Who’s In the Room at the BAM19 Meetup?

The BAM19 Meetup is just around the corner. I want to help you find help with your writing ministry. Read on.

[UPDATED (07/22/19): I’m still fitting the pieces together, so I’ll be tweaking this post up until the Meetup.]

I’m literally in awe of what God has put together for an amazing BAM Meetup. But don’t take my word for it, Tracy Pierson shared with me why she attends every BAM meetup:

I love and appreciate BAM so much. As a writer at heart who doesn’t get nearly enough time to explore and practice that craft, it has been a joy to me to meet others like me. Whether they’re published authors or not, finding like-minded people within an organization that I love has been life-giving to say the least. I have learned to enjoy my writing more from those who have honed their skills. I encourage my fellow Cru writers (or would-be writers!) to get involved and join us at BAM19 and find the common language of fellow storytellers.

Since this is a long post, I’m using headers and bold font to help you skim to find the people you’d like to connect with at BAM19.

Who’s In the Room at the BAM19 Meetup?

New in 2019: Table Talks (Wednesday, July 24, 2019, starting at 3:30 in Edwards Hall)

I’m doing something new called “Table Talks.” Specific Cru staff are assigned to numbered tables to help you find them.

God has pulled this idea and these people together. I’m very excited about helping you connect with some amazing writers and opportunities. Look for these folks, literally from A to Z, at the tables:

Adam Jones

(Adam will be at his table 4:30 to 5:00 due to a schedule conflict.)

Adam is on the Global Communications Team to connect international ministries and partners with our ministry. The new Cru Global Photo Library provides staff with digital images to use for their writing projects. Want access to great photos? Finding it hard to discover meaningful ministry images for your project? Talk to Adam.

Bob Tiede

Bob Tiede launched his blog: LeadingWithQuestions.com in 2012. Today, Bob is followed by over 15,000 leaders in more than 190 countries. Bob is much more a curator of great “Leading With Questions” content than an originator – with over 325 Guest Post Authors.

Bob will share the main three strategies he has employed to grow his blog.

  1. Authoring free eBooks.
  2. Growing his social media footprint.
  3. Curating vs. originating.

Bob has authored three free eBooks: “Great Leaders ASK Questions – A Fortune 100 List,” “339 Questions Jesus Asked” and “Now That’s A Great Question.” He includes the thread of his faith as a Follower of Jesus both on his blog and in his books. As Bob serves on the U.S. Leadership Development Team, Bob’s blog provides a continued source of new potential coaches to coach Cru Leaders.

Bob is bringing 70 of the printed versions of his new book “Now That’s A Great Question” for the first 70 BAM participants that drop by his table!  

Dave Dishman

Dave, author of Seer, Sayers, Schemers & Saints, would love to chat with you.

Dave writes: “You want to write, but you have this nagging issue to deal with – your job. Whether it’s working with students all week, or keeping up with the demands at your office, or chasing kids around, it’s challenging to find time to think and write when you’re not getting paid to do so. It’s been said that most writing is done on the periphery of life, and that’s certainly been my experience. Let’s talk about ways to find time to do more writing. Or, if that doesn’t work, we’ll just sit together and whine about it all.”

Debby Thompson

.Join Debby to discuss the topic, “Learning to write in the second half of your adult life.” Consider how to write every day, blog every week, plan every month, and improve every year. As a new author, Debby says that still her sweetest discovery is this: “When I write I feel His pleasure.” (reference Eric Liddell)

Debby Thompson and her husband Larry have served in global missions with Campus Crusade for Christ International since 1974, and are counted among the pioneers of Western missionaries who lived covertly behind the Iron Curtain in communist Poland.  In total, the Thompsons spent 33 years in Eastern Europe, witnesses to a period of dramatic social, political and spiritual change.  Now living in Cincinnati, Debby is a speaker, writer and mentor for women around the world

Her award-winning book, The Leader’s Wife, Living With Eternal Intentionality® launched in 2018. Follow her blog at Debbythompson.com Living With Eternal Intentionality® and follow her on Twitter at @Debbythompson17.

Erica Frogner

Erica represents songwriting at her table. She writes: “I’m a singer/songwriter and love handcrafting music that people from all walks of life can connect to and ponder deeper questions of life. Since I was young, music has bridged the gap for me between where I am and where those around me are emotionally, spiritually, and physically. In this table talk, I’ll discuss pursuing songwriting and making your music available to people where they normally listen to music, so we can meet people where they are. Finding out how to self-publish to Spotify and iTunes took A LOT of work and I’d love to jump start your pursuits with a few first steps to take.”

Heather Holleman


Samantha Holland

Heather Holleman and Samantha Holland


“Why start a podcast? How do you podcast? Who would listen?” Join seasoned podcaster Samantha and newcomer Heather to discuss podcasting and share your ideas for your own podcast. They’ll offer tips and personal experience to help you on your journey.

Samantha Holland started the Listener podcast after Cru17 to create a platform where significant conversations could continue between staff conferences.

There’s more to Dr. Heather Holleman than her podcast, The Verb with Heather Holleman. She teaches writing at Penn State. She’s a blogger, speaker, and author, too. Visit her site: HeatherHolleman.com.

Jenny Steinbach

The Women’s Audio Bible and Making Your Life Count

Jenny would love to tell you about Her.Bible which is the new audio Bible she and her team have been producing. You’ll enjoy listening to the New Testament in women’s voices and sharing it with your friends!  In the future, Jenny needs devotionals by guest authors for the Her.Bible newsletter. Be sure to ask her about this.

