We are super excited to unveil our 2018 BRMCWC Faculty and Staff. Don’t worry about bookmarking this specific post. You’ll find this information permanently un the 2018 Faculty tab in the header.
Before the end of the month we’ll be posting the specific classes, and soon after that we’ll put up the 2018 schedule.
Literary Agent with Credo Communications
(Photo and bio to follow)
Joseph Bentz is published in both fiction and non-fiction, with four novels and five non-fiction books. His most recent book, Nothing is Wasted, was published in 2016 by Beacon Hill Press. His novel Dreams of Caladria was published by Enclave in 2015. He is currently at work on a book about passages of Scripture that have changed the world. He is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, where he teaches courses in writing and American literature. His blog, Life of the Mind and Soul, can be found at www.josephbentz.com. He frequently teaches at writers conferences and also speaks at churches, professional conferences, and other venues around the country.
During his 30-year career in Hollywood, Brian Bird’s writing and producing work comprises nearly two-dozen films and 250 episodes of network television. He is founding partner with Michael Landon Jr. of Believe Pictures, most recently responsible for four seasons of the hit Hallmark Channel original TV series When Calls the Heart.Bird’s film writing and producing credits include The Case for Christ for Pure Flix (2017), The Heart of Man (2017), Paramount Pictures’ Captive (2015), The Ultimate Life for 20th Century Fox (2013), Not Easily Broken for Sony/Screen Gems (2009), The Last Sin Eater for 20th Century Fox (2007) and the Morgan Freeman-directed Bopha! for Paramount Pictures (1993). Additionally, Bird is writing and producing the upcoming Touchdown on the Tundra and The Boy from Baby House 10.
In television, he has written or produced such shows as Touched By An Angel, Step By Step and Evening Shade, in addition to the award-winning TV films Captive Heart, Call Me Claus (the highest-rated cable film of 2003), and The Shunning, The Confession, The Reckoning, and Saving Sarah Cain, all based on the novels of New York Times’ best-selling author Beverly Lewis.
Bird is considered a leading voice in the exploding faith-based media marketplace, and has spoken widely on the role of faith in the arts, including lectures at Pepperdine, Chapman, Biola and Palm Beach Atlantic Universities, along with being a keynote speaker at the Blue Ridge and Florida Christian Writers Conferences. He is on the founding faculty of the Act One Writing for Hollywood program, and has served as a jury member for the Heartland, 168 and City of Angel Film Festivals. He is also on the faculty of the Stephens College Screenwriting MFA.
His own films have garnered awards from the New York Independent Film Festival, New York Festivals, Heartland Film Festival, the Black Reel Awards, the Movie Guide Awards, the Camie Awards, the Telly Awards and the Christopher Awards. And his widely read professional blog, BrianBird.net serves as a lively exchange on the art and craft of story-telling.
But beyond Bird’s professional achievements, he considers his top productions to date to be his 36-year marriage to wife, Patty, and his five children.
Twitter: @brbird Facebook: Brian Bird
Lynn H. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Her first book, Covert Justice, won the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Her second book, Hidden Legacy, released in June 2017 and her new Dive Team Investigations series kicks off in March of 2018 with Beneath the Surface. The second book in the series, In Too Deep, releases in November of 2018. You can follow her real life happily ever after at www.LynnHBlackburn.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Publisher of Faith & Fitness Magazine, Shout! Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine and map Travel Lifestyle Magazine.
He is president of Lifestyle Media Group, a ministry that develops and distributes content to help people fuel their passion to connect daily living and Christian faith. Bloom draws a distinct difference between secular and his faith-centered brands, “Life should be lived way beyond training harder, living adventurously and going further. That’s all good but God is great. We can be equipped to be great when we get beyond all the doing and actively Be Life – the life of Christ to others.”
Founded in 2003, with the launch of the flagship brand, Faith & Fitness Magazine, his commitment has been to deliver crafted content that isn’t a Christian alternative to secular media but instead defines how the Christian faith powerfully influence active living. Writing is just part of the show. Lifestyle Media Group is a network of bold players who actively shape culture for Christ certainly through content but then also through research and development, public relations, events and networking.
Brad was raised in rural Indiana doing non-denominational Christian ministry at La Campagne Ministries a a sixty-acre wooded retreat that has hosted people from around the world since 1982. This family ministry is described in his article How To Build A Park. He describes in Different Is Very Good how that history profoundly shaped his faith journey and his ministry today.
