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2016 Conference Faculty

Allen Arnold
Website:
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    CE1: Level All: The Two Creative Realms
    WS 6: Soul Care for Storytellers (Panel): All

Allen Arnold, recipient of the 2012 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award, spent 20 years as a leader within Christian Publishing. He was founder and publisher of Thomas Nelson Fiction, overseeing the launch of more than 500 novels spanning every imaginable genre. Today, he directs Content at Ransomed Heart – a ministry led by New York Times Bestselling Author John Eldredge–and pursues his calling to the larger creative community by helping storytellers, songwriters and artists discover how to intimately and actively create with God.

Hallee Bridgeman
Website: http://www.halleebridgeman.com
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    CE 4: Junior: Seven Steps to Successful Self Publishing

Hallee Bridgeman is a best-selling Christian author who writes action-packed romantic suspense focusing on realistic characters who face real world problems. Her work has been described as everything from refreshing to heart-stopping exciting and edgy. Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her.

Ann Byle
Website:
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    WS 17: Pitching and Proposals (Plus More!) with the Pros: Freshman

Ann Byle is a literary agent with Credo Communications and a freelance writer.

She is author of the book “Christian Publishing 101” (2016) and writes for Publishers Weekly, Thriving Family, and Grand Rapids Magazine.

 

Kristy Cambron
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    WS 6: Soul Care for Storytellers (Panel): All

Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books of 2014 and 2015, and nominated for Inspirational Book of the Year in RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards for 2014 and 2015. Kristy has 15 years communications experience for a Fortune-100 company. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut-mocha latte and a classic film.

Cathy Ellis
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    WS 15: Boots on the Ground (panel): Junior/Senior

Cathy Ellis is the managing editor for Christian Booksellers Association. For eight years prior to CBA, she was the director of communications for Focus on the Family. She also volunteers with Hockey Ministries International, for whom she authored the book, Toward the Goal: Stories of Faith, God, and Hockey. She can always be found with a good Christian fiction book in hand. She lives in Castle Rock, CO with her husband of 26 years and two grown daughters.

Linda Glaz
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    WS 17: Pitching and Proposals (Plus More!) with the Pros: Freshman

Linda Glaz is a literary agent with Hartline Literary Agency and author of numerous novels. She loves that she understands what authors go through as an author herself. She is also a reviewer for numerous sites and a proofreader. She’s always looking for that novel that makes her laugh and cry all at once.

 

Julie Gwinn
Website: http://www.theseymouragency.com
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    WS 4: Good vs. Great: The Difference Between Selling and Slushing: Sophomore

Julie Gwinn, currently a literary agent with The Seymour Agency, has more than a decade in Christian publishing including serving as marketing manager then Fiction Publisher for B&H Publishing Group and Marketing Manager for Abingdon Press. Prior to joining the publishing industry, Gwinn has more than 20 years’ experience in advertising, marketing and public relations. She uses her previous experience to aid her authors at every phase of their publishing plan.
She lives in Nashville, TN, with her husband and two children and also enjoys freelance editing, and DIY projects around the house.

Rachel Hauck
Website: http://www.rachelhauck.com
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    Post Conference Session: Go! Write Something Brilliant!

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, best selling author of twelve novels with more to come. It’s her desire for readers to find hope and escape in the stories she writes, and inhale a bit of the fragrance of Jesus’s love.

Rachel is a past president of ACFW and currently serves on the Executive Board, as well as the worship leader for the annual conference.

Erin Healy
Website: http://www.erinhealy.com/
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    CE 3: Sophomore: How To Think Like Your Editor

Erin Healy is an award-winning editor and the author of ten novels. For more than seventeen years she has been helping novelists develop their manuscripts, gaining wisdom from both sides of the desk. This year at ACFW she’ll bring her hybrid experience to authors, helping them to improve their storytelling skills by developing an editor’s eye for their own work. Erin is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a consulting firm specializing in fiction book development. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Academy of Christian Editors.

