SPEAKERS


Hugh Cook is emeritus professor of English at Redeemer University and earned an MFA from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. His poetry has been published in Canadian literary journals such as Quarry, Canadian Poetry, The Canadian Forum, Folio, and The University of Windsor Review. His stories have appeared in literary journals such as The Malahat Review, NeWest ReView, Wascana Review, Descant, Fiddlehead, and The Antigonish Review. His long works include the award-winning Heron River, The Homecoming Man, and Cracked Wheat. Hugh received the Leslie K. Tarr Award for outstanding contribution to Christian writing.

Leslie Leyland-Fields is an award-winning author of twelve books, an international speaker and writing teacher, and the founder of the Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop. She lives on two islands in Alaska, Kodiak and Harvester, where she works in commercial salmon fishing with her family and leads food retreats and writing workshops.


Linda Nemec Foster has published twelve collections of poetry including Amber Necklace from Gdansk, Talking Diamonds, and The Lake Michigan Mermaid (2019 Michigan Notable Book). Her work appears in magazines and journals such as The Georgia Review, Nimrod, New American Writing, North American Review, Verse Daily, and the 2022 Best Small Fictions Anthology. She has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and awards from Arts Foundation of Michigan, National Writer’s Voice, Dyer-Ives Foundation, The Poetry Center (NJ), Fish Anthology (Ireland), and Academy of American Poets. Her 2021 book, The Blue Divide, was published by New Issues Press. A new collection of flash fiction, Bone Country, is forthcoming in 2023. The first Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan (2003-2005), Foster is the founder of the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College.


Patrice Gopo is an award-winning essayist. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Catapult, Creative Nonfiction, and Charlotte Magazine. She is the author of All the Colors We Will See, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her debut picture book, All the Places We Call Home, will release in June 2022. Patrice lives with her family in North Carolina. Please visit www.patricegopo.com to learn more.


Kathleen Kerr is an editor, writer, and speaker. As an acquisitions editor for the nonfiction division at Harvest House Publishers, she works with new and bestselling authors, working to refine their messages and build their careers. Previously, she acquired children’s and tween books at Zondervan Publishing House, and worked as a bookseller at an independent bookstore. A graduate of Calvin University, Kerr speaks regularly at conferences around the country.

Maurice Manning is an award-winning poet and professor at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions, his first poetry collection, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. The collection, The Common Man, was a finalist in the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. His poetry appears in publications that include The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly, and The New Yorker.


Andy Rogers has been in the book industry since 2008. He is currently an editor at HarperCollins Christian Publishing. He is the author of four books and an award-winning short story writer. His writing has been published in Splickety Magazine, on DailyScienceFiction.com, and on ElectricLiterature.com. Find more musings about what he reads and writes on Instagram @ALRstories.

Jon M. Sweeney has authored more than forty books, including Saint Francis of Assisi and The Complete Francis of Assisi, used widely by Third Order Franciscans. He has served in different capacities from editor to publisher at Protestant, Jewish, Interfaith, and Catholic publishers since 1993 and is currently Editor at Large at Orbis Books and Contributing Editor for Books and New Media at SpiritualityandPractice.com. He’s been interviewed on CBS News, WGN-TV, Fox News, and CBS Saturday Morning, and HBO optioned the film rights to Sweeney's book on the medieval Pope Celestine V, The Pope Who Quit. A practicing Catholic, Sweeney prays regularly with his wife, a congregational rabbi. In 2021, Jon published Thomas Merton: An Introduction to His Life, Teachings, and Practices (St. Martin's Press) and Feed the Wolf (Broadleaf).


Dale Williams is an acquisitions editor for HarperCollins Christian Publishing. He has nearly ten years of publishing experience at three different Christian publishers. He holds an MDiv from Westminster Seminary California and seeks to acquire books that answer questions, deepen understanding, and show how to apply biblical truth to everyday life.

Vinita Hampton Wright has a thirty-year career as a book editor and author. She has presented retreats on creativity, writing, Ignatian spirituality, and prayer. An author of three novels and numerous nonfiction, she serves as a freelance editor and a spiritual director. Her work includes The Soul Tells a Story (InterVarsity Press) and The Art of Spiritual Writing (Loyola Press). Her latest book is Set the World on Fire: a 4-Week Personal Retreat with the Female Doctors of the Church (Ave Maria, 2022).