Brainstorming with the Experts

 

Have you ever wished you could sit down with an expert—a mentor—for a half hour? Someone who has taken the time to look over your work carefully and who is willing to go over things like your hopes … your next career moves … what works and what doesn't within your work?

Now you can. FCWC offers you a list of mentors to choose from—one perfect for you and your genre. 

Look over the list below. Once you choose your ideal mentor, email them at the address provided. Follow any other instructions they give.

You will pay an additional $45 directly to them and will send them the work they specifically require. While at FCWC, they will set aside a half-hour to talk with you. To go over the work. To chat about your best next move, etc.


Michelle Medlock Adams
[email protected]

Genre: Children’s board books and picture books (both fiction and nonfiction), Magazine queries and articles. 

Michelle Medlock Adams is a New York Times bestselling ghostwriter and the author of over 100 multiple-award-winning books. Over the course of her career, she has written more than 1500 articles for print and online magazines as well as acted as a newspaper reporter, and she has written dozens of nonfiction books for women and many children’s board books and picture books. In her free time, she helps writers realize their dreams of publishing as well as strategizes best practices for gaining publicity for past and current projects. In addition, she is debuting her children’s book imprint—Wren & Bear Books (a division of End Game Press)—in Spring 2023. To learn more, go to www.michellemedlockadams.com online.


Shellie Arnold
[email protected]

Genre: Non-fiction, including devotionals and Bible studies (no children's). Fiction (no children's, no historical, YA is fine). 

I am happy to evaluate non-fiction projects for continuity and focus based on a full proposal, or synopsis and table of contents (if applicable), and first 20 pages. For fiction, I am happy to evaluate a full proposal including the first three chapters (up to 20 pages) for hook, story arc, and character arcs. When we meet, we'll discuss weaknesses and strengths in your project, how you can minimize the weaknesses and capitalize the strengths.


Lynn Austin
[email protected]

Genre: Historical fiction, Women's fiction, Biblical fiction

Lynn Austin is a bestselling author of 28 novels, 2 novellas, and two non-fiction works. Eight of her novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian fiction, and she was inducted into the Christy Award Hall of Fame in 2013. Her novel, Hidden Places, was made into a Hallmark Channel movie starring actress Shirley Jones. Her newest novel, Long Way Home, released in June. Lynn is available to help you brainstorm a fiction project and/or offer advice about your work-in-progress.


April Ballestero
[email protected]

Genre: business strategy for writing, community engagement, and course development opportunities.

April Ballestero is a leadership expert and the founder of One Light Ahead, a service of One Light Academy, Inc., a coaching agency that helps business leaders shine at their brightest. With over two decades of coaching experience, April knows exactly how to help business leaders achieve their full potential and become more effective, more energized, and more enthusiastic in their interactions with their teams, clients, families, and communities. She is also the founder and host of Addressing the Elephant in the Room, author of Slaying the Onion, and many published blogs and articles. Visit her website: www.onelightacademy.net


Cherrilynn Bisbano
[email protected]

Genre: I have six appointment slots available to evaluate book proposals.

Cherrilynn Bisbano is a former junior literary agent, and submissions reader. She is currently a talk show host, writing coach, ghostwriter, and book proposal expert. She offers her book proposal expertise, especially in the marketing section. She taught Your Platform is Bigger Than You Think at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. 


Tez Brooks   
[email protected]

Genre: Any nonfiction — either first chapter or book proposal. I have five appointments available. Deadline for submissions is two weeks before conference.

With fourteen books he's either written or collaborated on, Tez is a multiple award-winning author and international speaker. He has been successful in both traditional and indy publishing and enjoys coaching writers to help shorten their learning curve. He has launched four Word Weavers groups and recently released Debriefing, his devotional for first responders. Central Florida was his home for 35 years and he's excited to see his writing peeps again at FCWC.


