2024 Editors

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Book Editors

We have a wonderful group of publishing houses … 
from Traditional to Indie (known by many different names:
hybrid, cooperative, custom, subsidy, etc.)

For your convenience,
we highlighted the names of the editors
from traditional publishing houses in green. 

Codes in red after what they are teaching
B = Beginner, I = Intermediate, A = Advanced

 

Marlene Bagnull

Marlene Bagnull  
Conference Director
Author, Editor, Speaker
www.writehisanswer.com
Publisher, Ampelos Press


Marlene is the director of the conference and the publisher/editor of Ampelos Press, a small subsidy house that helps Christians self-publish affordably yet professionally. She has over 1,000 sales to Christian periodicals and is the author of  eleven books including Write His Answer—A Bible Study for Christian Writers (in print for over 30 years). She is also the compiler/editor of four other books. 
 

Workshop W7 – Hybrid, Cooperative, Subsidy . . . (Wednesday, 5:00 – 6:00)    ALL
Each of the seven indie publishers will give an overview of the services they offer. This is a workshop for anyone considering going indie to attend or at least watch the video later. The Indie Publisher’s panel on Thursday from 1:10 – 1:50 will give you an opportunity to ask questions. 
 


Amy Marie Bartlett
Managing Editor, Whitaker House
Author

 

Keynote (Saturday, 9:45 am)

Info coming!

 


Larry A. Carpenter
Chairman and CEO, Christian Book Services, LLC
Carpenter’s Son Publishing, Clovercroft Publishing
Sports Publishing Group


Larry serves as the Chairman and CEO of Christian Book Services. Through their three publishing imprints, Carpenter’s Son Publishing, Clovercroft Publishing, and Sports Publishing Group, Larry’s company helps authors independently publish their books. Larry has an MBA from the University of North Carolina. He began his career in package goods marketing at Procter & Gamble and Campbell Soup Company. He entered the book business, joining Ingram Book Company as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 1987. He was promoted to President and CEO of Ingram’s Spring Arbor division in 1997. In 2000, he started his own distribution company, FaithWorks. After FaithWorks was purchased by STL Distribution, Larry joined Thomas Nelson as Vice President of Marketing. In 2008, he became President and Publisher of Standard Publishing. He started Christian Book Services in 2010.

Workshop W7 – Hybrid, Cooperative, Subsidy . . . (Wednesday, 5:00 – 6:00)    ALL
Each of the seven indie publishers will give an overview of the services they offer. This is a workshop for anyone considering going indie to attend or at least watch the video later. The Indie Publisher’s panel on Thursday from 1:10 – 1:50 will give you an opportunity to ask questions. 

Continuing Session CS2, Going Indie – (4) and Economical Ways to Market Your Book (Friday, 3:15 – 4:15)   I / ADV
Many authors write great books.  But there’s an old adage in publishing. “No one ever bought a book they had never heard of.”  Getting the word out is hard unless you know what you are doing. Effective consumer and trade marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. We’ll delve into all aspects of marketing, including Publicity, Platform Marketing, Social Media, Advertising, and others.

 


Tamara Clymer 
President/CEO – CrossRiver Media Group
Author
 

Tamara (or Tami as her friends call her) used to work in television and newspaper newsrooms as a reporter and photographer. Then she turned in her camera and keyboard for a life publishing Christian books . . . and she hasn’t looked back.

Born and raised in the Midwest, Tamara earned a journalism degree from Kansas State University in the early 90s. Soon after, she started working in T.V. and newspaper newsrooms, covering everything from local school board meetings to terrorist attacks. In the process, she realized God was calling her to do more with her writing—something with an eternal impact.

In 2010, she founded CrossRiver Media Group, a Christian publishing company that helps women build a battle-ready faith. CrossRiver has become a tiny powerhouse in the Christian publishing world. It has produced several award-winning books including Christian Small Publishers Books of the Year and SELAH Award winners. Tamara encourages her authors to use the words God has given them for His glory, and she teaches writers at Christian writers’ conferences across the country to do the same.

Tami and her high school sweetheart, Shad, have been married for more than 30 years. They live in western Kansas with their four kids, two dogs, and a grumpy cat who, ironically, is named Grace. Tamara loves her husband and kids dearly, but she also loves hot chocolate, camping, and reading anything she can get her hands on.

Workshop W8 – Book Reviews Roadmap: Unlocking the Power of Reviews (Wednesday, 5:00 – 5:50)   I / ADV
Nabbing great reviews can be daunting. Tamara’s workshop offers a step-by-step roadmap for collecting those elusive reviews. By the end of this session you’ll have a plan that works, know how to identify potential reviewers, be able to craft compelling review requests, and handle feedback with grace. Don’t miss this opportunity to unlock the power of book reviews and navigate the process with confidence.
 


Cheri Cowell
Owner/Publisher, EABooks Publishing
Author, www.chericowell.com

 

Cheri is the owner/publisher of EABooks Publishing. She is both a traditionally and independently published author and award-winning author of 365 Devotions for Peace (Zondervan) and Parables and Word Pictures Bible study (AMG Publishers). Her other books include Direction: Discernment for the Decisions of Your Life (Beacon Hill) and the One Story, One Mission, One God Bible study. She’s published over 500 articles and countless devotions. With her experience as an author and publisher, Cheri has a unique approach and grace when working with authors to bring their dreams to reality. 

Workshop W7 – Hybrid, Cooperative, Subsidy . . . (Wednesday, 5:00 – 6:00)    ALL
Each of the seven indie publishers will give an overview of the services they offer. This is a workshop for anyone considering going indie to attend or at least watch the video later. The Indie Publisher’s panel on Thursday from 1:10 – 1:50 will give you an opportunity to ask questions. 

Continuing Session CS2, Going Indie — (1) What Makes a Book Look Self-Published (Thursday, 11:15 – 12:15)    I / ADV
Learn the mistakes, how to avoid them, and how to make your book stand out (in a good way). Whether you choose to self-publish or just want to learn how to look more professional, this session will give you the inside look from an editor and publisher.

