spring 2024 presenters & SESSIONS
Presented in alphabetical order. Please see schedule for details.
Dr. Quantrilla Ard
Writer, Coach, Podcaster
Quantrilla lives in the Atlanta area with her husband and three children. She is an accomplished, multi-published author, speaker, and faith-based personal development writer and has written for both children and adults on various topics. Quanny has a passion for supporting Christian communicators and utilizes a multifaceted approach to encourage, equip, and amplify voices that traditionally have been overlooked. She holds a PhD in Health Psychology and is an advocate for social justice with a focus on Black maternal and infant health and mortality. Dr. Ard also humbly stewards a grief and loss community and podcast, both entitled “It’s All Grief to Me,” as a coach and liaison for individuals navigating their loss journeys. You can find her sharing stories of triumph at www.thephdmamma.com.
“Caring for Ourselves as Authors, Writers, and Speakers”
Being a communicator in Christian spaces has its rewards, yet there is often an overwhelm that can accompany the work. Join Dr. Ard as she teaches self-care for Christian communicators. Participants will learn how to identify areas of overwhelm and burnout and engage in stress reduction strategies. Participants will also learn practical ways to protect their peace and care for themselves well.
“How to Navigate and Grow Your Social Media Platform”
Social media is a tool and can be a very helpful strategy in supporting your calling as a Christian communicator. In this session, Dr. Ard will share her own personal insights and strategies on how to use different platforms to engage audiences, connect and collaborate, and ultimately grow your following authentically. All personality types are encouraged to attend! Introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts too!
For 25 years, John has been working in vocational ministry as a storyteller and filmmaker. During that time, he has worked on projects spanning feature films, long and short-form documentaries, events and conferencing promotions, and several long-running social media video series. John serves as the Visual Story Director for Our Daily Bread Ministries in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he leads story development for all projects. He lives with his lovely wife, Holida, and his twin girls, Sadia and Samiya.
“Storytelling: Connecting with Your Audience”
E. Danielle Butler
Danielle Butler is an accomplished interdisciplinary storyteller and author of eight independently published books. She is a respected ghostwriter and collaborator committed to using words as catalysts for change and inspiration. Danielle’s mission is to capture and create cultural movements through storytelling. Since 2018, Danielle has ghostwritten 13 books, including a collection of business e-books. As a speaker and workshop facilitator, Danielle shares on the topics of publishing, writing craft, and the creative process. She also leads discussions on diversity across industries. Beyond her professional achievements, Danielle is wife to Brandon and mom to Zoe and Zachary.
“The Power Within: Uncovering Your Authentic Voice in Nonfiction Writing”
Your voice holds power in nonfiction writing. Explore various styles, discover your authenticity, and acquire practical tools for enhancing your unique writing voice.
Publisher, Teleion Books
Stephanie Carter is the founder and publisher of Teleion Books, an independent book publishing company. Teleion Books’s mission is to encourage, edify, and entertain readers of all ages with books that celebrate the faith and culture of African-American and Africana Christian communities. Stephanie, a licensed minister, served as a marketplace Bible study leader while a member of finance teams in a Fortune 100 consumer packaged goods company. Stephanie holds a Master of Divinity from The King’s University, a Master of Business Administration from UCLA, and a Master of Arts in Education Administration from UC Berkeley.
“An Expanded Mission, a New Imprint, a Season of Perseverance, and a Word of Encouragement”
Join Stephanie for a discussion of pending changes for Teleion Books. She will also share insights on gifts received through a season of perseverance to encourage attendees on their writing journey. your writing life.
Sara Chinakwe is a wife, mother, educator, speaker and award-winning author of You Come From Greatness. Sara encourages women and children to pursue God’s purpose and embrace their God-given identity. Her deep love of teaching and decades-long career in education was shaped at California State University Stanislaus. Since then, she has used writing as a medium to propel God’s followers forward as they journey with Him. You can find her kingdom-building resources at www.sarachinakwe.com.
Write Now: Mastering Time, Thoughts, and Routine. Don’t let life’s distractions hold you back from pursuing your passion for writing. Join award-winning author Sara Chinakwe, as she gives seven powerful strategies to strengthen your writing life.
Business Consultant, Writing Coach, Ghostwriter
Marcus Costantino is a business and non-profit leader, consultant, and writer. He helps influencers strategically position themselves in the marketplace—and it usually starts with a book. His literary, writing, and coaching portfolio includes a US congressman, a celebrity chef, pastors, and non-profit executives. With co-author Celebrity Chef Brother Luck, he won the 2023 Gourmand Award for Best Portraits (Memoir). He is also the creator and lead instructor at the Igniting Your Writing Retreat at the Glen Eyrie Conference Center in Colorado Springs, CO. www.marcuscostantino.com
“Igniting Your Writing”
For writers who want to become first-time authors and world-changers, this session is designed for the enthusiastic but overwhelmed writer who loves writing but finds that task of crafting a book to be daunting. Starting with why and moving onto what and who, Marcus present a simple process to bring your book to life.