Kathy Bruins 
[email protected]

Genre: fiction and non-fiction (including curriculum and devos), editing

Kathy Bruins has been a professional writer for over 20 years. Kathy loves to mentor writers and can help you with fiction/non-fiction writing and editing, book proposals and one-sheets, how to meet with an agent/acquisitions editor, getting published through a hybrid publisher, ghostwriting, and more. She has a freelance business and is the founder of The Well Ministry for Creatives and The Well Publishers.  She is a member of AWSA, Christian Indie Publishing Association, Association of Ghostwriters, and serves as President of Word Weavers, West Michigan. For more information, please visit www.seeyouatthewell.net and www.writingbybruins.com


Debra Butterfield
[email protected]

Genre: Women’s fiction, historical and contemporary

Debra Butterfield has been freelance editing for over 10 years. She joined CrossRiver Media as an editor in 2014 and is now their editorial director. I am happy to evaluate the first three chapters (up to 30 pages) for story hook, showing vs. telling, and POV.


Michele Chynoweth
[email protected]

Genre: Accepting submissions for book manuscript reviews in Fiction or Non-Fiction (any genre). Please send 1st 25 pages plus a synopsis and/or chapter outline for review (edits and comments).

Michele Chynoweth is the bestselling and award-winning author of The Faithful One, The Peace Maker, The Runaway Prophet, The Jealous Son, and The Wise Man, contemporary suspense novels that re-imagine Bible stories. Michele is also a sought-after public speaker who has addressed a variety of writers’ conferences and other organizations across the country, a professional editor for several publishing houses and freelancer, a book coach and founder of “Your Book Done Right” Master Class and Elite Coaching. She loves helping writers get their books done right, helping  them write, edit, publish and market their books. A former news reporter and marketing director, she’s a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and lives with her husband in North East, Maryland. Find out more about Michele and her clients at www.michelechynoweth.com


Andy Clapp
[email protected]

Genre: devotional, Christian Living

Andy Clapp is an award-winning author who has three devotional books releasing in 2022. His debut novel, Midnight, Christmas Eve, released in 2021 and he has two contracts for devotional books to release in 2023. He is also an award-winning screenwriter. He is a literary agent with C.Y.L.E. and is happy to look at any type of devotional books, or Christian Living books, to give insight and feedback on the project.


Cheri Cowell
[email protected]

Genre: Children's books, non-fiction and fiction, and ministry or project-type books.

We work with authors to develop ideas into publishable books. We have developmental editors, illustrators, and marketing coaches. I love to work with authors to help make their publishing dreams come true.


Lauren Crews
[email protected]

Genre: Social Media, Marketing, and New Author Coaching

Lauren is a champion for new authors. As a multi-award-winning nonfiction author and marketing coach with Iron Stream Media, she understands the questions and fears of the publishing process and building platform. Lauren is available to answer your publishing questions and guide you through the process. She will help you define your target reader and discuss why it is important for marketing. Together you will brainstorm your brand and learn how it relates to your social media content. You will leave encouraged and with a plan. https://www.laurencrews.com/gallery/


Kim de Blecourt
[email protected]

Genre: nonfiction book proposals or one-sheets

Kim de Blecourt has been professionally writing since the 1990's, and writing books since 2011. Kim is represented by Steve Laube, and has two published books, Until We All Come Home and I Call You Mine.


Victoria Duerstock
[email protected]

Genre: Social Media/Online Platform, Nonfiction, Devotionals, Proposals

Victoria Duerstock is a multiple award-winning author with several titles, having built her large and well-networked online platform in just 5 years. She launched a systematic training system of coaching for authors and creatives, Building Platform 101, along with one on one training and now also runs End Game Press, a traditional publishing house where she is regularly reviewing queries and proposals. She is eager to use her experience and expertise to advise and encourage other authors in their journey! To learn more go to www.victoriaduerstock.com and www.endgamepress.com


Lynette Eason
[email protected]

Genre: Fiction (Full-length novels only). I'll review the first chapter, along with a 1-2 page synopsis that lets me know where the rest of the story is going (be sure to include the ending). Only 5 appointments available.

