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Speakers and Worship Leaders

Keynote Speaker
James Watkins

Jim is an award-winning author of more than 20 books and 2,000 articles, who has spoken across the United States and overseas. He served as an editor and editorial director at Wesleyan Publishing House and as an editor with the American Bible Society; taught writing at Taylor University for 15 years; and guest-lectured at Liberty, Regent, and other universities. He is currently writing and speaking full-time, as well as editing for ACW Press and other clients. Jim's latest books are The Psalms of Asaph and an update of The Imitation of Christ.

Plenary Speaker
Tim Shoemaker

Tim is the author of 14 books, a popular speaker at conferences and schools around the country, and a regular contributor to Focus on the Family Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines. His books include Code of Silence series; Super Husband, Super Dad; Tried and True Job; and Smashed Tomatoes, Bottle Rockets ... and Other Outdoor Devotionals You Can Do with Your Kids. Booklist named his suspense Code of Silence in the "Top Ten Crime Novels for Youth." Tim is a Write-to-Publish alumnus who got his start in writing at the conference.

Banquet Speaker
Bethany Jett

Bethany is an award-winning author and ghostwriter, speaker, co-owner of Serious Writer, Inc., vice president of Platinum Literary Services, and an assistant acquisitions editor for Little Lamb Books, LLC. Her books include The Cinderella Rule: A Young Woman's Guide to Happily Ever After, the upcoming They Call Me Mom: 52 Encouraging Devotions for Every Moment, and a system of planners for writers and business owners. Plus her work has been featured in numerous publications, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game and ChristianityToday.com.

Worship and Devotional Leaders
Michelle Rayburn and Cynthia Ruchti

Michelle is the author of hundreds of articles and Bible studies and four books, including The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure and Jewel: A Parable About Living as a Precious Treasure. She is a speaker, freelance editor, and digital-marketing expert, as well as a singer and songwriter with the album His Autograph. Michelle got her start at Write-to-Publish and earned the Writer of the Year award in 2013.

Cynthia is an award-winning author, speaker, conference teacher, and member of the worship ministry at her church. In addition, she is an agent with Books & Such Literary Management and American Christian Fiction Writers' professional relations liaison. She is the author of more than 32 books, including Miles From Where We Started and As My Parents Age. She also contributed to a number of devotional books, including Mornings with Jesus series and the commentary or devotional sections of two Bibles.