Breakout Session Instructors
* denotes instructors that will be available as one-on-one mentors.
Tim Akimoff is the digital content editor at WBEZ.
Tim is a writer, editor, multimedia producer and digital journalist. He oversees digital content and social engagement for Chicago Public Media.
Prior to coming to WBEZ in July, 2012, Tim was the director of digital content at KTUU-Channel 2, the NBC affiliate in Anchorage Alaska, where he directed digital coverage of two Iditarod dog sled races and traveled the state extensively to help connect Alaska’s remote rural communities with hub communities as well as the urban population in Anchorage.
In addition to his radio and television experience, Tim’s background is in print reporting. He worked as a newspaper journalist in Kyiv, Ukraine during the leadup to the Orange Revolution, and he covered cities, state government, crime and courts for various newspapers in Oregon and Montana.
He is an award-winning blogger and a storyteller at heart with an interest in collecting unique storytelling styles from around the globe.
Bryan Bliss is a young adult writer. His first book, Meet Me Here, will be published next year by HarperCollins. His second novel, Bound, will follow. In addition to nearly ten years as a youth pastor, Bryan has taught fiction in a variety of settings, from prisons and libraries, to festivals and classrooms. He is currently finishing a MFA in fiction from Seattle Pacific University and lives in Corvallis, OR with his wife and two children.
Deborah Smith Douglas has degrees in literature and law. She is trained in spiritual direction according to the Ignatian tradition, and frequently speaks at conferences and leads retreats around the country.
She is the author of The Praying Life: Seeking God in All Things and, with her husband David Douglas, of Pilgrims in the Kingdom: Travels in Christian Britain. Her articles have appeared in Weavings, Commonweal, the American Benedictine Review, Spiritual Life, Desert Call and The Christian Century.
Raised as a Presbyterian, she is now a member of the Episcopal Church, and is also a Camaldolese Benedictine oblate.
She has been a visiting fellow at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, writer-in-residence for the Cathedral of All Souls in Asheville, North Carolina, and guest lecturer at McCormick Seminary’s doctor of ministry program in Chicago.
In the summer of 2013, she will be offering a week-long course, “C.S. Lewis’ Baptized Imagination: Past Watchful Dragons” for the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.
She and her husband David live in Santa Fe, New Mexico; they are the parents of two adult daughters.
Linda S. Clare is the award-winning author of several nonfiction books on Christian Living, (Lost Boys and the Moms Who Love Them, Waterbrook, with Heather Kopp and Melody Carlson, 2002; Revealed, Revell, 2005, with Kristen Ingram; Making Peace with a Dangerous God, Revell, 2006, with K. Ingram) as well as a novel, The Fence My Father Built (Abingdon Press 2009). Her next novel, A Sky Without Stars (Quilts of Love Series, Abingdon), releases in 2014. She’s currently working on a nonfiction book about addiction and recovery, working titled If Morning Ever Comes: A Journey through Addiction and Mental Illness. She lives with her family in Oregon, where she teaches writing at Lane Community College and George Fox University. Contact her at her blog, http://www.Lindasclare.com, Facebook www.facebook.com/Lindaclarebooks or Twitter @Lindasclare.
Jim Hills was born in Ithaca, New York. He has English degrees from The Master’s College and California State University at Los Angeles. He started at Corban University in 1973, and has taught at the university since that time.
In addition to his work at Corban he has taught writing and literature courses for Chemeketa Community College, including CCC evening classes at several area prisons, and recently spent a summer teaching at Universitas Pelita Harapan in Indonesia.
He has published poetry and around fifty articles and essays, and has served as consultant and line editor for novel manuscripts.
But he says what he likes best is the classroom. At Corban he teaches American Thought and Culture, College Writing and Creative Non-Fiction.
Hills, and his wife Bonnie, have four children and six grandchildren.
Diana Huey studied Printmaking at Whitworth University where she wrestled with the desire to litter her art with text. When she began writing fiction, she wrestled with how to form visual art with words. As she completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, the tension between the two media became a driving force toward the act of creation--toward fleshing out the ether between her art and life and faith.
