Guest Speakers and Workshops hosts

Refine {the retreat} for writers 2018

March 22-25

 
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Vinita Hampton Wright- Editor, Author, Guest Speaker

Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

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Kris Camealy-founder of refine {the retreat}, Author, Speaker 

As a sequin-wearing, homeschooling mother of four, Kris is passionate about Jesus, people, words. and food. She's been known to take gratuitous pictures of her culinary creations, causing mouths to water all across Instagram. Once upon a time, she ran 10 miles for Compassion International, a ministry for which she serves as an advocate. Kris is the author of,  Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting and Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement, and the follow up, Companion Workbook. She has contributed to numerous other books, is the host of Refine {the retreat} and the founder and Executive editor of  GraceTable.org . In her free time, she writes at  kriscamealy.com.

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Christin Ditchfield-Author, Guest Speaker

Christin Ditchfield is an author, conference speaker, and syndicated radio host passionate about calling women to a deeper life.

As a professional freelance writer, Christin has written dozens of best-selling gospel tracts and hundreds of columns, essays, and articles for national and international magazines. She is the author ofmore than 70 books, translated into a dozen languages, including A Family Guide to Narnia and What Women Should Know About Letting It Go: Breaking Free from the Power of Guilt, Discouragement, and Defeat,

For over twenty-five years, Christin has been encouraging women who love Jesus, teaching them to walk with Him on a daily basis, so that they can experience a richer, deeper, more meaningful relationship with Him. She speaks at conferences, retreats, banquets, and brunches around the country, and hosts her own syndicated radio program, Take It To Heart!® heard daily on hundreds of stations across the United States and around the world.

Christin holds a masters degree in Biblical Theology. She and her husband, author and speaker Andrew Lazo, make their home in Houston, Texas.

Christa Wells-Singer, Songwriter, Guest Host Award-winning singer-songwriter Christa Wells writes deep-reaching, piano-driven alt-pop songs about family, home, grief, and hope. Feed Your Soul, released in 2013, was recorded at Zodlounge Music in Nashville and represents a departure from her past records. From the title track’s horn lines to the driving kick drum and rhythmic hits on “The Way That You Love Me,” it’s bigger & sassier, even as it maintains Wells’ recognizable introspective lyricism.  The path to her Christa’s present success was non-traditional. Instead of spending her twenties networking and performing at showcases, Christa married early, started a family, and moved away from Nashville to Raleigh, North Carolina. Motherhood, performance anxiety, and advice from veteran songwriter Dwight Liles led Christa to focus on her writing rather than performance. In 2006, Christa was named Songwriter of the Year by the Gospel Music Association for Natalie Grant’s recording of “Held.” In this heartbreaking and inspirational song inspired by the death of her friend’s infant son, Christa writes: This is what it is to be loved and to know / That the promise was that when everything fell / We’d be held. In 2009, Christa returned to the stage, overcoming her performance anxiety along the way. Since then, she has performed 30-50 dates a year (varying by season), frequently with collaborator Nicole Witt, while continuing to write for other artists. Christa has written for and with a number of recording artists, such as Plumb, Selah, Sara Groves, Nicol Sponberg, and Point of Grace. Christa currently lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.

Christa Wells-Singer, Songwriter, Guest Host

Award-winning singer-songwriter Christa Wells writes deep-reaching, piano-driven alt-pop songs about family, home, grief, and hope. Feed Your Soul, released in 2013, was recorded at Zodlounge Music in Nashville and represents a departure from her past records. From the title track’s horn lines to the driving kick drum and rhythmic hits on “The Way That You Love Me,” it’s bigger & sassier, even as it maintains Wells’ recognizable introspective lyricism. 

The path to her Christa’s present success was non-traditional. Instead of spending her twenties networking and performing at showcases, Christa married early, started a family, and moved away from Nashville to Raleigh, North Carolina. Motherhood, performance anxiety, and advice from veteran songwriter Dwight Liles led Christa to focus on her writing rather than performance. In 2006, Christa was named Songwriter of the Year by the Gospel Music Association for Natalie Grant’s recording of “Held.” In this heartbreaking and inspirational song inspired by the death of her friend’s infant son, Christa writes: This is what it is to be loved and to know / That the promise was that when everything fell / We’d be held.

In 2009, Christa returned to the stage, overcoming her performance anxiety along the way. Since then, she has performed 30-50 dates a year (varying by season), frequently with collaborator Nicole Witt, while continuing to write for other artists. Christa has written for and with a number of recording artists, such as Plumb, Selah, Sara Groves, Nicol Sponberg, and Point of Grace.

Christa currently lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.

   

Kimberlee Conway Ireton, Author, Speaker, 

is the author of The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year and Cracking Up: A Postpartum Faith Crisis. Her magazine print credits include Books & Culture, The Christian Century, Christian Reflection, MomSense, and Weavings; online she writes regularly for Grace Table and The Cultivating Project and is currently the writer-in-residence for Velvet Ashes, an online community for women serving overseas. She lives with her husband and four children near Seattle. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, teaching at her local co-op, working on a writing project, or sitting in traffic, she can usually be found curled up with an old book, a child or two, and a cup of tea.

 

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Christie Purifoy-Author, Guest speaker

Christie Purifoy earned a PhD in English Literature at the University of Chicago before trading the classroom for a farmhouse, a garden, and a blog. Her book Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons was published by Revell in 2016. Connect with her and discover more about life in a Victorian farmhouse called Maplehurst on Instagram, facebook, and twitter.

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Ann Kroeker-Author, Writing coach, Guest Speaker

Writing Coach Ann Kroeker leverages over 25 years of writing and editing experience in the publishing industry to equip her clients to reach their writing goals. A published author and coauthor, blogger, speaker and host of the "Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach” podcast, Ann has served on the editorial teams of two large online organizations, and worked as a corporate and freelance writer, book editor, and poet. In her role as a writing coach, she celebrates client successes, such as acceptance into prestigious MFA programs, signed agent and book contracts, articles and essays placed in national publications, and the launch of their own freelance writing businesses. She coauthored On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts, and authored Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families and The Contemplative Mom. Ann's Belgian-born husband and she have four children, ages 15 to 22. Whether at work or play, she lives a life full of wonder and curiosity.