While studying music business and media production at Anderson University, Brad did production at WHMB, LeSea Broadcasting in Indianapolis, one of the oldest Christian television stations in the country. He transitioned from local television to film production with Del Rey Communications in Chicago producing commercials for Christianity Today Inc. and documentary films for Jews for Jesus, Calvin College and many other organizations. It was during this time while doing location production in Nigeria, for Christian Reformed World Missions that Brad ventured further into persuasive communication and shaping perspective for others. He describes the spiritual adventure of his time in West Africa in the Faith & Fitness Magazine article, The Lust For Life. During his time as an associate producer for the Agency for Instructional Technology he was involved in producing more than twenty educational video series for the K-12 market. These projects, throughout the U.S. and the world, involved writing on many different levels: proposals, daily business communications, project management, script writing, closed captioning, marketing and textbook editing.
The April/May 2017 release of Faith & Fitness Magazine is the 75th. Brad describes bi-monthly magazine production as a Good Workout Routine. His sessions at the Blue Ridge Mountains Writers Conference will introduce attendees to the unique ministry of Lifestyle Media Group and help them explore being part of this growing team.
With over half a million sales, Hallee Bridgeman is a best-selling Christian author who writes action-packed romantic suspense focusing on realistic characters who face real world problems. Her work has been described as everything from refreshing to heart-stopping exciting and edgy. Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her.
Michelle Cox is a speaker and the bestselling author of ten books. Her books, God Glimpses from the Jewelry Box and God Glimpses from the Toolbox released from BroadStreet Publishing. Michelle’s “Life with a Southern Grandmother” posts run each Monday and Thursday at www.Guideposts.org. She has been the food blogger for Fox News Personality Todd Starnes, heads up his blog devo team, and has written for FoxNews.com, Focus on the Family, Christian Cinema, Whoa Magazine for Women, Leading Hearts Magazine, and numerous other publications. Michelle is the creator of the Just 18 Summers® brand of parenting products and resources, which will include movies, a documentary, music, books (the Just 18 Summers novel released from Tyndale), and other products. The Just 18 Summers® parenting blog (featuring a staff of writers) has a new post each Monday-Friday. Michelle has been a guest on Hannity, The Harvest Show, Focus on the Family, Babbie’s House, Atlanta Live, and on numerous other radio and television stations. Most importantly, she and her favorite husband, Paul, are the parents of three grown sons and grandparents to six perfect grandchildren. She can be bribed with cupcakes. Visit her at http://GodGlimpses.com, www.just18summers.com and on her Facebook pages at www.Facebook.com/MichelleCoxInspirations and www.Facebook.com/just18summers. Interests: Michelle is looking for parenting articles (parenting advice, inspirational, tips on organization, etc.) for the Just 18 Summers® parenting blog.
Executive Editor for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
Vicki Crumpton has over twenty-five years publishing experience. A recipient of AWSA’s Editor of the Year aware, she has acquired a number of award finalists and winners, as well as several New York Times bestsellers, including 90 Minutes in Heaven. She holds an M. Div. and Ph.D. from Southwestern Seminary and works from her home in Western Kentucky.
Owner & Literary Agent with The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc.
Blythe is a literary agent and marketer who focuseson the placement of books with publishers, online marketing, and publicity for authors. She helps writers build the right book proposal, conducts publicity campaigns and has placed clients in a number of major national media outlets. She has worked in publishing for over 20 years, including seven years at Thomas Nelson and then working with New York Times bestselling authors John and Stasi Eldredge marketing products for their ministry. The agency’s blog network, BlogAbout, creates blog reviews, launch teams, and webinars for new and established authors. They represent bestselling non-fiction authors and new voices in publishing.
Senior Editor, BRMCWC Blog & Conference Assistant
Vincent B. Davis II is an entrepreneur, soldier, and freelance writer. In December 2016, he founded Thirteenth Press, LLC. His first novel, “The Man with Two Names” is available on Amazon now. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or on his website at vincentbdavisii.com. He loves hearing from other authors! If you would like to be featured on Blueridgeconference.com, e-mail him at email@example.com with the subject line “Blog Query”.
Mary Denman is a writer who also loves photography. Or a photographer who loves writing. As a freelance writer, Mary has had articles published in various forms ranging from Focus on the Family publications to magazines to devotions to op-ed pieces. She’s a member of several professional writing organizations including ACFW, My Book Therapy, and Word Weavers.
As a professional photographer, Mary has had photos published in both print literature and online. Her shots have been used by businesses and by fellow authors alike.
Her philosophy is to catch a moment that reflects God’s beauty and creativity, whether in nature, in life or in the face of her subjects. And as a writer herself, she understands what authors need in a headshot. Mary blends the two mediums of writing and photography on her blog. www.marydenman.blogspot.com.
