2019 Conference Committee

Ranee Clark

Ranee Clark

2020 Storymakers Conference Chair

Raneé S. Clark lives with her husband and three boys in Wyoming, where the beauty in nature is abundant. Unfortunately, she often forgets to go out and enjoy it thanks to her love of reading, writing, and Downton Abbey. She has loved history since she was young and has a B.A. in the subject from the University of Wyoming, with an emphasis in Women and World War II. She is the author of three published contemporary romance novels and one forthcoming historical novel, Beneath the Bellemont Sky (March 2018). You can find out more at www.raneesclark.com.
Sarah M. Eden

Sarah M. Eden

2020 Storymakers Conference Co-chair

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today Bestselling author of charming, award-winning historical romances. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.
Wendy Jessen

Wendy Jessen

Assistant to the Chairs

Wendy Jessen loves yoga, Dr Pepper, devouring books, and changing her hair color. When she finds her focus, she writes a lot. She’s the author of Hope and Healing: A Survivor’s Faith-Based Perspective on Recovering from Sexual Abuse, a nonfiction book for survivors of sexual abuse (and their support people), as well as a website, Finding Hope and Healing. She was also featured as a TEDx speaker and has done interviews on the Lisa Valentine Clark Show and the Crack the Whip podcast. Wendy is the author of over 600 articles and book reviews. She currently works as a victim advocate helping victims of various crimes alongside her local law enforcement.

Find Wendy on her website or on her Instagram.

Amy Wilson

Amy Wilson

Whitney Awards President

Amy Elisabeth Wilson is a Minnesotan who’s finally found the sun in Colorado, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and three sons. She reads everything and writes historical fantasy. Her YA work is represented by Amy Jameson of A+B Works. Katelyn Uplinger of D4EO represents her adult manuscripts. Amy edits for Mary Kole’s Kidlit and Good Story Company.
Kaylee Baldwin

Kaylee Baldwin

Registration Director

A glamorous day in the life of Kaylee Baldwin includes: chasing after her four children, binge-listening to podcasts, writing her latest book, regretting that race she signed up for, hanging out with her husband, and reading in every spare second she can find. She graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in English Lit and lives in southern Arizona with her family. She is a Whitney Finalist, and currently writes contemporary romances for Gelato Publishing. You can find her on Instagram at @kayleebaldwinwrites or at www.kayleebaldwin.com.

Melanie Jacobson

Melanie Jacobson

Director of Instruction

Melanie Bennett Jacobson is the author of several romantic comedies for Covenant Communications including Perfect Set and Southern Charmed.  Melanie holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her young adult novels are represented by Alyssa Henkin of Trident. Melanie binge watches a lot of TV, eats a lot of chocolate and goes out too much. Moderation isn’t really her thing. You can find her on her website.
Jordan McCollum

Jordan McCollum

First Chapter Contest Director

An award-winning author, Jordan McCollum can’t resist a story where good defeats evil and true love conquers all. On the nonfiction side, she loves to teach about writing through her blog, online classes and Writing Craft book series. She’s taught at conferences including Storymakers and American Night Writers Association and was the keynote speaker for the 2016 ANWA Northwest Writers Retreat. On the fiction side, her novels in the Spy Another Day series were all finalists for Whitney Awards. Jordan’s website and blog.
Rebecca Rode

Rebecca Rode

Faculty Coordinator & Instruction Aid

REBECCA RODE is the author of the Numbers Game and Ember in Space trilogies. She’s a two-time USA Today bestselling author and has appeared on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. Rebecca has also published inspirational nonfiction as well as newspaper and magazine articles about parenting and literature. She has four children, two cats, one husband, and a ridiculous number of books. Visit her at www.AuthorRebeccaRode.com. Or her Instagram account HERE.
Jaime Theler

Jaime Theler

Agent & Editor Director

Jaime Theler is the author of two LDS non-fiction books and also writes YA speculative fictionHer current job is a marketing project manager and content director at an international company, but she has also written, edited, and proofread for a variety of newspapers, businesses, and clients as a freelance writer. She is addicted to books and running, and enjoys dragging her family on vacations that usually involve a lot of hiking. She has been involved with running the LDStorymakers Writers Conference for the last ten years. Her family might argue that she has workaholic tendencies, but she simply isn’t good at sitting still.
Jolene Perry

Jolene Perry

Agent & Editor Coordinator

Jolene Perry is a middle and high school teacher turned author, and a former “Author in Residence” at Alaska Pacific University. She married the guy she kissed on her high school graduation night, is a life-long Alaskan living in Colorado, and has spent months sailing in the Caribbean. She writes for Albert Whitman Teen and Simon Pulse, and is a three-time Whitney Award Finalist. She is represented by Jane Dystel and Amy Bishop – both of Dystel, Goderich  & Bourret Literary Management. She works as a freelance editor at CookieLynnPub.com
Jenny Proctor

Jenny Proctor

Agent & Editor Coordinator

Jenny Proctor was born in the mountains of Western North Carolina, a place she still resides and considers the loveliest on earth. She and her husband stay busy keeping up with six children and a growing assortment of pets. She loves to hike with her family and spend time outdoors, but she also adores lounging around her home, reading great books or watching great movies and when she’s lucky, eating delicious food she doesn’t have to prepare herself.