Paula Huston’s books include Daughters of Song (Random House), The Holy Way: Practices for a Simple Life (Loyola), By Way of Grace: Moving From Faithfulness to Holiness (Loyola), Forgiveness: Following Jesus Into Radical Loving (Paraclete), and Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit (Ave Maria). She was also co-editor and contributing essayist for the collection Signatures of Grace: Catholic Writers on the Sacraments (Dutton), and is featured in the forthcoming Not Less Than Everything: Catholic Writers on Heroes of Conscience from Joan of Arc to Oscar Romero (HarperOne). Her latest book, A Season of Mystery: 10 Spiritual Practices for Embracing a Happier Second Half of Life, is forthcoming from Loyola in November of 2012. She is currently at work on a novel set in Mexico, and on Pilgrim Heart, the story of her solo round-the-world journey to sacred Christian sites.
Her short stories, essays and articles have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Story, American Short Fiction, North American Review, Redbook, America, Image, The Christian Century, and Geez, in addition to websites such as explorefaith.com and catholicesxchange.com. A National Endowment of the Arts Fellow in Creative Writing, her work has been honored by Best American Short Stories, the Catholic Press Association, ForeWord Magazine, and Best Spiritual Writing. Huston taught literature, fiction-writing, and creative non-fiction at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and in the California State University Consortium MFA for many years; she is currently on the faculty of Seattle Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, and Camaldolese Benedictine oblate.
David Jacobsen lives in central Oregon with his wife and two sons. He holds a BA in English from Westmont College, an MCS in theology from Regent College, and an MFA in creative writing from Seattle Pacific University. He is a writer, editor, agent, and the author of Rookie Dad: Thoughts on First-Time Fatherhood (Zondervan 2007). David can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A professor at George Fox University by trade, Bill’s life-long passion is folk music, and he has performed for decades as a songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. Growing up in rural Ohio, he came by his music through one of those weird little twists in the folk process: he fell in love with one grandmother’s old-time balladry and the other grandmother’s phonograph. Naturally then, his songs begin with traditional folk sources and revise themselves to speak to contemporary concerns. In 2005, Bill was lucky enough to have his song “Laughlin Boy” recorded by folk star Tracy Grammer. Her version received wide airplay on folk stations, becoming the most played song on the most played album that year.
Fritz began photographing as a teen, carrying his Kodak 110 Instamatic around on a US tour with his father at age 14, in their little blue Datsun B210. Twenty-five years later, he continues to explore the world, camera in hand. In the intervening years, Fritz acquired a BFA in Photography; won numerous awards and grants for his work; enjoyed artist residencies in various places; had photographs published, collected, and shown in galleries and museums; wrote articles and essays for various publications; lectured and taught workshops on photography and the artistic life; and balanced both commercial and fine art practices. He also loves to travel. He is constantly looking for new ways to approach the world through art.
Portland, Oregon is his home, along with his wife and their bright orange house.
Phil Long is a popular spoken word artist who came to this creative writing genre late in life. While using his left brain flying Boeing 767's for a major US carrier, Phil, a self described "closet poet " for over 30 years, discovered poetry slams at age 50 and began using his right brain to write and compete in poetry slams during airline layovers across the country. He competed in the Individual World Poetry Slam (IWPS) in December of 2008 and was hooked; his hobby became his passion. He presents his unique and compelling poetry nationwide in bars, nightclubs, universities, prisons, churches, and coffee shops.
Phil is the creator of the CRU-sponsored Jesus Poetry Slam, a Jesus-themed poetry competition, which he emcees on University campuses and where he performs a one-man poetry show called Mad At A Myth. He calls these events "a mixed-martial metaphorical brainride for the gypsy-hopeful and black ice at ninety for armchair Koolaide skeptics." He is also the founder of the Sacrificial Poet Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is "Promoting faith conversations through the art of spoken word poetry," where he actively recruits talented young spoken word artists for networking and collaboration.
Though spoken word poetry is a highly lucrative career, ;-) Phil still finds time to fly 777's around the world for pocket change and spend time living in the Cascade mountains of SW Washington with his best friend and wife of 30 years, Pamela, while keeping in touch with his four adult (home schooled) children who all turned out to be scientists and engineers. Go figure.