Lynette Eason is the award-winning, bestselling author of almost forty books. Lynette writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have finaled or won awards in contests such as The Maggies, Inspirational Readers Choice Award, The Carol, ECPA Book of the Year, The Selah, and others. Her most recent wins are the Selah Award in 2015, the Book of the Year Golden Scoll Award in 2016, a Carol nomination in 2015, a Carol win in 2016 and the Daphne in 2016 as well as the Daphne OVERALL in 2016. One of her achievements she’s super proud of is placing in the top ten (out of thousands of entries) in the 2016 James Patterson Co-writers competition. Lynette began her teaching career in the public school classroom and has since moved to teaching at conferences all over the country. Lynette often speaks at women’s conference and retreats, but finds her first love is teaching writing. In her spare time she can be found hanging out with her family, loving on her nieces and nephews, traveling, and…um…writing. Lynette and her husband Jack live in South Carolina with their two teenagers. Life is never boring! Lynette can often be found online at www.facebook.com/lynette.eason and www.lynetteeason.com.
Eva Marie Everson
Conference Contest Director
Eva Marie Everson is the bestselling and multi-award winning author of both fiction and nonfiction work. She is the president of Word Weavers International (word-weavers.com) and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference. Eva Marie is a popular speaker at writers conferences across the United States and the Contest Director for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Eva Marie is a seminary graduate and student and has taught a Bible study for over 20 years. Either she’s really good and the folks just can’t get enough … or she’s really bad and they’re still trying to learn something (the jury is out). Eva Marieand her husband enjoy their three grown children and children-in-love and are especially proud of their grandchildren. They are owned by their dog, Poods.
Literary Agent with Hartline Literary
BIO: Diana Flegal has been an agent with Hartline Literary Agency for eleven years. She represents mainstream and inspirational titles, fiction and nonfiction, but nothing that conflicts with the Christian Worldview. She is currently looking for nonfiction authors with a substantial platform, as well as outstanding contemporary women’s fiction, issue fiction, and formula romance.
When she is not reading submissions or stealing away with a recreational read, she is hiking in the mountains, or kayaking the many lakes of her home state, North Carolina.
Please bring to your appointment:
- A one sheet that includes a tag line, back of the book blurb, and short bio
- A synopsis if fiction, or a chapter outline if nonfiction
- A list of the social media you are currently using and the # of followers for each one
- Your marketing strategy (what you plan to do to help promote and market your book)
- The first chapter of your manuscript
- A notebook and pen/ pencil
Adrienne S. Gaines has nearly two decades of writing and editing experience. A former news editor for Charisma magazine, Adrienne is now a developmental editor for Charisma House publishers, where she helps authors develop and hone their book concepts. She has acquired, developed, and edited fiction and nonfiction spanning an array of topics, from spiritual growth to natural health to contemporary political issues. Adrienne has a bachelor’s degree in newspaper journalism from Florida A&M University and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Central Florida.
Alton Gansky has been writing professionally for over two decades and has written over fifty books, fiction and nonfiction. He has also served as a fiction consultant, cowriter, and editor on many projects and for many publishers. He is one of the hosts of Firsts in Fiction, and hosted Writers Talk, Typewriter Tuesday (now Typecast). He has taught and keynoted at writers conferences from California to North Carolina and Canada. He has had an eclectic career and been a firefighter, worked in architecture for over a decade, and served three churches as a Baptist minister before turning to full time writing. He has won several awards for his writing, and was granted a D.Litt. for his body of work. He also served as director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for six years. He is also an avid (addicted) collector of typewriters. www.altongansky.com
Linda Gilden is an award-winning writer, speaker, editor, and writing coach. Author of the popular Love Notes series, she is also the author of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, Personality Perspectives, Called to Write, Why You Do What You Do, Words to Live By, Called to Speak, and several ghostwritten books. With over a thousand magazine articles to her credit, Linda Gilden is a regular columnist for thewriteconversation.com, Just18summers.com, presidentialprayerteam.com, and Fox News’ Todd Starnes. She loves to share a great story. As a freelance editor and writing coach working with publishers and individuals, she encourages others to make their writing the best it can be. As a member of the CLASS training staff, Linda enjoys helping others polish their speaking and writing skills on their journeys to clear, concise communication. As Director of both the CLASS Christian Writers Contreat and the Carolina Christian Writers Conference, Linda helps many writers take the next step in reaching their writing goals. www.lindagilden.com.
Literary Agent with The Seymour Agency
(Photo and bio to follow)
Publisher of Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.