Workshop 9B — Marketing Into Ministry (Thursday, 5:15 – 6:05)    I / ADV
No one wants to hear about you and your book after the third week of your book’s release, so how do you market your book without talking about your book? Learn the proven strategy that turns marketing into ministry AND sells books.

 


Shane Crabtree
COO, Christian Book Services LLC


Hey there! I joined Christian Book Services back in 2020 after spending over two decades in biomedical engineering and project management. Growing up, my mom owned a cozy used bookstore, and my dad was an eighth-grade English teacher—so you could say books and learning have always been in my blood! During college, I worked with our local weekly newspaper as the sports editor. I really enjoy helping authors achieve their dream of becoming published and guiding them through their journey.

Workshop W7 – Hybrid, Cooperative, Subsidy . . . (Wednesday, 5:00 – 6:00)    ALL
Each of the seven indie publishers will give an overview of the services they offer. This is a workshop for anyone considering going indie to attend or at least watch the video later. The Indie Publisher’s panel on Thursday from 1:10 – 1:50 will give you an opportunity to ask questions. 

Continuing Session CS2, Going Indie — (4) Effective and Economical Ways to Market Your Book (Friday, 3:15 – 4:15)    I / ADV
Many authors write great books.  But there’s an old adage in publishing. “No one ever bought a book they had never heard of.”  Getting the word out is hard unless you know what you are doing. Effective consumer and trade marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. We’ll delve into all aspects of marketing, including Publicity, Platform Marketing, Social Media, Advertising, and others.

 


Jane Daly
Acquisitions Editor, Elk Lake Publishing
Author, www.JaneSDaly.com

 

Jane is addicted to coffee, purple pens, and her husband, not necessarily in that order. A self-proclaimed introvert, she enjoys the solitude of riding shotgun in Rigsby, her 37-foot motor home. But when they pull into a new campground, her favorite thing is to make new friends and find hangouts featuring local musicians. Her fantasy involves writing lyrics for country music songs and listening to them on the radio. In the meantime, she’ll stick to writing novels. And seeing as much of the country as possible.

Workshop 1E — Writing Through the Wall (Saturday, 2:00 – 2:50)    ALL
What to write when you don't know what to write. Jane will take authors through writer's block and give helpful hints on how to overcome it. 

 


Amy Deardon
Publisher, EBook Listing Services
Award-Winning Novelist, Nonfiction Author 
amydeardon.blog
Scriptwriter-in-Training

 

Amy Deardon is an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction. She is also a story coach and a publisher, and is a regular speaker at writing conferences. You can find her at www.amydeardon.blog

Amy’s publishing company, EBook Listing Services, unlike hybrid or cooperative publishers makes YOU the publisher rather than the company. You keep all control, rights, and profits forever. You can read more at www.ebooklistingservices.com


Workshop W7 – Hybrid, Cooperative, Subsidy . . . (Wednesday, 5:00 – 6:00)    I / ADV
Each of the seven indie publishers will give an overview of the services they offer. This is a workshop for anyone considering going indie to attend or at least watch the video later. The Indie Publisher’s panel on Thursday from 1:10 – 1:50 will give you an opportunity to ask questions. 

Continuing Session CS2, Going Indie — (2) Don't Spend the Money! Publish Your E-Book and Print Book on Amazon Yourself  (Thursday, 3:15 - 4:15)
You don't need to hire anybody to publish your book and eBook on Amazon. With free apps online, you don't even have to know much about the process. This session will show you how to use easy tools to get a knock-out cover, format your eBook/print book, get your own ISBNs, and find categories and keywords to position your book to sell on Amazon. Keep all control and profits, and become a happy self-publisher.

Workshop 3A – Assemble Your Tools, Control Your Time, and Beat Writer's Block (Thursday, 2:15 – 3:05)
You need a strategy to write. This lecture covers a workable game plan you can adapt to make it happen. You'll learn how to keep track of ALL your ideas, create a flexible weekly writing schedule, and use free tools to write wherever and whenever you want -- on your computer or on the go with your phone and a folding keyboard. Finally, you'll learn methods to smash writer's block so you can put down -- really -- 1000 words per hour or more. You'll be writing "THE END" before you know it. 

Workshop 3B – Kickstart Your Novel 1: Find Your Story Idea and Write a Logline (Thursday, 5:15- 6:05)
Do you know what you want to write about? If you do, is your idea strong enough to carry a novel? Whether you have a story idea or not, this class will help you find and combine great possibiities to build a resonant, powerful central core that is strong enough to build on and bring you through to the end. Finally, you'll learn how to write a logline that summarizes your story in one sentence. This class includes lots of exercises and fun twists to get your ideas popping.

Workshop 3C – Kickstart Your Novel 2: Build Your Story Foundation with the Four Story Pillars PART ONE (Friday, 2:15 – 3:05)
This is the first part of a two-part talk. Great stories are built on four story pillars: Plot, Character, Theme, and Story World. You need to establish each of these pillars to construct a resonant story foundation that will make your story sing. In this talk you'll plan out each story pillar so that they coordinate and strengthen your narrative into a unified whole. Exercises will help to sharpen your focus so you are not lost. 

Workshop 3D – Kickstart Your Novel 3: Build Your Story Foundation with the Four Story Pillars PART TWO (Friday, 5:15 – 6:05)
This is the second part of a two-part talk. Great stories are built on four story pillars: Plot, Character, Theme, and Story World. You need to establish each of these pillars to construct a resonant story foundation that will make your story sing. In this talk you'll plan out each story pillar so that they coordinate and strengthen your narrative into a unified whole. Exercises will help to sharpen your focus so you are not lost.

Workshop 3E – Kickstart Your Novel 4: Assemble Your Story Into an Outline (Saturday, 2:00 – 2:50)
While every story is unique, stories unfold in a general pattern that moves from ordinary world, to inciting, to midpoint, then climax and resolution. This session will help you consolidate your elements into a sturdy outline that you can use to create your first draft -- or rescue a stuck manuscript -- and have you typing "The End" before you know it. 

