PENCON began in 2014 as a part of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (the PEN). That first conference was planned to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the PEN. Cecil Murphey was the keynote speaker, and the small faculty included professionals in the industry. What a joy to come together for the first time as a group of Christian editors and learn from one another.
During that weekend in Yorba Linda, California, the small group decided to make the editors conference an annual event. The name PENCON was chosen as a spin-off of the PEN.
Our second conference was held in 2015 in Austin, Texas. More editors gathered together to network, learn, and encourage one another. Frank Ball and Jeanne Marie Leach were our keynote speakers. What fun we had seeing more faces and hanging out together.
Our third PENCON was held in Colorado Springs in 2016. Our keynote speaker was Allen Arnold. We had a large faculty of excellent professionals.
Our fourth annual conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia, in May 2017. Cecil Murphey returned to be our keynote speaker along with an exceptional faculty. We celebrated him with a Lifetime Achievement Award as he moved closer to retirement.
Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the location of our fifth annual conference in May 2018. Robert Hudson, author of The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, encouraged us as our keynote speaker. We learned from our experienced faculty of industry professionals both in the workshops and Q&A sessions.
PENCON 2019 was held in Nashville, Tennessee, and featured Selma Wilson as our keynote speaker. Other faculty included James Watkins from Wesleyan Publishing House and Joel Armstrong from Kregel Publications. Robert Hudson joined us for a second year, presenting three workshops and a Q&A on The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style. Worship time with Rachel Newman was an excellent way to close out a full conference day.
In 2020, PENCON was held as a virtual interactive conference. Attendees participated in live stream sessions or watched pre-recorded sessions when their schedule permitted. Ten industry professionals presented eighteen workshops that covered a broad range of topics—coaching clients, contract essentials, developing an editorial voice, and more. Whether you are new to the publishing world or have years of experience, PENCON offers opportunities to improve your skills so you can expand your editing or proofreading business.