Although editors are not tasked with creating and managing an author’s brand, great editors should be able to offer guidance on what makes a solid platform. Most publishers expect a title to sell 10,000 units. In addition to the ability to edit nonfiction and fiction, editors must be able to draft press releases as well as write back cover copy and author marketing materials. Editors are expected to know trends in new software and, in many cases, use these tools. In this session, Eddie Jones will show you how to quickly evaluate story, voice, platform, and determine when the project is polished enough to submit to a publisher.
We should all use contracts in our businesses, but many do business by handshake. The potential of, and actual conflict is something to understand and have the confidence to manage if or when it occurs. Preparation is key. Cathy Oasheim will lead a discussion of the biblical process for conflict resolution and what to do if that does not work. She will discuss ways to think about mediation and lawsuits, and she will illustrate using a combination of real-life scenarios.
Developmental Editing of Nonfiction
Under the tutelage of veteran editor Janyre Tromp, learn the techniques behind a successful first round edit that will satisfy an author and their target audience. Determine who and what you’re editing, identify the author’s purpose and target market, inspect the foundation, and analyze the frame as you work with the author to produce his or her best work.
Developing Memoir with Newer Authors
How many times have you received a potentially powerful memoir told poorly? Inexperienced authors frequently struggle to maintain tension, pace, and focus. In this workshop, Kelli Sallman will cover the two best memoir types to recommend for newer authors and the four foundations for solving their memoir structure problems.
Devotional Editing: Helping Authors Help Readers Connect with God
Between copyediting and developmental editing lies the specialized skill of devotional editing. If the author wants to grab the reader’s interest, focus their attention on Scripture, and lift the reader’s heart to God in gratitude, trust, and hope, what kind of illustrations are best? How much interaction with the biblical passage is needed? What tone works best for application? And how do you phrase that author query when the topic is too political, the transition invalid, or something theological gets flagged? Working behind the scenes, editors serve authors, readers, publishers, and Christ to help their authors help their readers connect with God. Paul Brinkerhoff will walk you through the task and process of editing daily devotional articles.
Editing As Ministry in a Hostile World
In this workshop, Shelby Dixon will discuss ways that Christian editors can view and treat our work as ministry to others—whether you work in full-time ministry, in the corporate world, or in freelance editing. We’ll explore what the Bible says about living in a hostile world and cite biblical examples of work as ministry. We’ll also discuss the importance of sensitivity readers and how to become one.
Editing to Maximize Suspense in Fiction
Whether a book promises a page-turning whodunit, a hate-to-love romance, or a well-timed comedic gag, narrative suspense is a key element of meeting the reader’s needs. In this session, Joel Armstrong will show us how to define narrative suspense, identify different types of suspense, and edit a manuscript to maximize suspense through characterization, pacing, and story structure. Case studies in romantic comedy, mystery, and fantasy will demonstrate how suspense operates differently in different genres.
Editing to Unify
Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes believes writers are the most powerful people in the world. Therefore, shaping how audiences think and what they say has never been more important as we face some of the most polarizing times in our nation. The world needs unity and morality in a variety of writing to remind us of what we have in common steering us to uphold good or suffer the consequences. As Christian editors, now is the perfect time to inject unity in the projects we nurture. In this workshop, Dr. Hutchinson-Hayes will discuss how morality is best conveyed and why we must show writers how to be a unifying force “for such a time as this.”
An Editor’s Impact on an Author’s Words
In 1870, intentional misrepresentation of edits in a document from the King of Prussia to the French ambassador added to the tension between France and Germany and probably contributed to the start of WWI. Words have power and will cause change one way or the other. So can the ways those words are edited. In this session, Edwina Perkins will outline our responsibility as editors so we can ensure an author’s writing is clear and effective and highlight the ways we can help an author achieve those goals.
The Efficient Editor
Editing a manuscript often takes longer than expected. This workshop offers time and energy-saving tricks that can make the process more efficient. Estee Zandee offers tips for editing quicker without compromising quality. Learn strategies to identify how and when you work best as an editor. She’ll also show you how to use templates and cheat sheets, utilize print and digital formats, and streamline the editorial process for faster turnarounds and better craft.
Holding On to the Author’s Voice
As a writer of Appalachian historical fiction, Cindy Sproles knows that vernacular is vital to the story and the voice of the author. In this session, she will discuss how and when to take the step to change vernacular, and how it will impact the author’s story—even when it may be grammatically incorrect. As editors, this can be a nails-scraping-on-the-blackboard moment, when we must allow what is best for the story over what our analytical editorial minds insist. We will open discussion for thoughts on when too much vernacular weighs down the story and how to trim it so the author’s voice is maintained and the story soars.
