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2014 Faculty

 Kristy Huddle

Kristy Huddle is the Director of Acquisitions and Author Relations for Comfort Publishing.  Known for her exquisite taste and professional yet warm demeanor, Mrs. Huddle works directly with the authors as they go through the publishing process, from submission to print.  She is credited with being an integral part of the selection process of several of Comfort Publishing’s award-winning and bestselling titles, including Take Back Your Life (Wendy Ida), He Heard Hannah (Lynnette Kraft) and the recently released Burdens to Blessings (Kim Crabill), Infinitely More (Kim Crabill). She is a wife and mom to two boys who is actively involved in her church and the homeschooling community. 

Craig Faris

Craig Faris is an award-winning author of fiction and plays, including four Best of Issue awards in the South Carolina Writers Workshop anthology. He has been published seventeen times.
Craig served on the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Writers Workshop, and served as co-chair for the annual SCWW Writers Conferences. He also served as Vice-President of the Southeast chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. He has worked professionally as an adjunct professor of creative writing at Winthrop University and teaches digital design at York Technical College.
His writing career began when he completed his first novel trilogy, a 226,800-word sc-fi thriller. His second novel, a thriller, entitled, The Spectrum Conspiracy, was published by Bella Rosa Books in January 2013. Last year, the novel received over 54 five-star combined reviews on, Barnes&, and

Barbara Lawing

Barbara Kidd Lawing is a writer, writing instructor and freelance editor from Huntersville, NC. She has worked with hundreds of adult writers at community colleges, community centers, and private sessions—since 1989. She leads weekend writing retreats. Her 117 Poems offers selections of her poetry from 1981 to 2005—or age 36 to 50: a woman’s journey. She is editor of four compilations of work by her students, and organizes and coaches groups that perform their written work. Earlier this year she opened                                                her property, north of Charlotte, as a Writers Day Camp.

 Catherine Sullivan

Catherine is a certified teacher in Language Arts and Writing.  She worked in middle and high schools for many years, and also ran workshops for the Writing Center of Gaston College, as well as advising students there how to write better for success.
Catherine is also a published writer, concentrating mainly on religious education curriculum, materials and websites.  She maintains a website and is a speaker for the Antiochian Orthodox Church, for whom she also writes magazine articles, reviews and interviews.   She is an editor, having completed the editing of several published books, and is in the process of writing a text book for middle school religious education.
Currently she lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is the moderator for the University area’s Write to Publish Meet Up group. 

Emily Gehman

Emily Gehman is a freelance writer from Lapeer, Michigan. She holds a B.S. in Counseling from Baptist Bible College, PA, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in English from the University of Michigan-Flint. Her work has been published in a variety of magazines across the country and she has experience in ghostwriting and journalism. Emily blogs

                                   Tim Small - 2014 Master Motivator

Tim Small is a combat veteran and powerful speaker who is passionate about having a positive impact on others' lives.  He understands the importance of investing into people’s dreams.   He spent 12 years as a Marine, where he developed a great work ethic.  He also worked as a police detective for 11 years, which taught him the importance of working with the community, and spent 6 years as an Army Drill Sergeant, where he mastered the skill of motivating.  These collective skills are gifts he shares with young men and women, through positive mentoring, coaching and motivational speaking.   He believes that regardless of who you are, where you come from, or what your current situation is, we were all created with the ability to achieve great success.  His quote, "Surround yourself with Champions", is a positive message he's shared with thousands across America.  

Louis Smith

Louis Smith is the founder of Charlotte Mecklenburg Independence Branch Regional Library Writing Group. This is a fitting complement to his history of writing poems, short stories and most recently a novel. He has been published many times in his 35 years in the architecture industry in magazines and professional journals. Through the last third of that career he has been developing courses to promote creative thinking. He has a blog called “The Well” that provides daily opportunities to find inspiration in the world around us. Visit his website


Lisa Heidrich
2014 Conference Public Relations Director

 Lisa Bongiorno-Heidrich, RN,CCM,CHP, asserts writing unsurprisingly exists hand-in-hand with speaking. An International speaker, Ministry Director, Global Conversationalist and author of Speaking Confidence, Lisa enjoys helping others find their niche through their unique voice, message, and mission. Contributor for monthly web based articles; along with audio blog at . A real social butterfly you’ll catch daily on Facebook and Twitter @LisaCHeidrich. With twenty years experience teaching, speaking and coaching she offers a compilation of vital information for speaking and writing trepidation. She grew up in Florida, now resides in NC and holds degrees in nursing and vocational education.

                                                                            La-Tan Murphy                                             
 Latan has 18 plus years of platform training and keynoting with many years experience in helping others find their voice by assisting writers and speakers in discovering their best book titles, pinpointing writing goals  and objectives, as well as helping others establish a platform that fits particular passions.
La-Tan is a published author of books recognized by Southern Writers Magazine as MUST READS and WHOA magazine nationally recognized magazine regular contributor

Dr. Wendy Peterson

Dr. Wendy Peterson is the CEO of ICP.  Dr. Peterson holds a Doctorate of Public Policy from Ashley University.  In addition to operating a small business full time, she is also a college professor and the Author of four books and ghostwriter on over 50 published books. 
She uses her experience in compliance to take businesses and authors to a higher professional level. In an effort to encourage and support others, the Mission Minded Maven has taken self-publishing and business coaching to another level.  


                 Dr. Lynellen Perry

My education is in Math and Computer Science, with a BS, MS, and PhD. But I’ve been an editor and non-fiction author for more than 20 years.  I am the President of Chalfont House Publishing, a traditional royalty-paying non-fiction house with fiction imprint called HopeSprings Books.  My passion is helping debut authors on their journey to publication.HopeSprings Books is looking for story lines that address a hard topic in a central way.  We want to see characters learn, grow and develop their faith into a relevant and vibrant expression of Christianity.  We want characters who struggle, who are dealing with tough situations… people just like you.  Whether these stories are embedded in the genre of romance, mystery, science fiction, or whatever, the central theme is characters who find redemption and hope.