Faculty2020-02-21T13:13:25+00:00

Faculty

Presenting our amazing 2020 team.  (Subject to Change)

Laurel Blount  New for 2020

Laurel Blount writes contemporary Christian romance for Love Inspired/Harlequin and is currently working on an upcoming series of Amish romances for Berkley/Penguin/Random House. She’s been a finalist for the Carol Award and the Holt Medallion and is the recipient of the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence.

Laurel lives in Georgia with her husband of 32 years, their four children, and an assortment of spoiled animals. She divides her time between farm chores, homeschooling, and writing. Whenever she’s not working, you’ll find Laurel with a cup of tea at her elbow, a cat in her lap, and a good book in her hand!

Website: www.laurelblountbooks.com

Dan Walsh

Lynn DeShazo, Praise & Worship Leader  Returning for 2020

Lynn DeShazo is the author of some of the Church’s most loved worship songs, many of which have been featured on the live praise and worship recordings produced by Integrity Music. She is best known for such songs as “Ancient Words,” “More Precious Than Silver,” “Lead Me to the Rock,” “Turn My Heart,” “Be Magnified,” and “Be Unto Your Name.”  Lynn has been involved in ministry on the local church level for over thirty years as a worship leader, a songwriter, and a teacher. She was an exclusive songwriter for Integrity Media for twenty-two years. She’s also produced ten of her own music recordings to date and a book, More Precious Than Silver: The God Stories Behind the Songs of Lynn DeShazo.

Tessa Emily Hall  New for 2020

Tessa Emily Hall is an award-winning author who writes inspirational yet authentic books for teens to remind them they’re not alone. She writes both fiction and devotionals for teens, including her upcoming release, LOVE YOUR SELFIE (March 2020, Ellie Claire). Tessa’s passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens led her to a career as a Literary Agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint), and Founder/Editor of PursueMagazine.net. She’s guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 128 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, decorating art journals, and acting in Christian films. Her favorite way to procrastinate is through connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website.

Tessa will be taking pitches for Cyle Young Literary Elite and Illuminate YA. For CYLE, she is looking to represent non-fiction projects for both the Christian and general markets. This includes devotionals, Christian Living, and self-help. She is not interested in memoirs. For Illuminate YA, Tessa is interested in YA projects that are geared toward the general market and encompass all sub-genres (except horror and LGBTQ+). She will consider MG fiction for Illuminate as well.
Website: www.tessaemilyhall.com

John Herring

John Herring is the CEO of Iron Stream Media. John has been serving churches and Christian entities for 35 plus years. He continues to support the work of the church in the areas of publishing, curriculum development, strategic thinking/planning, discipleship, staff development, mentoring, and connecting the dots between ministries and people. He is also an entrepreneur, having started several small businesses. John can see the potential of connections everywhere, especially between ministries and ministry suppliers. His favorite discussions include his Lord, his family (especially his new grandson, Westin), missions, business as ministry, and coffee.

Iron Stream Media is an emerging media company, which now holds Life Bible Study, a “direct to church” provider of curriculum and discipleship materials, and New Hope Publishers, a traditional trade publisher. In the fall of 2019, Iron Stream acquired Lighthouse Christian Publishing of the Carolinas. John and his team are busily assimilating and restructuring the company for the recent acquisition.

Iron Stream Media derives its name from Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” This sharpening describes the process of discipleship, one to another. With this in mind, Iron Stream Media provides a variety of solutions for churches, missionaries and non-profits ranging from in-depth Bible study curriculum, Christian book publishing to custom publishing and consultative services. Through our popular Life Bible Study, Student Life Bible Study, and New Hope brands, we provide web-based full-year and short-term Bible study teaching plans as well as printed devotionals, Bibles, and discipleship curriculum.

Websites: ironstreammedia.com, newhopepublishers.com, lpcbooks.com.

Bob Hostetler  Returning for 2020

Bob Hostetler is a forty-year veteran of Christian publishing. He has been a writer, magazine editor, freelance book editor, and author of fifty books, both fiction and non-fiction. A frequent speaker at retreats  seminars, and writers conferences around the world, he has encouraged and coached numerous writers to publishing success. His books have been awarded the ECPA’s Gold Medallion and the Selah Awards Book of the Year, among others. He is also the Executive Editor for The Christian Writers Institute (christianwritersinstitute.com).

Bob is an Ohio native, ordained minister, and Cincinnati Reds fan. He has been married for forty-one years to the lovely Robin, his teenage sweetheart and ministry partner; together they have pastored four churches (though not all at once) and were foster parents to ten teen boys (though not all at once). They make their home in the Cincinnati area. Bob has helped (more or less) to raise two perfect children, Aubrey and Aaron, who have given him and Robin five perfect grandchildren.

