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ECPA to host Art of Writing Conference, offering
training and encouragement to established
and aspiring authors

Conference to be held before THE CHRISTY AWARDS™ Christian Fiction Gala

Industry-wide collaboration evident in long list of authors, publishers,
and partnering organizations

Tempe, AZ – The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has announced the session topics and leaders for the first Art of Writing Conference. This half-day event on November 8 is designed to bring together writers, authors and publishing curators and will feature intensive seminars that celebrate the creative life and provide practical tips for the challenges in this rapidly changing industry. It will be held at Lipscomb University in Nashville before the evening gala of THE CHRISTY AWARDS™ where the year’s winning Christian novels will be announced. The two events immediately follow PubU, a training and networking event gathering over 200 Christian publishing professionals in editorial, marketing, production, design, rights, and more.

The Art of Writing Conference was created to build community and explore the leading questions and pressing issues facing creators and curators of fiction projects. Amy Green, fiction publicist for Bethany House Publishers, curated the sessions to be of utmost value to writers and publishing curators who are looking for inspiration and seeking practical advice. “The list of reasons I’m excited about this event is long—the quality of the speakers, the chance for authors and publishing professionals to interact, and the variety of the session topics,” explains Amy. “But most of all, The Art of Writing will be an event where people on both sides of the desk will be gathering to exchange ideas and start conversations that will shape the future of Christian fiction.”

Sessions include:

  • Colorful Stories: The Burden and Opportunity of Diversity in Christian Fiction, conducted by Theon Hill, Assistant Professor of Communication at Wheaton College.
  • The Artful Dodger: Defense Against Discouragement, featuring Cynthia Ruchti (Author, Agent and ACFW Public Relations Liaison) and Carrie Schmidt (Blogger from
  • A Publishing Perspective on the Creative Life, moderated by Amy Green (Fiction Publicist for Bethany House Publishers). This panel will feature Karen Watson (Publisher of Fiction at Tyndale House Publishers), Beth Adams (Executive Editor of Howard Books), Shannon Marchese (Senior Editor of WaterBrook & Multnomah), Dan Balow (Owner and President, Gilead Publishing), and Chris Fabry (award-winning author and radio personality).
  • Adorning the Dark: Community, Vocation and the Mystery of Making, with Andrew Peterson (Musician, Songwriter, Author and founder of The Rabbit Room).

Following the Art of Writing Conference, attendees will have time to mingle and build community with other authors, editors and industry leaders before the 18th annual CHRISTY AWARDS™ Gala. The awards will begin at 7:00pm central and will be hosted by NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Karen Kingsbury, musician and writer Andrew Peterson, and award-winning author and radio host Chris Fabry.  Litfuse Publicity will livestream the event on Instagram at @litfuse for followers.

Finalists who have committed to attend the gala include Tamera Alexander, Mesu Andrews, Connilyn Cossette, Melanie Dickerson, Sara Ella, Jocelyn Green, Liz Johnson, Charles Martin, Beth Moore, Jolina Petersheim, Cynthia Ruchti, Ann Marie Stewart, Kelli Stuart, Becky Wade and Jill Williamson.

Other notable authors who are attending include Susan Page Davis, Rachelle Dekker, Gwen Ellis, Rachel Hauck, and Jennifer Leo.

The extraordinary list of sponsors reads like a who’s who of the publishing industry. Underwriters for the dinner gala include Baker Publishing Group, Tyndale House, Howard Books, Gilead, Kregel, WaterBrook and Multnomah, Worthy, Barbour, and HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

Literary partners sponsoring both events include ACFW, AuthorTalk, Chi Libris, Christian Fiction Readers Retreat, Christian Writers Institute, D.C. Jacobsen & Associates, Family Fiction, Litfuse Publicity, Mount Hermon Christian Writers, The Rabbit Room, SoCal Christian Writers, and Writing for Your Life.  In addition, sponsoring organizations includeChristianity Today, Ingram, Nord Compo, Bethany Press and Dugan Design.

“ECPA is grateful for the support our members and partners have given The Christy Award and the Art of Writing conference,” said ECPA executive director Stan Jantz. “Their investment in these programs and the books that fuel them is so important for the advancement of exceptional Christian fiction.”

The Art of Writing Conference will be held from 1-5pm on November 8, followed by The Christy Awards Gala at 7:00pm at Lipscomb University, located at 1 University Park Drive, Nashville, TN 37204.  Both events are offered at a special bundle price of $99.  For more information and tickets, visit //

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) is an international non-profit trade organization comprised of member companies that are involved in the publishing and distribution of Christian content worldwide. Since 1974, ECPA has strengthened Christian publishing by building networking, information, and advocacy opportunities within the industry and throughout multiple channels so that our members can more effectively produce and deliver transformational Christian content.

The Christy Award™ is the foremost award honoring and promoting excellence in Christian fiction since 1999, and is named for Catherine Marshall’s novel, “Christy,” which has sold over 10 million copies since its publication in 1967. ECPA assumed ownership and administration of the award in 2017 to focus and grow the unique opportunity of fiction in Christian publishing.

Media contacts:
Lori Heiselman FrontGate Media, lori@frontgatemedia.com714-553-5181

Stan Jantz, ECPA Executive Director,, 480-966-3998 ext. 101
Cindy Carter, ECPA Awards & Recognition Manager,, 480-966-3998 ext. 103