2024 Workshops

Book Proposals
Do you know how to advise a client who has been asked to send in a book proposal? In this class, Twila Belk will lead a discussion on the key components and how-tos of crafting a winning proposal. Help your client send in a proposal that stands out among the rest.

Building (and Keeping) a Relationship with a Traditional Publisher
What’s the best way to land freelance editing and proofreading gigs with a traditional book publisher? And once you’ve landed a gig or two, how can you ensure that publisher will want to keep sending more projects your way? Learn how communication, curiosity, and confidence are key strengths when it comes to retaining traditional publishing clients. Amy Nemecek will lead a straightforward conversation about freelancing dos and don’ts that can make or break your connection to publishers. The presenter’s unique perspective as someone who has navigated both the in-house and freelance realms makes this an invaluable workshop.

Copyright Basics and Fair Use
Editors often grapple with questions regarding lengthy quotations or other content taken from outside sources, published and unpublished. Authors often rely on editors to alert them about potential copyright issues in their manuscript. But what are copyrights, and how can they be used to protect your clients’ work? When might an editor want to alert a client to a potential need for permission to avoid copyright infringement? And how does fair use tie in? In this presentation, Kelley Way will teach you what rights your client has, how to use them to your best advantage, and how to safely use other people’s content.

Editing Flash Fiction 
This workshop will explore the short story sub-genre of flash fiction, structuring flash fiction, and strategies every editor can use when helping a writer refine a flash fiction story. Lincoln Reed will cover (1) defining flash fiction, (2) structuring a flash fiction story, (3) challenges when editing flash fiction, and (4) strategies for helping writers refine their voice in flash fiction.

Editing Historical Fiction 
Historical fiction can pose extra challenges to editors. In this workshop, Liz Tolsma draws on her years of experience on both sides of the manuscript and gives tips on how editors can come alongside authors to avoid the pitfalls that inevitably come with writing historical fiction.

Editing and Mentoring Writers of Short Fiction
In this workshop, Lincoln Reed will lead a discussion of short fiction editing and how editors can best mentor new authors in the development of their voice. Short fiction is a wonderful, vast, and exciting market for authors and editors to interact and collaborate. He will outline four elements that every short story needs, explore writer-editor collaboration, and discuss how editors can best help writers hone their artistic voice in the medium of short stories.

Editing for Suspense at a Sentence Level
In this workshop, Claire Tucker will discuss how to heighten suspense and increase tension at a sentence level in any genre. We’ll cover the difference between the suspense genre and narrative suspense and why these writing tools apply to every genre, not just thrillers and suspense.

Fetch! Maximize Editing Efficiency Using Macros 
For many wordsmiths, the thought of using macros in MS Word is intimidating. But macros can save editors time and keystrokes. Amy Nemecek will show fellow editors what macros are and how they can use them to maximize editorial efficiency. The main portion of the workshop will be a practical, step-by-step walkthrough of how to install some basic fetch macros in Word and set up shortcut keys to make them as intuitive to use as pressing Ctrl+A. Attendees will come away with greater confidence in their abilities and with resources for continued learning in this area. [Note: Presenter will be working on a PC, but the same principles apply in Word for Mac.]

Finding the Constants in a Sea of Variables: Time Management, Organization, and Strategy for the Freelance Life
With a multitude of clients, potential clients, paperwork, and the work itself, the life of a freelance editor can feel chaotic! But it doesn’t have to. Even though the freelance life is full of variables—different clients, different projects, and paperwork that never seems to end—there are ways to channel these variables into reassuring constants. While the editing life will not always be easy, there are time management and organizational strategies that can make it manageable and calm. In this workshop, Jessica Snell will provide both the big-picture view of the organized freelance life and the nitty-gritty details that make it work.

Generative AI and the Publishing Industry
This workshop will look at generative AI and its impact on publishing. Claire Tucker will cover the following topics: (1) definition of AI, (2) definition of generative AI, (3) basic uses of generative AI, (4) copyrights and AI-generated material, (5) advice to give clients, and (6) ways editors can use AI in their business.

Honing Your Skills: Proficiency Pays Off
The University of Chicago has supplied us with an excellent new resource for fiction editing, valuable for line and copy editors and proofreaders—and much can apply to memoirs and nonfiction stories. Barb Barnes will walk us through some features of The Chicago Guide to Copyediting Fiction (CGCF) and touch on topics such as the philosophy of fiction editing, assimilating an author’s voice and style in our editing, coaching authors through editing, and using style sheets.

