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2019 Conference Faculty

Tessa Afshar
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    The Essentials of Editing

TESSA AFSHAR is an award-winning author of historical and biblical fiction. Her novel Land of Silence was voted by Library Journal as one of the top five Christian fiction titles of 2016 and was nominated for the 2016 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Harvest of Gold won the prestigious 2014 Christy Award in the Historical Romance category. Her book Harvest of Rubies was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category. In 2011, after publishing her first novel, Pearl in the Sand, Tessa was named New Author of the Year in the Family Fiction-sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards. Tessa was born in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She then moved to England, where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale Divinity School, where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship. She served in churches for twenty years before becoming a full-time writer. Tessa speaks regularly at
women’s events nationally, and has keynoted at the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference. She has taught a coaching class at OCW and led numerous shorter courses for the ReNew writing retreat in New England. Tessa
is a devoted wife and mediocre tomato grower. But that has not cured her from being exceptionally fond of chocolate.

Allen Arnold
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    The Genesis Secret to Creativity

     

Allen Arnold is the author of the The Story of With, a roadmap for pursuing dreams and creativity actively with God. He regularly mentors and speaks to the larger creative community – including one of the most successful Shark Tank companies and Dave Ramsey’s core marketing team. From the mountains of Colorado, he is Executive Producer of Content for Wild at Heart, a ministry founded by the New York Times Bestselling Author John Eldredge. Before that, Allen spent 20 years in Christian Publishing. As the founding Publisher of Thomas Nelson Fiction, he oversaw the launch of more than 500 novels and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers. He loves blue oceans, black coffee, hot salsa, and big ideas. Discover more at http://www.withallen.com

 

Misty Beller
Website: http://www.mistymbeller.com
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    Thriving as a Hybrid

MISTY M. BELLER is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love. With over 20 novels published, she writes as both an indie author and for Bethany House Publishers, and is Managing Editor of Wild Heart Books, a traditional publisher specializing in Christian Historical Romance novels.

After thirteen years working in professional project management and marketing, Misty uses her experience in the corporate world to develop best practices in her writing and book marketing efforts. It is her passion to help other authors on this journey.

 

Hallee Bridgeman
Website: http://www.halleebridgeman.com
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    Video Marketing for Authors

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

Lynette Eason
Website: http://www.lynetteeason.com
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    Conflict: The Heartbeat of the Story

Lynette Eason is the best-selling, award winning author of over fifty books including the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, the Hidden Identity series, the Elite Guardians series and the Blue Justice series. She writes for Revell and for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have appeared on the CBA, ECPA, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists. She has won several awards including the Carol Award, the IRCC award, the Selah, and the Christian Retailing’s Best 2017 Award. She placed in the top ten in the James Patterson 2016 co-writer contest. The movie, Her Stolen Past, based on Lynette’s novel with the same title, aired February 2, 2018 on the Lifetime Movie Network. In 2019, she won the Daphne du Maurier and was honored to be nominated for a Christy Award.

Lynette is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Romance Writers of America (RWA), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), International Thriller Writers (ITW), and Faith, Hope, and Love (FHL) chapter of RWA as
well as the Kiss of Death (KOD) chapter. Lynette can be found online at http://www.lynetteeason.com and www.facebook.com/lynette.eason and @lynetteeason on Twitter.

Robin Lee Hatcher
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    Staying Organized Amid the Chaos of Writing a Novel

Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Her numerous awards include the RITA® Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America®. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

Rachel Hauck
Website: http://www.rachelhauck.com
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    From Book to Movie

Rachel Hauck is a USA Today, NTY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She has had one novel adapted into a Hallmark movie and has another book optioned for film.

 

 

Angela Hunt
Website: http://www.angelahuntbooks.com
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    Make ‘Em Weep: Evoking Emotion

Angela Hunt is the author of more than 185 books, for children and adults, fiction and nonfiction. She and her husband live in Florida with mastiffs and chickens. She was not especially fond of crying until she hit menopause; now she weeps all the time.

