SESSION ONE: Dispelling the Myths Around Christian Fiction
Thursday, October 19 @ 7 pm central
Christian fiction is alive and well and this will be a great opportunity to hear more. Join a panel of publishing experts as they dispel myths surrounding this genre. This session will encourage you to replace unsettling rumors with exciting truths and be reminded of the unique and powerful place that Christian storytelling has in our world.
Kelsey Bowen is a Senior Acquisitions Editor at Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, where she acquires both fiction and nonfiction. She has a degree in creative writing and, when she’s not editing, she can be found dancing as a member of C. Glass Dance Company, or curled up somewhere reading fiction with a strong cup of coffee close by. She is the Worship Director for her church, and sells her cakes and cupcakes to friends and family in the West Michigan area (find her on Instagram @kelseybooksandbakes). She currently lives with her husband Kyle, their daughters Peyton and Lauren, and their dog Izzo, in Allendale, MI.
Rachel McMillan is a bestselling author and literary agent based in Toronto, Canada. A popular teacher and tastemaker, she is the author of several works of fiction and non fiction including The London Restoration and The Mozart Code. She is currently writing a biography of architect Sir Christopher Wren.
Books & Such Literary Agent Barb Roose loves partnering with aspiring and established authors to achieve their publishing career goals. As a traditionally published author with past award-winning, sales, and megachurch executive leadership experience, Barb understands the tensions and triumphs embedded in a writer’s publishing journey. Her heartbeat is helping others achieve their goals as well as increase representation and publishing opportunities for people of color. Barb represents both Christian adult fiction and Christian nonfiction with an emphasis on nonfiction. She lives in NW Ohio and is the proud mother of three adult children. Whenever possible, Barb prefers to eat dessert first. She welcomes queries that meet agency submission guidelines at booksandsuch.com
SESSION TWO: How Great Books Can Improve Your Novel and Your Life
Thursday, October 26 @ 7 pm central
This session will provide dynamic conversation with authors and publisher sharing great works that provide excellent examples of authentic scenes, character arcs, characters with varying life experiences, and more -- to help you write a really great book. Come away with a few must-reads and a list of excellent writing examples to inspire your own craft.
Claude Atcho resides in Charlottesville, Virginia where he lives with his family, serves as a pastor of Church of the Resurrection, and enjoys coaching his kids in basketball and soccer. In addition to his preaching and pastoral work, Claude speaks and writes about literature, film, music, and culture from a theological perspective. His writing has been featured at The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, Think Christian, Christ and Pop Culture, and The Gospel Coalition. His writing often lives at the intersection of theology, culture, and African American experience. He is the author of Reading Black Books: How African American Literature Can Make Our Faith More Whole and Just (Brazos 2022). Claude holds graduate degrees in both English Literature and Theological Studies.
Jamie Lapeyrolerie is an editor for WaterBrook & Multnomah, imprints of Penguin Random House and a writer. She is actively involved in the publishing industry, including ECPA PubU, The Christy Award® Advisory Board, and various DEI groups that seek to amplify voices of color. Her own writings have appeared in Christ + Pop Culture, Ekstasis Magazine, and Beloved Women. You can find her writings at www.musingsofjamie.com and around social @musingsofjamie.
Jeff Crosby is the President and CEO of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Previously he worked in executive positions with InterVarsity Press and Ingram Book Company. He began his career in 1983 as owner and manager, with his wife, Cindy, of Logos Bookstore in Bloomington, Indiana and later served as the executive director of the Association of Logos Bookstores. His writing has appeared in a number of publications including Books & Culture, Marriage Partnership, CRUX, Conversations, Together Magazine and Living Lutheran. He is the author of "The Language of the Soul: Meeting God in the Longings of Our Hearts" (Broadleaf Books).
SESSION THREE: Publishing Doesn’t Have to Terrify You!
Thursday, November 2 @ 7 pm central
Writing a book is only the beginning of the publishing process and it can feel overwhelming. After you sign a contract or decide to self-publish, what comes next? With a panel of publishing experts, we’ll cover publishing aspects everyone needs to know, such as: How do I get endorsers? If I need an authenticity reader, where do I start? How can an agent help me in the process? If I’m just starting to build a platform, what should I focus on? Come away with tips and tricks that cover all areas of publishing!
Stephanie Broene is a Senior Acquisitions Editor of fiction at Tyndale House Publishers. For fifteen years, she has loved working with authors to help them cultivate and bring their stories to the page, managing the publishing process from the idea phase to finished product. She loves studying what makes a story work—in books, in movies, in almost any medium—and is constantly amazed at the way good stories can simultaneously entertain and communicate truth in a powerful way. Stephanie holds a bachelor of arts degree in English with minors in Writing and Psychology from Calvin College. Before coming to Tyndale, she learned the publishing ropes as a managing editor in the magazine industry. She now lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and enjoys spending her free time with her husband, son, and twin daughters. She also loves reading and watching movies (of course!) and diving boldly if somewhat naively into new home improvement projects.