Workshop 3F – Kickstart Your Novel 5: Writing Techniques to Help Your Scenes Shine (Saturday, 3:45 – 4:35)
The basic unit of the story is the scene, and generally there are forty to sixty scenes in a novel. But how do you write a scene? This class will review some helpful tricks and tips to create a compelling scene including discussions of point of view (POV), the importance of the hidden need triplet in creating the character arc, and an amazing technique to keep your reader breathlessly turning pages to the end. 
 


Catherine DeVries
Publisher, Kregel Publications
Author

 

Catherine is Publisher of Kregel Publications, with over thirty years of experience in Christian publishing and a proven track record of crafting best-selling Bibles, books, and ministry resources for all ages. She began her career with Zondervan/HarperChristian, where she stayed for seventeen years and helped launch the NIrV translation and Zonderkidz and acquired The Jesus Storybook Bible. As brand manager at United Methodist Publishing House, Catherine launched the Common English Bible translation. Then as Publisher for David C Cook, Catherine was responsible for Sunday school curriculum lines, trade books, ministry resources, and the Action Bible children’s line of products. Catherine has been with Kregel since 2018 and leads the English publishing division, including acquisitions and publishing planning in all formats and genres—fiction, nonfiction, children’s, academic and ministry. She is also the author of twenty-five children’s books.

 


Scoti Domeij
Publisher and Acquisitions Editor, Blackside Publishing
Editor & Contributing Writer, Havok Journal

Author, Editor, Gold Star Mom

 

Scoti has held various responsibilities with ten traditional publishers including author; editor; senior research assistant; copywriter; marketing director; and production, art, and design coordinator. Scoti’s passion is to help writers hone their skills, pursue their passion, publish, and effectively market the story God embedded in their hearts.

Scoti is the proud Gold Star mother of Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Kristoffer Domeij, KIA October 22, 2011, in Afghanistan on his 14th deployment, the most deployed soldier in American history to be killed in action. See Find Us Faithful: Memorial Video; Here Am I, Send Me, OFFICIAL TRAILER: Gold Star Mom Jumps To Honor Son at 75th D-Day Anniversary; Here Am I, Send Me - Full Documentary

As a result of her loss, God opened the door for Scoti to become the Publisher for Blackside Publishing. In her role as an editor and a contributing writer for Havok Journal, an online Huff-post-style journal targeted to and written by military personnel and veterans, Scoti opens conversations on subjects-you’re-not-supposed-to-talk-about. 
 

Workshop 8F — Verb Power (Saturday, 3:45 – 4:45)   B / I / ADV
Is verbicide killing your writing? Resurrect power verbs to grab the attention of agents, editors, and readers. Learn how to turn snooze-inducing verbs into powerful action or picture verbs. Send the first 5 pages from your fiction or nonfiction chapter for review. Email to blacksidepublishing@gmail.com. In the subject line note “For Write His Answer Conference.”

 


David Fessenden 
Editorial Coordinator, CLC Publications 
Literary Agent, WordWise Media Services
Author, www.davefessenden.com

 

Dave has degrees in journalism and theology, and over 30 years of experience in writing and editing. He has served in editorial management positions for Christian book publishers and was regional editor for the largest Protestant weekly newspaper in the country.

Dave has published seven books, written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and edited numerous books. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. Two of his books, Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract and A Christian Writer’s Guide to the Book Proposal, are based on his experience in Christian publishing. The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy, Dave’s first novel, reflects his love for history and for the Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan-Doyle. Dave is currently pitching his second novel to publishers: Figman O’Firth, about a Scottish storyteller at the cusp of the Renaissance.

Dave and his wife, Jacque, live in south-central Pennsylvania and have two adult sons.
 

Workshop 7B — Book Proposals–Front End Method  (Thursday, 5:15 – 6:05)   ALL 
Maybe one in ten book proposals is complete and well- prepared. Why? Because most authors go about it backwards, and it’s a process doomed to failure. This workshop shows you how to prepare a simple and successful proposal. 

Workshop 7E — The Publishing Contract (Saturday, 2:00 – 2:50)   ALL
Just when you are rejoicing that your book is going to be published, you receive a thick envelope in the mail—the dreaded publishing contract. This seminar explains the clauses in a standard book contract, from a layperson’s perspective. [Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t dispense legal advice!] 
 


Rebecca Ford
Author Relations Manager, Acquisitions Editor
EA Books Publishing
Freelance Writer

 

Rebecca is the Author Liaison at EABooks Publishing.  In this role, she has partnered with over sixty authors working directly with them throughout all aspects of the publishing process. From assisting with contracts, gathering materials, to walking authors through the formatting process, Rebecca enjoys helping authors get their message or story into the hands of readers. In addition to partnering with authors, Rebecca is currently writing a stage production for Innocense Project of New Orleans. Her backgound is in theatre and has a great appreciation for storytelling in all forms. Rebecca studied professional writing at Taylor University.  

 


Robin Grunder
Author, Ghostwriter
Executive Editor, Legacy Press Books
www.robingrunder.org

 

Robin is an experienced journalist, author, and highly sought-after ghostwriter. She is currently the executive editor of Legacy Press Books. Robin partners with authors to help them see their publishing dreams come true through publishing and coaching. She is a regular speaker on the topic of legacy writing, memoir, and self-publishing your life-story at writers’ conferences around the country.

Some of her writing credits include pieces in Chicken Soup for the Soul, regional and national parenting publications, regional newspapers, and several ghostwritten books. Most recently, Robin has published Memoir in the Margins of Psalms, Journaling Your Life-Story in the Margins of God’s Story.

Robin and her husband Brian have a blended family of seven adult children and two grandchildren. They make their home in Eastern Iowa. 

Workshop W7 — Hybrid, Cooperative, Subsidy . . . (Wednesday, 5:00 – 6:00)   ALL
Each of the seven indie publishers will give an overview of the services they offer. This is a workshop for anyone considering going indie to attend or at least watch the video later. The Indie Publiher’s panel on Thursday from 1:10 – 1:50 will give you an opportunity to ask questions. 