Jenny’s novels include Love at First NoteMountains Between Us, and Whitney Award Finalist The House at Rose Creek. To learn more about Jenny, visit her webpage at www.jennyproctor.com.

Yamile Saied Méndez

Yamile Saied Méndez

Community Outreach Director

Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) is a fútbol obsessed Argentine-American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Meyers Grant recipient, she’s also a graduate of Voices of our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children program. She’s the author of the forthcoming picture book WHERE ARE YOU FROM? (HarperCollins, 2019) and the middle grade novels BLIZZARD BESTIES (Scholastic 2019) and ON THESE MAGIC SHORES (Tu Books/Lee and Low 2019). She’s also the Children’s Lit guest editor at Hunger Mountain Literary Journal and a Pitchwars middle grade mentor. Find her on her website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Goodreads. She’s represented by Linda Camacho at the Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.
Allison Hong Merrill

Allison Hong Merrill

Community Outreach Coordinator

Allison Hong Merrill was born and raised in Taiwan, and immigrated to the U.S. at age twenty-two. She is a mother, a writer, a model, and an actress. She holds a B.A. in Chinese Teaching from Brigham Young University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She writes in both Chinese and English, fiction and nonfiction. Her Chinese books were published in Taiwan (2007). Find her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allisonhongmerrill.
Natalee Cooper

Natalee Cooper

Thursday Workshop Coordinator

Natalee has lived along the Wastach Front most of her life and, since it’s pretty gorgeous there, it’s not surprising she loves it. When not writing, baking, or sampling said baked things, she can usually be found off on some adventure with her favorite person on the entire planet and the three minions they brought into the world. They are pretty fantastic adventures.

She suffers book hangovers more than is healthy, loves chocolate covered cinnamon bears, Mexican hot chocolate, and campfires. Natalee is represented by Dawn Dowdle with Blue Ridge Literary Agency and recently released her debut book, A Heart’s Design.

You can find Natalee on her website www.nataleecooper.com.

Margot Hovley

Margot Hovley

On-site Registration Coordinator

Margot Hovley is the author of The End Begins: Sudden Darkness, released in 2012 from Covenant. The sequel, The End Begins: Glimmering Light, was released in March 2014, and she’s been a part of three anthologies. She’s won many awards for her writing, including a 1st place in a national short story competition. Her self-reliance blog, Old School, has thousands of readers from around the world. She also teaches a weekly writing class for teens, which she loves almost as much as her MacBook Air. You can find her on her website.
Cassie Mae

Cassie Mae

Finance Coordinator

Cassie Mae is the author of a dozen or so books. Some of which became popular for their quirky titles, characters, and stories. She likes writing about nerds, geeks, the awkward, the fluffy, the short, the shy, the loud, the fun.

Since publishing her bestselling debut, Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend, she’s published several titles with Penguin Random House and founded CookieLynn Publishing Services. She is represented by Sharon Pelletier at Dystel, Goderich, and Burret LLC. She has a favorite of all her book babies, but no, she won’t tell you what it is. (Mainly because it changes depending on the day.)
Along with writing, Cassie likes to binge watch Parks and Recreation and enjoys every Harry Potter weekend. She likes kissing her hubby, but only if his facial hair is trimmed. She also likes cheesecake to a very obsessive degree. You can stalk, talk, or send pictures of Luke Bryan to her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cassiemaeauthor

Sarah Cobabe

Sarah Cobabe

PR & Social Media Coordinator

Sarah Cobabe (think “Co” as in “company” and “Babe” as in “Babe Ruth”) was the Marketing Coordinator at Shadow Mountain Publishing for 3 years. Sarah graduated from BYU with a degree in public relations and loves using her skills to promote books and authors. Her favorite books are Ella EnchantedEdenbrooke, and The Selection Series. When Sarah’s not reading romance novels, she is most likely going through her Disney pin collection for the millionth time or eating something that’s chocolate peanut butter flavored.
Kate Watson

Kate Watson

First Chapter Contest Coordinator

Kate Watson is a young adult writer, wife, mother of two, and the tenth of thirteen children. Originally from Canada, she attended college in the States and holds a BA in Philosophy. Seeking Mansfield is her first novel, with the companion, Shoot the Moon, to follow in 2018. She is also a contributor to Eric Smith’s Welcome Home adoption anthology coming fall of 2017 from Flux. She lives and writes in Arizona.

Kate is represented by Dawn Frederick with Red Sofa Literary.

