Charles also wrote Send Down the Rain, The Dead Don’t Dance, and The Mountain Between Us (on which the blockbuster movie was based—with the usual Hollywood changes).

In a departure from his novel writing, Charles Martin’s latest book shares key moments from his own journey as a disciple and bondservant of Christ, using a storyteller’s imagination to illuminate key moments of the Scriptures, primarily from the life and ministry of Jesus. What If It’s True? launches in January and will be available at the Mount Hermon conference in 2020.

Charles and his wife, Christy, live in Jacksonville, Florida, with their three boys. Find out more at charlesmartinbooks.com

Steven James

Steven James is the critically acclaimed author of seventeen novels. 

He has served as a contributing editor to Writer’s Digest magazine and is the author of the groundbreaking book Story Trumps Structure as well as the guidebook used by thousands of novelists, Troubleshooting Your Novel, both from Writer’s Digest Books. 

When he’s not working on his next novel, Steven teaches at writers conferences and retreats around the globe. Steven’s latest book, a near-future sci-fi thriller called Synapse, released on October 8.

For more information, visit his website at https://www.stevenjames.net.

Literary Agents

Stephanie Alton

The Blythe Daniel Agency

Stephanie Alton is a literary and marketing agent with The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc., and the director of the agency’s blog network, BlogAbout. Through BlogAbout, she specializes in creating custom launch teams, blog campaigns, and educational webinars. Stephanie is also a founder of My Influence Circle, a new network for creatives.

See Stephanie’s Editorial Needs.


Sally Apokedak

The Apokedak Literary Agency

Sally Apokedak, owner of the Apokedak Literary Agency, represents best-selling and award-winning authors, including Hannah C. Hall, Taryn Souders, and Joyce Magnin. Find out more at sally-apokedak.com.

See Sally’s Editorial Needs.

Jevon Bolden

Embolden Media Group

Jevon Bolden is a writer, editor, literary agent, and CEO of Embolden Media Group. In her sixteen years in publishing, she has worked as senior acquisitions editor for adult nonfiction at Charisma House and as senior editor for children’s nonfiction at Scholastic. Having launched her own agenting firm in 2017, Jevon shares the best of what she knows with passionate and creative people who desire to publish exceptional books. jevonbolden.com/literary-representation.

Adria Goetz

Martin Literary & Media Management

Adria Goetz is a literary agent with Martin Literary & Media Management in Seattle. She represents books for both the Christian market and the general market, including picture books, middle grade, young adult, quirky gift books, and devotionals. Check out her wish list at adriagoetz.com. She tweets at @adriamgoetz.

See Adria’s Editorial Needs.

Julie Gwinn

The Seymour Agency

Julie Gwinn, literary agent with The Seymour Agency, has served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources. She has more than 25 years of experience in public relations and marketing and has worked in marketing for several Nashville nonprofit organizations.

See Julie’s Editorial Needs.

Nick Harrison

WordServe Literary

Nick Harrison, literary agent with WordServe Literary, is the author of a dozen books, including Magnificent Prayer, Power in the Promises, and four books in the One-Minute® Prayer series. For fifteen years Nick served as a senior editor at Harvest House Publishers, acquiring both fiction and nonfiction. Nick has a long history of championing new and unpublished writers. Nick and his wife live in the Pacific Northwest. nickharrisonbooks.com

See Nick’s Editorial Needs.

Steve Laube

The Steve Laube Agency

Steve Laube, literary agent and president of The Steve Laube Agency, has been in the book industry nearly four decades, first as a bookstore manager, where he was awarded the National Store of the Year by CBA. He then spent many years with Bethany House Publishers, where he was named Editor of the Year by AWSA. In 2003 he became an agent. He and his agency have represented more than 1,500 new books and Steve was named Agent of the Year by ACFW. He was also inducted into the Grand Canyon University Hall of Fame by their College of Theology. In addition, he oversees acquisitions for Enclave Publishing and serves as president and owner of The Christian Writers Institute and author of The Christian Writers Market Guide and Book Proposal Tips and Tricks. For more information visit stevelaube.com.

