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Agent Appointments

The opportunity to have personal, fifteen minute appointments with Editors, Agents, Mentors , or PR/Media Professionals is a valuable highlight of the conference. These provide a great way to learn first-hand about the writing industry, to pitch your manuscript or work-in-progress, and to brainstorm ideas, get encouragement, and benefit from industry professionals.

All appointments are available on a first pay, first slotted basis. Appointments will be scheduled by the Conference Appointment Coordinator, Casey Miller. You will select multiple choices for your appointment needs when you register for the conference.

Karen Ball
Portrait of Karen Ball
Organization: The Steve Laube Agency
Title: Literary Agent
Web Site:

Karen Ball has always loved the power of story. She considers it a gift that shes been able to use that love during nearly 30 years in publishing as an executive and acquisitions editor, building fiction lines for Tyndale, Multnomah, Zondervan, and B&H Publishing Group. Currently the owner/operator of Karen Ball Publishing Services, LLC, and a literary agent with the Steve Laube Agency, Karen loves to partner with authors and help them refine their craft to bring out the power in their work. Shes had the honor of acquiring and working with some of the best novelists in the market, including Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Brandilyn Collins, Ginny Yttrup, Robin Jones Gunn, and many others. A published author herself, several of Karens novels have received awards, including the Readers Choice award and the ACFW award for the Best Inspirational Novel of the Year. Karen lives in Oregon with her husband, father, and a collection of four-legged, furry kids, including an incorrigible Corgi named Kirby, and an Aussie-Terrier mix she affectionately refers to as the black hole of emotional need.

Currently Seeking: I'm looking for writing that sings! As for categories, I'm interested in representing quality adult fiction and nonfiction, and possibly YA fiction as well.

NOT interested in seeing: Poetry, screenplays, academic works, horror fiction, children's books

At the meetings, I only need one or two sample chapters. PLEASE don't sign up to talk with me if you don't have sample chapters. If the writer is unpublished, I'll need to read the whole manuscript before I agree to represent him/her.


Dan Balow
Portrait of Dan Balow
Organization: Steve Laube Agency
Title: Director of Publishing Development and Literary Agent
Web Site:

Dan started in Christian publishing in 1983 and over the last 30+ years has been involved with the business side of the industry in marketing, sales, rights management, foreign sales, audio books, digital publishing, web management and acquisitions.

With half of his experience coming with Tyndale House from the early 90’s to the mid-2000’s, Dan has developed a wide-ranging perspective on the industry, taken from involvement with hundreds of authors, thousands of books and a love for the business.

He joined The Steve Laube Agency in July 2013.

Dan’s strengths would be his understanding of book marketing, what it takes to be successful in the current publishing environment and how all the pieces of the publishing “puzzle” fit together.

Dan served on the executive board of the Evangelical Christian Publisher’s Association, the trade association for Christian publishers in the U.S. In addition, he is a founding member of the advisory board of the Christy Awards and is involved in training and mentoring Christian publishers around the world through Media Associates International.

Dan is a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in Communications, is married to Carol, a speech therapist in the public schools, making Wheaton, Illinois their home. They have four grown children (and one grandchild).

Currently Seeking: Seeking: historical, contemporary, Biblical, futuristic

NOT interested in fantasy

Proposal, writing sample, personal bio


Sue Brower
Portrait of Sue Brower
Organization: Natasha Kern Literary Agency
Title: Literary Agent
Web Site:

Sue loves finding and developing authors who are great storytellers and talented writers. She is an editor and marketer who wants to partner with authors willing to work hard to grow in their craft.
Over the past 25 years in publishing, Sue has been responsible for marketing, editing, story development and acquisitions for Zondervan, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. Most recently, she was Executive Editor and had the privilege of working with New York Times bestselling authors Karen Kingsbury, Tim LaHaye, Stephen Carter, and Terri Blackstock and was named ACFW’s Editor of the Year in 2010. Sue is now an agent with the Natasha Kern Literary Agency and a freelance editorial consultant.

Sue Brower is originally from Arizona and now lives in Michigan with her husband, Todd, and three furry “kids,” Shep, Ollie, and Pepper.