Tamela Hancock Murray has been a literary agent since 2001 and was awarded Agent of the Year by ACFW. She is a bestselling author of over thirty Christian novels, novellas, and nonfiction books, and won an RWA Inspirational Readers Choice Award. As an agent she approaches her career as an opportunity to serve and is honored to represent many top authors while continuing to develop new talent. She enjoys living in Northern Virginia with her own knight in shining armor. They are the parents of two lovely, all-grown-up princesses. When not focused on her passion for being a literary agent, Tamela enjoys cooking and is always on the lookout for new recipes. As delicious aromas of dinner waft through the castle, Tamela loves reading all sorts of amazing books and enjoys vintage country music. The more steel guitar, the better!
Laura Wheeler has over twelve years of editorial experience, working for two other publishers before joining the HCCP team in 2018. She knows stories have the power to change lives and is most content when her days include brainstorming new ideas and (of course) getting lost in an excellent novel. Laura lives in Louisville with her husband, son, and two very good canine boys.
SESSION FOUR: Going Deep with Award-Winning Authors
Thursday, November 9 @ 7 pm central
Hear and learn from the life songs of three award-winning authors who will weave their real-life tales about writing fiction later in life, moving from nonfiction to fiction, then gaining a “seat” in the Christy Hall of Fame. Find out what motivates them, how they stay inspired, and what encouragement they have to pass on to fellow writers. Patricia, Sean, and Becky will provide a peek into their world to help you, with pen in hand.
Patricia Raybon is a Christy Award-winning Colorado author and essayist who writes daring and exciting novels and books at the intersection of faith and race. Her devotional writing appears in Our Daily Bread where she's a regular contributor. She also authors the Annalee Spain Mysteries, an exciting "history mystery" featuring a young Black theologian—a fan of Sherlock Holmes—who solves crime and consequence during Colorado's dangerous 1920s Klan years. A former newspaper journalist and journalism faculty member at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Patricia and her husband Dan, a retired educator, have two grown daughters whose families share their passion for movies, popcorn, college hoops, and historical dramas and mysteries on Masterpiece on PBS.
Steven James is a critically acclaimed author of eighteen novels and numerous nonfiction books that have sold more than 1 million copies. His books have won or been shortlisted for dozens of national and international awards. In addition, his stories and articles have appeared in more than eighty different publications, including the New York Times. He is also a popular keynote speaker and professional storyteller with a master’s degree in storytelling who has appeared more than 2000 times around the world, teaching storytelling and performing stories to young and old alike. When he’s not writing or speaking, he hosts of the weekly podcast, The Story Blender, on which he has interviewed more than 150 of the top writers and storytellers in the world.
Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas with their three children and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She loves writing sweet contemporary romances laced with sizzling chemistry, mystery, faith, banter, depth, and humor. Her twelve novels and five novellas have been recognized with a Carol Award, INSPY awards, and a spot in The Christy Award® Hall of Fame.
All registrants to the Art of Writing sessions can opt to “add-on” a publisher consult. Choose one or more of these small group sessions with a publisher for $29 each: Time/dates determined based on attendee and moderator schedules. Space is limited. First come, first served. Sign up today!
- Pitch & Publish | $29 add-on
Practice your pitch in front of an editor and small group. Come away with immediate feedback to take your pitch to publication.
- Ask Me Anything | $29 add-on
Like the famed Reddit and Twitter quick-fire sessions, this is your chance to do that with an editor, agent, and established author. Come ready with your questions.
- Strengthen Your Proposal & Get Your Foot in the Door | $29 add-on
Share your proposal in a small group with a publisher/agent. Come away with feedback on the areas you need to strengthen to deliver your proposal to publication.
- Calling All Debut Authors | $29 add-on
Hear from a debut author and editor on how their fears were allayed, and their thoughts on best practices as you walk through the early stages of publishing.
The 2023 Art of Writing program is led by Jamie Lapeyrolerie. Jamie is a writer and an editor for WaterBrook & Multnomah, imprints of Penguin Random House. She is actively involved in the publishing industry, including ECPA PubU, The Christy Award® Advisory Board, and various DEI groups that seek to amplify voices of color. Her own writings have appeared in Christ + Pop Culture, Ekstasis Magazine, and Beloved Women. Originally from Southern California, she is now based in Colorado. You can find her writings at www.musingsofjamie.com and around social @musingsofjamie.