Currently, Deb Haggerty is the Publisher of Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. (ELPI), an independent, royalty-paying publisher that “Publishes the Positive.” ELPI looks for new writers with excellent manuscripts and publishes all genres of Christian fiction and nonfiction. ELPI is seeking mystery, suspense, romance, historical, and contemporary fiction as well as nonfiction with a “twist” but no devotionals, Bible studies, or memoirs. For the past thirty-plus years, Deb’s been writing stories about her experiences and has been published in over twenty books with fifty-plus articles to her credit. Besides writing, she is an acclaimed freelance editor. She has spoken throughout the United States and has been on the staff at several writers’ conferences including the Glorieta Christian Writers’ Conference, CLASSeminars, the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference, the New England Christian Writer’s Retreat, and the Advanced Speakers and Writers Association Conference. Deb and her husband, Roy, have been married for thirty-four years and live in Plymouth, MA, with Coki the Dog.
Literary Agent with Hartline Literary
Jim Hart is a literary agent with the Hartline Literary Agency. His clients include both veteran and debut authors, and represent a mix of non-fiction and fiction. He serves both the Christian and general markets.
Jim is also a singer/songwriter and worship leader, and has been involved in youth and music ministry, as well as social outreach, for several decades.
Currently Jim is most interested in non-fiction on the topics of Christian living, church growth, social issues, parenting, biographies, and some self-help.
Jim is also looking at select fiction in these categories: suspense/thrillers, romance (contemporary, historical, Amish, and suspense), women’s fiction, and some speculative and sci-fi. He is not looking at children’s or middle-grade fiction at this time.
Literary Agent with The Steve Laube Agency
Bob Hostetler is an award-winning author, literary agent, and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His fifty books, which include the award-winning Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door (co-authored with Josh McDowell) and The Bard and the Bible: A Shakespeare Devotional, have sold millions of copies. Bob is also the executive director of the Christian Writers Institute (christianwritersinstitute.com). He and his wife, the lovely Robin, have been married for forty years. They have two children and five grandchildren.
A.E. Jackson is a “GECO”. Gregarious, Encouraging, Creative, and Outgoing individual. It is these personal strengths which serve him so well as a transmedia storyteller and direct marketing expert. Think of A.E. Jackson for your relationship marketing, business growth, and idea cultivation!
From a young age A.E. Jackson dreamed of being a published author. His first self published work, Realms of Adventures, is a collection of exciting blogs. Readers will enjoy following the bold adventures experienced by the author and his gaming groups. The original Play-By-Post game “Realms of Adventures” has expanded into a collection of serial stories encompassing a wide range of genres. Each series is played and experienced by players from around the world!
Currently, A.E. Jackson is the Director of Marketing at 88.7 FM The Bridge, a Christian Radio Station that is Connecting and Strengthening Delmarva. It is his responsibility to expand the reach of the ministry in the digital realm! Everything from social media, email marketing, and text messages – to website management, digital video, and exploration of new technologies. The ‘work’ is a ton of fun – and he is thankful to be able to use his talents and passions to serve God – and his community – in this unique way!
A.E. Jackson founded and operated Poor Irishman Internet Marketing for over six years. He offered a wide range of internet marketing services including: website creation & management, content marketing, search engine optimization, pay-for-performance marketing, and social media marketing. In 2010, A.E. Jackson took a position with Dover Downs Hotel & Casino as a Marketing Database Analyst for a brief time. When the opportunity arose he left that position to start working with the exceptional team at 88.7 The Bridge!
Originally from Delaware (born & raised) A.E. Jackson attended college in West Virginia, and then moved to Wyoming. After a short stint in Seattle … he headed back home. On arriving home, he started a business, and got married. The couple’s first baby was a girl born in December 2009. And wow – what a blessing! In December 2013 a baby boy arrived. He was born at home, and A.E. Jackson delivered the newborn!
Together, with his wife Jessica, A.E. Jackson and his family enjoy all the benefits of operating their own greeting card & personal gift shop online! The couple leads Financial Peace University classes in their region – guiding others toward debt freedom, good stewardship and wealth building. They encourage others to live enriched, healthy lifestyles drawn from personal experience and generations of wisdom passed down through their family.
Steven James is the best-selling, critically acclaimed author of thirteen novels. He has a master’s degree in storytelling and is a contributing editor to Writer’s Digest.
Best known for his psychological thrillers, he has received more than a dozen honors and awards for his books, including three Christy Awards for best suspense. His novel The Queen was a finalist for an International Thriller Award.
Steven’s groundbreaking book on the craft of fiction, Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules, won a 2015 Storytelling World Award, recognizing it as one of the year’s best resources for storytellers. He is the host of the podcast “The Story Blender,” in which he interviews great storytellers from the world of cinema, oral performance, and writing about the craft of great storytelling.
Steven leads regular Novel Writing Intensive retreats around the country that provide in-depth instruction for serious novelists. For information on these seminars, visit www.novelwritingintensive.com.
Jerry B. Jenkins
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Bethany Jett is an award-winning author of The Cinderella Rule, speaker, ghostwriter, and founder of JETTsetter Ink, a consulting and editing company. She has written for numerous publications, created the My Moments Planner, Serious Writer Companion, and is the founder of Serious Writer Academy and the Build Your Brand Program. Her newest work, Through the Eyes of Hope is now available online and in retailers nationwide.