Lynette Eason is the best-selling, award-winning author of over sixty-five books. She writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have appeared on the CBA, ECPA, Publisher’s Weekly, Parable, and USA Today’s bestseller lists. She has won several awards including the Carol Award, Christian Retailing’s Best, the Holt Medallion, the Selah, Killer Nashville’s Readers’ choice award, and more. Her book, Her Stolen Past, made into a Lifetime Movie Network movie, aired in February 2018. Lynette is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), International Thriller Writers (ITW), and Faith, Hope, and Love. Lynette can be found online at www.lynetteeason.com and www.facebook.com/lynette.eason and @lynetteeason on Twitter.


Linda S Glaz 
[email protected]

Genre: Nonfiction, fiction: romance, suspense, historic (please no children's/spec of any type)

Linda is an author and an agent at Hartline Literary Agency. She teaches nationally 10-12 times a year where she also looks for that next GREAT novel just waiting to be contracted. Linda can't wait to look at up to 20 pages of your work that she can hopefully help you take to the next level.


Annette Marie Griffin
[email protected] 

Genre:I have five appointment slots available to assist with perfecting contest entries and/or to offer practical advice to help writers discern their next steps in their publishing journey.

Annette Marie Griffin loves the Lord and writes timeless pieces that point readers to Him. She’s a multi-award-winning author who has written hundreds of high-ranking online articles for Christian and secular publications and regularly contributes to Crosswalk.com, Biblestudytools.com, Christianity.com, OnePlace.com, and iBelieve.com.

Her debut children’s book What is a Family? received and has maintained Amazon’s coveted “Editors’ Pick” label since its release in 2020—and has since sold over 13,000 copies in the U.S. and abroad. In 2021 What is a Family? won the Selah Award for best children’s picture book and in 2022 earned a place on the Summer Showcase list for the nationally recognized Children’s Book Council. But nestled between Annette’s God-given publishing successes are plenty of trials, rejections, and failures (also God-given). She loves to use the treasure from those experiences to help discouraged writers discover hope and purpose while traveling their own in-between places. 


Lori Hatcher
[email protected]

Genre:  Speeches, Presentations, Devotional Talks, Speaking Ministry Brainstorming as well as all things non-fiction (Lori is accepting a limited amount of mentoring appointments, so don’t delay.)

Lori Hatcher loves empowering reluctant and fearful speakers to share the messages God gives them with poise, skill, and confidence. Lori’s a women’s ministry speaker, author, and contest-winning Toastmasters International member. She’s served as a keynote speaker at retreats, church events, military wives gatherings, and homeschool events in the US and internationally. 

She’s available to evaluate your speech, presentation, workshop, or devotional. She can help you hone your message, polish your presentation, and deliver your message with professionalism and grace. Whether you’re delivering a 45-minute presentation or a 5-minute one, she’d be glad to take a look and make suggestions that will take it from okay to out-of-this-world. She’s also available to help you brainstorm how to jump start your speaking ministry and answer your speaking-related questions. As an author herself, she can also brainstorm with you how to use your speaking to promote your books.


Bob Hostetler
[email protected]

Genre: Fiction: contemporary, historical, mystery, suspense, thriller. Nonfiction: Christian living, devotionals, humor, spiritual growth, women’s nonfiction. 

I’m an award-winning and best-selling author of 50 books, which include The Red Letter Life, The Bard and the Bible, and the children’s book, Don’t Close Your Eyes. I’ve also been an award-winning radio commentator and article-writer (in such publications as Family Circle, Guideposts, and Poets & Writers). I also serve as executive editor of the Christian Writers’ Institute and a literary agent with the Steve Laube Agency.


