Shelley Hitz

9:00 a.m. Keynote Address

Shelley Hitz

Write Now: Removing the Obstacles to Your Writing Life

As an author coach, artist and Christian entrepreneur; Shelley Hitz is on a mission to help you reach more people with your message. She believes every person has God-given gifts and abilities to impact the world. Therefore, she encourages you to let your light SHINE! Shelley was first paid for her writing in fifth grade after winning a nonfiction writing contest. Little did she know she would resign from her 12-year career as a Physical Therapist over 20 years later to write and coach authors full-time. She is the owner of Author Audience Academy and with a passion to help authors succeed in writing, publishing, and marketing their books. Thousands of authors have been coached through her books, training programs, online events, seminars, and more. She has over a decade of experience speaking to groups of all sizes; from small workshops to keynote presentations in front of thousands. And she teaches from personal experience, not theory. She has been writing and publishing books since 2008 and has personally authored over 40 books including print, eBook and audio book formats. Connect with Shelley and download her free training at

Beatrice Bruno

1:00 p.m. Keynote Address

Give birth to the baby that is your book

Beatrice Bruno is an Army Veteran but always and forever a Drill Sergeant. Beatrice served Active Duty in the US Army from 1977 until 1992. Her two favorite assignments were with the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) Band and Chorus as a Singer and as a Drill Sergeant for Basic Training Soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Beatrice is the creator of the Writer, Thou Art Loosed! WriteCamp. Along with two motivational titles and two Christian living titles, Beatrice has authored her first fiction novel, “The Baby Chronicles” showing where we were before we were, due out in March 2017.


Alice Crider

Top 10 Mistakes New Writers Make (and How to Avoid Them)

Alice Crider, Sr. Acquisitions & Development Editor at David C Cook, has served in various capacities in Christian publishing since 1998. Also a certified life coach, Alice teaches writing and editing workshops at writer’s conferences nationally and internationally, and she leads a marketing course online that shows authors how to succeed in publishing without building a giant platform. Alice lives in Colorado where she enjoys hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and spending time with her family. Visit her at


Carla Foote

Writing Short

Carla Foote is an expert on short content. She has edited and written for magazines with a circulation of over 100,000 for 16 years: MomSense and Connections for MOPS International, and Disciple! for The Navigators. She also manages the Really blog for Elisa Morgan. Carla served as a trainer for Magazine Training International (MTI) at the Advanced Magazine Publishing Institute in India and has taught online courses and webinars for MTI. She is currently on the board of Magazine Training International and previously served on the board of the Evangelical Press Association. Connect with her at When Carla steps away from her desk, she enjoys working in her garden and reflecting on the intersection of gardening and spiritual growth at Carla has an M.A. from the University of Denver and a B.S. from the University of Puget Sound.


Rick Marschall

There’s Good News in the Bad News – Writing to the Culture

Rick Marschall, a former political cartoonist and political columnist, is the author 74 books and hundreds of magazine articles. He has founded five magazines and edited seven over his career. He has been editor of Marvel Comics, a writer for Disney, editor at three newspaper syndicates, and has taught at Rutgers, the School of Visual Arts, the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and for the Summer Institute For the Gifted at Bryn Mawr University. Rick has numerous spoken at the Library of Congress and has internationally represented the US Information Service of the State Department.
The recipient of several awards in the writing and popular-culture fields, he currently is Editor-in-Chief of Innovative Health magazine and its related outreaches; and has produced a weekly Christian blog for nine years. He resides in Michigan and is the father of three children and four grandchildren.


Amy Young

A Holy, Holey, Wholly Inventory for Writers

Amy Young, author of Looming Transitions: Starting and Finishing Well in Cross-Cultural Service and Love, Amy: An Accidental Memoir Told in Newsletters from China lived in China for over 18 years. When she first moved to China, she knew three Chinese words: hello, thank you, and watermelon. Amy is known to jump in without all the facts and blogs regularly at The Messy Middle. She loves to help writers and non-writers alike. Be on the lookout for her next book: All the News That’s Fit to Tell and How to Tell It: A Guide for Writing Newsletters.


Donna Schlachter

Crafting a Good Subplot, the Key to Every Story

Bio coming soon!


