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 literary agent with Credo Communications, representing both fiction and nonfiction projects. She is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly, Christian Retailing, Novelcrossing.com, and Grand Rapids Magazine. Ann is coauthor with surfer Bethany Hamilton of Soul Surfer Devotions and with Troy Evans of The Edge of Redemption, as well as author of The Baker Book House Story. She is a cofounder of Breathe Christian Writers Conference.
Sharron Carrns—Committee Chairperson
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. 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 is a blogger and aspiring novelist who also experiments in the world of print and digital marketing. A story addict, she will read whatever fiction she can get her hands on. Lex wears many hats while working both in the Communications and Marketing department at Calvin College and in content marketing with Apricot Services. She prefers good food paired with even better company, her music on vinyl, and her tea leaves loose. Currently, she is working to finish her novel and her Netflix queue, though not simultaneously.
Susie Finkbeiner—Online Communications Coordinator
Susie Finkbeiner is the bestselling author of A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl (Kregel Publications, 2015). Her follow-up novel, A Trail of Crumbs will release Spring, 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.
Elizabeth Ivy Hawkins—Creative Team and Student Volunteers
Elizabeth Ivy Hawkins loves to help others live their best and most creative stories. She 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 group exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles. She is a wife to the dashing and strong Bradford, stepmother of one, and mother of two highly naughty and smart children.
Amelia Rhodes loves coffee breaks with friends and has a passion for encouraging women to share an authentic life together. Her writing has been featured in four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, the Upper Room magazine, and with GEMS Girl’s Club. Her first book, Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? Doing life together in an all-about-me kind of world, offers women of all ages a fresh perspective on relationships. In November 2016, her newest book will release with Worthy Publishing, offering a practical plan to pray for your community. Amelia lives in West Michigan with her husband and two young children.
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.