Ingrid Ricks, founder of Write it Out Loud, is a New York Times bestselling author, ghostwriter, writing consultant and overall health warrior. Her books include the coming-of-age memoir, Hippie Boy and Focus, a memoir about her journey with the blinding eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. She is currently teaming with African Children’s Choir Founder Ray Barnett to write his memoir.
Along with writing, Ingrid is passionate about social justice issues and about leveraging narrative writing and the new world of publishing to give both teens and adults a voice. Along with offering her Healing Through Personal Narrative workshops through Summer Institutes, School’s Out Washington, Hugo House and other organizations, she has helped more than a thousand students of every age find healing and empowerment by writing the deeply personal stories they need to tell. She has also produced seven student story anthologies.
Her guiding philosophy? Embrace Now and Make It Count.
Corbin Lewars, M.Ed. (www.corbinlewars.com) is the author of PNBA and Washington State book awards nominee Creating a Life: The memoir of a writer and mom in the making and Divorce as Opportunity. She is currently working on God’s Cadillac, a story of love, friendship, and talking trees. Her personal essays have been featured in over twenty-five publications including Mothering, Hip Mama and the Seattle PI as well as in several writing anthologies. Corbin has been teaching writing and mentoring writers for over twenty-five years and has had the honor of working with homeless women, prisoners, award winning authors, college students, and CEOs. She believes writing heals and loves working with individuals helping them shape their story. She lives in Seattle with her two children.
Thea Chard is a writer, editor, designer and comedy nerd. Trained at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where she studied journalism and creative writing, Thea’s work has appeared in publications including the Los Angeles Times, Xconomy.com, and American Public Media’s Marketplace and Marketplace Money programs. After working as a journalist for several years, Thea crossed over into contract work, freelancing for publications, media companies, and film and video production houses specializing in multimedia content and social promotion. A Seattle native, Thea recently moved back to the Pacific Northwest after five years in New York City. When not working, she can be found producing a monthly comedy variety show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC’s East Village (from afar). For more information, visit www.theachard.com.
Juli Saeger Russell is a graduate of ArtCenter College of Design and a Seattle-based freelance graphic designer who specializes in print design and loves being organized and solving creative problems. As well as being passionate about her design projects and art and design in general, she enjoys volunteering, painting, baking, walking and hiking, yoga, pilates and barre classes, supporting her kids’ various sports teams, drinking boatloads of coffee, fostering kittens, wearing clogs, visiting art museums, reading about cults and doing the occasional roller derby drop-in practice. She is excited to be a part of this project which supports youth and social justice. For more information, visit julirusselldesign.net.
Stephanie Durden Edwards is a coffee addict at heart, but spends her time most productively as a freelance writer and journalist. Her work has appeared in magazines, both in print and online. Her memoir essay, “A Mother in Israel,” appeared in the anthology “Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions” published in 2013 by Seal Press. Stephanie was invited to be part of a panel of newspaper columnists at the 2015 Longview Literary Festival at Longview Community College in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. In her spare time, Stephanie chugs along ever so slowly on her latest attempt at mystery fiction.