Agents & Other Professionals 2018

Faculty are available for free one-on-one 15-minute appointments! Be sure to complete and return your Appointment Request form that you will receive when you register as soon as the all the bios and editorial needs are posted. But not to worry! As long as your form is received by April 15 appointments will be scheduled in the order that you registered. All appointment requests must be received by April 30.

For more information on the genres agents are interested in representing as well as editorial needs, be sure to check the The 2018 Christian Writer’s Market Guide available at a discount from the Write His Answer Bookstore. To help you prepare for CCWC, I encourage you to also check out the other titles in our bookstore. There is no shipping charge for orders over $35, and all the books are discounted. Book sales help us meet conference expenses.


Click here for a 3-page chart of the genres
they are interested in representing.
For more specific info, click the link with their bio below.


Stephanie AltonStephanie Alton
Literary Agent

The Blythe Daniel Agency
Director, BlogAbout Blogger Network

Stephanie  is a literary agent and director of the agency’s blog network, BlogAbout. Stephanie specializes in creating custom launch teams, blog campaigns, and webinars with industry pros through the BlogAbout Blogger Network. Several of the books she has collaborated on have been in the top 10 on the New York Times Best Seller List and rated #1 on Amazon. BlogAbout is actively seeking bloggers to join the blog community that brings bloggers access to content from new voices and bestselling authors. New as an agent but not new to the world of publishing, Stephanie meets with writers and gives them feedback on their book ideas and platform building. Having critiqued book proposals over the years, she brings a unique approach to coaching her clients in a way that leads them to excel beyond what they envision.

Workshop – Mindful & Meticulous Marketing with Blythe Daniel (Friday, 3F)
Many authors are surprised by how much publishers are relying on them to market their own book. In this workshop, we will talk about what kind of marketing responsibility is falling on the shoulders of authors, when you should start, and how to engage your audience. We’ll also look at some mindful ways to develop the content of your book as you write so that you can market it, when to get endorsements, strategic timing for launch teams and reviews, and timeless and trending marketing techniques.

Click here for genres Stephanie she is interested in representing, areas of expertise, and availability for paid critiques.

Dan Balow 

CEO and Publisher, Gilead Publishing
Literary Agent, The Steve Laube Agency 

Dan started in Christian publishing in 1983 and over the last 30+ years has been involved on the business side of the industry. He joined The Steve Laube Agency in July 2013 and works with authors of nonfiction exclusively. He blogs on the company blog every Tuesday. Dan’s strengths would be his understanding of what it takes to be successful in the current publishing environment and how all the pieces of the publishing “puzzle” fit together. 

In 2016, Dan started Gilead Publishing, a publisher of Christian-themed fiction. He serves as CEO and publisher of the company. Click here for chart of editorial needs.

Dan is also is a founding member of the advisory board of the Christy Awards and is involved in training and mentoring Christian publishers from around the world through Media Associates International ( He is a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in Communications. He is married to Carol, a speech therapist in the public schools. They live in Wheaton, Illinois, and have four grown children and four granddaughters.

Workshop – Building Your Author Platform (Thursday, 1F)
A step-by-step approach to building an effective author platform.

Workshop – Unnecessary Things for Writers (Friday, 3B)
Unnecessary words, work, and worry – three things getting in the way of an enjoyable writing life.

Workshop – Writing to Men (Saturday, 5D)
How they are the same or different.

Click here for genres Dan is interested in representing.

Blythe Daniel
President, Literary Agent, and Marketer
The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc.

Blythe is a literary agent and marketer who focuses on 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 7 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. 

Workshop – Mindful & Meticulous Marketing with Stephanie Alton (Friday, 3F)
Many authors are surprised by how much publishers are relying on them to market their own book. In this workshop, we will talk about what kind of marketing responsibility is falling on the shoulders of authors, when you should start, and how to engage your audience. We’ll also look at some mindful ways to develop the content of your book as you write so that you can market it, when to get endorsements, strategic timing for launch teams and reviews, and timeless and trending marketing techniques.

Click here for genres Blythe is interested in representing, areas of expertise for one-on-one appointments, and availability for paid critiques.