Learning Lab LL5 — Legacy Writing (Wednesday, 2:30 – 4:30)   ALL   
What is legacy writing and why should you be doing it? Writing your stories of faith and family history enable you to leave a spiritual legacy for the future generations of your family. In addition to preserving the stories of the past, legacy writing helps you to live better in the present and can impact the future. Rhonda will talk about how to get started and stay motivated in your life-story project. She will discuss the differences between autobiography and memoir, answer questions about what to write, when to write, where and how to write, how to overcome obstacles to legacy writing, and alternative ways to preserve your stories of faith and family history for the future generations of your family.  
 


Amanda Jenkins
Sales Manager
AMG Publishers


Amanda is the Sales Manager at AMG Publishers and oversees acquisitions. She has been with AMG for eighteen years. Her roles have included everything from customer service to sales to marketing. For the last eight years, she has been over receiving, reviewing, and approving all queries. Amanda is also AMG's Author Liaison, which entails working with authors on contracts, processes, manuscripts, due dates for editing, and printing steps. AMG Publishers’ vision statement is for God’s Word to be accessible to everyone and have biblical content for all ages and study levels. Amanda believes this deeply and is grateful for her role at AMG where she can see this vision come to fruition.
 


Rachel Kirsch
Managing Editor, Kregel Publications

 

Rachel is managing editor at Kregel Publications. She was previously a freelance editor and proofreader for fifteen-plus years with publishers such as Zondervan, Baker, WaterBrook Multnomah, Our Daily Bread, and Penguin Press. She is passionate about the gospel of Jesus and would love to connect with nonfiction authors who share that same passion.

Rachel lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband and four kids, who bring chaos and joy to her life.
 


Michael J. Klassen 
President, 
Illumify Media Global
Author, Ghostwriter, Book Coach 

PowerWritersReport.com

 

 
Michael is a best-selling, award-winning ghostwriter, author, freelance writer, book coach, and publisher. He has worked on projects with authors as varied as former president Jimmy Carter (Lessons From Life Bible), Michael John Cusick (Surfing For God), and Philip Yancey (A Companion in Crisis). In 2015, he founded Illumify Media, a hybrid publishing company that releases books that help authors find and refine their powerful message and then guides them through the traditional publishing process so their books look, feel, and read like a traditional release. Services include book coaching, copyediting, publishing, distribution, and author promotion.

Workshop W7 – Hybrid, Cooperative, Subsidy . . . (Wednesday, 5:00 – 6:00)    ALL
Each of the seven indie publishers will give an overview of the services they offer. This is a workshop for anyone considering going indie to attend or at least watch the video later. The Indie Publisher’s panel on Thursday from 1:10 – 1:50 will give you an opportunity to ask questions. 

Continuing Session CS2, Going Indie — (5) The Art and Hook: Crafting Irresistible Back Cover Copy   I / ADV
You’ve written your book and now it’s ready for the finishing touches. If you write a simple summary of your book for the back cover, you’ll drive your potential readers away. In “The Art of the Hook: Crafting Irresistible Back Cover Copy,” publisher Michael J. Klassen will share secrets that will help you learn

Your reader is asking one simple yet crucial question when considering whether or not to purchase your book. During this workshop, you’ll learn how to answer the question.

Workshop 2E — Write Better, Faster: Unleash ChatGPT’s Writing Powers (Saturday, 2:00 – 2:50)   ALL
Artificial Intelligence is changing the way we think and communicate, and it's here to stay.  And that's good news—if you know how to harness this powerful tool to make your writing more relevant than ever.

But did you know that ChatGPT can help cut your writing time in half? By the end of your time together, you will know how to use ChatGPT to

It’s like hiring a personal assistant—for free!

Workshop 9C — Six Beliefs of the Platform-Building Mindset (Friday, 2:15 – 3:05)    ALL
Most authors treat their book promotion as if it were a hot, steaming plate of liver and onions. This doesn’t need to be the case.

In this important workshop, author and pastor Michael J. Klassen will address:


Catherine Lawton
Co-owner and Publisher
CLADACH Publishing
Author

 

Catherine has been writing for publication (articles, poetry, essays, and fiction) most of her life. She founded Cladach Publishing in 1999, giving opportunity to Christian writers and releasing over 50 titles. Her published books include The Animals In Our Lives and Something Is Coming To Our World. She also serves as an editor for Northwind Seminary Press. 
 

Workshop W4 — What Are You Soaking In? (Wednesday, 5:00 – 5:50)   ALL
What are you soaking in? What you soak up culturally and religiously will squeeze into your writing. In this workshop we:

Workshop 6F — The 4 Ps of Poetry (Saturday, 3:45 – 4:35)   ALL
How to improve, market, and publish your poetry. In the process, sharpen your observation skills, deepen your relationship with God, connect with and influence others.
 


Michelle S. Lazurek
Literary Agent, WordWise Media Services
Award-winning Author
Speaker, Certified Writing Coach
Acquisitions Editor, Roaring Lion Publishers
www.michellelazurek.com

 

Michelle is a multi-genre award-winning author, literary agent, certified writing coach, speaker, pastor’s wife, and mother living in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. She has won two Golden Scroll Children’s Book of the Year awards, Article of the Year award, and the Enduring Light silver medal, among seventeen other honors. She is also a member of the Christian Author's Network and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. 
 

Workshop W7 – Hybrid, Cooperative, Subsidy . . . (Wednesday, 5:00 – 6:00)    ALL
Each of the seven indie publishers will give an overview of the services they offer. This is a workshop for anyone considering going indie to attend or at least watch the video later. The Indie Publisher’s panel on Thursday from 1:10 – 1:50 will give you an opportunity to ask questions

Workshop 1A — Writing to Shape Culture (Thursday, 2:15 – 3:05)   ALL
Global Pandemic. Government shutdowns. Economic uncertainty. Given the tumultuous nature of the world around us, is it any wonder Christians feel more hopeless than ever? It can feel like no matter what they do to spread the Gospel, it doesn’t seem to help. This workshop will help them understand that they already possess some of the best tools to tell people about Jesus. 

