Meet the Team

 Editor-in-Chief

 Josiah DeGraaf

img_4556_cropJosiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.

He began working for Kingdom Pen as an editor in 2013 and now directs and leads the site as Editor-in-Chief, where he sets visions and goals, reviews submissions, writes articles, and creates courses.

He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make terrible decisions in their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don’t? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering? What does it mean to be a hero?

These questions drive him as a reader and a writer as he takes normal people, puts them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then forces them to make difficult choices with their lives.

Someday Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him writing articles here or short stories on his website as he works toward achieving these goals.

Community Happiness Director & Magical Confetti Master

Sarah Spradlin

Sarah SpradlinIf you’ve ever e-mailed us at KP, you’ve probably “met” Sarah—a passionate storyteller with a huge heart that loves Jesus and everyone she meets. Sarah grew up in Georgia with her mom, dad, and little sister, Merry, where she attends the University of Georgia, majoring in International Affairs and Agriculture Communication. When she graduates, Sarah wants to help people all over the world succeed in the agriculture industry and tell the all-important story of the farmer. She joined the Kingdom Pen Team as Secretary in September 2013.

Sarah has been homeschooled, private-schooled, and graduated from Madison County High School in May 2015. She attended Summit in July 2015.

She loves knights and cool swords (she actually owns a pretty cool sword), words, teaching, adventuring, problem-solving, big books, rainy days, heart-to-hearts, hanging out with cool people, random acts of kindness, brainstorming, the mountains, singing along to the radio, long car rides, agriculture (see FFA), sketching, asking questions, archery, organizing, any kind of music, playing piano, fandoms (too many fandoms), helping others, fighting for the Kingdom, and other cool things. She’ll read pretty much anything (if she had to pick, though, her favorite author would be Frank Peretti) and has tried her hand at pretty much every kind of writing out there, though she likes writing fiction and poetry best (you can find a sampling of Sarah’s writings chilling out here on Figment).

But because writing bios is a struggle, if you really want to get to know Sarah, shove some words in her general direction via the Forum, on Facebook, or through the KP e-mail: kingdompenmag@gmail.com.

Copy Editor & Director of Graphics

Brianna Storm Hilvety

Brianna StormBrianna Storm Hilvety was born with a rumble in her veins. She finds the tap of a keyboard to be soothing like the pitter-patter of rain. She has been a writer for a decade, a freelance editor for a few years, and a bibliophile from the moment she pronounced her first syllable.

By the age of twelve, she had devoured several books about the writing industry, could wield a thesaurus with deadly skill, and knew how to format a manuscript for submission to a publisher. During high school, she authored columns in two small Christian periodicals and won an assortment of short story and essay contests. In 2011, she composed a three-part treatise for Homeschool Enrichment Magazine that described the lessons she’d learned while tinkering with two fantasy novels (which still have not been developed or refined to her satisfaction).

After suffering a debilitating case of writer’s block, she struggled with guilt that her own perfectionism was hindering her from fulfilling her calling. But then God placed people in her life who needed her aid in polishing their manuscripts for the cause of Christ, and she realized that her weakness could become a strength if it were channeled differently. Now proudly a Silver Member of The Christian PEN, she serves on their team as graphics coordinator. She exudes her passion for speculative fiction and helping young writers by being on the staff of Castle Gate Press and Kingdom Pen magazine.

As a homeschool graduate and an introvert, she is an independent thinker who is not afraid to express her opinions—provided it’s on paper. When she isn’t poring over words, she may be spotted shooting her Canon, riding The Breeze (an all-terrain vehicle), or romping with her dog, Zookie. Purple is her signature color, and she refuses to recognize all other claims to it. To explore Brianna’s realm, visit: www.TheLiteraryCrusader.com

Director of Marketing

Michael Stanton

Michael Stanton has had what he describes as a scatterbrained adventure of a life that has recently led him to working at Kingdom Pen. When he wasn’t teaching underprivileged children in Uganda and rafting on the White Nile, he was either in Canada’s capital city studying the history of Christianity or in Michigan learning how to make films. Originally from Banner Elk, North Carolina, Michael grew up homeschooled and surrounded by the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. Those mountains inspired Michael’s love of writing (and, let’s face it, the Lord of the Rings movies also helped).