Tessa Emily Hall 
Assistant to Cyle Young, Hartline Literary Agency
YA Acquisitions Editor, Illuminate YA
(Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Imprint)

Tessa writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show teens they’re not alone. Her passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens led her to a career as an Assistant to Cyle Young at Hartline Literary Agency, YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint – click here for editorial needs), and Founder/Editor of Tessa’s first teen devotional, COFFEE SHOP DEVOS, will release with Bethany House in 2018. She’s guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, decorating her insulin pump, and acting in Christian films. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website:

Early Bird Workshop – Mastering the Five Variations of Show vs. Tell (Wednesday, E6)
Every writer is advised to “show” their story rather than tell it, yet this seems to remain the most difficult technique for writers to master. Perhaps it’s because we’re showing in some areas of our writing yet telling in others. In this workshop, I’ll discuss the five variations of showing vs. telling and how you can bring your story to life by mastering these techniques. Be sure to bring a 1000-word sample of your writing that you don’t mind revising and possibly sharing with the class (optional).

Teens Write – You’re Never Too Young to Begin Your Writing Journey (Saturday, 9:45 – 10:30)
When I began my writing journey at 15-years-old, I soon discovered that adults had differing opinions about teen writers. While most were supportive, others advised that I stay away from pursuing the writing journey until later in life. In this workshop, I’ll give a brief overview of my writing journey—including how I received a publishing contract at 16-years-old—and discuss the pros and cons of pursuing writing at an early age.

Click here for  genres Tessa is interested in representing, areas of expertise, and availability for paid critiques.

Nick Harrison
Literary Agent
WordServe Literary

Nick is a former bookstore owner, senior editor, and book reviewer. He is now an agent with WordServe Literary and working on his own books, with a dozen presently in print.

Early Bird Workshop – Troubleshooting Your Unsold Novel (Wednesday, E10)
A look at the reasons your novel hasn’t sold. We’ll consider genre, industry ebbs and flows, writing craft, and other reasons your novel is still unsold.

Workshop – When You Don’t Have a Platform (Friday, 4E)
Ideas on how to compensate for not having a platform, both in your proposal and when the book is published.

Click here for genres Nick is interested in representing.

Abby Rodriguez
Assistant to Sally Apokedak
Apokedak Literary Agency

After snagging a bachelor’s degree in English (accompanied by a minor in Editing and Publishing), Abby took a long-anticipated leap into the world of book publishing. She’s served in several capacities over the years, including in-house intern to the small but determined WSC Press, remote intern to The Carol Mann Agency, and volunteer beta reader/workshop partner/book talker to dozens of aspiring writers.

Abby joined the Apokedak Literary Agency in 2017 as Sally Apokedak’s assistant after spending the prior two years as one of Sally’s remote
interns. Alongside Sally, she uses her affinity for words (and research) (and snack breaks) to help aspiring picture book, middle grade, and
young adult authors pursue publication. She loves spending time with good books and the writers who pen them.

Workshop – The Picture Book (Thursday, 2G)
Picture books: simple in theory, complex in practice. But don’t let the idea of complexity scare you. Get the scoop on different types of picture
books and industry expectations for picture book authors. Most importantly, learn to eagerly take on the challenge of writing exceptional
picture books.

Workshop – Crafting a Believable Voice for MG/YA Novels (Friday, 4G)
Kids might be the most brutally honest novel critics on the planet. And they can see through adult sentiment and sensibility with laser-like
precision. In this workshop, we’ll explore how to develop an authentic voice for a middle grade and young adult audience. Get ready to
embrace your inner child.

Click here for genres Sally Apokedak is interested in representing.

Other Professionals

Click here for a 4-page chart of Areas of Expertise.
For more specific info, click the link with their bio below.


Brian Bird
Screenwriter, Producer

In his 3 decades in Hollywood, Brian has written or produced 2 dozen films including The Case for Christ, Captive, and Not Easily Broken as well as nearly 300 episodes of such shows as Touched by an Angel. He is executive producer and co-creator of the Hallmark Channel original series When Calls the Heart, now in its fifth season, and co-author of the new book of devotionals. Currently he is developing 4 new films along with a new television series. 

Continuing Session – Screenwriting
Soup-to-nuts advice for authors adapting their own stories into screenplays. The necessary ingredients for creating a compelling Act One. Plot or Character…Which Comes First? The Answer is…YES! The essential toolbox of screenwriter superpowers and truths of the trade no screenwriter can succeed without. The 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey behind every great movie and the Mythic Orchestra behind the greatest movie characters of all time. The decade long odyssey and lessons learned behind the hit television show and adaptation of best-selling author Janette Oke’s beloved book series, When Calls the Heart.

