Lisa Albinus is an award-winning Christian artist that gets to do life with a Bible tucked under her arm and a paintbrush in her hand. Teaching ages 2 – 92, public speaking, performing as a worship artist, and combining paint and pen are some of the ways God has called her to explore and encourage others.
It is her belief that beauty matters; it stakes a claim against the darkness, proclaiming light and life into death and despair. Beauty reminds us of God’s grace and mercy; it defeats the darkness and reminds us that we already walk in the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Lisa believes it is our duty and privilege to feed the next generation and raise up artists for the Kingdom. Younger or older, we must encourage one another and inspire others to battle through beauty and color. The greatest desire of her heart is to lead others in spreading the Gospel through the arts, no matter what age or experience level!!
Samantha Bell is a homeschooling mom by day and an author and illustrator by night. She’s written or illustrated more than 60 books for children, including picture books and nonfiction for the school and library markets. Her articles, stories, and poems in magazines both online and in print, include Boys’ Quest, Hopscotch for Girls, and Kid’s Ark, and she is a regular contributor for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr.
You can find her online at SamanthaSBell.com.
Daniel is a fifth generation author and the grandson of Henry Blackaby (author of the best-selling Experiencing God Bible study). After publishing his first book as a 23-year-old college student, Daniel has gone on to write several award-winning books in both fiction and non-fiction. His work includes the YA fantasy trilogy The Lost City Chronicles and non-fiction When Worlds Collide: Stepping Up and Standing Out in an Anti-God Culture and 7 Steps to Knowing, Doing, and Experiencing the Will of God for Teens.
Daniel has a passion for using the creative arts and the Christian imagination as tools to enrich and transform today’s culture. To this aim, he has traveled across the country and to four different continents to encourage creative Christians of all ages to leverage their amazing God-given gifts for a higher purpose.
Daniel has a BA in English, an M.Div. in Theology, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Christianity and the Arts.
Author/Editor Ambassador International
Freelance author and editor Brenda Covert was first published for pay in 1999 with an article in the May/June issue of Today’s Christian Woman and a Thanksgiving poem in Clubhouse Jr. Since 2002, Brenda has written more than 400 short children’s stories for Union Gospel Press’s Sunday school curriculum. Her stories, most of which are written for the 9-11 age group, entertain as well as offer a lesson on living for our Savior. Brenda has also written for ages 6-8 and 12-18. Additionally, she has written poetry for the Adult Bible Study published by Union Gospel Press. She also published numerous scripts for use in schools, the two most popular being K.C.’s Dream and The Constitutional Convention.
Brenda has been editing since 2002, first for an online company that publishes supplementary educational materials (some of which she also wrote), and then for Ambassador International. Her editing experience goes from short children’s stories to picture books, chapter books—including Johanna’s Journey: Call to Freedom (a finalist for the 2015 Selah Award)—and adult fiction and nonfiction, including inspirational books and Bible studies.
Brenda has two grown children, two blogs that she promises to devote more attention to, and a majestic cat who gets his fair share of attention most days.
Bonnie Rose Hudson works as the Executive Editor of SchoolhouseTeachers.com, the curriculum site of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine (TOS). In September, 2014, she became Executive Editor. She continues to create curriculum for the site as well as oversee the addition of new teachers and writers and the scheduling of all content. She has been published extensively by both SchoolhouseTeachers.com and TOS and also serves as a regular columnist for the magazine. She has spoken online and at conferences concerning how to write for the homeschool market.
Bonnie has been writing fiction professionally since 2003. She began writing fiction for children in 2007. She has won multiple awards at conferences for her writing.
Bonnie’s mission is to help children feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him, and to help writers meet the needs of the growing homeschool market.
Torry Martin is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, comedian and author. In addition to penning humor columns for a variety of national print and online publications, Torry is the author of several comedy sketchbooks. The producers of the popular children’s radio series, Adventures in Odyssey, enlisted him to lend his writing skills to the show. Torry went one step further, creating the delightful recurring character of Wooton Bassett.