Natasha Kern
Website: http://www.natashakern.com/
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    WS 10:  How to Write for ABA While Keeping Your CBA Values: Junior

Natasha Kern has personally over 1,500 books.  The agency has sold books to every major publisher and to most medium-sized presses in both ABA and CBA.  Her list includes: mainstream women’s fiction, romantic suspense and romantic comedies; contemporary and historical romances; ethnic, Amish and Biblical fiction as well as thrillers, mysteries and suspense. Her clients include several New York Times best-selling authors, USA Today Best Sellers; RITA winners an Edgar winner, and Christy winners or finalists including Tamera Alexander, Robin Lee Hatcher, Siri Mitchell and Cathy Gohlke as well as ACFW/Carol award winners including Mary Connealy, Julie Lessman and Melissa Jagears in addition to several ECPA best-selling writers including Beth Wiseman and Kathleen Morgan. She has assisted several writers to move from CBA to ABA and also vice versa.  Information about the agency is available on the Internet at http://www.natashakern.com.

Steve Laube
Website: http://www.stevelaube.com/
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    WS 11: Developing a Thick Skin: Key to Your Long-Term Career: Junior

Steve Laube, president and founder of The Steve Laube Agency, is a 35 year veteran of the bookselling industry. He began his career in the bookselling arena and his store in Phoenix was named the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) store of the year in 1989. He then spent 11 years with Bethany House Publishers rising to the position of an editorial director. In 2002 he was named the AWSA Golden Scroll Editor of the Year. The next year he became a literary agent and in 2004 formed The Steve Laube Agency. In 2009 he was named the ACFW Agent of the Year. In 2013 he was inducted into the Grand Canyon University Hall-of-Fame by their College of Theology.

Chip MacGregor
Website: http://www.macgregorliterary.com
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    WS 9: Working with an Agent in the New Publishing Economy: Sophomore
    WS 14: Being Traditional AND Indie: Senior

     

Chip MacGregor is a longtime literary agent in CBA. He has represented a couple hundred CBA novels, and works with both Christian and general market authors. He writes regularly at http://www.chipmacgregor.com a blo,g that explores author questions about writing and publishing.

Ami McConnell
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    WS 3: Writing Naked: Junior

Ami McConnell serves as VP and Editor-in-Chief at Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Her editing credits include New York Times bestsellers as well as RITA, Carol, and Christy award winners. She has edited renowned authors Colleen Coble, Ted Dekker, Homer Hickam, Karen Kingsbury, Max Lucado, Frank Peretti, and Wm. Paul Young, among others, and has been recognized for excellence by the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She formerly served on the Advisory Board of The Buechner Institute at King College and is an active board member of the Women’s National Book Association, Nashville Chapter. She and her family live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Edie Melson
Website:
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    WS 13: The Antagonistic Setting: Sophomore

Edie Melson—author, editor and blogger—is a leading professional within the writing industry, as well as a popular instructor and mentor. Her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers across the country.

As a respected leader in social media, Edie has the proven expertise to teach others how to plug in without sacrificing valuable writing time. Her bestselling eBook on this subject, has recently been updated, expanded and re-released as Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers.

She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, and the Military Family Blogger on Guideposts.org She’s also the Senior Editor at Novel Rocket. Connect with Edie through her blog, Twitter and Facebook.

DiAnn Mills
Website: http://www.diannmills.com/
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    WS 13: The Antagonistic Setting: Sophomore

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; active in Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at http://www.diannmills.com

Ane Mulligan
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    WS 1: Critique or Consequences: ALL

Ane Mulligan and her critique partners have been together for over 12
years. They started their journey together as raw newbies, grew in the
craft, and are now all multi-published. Ane mentors the Penwrights, a large
critique group that has seen most of its members published. She led ACFW’s
monthly course on Critiquing for two years and knows the attitude necessary
to give and receive critiques, how to be tough on each other and dig deep,
while remaining encouraging. The author of four novels, a short story, and a
cookbook, Ane lives in Georgia with her husband, who doesn’t critique—you
have to draw the line somewhere.

Tamela Hancock Murray
Website: http://www.tamelahancockmurray.com
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    WS 11: Developing a Thick Skin: Key to Your Long-Term Career: Junior

Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency is a full-time literary agent bringing to her clients her past experience as a bestselling novelist and author of nonfiction as well. In 2001, her novel, Destinations, won the RWA Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the Short Historical category. Tamela has been a literary agent since 2001. She joined The Steve Laube Agency in 2011. A native Virginian, she holds a BA with honors in Journalism from Lynchburg College. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband of over 30 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.