Jenny also conducts interviews with authors and speakers for the Making Your Life Count radio team. Our program is on over 1300 stations across the US and we are always looking for great stories and gifted communicators. This could be a great exposure for your blog or book.

Marilette Sanchez

Marilette writes: “I’ve always had a love for helping teenagers develop spiritually, but my deepest desire was to get to the root of the false ideologies force-fed to them via popular music, movies and television. Pop media are the poisoned wells from which teenagers drink their beliefs.

“I’ve also felt a compassion for young celebrities, like all young people, who are in the awkward transition into adulthood, no doubt making mistakes in the process… but in the scrutiny of the public eye. Many teenagers will also emulate celebrities, oblivious to the discontentment and spiritual emptiness lurking beneath the fame, money and glamour–it’s a vicious cycle.

“With my blog, God has provided me with the platform to call out Hollywood’s false claims of love, relationships, and fame in the hopes of equipping the next generation of young people with a solid biblical worldview. I hope to call out the falsehoods of pop media, and eventually befriend celebrities, helping them form personal relationships with Christ.”

Marilette is also a wife and mother of a young family and would love to encourage you in balancing life and family.


Mel Hill and Brent Larson

Screenwriting and Voice-Over Narration

It’s probably fair to say that you enjoy watching movies and TV shows (or at least funny Internet videos). You might even appreciate how a well-written, compelling commercial or promotional video can move people to action. But do you know how all of these things can aid you in your ministry – how God can use them to help reach people with His Good News? And do you know how the process of writing content for the screen differs from that for the page? Let’s chat!


Tammy McLeod

Though trained in college as a musician not a writer, my seminary professor encouraged me to write about our family’s journey through ambiguous loss when our son became severely disabled for life through a football accident. Our book Hit Hard just launched mid-July with Tyndale. What is it like for non-writers to write? What resources are needed? What steps do you take to try to get a book published?

{Extra: Sam Holland recently interviewed Pat and Tammy McLeod about their family on her Listener podcast.]

Tracy Pierson

(Be free to write – enjoy your gift even if you don’t “go public”)

Have you ever seen a child playing in a sandbox? They build and destroy and build again, sometimes for hours. Every so often they will call out, saying, “Mommy! Come look at my castle!” They don’t expect their creations to make the cover of Newsweek or somehow be transported to some sort of museum for sand sculptures. They simply find joy in the process and play. As writers, we can get so caught up in the final product that we forget the joy of creating. You may have disqualified yourself from being a “writer” because “getting published” seems impossible. What would it take to give yourself permission to write anyway? To “play in the sandbox”?

Tez Brooks

Learn how to arrange and categorize your non-fiction manuscript so you can finish your book. Tez will offer ideas and potential tools while answering any questions you have to make your project easier so you can publish. Tez is offering a free private critique for those who attend. Send your manuscript (outline only) to tez dot brooks at cru.org.

Zack Russell

Fiction-writing: where to read, and publish to, Christian indie fiction

Zack Russell works with Creative 1 Media with a focus on video editing and writing. Outside of that, he is a science fiction writer.

Fiction is all about imagining how the world could be, or will be, different. Science Fiction deals with “improbable possibilities.” It challenges our trust in our achievements, our technology, and the faith we put in “the future” to solve our problems. Fantasy deals with “plausible impossibilities.” Entering these bizarre worlds resonates with the Christian experience of being an alien in our own world. Horror exposes the real nature of evil, pointing to a spiritual realm that our materialistic culture ignores. Dystopian fiction takes the prevailing ideas of our time and shows us their ultimate conclusions.

J.R.R. Tolkien said we are “sub-creators” with God. We create worlds and tell stories because God has done the same. What could a gospel-themed story look like in a futuristic universe, a fantasy world, or an alternate reality? Come explore the possibilities at Zack’s table for fiction writers.

Who Else Is in the Room?

Sus Schmitt

I decided not to have a table, but to circulate. I’d love to talk with you.

Judy Douglass Book-signing

Judy will be signing her book, When You Love a Prodigal. She sponsors the BAM meetup and looks forward to seeing you there.

Our Two BAM Crams (like TED Talks)

We know many of you will want to come to these short talks and join in on the Q & A. (We will record our BAM Crams, if you can’t fit everyone into your schedule.)

Katie James at 3:45

Katie’s topic is “You Can Handle The Truth: and other true things about writing.”

Rasool Berry at 4:15

Rasool will speak on “Tackling Tough Topics in Toxic Times.”

IMPORTANT: Read more about Judy, Katie, and Rasool at the BAM Meetup on this post: Keeping You Posted about BAM19.

Writing Opportunities at the Meetup

Want to write? Look for these staff and check out their writing possibilities.

  • Rick James, publisher of CruPress, will be at the Meetup. Want to ask about publishing with Cru? Want to know what’s in the works?
  • Several representatives from Cru.org, Global Staff Women, Simplebulldog, JESUS Film, Global Church Movements, Making Your Life Count, and others, are looking for writers. I’ll point them out at the BAM Meetup. Find out what kind of writers they’re looking for here.
  • You’ll find these authors at the Meetup. Several authors will be looking for reviewers for their books. Use this spreadsheet to connect authors and potential reviewers even today. Meet each other on the 24th.
  • Laura Sherwood will NOT be at the BAM Meetup. If you want information about Cru’s authorship policies, email her at cru.org.


My BAMbassador volunteers want to help you have a great experience at the BAM Meetup.

You and Your Friends

And, of course, we’re looking forward to seeing you at Edwards Hall at 3:30 on Wednesday, July 24. Encourage your friends to come. If they love writing and write at any level, they will love BAM events.


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