Bethany is a military wife and all-boys-mama who is addicted to suspense novels and all things girly. She writes on living a brilliant life at BethanyJett.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram (new profile), LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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Owner & Literary Agent with The Steve Laube Agency
Steve Laube is a literary agent and president of The Steve Laube Agency, has been in the book industry for over 35 years, first as a bookstore manager and book buyer for a national chain. (His store was named National Store of the Year by the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in 1989.)
He spent 11 years with Bethany House Publishers rising to the position of an Editorial Director. In 2002 he was named the Editor of the Year by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. He edited over 150 books, wrote one, and produced numerous articles.
In 2003 he began his work as an agent with a leading New York Literary Agency. After more than a year of experience he launched his own agency which focuses specifically on the CBA (Christian) market. In 2009 he was named The Agent of the Year by the American Christian Fiction Writers organization. He was also inducted into the Academic Hall of Fame by Grand Canyon University’s College of Theology.
He is a popular teacher and has taught at over 100 writer’s conferences in more than 55 cities. His office is in Phoenix, Arizona.
Acquisitions & Managing Editor of Candle Romance & Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Yvonne Lehman is a best-selling author of 57 novels. She founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years and now directs the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat. She has joined Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas as Acquisitions and Managing Editor of Candlelight Romance and Guiding Light Women’s Fiction. She earned a Master’s Degree in English from Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative Writing on the college level. Her recent novel releases aare a novella Have Dress Will Marry (Heart of a Cowboy collection, Mountainbrook Ink), Better Latte than Never (cozy mystery, Winged Pub), and 8 Romances (4 set in SC, 4 set in NC, LPC). Her non-fiction Moments series (by 45-55 authors, Grace Pub) are Divine Moments, Christmas Moments, Spoken Moments, Precious Precocious Moments, More Christmas Moments, Stupid Moments, and Additional Christmas Moments. LPC released Writing Right to Success (by 25 authors about their writing journeys and craft). For release in 2017 is Why? Titanic Moments, Loving Moments and Merry Christmas Moments.. Her 50th novel is Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the Titanic (Abingdon), which she signs periodically at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge TN. She blogs at www.christiansread.com and Novel Rocket. www.yvonnelehman.com – firstname.lastname@example.org
Acquisitions Editor at JourneyForth Books
Nancy Lohr acquires for both the youth and adult markets. Nancy has twenty years of experience in book publishing and was an educator and children’s librarian before moving to publishing. She loves to teach about the art and craft of writing. On the editor’s side of her desk, her responsibilities range from acquiring manuscripts and illustrations to editing manuscripts and managing book production. As an author, her personal résumé includes two historical novels for children, curriculum stories and articles, and numerous book reviews and articles for parents and educators. She is an avid reader who reads widely in both the youth and adult markets, and she happily agrees with C.S. Lewis who said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
Scott McCausey is the director of radio ministries at Christian Devotions Ministries. He has interviewed famous authors, Christian recording artists, renowned ministers and evangelists, sports celebrities and special interest leaders each Tuesday night on Christian Devotions Speak UP!
Scott is also the Senior Scientist at Eagle Design and Technology in Zeeland, MI. He’s performed various duties throughout his 27-year career and his vast knowledge of polyurethane allows him to answer difficult technical questions and steer new programs in the right direction.
Scott has also led Pillar of Truth Christian Church since 2010. He is the father of five children, one Grandchild and has been married to his wife Renee for 25 years. When free time presents itself, he enjoys fishing, board games and listening to baseball on the radio.
Director Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference
Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including her most recent fiction – Alone, and nonfiction – While My Child is Away. She’s also the military family blogger at Guideposts.org. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month and is one of Writer’s Digest Top 101 Websites for Writers. She’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and the Vice President of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, as well as the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine.
Director Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Suspense Sister, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson. She teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.
Alycia W. Morales
Alycia W. Morales is an award-winning freelance editor and author. Her clients have won the Selah Award, BRMCWC Director’s Choice Award, and many others. Her writing has been published in Thriving Family magazine, Splickety Love, and several compilation books. She is a member of ACFW, the president of Cross n’ Pens critique group, and a BRMCWC Conference Assistant.
When she isn’t busy writing, editing, and reading, Alycia enjoys spending time with her husband and four children taking hikes in Upstate SC and NC, creating various crafts, coloring in adult coloring books, and watching TV.