Melissa Parcel
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    WS 15: Boots on the Ground (panel): Junior/Senior

Melissa Parcel is the Senior Inspirational Reviewer for RT BookReviews Magazine (Formerly known as Romantic Times.) The magazine covers approximately 275 books each month in many genres. Melissa supervises 15 reviewers for the Inspirational section, who review 25 Christian fiction books each month. Melissa is married, lives in Washington state, and has three children.

Carrie Stuart Parks
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    WS 19: Don’t Lie to Me: Junior

Carrie Stuart Parks is an FBI trained, Certified Forensic Artist. She and her husband, Rick, are internationally known law enforcement instructors with the largest training in forensic art in the world. She worked for the North Idaho Regional Crime Lab for years before going freelance. A winner of numerous awards for her innovative teaching methods and general career excellence, she is also a signature member of the Idaho Watercolor Society. The author-illustrator of numerous best-selling drawing and watercolor books, Carrie moved on to writing fiction. Her debut novel, A Cry from the Dust, published by Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins Christian, won the prestigious Carol Award for Mystery/Thriller/Suspense for 2015. She was mentored in her writing by NYT best-selling author Frank Peretti.

Dani Pettrey
Website: http://www.danipettrey.com
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    WS 7: Do I Have a Voice?: Freshman
    WS 20: Extreme Survival Skills: Senior

Dani Pettrey is a wife, mom, grandma, and the acclaimed author of the Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged. Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award nomination, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award, among others.
She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves—the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, a son-in-law, and a super adorable grandson.

Allie Pleiter
Website: http://www.alliepleiter.com
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    WS 18: FINISH THAT BOOK The Chunky Method Way: Sophomore

An avid knitter, BBC Television geek and French macaron enthusiast, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction.  The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two adult children, Allie spends her days writing as many as four books at a time, buying yarn, and finding new ways to avoid housework.  Both a RITA and Carol Award finalist as well as a RT Reviewer’s Choice and RomCon Reader’s Crown Award winner, Allie recently celebrated the sale of her millionth book worldwide.  She hails from Connecticut, moved to the midwest to attend Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois.  Begun on a “dare from a friend,” Allie’s writing career spans three non-fiction works including THE CHUNKY METHOD HANDBOOK:  Your Step-By-Step plan to Finish That Book Even When Life Gets in the Way and twenty-five novels. Her various national speaking engagements cover topics of faith, women’s issues, writing, and her very favorite: time management.  Visit her website at http://www.alliepleiter.com or her knitting blog at http://www.DestiKNITions.blogspot.com

Cara Putman
Website: http://www.caraputman.com
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    CE2: Freshman: Write Like a Pro…for Beginners

Cara C. Putman, the award-winning author of 20 books and 3 repackages with more books on the way, graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. FIRST for Women magazine called Shadowed by Grace “captivating” and a “novel with ‘the works.’” It received the Christian Retailing BEST award for Historical Fiction and the HOLT Award of Distinction. Cara is active at her church and a lecturer on business and employment law and communications to graduate students at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. Putman also practices law and is a second-generation homeschooling mom. Putman recently received her Master’s in Business Administration at Krannert. She serves on the executive board of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization she has served in various roles since 2007. She lives with her husband and four children in Indiana.

Deborah Raney
Website: http://www.deborahraney.com/
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    CE2: Freshman: Write Like a Pro…for Beginners

DEBORAH RANEY’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched Deb’s writing career. Twenty years, thirty books, and numerous awards later, she’s still creating stories that touch hearts and lives. She and husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas for life in the city of Wichita. They love traveling to visit four grown children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at http://www.deborahraney.com

Katherine Reay
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    WS 6: Soul Care for Storytellers (Panel): All

Katherine Reay is the author of Dear Mr. Knightley, a Christy Award Finalist and winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut as well as Carol Awards for both Best Debut and Best Contemporary. She’s also the writer behind Lizzy & Jane and The Bronte Plot. Wife, mother, rehabbing runner, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer, Katherine and her family live outside Chicago, IL.

Ramona Richards
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    WS 8: Get Out of the Dumps! Turning Backstory into Character Development: Sophomore

Ramona Richards has been an editor for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Rutledge Hill Press, and Ideals magazine. The author of seven novels, three books of devotions, and numerous magazine articles, Ramona is a frequent workshop speaker. She has taught at Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, the ACFW conference, the Oregon Christian Writers Conference, the Write-to-Publish Writers
Conference, and others.