Dan is a Clio nominated commercial director, an Emmy and Iris award winning television writer/producer and, in 2009 Dan made his debut as a feature film director with the theatrical release of his documentary Lord, Save Us From Your Followers. The critically acclaimed film is the product of an amazing three-year journey behind the front lines of America’s so-called Culture Wars. Dan’s unique blend of balance, humor, creativity, candor and sincerity came together in a film USA Today called, “Michael Moore-meets-Monty Python. A humorous and heartfelt examination of the culture wars.” Variety proclaimed: “Admirably bold…It would take a hard heart indeed not to be moved.” Lord Save Us was awarded the Judges' Award and the People's Award for Best Spiritual Documentary of 2009 by Beliefnet.com.
Dan recently was Writer and Executive Producer of the documentary UnDivided and has completed the screenplays for three major feature film projects – UnDefeated, Grace Finds Beauty and Mutiny on the Diamond.
Previously, Dan kept busy in television, highlights include: Executive Producer/Writer of VH1’s critically acclaimed “rock and roll Twilight Zone” anthology series, Strange Frequency, hosted by The Who’s Roger Daltrey, Soccer Moms, an hour–long drama pilot script for CBS/Warner Bros., and Seattle’s classic regional Emmy winning sketch comedy show Almost Live!
lives in Keizer, Oregon and divides her time between teaching at Corban University and writing. She is the author of the short story collection The Necessary Grace to Fall, which received the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the story collection People I Wanted to Be. Both books received the Oregon Book Award. Her novel The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight was long-listed for the Orange Award (UK). Ochsner is the grateful recipient of grants from Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Literary Arts, Inc., The National Endowment for Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Howard Foundation.
After having spent her formative years in Roswell, New Mexico, alongside salt cedars and the rumor of aliens, Anne M. Doe Overstreet now resides just north of Seattle with her husband Jeffrey and earns her keep as a freelance editor and private gardener. She is the author of the poetry and essay collection Delicate Machinery Suspended (2011). Her work has appeared in a variety of literary journals, including Asheville Poetry Review, Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, DMQ Review, Relief and thehighcalling.org. You can find more information on her work, process, and perpsective at International Arts Movement's Conversations and at Eight Day Books blog.
Corban University’s Director of Communications & Public Relations, David Sanford wears three hats in the publishing world — author, editor, and literary agent. Among his many credits, David serves as managing editor of the Resonate series, executive editor of Holy Bible: Mosaic, general editor of Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family, co-author of God Is Relevant, and author of If God Disappears.
David has represented a wide spectrum of award-winning and best-selling authors published with Zondervan, Tyndale, Thomas Nelson, and other respected Christian publishers (CBA), and with Wiley & Sons, Simon & Schuster, Random House, and other mainstream New York publishers (ABA). David has rocketed new books as high as #3 and #7 (twice) on the New York Times best-seller lists and as high as #1, #2, #4, and #5 on Amazon (out of 10 million books for sale).
In early 2003 David and his wife, Renée, founded Sanford Communications, Inc., which became part of Credo Communications LLC in late 2008. Prior to starting Sanford Communications, Inc., David served as Vice President of Publishing and Internet Ministries for the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association.
David lives in Clackamas, OR., with his wife, Renée, and their two youngest children, Benjamin (1997) and Annalise (2000).
Colette Tennant teaches creative writing and poetry at Corban University. She also teaches art history in Germany and Italy. Main Street Rag published her poetry book, Commotion of Wings, as an Editor’s Choice in 2010. Her poems have appeared in various journals including Southern Poetry Review, Natural Bridge, and The Dos Passos Review.
Sheldon Traver is a writer and photographer with Corban University and owner of Mid-Valley Communications in Silverton, OR. As a news reporter, he earned several awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and his work has been published both nationally and internationally including the Statesman Journal, the Oregonian, Mosaic, the Irish Daily Star (Dublin, Ireland) and more.
His international travels and volunteer work with World Mercy Teams have taken him to all of Central America, Haiti and the Philippines. Sheldon is currently working to translate his writing and photography skills to a new medium – video. He loves to share his knowledge with others to encourage the next generation of creative minds to pursue their own careers as storytellers and historians.
Seth Riley is a life-long writer of short fiction and is finishing an MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University. His work has appeared in The Wetlands Review. Seth lives in Washington with his wife and children.