The Art of Writing Conference 2022: Session Two Spotlight – How Reading Diverse Books Makes Us Better Authors and Humans

Posted October 27, 2022 by meezcarrie in 2022 The Christy Award, Christian / 2 Comments

Happy Thursday, reading & writing friends! Each week until the Art of Writing Conference, I will be spotlighting a different session that is available in this year’s line-up. As one of the directors of the Art of Writing Conference (with the fabulous Jamie Lapeyrolerie) I’m super excited about each of these sessions and want to make sure you know about them! Today’s let look at the 2022 Art of Writing Session Two!

You can check out Session One HERE if you missed it last week.


The Art of Writing conference will be held from 12:30-5 pm (CDT) on November 17 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN, and is designed to bring Christian writers, creatives, storytellers, and publishing curators together for a half-day of intensive seminars that: celebrate the creative life while recognizing the weariness; provide practical tips for engaging in a rapidly-changing industry; introduce challenges to become better writers; and answer the questions authors are asking.

The four-session conference will bring together writers, creatives, and publishing curators for training and connection around topics presented by industry experts, authors, and publishers.

ABOUT art of writing Session two:

How Reading Diverse Books Makes Us Better
Authors and Humans

One of the gifts of reading from voices different from our own experience is we are able to see new perspectives about life and faith. Not only that, but reading diverse books make us better writers. A quote I’ve recently loved from Claude Atcho is, “Reading black books allows us to see universal truths through a different lens.” I think that perfectly sums up the theme of this section as well.

Panelists: Edwina Perkins, Deborah Gonzalez, Dorena Williamson, Jeff Crosby, and Jevon Bolden

Moderator: Jamie Lapeyrolerie

Edwina Perkins is the assistant director of Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She is also the coordinator for Mentoring Moments and the manager for Sensitivity Between the Lines, both with Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Edwina is an acquisitions editor for Iron Stream Media and Harambee Press. As a longtime member of Word Weavers International, she now serves as a member of the advisory board. Edwina is an award-winning writer, experienced teacher, speaker, freelance editor, and a sensitivity reader. She is also a freelance writer for Guideposts. One of her passions is to address the need for sensitivity and diversity in the publishing industry.

Deborah Sáenz Gonzalez is currently an associate acquisitions and developmental editor for NavPress. She has worked in book publishing for over a decade, spending eight years as a marketing manager for InterVarsity Press, followed by a couple years as a freelance book editor/collaborator. She received a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Northwestern University and a certificate in manuscript editing from the University of Chicago. She is originally from the U.S.-Mexico border town of Laredo, Texas, and currently resides in San Antonio.

Dorena Williamson ( is the bestselling author of children’s books that adults need too. Her titles include ColorFull, The Celebration Place, Crowned with Glory, and Brown Baby Jesus. A veteran of cross-cultural ministry, Dorena is passionate about shaping perspectives with biblical truth and diverse representation. She is the co-planter of multiracial Strong Tower Bible Church in Nashville, and her writing has been featured in Christianity Today, Facts and Trends, and Crosswalk. She and her family live in Franklin, TN.

Jeff Crosby is the President and CEO of ECPA, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Previously he worked in executive positions with InterVarsity Press and Ingram Book Company. He began his career in 1983 as owner and manager, with his wife, Cindy, of Logos Bookstore in Bloomington, Indiana and later served as the executive director of the Association of Logos Bookstores. His writing has appeared in a number of publications including Books & Culture, Marriage Partnership, CRUX, Conversations, Together Magazine and Living Lutheran. He is the author of a forthcoming book titled “The Language of the Soul: Meeting God in the Longings of Our Hearts.”

Jevon Bolden is the founder and CEO of Embolden Media Group, a boutique publishing consulting firm that provides quality content development and literary services that help authors and publishers reach growing, diverse, and global audiences. Jevon is also the founder of a newly formed group called Christian Publishing Professionals of Color that seeks to provide support, career opportunities, and community for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) in Christian publishing. She also serves as a consultant to ECPA and serves on their committee for increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).  As part of her work, Jevon is a book editor, writer, literary agent, and author of seven books, including her best seller, Pray Hear Write: 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting for Breakthrough in Your Writing, published by her team at Embolden Media Group.

Moderator, Jamie Lapeyrolerie is an editor for WaterBrook & Multnomah, imprints of Penguin Random House and a writer. She is actively involved in the publishing industry, including PubU, The Christy Award® Advisory Board, and part of various DEI groups that seek to amplify voices of color. Her own writings have appeared in Christ + Pop Culture, Ekstasis Magazine, and Beloved Women. Originally from Southern California, she is now based in Colorado. You can find her writings at and around social @musingsofjamie.


The Art of Writing conference $99

The Art of Writing conference + The Christy Awards Gala Bundle $139

What about you? What makes you want to attend the 2022 Art of Writing Conference & specifically Session Two on November 17th? What are some diverse books you’ve recently read?

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2 responses to “The Art of Writing Conference 2022: Session Two Spotlight – How Reading Diverse Books Makes Us Better Authors and Humans

  1. I think this sounds like a great conference. Short and to the point–of what we authors need these days. Just the diversity element is great, but add the others and it sounds wonderful. Toni Shiloh’s books, as well as other authors, have helped me see “universal truths through a different lens.”

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