2014 Book Editors

Oregon Christian Writers is thrilled to introduce the wonderful book editors and publishing houses joining us for the 2014 summer conference. Pay particular attention to types/genres of writing editors want to acquire and note each editor’s preference:

Some book editors will review proposals before the conference through the Manuscript Submission Program.

Some will review exclusively at the conference.

See the Manuscript Submission link for general submission guidelines and information on how to submit mini-proposals (must be postmarked by July 15).

Chad R. Allen


  • Tuesday Lunch Keynote: “You Can Do It: An Editor’s Manifesto: How to Stay Motivated and Keep Moving Toward Publication”
  • Writing Center (Tuesday only)

Chad Allen is a writer, speaker, editor, and editorial director for Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, where he has worked for more than a decade. Baker Publishing Group, founded in 1939, is an independently owned Christian publisher—one of the largest in the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA). Chad has had the privilege of working with accomplished authors such as Mark Batterson, Larry Crabb, Alan Hirsch, Chip Ingram, Miles McPherson, Chris Seay, Phyllis Tickle, Warren Wiersbe, and N. T. Wright.

Chad’s insight into publishing and the writing craft is deep, and he is highly sought after to share his thoughts with others both in the field and abroad. He was featured in Christian Retailing’s “Forty under 40” report and has written articles for Conversations, Radix, RELEVANT, and PRISM. Chad enjoys connecting with writers at all levels through his blog at www.ChadRAllen.com, where he spurs dynamic conversations about writing, publishing, life, and creativity. Chad is also the author of Do Your Art: A Manifesto on Rejecting Apathy to Bring Your Best to the World.

Chad holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and a master’s in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife, Alyssa, live with their two children in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hear more from Chad on his blog, or by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

Baker Books is looking for:

Nonfiction Christian living books with authors who have established platforms. A quick way to gauge whether or not you have a platform is to ask: If we shipped 5,000 books to your garage, could you move them? The number one reason we turn books down is lack of platform, but apart from this we’re looking for compelling concepts and excellent writing.

Chad will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.

Sherrie Ashcraft


Sherrie Ashcraft is the president of Ashberry Lane Publishing, a traditional small press she and her daughter, Christina Tarabochia, formed last year. The two have co-authored a contemporary women’s novel, On the Threshold, which is a finalist in the Cascade Awards this year. Sherrie works part time as the women’s ministry director in her church and loves to relax by reading and pulling weeds, though not necessarily at the same time. She is the mother of two, grandmother of eight, and great-grandma of one.Sherrie has overseen the release of four books in the first year of the fledgling company, with a handful more already contracted. Find out more about Ashberry Lane Publishing at www.ashberrylane.com.

Ashberry Lane is looking for:

“Heartfelt Tales of Faith”—Sherrie is looking for well-written Contemporary or Historical novels, including those that can’t find a place at a larger publisher because of genre limitations or foreign settings. Also looking for reverted-rights books from established authors who want to bring new life to their stories.

Sherrie will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.

Kim Bangs



  • Coaching Class: From Idea to Print: Bringing Your Nonfiction Book to Life
  • Workshop: To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish? That Is a Question
  • Book Editor Panel
  • Writing Center

For more than 25 years, Kim Bangs has served in the Christian publishing industry. Beginning as an editor in the children’s curriculum department at Gospel Light, she went on to serve as the Publishing Director for Regal (the book division of Gospel Light). Recently, Kim joined the Baker Publishing Group as a Senior Acquisitions Editor with the Bethany House and Chosen Divisions. In 2012 Kim was awarded Editor of the Year by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She also can be found at several writers’ conferences throughout the year doing all she can to inspire and encourage writers to write their passion and keep pressing on. She enjoys baking, gardening, Disneyland, and sports . . . but loves Jesus and His church. Kim’s experience is with nonfiction that engages culture—outside and inside the church—in meaningful, relevant dialogue in books that strongly apply the Bible to life, encourage a deeper Christian life, and move toward justice for all of life.

Kim will be available to meet with authors in the Writing Center.

Steve Barclift 


  • Book Editor Panel
  • Writing Center

Steve Barclift has been involved in the Christian publishing industry for more than 25 years. He was the founding managing editor of Christian Parenting Today magazine before accepting a book-editing position with Questar Publishers (now part of WaterBrook Multnomah) in 1989. He was a senior editor with Questar/Multnomah for several years and has been managing editor at Kregel Publications since 1997. A children’s-book author, Steve received an Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) Gold Medallion Award for The Beginner’s Devotional. Steve and his family live near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Kregel Publications is looking for:

Works that address a popular audience by relating the Bible to everyday life. Prominent on this list are works for moms and women, Bible studies or other books that relate truth to life, fiction, and books for young readers. We’re also looking for books that will help 20-something Christians and “seekers” relate to the culture around them.

A category that does particularly well for us is self-help. Two examples of books that are selling well are Hope After Betrayal by Meg Wilson, which deals with a husband’s sexual addiction; and Autism’s Hidden Blessings: Discovering God’s Promises for Autistic Children and Their Families by Kelly Langston.

We are publishing less fiction now. In general, fiction should be fresh, have a believable story line, and feature characters who engage life realistically and biblically. In something of a departure for us, we are interested in looking at historical fiction that features a romantic element. We aren’t interested in seeing proposals for contemporary adult fiction or suspense at this time.

While it would need to be exceptionally strong, we are willing to consider fiction for older teens and young adults.