How to Make a Killing on Reedsy 
The platform that bills itself as an elite freelancer marketplace has the potential to help editors increase their incomes, expand their portfolios, and build their client bases. But bringing in the dough requires more than just being a great editor—it requires an approach that appeals to potential authors. Dori Harrell has worked with more than thirty-five clients on this platform, receives requests for edits or book coaching almost daily, has only five-star reviews—and declines to work on over 90 percent of the projects, yet Reedsy pays out dividends each year. Dori will offer her top five tips for an out-of-the box strategy to making a killing on Reedsy.

The Impact of Language (Be a Conscientious Editor)
Christian editors should always be aware of the impact words have on the reader. Being mindful of how some words and phrases affect the reader is as important as where the semicolon is placed. Often, we use familiar expressions without considering how another may perceive those word choices. Susan K. Stewart will show how to make deliberate word choices to meet the readers’ needs while allowing authors to convey their message without offense. Being a conscientious editor means we think about the impact of words on the reader.

Is Ghostwriting (Collaborating) for You? 
Have you considered working with authors as a ghostwriter or collaborator? Twila Belk will discuss what it takes to add this to your skill set—the pros and cons, expectations, the process, and more. Not only will she share from personal experience, but she will also include lots of information from one of the most beloved collaborators in the industry, Cecil Murphey.

The Ministry of Editing: Our Role in God’s Plan
Our purpose is for a manuscript to glorify God. We do that by helping the gifted writer make the best use of what God has given them. How do we minister as editors? In this workshop, Susan K. Stewart will explore why prayer should be our foundation and why we should turn down some projects. She’ll also cover how and when we should mentor authors along with how and when we should tithe our time and skills.

Onboarding and Offboarding Clients 
Set yourself up for success at the beginning of a project, at the end of the project, and into the future. The success of an edit starts long before you open your client’s manuscript on your computer. There are steps you can take both before and after an editing job that will help you sign the right clients, complete their projects efficiently, and even set yourself up to bring in more work after you finish the job! In this workshop, Jessica Snell will give step-by-step explanations of how to onboard and offboard your editing clients so that you—and they—are set up for success.

The Power of Networking
Networking is not just about gaining editing clients but also giving and creating a platform for God to bless us and increase our joy. Statistics prove that networking is vital in any career path. This is because the stronger our networks are, the better we do in our careers. In this practical workshop, Dr. Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes will explore the advantages of networking for editors and how it impacts our personal and spiritual lives. Attendees will also leave with tangible ways to network professionally that they can use immediately.

Promoting Editing: A Marathon, Not a Sprint 
One of the most common questions on the PEN Loop is “What can I do to get more editing projects?” Whether we call it promotion or marketing, it needs to be approached as an ongoing process like a marathon instead of a sprint. It takes a creative promotion approach to assure a consistent flow of editing projects. In this workshop, Burton Laine will discuss (1) when to think about marketing, (2) the type of promotion that matches our skills and personality, (3) the time investment we need to commit to and maintain a career, and (4) creative ways to promote that aren’t commonly used.

Self-Publishing: An Editor’s Role 
More of our clients are self-publishing. This session details an editor’s role beyond checking punctuation and style. Susan K. Stewart will talk about kinds of publishing, what types of books are self-published, what kind of authors self-publish, and what editors should and should not do for their clients.

A Souled-Out Palate
Has God been trying to get your attention regarding what satisfies you? Do you struggle with depending on yourself, complacency, or another area in your life? Maybe you’ve sought to fill certain voids, but something tells you that you’re still hungry. Here are some examples: Does tension, worry, and anger fill you because you hunger for retaliation? Do you fill your day with busyness because you hunger to be satisfied with self-worth? Are you in competition with others because you hunger to be satisfied with recognition (even if it’s self-recognition)? Whatever you struggle with, God wants you to address it, and throughout the journey, he wants you to be maximized. In this workshop, Dr. Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes will show you how to be maximized despite life’s varying circumstances.

Strong Words for the Writer: Accuracy, Certainty, Transparency
Discover three core concepts to ensure the words you edit are aligned with God’s purpose! To be lights in this dark world and to ensure that the words our clients pen transform readers, we must do our part to ACT, realizing that God is working in us to do just this. In this workshop, Athena Holtz will cover three core concepts to ensure your clients’ words achieve what pleases and glorifies God.

What’s in a Name?
Just as editing practices vary, so do definitions of editing services. One editor’s line editing may be another editor’s copyediting. To promote consistency across its divisions and the publishing industry as a whole, Christian Editors Association (CEA) recently updated its definitions of editing services to better align with common usage. Join Christian Editor Connection Director Christy Distler and PEN Director Jayna Baas in this workshop to discuss different types of editing services and what each one involves. This session will also touch briefly on CEA’s rate chart for Christian freelance editors.