Tamela Hancock Murray
Literary Agent with The Steve Laube Agency
Tamela Hancock Murray has been a literary agent since 2001 and has been involved in the publishing industry for over three decades. She is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and nonfiction books. One of her short historical romance novels, Destinations, won an RWA Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Tamela is honored to represent many top authors and she continues to develop new talent. She earned her BA with honors in Journalism from Lynchburg College in Virginia. Today she enjoys living in Northern Virginia with her husband of over thirty years. Tamela and her husband are the proud parents of two lovely adult daughters. An avid reader, Tamela can often be found perusing anything from obscure religious texts to the latest bestseller. Tamela loves meeting with authors. Whether you are new to the business, a multi-published author, or somewhere in between, she looks forward to meeting you!
Internet Acquisitions editor for CBN.com.
Beth Patch serves as the editor/producer of the Internet ministry content, pens inspirational articles, interviews authors, and writes movie reviews. She holds bachelor and graduate degrees in Communication and Journalism, is a certified addiction recovery facilitator, and leads workshops on inspirational writing.
Katara Washington Patton
Katara Washington Patton is the author of a series of books on successful living based on Biblical characters. Successful Moms of the Bible, Successful Women of the Bible and Successful Leaders of the Bible (Hatchette/FaithWords, 2016-2017) has received many outstanding reviews and testimonies of how Patton’s down-to-earth and sometimes humorous style has piqued even more interest in the Bible and the lessons within. Patton is also the author of a devotional coloring book for all ages, The Parables of Jesus Coloring Book (Hatchette/FaithWords 2017).
God has allowed Patton to combine her passions with her career experience and education. She is a writer, editor, preacher, educator, mother and wife. She enjoys writing and speaking about issues that pertain to women of faith (moms, single and married women, leaders, etc) who are ever trying to seek balance in this crazy world and remain true to themselves while they take care of others. She loves sharing insights she’s received from God through reading Scripture. She reads devotionals almost daily and enjoys finding meaning in God’s Word. She has spoken on numerous topics including: depression, living as a single Christian, adjusting to married life, balancing work and motherhood, teaching teens, and writing for children, teens and adults.
Katara is grateful to have been born into a Bible-believing and following family, but she’s also had many years to observe the Christian faith and walk of others. Through her experiences and journey, she’s committed to being real and honest about faith. She believes in real-talk centered around God and God’s guidance for our lives—even when those conversations are tough and raise more questions than answers.
Katara has also created supplemental material for best-selling authors, such as T.D. Jakes and Joyce Meyer. She was general editor of Aspire: The New Women of Color Study Bible (Zondervan), the writer for the teacher’s workbook for Bishop Vashti MacKenzie’s Journey to the Well (UMI), and writer and acquisitions lead for Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity Teen Edition (Tyndale).
Katara graduated summa cum laude from Dillard University (New Orleans, LA), with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and English. She then earned a Master of Journalism in magazine publishing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). She also received a Masters of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston, IL), where she received the outstanding preaching award.
She has worked in the editorial and acquisitions departments at Weekly Reader Corporation, Jet Magazine, Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI), McGraw-Hill and Tyndale House Publishers. She recently established Esteem Publishing, which allows her to help others bring their book and media ideas to fruition. In 2014, she was named Nonfiction Editor of the Year by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
Katara is a native of Thibodaux, Louisiana. She and her husband, Derrick, reside on the Southside of Chicago. They have one daughter, Kayla. She is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. As much as possible, she tries to enjoy a Zumba class and a competitive game of Scrabble to keep her life balanced.
Edwina Perkins is an award-winning writer, experienced teacher, and speaker. She served on the Word Weavers Orlando Leadership Team for ten years. She has served as a content editor with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She loves the excitement of new writers and watching them develop in their craft.
Edwina serves on the Word Weavers Advisory Committee.
Karynthia Glasper-Phillips, MSM, PA-C is bi-vocational as an ordain minister and a licensed medical practitioner in family medicine for nearly 2 decades. She has been in ministry more than 30 years. Her concern for continuity of care to prevent and restore health for the spirit, mind, and body are revealed in her workshops, coaching and blogs. She knows firsthand the struggles of living a fragmented life one as a writer, speaker, ministry leader and entrepreneur.
Learning to practice self-care is premier in her message. She has authored 3 books and is working on a new release Greenlights at Crossroads: A Divine Call to Order. Her writer’s CV includes ghost writing 2 books. An author in Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie work Not Without a Struggle: Leadership for African American Women in Ministry 2nd Revised and Updated ed., teaching the importance of self-care as women in leadership. To Karynthia‘s credit two collaborative books were released in 2016 entitled: Rhythms of Life An Anthem of Praise and Worship through Seasons of Life and God’s Transforming love through reflection and restoration.
Her unique style of restoration through quiet time (worship, the word and exercise) where participates learn to take their “temples back”, gain appreciation for work and rest; as they learn to practice boundaries while pursuing destiny.