Torry has written eight full feature length scripts with co-writer Marshal Younger, including the comedies “The Boonies”, “Helen of Troy, TN”, “The Last Resort” and “Church Wars”. The writing team was voted first runner-up in the Write of Passage Screenplay competition for the short film “Covering Your Tracts,” and they were semi-finalists in the Kairos Screenplay competition for “Just 18 Summers”.
Torry is an accomplished actor, performer, speaker and instructor at writing and filmmaking conferences across the USA.
Learn more about Torry at www.torrymartin.com
Contributing Editor Southern Writers Magazine
Vicki Moss is Contributing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine and an award winning poet, pundit, and author. Her book How to Write for Kids’ Magazines is considered the authoritative work on the subject by many. She’s published in numerous anthologies and has taught writing workshops at conferences throughout the South.
Along with her children’s articles, Vicki has published fiction, children’s poetry, adult poetry, and creative nonfiction. She is the author of Adrift, Smelling Stinkweed, Rogue Hearts, and Roisin Dubh – Black Rose Poetry, a chapbook of thirty-two poems about time spent in Ireland. In 2007, during the time her father battled with lung cancer, her memoir, “No Tears in Heaven,” was chosen to be read at the Southern Women Writers Conference with invitations for the 2009 and 2012 lineups as well. With her web site receiving over a million hits, Vicki’s blog is read by visitors from 88 countries. New York Times Bestselling Author Lee Smith says about her forthcoming book Writing with Voice, “With a natural story-telling voice, Vicki has us right in the palm of her hand!”
Vicki will be taking individual appointments as well as presenting.
Author of How To Write For Kids’ Magazines and Writing with Voice
Columnist for American Daily Herald
Kim Peterson is Writer-at-Large for Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana. She has taught writing for twenty years, mentoring students who seek careers in writing, editing and publishing. She also leads a productive online writers group affiliated with the college.
Kim mentors writers through the Jerry Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, and she reviews books for CBA Retailers+Resources and Young Adult Books Central.
Working as a freelancer for thirty-seven years, Kim has written for several Indiana newspapers and various periodicals, including AppleSeeds, Encounter, Evangel, Vista and devotional markets. Her work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Rocking Chair Reader, and other anthologies. She loves writing for children.
Kim says of her own childhood, “My mom made reading a priority. She surrounded me with books. When my morning chores were finished, she let me disappear up our cherry trees with a good book and a thermos of juice. I don’t climb trees to read any more, but I can still disappear into a great story.”
Artist/Illustrator/Marketer for Art Lessons From God & Art Slam
Tony started out as an entrepreneurial artist and has grown with the times to become a digital strategist, with a focus on marketing and small business. He spent most of his career in the news media industry, blending his internet marketing and sales experience with his passion for the arts and entrepreneurship.
Tony now devotes his time to illustrating, writing, consulting, and speaking, especially using his blog ArtLessonsFromGod.com as his primary platform.
Tony has been happily married to his wife Monica and is the father of three beautiful and talented daughters: Azsa, Anisa and Moriah.
Editor at EABooks
Janis Whipple is a freelance book editor with EABooks and a writing coach. She has 30+ years of communications experience as both a writer and editor, including ten years as both an acquisitions and managing editor with B&H Publishers in Nashville, Tennessee, where she worked on several award-winning projects. She loves guiding writers toward the best publishing options for their message. www.EABooksPublishing.com
Editors and Agents Available to Conference Attendees
Jr. Agent, Hartline Literary/YA Fiction Acquisitions Editor, Lighthouse Publishing
Tessa Emily Hall writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show teenagers they’re not alone in their struggles. The debut novel she penned at 16-years-old, PURPLE MOON (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) was a Selah 2014 Finalist. Her second YA novel, UNWRITTEN MELODY, released with Clean Reads fall 2016. She’s the YA Fiction Acquisitions Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, columnist for Broken But Priceless Magazine, and Founder of PursueMagazine.net, a magazine that inspires teens to embrace their calling. She enjoys helping other writers achieve their dreams through her role as a Jr. Agent at Hartline Literary Agency and by coaching young writers.