Many years and adventures later, Michael found himself getting a marketing degree, and low and behold, Kingdom Pen was in need of a Marketing Director. What are the odds that God didn’t see that coming? All divine providence allusions aside, Michael is super excited to get to work in an organization that so closely matches his desires to see more quality content streaming from the minds and hearts of his fellow Christians.

Publishing Manager & Poetry Reviewer

 Hannah Carmichael

img_4586Hannah Carmichael dreams of a world where she can be fully paid to work from home with her three cats and a jar of Nutella, all while wearing her pajama pants.

Hannah is delusional; don’t be like Hannah.

All joking aside and the Lord willing, she hopes to someday be a published author and kick off a fabulous career as a freelance illustrator to glorify God and bless those around her.

Most of her days are spent helping to homeschool her siblings, reading, and editing her two novels in the making.

Although born in Florida, Hannah far prefers her home in Indiana where she lives with her large family and amazing OTP parents. (That she ships very strongly.)

Because of all the awesome support her family and friends provide, someday she may even be famous! Or, at the very least, you might pass her on the street while exiting McDonald’s, but that’s close enough, isn’t it?

If you like, you can follow Hannah on Instagram, where she frequently posts her art under the code name watersnail1.

Poetry Reviewer

MacKenzie Long

MacKenzie, affectionately known as “Mac” by the KP staff, is an unashamed coffee lover and chocolate consumer. She committed to her favorite relationship at age four when she asked Jesus into her heart. Having your best friend around all the time is awesome.

Along with laughing with her best friends (AKA her siblings), she spends her time reading, writing, singing with her sisters and brother in The Long Family Singers band, discussing theology with her friends, pondering the deep questions in life, and learning about people’s personalities.

She is grateful her parents were able to homeschool her and that she is now able to help by teaching her two youngest siblings math (her least favorite subject).

An optimistic ENFP, Mac loves getting to know the people around her and learning everything she can. She has finished four drafts but will probably never edit them into something fit to be seen by the public eye. Her favorite part of novel writing is creating the characters. It’s like a little taste of what God must feel when He creates each one of us.

At the end of the day, she simply wants to glorify God and point each person she meets to Him.

Social Media Manager

Christi Eaton

christiChristine Eaton is a college student who loves stories and hopes to publish children’s books. Wearing flip-flops in December, frequenting the beach, and taking every opportunity to visit Disneyland, Christine relishes living in sunny Southern California. She can usually be found happily sipping tea, memorizing lines from the latest play she is a part of, caving into her addiction to chocolate, writing encouraging snail mail, or listening to music, which is usually something folky like Andrew Peterson or the Gray Havens, or some Broadway musical (and rarely anything landing between those two categories.) Art is one of her largest passions, and her walls are covered in her sketches and paintings. Christine yearns to use her skills to glorify God by illustrating and writing her own children’s books that will teach children more about Jesus. Some of her favorite authors include A.S. Peterson, Francine Rivers, Louisa May Alcott, and Andrew Peterson. She is so thankful for the opportunity to manage Kingdom Pen’s social media accounts and help out around the Kingdom wherever she can. From the encouragement, enthusiastic young Christian writers, and her fellow staff members, KP holds a huge place in her heart and she is excited about encouraging young writers to write well and glorify God through their writing.

Image Curator

Grace Li

Li, GraceGrace lives in Beijing, China with her parents and younger brother. She enjoys reading, writing, painting, and binge-watching TV series. Since the time the six-year-old Grace wrote about two bunnies, she’s in for a lifetime of imaginary people, plot twists, and essential caffeine. Aside from multiple personal projects, she also writes for her online school newspaper, The Cracked Pot. Because of her deep love for words, Grace hopes to major in either English or Journalism in college and become a journalist one day. Through the grace of God, she became a Christian at the age of 13, and she seeks to live out the life of Jesus Christ and honor Him through her writing.

Forum Moderator

Rolena Hatfield

RolenaRolena is a country-loving girl who wears cowgirl boots and has dreamed of being Cinderella since she was four. She has an explosive imagination that leads her on crazy adventures in other worlds, yet she somehow always ends up back at her desk with a pencil and cup of coffee in hand. Besides writing late at night and devouring books, she has a tremendous love of music and musical theater. She blames them both for being unable to stay off a stage since age eleven as a vocal teacher and drama director.