Click here for areas of expertise for one-on-one appointments and availability for paid critiques.

Dick Bruso

Dick Bruso

International Speaker, Author
Branding/Marketing Expert
Founder, Heard Above the Noise®

An international speaker, author, and founder of Heard Above The Noise®, Dick Bruso is a highly regarded branding and marketing expert. He teaches his audiences and clients how to develop and expand their brands to powerfully penetrate the marketplace.

His clients include best-selling authors, in-demand speakers and successful entrepreneurs, as well as business and ministry leaders. He authored the book, Bible Promises: Help and Hope for Your Finances, and is a contributing author, on the topic of branding, to the popular books, Paid To Speak and Speak More!

Dick enjoys photography, writing lyrics, and living in Colorado. Most of all, he likes spending time with his wife, Joann, his four daughters and son-in-laws, nine grandchildren, and two little rascally dogs named Spanky and Darla. 

Early Bird Workshop - Create a Best-Seller Brand* and Fast-Track Your Speaking Outreach** (Wednesday, E16, until 6:15)
Two jam-packed programs in one dynamic 90-minute session. Plus, everyone attending this session will be given a complimentary 30-minute one-on-one phone consultation with Dick Bruso after the conference. 
     *Develop a unique brand that will powerfully capture the marketplace by applying the “umbrella branding” approach to every aspect of your writing career.
     **Accelerate your writing career by tapping into the ideal professional speaking organizations, resources, and tools. The inside secrets every Christian writer needs to know about the world of public speaking. 

Please note: Dick will only be with us on Wednesday.

Roy Hanschke

Author, Speaker, Trainer/Coach
Radio Personality, KPOF morning show
(broadcasting from conference Thursday and Friday am)

Roy is a Christian radio personality and speaker who has coached beginning and seasoned speakers for over 18 years. He is also a 30-year (plus) veteran of Christian radio. His morning show is heard at AM91 KPOF and worldwide on streaming audio at He is also the author of In Search of Shalom: The Success Every Man Desires. Roy understands the needs of men and how to effectively communicate principles from God’s Word that help men succeed in a society bent on discouraging, if not destroying them. His job in Christian radio allows him to hear men’s stories, meet with pastors, pray with men at their businesses, and speak to them in churches and church men’s groups. He knows how hard it is to be the influence most Christian men want to be in their world. Roy trained for ministry at Moody Bible Institute, Trinity College (Deerfield, Illinois), and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he received degrees in Biblical Studies and Religious Education. Roy received additional training from the school of hard knocks in church pastoral ministry, commercial real estate, on the staff of a government agency, and running his own speaker training business. Roy loves reading, sharing his own daily devotionals on his morning radio show, teaching speaker workshops, ministering to neighbors, and hiking in the mountains of Colorado. Roy and his wife live in Centennial, Colorado, near their three children and sixteen grandchildren. He and his wife attend South Suburban Christian Church.

Speakers’ Clinic – by application
If you’ve been avoiding the challenge to begin speaking or need to improve what you’re already doing, this is the clinic for you. Roy will help you discover your ministry focus, organize one of your talks to maximize time and effectiveness, present it with power and pizzazz, and market your message through radio. You’ll have an opportunity to test what you learn and receive helpful evaluation from Roy and your peers. 

Thursday am Continuing Session with Bob Ruesch – Indie Publishing
Discover the pitfalls, snags & triumphs two writers experienced. Bob Ruesch used an indie publishing company, Roy Hanschke a traditional publisher. 

Click here for areas of expertise for one-on-one appointments.

Sarah Holman
Founder and Administrator



Sarah is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and author of many published books and short stories. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined.

In her book, There Was Always Laughter in Our House, Sarah shares stories about her family that range from thought-provoking to side-splitting. What do you get when you mix two parents who grew up in the city, six kids who have always lived in the country, and add homeschooling? You get a whole lot of laughter! She shares both hilarious mistakes and heartbreaking moments in her family. In this collection of stories, she endeavors to capture some of the answers to the questions people have often asked her about growing up in a conservative homeschool family as well as some of the wisdom she has gleaned along the way. Sarah invites you to open up this scrapbook of memories. She hopes that you come away encouraged, inspired…and laughing.