Lisa A. Crayton
Author, Editor, and Award-Winning Freelance Writer
Lisa A. Crayton is an author, and award-winning freelance writer called to Christian, and general markets. She is the author of nineteen nonfiction books, including eighteen for kids and teens. Crayton provides editing, and sensitivity/authenticity reading services to publishers of fiction and nonfiction. Passionate about helping writers succeed, she loves coaching writers through the manuscript development and/or book proposal process. Crayton has years of ministry experience, and recently completed her church’s “Ministers in Training” program. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from National University, and a Bachelor of Arts dual degree, in Public Relations and Journalism from Utica College.
“Writing About History for Kids”
Historical fiction and nonfiction offer information and entertainment opportunities for kids. Learn about the creative pitfalls to avoid, and success strategies. Covers research, market needs, mentor texts, historical accuracy, and other aspects of writing effectively—and truthfully—about the past!
“Write on Time: Writing Articles for Today’s Reader”
Today’s readers need comforting words filled with hope that point them to Jesus Christ. Meet that need by writing articles! Develop writing skills, gain experience penning different article subgenres (like devotionals), and build confidence as a Christian scribe as you write timely, relevant articles. Join this award-winning article writer in the workshop designed to help you discover how to write effective articles for target markets while learning how to capture ideas into saleable articles of varying lengths, for target audiences, and for Christian and general markets.
Artist and PIC Advisor
David Dinkins is a prayerful consultant to PIC’s growth. David’s award-winning artistry graces the website; has been published with his writing at New Hope Digital Art Forum; displayed in Birmingham, Alabama’s Fine Arts Museum; garnered festival awards; helped raise funds for Alabama’s and Haiti’s poor; and more. An award-winning public speaker performing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s speeches since eighth grade, David is pursuing voice and writing work. He attended the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, before moving to his family’s acreage in Michigan. David loves Jesus, reading, laughter, gaming, and the outdoor environment on his family’s rural southwest Michigan property.
David S. M. Dinkins has been continuing in prayer for PIC and its future gatherings, and will lead us in prayer.
PIC Director, Editor, Author
Joyce will open the conference, join each of the unmoderated lunch hours, and be available during each live question and answer as well as the workshop sessions during the week. You can see Joyce’s bio at the About Us pages at this site.
Xochitl (So-Cheel) Dixon
Xochitl (So-Cheel) Dixon celebrates diversity and inclusion, alongside her beautifully diverse family and her service dog, Callie. Crossing cultural, generational, and international lines, Xochitl’s biblical encouragement and Scripture-based prayers inspire the development of deeper, authentic relationships with God and others. As a writer for Our Daily Bread, she has also contributed to God Hears Her, authored: Different Like Me (available in Spanish), 2021 ECPA Christian Book Award Children’s Book finalist; Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace; What Color Is God’s Love, and another picture books releasing in 2024; and more. She enjoys loving Jesus, people, and connecting with readers at www.xedixon.com.
“Fiction Intensive Session #1: Developing Strong Dialogue”
Learn ten secrets to developing dialogue that will draw your readers into your characters’ world. How to use dialogue to reveal character motivation; how to share backstory without making it feel like an information dump; how dialogue can be used to create tension, to move your story forward, or to shock your readers with an unexpected twist. This workshop shares skills to help you craft dialogue that will make your characters memorable and your readers come back for more!
“Children’s Book Intensive Session #1: Writing Rhyme”
Writing in Rhyme requires more than making sure the last word at the end of a sentence rhymes with the last word at the end of another sentence. Every syllable and punctuation mark make a difference. The sound of each word and cadence of the sentence affect the tone of the entire story. Each stanza impacts the next. A clear message is essential, even in a concept book. Be equipped with skills to create different rhyme schemes Learn the power of three when using refrains and repetition. Explore rhythm and flow, word choice, sentence structure, sound, and imagery essentials that will have little ones asking to read your books again and again.
Amanda Cleary Eastep
Developmental Editor, Author
Amanda is not related to Beverly Cleary but wishes she were. She is, however, the Selah award-winning children’s author of the Tree Street Kids middle grade series (Moody Publishers). When she is forced to act like an adult, Amanda is a developmental editor of children’s fiction and nonfiction by grownup authors. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Kidlit Chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW); she is also a board member of the Academy of Christian Editors (ACE).