See Steve’s Editorial Needs.

Karen Neumair

Credo Communications

Karen Neumair is a senior literary agent and the COO of Credo Communications, where she assists authors with their book proposals and connects them with potential publishers. For the past decade, she has worked alongside nonfiction authors who write about Christian living and spiritual growth as well as topics geared toward women and families. www.credocommunications.net 

See Karen’s Editorial Needs.

Cynthia Ruchti

Books & Such Literary Management

Cynthia Ruchti, agent with Books & Such Literary, tells “stories hemmed in hope” through novels, nonfiction, devotionals, and speaking events for women and writers. Her more than 25 books in print have garnered many industry awards. In 2018, Cynthia was honored to be named Mount Hermon Writer of the Year. In addition to her role as the ACFW Professional Relations Liaison—connecting with retailers, reviewers, libraries, and book clubs—she serves as a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Management. She and her grade-school-sweetheart husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren. www.booksandsuch.com.

See Cynthia’s Editorial Needs.

Acquisitions Editors

Joel Armstrong

Kregel Publications

Joel Armstrong is an associate editor at Kregel Publications. He works on their trade imprint, which publishes general-interest nonfiction and fiction. He writes magical realism and has published poetry and nonfiction in God & Nature, Sufi, Clues, and The Hemingway Review. Check out his blog.

 See Joel’s Editorial Needs.

Karin Beery

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Karin Beery is the managing editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (fiction). She also serves as the director of the Christian Editor Connection, a division of the Christian Editor Network LLC. https://lpcbooks.com

See Karin’s Editorial Needs.

Misty Beller

Wild Heart Books

Misty M. Beller is the managing editor of Wild Heart Books, a traditional publisher focusing in Christian historical romance novels. She’s also a USA Today best-selling author with more than twenty novels published, as well as a nonfiction book for authors, How to Market a Book Release.

See Misty’s Editorial Needs.

Cheri Cowell

EABooks Publishing

Cheri Cowell is the owner/publisher of EABooks Publishing. She is a traditionally and independently published author. Her books include the award-winning 365 Devotions for Peace (Zondervan) and Parables and Word Pictures Bible study (AMG Publishers). With her experience as an author and a publisher, Cheri has a unique approach and grace when working with authors to bring their dreams to reality.

See Cherri’s Editorial Needs.

Mark Coker


Mark Coker founded Smashwords in 2008 to empower authors to self-publish and distribute ebooks. Today, Smashwords has become the world’s leading distributor of self-published ebooks, representing more than 140,000 authors and small independent presses around the world who publish and distribute more than 500,000 books with Smashwords.

See Mark’s Editorial Needs.

Sharon Norris Elliott

Harambee Press

Sharon Norris Elliott is an award-winning author, editor, agent, international conference speaker, licensed minister, and astute Bible teacher. Author of eleven books (so far), Sharon is associated with Harambee Press, HSBN.tv, ACE, and her own coaching, consulting, and editing service, AuthorizeMe. She inspires writers to “Live significantly!”

See Sharon’s Editorial Needs.

Jason Fikes

Leafwood Publishers

Jason Fikes is the director of Leafwood Publishers and oversees acquisitions for the Press. He works with authors and agents to develop thoughtful, relevant, and engaging content for the church. He holds a PhD in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and teaches graduate courses for Abilene Christian University.

See Jason’s Editorial Needs.

Cara Grandle

WhiteFire Publishing

Cara Grandle is a writer, acquisitions editor, and publicist for WhiteFire Publishing. She has several years of experience in the writing industry, enough to know it’s hard and it takes courage. Don’t be afraid to do the hard things. There are people who need your words.

See Cara’s Editorial Needs.

John Herring

Iron Stream Media

Dr. John Herring is the founder and CEO of Iron Stream Media. Iron Stream Media is the home to New Hope Publishers, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and Life Bible Study. John holds degrees from Samford University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. John’s passions include discipleship, Bible study and coffee.

See John’s Editorial Needs.

