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.


PENCON 2017

Our fourth annual conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia. 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.

PENCON 2018

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

Held in Nashville, Tennessee, PENCON 2019 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.

PENCON 2020

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.

PENCON 2021

Our second virtual interactive conference, with live stream sessions and Zoom fellowship times, was held May 12-14. Fourteen industry professionals presented nineteen workshops that covered everything from editing website content to e-books to deep point of view in fiction. Professional development sessions included client-editor conflict resolution and incorporating faith practices in our work. Keynote speaker Bob Hostetler challenged us to be mentally healthy editors and provided a prayer model we can use every day in our business.

 

PENCON 2021 In-Person Connections

A group of new and seasoned editors gathered at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in western North Carolina to fellowship and learn. Edwina Perkins provided insight on how we can read for diversity and sensitivity. Eddie Jones inspired us to be the kind of editor that both clients and publishers seek. Darla Crass gave us tips on editing mystery, suspense, and thrillers. Attendees had plenty of time to interact with faculty and one another at mealtime and roundtable discussions. Everyone left with new skills, new friends, and renewed resolve to be a better editor.

PENCON 2022

PENCON 2022 was held May 4–6 on Crowdcast. Jim Watkins inspired and encouraged us with his two keynotes: “Editors: Your Write Role” and “Are Editors in Their Write Mind?” Fourteen other industry professionals helped attendees hone their skills with workshops on indexing, proofreading, nonfiction developmental editing, and academic editing. Age-specific presentations included editing books for emerging readers and teen fiction. Attendees interacted with one another in the Chat column and in Zoom fellowship times. They also connected with faculty in one-on-one appointments.

PENCON 2023

From May 3–5 on Crowdcast, an interactive virtual platform, dozens of publishing industry professionals gathered to network and learn. Seasoned faculty with decades of experience in the publishing world presented a variety of sessions. They covered genre-specific topics such as coaching writers, contract essentials, and social media. Also on the schedule were workshops that focus on the challenges of working from home and the importance of  physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Attendees learned from those who work for Baker, Kregel, Our Daily Bread Ministries, Elk Lake, Redemption Press, and Proverbs31.org. Several seasoned freelance business owners also shared their tips, tricks, and insights.

The conference featured live chat and Q&A in every session, one-on-one appointments with faculty, and daily Zoom fellowship times.

PENCON 2024

PENCON celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2024. From May 1–3, editors and proofreaders connected with other industry professionals for three days of education and encouragement. Held on the virtual platform Crowdcast, all sessions featured opportunities to interact with presenters and other attendees. Every attendee received a complimentary copy of a celebratory e-book, Ten Years of Top-Tier Tips, offering advice from PENCON faculty and staff.

The 2024 schedule included genre-specific workshops on editing historical fiction, short fiction, and ghostwriting. Attendees were wowed by sessions on using macros, AI and the publishing industry, and copyright basics. Personal and spiritual development sessions focused on how view the editor’s role as a ministry, how to move beyond the if onlys and buts, and how to combat the warfare ploys Satan uses against us. Other presenters gave practical tips for onboarding and offboarding clients, defining the services editors offer clients, and time management.

The Chat column and the daily Zoom fellowships enabled attendees to connect, laugh, and encourage one another. As one attendee said, “The workshops were exactly what I was looking for. The information was deep and rich and filled with practical information and applications.”

We equip and encourage Christian editors and proofreaders in cooperative competition through networking. We are the only annual conference specifically designed to connect editors and proofreaders to other industry professionals.

Christian Editors Association
The Christian PEN
The PEN Institute
Christian Editor Connection