In pre Covid times when we could Go Places and See People, there were Christian Writing Conferences. In 2018 I attended the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College (Grand Rapids MI) and came home resolved to do two things in my small corner of the internet. One of those resolutions is to champion the voices of women faith influencers over the age of 50, vastly underrepresented in the webosphere, in my humble opinion. Of course, being over 50 (over 60) myself, I was keenly aware of the lack of more seasoned, experience writers speaking into the lives of younger people. The women listed here kindly responded when I reached out and asked to include them and they all have gifts and interests and passions in different areas—the power of good literature, the challenge of raising godly children, the importance of addressing racial injustice—and so much more.
- Deidra Riggs
I’m an author, speaker, and unashamed disco-lover. My husband and I are the happy inhabitants of an empty nest in Bloomfield, Connecticut. We are the proud parents of two adult children whom we love, practically to death, and Santana, our brilliant farm dog (we named her after Carlos, the musician), and Sasha Fierce, our high-maintenance Shi-Poo.
My public writing and speaking most often seeks to gently nudge the status quo, introduce you to interesting people, and celebrate your right-now-right-here life, so that the best kind of love can take root in your soul.
I’m the author of two books: “Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are,” and “ONE: Unity in a Divided World.”
You can find Deidra on Instagram.
- Diana Trautwein
You can call her Pastor Diana, Mom, Nana, Honey or ‘hey you, with the white hair,’ “all of them are who I am,” Diana says. Married to Richard for over 50 years, mom to three amazing adult kids (and MIL to three perfect partners for each), grandmother to 8 (ages 8-27), Pastor in two congregations after midlife, occasional blog writer, monthly essayist at SheLovesMagazine.com, writer of 2 e-books and a monthly newsletter/photo journal, Diana is retired from pastoral ministry and offers spiritual direction in her Northern California home and via Skype/FaceTime.
Diana’s words can be found at www.dianatrautwein. She’s also on Instagram, Facebook and “very occasionally” Twitter @drgtrautwein.
- Elizabeth Stewart
Elizabeth Stewart is a young at heart 60-year-old who is passionate about making the rest of her life the best of her life and encouraging others to do the same. She is a whole-hearted Jesus follower who has been married to her pastor husband for over 40 years. She has three wonderful daughters, three great sons-in-law, and six amazing grandchildren. Elizabeth is active in teaching God’s Word and mentoring others in her Portland-area church and through their various outreach ministries.
She writes regularly on her personal blog, justfollowingjesus.com and weekly for Woman to Woman ministries, and is pursuing her interest in writing, her love of photography, and her passion for all things creative and beautiful.
4. Karen Swallow Prior
Karen Swallow Prior is Professor of English at Liberty University in Virginia, where her academic focus is British literature, with a specialty in the eighteenth century. She loves this period for its emphasis on philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, and community, as well as its efforts at correcting the universal human impulse to gravitate toward extremes.
Her writing appears at Christianity Today, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, First Things, Vox, Think Christian, The Gospel Coalition, Books and Culture and other places. She is the author of Booked, Literature in the Soul of Me (T. S. Poetry Press, 2012), and Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More–Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist (Thomas Nelson, 2014), and the forthcoming On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Literature (Brazos, 2018).
Karen and her husband live in rural Virginia with sundry dogs, horses, and chickens, where she is currently recuperating from being hit by a bus. That story is here. Although, judging from all her posts on Twitter, it hasn’t slowed her down much.
5. Lancia Smith
Lancia E. Smith is an author, photographer, teacher, and business owner based in northern Colorado. She is founder The Cultivating Project and editor-in-chief of Cultivating, the quarterly online magazine dedicated to encouraging and inspiring believers engaged in creative endeavors. A grateful lover of the Triune God and passionate about spiritual formation, Lancia teaches in conferences and workshops across the United States and in England.
She and her husband Peter run a thriving environmental and engineering firm and try to keep up with their rambling house and gardens in Colorado, called House on the Way. Lancia has been blogging and running websites since 2005 and writing since she could hold a pen.
6. Laurie Klein
Laurie Klein’s poetry and prose appear widely in Christian and secular journals, anthologies, audiobooks, music resources and recordings. She is the author of the classic praise chorus, “I Love You, Lord,” and the poetry collection, Where the Sky Opens (Poeima Poetry Series, Cascade). A past recipient of the Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred, Klein also served as co-founder/consulting editor for Rock & Sling: A Journal of Literature, Art and Faith (2003-2008).
These days, helping distracted, heart-weary people refocus on God in creative ways that spark hope and wholeness enlivens her, and inclusion in Jody’s company of women generates more grins than one aging face can hold.
Klein loves her life in the Pacific Northwest: family, friends, and an elderly Labrador, fierce crossword puzzles, too many books, gardening, travel, photography, exercise class, kayaking, collage, and calligraphy. Writing bios sharply reminds her that God works wonders, over time, through surrendered lives. Visit her at lauriekleinscribe.com.
7. Leslie Leyland Fields
Leslie Leyland Fields is the award-winning author/editor of ten books including the newest release, an anthology of essays, The Wonder Years: 40 Women Over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty and Strength. She teaches and speaks around the world on writing, forgiveness, discipleship, parenting and faith.
Every September, she runs the Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop, a writing workshop on her island in Alaska, where this year she welcomes Ann Voskamp as her guest writer. Last year Leslie hit 60 and decided that age (along with her new neck wrinkles) is cause for humility, wonder, new friends and reckless joy!
She blogs at leslieleylandfields.com where you can also find information about this September’s Workshop.
8. Michele Morin
Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener in Maine who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 30 years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, two grandchildren, and one lazy St. Bernard.
Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.”
She blogs at Living Our Days because “the way we live our days will be, after all, the way we live our lives.”
9. Nancy Ruegg
Nancy is mother to three grown children and Nana to three granddaughters. She is a former Elementary school teacher (26 years) and has been writing on her blog since November 2012. Nancy loves interacting with other online writers, offering encouragement and becoming friends, especially meeting these friends face to face.
She is in the process of self-publishing a Bible study, Weaving a Tapestry of Worship. Another Bible study, Catching a Glimpse of God’s Glory, is in the wings. “Years ago” she authored a devotional booklet for Haven Ministries, Children of the Heavenly Father. More recently one of her stories was published in the anthology, Abba’s Promise (Cross River Media, 2016). Reading, writing, Bible study, playing with grandchildren, coffee with friends, and the occasional craft project fill the many happy hours of her present life-chapter called retirement.
You can find Nancy’s blog From the Inside Out here.
10. Shelly Hunt Wildman
Shelly Wildman is a former writing instructor at Wheaton College and author of First Ask Why: Raising Kids to Love God Through Intentional Discipleship (Kregel). Shelly holds degrees from Wheaton College (BA) and University of Illinois at Chicago (MA), but her most important life’s work has been raising her three adult daughters.
She and her husband, Brian have been married for 33 years and live in Wheaton, IL. Shelly speaks to women’s groups in the Chicago area and spends much of her free time mentoring young women. When she has time, she loves to cook, read, and travel.
You can catch up with Shelly here.