James Rubart
Website: http://www.jameslrubart.com
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    CE 5: Senior: Using The Power of Innovation to Revolutionize Your Career

     

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He thinks he’s still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s the best-selling, Christy, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of seven novels as well as a professional speaker. During the day he runs his marketing company which helps businesses, authors, and publishers make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at http://www.jameslrubart.com

Seth Satterlee
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    WS 15: Boots on the Ground (panel): Junior/Senior

Seth Satterlee is based in the New York office of Publishers Weekly, serving as reviews editor for the spirituality and religion category of PW. Satterlee has an MFA from Columbia University, and has been at PW since 2012, when he started in the book reviews department. He has most recently worked on digital projects at PW.

Christine Sharbrough
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    WS 15: Boots on the Ground (panel): Junior/Senior

Christine Sharbrough, MSLIS is a readers advisory librarian in Massachusetts.  She writes the bi-monthly Christian Fiction column for Library Journal .

Karen Solem
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    WS 10:  How to Write for ABA While Keeping Your CBA Values: Junior

Karen Solem is the President of Spencerhill Associates Ltd., a literary agency.  She represents a broad range of commercial fiction including women’s fiction, thrillers and mysteries and a small selection of non-fiction. A number of her clients have become NYT bestsellers and though it’s wonderful to have that kind of recognition she still takes a lot of pleasure in discovering and working with new talent.

Prior to her years as an agent Solem had 25 years of corporate publishing experience.  She was most recently Associate Publisher and Editorial Director of Harper Paperbacks and, earlier, Editor in Chief of Silhouette Books.

Janice Thompson
Website: http://www.janicehannathompson.com/
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    WS 5: Sustaining a Lucrative Writing Career: Sophomore

Award-winning author Janice Thompson has over a million books in print. She has published over 100 books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. She has spent much of the past year on Amazon’s bestseller list. Janice is the president of the Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter and was named the 2008 Mentor of the year for ACFW. She loves teaching at writing conferences, both local and national. Janice’s tagline, “Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever Afters!” sums up her take on life. You can find out more about Janice at http://www.janiceathompson.com.

Becky Wade
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    WS 20: Extreme Survival Skills: Senior

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, Meant to Be Mine, and A Love Like Ours.

Susan May Warren
Website: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/
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    Post Conference Session
    WS 16: Supercharge your Series: Junior

Susan May Warren is the Christy, RITA and Carol award-winning author of over forty-five novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. A prolific novelist with over 1 million books sold, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic-suspense, thrillers, rom-com and Christmas novellas. She loves to help people launch their writing careers and is the founder of http://www.MyBookTherapy.com and www.LearnHowtoWriteaNovel.com, a writing website that helps authors get published and stay published. She’s also the author of the popular writing method, The Story Equation. Find excerpts and reviews of her novels at http://www.susanmaywarren.com

Mary Weber
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    WS 6: Soul Care for Storytellers (Panel): All

Mary Weber is a youth pastor and bestselling author of the Christy and Carol Award winning young adult novel, Storm Siren, and the Storm Siren Trilogy. In her spare time she sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking tacos, Joss Whedon, and the ocean.

Jaime Wright
Website: http://www.jaimejowright.com
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    WS 2: How To Build A Platform When You’re A Nobody: Freshman

Professional coffee drinker, Jaime Wright, resides in the hills of Wisconsin. She loves to write spirited turn-of-the-century romance, stained with suspense. Her day job finds her as a Director of Sales & Development.She’s wife to a rock climbing, bow-hunting Pre-K teacher, mom to a coffee-drinking little girl, and a little boy she fondly refers to as her mischievous “Peter Pan”. Jaime completes her persona by being an admitted social media junkie and coffee snob. She is a member of ACFW and has the best writing sisters EVER!

Kathleen Y’Barbo
Website: http://www.kathleenybarbo.com
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    WS 12:  Make Me Care: Sophomore

Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than sixty novels with almost two million copies in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and is the winner of the 2014 Inspirational Romance of the Year by Romantic Times magazine.

Kathleen is a paralegal, a proud military wife, and an expatriate Texan cheering on her beloved Texas Aggies from north of the Red River. Connect with her through social media at http://www.kathleenybarbo.com.

Sadie’s Secret, a Secret Life of Will Tucker historical romantic suspense novel, is in stores now, as is Firefly Summer, the first in the contemporary Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club!



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.