We are not interested in receiving picture-book proposals unless the author is also an illustrator. We would consider making an exception in the case of an unusually strong manuscript that meets a need in the marketplace.

For our Kregel Ministry line we are looking for works that facilitate the study and teaching of the Bible. These books should reflect the needs and interests of a broad evangelical audience.

Steve will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.

Jessica Barnes


  • Workshop: All for One, One for All: Writing for Multi-Author Fiction Series
  • Book Editor Panel
  • Writing Center

Jessica Barnes has worked with inspirational fiction her entire career. She spent six years at WaterBrook Multnomah working on award-winning titles, took a gap year teaching English in China, and is now the Editor of Series Fiction at Guideposts Books.

At Guideposts Books, we create our own series concepts and novel plots, which means I’m not acquiring individual projects. I am, however, always looking for new authors to join our team. We typically work solely through agents, but authors interested in writing for our continuity series are welcome to meet with me to learn more.

Jessica will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.

Rochelle Carter


  • Writing Center Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Editor Panel Tuesday

Rochelle Carter is the publisher at Ellechor Media LLC, an award-winning publishing company with three imprints. She is the author of The 7-Step Guide to Authorpreneurship (EverFaith Press, June 2014), a book designed to educate authors so they can have a successful writing career. Her book is widely endorsed by best-selling authors and industry professionals.

Rochelle has received national recognition for her leadership and professional achievements,including the 2014 Stiletto Woman In Business Award for Entrepreneur of the Year after being a double finalist and being named a Woman of Outstanding Leadership by the International Women’s Leadership Association.

Ellechor imprints have published more than 40 books in less than three years, 98 percent of which enjoy four-star or higher Amazon ratings. Books published by Ellechor have been finalists in various competitions and won a variety of awards, including the 2014 Selah Award for First Book, the 2013 Best Christian Fiction, and 2013 Best Plot by Christian Book Review Blog. Ellechor published OCW member Jennifer Anne Messing’s book, Morning’s Promise: Poetic Moments in His Presence, which was a finalist in the 2013 International Book Awards for Inspirational Poetry.

Ellechor practices “Creative Publishing,” which means that, while they retain final decision rights because of the risk they take with each author, they also require author input in the editing, design, and marketing process. The ideal author has already begun building an author platform and generating interest. Ellechor is open to editorial feedback and has a notable online presence.

Ellechor is looking for Mystery/Suspense, Romantic Mystery/Suspense, and re-imaginings of stories from the Bible.

Rochelle will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.

Nick Harrison 


  • Workshop: How Publishers Choose What to Publish . . . and What to Reject
  • Book Editor Panel
  • Writing Center

Nick Harrison is a senior editor at Harvest House Publishers in Eugene, Oregon. He’s the author of 10 books, including Power in the Promises, Magnificent Prayer, and His Victorious Indwelling. Nick and his wife, Beverly, are the parents of three adult daughters. They have four grandchildren.

Harvest House is looking for:

Fiction—almost exclusively historical romance. Amish, Western, Southern, and Civil War are all fine, but must include a romantic element.

Nonfiction—books that help people with felt needs. Preferably the author will have a platform from which to promote the book.

Not looking for gift books, personal stories, Bible exposition, or daily devotionals.

Nick will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.

Terri Kalfas


  • Workshop: Writing Bible Studies in a Changing Market
  • Workshop: How to Write Curriculum Worth Teaching
  • Book Editor Panel
  • Writing Center

Terri Kalfas began her career in Christian publishing more than 27 years ago as an editorial assistant. Before that she worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance writer, managing editor, and editor. Her goal is to publish biblically based resources that challenge, encourage, teach, equip, and entertain Christians young and old in their personal journeys.

Grace Publishing is looking for:

Bible study guides/devotionals/Christian Living/Christian fiction/YA fiction/pastoral resources.

Terri will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.

Christina Tarabochia


  • Workshop: And Now . . . the “Rest” of the Story: Searching for a Sabbath
  • Host, Book Editor and Magazine Editor panels
  • Writing Center

Christina Tarabochia (ter-uh-bach-ee-uh) holds a bachelor’s degree in literature, yet loves a good calculus problem as well. Captain of a winning Family Feud team, Christina is also a purple belt in tae kwon do and would love to own a descented skunk. Her debut novel, The Familiar Stranger, was a 2010 Christy Finalist and Carol Award winner. Mom of five and married to a prince found on eHarmony, she ran a thriving editing business before starting her newest venture—publishing. As publisher at Ashberry Lane, she has overseen the release of four books in the first year of the fledgling company, with a handful more already contracted. Find out more about her at www.christinatarabochia.com or www.ashberrylane.com

Ashberry Lane is looking for:

“Heartfelt Tales of Faith”—any genre of fiction for Middle Grade up to Adult. Especially interested in completed, well-written novels that can’t find a place at a larger publisher because of genre limitations or foreign settings. Also looking for reverted-rights books from established authors who want to bring new life to their stories.

Christina will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.

Check Also

Summer Conference Revisited: “Writing with God: Take Heart”

Our many prayers of the last year were answered as more than 205 writers, staff, and faculty gathered to worship, study, and fellowship at the OCW Summer Conference in Portland, August 4–7. One-third of our conferees were first-time attendees, and conferees came from all across the country. Our numbers grew to almost 250 during the Wednesday evening Cascade Awards.