Carol Federlin Baldwin
Educator, Author, and Speaker
Carol Baldwin loves teaching writing and has presented at many educational, library, and writing conferences. She taught in the continuing education department at Central Piedmont Community College, coordinated the Charlotte SCBWI group for over twenty years, and co-publishes Talking Story, a newsletter for educators and media specialists.
Carol’s most recent book is Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4–8 (Maupin House, 2008). Currently she’s working on her first young adult novel, which is set in North Carolina in 1952.
Author and Illustrator
Samantha Bell is a homeschooling mom by day and an author and illustrator by night. She has written or illustrated more than one hundred 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’s a regular contributor for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr.
You can find her online at SamanthaSBell.com.
Author, Speaker, and Teacher
Daniel Blackaby is a fifth-generation author and the grandson of Henry Blackaby (author of the bestselling Experiencing God Bible study). After publishing his first book as a twenty-three-year-old college student, Daniel went on to write several award-winning books in both fiction and nonfiction. His work includes the YA fantasy trilogy Lost City Chronicles as well as 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 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 use their amazing God-given gifts for a higher purpose.
Daniel has a BA in English and an MDiv in theology and is currently pursuing a PhD in Christianity and the Arts.
Kristi Butler, Conference Emcee
Author and Educator
Kristi Butler is a writer and teacher who got promoted to full-time grandmommy six years ago! She has written for Focus on the Family’s parenting newsletter and Clubhouse Jr. magazine. In addition, she has been a featured blogger for Carolina Parent magazine and a contributor to DevoKids, Inspire a Fire, and The Write Conversation. She’s also a reader for the Selah Awards. You can find Kristi’s writing in both I Believe in Heaven and I Believe in Healing by Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk, as well as in Life Lessons from Moms and Life Lessons from Dads, compiled by Suzanne Williams and Tracy Ruckman.
A self-proclaimed marmotophile (one who loves groundhogs), Kristi is the author of the Amazing Grace Acres series of books. The series includes Groundhog Day in Amazing Grace Acres, Christmas in Amazing Grace Acres, and G Is for Groundhog (her first nonfiction rhyming book!). Gracie and Grover Go to the Beach will be released next! You can check out Kristi’s groundhoggy fun at AmazingGraceAcres.blogspot.com.
Jenny L. Cote, Keynote Speaker
Award-Winning Author and Speaker
Jenny L. Cote’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 four hundred short children’s stories for Union Gospel Press’s Sunday school curriculum. Her stories, most of which are written for the nine-to-eleven 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 and 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 in 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, check out her blogs and book reviews at her website, JeanMatthewHall.com. You can also read an interview about her pending book series with Little Lamb Publishing at LittleLambBooks.com.
Tessa Emily Hall, Teen Track Keynote Speaker
Associate Agent at Hartline Literary and YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint)
Tessa Emily Hall is an award-winning author who writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show teens they’re not alone. Her passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens led her to a career as an associate agent at Hartline Literary Agency, YA acquisitions editor for Illuminate YA (LPC imprint), and founder and editor of Pursue Magazine. Tessa’s first teen devotional, Coffee Shop Devos, will release with Bethany House in September 2018.
She’s guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, decorating art journals, and acting in Christian films. 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.
Vicki H. Moss
Author, Editor, and Speaker
A previous pundit for American Daily Herald, she has published over five hundred 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, Freelance Editor, and Writing Mentor
Kim Peterson mentors aspiring writers. She has taught writing for twenty-five years, working extensively with both published authors and those seeking careers in writing, editing, and publishing. Currently, Kim teaches in the online professional writing program of Taylor University (in Upland, Indiana). She also leads two productive online writers’ groups—one for mixed genres and one for writers of children’s books and articles.
Kim, who is a regular conference speaker, previously served on the writing faculty at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana, and mentored writers through the Jerry Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. A longtime professional book reviewer, Kim reviews novels for CBA’s Christian Market magazine. She recently concluded more than eight years as fiction reader for the Les Stobbe Literary Agency, serving until Stobbe’s retirement.
Working as a freelancer for forty years (she started young!), Kim has written for Indiana newspapers and various periodicals and websites, including AppleSeeds, Encounter, Evangel, Vista, and devotional markets. Her work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Rocking Chair Reader, the Moments series, and other anthologies. She blogs about nature and loves writing for children.
Kim says of her 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 anymore, but I can still disappear into a great story.”
Artist, Illustrator, Author, and Marketer of Art Lessons from God, Art Slam!, and Your Creative Mission
Tony Snipes started out as an entrepreneurial artist and has grown with the times to become a digital strategist, focusing 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 is happily married to his wife, Monica, and is the father of three beautiful and talented daughters: Azsa, Anisa, and Moriah.