Realm Makers Brings Christian Fantastical Storytellers to Tennessee Events This Spring

Bestsellers meet fans at May 2–4 homeschool event and May 31–June 1 RiseUp Con.
on May 1, 2024 · No comments

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., May 1, 2024—This weekend, homeschool families will find many great Christian fantastical authors at the Realm Makers Bookstore, part of this weekend’s Teach Them Diligently (TTD) conference in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.1

The store is run by Realm Makers, the leading organization for Christian fantasy creators, returning to the LeConte Center from Thursday, May 2 to Saturday, May 4.


LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge
2986 Teaster Lane
Pigeon Forge, Tenn. 37863


starts Thursday, May 2
concludes Saturday, May 4

As part of the vendor hall, Realm Makers Bookstore marks a popular hub for eager readers who can find challenging yet wholesome stories and the artists who create them. From middle-graders to young adults and their parents, families can meet longtime favorites like Mike Nawrocki (VeggieTales, The Dead Sea Squirrels) and discover new favorites from Christian authors of fantasy and supernatural stories.

Mike Nawrocki is co-creator of VeggieTales and the voice of the beloved Larry the Cucumber, and has made entertaining and wholesome content for kids since 1993. He created, wrote and directed most of the extremely popular “Silly Songs with Larry” segments, and lent his screenwriting and directing talents to VeggieTales episodes as well as two movies. Mike also developed and wrote for 3-2-1 Penguins! and authored a number of VeggieTales books and CD projects. Today Mike is creating the popular young readers’ series The Dead Sea Squirrels. He also serves as assistant professor of film and animation at Lipscomb University and co-hosts the weekly podcast, “The Bible for Kids.”

Steve Nedvidek, co-creator of The Jekyll Island Chronicles graphic novel series, worked in film, radio, television, and on stage, receiving his master’s degree in theatre from Wake Forest University, where he now is an adjunct instructor. In his previous corporate job of thirty years, he worked in communications, marketing, and teaching innovation. Now he is a published cartoonist, avid model maker, and writer residing in the Atlanta suburbs with his wife.

Lauren H. Brandenburg is a mentor, speaker, and author who happily blurs the lines between traditional genres in both middle-grade and humorous family fiction. Her fourth book in The Books of the Gardener series, Orlo: The Created, was a finalist for the Selah Award middle-grade novel of the year. The Death of Mungo Blackwell, a humorous family fiction, was longlisted for the People’s Book Prize in the United Kingdom and won the ACFW award for contemporary fiction.

Millie Florence published her first book, Honey Butter, at age 13 and continued with Beyond Mulberry Glen and The Balter of Ashton Harper. She lives with her family in the woods of southern Illinois.

Sophia L. Hansen is the author of undersea fantasy Water’s Break (2023).

Craig and Chera Meredith are a husband-and-wife team. As founders of the independent studio So Peculiar, they created the Bug & Seek indie game.

Bryan Timothy Mitchell wrote the 2023 Realm Award–winning supernatural thriller Infernal Fall and its sequel Almost Paradise.

E. (Connie) White is an author of Christian nonfiction for adults as well as middle-grade fantasy and children’s books, including The Worlds Next Door and When Your Dragon is Too Big for a Bath.

One month after Teach Them Diligently, Realm Makers Bookstore will return to Sevier County for RiseUp Con (May 31–June 1), representing fantastical authors at this debut event. Several authors featured at Teach Them Diligently will return for RiseUp Con, including Mike Nawrocki, Bryan Timothy Mitchell, and Steve Nedvidek. Realm Makers Bookstore will also feature comic artist and illustrator Gary Kwapisz.

Former stealth pilot and Lightraiders game designer James R. Hannibal (author of several military suspense thrillers and the Lightraider Academy fantasy series) will also feature at RiseUp Con. He will be joined by comic artist Dean Zachary.

About the Realm Makers Bookstore: Realm Makers Bookstore is a division of Realm Makers Media which serves Christian authors of fantasy and science fiction with an annual conference, membership, and an awards program to recognize the best books published by Christian authors in these powerful genres. The Realm Makers Bookstore brings the best of these books to homeschool conventions to promote the Christian authors they serve. Visitors will always find several authors present at their booth as well as many signed copies.

About Realm Makers: Realm Makers began in 2013, and from small origins has grown to serve thousands of Christian fiction authors online and at annual conferences. Faculty members have included bestselling novelists such as Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee, Brent Weeks, and N. D. Wilson. Realm Makers exists to help creative Christians in their journeys, providing education in craft, connections with industry professionals, and strategies for finding readers who love these kinds of stories. Meanwhile, the Realm Makers Bookstore offers a curated collection of speculative fiction from Christian authors, traveling to events such as homeschool conventions and renaissance fairs.

  1. Photo from Teach Them Diligently 2023 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., courtesy Scott Minor.
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