Rebecca trained as a lawyer but finds books more entertaining than legal briefs. She has four children and admits to using her teenagers’ conversations as source material for her writing. Rebecca has written for the New Era, Segullah, and Meridian magazines, and won several writing awards, including Super Grand Prize Winner in the LDS Storymakers’ First Chapter Contest, Best YA Novel and First Place Middle Grade Novel in the League of Utah Writers statewide competition, and two Honorable Mentions in the Writer’s Digest Short Story contest. Rebecca loves the creative synergy of WIFYR’s talented faculty and attendees and how the conference revitalizes her writing.
Michelle returned to BYU at the tender age of 41 to pursue a bachelor’s in English with an editing minor, and she is now halfway there. She has been a slush reader for Leading Edge Magazine,Inscape, and Awe: A Women’s Experience. She was selected for publication with Leading EdgeMagazine for their “Best First Chapter of a Novel Contest.” She also works as an on-call librarian for Pleasant Grove City, where she lives with her husband and two children. Every person she’s met at the WIFYR conferences has been amazingly helpful.
Nichole Jarnagin has been crafting stories for as long as she can remember. In the third grade she won the Young Author’s Contest for her class with a story about a time machine. Since then she has published in Babybug Magazine, and has won several statewide contests in various categories. Currently she is working on a YA paranormal trilogy, as well as a contemporary new adult set in rural Wyoming. Nichole has been in the same writing critique group for over 10 years with fellow writers she met through WIFYR.
Robin has always collected words and names—don’t be offended if she calls you a snollygoster! It’s just always made sense for her to put those two hobbies together by writing stories, since they use both words and names. Writing was the first thing Robin ever remembers wanting to do, and attending workshops with Matt Kirby and Carol Lynch Williams at WIFYR has taken her writing to the next level. In addition to daydreaming about made up people, Robin also enjoys reading, cuddling with Barbossa the Dread Pirate Kitty (her one-eyed cat), and creating Halloween costumes.
Bruce didn’t know he was a writer until a few years ago. Up until then he had spent three decades in the classroom, gaining a perspective on the middle grade reader. He is sold on WIFYR. This will be his eighth conference in a row. He has attended morning sessions with Ann Dee Ellis, Alane Ferguson, Claudia Mills, and Ann Cannon, among others, and his writing grows with every new perspective each of these talented instructors present on the craft.
Stephanie Moore is a wannabe published writer. She spends most of her day caring for her children, twin boys (10), son (8), and a daughter (5). With every spare second, she’s either reading or writing, escaping into new worlds. WIFYR has inspired her to be the best author she can be. At WIFYR she learned that with hard work and perseverance, she’ll be able to see her book in a bookstore, near you, someday.
Alison is the author of the IRA award winning picture book The Wheat Doll as well as short stories in print and online magazines. She attempts novel writing in between her family and volunteer work and likes to cook, craft, and play board games. Alison is a long-time conference attendee and gives much of the credit to WIFYR for the publication of her picture book.
Melanie Skelton has worked as a WIFYR assistant for four years and participated in the conference for many. She writes MG and some YA. She has published in the Friend and other local publications. Besides writing, Melanie likes to study herbs and is currently working to become a Master Herbalist. She has formulated a handcrafted line of bath and body products and loves to spend time with her husband and six children.
Cindy has always loved writing stories. Growing up in Arizona, she won essay contests and published stories in the school newspaper. She became a teacher because that was the more “practical” thing to do. Then one day, she was offered a job as an automotive writer (she’s also always been a car nut), and Cindy fell in love with writing all over again. “WIFYR has given me confidence in my ability and helped me create a network of friends and colleagues who have given me invaluable feedback,” says Cindy. She is excited to be assisting at WIFYR this year.
Jessica has a passion for stories and history, so with great enthusiasm she tackled a Medieval Studies degree at the University of York. She now works as a professional genealogist, so she can discover stories of the past every day. She’s an alumni of WIFYR and vigorously writes YA historical fantasy. She loves digging into the structure and art of novel-writing and believes everyone has the potential to write brilliant stories.
As a veteran children’s librarian for Orem Public Library, a seven-year Waldenbooks manager, and a secret cataloguer of her personal bookshelf, Amy is a confirmed book addict. After years of studying the Farmer method of script and text analysis, as well as attending writing and storytelling workshops, Amy now obsessively writes, loves discussing all things story, and adores assisting others in the book creation business. Amy’s had the privilege of learning from the Greats—like Carmen Deedy, Martine Leavitt, Kathi Appelt, Carol Lynch Williams, Cheri Pray Earl, and Louise Plummer, to name only a few—all due to her attendance at WIFYR.