Meet the Story Embers Team

We’re a tight-knit group that loves to empower our audience of more than 6,000 Christian writers to craft stories that are raw, real, and resonant.

What We Believe

Writing Is a Craft

Five-star stories don’t happen overnight. You don’t need get-rich-quick schemes shoved in your face. You need training and support that sets you up for the long haul.

Storytelling Must Be Genuine

Novels should be about more than a faith-based message. Storytellers honor God by imitating the way He tells stories, not by bland sermonizing.

Z

Quality Matters

You don’t need beginner’s advice you’ve read on a dozen other blogs. We put every piece we publish through intensive edits to give you comprehensive advice on niche topics.

Monthly Readers

Manifesto Signers

Articles Published

Why a Site for Christian Writers?

A market that’s glutted with wish fulfillment, nihilism, and immorality needs novels written from a Christian perspective. Except we don’t mean ones that collect dust because the pages are saturated with blunt piety. We’re talking about stories that honestly depict all facets of reality—the beauty as well as the brokenness—and endure.

As a child of the greatest storyteller to ever live, not only do you need to know how to write excellently but also faithfully. If you try to follow in His footsteps without guidance, you’re bound to stumble. Yet few places combine lessons in craft with explorations of theology and personal integrity.

At Story Embers, we’re determined to bridge that gap. We train you to bravely and innovatively infuse truth into fiction through our four-step Growth Strategy:

  1. Our quiz helps you identify the skill that’s preventing you from thriving and matches you with resources to strengthen it.
  2. Our manifesto shows you the attributes of masterful Christian storytelling so you can orient yourself on that goal.
  3. Our blog offers you weekly opportunities to learn new techniques and receive encouragement from the articles we publish.
  4. Our annual virtual summits provide comprehensive instruction that will fill your mind with ideas and your notebook with methods you can apply to your work-in-progress.

Here are three of our most popular posts as examples of the outside-the-box advice you can expect from us:

Leadership Team

Josiah DeGraaf

Josiah DeGraaf

Editor-in-Chief

Brianna Hilvety

Brianna Hilvety

Managing Editor & Graphics Director

Daeus Lamb

Daeus Lamb

Community Manager & Poetry Editor

Rolena Hatfield

Rolena Hatfield

Outreach Manager

Marketing Team

Mariposa Aristeo

Mariposa Aristeo

PR Director & Graphic Designer

Hope Ann

Hope Ann

Newsletter manager

Gabrielle Pollack

Gabrielle Pollack

Social Media Manager & Staff writer

Kara Swanson

Kara Swanson

Marketing Strategist

Content Team

Grace Livingston

Grace Livingston

Podcast Director

Cindy Green

Cindy Green

Publication Manager & Staff writer

Martin Detwiler

Martin Detwiler

Staff Writer

Rose Sheffler

Rose Sheffler

Staff writer

Graham Jackson

Graham Jackson

Staff Writer

Lori Scott

Lori Scott

Staff Writer

Allison Raymond

Allison Raymond

Staff Writer

Quinlyn Shaughnessy

Quinlyn Shaughnessy

Staff Writer

A (Brief) History of Story Embers

 

The Birth of the Site

In February 2018, ten novelists, two poets, and one editor shared a dream that seemed to be dying. We’d formed a bond through a website for writers that we all loved volunteering at, but it was heading toward an indefinite hiatus. So we discussed the possibility of founding a new company, and within two stressful yet rewarding months, we turned an ending into a beginning.

After brainstorming (and arguing over) a couple dozen name options, we settled on Story Embers  because it symbolizes how every story starts with a glimmer of an idea that can be fanned into flame. Moreover, it hinted at our desire to spark a movement within the Christian writing community.

The version of Story Embers that we launched in April 2018 consisted of only a blog, podcast, quiz, and forum. We had limited funds and a lot of energy. As our readership steadily expanded, a burning question drove us forward: How could we motivate Christian storytellers to aim for high standards?

The Manifesto

Most of our staff members are scattered across the Midwest, with a few in Canada and the South. Our primary mode of communication is a group chat where we exchange insults, memes, and inside jokes. However, every summer we meet in person for the purpose of team building and project planning. At the first retreat we held in June 2018, a seemingly simple exercise became a pivotal moment.

It started with this prompt: What does it mean to be a Christian storyteller? Over the course of several long conversations (and gallons of caffeine), we jotted down a series of resolutions describing the qualities we believed Christian fiction needed to display to make a lasting impact. When we showed our rough draft to professionals and amateurs alike, it struck a chord.

Four months of revisions later, we released the Christian Storytellers Manifesto that defines everything we do today.

Pursuing the Manifesto

Now that our vision for Christian storytelling had crystallized, we devoted our time to developing initiatives that aligned with it. Soon our calendar overflowed with seasonal events designed to train writers.

In the spring, we host a virtual summit themed around a specific topic (such as characters or plot) and handpick best-selling authors, professional editors, and experienced writing teachers to lead each of the twelve sessions.

In the summer, we choose a book that exemplifies the values of our manifesto, analyze it with an in-depth article series, and sometimes even interview the author on our podcast. We also run short story and poetry competitions that award publication and prizes to the most outstanding entrants.

In the fall, we organize an article series that unpacks one resolution from our manifesto and explains how to live it out. Once that’s complete, we recoup from our hectic schedule and prepare to repeat it the following year.

What’s Next?

Literary masters of the past like C. S. Lewis, Jane Austen, Alan Paton, and Fyodor Dostoevsky are revered because they challenged cultural misconceptions, raised difficult questions, and glorified God with excellent craftsmanship.

Our hope is that the Christian storytellers of today will be equally memorable.

Will we play a role in achieving that? We don’t know. But we’re dedicated to gathering experts and creating resources that push writers toward noble heights, and we pray that God will bless our efforts.

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