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Illumining and Strengthening the Work of Bahá’í Writers
1. May 21 — 11 AM to 12: 30 PM CT
Creating Engaging Stories and Devotional Content for Young Children and Their Families

PRESENTERS: Authors Elaheh Bos & Linda Ahdieh Grant
How can we craft material to inspire the youngest members of our communities and nurture devotional habits and meaningful conversations in the home? Panelists will discuss their creative processes, and the methods by which they see their projects through to completion.
2. May 21 — 2 PM to 3:30 PM CT
Writing for Junior Youth and Youth

PRESENTERS: Authors Amy Renshaw and Susan Engle
With so much content competing for their attention, how can we engage the minds and hearts of junior youth and youth? Panelists will share learnings and insights gained through years of developing material for this age group.
3. May 21 — 7 PM to 8:30 PM CT
PRESENTER: Dr. Joy Angels DeGruy

Dr. DeGruy travels across the globe and has held lectures and seminars almost everywhere. In addition to her pioneering work in Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, she has developed evidence-based models for working with children, youth, and adults of color and their communities.
4. May 22 — 11 AM to 12: 30 PM CT
Developing, Researching, and Writing Historical Narratives

PRESENTERS: Authors Michael Day and Angelina Allen
The history of the Baháʼí Faith is dense and complex. Panelists will discuss the processes involved, from the germination of an idea to the research, development, and completion of a project.
5. May 22 — 2 PM to 3:30 PM CT
Panel Discussion with U.S. Baháʼí Publishing Trust, U.S. Review Office & George Ronald Publisher

PRESENTERS: May Hofman & Erica Leith, George Ronald; Martha Schweitz, U.S. Review Office; Bahhaj Taherzadeh, U.S. Baháʼí Publishing Trust

