Meet our Mentors
These wonderful industry professionals will be offering exciting mentoring opportunities during this year’s retreat:
Kelly Harrel is the Assistant Director for the Christian Writers Retreat at Mount Hermon and co-creator with Kathy Ide of Christian Writers Retreats. At this year’s Mount Hermon retreat, Kelly is teaching two large-group writing sessions:
Using Life Experiences to Write Fiction. You know that writing about your life experiences, and the lessons you’ve learned from them, could help, bless, and benefit readers. But is memoir really the best way? Discover how to take what God has done in your life and transform it into a fictional story that reflects the messages your heart yearns to share. Writing inspiring fiction is fun, freeing, and far more publishable and marketable than a memoir.
Beginning Fiction Techniques. A brief overview of the techniques every fiction writer needs to know, including point-of-view, dialogue, story structure, and show-don’t-tell.
Kelly is also leading the small-group meet-ups for writing fiction on Friday and Saturday.
Kelly Harrel has been inspiring others into a deeper faith for over a decade through her writing and speaking. She enjoys sharing God’s Word through Bible studies, retreats, and devotions on her YouTube channel. She loves teaching teens and adults about writing and mental-health issues. After several decades in education, publishing nine novels, and leading a multigenerational women’s ministry, Kelly claims her biggest accomplishment has been homeschooling her children from kindergarten through high school. She resides in Southern California with her husband and their desert tortoise named George. Follow Kelly on Facebook and Instagram.
Lynn will be leading the Saturday morning spiritual session with the theme of “God’s Heart for the Writer.”
She is also leading two large-group writing sessions:
Writing Nonfiction that Sells. Encompasses what a writer needs to know and do to write a nonfiction book that will sell. How to prepare and deliver a successful interview for television, radio, or other media to further the reach of your book. Working with traditional book publishers as well as publicists for those who self-publish. Includes practical “sit down and do it” time.
Triumphant Writing: Spiritual Warfare for Writers. Covers overcoming, delay, disappointment, rewrites, fear, and rejection. This inspires writers to step into their creative gifting, their kingdom identity, and fulfilling their writing purpose.
Lynn will also be leading the small-group meet-ups for nonfiction writers on Friday and Saturday.
Lynn Donovan is the Executive Director of Three Keys Ministries, a healing/deliverance prayer ministry, publishing house, and spiritual growth training center. Lynn also leads several online ministries through social media, live interactive online teaching, and websites. She is an award-winning author, speaker, pastor, and spiritual formation coach. Her passion is to lead believers into intimacy with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit and into their full identity as a child of God. Reach out to Lynn on her website.
Kelley will be presenting two large-group writing sessions:
Copyright Basics: Copyrights are an important tool in the arsenal of any author. Without copyrights, there would be no way to truly profit from your work or prevent others from using or copying your work without permission. But what are copyrights, and how can they be used to protect your work? This presentation will teach you what rights you have and how to use them to your best advantage.
Estate Planning for Authors: Estate plans exist to protect your assets and provide for your children. A copyright is designed to do the same; that’s why the life of a copyright is 70 years past the life of the author. This presentation will teach you what comprises an estate plan and how your copyright fits into it, so that your copyright can continue to provide value even after you’re no longer able to manage it.
Kelley is offering a limited number of 15-minute one-on-one appointments to talk with attendees on these subjects. A first-come, first-served sign-up sheet will be available at the retreat.
Kelley Way was born and raised in Walnut Creek, California. She graduated from UC Davis with a BA in English followed by a Juris Doctorate. Kelley is a member of the California Bar and an aspiring writer of young-adult fantasy novels. She practices copyright, trademark, and estate-planning law at The Law Office of Kelley A. Way. Kelley can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dyann will be leading the Early Risers Devotional and Prayer time on Friday and presenting the spiritual session on Saturday morning.
Dyann loves to share the power of God to redeem, restore, and transform lives through life’s most tumultuous storms. She is an author, speaker, and Bible study teacher. She was formerly a staff member with CRU, a Stephen minister, and a CPA. Her passion is writing and speaking about experiencing God’s presence in our daily lives as we open our hearts to Him. Her writings can be found on her website, www.personalparables.com, and in various Christian magazines including Just Between Us and The Joyful Life. She is the author of a study on Proverbs titled Wisdom: Capturing the Power of our Words, released in July 2022.
Nonfiction First-Chapter Critiques
Are you working on a nonfiction book and want feedback on it? Have a poem you’d like to see published? Jane Daly will critique your first chapter or poem and provide an honest review on what’s working and what could use a little improvement.
Click here to submit up to seven double-spaced pages of your nonfiction manuscript or poems through the online form. Deadline to submit: September 30. Your critiqued chapter or poems will be returned to you via email a few days prior to the Mount Hermon retreat.
Optional Bonus: Jane will be available during the retreat for one-on-one conversations about the chapter or poems she critiqued. If you’re interested, see her at the retreat to schedule a day and time.
After a career in banking, Jane Daly is living her dream of traveling the United States in her motor home. She’s the author of two nonfiction books and two novels, The Girl in the Cardboard Box. She’s written numerous articles and blogs, but her heart is in creating stories about women facing difficult and even impossible circumstances, emerging scarred but triumphant. When she’s not hunched over her computer, she can be found making new friends in whichever state she finds herself. Check out her website or connect with her on Facebook.
Michelle Janene Murray
Fiction First-Chapter Critiques
Have you started a fiction manuscript and wonder if it’s any good? Completed a first novel but no one has read any of it yet? Michelle Murray will critique your first chapter (up to seven double-spaced pages) and provide honest feedback on what’s working and what could use a little improvement.
Click here to submit up to seven double-spaced pages of your fiction manuscript through the online form. Deadline to submit: September 30. Your critiqued chapter will be returned to you via email a few days prior to the Mount Hermon retreat.
Optional Bonus: Michelle will be available during the retreat for one-on-one conversations about the chapter she critiqued. If you’re interested, see her at the retreat to schedule a day and time.
Michelle Janene Murray is a multi-published indie author with a decade of experience working as a critique partner and leader, formatting, and publishing over a dozen novels. She founded Strong Tower Press to help other writers reach their publication goals. She is currently a member of Christian Author Community and Services, where she is a vendor and serves on the advisory committee. Connect with her on Facebook!
Rusty Wright will be leading the small-group meet-ups on Friday and Saturday on the topic of “Writing for a Secular Audience.” Each session will include different content, so you can come to either or both. Discussions include:
- Learning how secular readers think and feel, what they want and why
- Practical tools for analyzing your audience, tapping your readers’ felt needs
- Grabbing attention, touching hearts and minds, sensitively communicating spiritual truth
- Translating “Christianese” into Normal HumanSpeak
Rusty Wright is an award-winning author, syndicated columnist, and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. More than two thousand websites, newspapers, and magazines have used his outreach resources in any of fourteen languages, His largest secular publisher is the WashingtonExaminer.com (50 million monthly page views; 22 million monthly unique visitors). Holding bachelor of science (psychology) and master of theology degrees from Duke and Oxford Universities, respectively, he has appeared on secular TV and radio talk shows worldwide and trains professionals in effective communication.
We’ll be adding more mentors soon!