Currently Seeking: I have been an avid fiction fan since childhood and love the way stories are able to change lives, heal hearts, and bring joy to readers. Currently, I am looking for well-written romance (all sub genres including New Adult), suspense and thrillers (particularly with military and criminal attorney protagonists) and heroes), cozy mysteries, women’s contemporary fiction and historical.
I am definitely not looking for science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, horror or “issue-driven” fiction. And I am not interested in Children’s books.

The perfect pitch will be from an author who has completed their manuscript and brings a one-page sheet that includes genre, title, word count, POV, brief (250 words) summary and a list of comparable titles (fans of these novels would be the target for your book).


Ann Byle
Portrait of Ann Byle
Organization: Credo Communications LLC
Title: Literary Agent
Web Site:

Ann Byle is a literary agent with Credo Communications where she represents fiction and nonfiction authors. She spent years as a freelance journalist before the newspaper business collapsed, and continues to write for online and print publications including Today's Christian Woman, and Publishers Weekly. She is author of The Making of a Christian Bestseller, and coauthor with Bethany Hamilton of Soul Surfer Devotions and Troy Evans of The Edge of Redemption. Ann is also cofounder of Breathe Christian Writers Conference. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband and four children.

Currently Seeking: Ann Byle, Credo Communications' fiction agent, is looking for singular voices that can break into the lively world of Christian fiction. Each author must offer a distinct voice, conspicuous writing talent, participation in platform building, and a clearly unique story that will hit readers with its originality and attention-grabbing plot. She is especially interested in suspense, mystery, YA, futuristic, Southern, and historical fiction. She’ll also consider contemporary and biblical fiction.

Ann is NOT interested those sub-genres well covered in other venues such as Amish and Western.

Please come to the appointment with a well-written proposal and three sample chapters, an elevator pitch, and a good understanding of where you want to go as a writer.


Sarah Freese
Portrait of Sarah Freese
Organization: WordServe Literary Group
Title: Associate Agent
Web Site:

Sarah Joy Freese is an associate agent with WordServe Literary. She loves reading through queries and attending writing conferences to meet new excellent writers. Sarah especially enjoys working with authors to make their manuscripts publishable; she has edited several manuscripts that are in various stages of the publishing process.

Before Sarah joined WordServe, she worked several years as an English teacher, at both high school and college levels. She also worked as a collegiate tutor for various community colleges and the college from which she obtained her masters’ degrees. Even then, she was honing her editing skills by working with authors in various stages of their PhD dissertations.

Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in English and communications from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She also has an MA (emphasis in creative writing) and an MLIS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Sarah is married and enjoys life with her husband, baby boy, Mason, and two birds, Brewster and Beamer. When she is not working, Sarah enjoys crocheting, watching NCIS and Grey’s Anatomy and playing Euchre.

Currently Seeking: Looking for Christian books of any genre, fiction or nonfiction, except children’s works.

Not interested in poetry or picture books.

What I’d like to see during appointments is a few pages that highlight your idea if it’s nonfiction, and a synopsis, character list, and the first 10 pages of a novel.


Rachelle Gardner
Portrait of Rachelle Gardner
Organization: Books & Such Literary Agency
Title: Literary Agent
Web Site:

Rachelle Gardner is an agent with Books & Such Literary Agency, representing both fiction and nonfiction. In the publishing business since 1995, Rachelle previously worked for two publishing houses in positions encompassing marketing, sales, international rights, acquisitions and editorial. She has also edited over 100 books. As an agent, she loves helping authors strategize and build their careers, and takes great joy in sharing the important milestones in a writer’s journey. Writers can get to know Rachelle through her blog, and at the agency website,


Currently Seeking: Rachelle is looking to represent authors with long term publishing potential. She’s considering all genres of Christian fiction, and prefers stories with strong characters and page-turning plots. Currently her favorite genres are contemporary women's fiction, historical romance, and romantic suspense, but she'll look at any genre of YA and adult fiction.

Rachelle requests that authors only meet with her if they have a completed manuscript. In meetings, she likes to see a few manuscript pages, and appreciates seeing pitch materials (one-sheet, proposal, hook, synopsis, etc.) but they're not required.