When Tessa’s fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found making healthy homemade lattes, speaking to teens, decorating her insulin pump, and acting in Christian films. She writes in a small town nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Southeastern coast. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website: www.tessaemilyhall.com.
Terri Kelly is the author of Mary Slessor: Missionary Mother. As a writer she has contributed to several books, including Divine Moments, Faith and Family and Spirit and Heart. Terri has published articles in Kids’ Ark Magazine, Clubhouse, WHOA Magazine, and numerous online publications. She is an editorial consultant, a teacher at writing conferences, and the assistant director of Asheville Christian Writers Conference in Asheville, North Carolina.
Acquisitions Editor, JourneyForth Books
Nancy Lohr is Acquisitions Editor at JourneyForth Books, acquiring for both the youth and adult markets. Nancy has twenty years of experience in book publishing and was an educator and children’s librarian before moving to publishing. On the editor’s side of her desk, her responsibilities range from acquiring manuscripts and illustrations to editing manuscripts and managing book production. As an author, her personal résumé includes two historical novels for children, curriculum stories and articles, and numerous book reviews and articles for parents and educators. She is an avid reader who reads widely in both the youth and adult markets, and she happily agrees with C.S. Lewis who said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
President/CEO Ambassador International/Emerald House
As a young man in Northern Ireland, Samuel Lowry determined to establish a Christian publishing company dedicated to magnifying the Lord through books and materials. So in 1980 Samuel founded Ambassador International. The company soon became well known for its extensive series of Christian biographies and Classic Christian reprints. Each year, the company began printing and releasing more and more new titles including theological, devotional, inspirational, and historical works. Through the years the company has also produced videos, calendars, cards, magazines and pictures for the Christian marketplace. In 1995, Ambassador International opened offices in Greenville, South Carolina to better serve the US market.
Samuel can be contacted at email@example.com
Author/Acquisitions Editor Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and Christian Devotions Ministries
Andrea Merrell is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a professional freelance editor, teaches workshops at writers’ conferences, and has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and The Gift. www.AndreaMerrell.com /
Pam Zollman is the award-winning author of 40 children’s books and numerous short stories and articles. Pam has worked as a freelance editor for Harcourt, Steck-Vaughn and McGraw-Hill and was a staff editor for Highlights for Children Magazine. She has taught writing classes in Houston, TX, for Leisure Learning Center and for Tomball College, and in Scranton, PA, for the University of Marywood. She also speaks regularly at writers’ conferences across the country, critiques manuscripts, and judges in writing contests. She has been an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (on both a local and national basis), and is a charter member of Romance Writers of America (where she served as chapter president).
Christina DeCiantis Davison
Christina DeCiantis Davison holds a B.A. in Violin Performance at Furman University and a Master’s in Musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Christina has been performing and worshipping God with music since childhood. Participating in worship teams and leadership in churches in Virginia, Japan, and currently, Greenville, S.C., she enjoys a wide variety of musical styles. Christina and her husband, Jonas, are currently preparing to return to Japan to begin mission work performing as well as encouraging worship music by Japanese musicians writing for their own culture.
C.S. Lewis says “It is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men.” It is a privilege and delight to praise God through leading in worship at Write2Ignite. Essie-Marie is a Junior high school homeschooler who recently moved from North Carolina to Nova Scotia. This conference has been an inspiration, a great deal of fun and a place to learn and grow her writing. She is currently in the process of revising her first novel and is eager to publish!
Cecilia is a 15-year-old homeschooled student who has been both writing and singing as long as she can remember. She can’t stand to not articulate her imagination on paper! She is a self-labeled “theology nerd” who loves leading worship because she can’t think of a better use of her musical gift but to give it back to the Lord. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis