Mentor Appointments: Focus on the Next Step

Meet face-to-face with an experienced author and get next-step career advice

Meet face-to-face with an experienced author and get next-step career advice
Meet face-to-face with an experienced author and get next-step career advice

We are pleased to offer half-hour career mentoring appointments in our Writing Center, where you can sit face-to-face with an experienced professional author to ask advice about craft, marketing, goal-setting, or the business of writing. Mentoring appointments are not just for new authors. A writer can benefit from wise counsel at any stage of his or her career. An appointment might include a brief prayer, if requested. At the beginning of July, all registered full-time conferees will receive an email asking for their first, second, and third choices for mentors. Only one mentor appointment will be given to each conferee who requests one. What to bring to the appointment: Several pages of your writing if you have craft questions—plus your answers to the following critical questions. Be specific. This will tell your mentor where you are in your writing career and provide insight on how to best help you.

  1. What kind of writing are you doing right now?
  2. How long have you been writing?
  3. What do you want to achieve with your writing?
  4. What is the biggest thing preventing you from achieving that goal?
  5. How can your mentor help you today?

Meet Your Mentors

Lynn Austin, historical fiction—www.lynnaustin.org

Lynn Austin
Lynn Austin
  • Coaching Class: Aiming for Excellence in Historical Fiction
  • Mentor
Lynn Austin, a former teacher, has been writing fulltime since 1992 and has penned 12 books. Her novel Hidden Places was made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Lynn was recently inducted into the Christy Award Hall of Fame for winning eight Christy Awards. She also has a nonfiction book, Pilgrimage, about her spiritual journey through the land of Israel. Her most recent novels are her biblical fiction series, The Restoration Chronicles, which draw from the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

Karen Barnett, historical fiction—www.karenbarnettbooks.com

Karen Barnet
Karen Barnett
  • Mentor: Writing Center
An OCW success story, her first book contract came after meeting with an editor at the 2011 summer conference. Now the author of four published novels (Mistaken, Out of the Ruins, Beyond the Ashes, and her newest release Through the Shadows), Karen has recently signed a three-book contract with Waterbrook Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Oregon Christian Writers honored her with the Writer of Promise award in 2013 and a Cascade Award in 2014. This past March she received the 2016 Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference Writer of the Year award. Karen and her husband, Steve, live in Albany with their son and daughter.

James Scott Bell, fictionhttp://jamesscottbell.com

James Scott Bell.JPEG

 James Scott Bell is the author of the #1 bestseller for writers, Plot & Structure, and numerous thrillers, including Try Dying, Try Darkness, Try Fear (the Ty Buchanan legal suspense series) Don’t Leave Me, Final Witness and Blind Justice. His novella One More Lie was the first self-published work to be nominated for an International Thriller Writers Award. He served as the fiction columnist for Writer’s Digest magazine. His most recent writing books are How to Write Dazzling Dialogue, Write Your Novel From the Middle, Super Structure, and How to Make a Living as a Writer.  Jim has taught writing at Pepperdine University and at numerous writers’ conferences in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied writing with Raymond Carver, and graduated with honors from the University of Southern California Law Center.

 Melanie Dobson, fiction—http://melaniedobson.com

  • Workshop: Why Bad Things Must Happen to Good Characters
  • Mentor: Writing Center
Melanie Dobson
Melanie Dobson
Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of 16 historical, romance, and suspense novels, including Chateau of Secrets and Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor. Three of her novels have won Carol Awards, Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010, and The Black Cloister won the ForeWord Religious Fiction Book of the Year. When she isn’t writing, Melanie enjoys teaching both writing and public relations classes at George Fox University. Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with work, the Dobson family has settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to hike and camp in both the mountains and along the Pacific Coast. Melanie also enjoys exploring ghost towns and abandoned homes, practicing yoga, helping care for kids in her community, and reading stories with her girls.

Marion Duckworth, nonfiction—http://marionduckworthministries.com

Marion Duckworth
Marion Duckworth
  • Prayer Team
  • Mentor: Writing
Marion Duckworth, a past president of OCW, is the author of 17 books, curricula, and hundreds of articles. A former columnist for Power for Living, she has spoken widely and has been a frequent guest on various media. Marion and her husband, John, spent 11 years as Village Missionaries and later established Abiding Ministry, a free counseling service. Marion has worked as a book doctor and editor and invites conferees to let her help them. She is also a member of the OCW Prayer Team. This is Marion’s fifth year as a mentor at the summer conference.