She is a firm believer that if you are not rested, hydrated, exercising, experiencing mental health moments or feeding the temple healthy balanced meals you cannot be effective in your call. “Self-care and wholeness are synonymous.
Motto: Optimal wellbeing is not by CHANCE it is a CHOICE!
Co-owner of Bold Vision Books
Karen Porter is an international retreat and seminar speaker and a successful businesswoman. She is the author of seven books including her newest release Speak Like Jesus and is a frequent guest on regional and national radio and TV programs and contributes to national magazines.
Karen served as Vice President of International Marketing of a major food company in Texas for more than 30 years. Today she and her husband, George, own Bold Vision Books, a Christian publishing company.
Karen is a coach of communicators in both writing and speaking and serves on numerous boards of national ministries.
Karen says her marriage to George is her greatest achievement, but she’d love to talk to you about her five grandchildren! In her spare time, Karen continues her life-long quest to find the perfect purse. Karen is a people person, plain and simple and you will love to laugh with her and maybe even cry a little as she shares her joys and struggles.
Rhonda Rhea is a humor columnist for HomeLife magazine, Leading Hearts magazine, The Pathway, MTL and many more. She says one of her fave gigs is her regular spot at Edie Melson’s The Write Conversation. She is the author of 13 books, including two co-authored nonfiction projects, Fix-Her-Upper and From Messy to Meaningful. Rhonda also writes fiction with her daughter, Kaley Rhea. Their new inspirational humorous romance, Turtles in the Road, is already a favorite. Rhonda is a TV personality for Christian Television Network and speaks at conferences and events coast to coast. She also enjoys working on the Bold Vision Books publishing team and is the conference chairperson for the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Rhonda lives in the St. Louis area with her pastor-hubs, Richie Rhea. They have five grown children and two grandbabies.
Editor in Chief, Southern Writers Magazine
Susan Reichert is co-publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine, a national magazine for authors and readers. She is also the author of Storms in Life, numerous magazine articles, and in 7 anthology books. Speaker at writing conferences, libraries, teaches writing classes.
Reichert discovered one of her life’s purposes when she began to write. “First, it was short stories as a child and some Saturday afternoons you could find Susan, her sister and friends acting out the stories. “My first novel I wrote, the manuscript was lost in a move. Now I write using a computer.”
She is a big proponent of writing your feelings, life thoughts, prayers and ideas in journals. Something she has done for over thirty years. Susan’s writing moved into business writing. Later in life, realizing how much writing meant to her and how much she liked to help others succeed, she created a small women’s executive magazine highlighting women who were successful in overcoming obstacles and succeeding in their business endeavors. She wrote articles about management styles, how to hone executive skills while doing seminars, and working with companies training their employees.
When Susan retired, she went back to writing in journals and began writing prayers and the lessons she was learning through studying the bible. In 2010 she began a writers group, Collierville Christian Writers (CC Writers). They have published seven books as a group.
“In 2011 I felt God was calling me to create a magazine that would help promote authors and their books. In 2011, Reichert found her other life’s purpose–Southern Writers Magazine was born. She and selected friends, joined forces and created not just the magazine–online, digital, and in print–but created promotional venues for authors: Suite T, the author’s blog with over 3.2 million so far; exclusive online bookstore; Gallery of Stars–promotional venue for authors and Authors Visits. They have promoted approximately over 1500+ authors.
Susan Reichert writes every day for the magazine and interviews authors. Occasionally, when she grabs some time, she will write for her on purposes. She is a voracious reader…”I read four to five books a week.” She lives in Tennessee with her husband. They have four grown daughters with their own families.
Literary Agent with Books & Such Literary Management
Cynthia Ruchti is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Management, the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, and an author and speaker. Her books have garnered numerous industry awards, both fiction and nonfiction. She’s working book #22 as this is being written with more in the pipeline. She tells stories hemmed in hope, and prayers that her readers, students, and audiences walk away knowing “I can’t unravel. I’m hemmed in Hope.” Cynthia and her grade-school sweetheart husband live in the heart of Wisconsin. cynthiaruchti.com or hemmedinhope.com
Linda Evans Shepherd
Linda Evans Shepherd is the author of other thirty books, including the Potluck Club novel series which she wrote with Eva Marie Everson and her bestselling prayer books including When You Don’t Know What to Pray, Experiencing God’s Presence and Winning Your Daily Spiritual Battles.
Linda is also the publisher of the Evangelical Press Association multi-award winning, Leading Hearts Magazine where conferees can receive a free subscription at www.LeadingHearts.com.