Workshop 6D — Writing for Early Readers (Friday, 5:15 – 6:05)   B / I
Many people want to write for children. But how do you write engaging content that not only tells a story but also keeps a young audience engaged despite the instant gratification world in which we live? In this workshop, Michelle will address the following aspects of children’s writing:


Karen McGraw

Editor, Tyndale Publishers
 


Edwina Perkins
Managing Editor, Harambee Press, an imprint of End Game Press
Codirector, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference
Mentoring Moments Coordinator of the Blue Ridge Mountains Writers Conference
Advisory Board Member with Word Weavers International
Manager, Sensitivity Between the Lines
www.edwinaperkins.com


Edwina is the Managing Editor for Harambee Press, an imprint of End Game Press that seeks to publish ethnic writers. She's also the Assistant Director for the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and has served on the Word Weavers International Advisory Committee.

Edwina has a passion for seeing ethnic writers represented well in the publishing industry and she enjoys speaking to audiences about this opportunity. She is also passionate about coaching and mentoring writers.
 

Workshop W2 — Sensitivity and Diversity in Manuscripts (Wednesday, 5:00 – 5:50)
The number of books with ethnic characters has risen over the last few years. Because publishing houses are looking for more diversity in what authors are submitting, non-ethnic writers need to address some important issues when it pertains to diversity in their manuscripts. This workshop addresses writing about a culture outside of your own and the need for sensitivity readers.

Workshop 2C — What’s Your Voice? (Friday, 2:15 – 3:05)
One of the biggest struggles new writers face is how to find their writing voice. It’s also the key to unlocking their creative potential. Spending time deliberating over voice is worth your attention and focus. No matter what you write—fiction or nonfiction—your voice is essential. Take time to learn your unique voice.

Workshop 2F — Importance of Fiction Techniques in Nonfiction Books (Saturday, 3:45 – 4:35)
Engage the reader from the first word. Like a fiction book, a great non-fiction book draws the reader in from the start. We'll look at how some fiction-writing techniques can create more engaging and impactful non-fiction books.

 


Karen Porter
Co-owner, Bold Vision Books   
International Retreat and Seminar Speaker
Speaking and Writing Coach, Author
www.karenporter.com
 


Karen is an international retreat and seminar speaker and a successful businesswoman. She is the author of ten books including her newest release, Make Your Heart a Manger. She is a frequent guest on regional and national radio and TV programs and also contributes to national magazines.

For more than thirty years Karen served as Vice President of International Marketing of a major food company in Texas. 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.
 

Learning Lab LL6 — Marketing for Writers and Speakers (Wednesday, 2:30 – 4:30)    I / ADV
Marketing techniques and methods have changed drastically with the emergence of the Internet. The information and advice you’ve read might already be out of date. Marketing expert Karen Porter will help you define your personal style and brand. From tag lines and mission statements to web presence in blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, you will learn how to market your message, your speaking ministry, and your book. Karen will help you build a toolbox of practical, useful, doable methods. You will leave this learning lab with a personal plan.

Continuing Session CS3, Grow Your Speaking Ministry — (2) Stage Presence (Thursday, 3:15 – 4:15)  ALL
Learn what to do with your hands and body when on stage. Discover the best techniques for eye contact, moving on the stage, voice inflection and power, and facial expressions. Karen will also show you all the strategies for powerful openings and closings.

Continuing Session CS3, Grow Your Speaking Ministry — (3) Using Media in Speaking (Friday, 11:15 – 12:15)  ALL
This hands-on workshop will help speakers learn to use PowerPoint, Keynote, and other visual aids to enhance and enrich presentations. Your PowerPoint is not your presentation. Most speakers don’t know how to use these valuable tools—go to any corporate board room and see how not to do it. Guaranteed to change your presentations, add flair and fun, and wow your audience.

Workshop 8C — Self-Edit Before You Send It (Friday, 2:15 – 3:05)  ALL
This workshop is a practical and hands-on class on how to spot areas in your manuscript that need to be edited—before you send it out.  Discover how to find passive voice, wordy sentences, incorrect punctuation, split infinitives, and so much more. Learn how to use the tools in your computer programs to eliminate problems. Your writing will be forever changed for the better.

 


Dawn Stephens
Acquisitions Editor
EABooks Publishing
Children’s Book Expert

Dawn is an award-winning author and illustrator; first and foremost, she is a Fruit Pot! In other words, she is a vessel through which the Potter has chosen to grow the fruit of the Spirit. It took a long time for her to discover that. She searched for purpose as a teacher, wife, mother, fundraising director, sales manager, and school principal. As God emptied and refilled her with new roles, she believed she had found the one thing He wanted her to be. Each time, she let the things she held define her. Eventually, she realized God was more concerned about what could grow through her. She shares her journey through a children’s book called The Little Pot. Her creator continues to bear fruit through the teacher resources, curriculum, illustrations, blogs, and children’s books, and now as an Acquisitions Editor and Marketing Coach with EABooks. You can learn more at DawnStephensBooks.com and EABooksPublishing.com.

 


James Watkins

Editor, Family & Friends Micro-Publishing
Author, www.jameswatkins.com

 

Jim is the author of twenty traditionally published books and over 3,000 articles. He has served as an editor, university instructor of writing and conference speaker. Most of all, he is a beloved child of God, husband, dad and “Papaw” to eight grandchildren.


Workshop W7 – Hybrid, Cooperative, Subsidy . . . (Wednesday, 5:00 – 6:00)  ALL
Each of the seven indie publishers will give an overview of the services they offer. This is a workshop for anyone considering going indie to attend or at least watch the video later. The Indie Publisher’s panel on Thursday from 1:10 – 1:50 will give you an opportunity to ask questions. 

Continuing Session CS5 — Nonfiction Books that Change Lives
Hundreds of books about writing have been published, but very few on how to actually persuade with your writing! Sessions look at biblical and behavioral principles for how to write and speak to cause people to change their hearts and minds, how to organize your writing and speaking to engage your readers and listeners, how to use humor and stories to persuasively make your point and motivate without manipulating, and how to create effective marketing.

Keynote — Mermaids, Unicorns, and Christian Writers (Friday, 9:45 am)
An honest look at the differences between “Christian Writers” and “Christians Who Write.” The latter have different goals, motivations and definitions of success.