Readers may visit her web site at http://www.angelahuntbooks.com  .

 

Denise Hunter
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    From Book to Movie

Denise Hunter has published 35 novels and has had 3 of them adapted into Hallmark movies. She currently has an additional book optioned for film.

 

 

Tara Johnson
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    Behind the Seen: Weaving the Spiritual Journey into Your Story

Tara Johnson is an author and speaker, and loves to write stories that help people break free from the lies they believe about themselves.

Tara’s debut novel Engraved on the Heart (Tyndale) earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and finaled in the Carol and Christy awards. In addition to be published in a variety of digital and print magazines, she has been a featured guest on Voice of Truth radio, Enduring Word radio, television and podcasts. She is a history nerd, especially the Civil War, and adores making people laugh. She, her husband, and children live in Arkansas.

Joy Massenburge
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    Now What? The Proposal

Joy K. Massenburge is the author of A Heart Surrendered, a top seller in African American Romance. She crafts the love stories of pastors and their kids.

A pastor’s wife for eighteen years, she speaks at marriage and women’s conferences and retreats throughout East Texas. She added narrator to her professional portfolio when she debuted in Michelle Stimpson’s “MAMA B: A Time to Speak,” audible book. She is also a contributing author for Our Daily Bread: Oh, Freedom edition.

Founding President of ACFW-East Texas, she is passionate about helping aspiring authors turn their book dreams into a reality.

Tamela Hancock Murray
Website: http://www.tamelahancockmurray.com
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    Why You Need An Agent

Tamela Hancock Murray has been a literary agent since 2001. She is a bestselling author of over thirty novels, novellas, and nonfiction books, and won an RWA Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Although her current writing for publication is limited to the Agency blog, because of her experience, Tamela brings the perspective of a working writer to her role as a literary agent. She represents many top authors and continues to develop new talent. She earned her BA with honors in Journalism from Lynchburg College in Virginia. Today she enjoys living in Northern Virginia with her husband of over thirty years. They are the proud parents of two lovely adult daughters. She can often be found reading books.

Carrie Stuart Parks
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    Visual Plotting

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning, internationally known forensic artist and is the largest instructor of forensic art in the world.  Her best-selling novels in have garnered numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Inspys. As a professional fine artist, she has written and illustrated numerous non-fiction art books.

Dani Pettrey
Website: http://www.danipettrey.com
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    WS 5: Conflict: The Heartbeat of the Story

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than 400,000 copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and spent multiple months topping the CBA bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award finalist, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award.

From her early years eagerly reading Nancy Drew mysteries, to paging through Agatha Christie novels or watching on-the-edge-of-her-seat adventure movies, Dani has always enjoyed mystery and suspense. She considers herself blessed to be able to write the kind of stories she loves—full of plot twists and peril, love, and longing for hope and redemption. Her greatest joy as an author is sharing the stories God lays on her heart.  She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland. For more information about her novels, visit danipettrey.com.

James Rubart
Website: http://www.jameslrubart.com
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    Understand Branding, Discover Yours, and Apply it Immediately to Your Website

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. He’s the best-selling, Christy Hall of Fame, CAROL, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of ten novels and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they’ll remember months after they finish his stories. He’s also a branding expert, audio book narrator, and co-founder with his son, Taylor, of the Rubart Writing Academy. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington.

 

Cynthia Ruchti
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    Adjust and Trust
    Industry Insights

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed-in-hope through award winning novels, nonfiction, devotionals, and through speaking events for women and writers. She is the professional relations liaison for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) connecting authors with booksellers, libraries, book clubs, and readers. She serves as a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Management, and lives in the heart of Wisconsin with her grade school sweetheart husband, not far from their three children and six grandchildren.

Susan May Warren
Website: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/
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    Writing Better

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy, Carol and RITA award–winning author of more than sixty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. In addition to her writing, Susan is a nationally acclaimed writing teacher and runs an academy for writers, Novel.Academy. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at http://www.susanmaywarren.com.

 



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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.