These were the speakers for our 2014 conference.
Cheryl McKay (keynote speaker)
Cheryl McKay has been professionally writing since 1997. Cheryl wrote the screenplay for the award winning feature film, The Ultimate Gift, based on Jim Stovall’s novel. The film stars James Garner, Brian Dennehy, and Abigail Breslin. She wrote the screen story for its sequel, The Ultimate Life. Her screenplay, Never the Bride, has been adapted into a novel for Random House Publishers and Greetings from the Flipside for B&H Publishing. She also penned the books Finally the Bride and Finally Fearless, and collaborated on Novelizations: How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels with Rene Gutteridge. Her most recent release is the novel, Song of Springhill: a love story, based on true mining disasters her grandfather survived. Cheryl enjoys scrapbooking. She’s learning to enjoy cooking and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Chris, a musician and photographer.
Janene MacIvor is an editor with Nelson Books, Thomas Nelson Publishers, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc. For fifteen years, before taking an in-house position, she did freelance management, substantive editing, copy editing, and proofreading for Thomas Nelson, among other clients. Janene served as project manager for ELHI Publishers Services for three years. She and her husband served as national sales managers for Master Books, Creation Life Publishers. Her children and grandchildren bring her immeasurable joy and she loves sharing the wonderful world of literature with them.
Rene Gutteridge is the award-winning and best-selling author of twenty-one novels, including her latest releases Misery Loves Company (suspense), Greetings from the Flipside (comedy) and Heart of the Country (drama). Her recent suspense titles also include Listen, Possession and Escapement. She has novelized six screenplays and movies, including two new releases in 2014, Just 18 Summers and Old Fashioned. Her romantic comedy with screenwriter Cheryl McKay, Never the Bride, won the Carol Award in 2010 for Best Women’s Fiction.
Her indie film, the comedy SKID which is based on her novel, is in post-production and due to release in 2015. She is a creative consultant on Boo, a script based on her beloved novel series, which is in development at Sodium Entertainment with Cory Edwards attached as director and Andrea Nasfell (Moms Night Out) as screenwriter. Her novel My Life as a Doormat is also in development.
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.
For more than a decade Victorya Rogers was a prominent agent booking more than 25 million dollars in business. She represented producers, directors, writers, actors, and below-the-line crew for film and television. She also sold television series, animated series, talk shows and movies-of-the-week. Her wide range of clients won awards across the board, including Academy and Emmy Awards. For three years Rogers also taught at the esteemed Entertainment Studies program at UCLA on how to break into the TV & Film business. She is the author of four books and the host of “The Complete Guide to Making it in Hollywood”. Rogers received her masters degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and approaches everything in life from the framework of her faith. She currently coaches individuals across America on how to attain your life goals including your Hollywood dreams. Coaching with Victorya will help you identify your talents and passions plus discover what you really want in your life and career so you can stop wasting time and money chasing rainbows. You see, “Hollywood” is one of the most competitive industries in the world. How do you stand out from the crowd and get noticed? This former Hollywood agent teaches the secrets of how to do just that. You CAN burst the barriers of Hollywood and make your dreams a reality, whether you want to write, act, produce, direct, perform, or design. Her website is victorya.com. (@victoryarogers)
Christopher P. N. Maselli is the award-winning author of more than 40 books including Zonderkids’ Amazing Laptop series. Chris has been writing for 20 years and his experience includes children’s writing, advertising, ghostwriting, online marketing and more. But more than anything, Chris loves helping put other writers on the fast track to success through his training at WritingMomentum.com. Chris lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife and three children. His website is christopherpnmaselli.com. (@cpnm)
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 classroom STEM teacher, digital learning consultant, author, digital storyteller, and change agent. He teaches 4th and 5th grade STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) at Independence Elementary in Yukon Public Schools in Oklahoma. Wesley earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas Tech University in 2011. He is the author of three books on using multimedia to support learning. Wes became a Google Certified Teacher in 2009, was named an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2005, and is a 2014 PBS Digital Innovator. He helps organize free EdCamp and PLAYDATE professional development events in Oklahoma, as well as the free, annual K-12 Online Conference each year. Find Wes online his blog “Moving at the Speed of Creativity” and on www.wesfryer.com. (@wfryer)
Bold and transparent, Christy Johnson tells it like it is. As a certified life coach, soul health advocate and author of Love Junkies, 7 Steps for Breaking the Toxic Relationship Cycle, Christy is passionate about imparting hope to women and leading them on a journey of self-discovery to improve their soul health. Her captivating testimony about how Christ redeemed her addiction to love and helped her forgive the offender who was responsible for the death of her youngest son will inspire you to ditch the drama and walk in forgiveness. Christy is a popular conference speaker and has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs including Trinity Broadcasting Network. She has several stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and God, Girls & Getting Connected. Driven to help authors bring their platform to the marketplace, Christy managed the marketing, social media and website for Write Well Sell Well. For more information and a free ebook, How to Live Soul Healthy in a Toxic World, visit Christy at http://christyjohnson.org/.
Regina Jennings is a content editor for Redbud Press. Before Redbud, her broad professional experience spanned the gamut from work at The Mustang News to weighing pigs at the Oklahoma National Stockyards. When not handling Redbud business or homeschooling her four children, she’s writing historical romance novels. Her next book, A Most Inconvenient Marriage, releases in November 2014. Regina lives in Mustang, Oklahoma, with her ornery husband and their dangerously charming children. www.reginajennings.com
Erin Taylor Young is an acquisitions editor and author liaison for Redbud Press. She loves working with authors but also enjoys her time working in the frequently-wacky world of readers at her local library. Between all that, she writes humor. Her recent book, Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe, is the story of her noncompliant dog, and has been repeatedly accused of making readers laugh until they cry. Learn more about Erin at www.erintayloryoung.com
Ambassador of Hope
Henry McLaughlin is an award winning author who 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)
Hospitality and Registration Team: