These were the speakers for our 2013 conference.
Greg Johnson (keynote speaker)
Greg Johnson has been in publishing for nearly 25 years. Before becoming a full-time literary agent in 1994, he wrote and published 20 works of nonfiction with traditional publishers, as well as being a magazine editor for a teenage boys magazine for five years. In his years as an agent, he has personally represented more than 2,100 books and negotiated more than 1,700 contracts to over 85 publishing houses. These works included adult trade books (non-fiction and fiction), children’s books, specialty Bibles, movie options, video curricula, audio products, gift books and greeting cards.
While Greg’s stable of authors is near full, he will occassionally take on new authors and new projects. In 2012 he negotiated publishing deals for 12 new authors. Along with representing a broad array of adult fiction, primarily in the Christian market, Greg works with pastors and speakers, male and female, who have important and compelling messages to author for their constituents. He has also carved a niche by representing military nonfiction/memior for those who have served our country from WWII until today. Business books, health and humor rounds out what he is looking to acquire.
Greg is married to Becky and together they are parents of six adult children and five grandsons under the age of 7. They make their home near Denver, Colo.
Rene Gutteridge is the award-winning and best-selling author of more than eighteen novels, including the beloved Boo Series and Heart of the Country, her novelization release with director John Ward and Tyndale House Publishers. Her recent suspense titles include Listen, Possession and the award-winning Seven Hours project Escapement. She’s been published by Bethany House, Tyndale House, WaterBrook Press, Thomas Nelson and B&H and novelized the successful motion picture The Ultimate Gift. She is teaming again with screenwriter Cheryl McKay for the romantic comedy Greetings from the Flipside from B&H and releasing her new suspense title, Misery Loves Company from Tyndale in 2013. Her romantic comedy Never the Bride won the 2010 Carol Award for Best Women’s Fiction. Her upcoming literary projects include the novelization of the motion picture Old Fashioned with Tyndale House Publishers and filmmaker Rik Swartzwelder.
Her adaptation of her novel My Life as a Doormat is in development with Kingdom Pictures and she is also a creative consultant for Boo, a film based on her best-selling novel, in development at Sodium Entertainment with Cory Edwards attached as director and Andrea Nasfell as screenwriter. She is also co-writer in a collaborative comedy project called Last Resort with screenwriters Torry Martin and Marshal Younger. Her screenplay Skid is currently in production and scheduled to begin filming in April of 2013. She teaches fiction and screenwriting at conference across the country. Find her on Facebook and Twitter or at her website, www.renegutteridge.com. (@renegutteridge)
A former intensive care nurse, Melanie Hemry traded in her stethoscope for a computer and soon won the coveted Guideposts Writing Contest. A contributing writer for Guideposts for many years, Melanie’s stories have warmed the hearts of readers around the world, and some have been picked up by Reader’s Digest for worldwide distribution. In addition to hundreds of magazine articles, Melanie has 36 published books to her credit, six under her own name and 30 which she ghosted for other people. A few of her titles include A Healing Touch, Hugs for Single Moms, and the four books in the Anointing series which she co-authored with Gina Lynnes. She also wrote Jerry Falwell: His Life and Legacy with his widow, Macel Falwell.
Branching out from nonfiction, Melanie has been a longtime attendee of the Santa Fe Screenwriter’s Conference and also Act One’s Reel Spirituality conference in Hollywood, California where she has honed her screenwriting skills.
A favorite at writer’s conferences and workshops, Melanie has also led her own writing intensives for upcoming new authors. Some of those she coached have gone on to sell to Guideposts and won their writing competition while others have published books. Melanie can be found on Facebook and through her website at www.melaniehemry.com.
Cheri Fuller is an award-winning, best-selling author of 44 books and hundreds of articles. Having taught writing at the university level and at writer’s conferences, her wide experience in the publishing industry gives her a wealth of practical wisdom for authors. A specialist in writing book proposals, she has helped many new authors shape a winning proposal and get their books published. Her website is cherifuller.com.