Susan King Returning for 2020

While serving 24 years as an editor for The Upper Room magazine, Susan King began teaching at what has now reached over one hundred Christian writers’ conferences in the U.S. and Canada. Her professional life has also included teaching English and feature-writing classes at Lipscomb University, Biola University, and Abilene Christian University for a total of over 27 years. Early in her career, she served as book editor and radio-program producer/on-air talent for The Institute of Scriptural Psychology, wrote magazine features as a freelance writer, and functioned as a seminar facilitator in leadership and group dynamics. Susan and husband, Joe, live in Tennessee and have three grown children, two grandchildren, two foster grandchildren, and two “grandchildren-in-law.”

Ask her about the assignment for submissions to the next book in her Short and Sweet series.

Julie Lavender   New for 2020

Julie Lavender won a spot in the 2014 Guideposts Writing Contest and has since published in four of their publications. She writes faith-based articles, features, and news events for her hometown newspaper, and blogs for three homeschooling sites, Just18Summers.com, and TheWriteConversation. Julie’s non-fiction parenting book with Revell comes out in 2020 and a co-authored Christmas devotional with Michelle Cox, published by BroadStreet Publishing, debuted in 2019.

Jill Roman Lord  New for 2020

Jill Roman Lord is an award-winning author of over twenty children’s books, including the 2019 Selah Book of the Year award for That Grand Easter Day! She loves celebrating Jesus and hopes her writing will help others celebrate him, as well. She lives in Charlotte, NC and enjoys traveling with her husband of over 30 years, visiting her three adult children wherever they may be, and running with her Golden Retriever, Poppie.

Susan Neal  Returning for 2020

Susan Neal RN, MBA, MHS, lives her life with a passion to help others improve their health so they can serve God better. She is a Certified Advanced Writer and Speaker Coach. To help authors market their books she created the Serious Writer Academy course, “How to Sell 1000 Books in Three Months.”

Susan is the author of six healthy living books. Her best-seller 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates, a Selah award winner, sold over 5000 copies in its first fourteen months. The sequel Christian Study Guide for 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates won the 2019 Directors Choice award. The third book in the series, Healthy Living Journal, won the Golden Scrolls award “2019 Best Inspirational Gift Book.”
Website:  SusanUNeal.com

Kim Sawyer  Returning for 2020

In 1966, Kim Vogel Sawyer told her kindergarten teacher that someday people would check out her book in libraries. That little-girl dream came true in 2006 with the release of Waiting for Summer’s Return. Since then, Kim has watched God expand her dream beyond her childhood imaginings. With almost 50 titles on library shelves and more than a 1.5 million copies of her books in print worldwide, she enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Empty-nesters, Kim and her retired military husband, Don, live in small-town Kansas, the setting for many of Kim’s novels. When she isn’t writing, Kim stays active serving in her church’s women’s and music ministries, traveling with “The Hubs,” and spoiling her quiverful of granddarlings.

Website: www.KimVogelSawyer.com

Kathi Macias

James Watkins  Returning for 2020

​​Jim is the author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles​ with three books winning Christian Retailer’s Choice awards and another winning a Campus Life “Book of the Year.” He has served as an editor and editorial director winning five Evangelical Press Association awards for his work. Jim taught writing at Taylor University for fifteen years. He has spoken​ ​throughout the United States, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe—in churches, conferences and colleges such as Liberty and Regent Universities. He loves God, his family (one wife, two adult children and five grand grandchidren), writing and speaking, and Chinese food–in that order.
Website: www.jameswatkins.com

Denise Weimer  New for 2020

Denise Weimer writes historical and contemporary romance and romantic suspense set in her home state of Georgia. She’s authored over nine novels and a number of novellas. As a managing editor at Smitten Historical Romance and Heritage Beacon Historical Fiction, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, she also helps others reach their publishing dreams. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.

Denise will be taking pitches for all lines of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas with a focus on historicals. She will also take pitches for contemporary romance and women’s fiction.
Email: editor@smittenromance.com

Lenora Worth  Returning for 2020

A member of the Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers Honor Rolls, Lenora Worth writes romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin’s Love Inspired and sweet romance for Tule Publishing. Her books havefinaled in the ACFW Carol Awards.She also received the Romantic TimesPioneer Award for Inspirational Fiction. Lenora is a NY Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling writer and a 2019 RWA RITA® Finalist.With eighty-plusbooks published and over three million books in print, she enjoys adventures with her retired husband and loves reading, baking and shopping … especially shoe shopping.

Reagan Jackson  New for 2020

Reagan Jackson is an editor at Iron Stream Media. She edits nonfiction and fiction trade books, Bible studies, and devotionals for the Iron Stream imprints New Hope Publishers, Iron Stream Books, Ascender Books, New Hope Kidz, and Iron Herring. Previously Reagan served as a copy editor for the national Woman’s Missionary Union and as assistant editor for Innovate Mississippi’s Pointe Innovation magazine.

We’ll be taking pitches for fiction and trade nonfiction. For fiction, we’re most interested in the suspense, romantic suspense, speculative, and women’s fiction genres. For nonfiction, we’re interested in personal growth, Bible studies, and spiritual growth. No memoirs or devotionals at this time.

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