Her favorite places to be are up in her library (yes, she climbs a library ladder to enter her world of books), outside for a romp, or any place with people. On her shelf of favorite books you’ll find The False Prince, Once on This Island, Princess Academy, and The Lost Girl of Astor Street.

Her favorite thing to do is laugh. Though she has tried to stop writing, she’s never been able to and has no intention of doing so in the near future. Or ever for that matter.

She finds herself incredibly blessed to be a part of the Kingdom Pen staff and hopes that God will use her crazy self to bless those who enter the realm of KeePers.

You can find out about her published novel, Daughter of Treasure (which came to existence after going through OYAN), here.

Forum Moderator & Course Creator

Daeus Lamb

Daeus LambWhen Daeus was fourteen, he did something that was probably illegal to pregnant women and children in the state of California and definitely not recommended for the faint of heart—he wrote a story.

This dangerous expedition developed in him an addiction to storytelling. Since then, he may or may not have visited numerous doctors, all of whom have announced his case hopeless. Current symptoms include: locking himself in a room for hours to write, a heightened consumption of raspberries and chocolate, and becoming a psychopathic stalker of his Kindle.

Doctors finally abandoned all hope when Daeus became an official moderator of the Kingdom Pen forum. When asked by a reporter what he thought about this new position, Daeus replied, “I’m pretty grateful, actually. I found myself on there several times a day and making that part of my job description was the ultimate excuse.”

Popular legend has him as the creator of the Jumpstart Your Novel course and a side contributor to the Theme Mastery course, but when pushed on the subject, this mysterious fellow has always pleaded the fifth.

His main interests (besides writing, of course) are permaculture, online business, and checking up on his writing friends at the forum.

He doesn’t drink coffee, and he likes chocolate in his scones.

Daeus has published two books, Edwin Brook: Dire Recompense and Treachery Against the House of Fairwin.

Forum Greeter

Kate Flournoy

KateAfter having solemnly declared at age eight that she hated reading and that writing was even worse, Kate did her utmost to cling staunchly to those assertions. But, alas, by age nine she was a committed bookworm, and by age fourteen the corruption was complete as she finished her first novel and hasn’t been able to stop since.

She is now eighteen and balances her time between writing, reading, writing, psychology, writing, philosophy, writing, jewelry making, writing, art, writing, climbing trees, writing, trying to mentor other writers, writing, and trying to be an adult (sometimes she thinks she’s getting there). Also, being a singing dragon in disguise who occasionally practices calligraphy and drama and loves playing chess. And hating coffee. For the critics—it tastes like burnt tree bark, okay?

Kingdom Pen Board

Reagan Ramm, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Reagan 2015Former all-conference high school football player turned writer, Reagan Ramm graduated from Ramm Preparatory Academy in October of 2012, after partially enrolling in both homeschool and the local public schools. Reagan also graduated from Summit Ministries‘ worldview conference—located in Manitou Springs Colorado—in the summer of 2011. He lives in southwest Florida with his parents and six siblings.

Growing up, school and sports were Reagan’s main focus, but writing was always in the back of his mind. In 2010, he came across the One Year Adventure Novel writing curriculum at a Cincinnati homeschool conference. Through it, he discovered that writing was his calling, and shifted focus to developing his written work. He has completed the rough drafts of three novels, two of which were semi-finalists in the One Year Adventure Novel writing contest. To sample his nonfiction writing on life and culture, check out his blog: The Arsenal“Arming Christians to fight the good fight and live the good life.”

Toward the end of 2011, Reagan was inspired by the mission of Kingdom Pen and was welcomed aboard as the Associate Editor. It’s his dream that Kingdom Pen can help lead the charge for a new generation of writers seeking to further God’s kingdom on earth.

In addition to writing, Reagan also enjoys making movies with his siblings and making music with his Synthpop project, Andromeda Coast, which he started in the Spring of 2012. He recently released an album entitled, Aphelion.

Haley Ramm, Editor Emeritus

SONY DSCWith the aid of the coffee bean time and time again, Haley has been putting pen to paper since she was nine; her fingers to the keyboard in recent years. Nurturing a deep desire to share heartfelt stories, along with an insatiable thirst for challenges, she often combines the two.

She strives to keep up with her two blogs, A Rose Among Thorns and Write Up My Alley. She greatly enjoys being a part of her family’s singing ministry and teaching piano.

Haley energetically tackles the curves of life with a strong faith. She seeks to please and serve her Lord and Savior with all of her heart.