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SDCWC 2014

Words From Our Community

2014 Faculty

Cheri Cowell

Cheri Cowell, an accomplished speaker and author with more than 300 articles in such magazines as Marriage Partnership and The Lookout, draws upon nearly 22 years in both professional and lay Christian ministry and a Masters degree in theology from Asbury Theological Seminary to address the unspoken questions of faith. Through her books, Direction: Discernment for the Decisions of Your Life and See For Yourself: 52 Weeks of Devotion, and with her Following God™ Bible study on the New Testament parables, Cheri challenges her readers to build their lives upon a solid and firm foundation—the word and character of God.

However, it is through her work in Word Weavers and through teaching at writers conferences that Cheri is able to make her largest impact for the kingdom. Says Cheri, “I’m able to give back what I’ve been so generously given. By encouraging writers to share their passions and gifts with excellence, I’m able to impact the kingdom exponentially.”

Joyce Ellis

Not long into her writing career, people in the writing and publishing industry began to encourage Joyce to pass along her insights and writing skills in workshops at writers conferences and seminars. Later, Jerry Jenkins (author of the Left Behind series) invited her to serve as a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild (CWG) correspondence courses. Over the years she has shepherded scores of writers through several of the courses the CWG offers. "It's a great way for people interested in writing to get started or grow in their writing skills with personal feedback from a seasoned writer assigned to them," Joyce says.

She now serves as contributing editor to the Christian Communicator magazine, writing a monthly grammar column called "Your Writing GPS" (Grammar, Punctuation, and Style). A couple of those articles are available for purchase in the store, and another is yours for free!

Joyce teaches at writers conferences and seminars across the country and internationally, and has also served as assistant director for the Write-to-Publish Conference on the Wheaton College campus (Chicago area) every June. She is the editorial assistant for Prayer Connect too, as well as a Gold Medallion Book Award and EPA Higher Goals Award recipient.

Jim Hart

Jim Hart is a musician/songwriter/worship leader with an ever-growing library of fictional titles, as well as books on Christian growth, ministry, and biographies of the Heroes of the Faith.

Jim is looking for authors who can write unique and engaging fictional suspense, romance, women’s fiction, spiritual warfare, YA, and some sci-fi. He is also interested in some nonfiction regarding church growth, Christian living, and self-help. Keep in mind that nonfiction topics require a certain level of credentials, experience and expertise.

Philippians 4:8 is the filter in which Jim uses to select any material “….whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Jim gets excited when Christians use their creative spark to fire the imagination of others. He is also passionate about the local church, its role in the community, and in seeing people becoming mature followers of Christ. Jim is a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God, and serves part-time as worship pastor in his local church in southwestern Pennsylvania. He holds a degree in production journalism and worked for twenty years in direct mail advertising before taking a job with an urban social services agency, where he worked for twelve years. All during his professional career, Jim has served with the local church doing youth ministry and music/worship ministry.

Lin Johnson

Lin Johnson is a full-time freelancer, whose business includes editing, writing, proofreading, and training. She is managing editor of Christian Communicator, a monthly magazine for writers and speakers; Advanced Christian Writer, a bimonthly newsletter for published authors; and Church Libraries, a quarterly magazine for church and Christian school librarians. She also proofs and edits for Friends of Israel, owns and directs the Write-to-Publish Conference in the Chicago area, and teaches at writers' conferences around the world. 

The author of more than 70 books, Lin specializes in Bible curriculum and is a Gold Medallion Book Award and an EPA Higher Goals award recipient. Her books include Everything the Bible Says about Money, The Smart Guide to the Bible: John, Encouraging Others, Christian Education: Foundations for the Future (co-editor), 2 Timothy & Titus: Fighting the Good Fight and 1 Timothy: Standing Firm (with John Stott), Mark and Ephesians (with N. T. Wright), and the Extracting the Precious series of Bible studies (with Donna Partow). She has also contributed to several books, including A Complete Guide to Writing for Publication and The NIV Quiet Time Bible.

She has a B.A. in Christian education from Cedarville University, a B.A. in Bible-theology from Moody Bible Institute, and an M.S. in adult and continuing education from National-Louis University. Lin is also a former special instructor of Christian education at Moody Bible Institute and a current adjunct professor of writing at Taylor University.

Anne Slanina

Anne is the author of The Adventures of Annie Mouse children’s books, which include a chapter book:  Annie Mouse’s Route 66 Family Vacation, and five picture books:  Annie Mouse Meets her Guardian Angel,  Baby Brother Goes to the Hospital, Annie Mouse Meets a New Friend, Where the Rainbow Touches Ground, and Annie Mouse’s Route 66 Adventure: A Photo Journal. 

She is an associate professor of early childhood education at Slippery Rock University and previously taught in several schools in the Youngstown and Cleveland areas.  Anne holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Kent State University, a Master’s degree in Reading Education from Youngstown State University and degrees in elementary education and early childhood education.  You can learn more about her on her website: www.anniemousebooks.com

Shirley Stevens

Shirley Stevens is the author of the Writing Academy's home study Poetry Series, and she critiques assignments for the poetry series and the story series. She has been a frequent teacher at Writing Academy seminars and other conferences, including the St. David's Writer's Conference in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Whether attending a literary Victorian Tea or dressing up like Cat-in-the-Hat to lead a Seussabration, she is always doing something that sounds like fun.

Shirley is the author of Pronouncing what We Wish to Keep, a book of poetry, and her work has appeared in such publications as the English Journal, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Poet Lore, Time of Singing, and the Christian Century--to mention only a few. She has won awards from the Westmoreland Arts Festival, The Pennsylvania Poetry Society, the Pittsburgh Poetry Society, and the West Virginia Poetry Society. In 1990 she received the Lois Henderson Award, given by the St. David's conference for excellence in writing.

A high school English teacher for forty years, Shirley served as English Coordinator for the Quaker Valley School District. Bittersweet, a literary magazine published by her students, was repeatedly honored by the National Council of Teachers of English as one of the finest student literary magazines in the country.

Linda Windsor

With over a million books in print, Linda Windsor is an award-winning author of 16 secular historical and contemporary romances and 15 award-winning romantic comedies and historical novels for the inspirational market. The latter include The Fires of Gleannmara series from Multnomah Books, the Piper Cove Chronicles from Avon Inspire, and The Brides of Alba series from David C. Cook.

Her switch to inspirational fiction in 1999 was more like Jonah going to Nineveh than a flash of enlightenment. Windsor claims God pushed her, kicking and screaming all the way. In retrospect, the author can see how God prepared her for His writing in her early publishing years and then claimed, not just her music, but her writing when she was ready. At that point, He brushed away all her reservations regarding inspirational fiction and she took the leap of faith. Windsor has never looked back in the fifteen years since that leap. The author lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and enjoys a music and speaking ministry in addition to writing.