Bethany Jett
[email protected]

Genre: Nonfiction in these areas: Leadership, Self-help, Women’s, Christian Living, Inspirational/Gift, Devotionals, YA & MG

Bethany Jett is a literary agent, multi-award-winning traditionally-published author, ghostwriter, and marketing strategist who earned top honors in her master’s program, where she earned her MFA in Communications focusing on Marketing and PR. She co-owns Serious Writer and loves to help writers reach their audiences. 


Julie Lavender
[email protected]

Genre: Newspapers, magazines, and book proposals

Julie Lavender is an award-winning author and journalist who loves encouraging others along their writing journey. As a journalist, she's written over 1000 newspaper and magazine articles, including several Guideposts publication credits after winning the Guideposts Writing Contests in 2014. Julie wrote children's curriculum for Group Publishing Incorporated for a number of years, and her work appears in a several anthologies, too. Julie's most recent book, Children's Bible Stories for Bedtime, published by a Penguin Random House imprint, won a first place Selah in Children's Literature and Children's Book of the Year at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and is an Amazon Bestseller in a rather odd category! (Ask her - she'd love to ponder the category with you!) Preceding that title, Julie wrote 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories, published by Revell. She's still celebrating the blessing of talking about that book on a Focus on the Family Broadcast interview that aired back in January. 

After writing for almost three decades, Julie knows the challenges of persevering in the writing industry and loves sharing what she's learned from others during her own writing journey. She'd love to help you break into or further your writing career with newspaper and magazine writing. And she'd love to help you navigate the ins and outs of writing a book proposal. To learn more, go to www.julielavenderwrites.com.


Robin Luftig
[email protected]

Genre: Fiction and Nonfiction

For fiction, submit the first 3 chapters (max 5,000 words) plus a 1-2 page synopsis showing the storyline (be sure to include the ending). For non-fiction projects, submit the first 3 chapters (max 5,000 words) and a synopsis or table of contents, showing the purpose of the work.

Robin is an award-winning or nominated author in both fiction (Selah for Ladies of the Fire) and non-fiction (God’s Best During Your Worst). For fiction, she will review your plot/character development, author’s voice, common editing mistakes, and weaknesses/strengths. She will strategize the over-arching storyline with you if you are considering a book series. For non-fiction projects, she will discuss the focus of your project and how to minimize your weaknesses/maximize your strengths. To learn more about Robin, go to https://robinluftig.com/books/


Edie Melson
[email protected]

Genre: Soul Care, Social Media, Blogging, Nonfiction, Devotional, Freelance and Speculative Fiction

As an award-winning author and industry professional for over 20 years, Edie Melson has the proven expertise to help writers navigate the multi-discipline world of publishing and ministry. The first part of her career was spent as a freelance writer, often publishing over 700 articles a year. She's been a professional blogger, copywriter, ghost writer, speaker, novelist and nonfiction author. Her reputation as an online expert is well-deserved. Her blog reaches thousands and has been consistently named a Writer’s Digest Top 101 Sites for Writers. She's the director of one of the largest Christian writers conferences in the nation and board member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She understands what it's like to hit detours and roadblocks along the publishing road. And she knows that many of the difficulties writers face can be overcome by drawing closer to God. Her passion is to encourage and equip other writers to follow the unique path God has for them and become ever more sensitive to the things He whispers into a writer's soul.


Britt Mooney 
[email protected] 

Genre: Christian Living, Speculative Fiction, Christian articles and movie reviews, podcasting

Britt Mooney is an award-winning writer of Say Yes: How God Sized Dreams Take Flight, epic fantasy fiction, and his Christian articles are regularly popular online. He reviews movies and streaming shows through Dove.org. He has been consistently podcasting for several years and is involved in several to varying degrees. Britt loves to encourage writers with the dreams and messages God gives them and can help with proposals, developing ideas, and starting podcasts. His next book, We Were REborn for This, is coming out soon.