Julie Gwinn
Portrait of Julie Gwinn
Organization: Seymour Agency
Title: Literary Agent
Web Site:

Julie Gwinn has been a professional in the public relations, advertising industry for more than 21 years for organizations such as The American Red Cross, the YWCA and Dye, Van Mol and Lawrence public relations and advertising agencies in Nashville. Julie was most recently the Marketing Manager with Abingdon Press, was previously Fiction Publisher for B&H Publishing Group and last year won ACFW's Editor of the Year Award.

Currently Seeking: I will consider all genres but would love to see fiction in these genres:


Jim Hart
Portrait of Jim Hart
Organization: Hartline Agency
Title: Literary Agent
Web Site:

As a full-time agent with Hartline Literary Agency Jim Hart has had the privilege of meeting and working with an amazing and eclectic group of authors, spanning multiple genres, in both fiction and non-fiction.

Philippians 4:8 is the filter in which Jim uses to select any material “….whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Jim gets excited when Christians use their creative spark to fire the imagination of others. He is also passionate about the local church, its role in the community, and in seeing people becoming mature followers of Christ. He is a credentialed minister with a back-ground as a song writer/musician/worship leader, as well as in youth ministry. Jim’s previous professional experience also included pre-press management for a large direct mail publisher, and also managing a Hunger Program for a large urban inter-faith ministry.

Currently Seeking: Jim is looking for unique and engaging fictional suspense/thrillers, romance (contemporary and historical), women’s fiction, literary fiction, and some YA sci-fi/fantasy. If you have a New Adult book – let’s talk! Also interested in non-fiction regarding church growth, Christian living, and the arts in the Church. Keep in mind that non-fiction topics require a certain level of credentials, experience and expertise.

I am not looking for Amish, children/middle reader/picture books, poetry, devotionals.

For appointments I am interested in authors who have a completed manuscript. For the actual appointment please bring a one-sheet, your contact information and TWO sample chapters (as I will be flying and will have limited space for proposals).


Steve Hutson
Portrait of Steve Hutson
Organization: WordWise Media
Title: Agent
Web Site:

Steven Hutson is a native of Los Angeles, a child of the sixties, and a storyteller almost from birth. (He’s convinced that the Wimpy Kid books are based on his childhood, but he can’t prove it.) After several years of freelance editing and directing a writers’ conference, he branched out as a literary agent in early 2011. He has placed his clients’ works with Dutton, Thomas Nelson, Tyndale, Potomac, and David C. Cook. Several clients have won prestigious awards for their works. He speaks frequently at writers’ events, writes an eclectic blog, and serves on the Board of Trustees for his local public library.

Currently Seeking: Steve represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books for adults and children. Please no poetry or chainsaw murders. Before submitting, please consult the agency guidelines at downl,oad the query form, and bring it with you to your appointment.

Bring completed query form obtained from the website


Jessica Kirkland
Portrait of Jessica Kirkland
Organization: The Blythe Daniel Agency
Title: Marketing and Literary Agent
Web Site:

Jessica Kirkland joined The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc. as Marketing and Literary Agent in 2012. She acquires both fiction and non-fiction and has a strong command for helping authors with book development. Jessica thinks outside the box as a marketer, and her experience as a business owner has helped her teach authors how to brand themselves more effectively. She brings a lot of creative ability and innovative thinking to the publishing industry and to the agency. In addition to helping acquire and build new talent, Jessica has a strong background in sales, which has led to the successful positioning of our authors. She speaks frequently at writers conferences on marketing, blogging, and the life of a writer. She also does blog critiques and independent author consulting for traditional, hybrid, and indie authors. Jessica represents several finalists and winners from the ACFW Genesis Contest. Jessica has a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications and a minor in Marketing from Sam Houston State University. When Jessica isn't helping authors write their books, she writes on her own website where she encourages people to make their moments count. Jessica lives in Texas with her husband, Robb, and 7-year-old triplets. She can be bribed with hugs and gluten-free cupcakes, and enjoys chatting with authors on Facebook and Twitter.