Deborah Raney began her writing career after a happy twenty-year detour as a stay-at-home wife and mom. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, was awarded a Silver Angel from Excellence in Media and inspired the acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Since then, her books have won the RITA Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Readers’ Choice Award, as well as being a two-time Christy Award finalist. Deb enjoys speaking and teaching at writers’ conferences across the country. She and her husband, artist Ken Raney, make their home in their native Kansas, and until a recent move to the city, enjoyed the small-town life that is the setting for many of Deb’s novels. The Raneys enjoy gardening, antiquing, art museums, movies, and traveling to visit four grown children and a growing brood of grandchildren, all of whom live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at www.deborahraney.com. (@authordebraney)
Writers Coach Victorya Michaels Rogers is an expert on careers in writing, speaking and Hollywood, with over 25 years experience in media (10 yrs. as a talent agent, 14 yrs. in television and stage, plus 3 yrs. teaching at UCLA). Victorya is also a relationship expert and author of several books including Finding a Man Worth Keeping. This popular Christian speaker earned her Master’s from Fuller Theological Seminary, and has appeared on national television, radio, print and the internet. She lives in a suburb of Dallas with her husband Will and her two kids Matthew (12) and Katie (11). Her website is victorya.com. (@victoryarogers)
Henry McLaughlin is an award winning author whow writes to bring glory to God and give hope, encouragement and entertainment to his readers. He has honed his craft through courses, conferences, workshops and critique groups. His writing background includes policies and procedures as well as training curriculum and skits for both the state and the ministry. Henry is also a trainer and public speaker, having led Bible studies, trained employees, and taught families in the areas of financial planning. He writes to fulfill a lifelong yearning that became a divine inspiration after complications from heart surgery nearly brought him to heaven. His mission statement is to write in such a way that his words bring glory to God and give hope, encouragement and entertainment to his readers. Visit Henry online at www.henrymclaughlin.org. (@riverbendsagas)
Advertising executive Stacie Jennings had no idea where her life’s path would lead when, in 1999, the Lord spoke a directive word to her: Publishing. Armed with a bold dose of faith and a desire to provide quality book production services for authors who choose to self-publish, she assembled an experienced creative team that today serves a growing number of inspirational authors as well as numerous national and international ministries.In addition to writing and producing books and an assortment of publications, Stacie is a founding member of the Dreams Realized Speaker Series, a team of four Florida women who,through sound Bible teaching and candid accounts of their own life battles, provide a life changing foundation of faith for their audiences through live conferences, television broadcasts,and international mission outreaches.Stacie and her husband, Mark Imboden, are former Oklahomans who now reside in Naples, Florida. They have two children and two grandchildren. Learn more about Stacie’s work on www.visionbookproducers.com.
Gina Lynnes has been crafting communications for the Christian market for more than 30 years. A published writer and editor, she has ghostwritten more than 25 books, including a New York Times Bestseller, and hundreds of newsletters and magazine articles. A recipient of the National Religious Broadcaster’s Award for the daily radio broadcast Upreach! her work also includes four books published under her own name. Gina has extensive experience working closely with beginning authors and other freelancers, editing and collaborating on a variety of projects.
Dr. Wesley Fryer is a digital learning consultant, author, digital storyteller, educator and change agent. With respect to school change, he describes himself as a “catalyst for creative engagement and collaborative learning.” Wesley earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas Tech University in 2011. He is the author of two books, “Mapping Media to the Common Core: Vol I.” (2013) and “Playing with Media: simple ideas for powerful sharing” (2011). His blog, “Moving at the Speed of Creativity” (www.speedofcreativity.org) was selected as the 2006 “Best Learning Theory Blog” by eSchoolnews and Discovery Education, and is utilized regularly by thousands of educators worldwide. Wesley became a Google Certified Teacher in 2009, was named an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2005, is a 1992 graduate of the US Air Force Academy, and a Fulbright Scholar. Find Wes online his blog “Moving at the Speed of Creativity” and on www.wesfryer.com. (@wfryer)