Ava Pennington
[email protected]

Genre: Nonfiction, devotionals, Bible studies (no children’s)

Ava Pennington is an author and freelance editor. She is a member of the Christian Authors Network, a certified writers coach through the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and a mentor with Word Weavers International for online critique groups. She is also a Bible Study Fellowship teacher. Ava is available to discuss your nonfiction, devotional, or Bible study manuscript or book proposal (maximum 20 pages) to provide you with feedback and answer your questions. See www.AvaPennington.com for more information.


Edwina Perkins
[email protected]

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, devotional, Sensitivity Reader for fiction and nonfiction

Edwina Perkins is a writer, freelance editor, writing mentor, and a sensitivity reader. She is an acquisition editor with Iron Stream Media and Harambee Press. As the Assistant Director of Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and the Mentoring Coordinator, Edwina loves to work with new writers and help them develop in their craft. She is a freelance writer for Guideposts Magazine and serves on the Word Weavers International Advisory Committee. Edwina offers a range of expertise on self-editing tips, first chapter review, sensitivity reading, and addressing questions/concerns for first-time attendees.


Rachel Pfeiffer
[email protected]

Genre: I’m happy to evaluate any type of writing for children, as well as nonfiction articles

I serve as the senior associate editor of Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. magazine. In addition to writing and editing for children, I’m an avid reader of children’s books, both fiction and nonfiction. In my free time, I write journalism articles for magazines and online publications.


Tim Pietz
[email protected]

Genre: Christian Living; fiction (especially speculative fiction); substantive editing

Tim has had the privilege of editing for Tyndale House, Wheaton Press, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and individual authors. Whether working in fiction or nonfiction, substantive editing is his specialty. Since October 2021, Tim has also served as Mountain Brook Ink’s publicity manager, equipping authors in their marketing strategy. Tim graduated Taylor University in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in professional writing.


Jan Powell
[email protected]

Genre: Fiction and Non-fiction self-editing (I have 4 appointments available)

Have you been told to tighten your work, but need guidance? What is the word clutter in your manuscript? Are you ready to do reduction surgery on your book for increased clarity and impact? How can you find and use more powerful words? I have edited over 50 books and get repeat business from clients. Sherri Stewart, author of A Song for Her Enemies, fondly calls me “The Slasher.” Because I’ll be teaching the self-editing class, “Don’t Murder Your Manuscript” and co-leading the critique track with Shellie Arnold, I will only be taking four clients, one each day, Wednesday through Saturday. Please sign up early and email your first twenty pages as a Word document by September 1, 2022. If you have specific questions, please send them as a separate Word document.


Kaley Faith Rhea
[email protected] 

Genre: Non-fiction (no exclusions) and fiction (no children's, but happy to look at YA or speculative). 

Kaley Rhea is the St. Louis-area author of Christy Award-nominated romantic comedy Turtles in the Road and Golden Scroll winner Off-Script & Over-Caffeinated (along with mom, bud, and writing partner Rhonda Rhea). She is a multi-award-winning devotional author and writes humorous Christian nonfiction with Rhonda Rhea and Monica Schmelter in the Messy to Meaningful book series. An award-winning editor and fiction acquirer for Bold Vision Books, Kaley has a passion for coaching authors.


Rhonda Rhea
[email protected]

Genre: I’d be happy to help with titling, subtitling, or taglines, and can help with articles and columns as well. I would love to brainstorm about next steps for writing ministry in general. I’m also pumped to chat about your proposals, nonfiction (including devotionals) and fiction (YA is a yes, but no children’s).

Rhonda Rhea is Chief Acquisitions Officer and Author Liaison for Bold Vision Books publishing house. She is a multi-award-winning author of 20 books, and an award-winning humor columnist for HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway, and many more great magazines.