Traci Hilton, mystery, blogging, marketing—www.tracihilton.com

Tracy Hilton
Tracy Hilton
  • Coaching Class: Tricks Rich Indies Use
  • Mentor: Writing Center
Traci Tyne Hilton is the author of The Plain Jane Mysteries, The Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries, and the Tillgiven Romantic Mysteries. She has been involved in indie publishing since 2010, and though she’s had offers from small and large presses she hasn’t gone hybrid yet. She was the Mystery/Suspense Category winner for the 2012 Christian Writers of the West Phoenix Rattler Contest, a finalist for Speculative Fiction in the same contest, and has a Drammy from the Portland Civic Theatre Guild. She blogs at www.TheWriteConversation.blogspot.com, and www.CozyMysteryMagazine.com.Traci attended Fackelbararnas Bibelskola in Holsby Brunn, Sweden, and earned a degree in history from Portland State University.

Angela Hunt, fiction, nonfiction, children’s—www.angelahuntbooks.com

Angela Hunt
Angela Hunt
  • Coaching Class: Lessons from the Front
  • Mentor: Writing Center
  • Keynote (Thursday)
Angela Hunt writes for readers who expect the unexpected in novels. With more than four million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 125 works, ranging from picture books to nonfiction books to novels. She also holds a doctorate of Biblical Studies in Theology. Her books have won the coveted Christy Award, several Angel Awards from Excellence in Media, and the Gold and Silver Medallions from Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. In 2007, her novel The Note was featured as a Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel. Romantic Times Book Club presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

 Hillary Manton Lodge, historical and contemporary fiction—hillarymantonlodge.com

Hillary Manton Lodge
Hillary Manton Lodge
  • Workshop: Meant to Be: Writing Romances That Work
  • Mentor: Writing Center (Tuesday)
Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of Reservations for Two, A Table by the Window, and INSPY Award Finalist, Plain Jayne, also a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara, an ECPA Best-selling book. A storyteller at heart, in her free time she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, and exploring her most recent hometown of Vancouver, Washington. She shares her home with her husband, Danny, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Shiloh and Sylvie.

Maxine Marsolini, nonfiction

Maxine Marsolini
Maxine Marsolini

http://www.rebuildingfamilies.net

  • Mentor: Writing Center
Maxine Marsolini is an author, life coach, and co-host of KRVR “The River” blog talk radio. She has a passion for helping others reach their God-given potential. She is the author of Rebuilding Families One Dollar at a Time (with Charlie Marsolini, CPA), Raising Children in Blended Families, Blended Families, and the Blended Families Workbook, and the newly released Mother’s Fury. Maxine received life coach training at Western Seminary and is a lay member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. She is considered a valued resource for family matters and her tried and tested ideas can be found in articles appearing in magazines, blogs, and compilation books. Maxine is also a monthly columnist for The Christian Journal and the East County Gazette.

James L. Rubart, fiction and marketing—http://jimrubart.com

James L. Rupart
James L. Rubart
  • Coaching Class: Book Quest: One Idea’s Epic Adventure to Becoming a Novel
  • Mentor: (Premium coaching class students)
James L. Rubart is the best-selling and Christy award-winning author of six novels. His novels have been nominated for three Carol Awards and two Christys, and his novel Rooms won the Romantic Times Book Reviews Inspirational Novel of the Year as well as a USA Book of the Year Award. In 2013, his novel Soul’s Gate, won both a Christy and an INSPY Award. He’s also a professional speaker and a marketer who helps businesses and authors make more coin of the realm. In his free time he dirt-bikes, hikes, golfs, takes photos, and occasionally does sleight of hand. No, he doesn’t sleep much. He lives with his amazing wife in the Pacific Northwest and still thinks he’s young enough to waterski like a madman. They have two young adult sons. This is Jim’s sixth year as a mentor at the summer conference.

Gail Sattler, fiction—www.gailsattler.com

Gail Sattler
Gail Sattler
  • Worship Team
  • Mentor: Writing Center
Gail Sattler is the author of more than 30 novels and novellas with Barbour Publishing, Love Inspired, B&H, and Abingdon Press. Gail lives in Vancouver, BC (Canada, eh!), with her husband, three sons, two dogs, and a lizard who is quite cuddly for a reptile. When she’s not writing (or at her day job), Gail enjoys making music with a local jazz band, where she plays electric bass, and a community orchestra, where she plays upright string bass. When she’s not writing or making music, Gail likes to sit back with hot coffee and read a book written by someone else. Gail is the coordinator for OCW’s online critique groups. This will be Gail’s fourth year as a mentor at the summer conference.