 

Periodicals & Online Markets

Submissions to Periodical Editors do not require a One Sheet.
Please NOTE the word count limits carefully, though.

 

David Bennett

Managing Editor, HomeLife and Open Windows
Author

 

David  is Managing Editor of HomeLife, the flagship magazine of Lifeway Christian Resources, and Open Windows, Lifeway’s longest running devotional. Prior to his work with HomeLife, David was responsible for the ideation, design, and production of student ministry resources and programs. He is author of Critical Decisions: Clarity in the Journey (Serendipity House) and co-author of Share Jesus Without Fear (Lifeway Press). For fourteen years he was a contributor for The Athlete’s Bible (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), and for the past eleven years has written the curriculum for Chic-fil-A’s WinShape Camps for Boys. He has also written scripts for stage and video as well as devotionals.

            David edited the first Beth Moore student resource, co-hosted the Experiencing God Youth Video Series with Henry Blackaby, and coordinated the First Place youth health program. David also led out in the production of youth Vacation Bible School resources, the Positive Impact Teen Violence Intervention Campaign, and new Christian assimilation. He has led conferences and keynoted at the Write-to-Publish Conference, Southern Christian Writers Conference, Mid-Winter Writers Conference, and others around the country. David is a people person and has enjoyed his interviews with personalities including Chrissy Metz, Roma Downey, Jim Caviezel, Patricia Heaton, Scott Hamilton, Scotty McCreery, Michael W. Smith, and other interesting people.

            David has also served as camp pastor for CentriKid Camps, taught creative dramatics, Bible, and mixed woodwinds. He has served church staffs in Tennessee and South Carolina. He has also directed regional and national student events. He recently created new curriculum for the nonprofit, For the Children.

            He attended Clemson University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

            David will never forget meeting his wife, Kimberly, at 2:10 pm CT on his fifth day in Nashville. He and his wife have three daughters: Mary Claire, Caroline, and Sarah Kate.


Workshop 5E – Working with a Magazine Editor (Saturday, 2:00 – 2:50)
What's the best thing about writing for a magazine and how do you build a relationship with the editor? David will also share how to guarantee your manuscript will be rejected. Learn the not-so-bright things to do to ensure your manuscript is first in line for the shredder. Rather than leaving an editor shaking their head, you can abide by a few simple things to help your lines avoid the circular file.  
 


Steve Bootsma
Calvinist Cadets
Executive Director, Editor, Cadet Quest Magazine

 

Steve is the Executive Director of the Calvinist Cadet Corps, a Christian non-profit boys club organization with clubs in over 450 North American churches, as well as in Kenya, Uganda, Ukraine, South Sudan, New Zealand and Australia. From being a Cadet in his hometown church as a child in the 70s, to leading the entire organization, Steve is passionate about helping boys grow more Christlike in all areas of life.

In this role, he is the editor of Cadet Quest magazine, created for boys ages 9-14, published seven times a year. Fiction, non-fiction, illustrations, puzzles and games are all desired by Steve, and he enjoys receiving submissions from new authors.

 

Workshop 5F — Writing for Youth Magazines (Saturday, 3:45 – 4:35)
The entire story needs to fit onto 2-3 paes. What’s imnportant to add, what needs to stay, what can go? How do I make sure the Christian messages comes through? BNow that your story is ready to submit, what will improve or hinder the chances of it being published?
 


Kara Bettis Carvalho

Ideas Editor, Christianity Today
Freelance Writer

 

Kara is the Ideas Editor at Christianity Today and a freelance writer on topics of religion and culture. She has a bachelor’s in media studies and a master of arts in theology. A religion journalist by training, Kara especially focuses on profile features and has won several awards and fellowship grants.

Kara is also a storyteller. She believes everyone has a story worth telling. “The art of telling our stories is a skill: from social media to personal branding to writing a book or essay. And it’s a skill we can learn.”

Kara lives in coastal Rhode Island with her husband, Shane. In our free time, we enjoy CrossFit, serving in our local church, hanging out with college students, and reading.

Keynote — What is the Role of Christian Writers in Our Culture? (Thursday, 9:45 am)
Christians believe that we have a God-given role to shape the world around us. And as writers, we have a direct way to be salt and light in a broken world through our words. From being a witness to watching world, to offering practical examples of how to better love our neighbor, Christian writers can engage difficult topics with truth and grace.

Workshop 2A — Using Research to Strengthen Your Writing (Thursday, 2:15 – 3:05)
In the age of social media, everyone has a “platform” to write and voice an opinion. But true writers can become trustworthy sources through research and even just a few strategic citations. As Christians, our speech must be seasoned by salt (Matt. 5:13), and everything must be tested according to Scripture (1 John 4:1). This workshop will explore how even just a little bit of research can bring our writing from good to great.

 


Lt. Col. Lesa Davis
Editor in Chief, Salvation Army Publications
The War Cry

 

Lt. Colonel Lesa Davis is the editor in chief for Salvation Army Publications in the United States, which includes the denominational magazine, The War Cry, and Peer, a monthly magazine for young adults/Gen-Z. In addition, she oversees the production of Word and Deed, an academic theological journal, and Crest Books, which publishes three books each year. Lesa has been a Salvation Army officer for thirty-three years and has been appointed to serve in the National Publications department twice.

 


Scoti Domeij
Editor & Contributing Writer, Havok Journal
Publisher and Acquisitions Editor, Blackside Publishing

Author, Editor, Gold Star Mom

 

Scoti has held various responsibilities with ten traditional publishers including author; editor; senior research assistant; copywriter; marketing director; and production, art, and design coordinator. Scoti’s passion is to help writers hone their skills, pursue their passion, publish, and effectively market the story God embedded in their hearts.