Panelists will discuss the current state of Baháʼí literature, the goals, aims, and editorial approaches of the respective publishers, and answer questions and share insights regarding manuscript evaluation and review.
May 21, 2022 12:00 PM
May 22, 2022 12:00 PM
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May Hofman
Panelist @George Ronald Publisher
May Hofman has been ‘in publishing’ since the age of seven, when she started as a publisher’s reader for her father, David Hofman, assessing children’s books for George Ronald. Trained (later) as an editor by her mother Marion Hofman, she has edited for GR for the last 50 years, since 1971, and has been a director of the company since 1985. She studied music at the University of Oxford, received her doctorate from that university in 1977 for research into Renaissance music manuscripts, and has worked as a music administrator and a professional singer, as well as for the International Labour Office (a UN agency) in its publications department. Born in England, she has been a homefront pioneer in five UK cities, carried out a youth year of service in seven African countries, and has lived in Switzerland, Eritrea (formerly part of Ethiopia), Italy and France. She has three children and four grandchildren.
Erica Leith
Panelist @George Ronald Publisher
Erica Leith has worked for George Ronald Publisher since 1987—almost half her life. Initially she was employed to upgrade the computer system and then she was going to find other employment, but she took over the financial side of the business and overseeing the production of new books. Methods of book production in the late 1980s were very different from today’s and over the years there have been many changes. With the advent of computer typesetting she took on some of the typesetting and to date has typeset more than 150 George Ronald titles, as well as a few non-GR books and booklets. She has been a director of the company for almost thirty years. Erica currently lives in Welwyn, England and is married with three children and five grandchildren. She and her husband, Barney, were pioneers in the Shetland Islands for ten years and two of their children were born there. She is currently one of the trustees of the Afnan Library, set up in memory of Hand of the Cause Hasan Balyuzi.
Michael V. Day
Michael V. Day has had five books on Baháʼí history published, has another awaiting publication and two more underway. All focus on the Baháʼí World Centre. He was editor of the Baháʼí World New Service in Haifa (2003-2006) where he wrote histories of many Baháʼí communities celebrating golden anniversaries. He has written Baháʼí historical articles for Baháʼí Blog, Baháʼí Teachings, Australian Baháʼí Report (external), The Australian Baháʼí (internal), Herald of the South, and the New Zealand Baháʼí newsletter. Michael has edited two Baháʼí history books. He was briefly a lawyer, and then a journalist from 1978 to 2002 including as reporter, feature writer, editor and foreign correspondent. He was a Baháʼí external affairs journalist in his native New Zealand and in Australia where he has lived since 1988. His most recent role was ministerial foreign affairs advisor. Michael now writes Baháʼí history full-time. Website: www.michaelvday.com
Angelina Diliberto Allen
Angelina Diliberto Allen was born into a family whose connection to the Bahá’í Faith dates back to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to California in 1912. She has served the Bahá’í cause in several countries including Swaziland, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. From 1983 until 2011 she codirected the Bosch Bahá’í School Youth Institute along with her husband, Andrew, and several others. Angelina holds a BA in English from San Diego State University and a Master’s in Writing and Rhetoric from the University of California, San Diego and a teaching credential in Bilingual Education. Angelina is recently retired from teaching high school after more than 30 years. She is the author of John David Bosch: In the Vanguard of Heroes, Martyrs, and Saints and When the Moon Set Over Haifa. She and her husband have two children and two grandchildren.
Martha Schweitz
Panelist @Review Coordinator, US Baha'i National Center
Martha Schweitz serves as the Coordinator of Review at the U.S. Bahá’í National Center. She practiced and taught international law for many years, in the U.S. and in Japan, and published articles on topics in governance and in Bahá’í law. Other Bahá’í service includes years as Secretary of the ABS Executive Committee and currently ATC Secretary.
Bahhaj Taherzadeh
Panelist @Senior Editor, US Baha'i Publishing Trust
Bahhaj Taherzadeh has been the Senior Editor of the US Baha'i Publishing Trust for more than a decade. During that time, he has overseen the editorial and production work for a wide range of Baha'i-related publications.
Linda Ahdieh Grant
Panelist @Author
Alongside friends and family, Linda is working on several projects that strive to bring the lives and contributions of Baha’i heroes and heroines from around the world into the homes and hearts of our children through picture books. These precious souls are our spiritual ancestors and as described in Ruhi Book 7, we can all find “elements of our identity in the myriad events that have brought the Cause of God forward from that fateful evening when the Bab declared His Mission to Mulla Husayn.” In the spring of 2020, she and Anna Myers created “I Love My Name” - a story about a young 21st century girl named Tahirih who finds courage in the story of her 19th century namesake, the immortal Letter of the Living Tahirih, whose unwavering commitment to truth led to her death. She is currently working on childrens’ stories about Louis Gregory, Fujita Saichiro, and Thomas Breakwell. Linda’s academic and professional background is in anthropology and epidemiology.
Amy Renshaw
Author @Senior Editor, Brilliant Star Magazine
Amy Renshaw is the Senior Editor of Brilliant Star Magazine and Brilliant Star Online, guiding the editorial team in developing creative concepts and content for these publications of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the U.S. She joined the team in 2000 as a part-time editor and by 2005 had embraced the Senior Editor role. With a focus on collaboration and consultation, she coaches staff, freelancers, contributors, and kid bloggers. Amy is the author of Voyage of Love: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in North America, a book of historical nonfiction for junior youth and youth. She also wrote the historical mystery novel Strong Suspicions: A Sophie Strong Mystery. A fan of sleuthing since discovering Nancy Drew books as a kid, Amy loves exploring fascinating facts related to kids’ interests and challenges. In her free time, she hikes in the Wisconsin woods and bakes chocolate-laden treats. Amy has a BA in English and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Susan Engle
After finishing high school in Michigan, Susan Engle returned to her childhood home, Granville, Ohio, and earned a BFA in Theatre Arts from Denison University. She nurtured her love of music by working as an apprentice at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and traveling throughout Europe and the United States as a soloist with various choirs and with a folk/rock band. She has been a choir member and soloist with the House of Worship choir in Wilmette, Illinois, as well as a soloist at the second Bahá’í World Congress in New York City in 1992. She has also worked as a stage manager for operas produced by the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and spent college summers in Actors Equity summer stock at the Barn Theater in Augusta, Michigan. After her twin daughters were born, Susan began writing songs and poems for children, publishing more than 70 over the years, including the award-winning Come and Sing CD. is retired from her editorial work for Brilliant Star but continues to write.
Elaheh Bos
Elaheh Bos works in the field of possibilities and change and believes in helping children and families bloom. She is the founder of Plant Love Grow and has been writing, illustrating, and publishing children’s books for the last fifteen years. Her stories focus on inner growth through practical and sustainable methods and tools. With a background in Applied Human Sciences and Human Relations, and now as a Child Behavior Consultant, she brings creativity, passion, understanding, and a practical perspective as she helps families learn and grow. Her goal in every Baháʼí project she has worked on has been to bring the Baháʼí Prayers and Writings to a young audience and make them more accessible to families. She is the person behind bahaibooksforchildren.com, a website that offers free resources, suggestions of Baháʼí children's books. Elaheh was born in Zaire, lived in Laos, and comes with a diverse library of life experiences that have always guided her heart when working with others.