Sharon Cairns Mann

The Writer’s Toolkit: Essential Tools for the Fiction Writer

Sharon earned a B.A. in English, an M.A. in Communication, and a certificate from the Institute of Children’s Literature. She has been a professional writer and editor since 1978 and has written hundreds of articles, press releases, advertising copy, and marketing material; but her real passions are fiction and creative nonfiction.
Her blog Swindled was a finalist in the CAL 2017 Annual Awards Contest. Two of the stories in her most recent anthology, Tesserae: A Mosaic of Story, won awards, and one was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2004, her novel Mother of Exiles won the Colorado Gold contest.
Sharon is known for her craft-oriented focus on writing, especially fiction, and she loves to share her knowledge. Sharon is active in the Denver literary scene. You can read more about her writing and find her blog at



Patricia Raybon

Writing Across the Lines: From Race to Grace

Patricia earned a B.A. in journalism from Ohio State University, an M.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is a former editor of The Denver Post’s Sunday Contemporary Magazine. In mid-career, she joined the journalism faculty at UC-Boulder, teaching for 15 years.
Now a full-time author, Patricia’s personal essays on family, race and faith have been widely published worldwide. Patricia’s books include My First White Friend, which won the Christopher Award; I Told the Mountain to Move, a 2006 Book of the Year Finalist (Christianity Today); and Undivided: A Muslim Daughter, Her Christian Mother, Their Path to Peace, co-authored with her daughter Alana Raybon.
A mother of two and grandmother of five, she lives with her husband Dan in Aurora, Colorado, where they enjoy movies, popcorn, cozy mysteries and soapy Masterpiece Theater dramas.



Susan Spear

Let Your Words Dance: The Language of the Poet

Susan Spear holds an MFA in poetry from Western State Colorado University, and serves as their Managing Editor of Think, a journal of poetry, reviews and criticism. She teaches poetry and creative writing at Colorado Christian University.
Her poems have appeared in Academic Questions, The Anglican Theological Review, Relief, Mezzo Cammin and many other print and online journals.
Her manuscript, In Ordinary Time, was a semi-finalist for the Crab Orchard First Book Prize and The Able Muse Book Prize. The Price of Pomegranates, her one-act libretto, was scored by Jerome Malek and appeared as a workshop at the 2016 Writing the Rockies.


Michael Klassen

Mike Klassen

How to Make a Living Writing

Michael J. Klassen has authored, contributed to, or edited over 65 traditionally published books. He’s worked with former presidents, presidential candidates, mega-church pastors, and modern-day mystics to write books that have sold millions.
He is the author of Prayers To Move Your Mountains (Thomas Nelson), We Will Pray For Election Day (Allegiance), Stand And Be Counted (Whitestone), and Strange Fire, Holy Fire (Bethany House).
Michael’s company, Illumify Literary Services, provides copyeditors, collaborative writers, coaches and publishing for aspiring authors.


Nadine Roberts Cornish

A Guide to Self-Publishing

Caregiver coach and consultant, Roberts Cornish penned and independently published her inaugural book, Tears In My Gumbo, The Caregiver’s Recipe for Resilience.
As a certified senior adviser, gerontologist, and speaker, Roberts Cornish is passionate about raising awareness of all things related to “caregiving”.
Nadine believes that we all have a story worth telling, capturing and sharing. She inspires others through her journey from self realization to independent publishing house. Through her company, The Caregiver’s Guardian, she has launched the Care-ocity Campaign. She conducts symposiums for churches and organizations interested in creating a culture of care within their organization and community.



Tracey Lovett

What is Your Brand?

Tracey Lovett joined the Daniels Fund in August 2000, where she manages the scholar relations function of the Daniels Scholarship Program. Tracey also oversees the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship Program for non-traditional students.
Prior to joining the Daniels Fund, Tracey earned a bachelor’s degree in Technical Journalism and a master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University. At CSU, she developed and executed a research and leadership development program to expose high school students to CSU and aided in student recruitment, enrollment, and retention.
Tracey is active with Shorter Community A.M.E. Church, serving on the steward board, in the Women’s Missionary Society, and as a teacher for the children’s church. She serves on the President’s Advisory Cabinet of Metropolitan State University of Denver, the University Preparatory Elementary School board, and is a member of the National Scholarship Providers Association.



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