The Art of Writing: A Focused Conference for Writers, Storytellers and Publishing Curators

Featuring

Team Member

Andrew Peterson

Musician, song writer,
author, founder of
The Rabbit Room

Team Member

Theon Hill, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
of Communication,
Wheaton College

Team Member

Carrie Schmidt

Blogger
ReadingIsMySuperPower.org

Team Member

Cynthia Ruchti

Author, agent, and ACFW
public relations liaison

Team Member

Beth Adams

Executive Editor,
Howard Books

Team Member

Karen Watson

Publisher of Fiction at
Tyndale House Publishers

Team Member

Dan Balow

Owner and President,
Gilead Publishing

Team Member

Amy Green

Fiction Publicist,
Bethany House Publishers

Team Member

Chris Fabry

Award-winning author and
radio personality

Team Member

Shannon Marchese

Senior Editor, WaterBrook
& Multnomah, a division
of Penguin Random House

November 8 from 1-5pm
Ezell Center, Lipscomb University, Nashville

Followed by The Christy Award™ Gala at 7 pm


The Art of Writing is designed to bring Christian creatives and publishing curators together for a half day of intensive seminars that celebrate the creative life, provide practical tips for overcoming challenges in a rapidly-changing industry, and answer questions authors are asking.

The speakers represent a wide range of roles and areas of expertise. Andrew Peterson, young adult writer and founder of the Rabbit Room, will give advice on how to create and benefit from a vibrant creative community, while Wheaton College professor Theon Hill, Ph.D. will present a survey of the obstacles and opportunities of diversity in Christian fiction. Authors will receive encouragement for the ups and downs of the writing life from blogger Carrie Schmidt and author, agent, and ACFW public relations liaison Cynthia Ruchti. Finally, a panel of representatives from major ECPA publishers will share insider information on where the genre has been, where it’s going, and the exciting changes they see in today’s market for writers.

After the sessions, attendees will be given time to mingle with authors, editors, and industry professionals before the Christy Award Gala, honoring excellence in Christian fiction. Hosted by award-winning author and radio host Chris Fabry, the gala will feature New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury as well as musician and writer Andrew Peterson.

The Art of Writing Conference + Christy Award Celebration Gala
Only $99

Author
Theon Hill

Assistant Professor of Communication,
Wheaton College

Colorful Stories: The Burden and Opportunity of Diversity in Christian Fiction

An increasingly diverse society challenges publishers and authors of Christian fiction to become more diverse in the stories they tell; yet, this reality also brings unparalleled opportunity to expand into new markets, build bridges between communities, and bring a Christian worldview to one of the most contentious issues of our time.

About Theon

Theon E. Hill (Ph.D., Purdue University) is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Wheaton College. He studies the intersections of race, religion, and politics in American culture. His work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals and edited collections along with popular outlets like Christianity Today.

Author
Cynthia Ruchti

Author, agent, and ACFW
public relations liaison

Author
Carrie Schmidt

Blogger, ReadingIsMySuperPower.org

The Artful Dodger: Defense Against Discouragement

If you’re stuck in a creative dry spell, fear failure, constantly compare yourself to others, or are feeling inadequate, frustrated, or just plain tired…it’s time for a little perspective. This session will give you strategies to artfully dodge the darts of discouragement coming your way by reminding you of the power of story and helping you regain the joy that made you start writing in the first place.

About Cynthia

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories “hemmed in Hope” through novels, novellas, nonfiction, devotions, and through speaking events for women and writers. Many of her more than 20 books have been recognized by key industry awards. Cynthia serves as the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) professional relations liaison and as a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Management. She and her grade-school sweetheart husband live in the heart of Wisconsin.

About Carrie

Carrie Schmidt (blogger at ReadingIsMySuperPower.org) is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict and cool aunt. She loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Carrie is a co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat and lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric and their quirky dog Zuzu.

Author
Amy Green

Moderator
Fiction Publicist,
Bethany House Publishers

Author
Beth Adams

Executive Editor,
Howard Books

Author
Karen Watson

Publisher of Fiction at
Tyndale House Publishers

Author
Dan Balow

Owner and President,
Gilead Publishing

Author
Chris Fabry

Award-winning author and
radio personality

Author
Shannon Marchese

Senior Editor, WaterBrook
& Multnomah, a division of
Penguin Random House

A Publishing Perspective on the Creative Life

A panel of editors and marketers with over fifty years of combined experience in the Christian fiction industry will address questions about the creative life, from dealing with criticism to working with a publishing team to sharing what changes they’re most excited to see in the future.

About Amy

Amy Green has been the fiction publicist at Bethany House Publishers since 2013. Her typical day might involve planning book tours, handling media requests, interacting with reviewers, answering author questions about marketing, and other tasks designed to introduce readers to great books. She graduated from Taylor University with a degree in Professional Writing and was excited to find a job with a publisher whose books she’s loved since childhood. You can find her running Bethany House’s social media and blogging every Thursday at bethanyfiction.com—feel free to stop by and comment anytime!

About Beth

Beth Adams acquires both fiction and non-fiction for the Christian and inspirational markets. Some of the bestsellers she’s worked on at Howard include Karen Kingsbury’s Love Story, Allison Pataki’s The Accidental Empress, and Life is Short, by Dr. Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein. Before joining Howard Books in 2012, she worked at Random House and Guideposts. She graduated from Princeton University and has a master’s degree in English from New York University. She is the author or co-author of more than twenty-five novels under various pen names, which she will reveal for the right price.

About Karen

Karen Watson is the Publisher of Fiction at Tyndale House Publishers. She is heading into her 22nd year in Christian publishing. In addition to her long-term work in fiction, she has also worked in book and Bible development for both children and adult non-fiction titles. Karen and her husband reside in Nashville, TN.

About Dan

Dan Balow has worked in Christian publishing for over 30 years in the business side of the industry (marketing, sales, foreign and domestic rights management, audio books, digital publishing, and acquisitions). He joined The Steve Laube Agency in July 2013 as literary agent (www.stevelaube.com) and is also owner and president of Gilead Publishing (www.gileadpublishing.com), a startup traditional publisher of Christian themed fiction which began operating in 2016.

About Chris

Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs.

Chris has published more than 75 books, including nonfiction, film novelizations, and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and The Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins.  His novels, which include The Promise of Jesse Woods, Looking Into You, War Room, Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, Not in the Heart, Borders of the Heart, and Every Waking Moment, have won three Christy Awards, an ECPA Christian Book Award®, and two Christianity Today Book Award of Merit.  His lyrical prose and tales of redemption keep readers returning for more.

Chris is currently working on a novel set in a coal mining town in West Virginia. The dual timelines will reveal the truth about a massacre in 1933 and the struggle for a town to survive in 2004. Under a Cloudless Sky will release early in 2018 with Tyndale House Publishers.

Author
Andrew Peterson

Musician, song writer, author,
founder of The Rabbit Room

Adorning the Dark: Community, Vocation, and the Mystery of Making

Inspired by the Oxford Inklings, Andrew started the Rabbit Room ten years ago as an experiment in creative community. Having spent the last twenty years in Nashville as a recording artist, songwriter, and author, he’ll discuss the tremendous impact of Christ-centered community on his own work, his calling, and his faith.

About Andrew

For more than twenty years now, Andrew Peterson has been about the business of quietly changing lives in four-minute increments. In the city of Nashville where music is an industry in the same way fast food, generic greeting cards, and bumper stickers are industries, Peterson has forged his own path, refusing the artistic compromises that so often come with chasing album sales and radio singles and creating instead a long line of songs that ache with sorrow, joy and integrity. Andrew is the award-winning author of The Wingfeather Saga, a four-book fantasy adventure series for young people, described as The Princess Bride meets The Lord of the Rings. He is also a founder of the Rabbit Room, a creative community that now includes blogs, podcasts, a thriving music and book store, Rabbit Room Press, and a yearly conference.

Conference Curator

Team Member

Amy Green

Fiction Publicist, Bethany House Publishers


Amy Green has been the fiction publicist at Bethany House Publishers since 2013. Her typical day might involve planning book tours, handling media requests, interacting with reviewers, answering author questions about marketing, and other tasks designed to introduce readers to great books. She graduated from Taylor University with a degree in Professional Writing and was excited to find a job with a publisher whose books she’s loved since childhood. You can find her running Bethany House’s social media and blogging every Thursday at bethanyfiction.com—feel free to stop by and comment anytime!

We thank the following companies for their support of the industry and this event:

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