“Slaying Dragons–10 Foes of the Children’s Fiction Writer and How to Defeat Them”
Amanda will discuss ten of the most common errors she sees when editing children’s book manuscripts–including her own! She will show writers how to identify and eliminate these foul fiends in the rewriting stage (or even sooner). Take that!
Dr. Sharon Norris Elliott
Founder, AuthorizeMe Literary Firm
Dr. Sharon Norris Elliott, award-winning author, popular speaker, Bible teacher, and founder/CEO of Life That Matters Ministries and AuthorizeMe® Literary Firm is a cum laude graduate of Biola University, holds a Doctor of Theology degree, and is a religious broadcaster. Sharon is a literary agent, editor, and mentors up-and-coming writers and speakers. She coaches writers as they draft their manuscripts, and conducts hands-on masterclasses assisting attendees toward their publishing goals. To date, the agency works with over 60 clients and has contracted over 40 books in just the past 3 years. A retired teacher, she also is on her church’s ministerial staff.
“Get to the Point!”
Writers spend hours crafting their manuscripts, honing their craft, and laboring over every word, jot, and tittle. When it’s finally time to present their books to acquisitions editors and publishers, they feel the more they explain, the better. Stop! The opposite is actually true. If you know what your book is about, you should be able to present it both powerfully and succinctly. Attend this workshop and learn how to get to the point in a pitch, a query letter, a one sheet, and an appointment with a publishing executive. Be ready to verbally practice in the workshop.
Founder of Flagler Law Group
Brian Flagler founded Flagler Law Group in 2006 to serve the legal needs of publishers, designers, producers, and distributors of Christian media. The firm’s three attorneys and paralegal are honored to represent many of the organizations throughout the United States that publish, teach, or distribute Christian books, messages, curriculum, and music. Before founding the firm, Brian served as VP of administration and general counsel of Multnomah Publishers after practicing intellectual property and corporate law at global law firms in Portland and Atlanta. He holds a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. Brian and his wife, Amy, have three sons and enjoy hiking mountain trails and paddling rivers and lakes surrounding Asheville, North Carolina.
“Best Practices Q&A”
Ask your questions about norms for author contracts, independent contracting, royalties, and more. In this question-and-answer opportunity, a publishing lawyer with 25 years of experience helps you better understand legal principles and practices for your publishing endeavors.
Senior Editor and Content Developer
Tim has served at Our Daily Bread Ministries for over thirty years, as a book editor, ghostwriter, blogger, and devotional writer. Having lived abroad for more than ten years, Tim’s experiences have informed and shaped his perspective on the challenges facing our inevitably global culture. He and his wife, Leisa, have eight children and one grandchild.
“The Soul of Wit: Why Less Is More”
Rumors of the written word’s demise are premature and have been greatly exaggerated. Yet we face extreme challenges in attempting to reach our ever-evolving, desperate, chaotic culture. How are we as content-producers to adapt with the times without resorting to half-baked memes and clever catch phrases that usually exacerbate the problem? Why is less often more? And how does Jesus want us to capture “the soul of wit” as we show the world His light?
Acquisitions Editor, Author
Lauren Groves, an acquisitions editor for B&H Kids, lives in Nashville with her husband and two preschoolers. She enjoys editing and writing and as a mom of young kids, she particularly loves creating and acquiring content for little ones. Lauren has edited for Bible Studies for Life, The Gospel Project, and ParentLife Magazine, written curriculum for TeamKid, and authored two devotionals. Her board book series, Toddler Theology, releases this summer.
“The Process of Picture Books: Unraveling the differences between publishing for kids and adults”
Lauren Groves discusses the key differences between publishing a trade book and publishing a picture book, discusses processes, illustrations, editing, and more.
Associate Publisher for Children and Wander at Tyndale House Publishers
Linda Howard brings an extensive background working with children and children’s products to her role, including teaching, marketing, and product development for several brands. Linda leads the kids’ team, developing overall strategy for Tyndale Children and Wander, acquiring projects, and overseeing product development of all books. She has also worked in marketing and built strong relationships with several of Tyndale’s publishing partners. She oversees the Compassion International Publishing partnership and has worked with best-selling authors Ann Voskamp, Mike Nawrocki, Amy Parker, Dandy Daley Mackall, Esau McCaulley, and more.
Workshop description TBA
Vice President, Book Division for Urban Ministries, Inc. and Uriel Press
Annette Leach is a publishing expert and author with over 20 years of experience in New York City. As VP of the Book Division for UMI, she provides strategic leadership for the company’s publishing initiatives. With the launch of Uriel Press in 2017, Annette has grown UMI’s assisted self-publishing imprint to include books by distinguished pastors and Christian thought leaders. In addition to her publishing career, Annette has held senior leadership roles in advertising and offers a wealth of cross-industry expertise. Please visit UrielPress.com.