Scoti is the proud Gold Star mother of Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Kristoffer Domeij, KIA October 22, 2011, in Afghanistan on his 14th deployment, the most deployed soldier in American history to be killed in action. See Find Us Faithful: Memorial Video; Here Am I, Send Me, OFFICIAL TRAILER: Gold Star Mom Jumps To Honor Son at 75th D-Day Anniversary; Here Am I, Send Me - Full Documentary

As a result of her loss, God opened the door for Scoti to become the Publisher for Blackside Publishing. In her role as an editor and a contributing writer for Havok Journal, an online Huff-post-style journal targeted to and written by military personnel and veterans, Scoti opens conversations on subjects-you’re-not-supposed-to-talk-about. 
 

Workshop 8F — Verb Power (Saturday, 3:45 – 4:45)   B / I / ADV
Is verbicide killing your writing? Resurrect power verbs to grab the attention of agents, editors, and readers. Learn how to turn snooze-inducing verbs into powerful action or picture verbs. Send the first 5 pages from your fiction or nonfiction chapter for review. Email to blacksidepublishing@gmail.com. In the subject line note “For Write His Answer Conference.”

 


Debbie Hardy 
Representative, ChristianDevotions
Author, Speaker
CCWC Team
 

Debbie is the Queen of Resilience and the author of three books: Free to Be Fabulous: 100 Ways to Look and Feel Younger at 40, 50, and Beyond; Stepping Through Cancer, A Guide for the Journey; and How to Write a Book AND Get it Published. She has also published devotions and contributed to anthologies. A Colorado resident and accomplished pianist, Debbie loves to mentor aspiring authors and edit their work. Her positive outlook and joy in Christ have helped her transition from corporate America to writing, speaking, encouraging otand learn the basics, from how to get the book written to how to get it published. We’ll explain terms used in publishing and look at thhers, and teaching at writers’ conferences, retreats, and other events. 


Workshop 7C — New to Writing: Here’s a Roadmap (Friday, 2:15 – 3:05)
Do you have an idea for a book but no idea how to give it birth? Come e steps in publishing and marketing your book. Get your message out to your target audience.

 


Grace Kelley

Associate Editor, Focus on the Family’s
Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines


Grace received her BA in English with a minor in creative writing at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Before she became an assistant editor at Focus on the Family, Grace worked with children for many years in a variety of ways, including working in daycare, being a summer camp counselor, and even teaching English to elementary school students in South Korea. 

While Grace loves writing and editing short articles for her magazines, her dream is to create and publish fun, adventurous, and lesson-filled books for children and teenagers. Her first fiction piece published in Clubhouse Jr., “Citi on a Hill,” recently won a third place award at the Evangelical Press Association’s annual conference.

Grace currently resides in Colorado Springs, though she considers coastal Virginia home.
 

Workshop 5B — How To Write for Focus on the Family Clubhouse & Clubhouse Jr. (Thursday, 5:15 – 6:05)
Writing for magazines is a great first step to become a published author for children. In this workshop, you’ll discover the keys to contributing to Focus on the Family’s children’s magazines.

 


Sherri Langton
Associate Editor
Bible Advocate
Now What? e-zine
Freelance Writer


Sherri has worked over thirty years in Christian publishing. She is the associate editor of Bible Advocate magazine and Now What? e-zine. Sherri is an award-winning freelance writer whose work has appeared in Focus on the Family, In Touch, Upper Room, Today’s Christian Woman, Marriage Partnership, Discipleship Journal, Decision, LIVE, and other publications. She writes on assignment for AG News, Standard, and The Quiet Hour. Sherri also has contributed to two Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes, My Turn to Care, Teatime Stories for Women, Becoming a Godly Man, Faces of Faith, Hurray God!, and Understanding Depression and Suicide: Hope in the Darkness. In addition, she teaches workshops at several Christian writers conferences. Sherri lives in Denver, Colorado, and plays drums and percussion at her church.

Workshop 5D — Three Puzzles of Periodicals (Friday, 5:15 – 6:05)
You have a great idea, but how can it become something worthy of print? This class will help you solve three puzzles that often stump writers wanting to submit to magazines:

  1. What makes an idea marketable?
  2. What “package” best suits an idea (devotional, teaching article, how-to, personal experience, etc.)?
  3. What makes a piece connect with reader?
     


Warren L. Maye
Editor in Chief, SAconnects 

Author
 

Warren is Editor in Chief of SAconnects, The Salvation Army’s award–winning lifestyle magazine, published in English, Spanish, and Korean. He is co–author, with his wife, Marilyn Allman Maye, of Orita: Rites of Passage for Youth of African Descent in AmericaWhen Your Whole World ChangesA New World View: Salvation Army Kids Travel to South Africa, and  Mommy Says, an illustrated book for children. He is also the author of  Soldiers of Uncommon Valor: The History of Salvationists of African Descent in the United States, and When God Calls: The Heart and Ministry of a Holiness Preacher, Rev. Dr. V. Seymour Cole

Warren is a member of the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), a board member of the Evangelical Press Association (EPA), and member of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB).

From September 11, 2002, to July 6, 2003, over one million visitors saw the exhibition “September 11: Bearing Witness to History” at the Smithsonian’s, National Museum of American History that included his 9/11 photos.

Warren earned a B.F.A. from Parsons School of Design and the New School for Social Research and a M.A. from Fordham University.

He is a Society of Illustrators award winner, Scholastic Magazines scholar, Harper & Row (now Harper Collins) textbook designer and illustrator, and former 90.7 WFUV FM co–host and the original voice of “Cityscape,” a weekly talk show addressing  New York City issues, now in its thirty-fifth year.
 


Evan Miller 
Senior Editor, Guideposts

 

Evan is a senior editor at Guideposts magazine where he has ghostwritten stories for hundreds of people ranging from Trisha Yearwood to a man in California who started a basketball league for kids particularly poor at athletics. He also occasionally writes for the magazine under his byline. He’s one of the editors who selects the story line-up for each edition and is the primary editor fielding pitches from freelance writers new to the magazine. Before coming to Guideposts, he worked as executive editor at newspapers in Washington state, Indiana, and Tennessee. and his wife live in Connecticut.