Currently Seeking: Jessica is looking for:
Fiction: Contemporary Romance, Southern Fiction, Romantic Comedy, New Adult, YA & Adult Dystopian, Historical Romance, Speculative, and Middle Grade Novels

Non-fiction: Particularly interested in strong non-fiction narrative. Will consider christian living titles or special topics on health, faith, family, politics, and prophecy.

What she is NOT interested in seeing:
Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Women's Fiction, Biblical Fiction, or children's books. Non-fiction that includes Bible Studies or Devotionals

Please have a completed manuscript before you pitch. For the pitch, I would like a one sheet, business card, and three sample chapters (Due to air travel, I may or may not take the sample chapters with me).


Steve Laube
Portrait of Steve Laube
Organization: The Steve Laube Agency
Title: Literary Agent and President
Web Site:

Steve Laube, a literary agent and president of The Steve Laube Agency, has been in the book industry for over 31 years, first as a bookstore manager. His store was named the National Store of the Year by CBA. He then spent over a decade with Bethany House Publishers and was named the Editor of the Year in 2002. He later became an agent and has represented over 700 new books and was named Agent of the Year by ACFW. His office is in Phoenix, Arizona.

Currently Seeking: All genres of fiction are welcome with the exception of most Children’s literature.

I would like to see writing sample and a proposal during an appointment. A “one sheet” is not sufficient because it doesn’t show me you can write


Amanda Luedeke
Portrait of Amanda Luedeke
Organization: MacGregor Literary, Inc.
Title: Literary Agent
Web Site:

A 2006 graduate of Taylor University’s Professional Writing program, Amanda knows what it's like to make a living as a writer. Before coming on board with MacGregor Literary, she worked as a copywriter and social media marketer in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She's worked with local and national brands, including Vera Bradley, Brecks, and Peg Perego.

An Agent since 2010, Amanda works with both CBA and ABA authors. For CBA, she's currently acquiring romance, African American fiction, spec fiction (anything weird, dystopian, steampunk, etc), and YA titles

Currently Seeking: CBA: Romance, African American, Spec Fiction, YA
ABA: Romance, African American, Literary Fiction, Spec Fiction, YA

NOT interested in: Amish fiction, mystery, picture books, chapter readers

APPOINTMENT INFORMATION: Manuscripts must be completed for new authors. Please state genre and audience (age, gender, etc) before launching into the pitch. Feel free to come with questions so that you can maximize your time with me.
Bring first chapter and a one-sheet as well as a business card (or put your contact info on your one-sheet). I will not be taking chapters home with me this year. If I like your idea/project, I'll exchange contact info with you.


Chip MacGregor
Portrait of Chip MacGregor
Organization: MacGregor Literary, Inc.
Title: President
Web Site:

Chip MacGregor is the president of MacGregor LIterary, Inc., a full-service literary agency that works in both CBA as well as the general market. Chip has been working in the publishing industry for three decades, and made his living as a freelance writer and editor for several years. He is the author of numerous books, including a couple of bestselling nonfiction titles, and formerly served as a publisher with Time-Warner Book Group. He began working as an agent fifteen years ago, and has represented hundreds of titles. The authors he represents have won every major CBA writing award, and their books have been on all the bestseller lists -- New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Amazon, the CBA and ECPA lists, and one title he represented hit #1 on the New York Times list. Eight years ago he began his own literary agency, and over the past five years he has consistently been one of the busiest literary agents in the United States. He works with both fiction and nonfiction titles, but the majority of the business he is currently doing is fiction. Chip has an undergraduate degree from Portland State University, a master's from Biola University, did doctoral work at the University of Oregon, and post-doc work at Oxford University. A well-known speaker at writing conferences and via online writing sites, he lives on the Oregon coast.

Currently Seeking: Well-written commercial novels for the Christian or general market. He is open to seeing women's fiction, romance, thrillers, romantic suspense, historical, literary, and Amish fiction. The most important aspect in evaluating a proposal is the writing quality.

For MacGregor Literary to seriously consider your work, you'll need to have a completed manuscript.