“The Five Publishing Paths: Choosing the Route That’s Right for You”
You’ve typed the final words – “The End” – but now you’re faced with a critical question: What’s the best publishing path for my book? From traditional publishing houses to DIY platforms, the options can seem endless. This workshop will explore the benefits and challenges of the five major avenues – traditional publishing, small/independent presses, assisted self-publishing, do-it-yourself, and social/collaborative models. Whether you dream of securing a big-name publisher or taking publication into your own hands, Annette will help you assess your career goals to confidently choose the route that best fits your vision, budget, and book.
Pastor at the People’s Church in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Palitha Jayasooriya is executive/preaching pastor at the People’s Church in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Palitha Jayasooriya is also an experienced radio broadcaster, having served for more than twenty years at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. He is happily married to Regina and blessed with two sons, Sheriah and Sheramiah. Pastor “Pali’s” articles and sermons have been published on Preaching Today, Our Daily Bread, Crosswalk, You Version, Thoughts About God, and Sermon Search. He also hosts the three-minute Strength From God’s Word podcast on YouTube. Palitha’s favorite hobbies are spending time with his family and listening to music. He can be reached at email@example.com
Palitha has been continuing in prayer for PIC and its gatherings, and will lead us in prayer.
Faithfully Magazine Founder, Editor
Nicola is a journalist focusing on the intersection of faith, race, and culture. Nicola is the founder and managing editor of Faithfully Magazine (faithfullymagazine.com), an independently owned and operated news and culture publication centering on Christian communities of color. Nicola’s work has been published or cited by Christianity Today, Sojourners Magazine, The Washington Post, Religion News Service, CBS News, WNYC, Vibe magazine, and others. She holds a Journalism degree from New York University, an advanced certificate from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, and has taken M.Div. courses at Alliance Theological Seminary in NYC.
“From Pitched to Published: Slay the Magazine Submissions Game and See Your Work in Print”
Gain the knowledge and confidence to get published in print or online in this workshop with a longtime reporter and news editor. Come prepared with a pitch or a basic article idea, and you will leave equipped to avoid the rejection pile and master the editing process.
Author, Speaker, and Prayer Leader for PIC
Mabel Ninan is an author, speaker, and host of the podcast, Far from Home with Mabel Ninan. In her award-winning book, Far from Home: Discovering Your Identity as Foreigners on Earth, Mabel draws from her personal experience as an immigrant and examines the lives of biblical heroes to shed light on how we can find purpose and joy as sojourners on earth. A contributor to Guideposts’ All God’s Creatures: Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers since 2022, Mabel’s articles have appeared in Upper Room, CBN.com, LeadingHearts.com, and (in)courage.me. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son. Connect with her at www.mabelninan.com.
Mabel has been continuing in prayer for PIC and its gatherings, and will lead us in prayer.
Katara Washington Patton
Executive Editor, Our Daily Bread Ministries
Katara Washington Patton serves as the executive editor for VOICES from Our Daily Bread Ministries and with Our Daily Bread Publishing. Her most recent book, Navigating the Blues: Where to Turn When Worry, Anxiety, or Depression Steals Your Hope, debuted on Amazon’s Bestseller’s List for New Releases. Katara graduated summa cum laude from Dillard University with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and English. She earned a Master of Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and received a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where she received the outstanding preaching award.
“A Devotional Writer’s Toolbox”
What do you need to write engaging, memorable, and encouraging devotions? Take a look into a writer’s box of tools to remain true to God’s Word and true to the craft.
Managing Editor, Harambee Press
Edwina Perkins is the co-director of Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, coordinator for their Mentoring Moments, and manager for their Sensitivity Between the Lines. She is the acquisitions editor for Harambee Press, an imprint of End Game Press. A longtime member of Word Weavers International, she serves as a member of the advisory board. An award-winning writer, experienced teacher, speaker, freelance editor, and sensitivity reader, Edwina is published in numerous publications. She has a passion for addressing the need for diversity in the publishing industry.
“Networking and DEI”
Managing editor and publishing diversity leader Edwina Perkins joins one of our informal networking lunch hours (enjoy one each day of the conference). Along with other topics uppermost in the group’s conversation, Perkins will discuss acquisitions as well as ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in Christian publishing, and will share about the BlueRidge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.