Cynthia Ruchti
[email protected]

Genre: fiction, nonfiction (except fantasy/speculative fiction and academic nonfiction)

Cynthia cut her teeth on both fiction and nonfiction through a radio broadcast she wrote and produced for 3 decades. So her interests lie in both fiction and nonfiction with the exceptions of fantasy/speculative fiction and academic nonfiction. As the author of more than 36 books, she brings to the table a history of crafting proposals, building relationships in the industry, both light and deep editing, and the writing life. As a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Management, she loves connecting strong projects with just the right publishing house for that project. She's had extensive experience polishing contract-winning proposals, brainstorming ideas, coaching writers in self-editing, and helping build her clients' careers. The challenge of turning an "almost ready" project into done-and-dusted is her jam.


Leslie Santamaria
[email protected]

Genre: Children’s projects (fiction and nonfiction): board books, picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adults novels, magazine pieces, and query letters.

Leslie is a long-time journalist and editor with more than 200 pieces published in periodicals and hundreds of books and magazine pieces edited for individuals, businesses, ministries, publishers, and government agencies. As a specialist in children’s literature, she holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing for Children from Spalding University. Her work for children has been published by Highlights, Spider, Pockets, Concordia Publishing House, and several family magazines. She coaches writers regularly and would love to help you with a specific project and/or mentor you in the craft and business of writing for kids. Please visit www.lesliesantamaria.com to learn more.


Cindy Sproles 
[email protected]

Genre: fiction, non-fiction, devotions, manuscripts (Only 4 appointments available)

Cindy Sproles has over twenty years of experience in the publishing industry. She’s an award-winning author and has served as Lead Editor and acquisitions for Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals. Now as an editor, mentor, and writing coach with Ironstream Media, Cindy works with Lori Marett forming the Writing Right Author Mentoring Services. Cindy is happy to work with you on your fiction or non-fiction manuscripts as well as with devotional manuscripts and single devotions. We can look at glaring issues that need to be repaired such as POV slips, show-don't-tell, and information overload. We can also work on character development, clarity in your work, and great hooks and cliff hangers.


Dan Walsh
[email protected]

Genre: Fiction (Full-length novels only). I'll review the first 3 chapters (up to 5,000 words), along with a 1-2 page synopsis that lets me know where the rest of the story is going (be sure to include the ending).

I've been writing fulltime since 2010 with 25 novels published (13 by major Christian publishers, 12 as an indie). I've won 3 Carol Awards (finalist 6 times) and the Selah Award multiple times. My novels have received over 20,000 reviews on Amazon (4.7 Star Avg). My strengths are creating characters readers start caring about on page 1, as well as page-turning suspense (even with my inspirational novels).


Tina Yeager
[email protected]

Genres: nonfiction, devotionals, speculative fiction, podcasting, video content creation, and psychological manuscript reviews

Tina Yeager is an award-winning author, podcast host, virtual event coordinator, head mentor for Word Weavers International, and publisher of Inkspirations Online, a weekly devotional publication by writers for writers. She enjoys event speaking and serving on the steering committee for Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Tina hosts the Flourish-Meant podcast and an active YouTube channel. She has created her own virtual events and online courses. As a licensed therapist and life coach, Yeager has supported best-selling authors by reviewing manuscripts for psychological authenticity. She loves supporting others to optimize their potential through video courses and in-person workshops. For life coaching, podcast episodes, speaking services, or full manuscript reviews, visit https://tinayeager.com


Erin Taylor Young
[email protected]

Genre: Fiction or nonfiction for YA and older audience. Craft evaluation, or evaluation of hooks, book descriptions, and marketing copy. 

Erin Taylor Young is an author, editor, podcaster, and speaker who’s taught workshops about writing and publishing at conferences across the country. Her previous experience as an acquisitions editor and co-managing editor for a small publishing company has given her an eye for spotting strengths and weaknesses in manuscripts, book descriptions, back cover copy, and hooks. Her work as a macro editor and writing mentor adds to that experience and capitalizes on her analytical skills to help writers create their best work. 

Erin is available to evaluate several pages of your fiction or nonfiction writing to help you create an organized plan to take your work to the next level. Or, if it’s marketing help you need, Erin can evaluate your hook, book description, or other marketing copy. Writing a great book is important, but so is attracting the right readers!