Linda Howard

Tyndale House Publishers

Linda Howard is Associate Publisher for Children and Youth at Tyndale House Publishers. She currently leads the kids’ team, developing overall strategy for Tyndale Children and Youth, acquiring projects, and overseeing product development of all books. She oversees the Compassion International Publishing partnership and has worked with best-selling authors Ann Voskamp, John Ortberg, and more.

Marilyn Jansen

Worthy/Hachette Book Group

Marilyn Jansen is the editorial director for Hachette Book Group’s Christian gift imprint, Ellie Claire. She has been writing and creating since she glued dandelions into her first book at age four. She and her husband have three adult children and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

See Marilyn’s Editorial Needs.

Sherri Langton

Bible Advocate magazine and Now What? e-zine

Sherri Langton, associate editor of the Bible Advocate magazine and Now What? e-zine, is an award-winning freelance writer whose work has appeared in Focus on the Family, In Touch, Upper Room, Today’s Christian Woman, and other publications. Sherri also has contributed to book collections. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

See Sherri’s Editorial Needs.

Susan K. Stewart

Elk Lake Publishing

Susan K. Stewart, acquisitions editor with Elk Lake Publishing, teaches, writes, and edits nonfiction. Susan’s passion is to inspire readers with practical, real-world solutions. Her books include Science in the Kitchen, Preschool: At What Cost? and the award-winning Formatting E-books for Writers. You can learn more at her website, www.practicalinspirations.com.

See Susan’s Editorial Needs.

Specialty Faculty 

Erin Brown

Freelance editor/director of The PEN Institute

Erin Brown is a freelance editor, author, and instructor who has been in the publishing industry since 2002. She has worked with hundreds of writers to help them polish their manuscripts. Her experience enables her to guide her clients on their journey to publication. Erin is the director of The PEN Institute, an online educational organization for Christian editors, where she teaches several nonfiction courses. www.WriteEditor.net

Ken Raney

Book Cover Designer

Ken Raney is the author/illustrator of two children’s picture books and has over 45 years of experience in graphic design, illustration, advertising, and marketing. He and his wife, novelist Deborah Raney, make their home in Missouri.

Bob Saenz

Professional screenwriter and actor


Bob Saenz is a screenwriter and actor whose fifteen produced films include Hallmark’s #1 rated Help for the Holidays, Sound of Christmas, and Church People, a faith-based comedy. He also does rewrites for producers. Acting roles include six seasons on Nash Bridges, Hallmark’s Valley of Light, Coppola’s Jack, Zodiac, and Unleashed.

Kelley Way

Copyright and trademark attorney

Kelley Way graduated from UC Davis with a BA in English, followed by a Juris Doctorate. Kelley is a member of the California Bar and an aspiring writer of young-adult fantasy novels. She was born and raised in Walnut Creek, California. She can be contacted at kaway@kawaylaw.com.




Julie DeEtte Williams

Word expert

Julie Williams works with independent authors, as well as Inspire Press members, to create book layouts and cover designs for print and electronic publication. She enjoys working one-on-one with authors, teaching them how to use various Microsoft Office and Adobe programs.

Jeff Willis

Entertainment executive and screenwriter

Jeff Willis is an entertainment executive with fifteen years of experience managing creative and business affairs for industry-leading companies, including Marvel Studios, Disney, Skydance, and Blumhouse. He’s a produced screenwriter, published author, and business consultant for writers and other creatives. Blog: www.allwritesreserved.com.


Joseph Bentz

Joseph Bentz has published four novels and six nonfiction books. His newest book, 12 New Testament Passages that Changed the World, was published in 2019. He is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, where he teaches writing and American literature. josephbentz.com

Joanne Bischof

Joanne Bischof is a Christy and Carol award-winning author who writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. She currently writes historical romance for Thomas Nelson (HarperCollins Christian). Her latest release, Daughters of Northern Shoreshas just hit bookshelves! www.joannebischof.com

Angela Breidenbach

Angela Breidenbach is a radio personality, best-selling author, and president of the Christian Authors Network. She loves supporting the careers of Christian authors. She produced and hosted a documentary called Daughters of the American Revolution: A Patriotic Education. Tamela Hancock Murray represents Angela’s books, while 5×5 Productions manages her screenwriting to Hollywood. AngelaBreidenbach.com

Janet Collins

Janet Ann Collins has written feature articles for newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has appeared in other newspapers, periodicals, and some anthologies, including a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. She’s the author of five books for children.