Teens Write Workshop – Reaching Your Readers (Saturday, 1:00 – 1:45)
Who is your audience and how do you reach them with a message? Often, writers, especially young ones, have messages and stories they want to tell. This workshop will teach them to identify their audience, how to gear their story to that audience, and how to develop a message that will reach that audience.

Click here for areas of expertise for one-on-one appointments and availability for paid critiques.

Cindy Lambert
Publishing Strategist
Somersault™ Group
Author, Collaboratie Writer

Cindy is a veteran of the publishing industry and is devoted to excellence in furthering the impact of Christian publishing on our global culture. She began her career in 1977 as owner of an award-winning independent Christian bookstore in Maryland, then expanded into leadership roles in distribution, editorial, consumer research, and publishing at Ingram, Simon & Schuster, and Zondervan, where she most recently served as vice president and associate publisher of trade books.

Cindy was the editor of the #1 New York Times bestseller Mistaken Identity (Howard Books, 2009, Van Ryn, Cerak, Tabb). She has has also worked alongside such bestselling authors as Mark Batterson, Kyle Idleman, Kay Warren, Ruth Graham, and Christine Caine. She is also the co-author, with Abby Johnson, of the bestselling book UnPlanned (Tyndale, 2010). Her most recent release, Perfectly Unfinished: Finding Beauty in the Midst of Brokenness (Zondervan, 2017)  was co-authored with Andrea Logan White.

Cindy and her husband, Dave Lambert, along with four other industry veterans, co-founded Somersault Group™, a publishing strategy and services agency committed to exceptional creativity, right-now technology, and old-fashioned personal care. Somersault Group™ believes that the extraordinary changes taking place in the world of publishing provide “a playground of possibilities” for Christian authors, agents, publishers, and ministries. In that spirit of fun and optimism, Somersault Group™ provides an array of outstanding publishing services such as writing, editing, branding, marketing, promoting, and social media networking, all crafted to engage the broadest possible audience.

Early Bird Workshop – Balancing Privacy & Relationships When Writing Real Life Events (Wednesday, E5)
We all applaud honestly and transparency in powerful writing, but how do we write of the events in our lives without violating the privacy and trust of others who have played some part in our life stories? Is it possible to find the freedom to tell the truth without destroying relationships, hurting people in our lives, or putting others at risk of public exposure? Yes, it can be done! Discover the defining boundaries, guiding principles, and tested techniques used by successful authors so that your writing can be authentic without damaging the reputations or privacy of the people God has woven into your life story.

Early Bird Workshop – Crafting a Winning Nonfiction Book Proposal (Wednesday, E15)
A winning book proposal is a tool that entices seven audiences (author, agent, editor, pub board, marketing, creative, and sales) to grasp a contagious vision for a book, and then equips them to successfully play their parts in placing the book into the hands of its ideal readership.

Nonfiction Book Proposal Clinic
Cindy will lead a group of six authors in critiquing one another’s proposals, then spend the conference improving and fine-tuning them. She will also have a one-on-one 30-minute appointment with each participant. Click here for application and plan to attend Cindy’s early bird workshop, “Crafting a Winning Nonfiction Book Proposal,” on Wednesday from 4:45 - 6:00 pm.

Click here for areas of expertise for one-on-one appointments.

Dave Lambert
Editorial Director
Somersault,™ a publishing services bureau

Dave has a M.F.A. in fiction writing and is the author of 11 books. He spent 18 years as an acquiring editor at Zondervan, most of that time as executive editor for fiction, and most recently, 3 years as senior fiction editor at Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. David also sat on the on the Editorial Board of Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild and wrote the Guild’s fiction curriculum. Currently he is the Editorial Director for Somersault™, a publishing services bureau. 

Continuing Session – Advanced Fiction Writing
Ready to take your fiction to the next level? Join David in an examination of some of the more advanced techniques: character growth and change, creating believable character emotion, voice, exposition, a sense of place, style, conveying meaning through implication, and more. Time will be set aside to discuss the problems you’re encountering in your work-in-progress. Come prepared! 

Click here for areas of expertise for one-on-one appointments and availability for paid critiques.