Workshop 5C — How To Write a Guideposts Story (Friday, 2:15 – 3:05) 
Evan will breakdown the ingredients of a successful Guideposts story using actual examples from Guideposts. He will take participants through the process of writing their own Guideposts story step by step. We’ll cover story structure of a Guideposts story, how to come up with a compelling presenting problem, how to sustain tension, and the all important story resolution. There will be plenty of time for Q and A as well. Even if you have no interest in being published in Guideposts you will learn a wealth of information about writing a compelling narrative story.


Rachel Pfeiffer

Editor, Clubhouse magazine
Contributing Editor, Clubhouse Jr. 

 

Rachel serves as Editor of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine and as a contributing editor for Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. magazine. As an editor for these magazines, she acquires and edits stories to entertain and engage children. She graduated from Taylor University with a degree in professional writing and has published a variety of freelance articles. When she’s not curled up with a good book, she can often be found hiking the beautiful mountains in Colorado.   

Workshop 5A — From Facts to Fascinating Tips for Writing Nonfiction for Kids (Thursday, 2:15 – 3:05)
Stories naturally engage young readers, and nonfiction can be engaging too. These tips for crafting fascinating nonfiction will help you write pieces that keep kids interested while they learn more about faith, history, science, and more.

 


Marti Pieper
Senior Editor, Charisma Media
Author, Collaborative Writer, Editor  
www.martipieper.com

WHAC Team

 

Marti’s eclectic publishing career includes ghostwriting a young adult memoir that made the ECPA bestseller list and traveling to six Latin American countries to share stories of teen mission trips and an award-winning missionary memoir. She has written 7 traditionally published nonfiction books and edited several more, written and edited for both print and digital publications, and taught at multiple writers conferences. A fulltime freelance writer and editor, she serves as senior editor for Charisma Media and hosts several podcasts on the Charisma Podcast Network. Find her at www.martipieper.com, where her “Snapshots of Dementia” blog details life with her husband, who suffers from an early-onset dementia.


Continuing Session CS4 — Narrative Nonfiction: The Power of Story
How can I make my nonfiction more compelling? How can truth and creativity coexist in my work? In this continuing session, which includes both practical tips and inspiring examples, Marti shares the basics of this popular but often misunderstood genre. Learn how to transform your writing through the power of authentic storytelling while you catch—and keep—your readers.
 


Rhonda Robinson  
Parenting Content Producer
Focus on the Family
RhondaRobinson.tv   
Award-Winning Author

 

Rhonda is an award-winning author and Manager of Marriage and Parenting Content for Focus on the Family. For more than two decades, Rhonda has written commentary and analysis on the social, political, and parenting issues affecting the family. Her publishing credits began in the late 90s spanning over a decade of newspaper and magazine columns before moving to new media publications with more than a thousand articles online. Since 2015, she has trained and led writers to create SEO rich content and drive traffic through search engine listening and strategies. At home, she is the wife of her high school sweetheart and the mother of nine. She is also the grandmother of a growing population, which was last counted at 37.


Learning Lab LL8 — Unlocking the Mystery of Keywords (Wednesday 2:30-4:30)
Whether you are writing the description of your book for Amazon, your back cover copy, blog posts, or online articles, keywords are how your readers find you. Understanding the algorithms of search engines, what they are searching for will allow you to be found when your readers don’t yet know your name. In this workshop you will learn how to use keywords effectively. As a bonus, you will learn how to discover the felt needs of your readers through the keywords they are using and utilize the terminology into your writing.

Workshop 1C — AI and the Future of WritingWill AI Put Writers Out of Work? (Friday, 2:15 – 3:05)
Explore the crossroads of faith, creativity, and technology. This workshop dispels fears around AI in the writing industry. We'll uncover how AI can serve, not replace, God-given human creativity in crafting compelling narratives. As we navigate the ethical landscape of AI usage and look forward to future implications, we'll delve into what it means to be a writer in the age of AI. Join us as we balance faith and innovation in this exciting new era of writing.

 


Olivia Scherzer
Assistant Editor, Peer Magazine

 

Born and raised on the outskirts of Richmond, VA, Olivia attended Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) where she earned a degree in public relations with a focus in professional and technical writing. She started her professional career at The Salvation Army and is very excited to call Alexandria her home. When she’s not in the office, she can be found either reading romance novels, hanging out with her dog, or spending time with her friends and family.
 


Linda Evans Shepherd 

Publisher Leading Hearts Magazine and Arise Daily e-devotional
CEO, Advanced Writers & Speakers Assc. (AWSA)
Founder, Arise Esther Movement
Blog, GotToPray.com 
Award-winning, Best-selling Author

 

Linda is a nationally known Christian speaker and an award-winning, best-selling author of almost forty books. In addition to writing and speaking, Linda is president of a large Christian ministry and ministers to the top 800 Christian women authors and speakers in the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) that she founded and directs. She’s the publisher of the EPA Award Winning magazine, Leading Hearts, and the publisher of the all new Arise Daily e-devotional.
 

Continuing Session CS3, Grow Your Speaking Ministry  — (5) Advanced Speakers Strategies (Saturday, 11:15 – 12:15)
Unlock the best kept secrets for successful speakers with renowned speaker and speaker coach Linda Evans Shepherd. Join Linda as she shares her invaluable insights delivering a message that will be a gift to your audience through the power of storytelling. Gain hands-on expertise in stage presence, delivery, voice modulation, and body language. Elevate your speaking prowess and become a transformative force for the Kingdom.

Keynote — The Glory of the Story (Saturday, 4:45 pm)
Linda shares “gold” as she leads her audience on a journey of storytelling excellence in her “The Glory of the Story” keynote. Discover the art of crafting powerful personal narratives without succumbing to the temptation of seeking self-pity. Linda's vibrant presentation weaves not only the story and storytelling of Jesus, but her personal anecdotes with practical guidance, empowering writers to shed grief and bitterness, and unlocking their ability to deliver life-changing messages. She helps writers to dig for their story-telling gold so that they can captivate their readers with stories that will resonate and change lives.

 

For info on booking your appointments click here.

 

For more information on editorial needs, be sure to check
The Christian Writers Market Guide 2024 available in paperback
and as an eBook through the Christian Writers Institute.
I recommend a yearly subscription to the eBook.