We are delighted that Breathe has grown far beyond the Writers Guild. While Guild members remain active in the planning and execution of the conference, we have tapped into many talented writers who use their gifts to help us create a conference that is more than we ever dreamed possible.
Ann Byle—Workshop Coordinator
Ann Byle is a full-time professional writer and owner of AB Writing Services LLC. She writes locally for Grand Rapids Magazine and West Michigan Christian News, and nationally for Publishers Weekly and CBA Christian MARKET. She is author of The Baker Book House Story, the upcoming Christian Publishing 101, and coauthor with Bethany Christian Services CEO Bill Blacquiere of The Call to Care: A Compassionate Response to Orphaned and Vulnerable Children. Ann is a cofounder of Breathe Christian Writers Conference.
Sharron Carrns—Finance and Administration Manager
Sharron Carrns writes studies to accompany fiction and non-fiction books, devotionals, ministry resources and corporate training. Her work includes the Basic Training feature for Military Wives’ New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs edited by Tim Beals and Jocelyn Green, and the Weekend Features for the Hope in the Mourning Bible edited by Tim Beals and Shelly Beach and the study guide for Sensible Shoes with Sharon Garlough Brown. She is a contributing author to Faith Deployed…Again by Jocelyn Green and Mother of Pearl by Margaret McSweeney.
Jessie Clemence—Technology Coordinator
Jessie Clemence has been writing for seven years and blogging for four. She’s the author of two books: If I Plug My Ears, God Can’t Tell Me What to Do, and There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse. Her newest book, I Could Use a Nap and a Million Dollars, will be published in winter of 2018. Through the books and the blog she encourages readers to a living, active faith with her slightly wackadoodle sense of humor and sarcasm. She also shamelessly exaggerates whenever she can, simply because she can’t help herself. You can find her at jessieclemence.com.
Alexis De Weese—Brand Coordinator and One on One Coordinator
By day, Alexis De Weese is a digital marketer. She has written tweets for billion-book bestsellers and NBA All-Star champions. (She doesn’t kiss and tell, but ApricotServices.com does!) Through her work with Apricot Services, Lex wears the hat of project manager, content creator, and content editor. By night, she is a blogger focusing on spiritual growth topics for young adult women. She is also an aspiring novelist and tea enthusiast.
Susie Finkbeiner—Online Communications Coordinator
Susie Finkbeiner is the bestselling author of A Cup of Dust and A Trail of Crumbs. Her novel A Song of Home releases Fall, 2017. Her other novels are My Mother’s Chamomile (WhiteFire, 2014) and Paint Chips (WhiteFire, 2013). Susie is a wife, mother, and book addict. She serves on the Breathe Planning Committee.
Pete Ford– Website and Technology Manager
Pete Ford is a freelance web services coordinator, which means he does a wide variety of things with websites. He is also currently a student at Calvin College, studying Literature and Greek. He enjoys championing writers and especially likes managing logistics for others who don’t enjoy the technical parts as much.
Elizabeth Ivy Hawkins—Creative Team and Student Volunteers
Elizabeth Ivy Hawkins holds an MFA in Painting, and currently is an Adjunct Professor at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI. Elizabeth’s artwork has been exhibited regionally and nationally, including exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles. She speaks on the importance of the artist’s voice, and mentors individuals and groups on how to cultivate individual expression as a way of being fully present in our daily lives. She is a guest contributor for the On-Line Publication Off The Page, and writes on her blog about creativity, relationships, and spiritual growth. Her story, Where I Fell in Love, was recently featured on the Story Gathering Podcast. She is a wife to the dashing and strong Bradford, and stepmother of one, and mother of two naughty and smart children.
Hannah Howe has long been captivated by stories and enamored with words. Some of her favorite storytellers are Shannon Hale, Lois Lowry, J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, and Trenton Lee Stewart. Hannah enjoys writing fairytale retellings, science fiction, informal musings, and instructional material. She is currently pursuing her BA in Professional Writing at Cornerstone University.
Darron Schroeder—Facility Manager
Darron Schroeder is the Assistant Manager and Children’s/YA Book Buyer at Baker Book House, one of the largest and premier CBA bookstores in the country. From the trenches of writer’s conferences to the hallowed halls of Oxford University, for ten years Darron has stood alongside writers on their pilgrimage to publication.
Denise Vredevoogd—Hospitality Co-Coordinator
Denise Vredevoogd enjoys being a member of the Breathe hospitality team and is always energized by the conversations, reflections, and growth that happens when like-minded word-lovers gather together. A long-time piano teacher and accompanist, she also tutors ESL students, reads with 2nd graders, and tries to balance her Martha hands with a Mary heart. She writes poetry, personal essays, and spiritual reflections and is currently blogging at fearnot365.wordpress.com.