Meet our Mentors

We are abundantly blessed to offer spiritual presentations and mentoring from these incredible industry professionals:

Joanne Bischof

Fiction Mentoring

A Christy and Carol Award-winning author, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. Her novella, This Quiet Sky, broke precedent as the first indie-published title to final for the prestigious Christy Awards. To Get to You, released a year later, was the second. Joanne’s historical novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from Romantic Times Book Reviews and has now taken to the stage. Her most recent release, The Gold in These Hills (HarperCollins 2021), delves deep into the heart of a legendary ghost town in the California Mountains, where Joanne lives with her three children. When she’s not writing or teaching weekly classes, Joanne works on staff at a summer camp where she keeps busy working in the 100-year-old kitchen and, on occasion, photographing kids having the time of their lives.   |  @joannebischof 

Joseph Bentz

Nonfiction Mentoring

Joseph Bentz is the author of 8 Old Testament Passages that Changed the World (The Foundry Publishing, 2021) and ten other books. He has also published dozens of articles on Christian and literary topics. Bentz is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, where he teaches courses in writing and American literature. He loves teaching and mentoring writers and has done so at many writers conferences around the country. He also speaks at churches, professional conferences, and other venues. He is married, with two grown children, and loves running, hiking, reading, and drinking coffee.


Breeann Kyte Kirby

Fiction Mentor

With an MA, an MS, and an MFA, Breeann Kyte Kirby is firmly grounded in science and literature. She works in both fields, facilitating collaborations between scientists, writers, and artists. Her work has been published in print and online in places such as Sunshine Noir II, The Scientist, City Creatures, and The Eeel. She teaches creative writing and environmental studies at Point Loma Nazarene University. Breeann is concurrently working on a nonfiction book about the human microbiome and a sci-fi novel about the implications of humans being walking ecosystems.

Kelly Harrel

Spiritual Sessions Leader

Kelly loves Jesus deeply and has a passion to inspire others into a deeper faith. For over a decade she has been doing just that through her writing and speaking. Her latest novel series, Once Lost, paints a picture of a modern-day prodigal family. Kelly enjoys sharing God’s Word through Bible studies, retreats, and devotions on her YouTube channel. She loves educating teens and adults about writing as well as various mental health issues.


After several decades teaching, publishing nine novels, and leading a multigenerational women’s ministry, Kelly still claims her biggest accomplishment is homeschooling her children from kindergarten through high school. She resides in Southern California with her husband, her two young-adult children, and a desert tortoise named George.


Visit Kelly’s website to learn more about her and her books or for links to her social media.

Kelly Harrel