Jeigh Meredith

Jeigh Meredith

Conference Event Coordinator

Jeigh writes YA fantasy and harbors a not-so-secret hope that someday she’ll be famous enough to go by just her first name, like Beyonce. She graduated from BYU-I with a degree in Floral Design Management, which means she’s much better at giving already dying flowers a beautiful and dignified death than she is at keeping houseplants alive. She’s married with five kids and a blue Great Dane named Hydra. She likes to bike and pretend she’s riding a Night Fury, read and ignore everything else, and sing to the adoring invisible audience in the kitchen. She won Grand Prize in the 2018 Storymakers First Chapter Contest, so next step: Beyonce-dom.
Tifani Clark

Tifani Clark

Volunteer & Mentor Coordinator

Tifani Clark grew up on a potato farm in southeastern Idaho. She had a lot of space to imagine and daydream, and often pretended to be a character in a book. More than once she fashioned a hula hoop and fabric into a hoop skirt so she could be Scarlett O’Hara. Tifani is married to the love of her life and is the mother to four fabulous children. When not writing, she enjoys playing the violin and piano, teaching orchestra, and traveling to new places on her quest to see all fifty states. You can find all her books at http://www.tifaniclark.com.
Julie Wright

Julie Wright

Bookstore Coordinator

Julie Wright is the author of over twenty novels, including Lies Jane Austen Told Me and Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance line. She is a Whitney Awards winner and a Crown Heart recipient. She is represented by agent Sara Crowe. She loves reading and writing, playing on the beach or hiking with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.

Visit her at her website: www.juliewright.com

Rachel Schieffelbein

Rachel Schieffelbein

Vendor & Sponsor Coordinator

Rachel Schieffelbein lives in a small town in Minnesota with her husband, four kids, one dog, and three cats. She coaches high school speech and theater, shows Arabian horses all over the country, and writes books for teenagers and the young at heart.
Mindy Holt

Mindy Holt

Community & Events Division Chair

Mindy Holt has been a book reviewer and blogger for almost 10 years. She lives in Herriman, Utah with her husband of 25 years and they have three daughters. Mindy served on the Whitney committee in 2012. She was the Whitney president in 2013. Mindy is a social media marketer and a personal assistant. She loves BTS, Korean Dramas, and Star Wars.
Lori Widdison

Lori Widdison

Storymakers Ink Chair

Lori Widdison was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she developed her love of books and sunsets/sunrises. She has lived most of her adult life in Utah, close to the Wasatch Mountains, and her husband tolerates her above mentioned other loves. When she isn’t serving lunch to elementary school kids or babysitting, she is binging on Korean dramas. Even though she mostly reads fantasy and mystery, the only thing that comes out of her brain is romance. She is currently working on a contemporary romance that she hopes to have ready to publish soon.
Wendy S Swore

Wendy S Swore

At-large Assistant

Wendy S Swore lives on a farm with a corn maze and pumpkin patch that is home to her five kids, two dogs, two geese, seven peacocks, eleven ducks, nineteen cats, and two hundred thirty seven chickens. She farms in the summers, writes in the winters, and would rather chew her leg off than eat something spicy. Author of A Monster Like Me 2019, and The Wish and The Peacock 2020
Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore

At-large Assistant

Jennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance due to the need to balance the rest of her world that includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that is anything but romantic. Jennifer has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family but dreams about captaining a ship on the high seas during the Age of Sail.

You can learn more about her at authorjmoore.com.

Don Carey

Don Carey

Technical At Large/Facilities Director

Don Carey is the author of Bumpy Landings and Into The Wind. He has long been fascinated by human nature, and loves trying to understand the thoughts and motivations of those around him. That interest has served him well as he writes stories about his “imaginary friends.” Don currently lives with his family in Olathe, Kansas. His day job involves writing computer programs, which is almost the same as writing fiction, but with a lot more semicolons. You can find him on his website.
Shanna Hovley

Shanna Hovley

App Minion

Shanna Hovley works at a library, sits down to write about when she gets home, reads in her spare time, and listens to books in the car in-between. When she’s not slaving away at the computer, she’s hiking with her doggo and playing games with her friends and family. Although she frequently attends many writing conferences and conventions, she prefers helping in the background where she’s less likely to be cornered by a bear. She serves on the committee at both the Teen Writing Conference and Storymakers. Her greatest literary claim-to-fame is coming in third place at a Teen Writing Conference some years ago (she lost first and second place to bears).

 

Varvara Jones

Varvara Jones

Website Support

Varvara is a writer of fantasy, sci-fi, and clean romance. Her most recent titles, Love Is a Wistful Song and Love Is a Royal Pain, are published under the pen name of Ava S Quill, with many more projects currently on the anvil. When she’s not hammering on the keyboard, she’s attempting to mother two children, play bass, drink all of the herbal tea in the world, and learn Japanese.

You can find out more about Varvara’s creative endeavors on her website.