Ken Raney
President, Raney Day Press
and Clash Creative
Author, Illustrator 

Ken has over 35 years of experience in graphic design, illustration, advertising, and marketing. He is president of Raney Day Press and Clash Creative, a producer of illustration and graphic design. He also runs, an entertainment portal website for Christian teens. Ken is the author/illustrator of two children’s picture books and is currently working on illustrating a middle grade novel series.  

Continuing Session – Indie Publishing
In the first session discover the pitfalls, snags, and triumphs two writers experienced. Bob Ruesch used an indie publishing company, Roy Hanschke a traditional publisher. In the next 3 sessions Ken will address formatting the interior and designing professional looking book covers, business cards, newsletters, blogs and websites, bookmarks, postcards, email signatures, ads, and more along with accessible online resources for writers such as templates, themes, stock photography, fonts, photomanipulation programs, etc. Practical and user-friendly info even for non-techies. The last session features a panel of indie authors.

Click here for areas of expertise for one-on-one appointments and availability for paid critiques.

Andy Scheer

Freelance Book Editor
Andy Scheer Editorial Services

Andy is a full-time freelance editor who has worked in Christian publishing since 1984. He’s served as editor-in-chief for the Christian Writers Guild, editorial director for Believers Press, and an editor for Moody magazine. As a book editor, he’s worked with fiction and nonfiction for traditional and indie publishers and clients including Jerry B. Jenkins, Dirk Cussler, McNair Wilson, DiAnn Mills, and Sammy Tippit. He recently was named editor of The Restorer magazine for the Model A Ford Club of America. 

Early Bird Workshop – Ten Tests for Your Nonfiction Book (Wednesday, E8)
Popular nonfiction, like the rungs of a ladder, depends on interconnected techniques that spell success or failure. We’ll examine ten key aspects: Titles/Subtitles, Distinctiveness/Targeting, Opening, Approach, Scripture Use, Examples, Fulfillment of Promises, Author Qualifications, Writing Quality, and Mechanics.

Workshop – Ten Tests for Your Novel (Thursday, 2C)
Fiction demands a seamless blend of many techniques that remain in the background unless they go wrong. We’ll examine ten critical aspects: Hook, Characterization, Plot, Conflict, Dialogue, Scenes, Setting, Mechanics, Showing vs. Telling, and Writing Quality.

Click here for areas of expertise for one-on-one appointments.

Becky Spencer
Becky Spencer

Author, Speaker
Songwriter, Worship Leader
Worth Fighting for Blog
Co-founder & Executive Director, Grand Staff Ministries

Becky and her husband, Tracy, have been on an adventure together for over 40 years, and the highlight has been raising their 8 children (4 birth, 4 adopted) and playing Grammy and Grandpa to 26 grandchildren. They are co-founders of Grand Staff Ministries, Inc., based in Buhler, Kansas, which features a sponsorship program that ministers to abandoned, orphaned, and vulnerable children in Swaziland, Africa. The first orphan home they built in Swaziland, Angel’s Rest, was dedicated this January. The ministry recently opened a thrift boutique to help with ongoing expenses of the orphan home. And they planted a new church in Buhler. 

Becky speaks, sings, and writes about things worth fighting for—things like marriage, orphans, wayward children, and faith. When she’s not on the road or at the boutique, you’ll find her serving her guests at their home-turned-bed-and-breakfast or sharing the love of Jesus with the people He sends her way. Or maybe dreaming of the next adventure . . . to be continued!

Click here for areas of expertise for one-on-one appointments.

Shirley Taylor
Shirley Taylor  NEW

Owner, Photographer
Main Focus Photography
Conference Photographer

Shirley began her experience as a professional photographer in the beautiful Zambezi River Valley of Zimbabwe, Africa, where she and her husband served for years as career international missionaries. While there, she especially enjoyed capturing images of the beautiful indigenous people of the area and the grandeur of a vast population of many wild animals. Main Focus Photography is the fulfillment of her desire to pursue photographic excellence resulting from her “main focus” – her personal passion for the Lord. She currently specializes in portrait photography but continues to enjoy wildlife and landscape photography as well.

Need a professional picture?
Wednesday through Friday Shirley will be available for 15-minute photo shoots for $35 paid to Shirley at the conference. Photo will be retouched if desired. A digital copy will be emailed after the conference and accompanied by a copyright release form. To sign up for a Thursday or Friday photo shoot, please add Shirley to your Appointment Request form. If you prefer a Wednesday appointment, call Shirley at 806-367-0015 to arrange a time.