Alice Crider

Alice Crider has served in various capacities in Christian publishing—from editorial assistant to literary agent to director of acquisitions and development—since 1998. Also a certified life coach, Alice teaches writing and editing workshops at writers conferences nationally and internationally, coaches individual authors and groups, and she is the creator of an online marketing course that shows authors how to succeed in publishing without struggling to build a giant platform. www.alicecrider.com

Lynn Donovan

Lynn Donovan, president of Three Keys Publishing, focuses her writing and speaking on the two pillars of love: love God and love people. She shares her hope that with Christ Jesus, all things are possible and nearly always probable. She is a passionate creative writer, speaker, painter, and publisher. Lynn brings Holy Spirit-inspired teaching and vision to her audiences. She equips future authors with industry know-how, a purpose, and a plan. They are commissioned to write their best stories for the kingdom. www.lynndonovan.org

Amanda Dykes

Amanda Dykes, a novelist for Bethany House Publishers, is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales, grateful for the grace of a God who loves extravagantly. She has a soft spot for classics, stacks of storybooks in blanket forts with her family, and rainy days.

Lori Freeland

Lori Freeland is an author, editor, writing coach, and coffee lover—not necessarily in that order—who tells stories about the people living in her head. An acquisitions editor for Armonia Publishing, former editor for The Christian Pulse, and regular contributor to Crosswalk.com, she’s presented writing workshops in multiple genres nationwide. Find her at lafreeland.com.

Aurora Gregory

Aurora Gregory is the coauthor of Get Picked: Tips, Trick, and Tools for an Irresistible Speaker Proposal. She is a business marketing/communications coach to financial services companies, entrepreneurs, and authors. She is passionate about helping people find their message and voice so they can build a business that serves customers. Learn more at www.auroragregory.com.

Jeanette Hanscome

Jeanette Hanscome is the author of five books, including Suddenly Single Mom: 52 Messages of Hope, Grace, and Promise. She is also a speaker, writers workshop leader, and mom of a teenager and an adult son. She spends some of her free time singing at church and in a local chorus. jeanettehanscome.com

Kelly Harrel


Kelly Harrel writes and speaks to inspire people to delve into deeper relationships with one another and with God. Her novels explore today’s issues in light of having an authentic faith. Kelly resides in Southern California with her husband, two teens, and their desert tortoise, George. Connect with her at www.kellyharrel.com.

Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer is a USA Todaybest-selling author of more than seventy books. She has won two Carol awards and a Retailer’s Best award and is an ECPA Gold Medallion and Christy Award finalist. She speaks at events such as MomCon and Teach Them Diligently and is host of the podcast Walk It Out. A homeschooling mom of ten, Tricia is also a doting grandmother and wife to John. Find out more at: www.triciagoyer.com.

Crystal Hodges

Crystal Hodges is a writer, speaker, and photographer based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Living with a facial difference, she combines her real-life experience with the knowledge she gained as an editor to raise awareness for important issues, keeping her goal to make a difference with her difference. www.crystalhodges.com.

Jan Kern

Jan Kern is a nonfiction author and speaker who is passionate about mentoring others to write their stories with craft and finesse. Her Life Free series for teens launched with Jackie’s story in Scars that Wound, Scars that Heal: A Journey Out of Self-Injury, an ECPA Gold Medallion finalist.

