Guest Writers for 2015

September 24-25, 2015




Sara Groves    Keynote, Songwriter

Sara Groves is a mom, wife, singer/ songwriter and recording artist with a passion for justice and a heart of mercy. She has joined forces with International Justice Mission to advocate for victims of human trafficking for the past 8 years. Sara has been nominated for 7 Dove Awards and has produced a string of successful albums including her latest, The Collection, a thoughtful mix of songs from her past 10 recordings. Sara, her husband Troy, and their 3 children (Kirby, Toby & Ruby) reside in St. Paul where they cultivate an artist support community out of a 100 year old church called Art House North.



Jonathan Friesen   Writer of Fiction for Young Adults 

Illness changed my perfect life in 5th grade. I retreated into a shell and escaped into words. Writing a story sucked the pain out of me, at least for a while. Life changed in college. Health returned, the cloud lifted, and I got my teaching license. Being a teacher, and being with those kids healed me. Surrounded by them, I relived periods of time stolen by childhood sickness. I was in my glory. But I couldn’t escape storytelling. All those years expressing myself on paper left their mark. While my students worked, I wrote at my desk. Jerk California, my first book, flowed out of my own “lost years,” but hope fills the pages. Writing it was a beautiful thing to experience. I now live on a horse farm with my wife, three children, and a growing number of animals. Our home is on a hill that overlooks a river that snakes through a beautiful valley. I love it here.




Andrea Dilley   Writer of Nonfiction        

Andrea Dilley grew up in Kenya as the daughter of Quaker missionaries and spent the rest of her childhood in the Pacific Northwest. Her work as a documentary producer has aired nationally on American Public Television. Her work as a writer has been published in Geez, Utne Reader and the anthology "Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical," as well as online with CNN, The Huffington Post, and Christianity Today. Her memoir, "Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt", tells the story of her faith journey.