Giving Voice:  A Festival of Writing and the Arts

Guest Writers

September 24-25, 2015




Andrea Dilley, Writer of Nonfiction        

Andrea Palpant 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, Christianity Today, Books and Culture, and the anthology Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical. Her memoir, Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt, tells the story of her faith journey. She lives with her husband and their four kids in Austin, Texas.




 Ben M

 Benjamin Myers, Poet

Benjamin Myers, the new Oklahoma Poet Laureate, is the author of two books of poetry: Lapse Americana and Elegy for Trains for which he won the 2011 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry. His poems may be read in numerous literary journals, including Nimrod, The Iron Horse Literary Review, The New York Quarterly, Christianity and Literature, and Measure. He also reviews poetry for several publications, including World Literature Today.





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.



 Andrew Belle


Andrew Belle, Singer/Songwriter

Andrew Belle, originally from Wheaton, Illinois, began his musical career towards the end of his time at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.  Upon graduation in Marketing, he launched his solo career in Chicago.  Several of his songs have appeared in popular television shows and commercials.  In 2009, the MTV Video Music Awards named him Chicago Breakout Artist of the Year.  His latest album, Black Bear, came out in 2013.