Sherry Kyle

Sherry Kyle writes award-winning books for kids, including The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style, Love, Lexi: Letters to God, and True Heart Girls Devotional: God’s Promises for MeSherry also writes novels set along the coast of California, where she makes her home with her husband and their four children. www.sherrykyle.com

Jennifer Lindsay

Jennifer Lindsay is a freelance editor, writer, and ghostwriter. Her credited works have appeared in Keys4Kids, Inspire Forgiveness, and The Christian Writers Market Guide. She holds a BA in English and Writing and is a regular judge for the OCW Cascade Awards. When not editing or writing, she enjoys adventuring in the PNW, discovering new coffee shops, and finding new books to share with friends. Learn more at www.thewriterswellspring.com

Cindi McMenamin

Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer, national speaker, mom, and author of seventeen nonfiction books. She has coached several writers-turned-authors over the past fifteen years, specializing in helping them write books that resonate with readers’ hearts. Cindi and her husband of thirty years live in San Diego. Find her at www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Judy Gordon Morrow

Judy Gordon Morrow delights in people and their stories. Her love for God has spilled out in poetry, song lyrics, articles, and more than a dozen books. Judy has served as an elementary school library specialist, newspaper copyeditor, and nonfiction editor at Multnomah Publishers. She enjoys mentoring and encouraging writers. judygordonmorrow.com

Jill Osborne

Jill Osborne loves to write stories that encourage and inspire today’s preteens. Her projects include the Faithgirlz Good News Shoes series, the Faithgirlz Princess in Camo series, The Coin Slot Chronicles series, and various nonfiction projects, including Bible studies, skits, devotionals, and magazine articles.

Robin Patchen

Robin Patchen is a multi-published, award-winning author and freelance editor. Nominated for ACFW’s 2018 and 2019 Editor of the Year award, Robin loves mentoring new authors, helping established authors polish their books, and encouraging all authors to strive for excellence in the art and craft of writing.

Katie Potter

Katie Potter, at age thirteen, wrote a very long, very embarrassing novel that sparked her love for storytelling. Since then, she’s earned degrees in Creative Writing and Media Production, led a critique group for teenagers, taught college-level writers, created content for documentaries, and racked up ten years of experience writing young-adult science fantasy.

Deborah Raney

Deborah Raney has been creating stories that touch hearts and lives for more than twenty-five years. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired a World Wide Pictures film and launched her writing career. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, are recent Missouri transplants from their native Kansas. More at www.deborahraney.com.

James L. Rubart

James L. Rubart is twenty-eight years old but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He’s the best-selling author of ten novels, which have won the Christy Book of the Year, Carol, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews awards. He is also a branding expert, audiobook narrator, and cofounder of the Rubart Writing Academy.

Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer Slattery is a multi-published author and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, a parachurch women’s ministry that partners with churches in diverse locations to facilitate conferences for women. She has extensive editing experience and has coached writers and speakers, helping them excel and grow in confidence and skill.

Kay Marshall Strom

Kay Marshall Strom, who credits the Mount Hermon Writers Conference for her writing career, has authored everything from magazine articles to children’s materials to forty-three books (both fiction and nonfiction) to scripts for TV and films. Kay has a heart for social justice, and many of her books reflect that passion. Her research has taken her to more than forty countries, where she explores and exposes injustice and works with local Christ-followers to provide solutions.

Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is an award-winning and best-selling author of historical novels, including the Sunrise at Normandy series. Her novels have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist, and her novel The Sea Before Usreceived the 2019 FHL Reader’s Choice Award. Sarah lives in Northern California. More at www.sarahsundin.com.

Carrie Talbott

Carrie Talbott wrote a children’s book about bullying and is now writing a memoir about her bizarre and convoluted years in ministry. Carrie works at Habitat for Humanity, is dedicated to Jesus and avocados, and blogs with optimism, wit, and helpful tips. After spending twelve years in Baja, Carrie and her family now live in Southern California. More at carrietalbottink.com.

Erin Taylor Young

Erin Taylor Young is an author, editor, and cohost of the Write from the Deep podcast. She cofounded a successful independent publishing company and was the comanaging editor before selling the company. She’s also an award-winning humor writer whose books have been repeatedly accused of making readers laugh until they cry. Writefromthedeep.com