How to Nurture Hope
What makes a manuscript inspiring? Hope. As readers develop new tools to improve their lives, or see characters triumph through adversity, or deepen their understanding of God and his world, hope makes readers believe their future will be better than today. As Christian editors, we have a unique opportunity to help foster hope in the manuscripts we touch. In this workshop, Erin Taylor Young will talk about what hope is, how it can be formed in human beings, and how to help nurture an underlying trajectory of hope within a manuscript.
Some books are built entirely on logical fallacies because certain tropes turn a quick buck. But these books are transient fluff and not what most of your authors are aiming to write. In this workshop, Kelli Sallman will review the more common fallacies to watch for. We’ll also learn techniques to untangle even the most hard-to-follow arguments so you can quickly point out to the author what is missing and how to fix it.
Understanding the publishing process is important not only for authors but for editors as well. During this workshop, Deb Haggerty will discuss the traditional publishing process in general, and the Elk Lake model specifically. The documentation sent to authors upon contract and to ELPI editors will be available as handouts and will be discussed. This is an interactive seminar with questions and discussion actively encouraged. Participants will (1) review the traditional publishing operation and procedures in general, (2) learn about Elk Lake Publishing’s specific procedures, (3) receive documents/resources given to authors and editors and learn why they’re important, and (4) understand why editor training is so critical to a publisher’s success.
Publish Your Client’s Book on KDP
In this workshop, Eddie Jones will go through the Kindle Direct Publishing process step-by-step so you’ll be able to offer your clients the help they need to publish on Amazon. He will cover everything from how to create a KDP account to choosing keywords to pricing and marketing the book.
The Sacred Work of Editing
Few other careers sit at the intersection of creativity, accountability, and spiritual pilgrimage as Christian editing does. In this workshop, Estee Zandee explores editorial work as a call to steward beauty, goodness, and truth. She will offer insights on how we editors can compassionately hold authors accountable, serve the author and the reader, advocate for both, and encourage all parties–including ourselves–to pursue excellence.
The Otherworldly Challenges of Editing Speculative Fiction
In this session, Joel Armstrong will show how to be the best kind of early reader for your speculative fiction author by asking the right questions about their worldbuilding, character and plot development, and social-cultural messaging. We’ll cover the unique aspects of the genre, how to keep your author’s world logical and user-friendly, and how to edit the real-world implications of the book’s social-cultural messaging
Social Media for Editors
Most of us have heard a social media presence is good for business. We question, though, how it is good for our editing business. Susan K. Stewart will take you through the various social platforms: well-known, lesser-known, and the new ones. This session is an introduction to how you can help clients use the platforms, how you can edit content, and how to use the platforms for your editing business. Susan will answer these questions: what to post, where to hang out, and how much information is too much information.
Staying Focused on the Big-Picture Edit (Even If You’re a Detail-Oriented Person)
Do you struggle to stay focused on overarching structure, tone, pace, and other big-picture issues when you’re doing a developmental edit? Do you sometimes get so engrossed in a great story you forget you’re supposed to be editing? Or do line edit or copyedit issues keep stealing your attention? In this workshop, Erin Taylor Young will show you strategies to deal with these challenges and use them to enhance your edit. You can be a big-picture editor, and you can do it well!
Taming the MS Word Beast: Word Tips and Tricks for Editors
From combining files to pull up tracked changes, to mastering the navigation pane, to efficient Find and Replace hacks, Dori Harrell will walk you through effective Word strategies to help you take your editing to the next level. And she’ll let you in on the one thing she now does first when she opens a file, before she even makes a single keyboard stroke. This workshop includes Dori’s Word tips sheet and her extensive final checklist . . . and how to run it.
Everyone talks about being stressed, having too much to do, and not enough energy to complete every task. Editors have the added burden of BIC syndrome. Plus, it feels as though professional and personal demands on our time are increasing. Susan K. Stewart was diagnosed with a chronic illness and needed to learn how to live and work in spite of it. In this session, she will share how she maintains healthy well-being through diet, exercise, and rest.
Working from Home without Losing Your Mind
The pandemic coupled with the nature of the writing and editing profession have left many of us working from home in isolation. The world outside the walls of our home office has also contributed to a drastic increase in depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. In this workshop, you will learn practical, holistic, biblical strategies to combat the often overwhelming stress, anxiety, and loneliness brought on by working from home. Faith Watkins, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and therapist with 20 years of clinical experience will equip you with activities, skills, and new perspectives to refresh your weary mind, body, soul, and spirit.
If you edit for publishers or if it’s your dream to edit for publishers, this workshop is for you. Dori Harrell will present her top five strategies for wowing a publisher—and delivering a good edit isn’t one of the strategies (as that’s a given). She’ll take you some unexpected places that will help you stand out among the competition.