Workshop instructors and panelists for ACFW Virginia’s Royal Writers Conference are successful agents, editors, and authors who share the common desire to help other writers grow in their faith and their craft.

Please check back in mid-September for a complete list of conference faculty.


Multi-published author LISA CARTER likes to describe her romantic suspense novels as “Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder.” Her latest suspense novel, The Sound of Falling Leaves, releases in October. The Stronghold won a 2017 Daphne du Maurier. Under a Turquoise Sky won the 2015 Carol Award. Beyond the Cherokee Trail was a Romantic Times Top Pick. She also writes contemporary romance with Love Inspired, the popular Matchmaker series, set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Lisa enjoys traveling and researching her next fictional adventure. When not writing, she loves spending time with family and teaching writing workshops. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball. You can connect with Lisa on her website and Bookbub, or sign up for her newsletter here.



A full-time writer and speaker, ZOE M. McCARTHY, deals daily with being an expressive/analytic, as a personality test once identified her. She’s the author of seven contemporary Christian romances containing humor and tenderness and proving opposites distract. Her nonfiction book, Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days, is designed to shape a not-yet-submitted, a rejected, or a self-published manuscript with low ratings into a book that shines or to guide writers starting a manuscript. She enjoys leading workshops on writing. Her two books of contemporary Christian allegories will release soon. Zoe is a member of Word Weavers and American Christian Fiction Writers, serving on the board of the Virginia chapter. She’s represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency. Zoe lives with her husband in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains and enjoys canoeing at their lake cabin. She blogs on writing topics at



Aside from her family and her Savior, ROBIN PATCHEN has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes and ski lodges and beachside burger joints. She’d visit every place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Robin to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Texas, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.



DEBORAH RANEY’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched Deb’s writing career. Twenty-five years, thirty-five-plus books, and numerous awards later, she’s still creating stories that touch hearts and lives. She and husband, Ken, recently relocated from Kansas to Missouri, where many of Deb’s recent novels are set. They love traveling together to teach at conferences, and to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren. Visit Deb on the Web at



KEN RANEY is president of Raney Day Creative LLC, a producer of illustration and graphic design and Raney Day Press. He also runs, an entertainment portal website for Christian teens featuring media news, reviews, and interviews for books, comics, music, movies, careers, and gaming. Raney is the author/illustrator of two children’s picture books and has over 40 years of experience in graphic design, illustration, advertising and marketing. He and his wife, novelist Deborah Raney, make their home in Missouri.



BETSY ST. AMANT HADDOX  is the author of over fifteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her hero of a hubby, two total-opposite young daughters, a vast collection of coffee mugs, and an impressive stash of Pickle chips. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she’s not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha–no whip. She blogs frequently at, a devotional site for women. Betsy is proud to be represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. You can connect with Betsy on Facebook.

TONI SHILOH is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring God glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist and Risking Love is a 2020 Selah Award finalist. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at



SARA TURNQUIST is a coffee lovin’, word slinging, clean Historical Romance author whose super power is converting caffeine into novels. She loves those odd little tidbits of history that are stranger than fiction. That’s what inspires her. Well, that and a good love story. But of all the love stories she knows, hers is her favorite. She lives happily with her own Prince Charming and their gaggle of minions. Three to be exact. They sure know how to distract a writer! But, alas, the stories must be written, even if it must happen in the wee hours of the morning. Sara is an avid reader and also enjoys reading clean Historical Romance when she’s not traveling. Her books range from the Czech lands to the American Wild West and from ancient Egypt to the early 1900s. Some of her titles include The Lady Bornekova, Hope in Cripple Creek, The General’s Wife, Trail of Fears, and the Convenient Risk Series.