Poppy Smith, speaking and nonfiction—www.poppysmith.com

Poppy Smith
Poppy Smith
  • Workshop: Put Some Sizzle in Your Speaking! (public speaking)
  • Mentor: Writing Center
With her warm personality and passion for communicating truth, Poppy Smith inspires listeners to thrive spiritually, personally, and relationally. In addition to being a popular speaker, Poppy is an award-winning author whose six books help women live spiritually successful and fulfilling lives. Her twice-monthly blog, THRIVE, is regularly read by 1,000 women across the globe and can be seen on her website. Poppy is a former Bible Study Fellowship teacher, has a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Direction, and loves to teach the Word, coach, motivate, and help others see the potential God has placed in them for His purposes.

Sally Stuart, nonfiction—http://stuartmarket.com

Sally Stuart
Sally Stuart
  • Book Giveaways
  • Mentor: Writing Center
Sally Stuart founded and edited the annual Christian Writers’ Market Guide for 26 years. She has been a freelance writer for more than 45 years and is the author of another dozen books. Her latest book, The Writing World Defined—A to Z: A Writer’s Encyclopedia, was released at the end of 2014. Sally has spoken at conferences across the country for more than 35 years and is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association Golden Scroll Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sarah Thebarge, memoir and devotionals—www.sarahthebarge.com

Sarah Thebarge
Sarah Thebarge
  • Coaching Class:The Healing Power of Your Story
  • Mentor: Writing Center
Sarah Thebarge, author of the memoir The Invisible Girls, has also written for The Huffington Post, Relevant Magazine, and Christianity Today. The Invisible Girls was chosen as the “First Year Experience” book for incoming freshman at Mississippi State University, where Sarah delivered the convocation in 2014. She has also spoken at colleges, retreats, churches, and conferences, including Donald Miller’s Storyline Conference. She was named one of 40 Women Under 40 who are challenging taboos of the Christian faith through the “I Speak For Myself” initiative. She also served as a spokesperson for Vanity Fair Lingerie’s “Women Who Do” campaign, which featured women who made a positive difference in their communities, and is a spokesperson for Compassion International.

Susan May Warren, fiction—www.susanmaywarren.com

Susan May Warren
Susan May Warren
  • Coaching Class: Book Quest: One Idea’s Epic Adventure to Becoming a Novel
  • Mentor: (Premium class students)
Susan May Warren is the Christy, RITA, and Carol Award-winning author of more than 45 novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill, and Summerside Press. Two-time Christy winner, RITA winner, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the ACFW Carol Award. A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the book, Conversations with a Writing Coach. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors get published . . . and stay published! This is Susan’s sixth year as a mentor at the summer conference.

Jill Williamson, young adult fiction/all genres—www.jillwilliamson.com

Jill Williamson
Jill Williamson
  • Workshop: Weaving in Theme
  • Mentor: Writing Center
Jill Williamson is a chocolate-loving, daydreaming creator of kingdoms and the award-winning author of a dozen fantasy novels. She got into writing one day when someone was complaining about teen books and she thought, “I could do that! How hard could it be?” Very, she soon learned. But she worked hard, and four years later, her first book, By Darkness Hid, was published and won several awards, including the Christy Award. Jill is the product of Oregon Christian Writers conferences, where she sold four of her novels, met her agent, and won a Cascade Award for her novel The New Recruit. That long history made receiving the OCW 2015 Trailblazer Award even more special. Jill is a Whovian, a Photoshop addict, and a recovering fashion design assistant, who was raised in Alaska. She loves teaching about writing, which she does weekly at www.GoTeenWriters.com. She lives in Washington with her husband and two children.

Julie Zander, journalism and memory books—http://www.chaptersoflife.com

  • Cascade Awards Co-Chair
  • Mentor: Writing Center
Julie McDonald Zander
Julie McDonald Zander, compiler of the summer conference notebook and co-chair of the OCW Cascade Writing Contest, served for three years as OCW’s newsletter editor and is now the OCW photographer. She worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years before launching her personal history business, Chapters of Life, in 1999. She has published more than 50 personal, company, and community histories. In addition to running her self-publishing company, Julie writes a weekly column for The Chronicle in Centralia, Washington. She and her husband, Larry, live in Toledo, Washington. They have two children, Paul, who is attending the University of Washington, and 15-year-old Nora, a budding writer. This is Julie’s third year as a mentor at the summer conference.

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