Author and Ministry Consultant
Randy Petersen has authored or co-authored more than sixty books for the Christian market over a long career that includes writing curriculum, magazine articles, blogs, websites, and plays. Recent books include Forty Days, Forty Words (Our Daily Bread, 2023) and The Printer and the Preacher (Nelson, 2015). Working for American Bible Society, he was an architect of the lookinside.bible website and a co-creator of the Loving the Neighbor Who Doesn’t Look Like Me Bible study. Now, as a free-lancer, he writes the State of the Bible survey reports for ABS and consults and copywrites for various companies and Christian ministries.
“Colaboring with Coauthors”
If you’re not a famous writer yet, you might find it helpful to team up with someone who has more of a platform than you do—a pastor, professor, business leader, psychologist, etc. With their expertise and your writing skill, you might crack the market and bless your readers. But how do these collaborations really work? Randy Petersen has engaged in dozens of book collaborations, and helps you learn to build good creative partnerships and avoid the pitfalls.
Author, Essayist, and Novelist
Patricia Raybon is an award-winning Colorado author, essayist, and novelist who writes daring and exciting books and novels at the intersection of faith and race. A regular contributor at Our Daily Bread, she also writes the Annalee Spain Mystery series whose titles have won the Christy Award (All That Is Secret) and the Christianity Today Book Award for Fiction (Double the Lies). Book 3 in the series, Truth Be Told, is available for pre-order now. Join Patricia’s Reading Circle at patriciaraybon.com and get a free copy of her e-download, The Busy Person’s Guide to Hearing God.
“Things That Work: 10 Craft Secrets of Writing That Sells”
After decades of consistent selling of her essays, articles, devotionals, books, and novels to national publications and global ministries, award-winning author Patricia Raybon goes back to the basics to share craft secrets of writing that sells. Learn effective writing techniques and tips for turning up the sizzle in your writing style while sharpening your writing skills to their crafting and selling best.
Diane Proctor Reeder
Founder, Written Images
Diane Proctor Reeder writes primarily on spiritual topics that move readers to think more deeply about their faith and lives. She is an editor, playwright, and founder of Written Images, and President of Strategic Partners International, an integrated communications firm. Diane has served as an editor for Urban Ministries, Inc.; Parker Books; and Our Daily Bread Publishing’s VOICES Collection. She has authored three self-published books and two plays. Her first book by a major publisher, Our Daily Bread, A Cloud of Women: The Powerful Connection Between Black Women and Women of the Bible, was released in January and coauthored with the Rev. Dr. Georgia A. Hill.
“Listening for Him as You Write”
What does it mean to be a Christian writer? How does your faith inform what you write, and how do you decide what to write about? This session will give participants a glimpse into one Christian writer’s journey, and the God-guidance she received along the way for plays, books, and more.
Author, Ghostwriter, Editor
Andy Rogers is a ghostwriter, editor, author, and writing coach. He joined the book industry in 2007 and has worked on hundreds of successful book projects for major publishing houses, independent publishers, and Christian ministries. Andy is a writing coach for BookCamp, a training center and community for writers. He has also been an acquisitions editor at Our Daily Bread Ministries and HarperCollins Christian Publishing. He is an award-winning short fiction writer, the author of five books, and has been a collaborative writer on numerous others. Andy and his family live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. andyrogersbooks.com
“Developing Your Book Concept”
Independent Publishing Expert at Believers Book Services
Dave Sheets has spent more than 25 years in the publishing industry working with many top book publishers, distributors, and printers including Tyndale House Publishers, Multnomah Press, and Snowfall Press.
He is now the owner/operator of Believers Book Services—a publishing services company working with independent authors. Every year, he works with hundreds of authors, helping to create books that entertain and inform readers across the globe. www.believersbookservices.com
“Independent Publishing 101”
The book publishing world is complex, but it does not need to be complicated. Whether you decide to self-publish on Amazon, create an independent micro-publishing brand, or partner with a traditional book publisher, the process is the same. Dave will address the pros and cons of each method of turning your manuscript into a book and bringing it to market.
Writer, Editor, Coach
Margot (rhymes with “Gogo”) is a New York Times bestselling writer who has written more than 40 books and worked alongside publishers on hundreds of major publishing projects as writer, editor, and coach. She especially enjoys writing alongside athletes, entertainers, and overcomers. And Margot specializes in helping writers get published by equipping them to craft winning book proposals and books. She is passionate about seeing the publishing industry and the kingdom enriched by all the gifts BIPOC people bring. Learn more at www.MargotStarbuck.com.
“Delight Publishers with Your Nonfiction Book Proposal”
Margot will dish about the three things publishers must see in your book proposal. She’ll also give you the tips and tools you need to deliver them.
Presenters and sessions are subject to change.