She is the CEO of Right to the Heart ministries, which also oversees the work of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, an association of over 500 Christian women communicators. She is the founder of the Golden Scroll Awards which gives awards to Christian editors and publishers for their ministry partnership with their authors, as well Golden Scroll Books of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Linda loves teaching and speaking, and has delivered keynotes and workshops across America, Canada and Europe.
Linda and Paul have been married over thirty years and have two children. She is a secret Internet geek and loves to create websites, and online ministries. Her website www.GodTest.com, a gospel sharing website has seen over 300,000 people come to faith.
She is the 2017 Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference Writer of the Year.
By God’s grace, Tim Shoemaker is the author of eleven books and a regular contributor for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Magazine. He is a popular speaker at conferences and schools around the country. He has worked with youth for over twenty years as a volunteer—and still loves it. This love for kids has helped him relate to his reading and listening audience in a unique way.
Code of Silence, book one of his contemporary suspense series, was included in the Booklist Online “Top Ten Crime Novels for Youth” list for 2013. School Library Journal invited him to be part of a four-person “Mystery/Thriller” panel for their Summer Teen Event.
Tim has an energetic style of teaching that helps make even difficult topics clear. He is all about encouraging and equipping writers to do what they do—better. If you want to strengthen your fiction, Tim will show you how to do it.
Happily married for over thirty-seven years, Tim has three grown sons, two daughters-in-law, and lives in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.
Editor Straight Street Books & SonRise Devotionals, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Cindy Sproles is an author and popular speaker. She is the cofounder of Christian Devotions ministries and managing editor of Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Cindy is the executive editor of www.christiandevotions.us and www.inspireafire.com. She teaches at writers conferences nationwide and directs The Asheville Christian Writers Conference – Writers Boot Camp.
She is the author of two devotionals, He Said, She Said – Learning to Live aLife of Passion and New Sheets – Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be. Cindy’s debut fiction novel, Mercy’s Rain, is available at major retailers. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com and book her for your next conference or ladies retreat. Also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Director of Fiction, Tyndale Books
Jan Stob is the director of fiction at Tyndale House Publishers. Since joining the fiction team in 2000, she has enjoyed working with authors from concept development through publication. She loves discovering new talent and unique concepts and enjoys working with authors who share her passion for publishing books that bring hope to a troubled world.
Over the years, she’s had the pleasure of working on several bestselling projects including the Left Behind series, Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, and The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate. She looks forward to new acquisitions releasing from Beth Vogt, Carla Laureano, Heidi Chiavaroli, and Allison Pittman. Jan and her husband reside in the Chicago area, near their two married sons and their amazing first grandchild.
(Photo and bio to follow)
David Van Diest
Owner & Literary Agent with Christian Literary Agency.
In galaxy far, far away and in a time so distant yet surreally recent, David worked for a number of different Christian publishers, in a variety of different roles… including delivery driver. His other duties included working directly with many of the major Christian ministries (Focus on the Family, Insight for Living, FamilyLife Ministries, Coral Ridge Ministries, TBN, Ligonier Ministries, etc.) and also with many bestselling authors. He wrote the marketing plan for the Prayer of Jabez, which sold over 10 million copies. He will readily admit that his involvement with the Prayer of Jabez “sounds better than it is.”
In this galaxy, and in this not so surreal time, David’s ongoing prayer is to be placed where God is working, not necessarily for God to bless David’s efforts. Since 1998 that place has been in Christian publishing. And from 2003 to the present, it has been as a literary agent. Presently, David is the principle agent with The Van Diest Literary Agency (www.christianliteraryagency.com). He is interested in mainly non-fiction literature. David’s wife, Sarah, is finishing her first book, which is scheduled to release early 2018 with NavPress.
Beth K. Vogt
Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A women’s fiction novelist, Beth’s first novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, releases May 2018.
Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly‘s Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Wedding series by Zondervan. Having authored ten contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us.
An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and also enjoys speaking to writers’ groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.
Jim is a writer saved by grace. That’s what’s most important. Not that his 20 books and over 2,000 articles have won numerous national awards, or that he has worked as a magazine and book editor since his sophomore year in college or even that he taught writing for fifteen years at Taylor University. And it’s really not important that he’s spoken around the world in churches, colleges and conferences. What is important is that he loves God, his family, writing, mentoring writers and Chinese food—in that order.
Karen Whiting (www.karenwhiting.com) is an international speaker, former television host, and award-winning author of twenty-five books for women, children, military, and families. She’s also a mom of five (including two rocket scientists) and a grandmother. She writes to help families thrive and has written more than seven hundred articles for more than sixty publications. Karen writes for Leading Hearts, The Kid’s Ark, and a radio network. Awards include the Christian Retailing Best Award, children’s nonfiction (The One Year My Princess Devotions) and the Military Writer’s Society of America Gold Medal (Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front).