Author and Illustrator
Samantha Bell is a homeschooling mom by day and an author and illustrator by night. She’s written or illustrated more than 100 books for children, including picture books and nonfiction for the school and library markets. Her articles, stories, and poems appear in magazines both online and in print, including Boys’ Quest, Hopscotch for Girls, and Kids’ Ark, and she is a regular contributor for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr.
You can find her online at SamanthaSBell.com.
Carol Federlin Baldwin
Educator, Author, and Speaker
Carol’s most recent book is Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4–8 (Maupin House, 2008). Carol loves teaching writing and has presented at many educational, library, and writing conferences. Carol taught in the continuing education department at Central Piedmont Community College, coordinated the Charlotte SCBWI group for over 20 years, and co-publishes Talking Story, a newsletter for educators and media specialists. Currently she is working on her first young adult novel set in North Carolina in 1952. Find her book reviews, writing tips, and classes at CarolBaldwinBlog.BlogSpot.com, and follow her on Facebook or Twitter (@CBaldwinAuthor).
Author, Speaker, and Teacher
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 MDiv in theology, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Christianity and the Arts.
Jenny L. Cote, Keynote
Award-Winning Author and Speaker
Jenny’s award-winning historical fiction series put children (and adults) in the middle of groundbreaking events in the history of Bible times and America’s founding. The popularity of Jenny’s Epic Order of the Seven series has led to the creation of her “Epic Patriot Camps,” held at historic places like Kings Mountain National Park (SC).
Frequently interviewed on radio and television, Jenny not only inspires kids to enjoy history and creative writing, but she publishes articles designed to encourage parents in the goal of helping children enjoy reading.
To see and hear more of Jenny’s exciting books and events, including book trailers and interview segments, visit her website at EpicOrderoftheSeven.net.
Author and Editor
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. She also published numerous scripts for use in schools, the two most popular being K.C.’s Dream and The Constitutional Convention. Additionally, she has written poetry for the Adult Bible Study published by Union Gospel Press.
Brenda has been editing since 2002, first in the educational field, and then in the Christian/family-friendly market. Her editing experience goes from picture books to chapter books—including Johanna’s Journey: Call to Freedom (a finalist for the 2015 Selah Award)—to YA novels, as well as adult fiction and nonfiction, including inspirational books and Bible studies.
Brenda has two grown children, a new grandchild, two blogs that she promises to devote more attention to, and more cats than an allergic woman should have! (Want one?)
You can find Brenda online at BrendaCovert.BlogSpo
Jean Matthew Hall
Author, Encourager, Speaker, and Former Director of Write2Ignite Conference
Jean Matthew Hall, who served as founding director of Write2Ignite Conference from 2008 to 2016, is a retired educator and administrator. Her experiences listening to “the hearts of teachers, children, and parents” have led to her goal of crafting “stories that encourage and edify both children and the caring adults in their lives.” This passion has fueled both her writing career and her service leading Write2Ignite Conference, which is designed to inform and equip Christian writers to create and publish quality reading materials for younger audiences. To read more by and about Jean, see an interview about her pending book series with Little Lamb Publishing at https://bit.ly/2vKdglI and her blogs and book reviews at JeanMatthewHall.com.
Tessa Emily Hall, Teen Track Keynote
Associate Agent at Hartline Literary and YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint)
Tessa Emily Hall writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show teens they’re not alone in their struggles. The debut novel she penned at sixteen years old, Purple Moon (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), was a Selah 2014 finalist. Her second YA novel, Unwritten Melody, released with Clean Reads in 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 an associate agent at Hartline Literary Agency.
When Tessa’s fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, Tessa can be found making way too many lattes, speaking to teens, decorating art journals, and acting in Christian films. She writes in a small town nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the southeastern coast. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website: TessaEmilyHall.com.
Lori A. Hatcher
Author, Editor, and Speaker
Lori Hatcher is the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine and author of two devotional books: Hungry for God . . . Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women (the 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year) and Joy in the Journey: Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms. A blogger, writing instructor, and women’s ministry speaker, Lori seeks to help women connect with God in the craziness of life. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God . . . Starving for Time. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter (@LoriHatcher2), or Pinterest (Hungry for God).
Author, Editor, and Speaker
A previous pundit for American Daily Herald, she has published over 500 articles and stories in newspapers, magazines, children’s magazines, and books.
See more about Vicki and her work on her blog, Living Water Fiction.
Author, Mentor, and Freelance Editor
For many years, Kim Peterson was writer-at-large for Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana. She is now a Tennessee resident. Kim has, in addition to writing and teaching, served as a writing mentor and coach, freelance editor, and writing group leader. She is also in demand as a conference speaker.
A graduate of the Jerry Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, Kim coached other writers in the program. She has reviewed 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, and Marketer for Art Lessons from God and 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, using his blog, Art Lessons from God, as his primary platform.
Tony is happily married to his wife, Monica, and is the father of three beautiful and talented daughters: Azsa, Anisa and Moriah.