Tamela Hancock Murray
Portrait of Tamela Hancock Murray
Organization: The Steve Laube Agency
Title: Literary Agent
Web Site:

Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency is a full-time literary agent bringing to her clients her past experience as an award-winning novelist and twelve years of experience as an agent. A native Virginian, she holds a BA with honors in Journalism from Lynchburg College. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband of 28 years and their youngest daughter. An avid reader, Tamela feels blessed by the Lord to have a career in Christian publishing, where she enjoys long-term relationships with key publishing professionals in every top CBA publishing house. Tamela is committed to bringing the best writers
to the most prestigious CBA houses.

Currently Seeking: Tamela continues to seek novels with strong romantic elements, whether aimed at CBA mass market or trade book publishers. At this time she is emphasizing stellar historical novels but is open to outstanding contemporary novels as well.

NOT SEEKING: Speculative, spiritual warfare, children's, Middle Ages, novels set in the 1950s-2000

Tamela prefers that debut authors have completed the manuscript they wish to discuss and can tell her their plans for their next novel or two. Established authors do not need a complete manuscript. Tamela is
happy to meet with authors regardless of where they are in their careers. If you are not sure what to do about agency representation or what your next step should be, Tamela is happy to share her thoughts.
Author appointments are one of her favorite parts of the ACFW conference!


Mary Sue Seymour
Portrait of Mary Sue Seymour
Organization: The Seymour Agency
Title: Literary Agent and Founder
Web Site:

Mary Sue Seymour, nominated for American Christian Fiction Writers Agent of the Year, has been agenting for 20 years and is listed as a top deal-maker for inspirational fiction on Publisher’s Marketplace. She has sold multi-book deals to Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Harvest House, Bethany House, Cook, Harper One, Guideposts, Abingdon Press and others. She travels the country and world presenting writing workshops, mentoring writers and doing appointments with them. She has been a guest agent at The Women's Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, has attended the London Book Fair and has traveled to almost every American city to writing conferences and she'd loved every minute of it. If you'd like to see current sales, conference pictures or recent covers of books she's sold, please visit her web site.

She represents several best selling Christian authors such as New York Times best selling author, Shelley Shepard Gray, Beth Wiseman, Mary Ellis, Amy Clipston, Don Reid of the Statler Brothers, Vannetta Chapman and so on; her writers have won numerous publishing industry awards, have been written about in Publisher's Weekly and other publications.

Mary Sue likes to keep busy since her sons, Matt and Luke, named after the gospel writers, have grown up. She ran the Disney half marathon this past January and took 317th place in her age category of 55-59. She teaches art on cruise ships in exchange for a complementary cruise for two [which has made her exceedingly popular with her friends!]. The most important aspect of Mary Sue's life is her faith in Jesus Christ. She attends two churches - one service at 9:00 - the other at 11:00 and she is never fearful of witnessing about the love of Christ.

Currently Seeking: Mary Sue only handles Christian romance particularly historicals and Amish romance and some secular romance and nonfiction.


Les Stobbe
Portrait of Les Stobbe
Organization: Stobbe Literary Agency
Title: Literary Agent and Founder
Web Site:

An active Literary Agent for 19 years and Executive Editor of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, Les Stobbe also serves as director of International Christian Writers. He has been denominational editor, newsletter editor, book editor, book club vice-president, CE Journal editor, curriculum managing editor, and president of a book publishing house. He has written curriculum, journalism lessons, 14 books and hundreds of magazine articles. He loves working with writers of both non-fiction and fiction.

Currently Seeking: Looking for adult fiction and non-fiction. I will also consider YA fantasy and contemporary fiction.

Not interested in seeing fantasy and Sci-Fi or biblical fiction.

I prefer seeing synopsis and first chapter in fiction only when the book manuscript has been completed and properly edited. In non-fiction a one-page summary is a good start, but it must include author platform.


You must be at least 18 years old to attend conference without a parent/guardian present with you at all times.

Participation of an individual presenter, agent, editor, or publisher in the ACFW conference does not constitute endorsement by ACFW. Conference attendees are advised to use due diligence and take personal responsibility when choosing industry professionals with whom to schedule appointments or enter into agreement.

August 20, 2015: Late Registration rates in effect. - September 1, 2015: Walk-in registration rates go into effect.