Call for Speakers

Red Pencil 7 Conference: Voice
Call for Speakers

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Northwest Editors Guild’s seventh biennial Red Pencil Conference will offer editors of the written word an educational and stimulating conference around the theme of Voice. It will be held at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA (across Lake Washington from Seattle), and is expected to attract more than 200 editors from the Pacific Northwest, Canada, California, and beyond.

We invite you to send us your proposal for a session topic. We are featuring the theme of Voice to explore the many ways having and shaping voice plays into the experience and relationships of writers, editors, and readers. However, we are open to general topic proposals that bring interesting material to the field. We will accept full proposals, or letters of intention to submit (see below), through December 14, 2018.

About the Northwest Editors Guild

The Northwest Editors Guild is a professional organization of more than 300 experienced editors in Washington, Oregon, and the greater Pacific Northwest. The Editors Guild exists to connect, educate, support, and inspire editors, writers, and other word lovers. Now in its 22nd year, the Guild represents both freelance and in-house editors who work with all categories of the written word.

About the Red Pencil Conferences

The Northwest Editors Guild has hosted an editing conference in Seattle every other year since 2007. As the conference has grown along with the Guild, we’ve added more sessions to cover a broader range of topics, and are now recognized as one of the top editing conferences in the country.​ Read more about previous Red Pencil conferences here​ (scroll to the bottom of the page).

The Red Pencil conferences welcome everyone. Our volunteer conference committee is working on concrete ways to make sure every participant feels safe, welcome, and included. The conference will be held at Bastyr University in Kenmore, about 16 miles from Seattle. We are working on a plan for carpooling and volunteer drivers, including for people with mobility devices. Once at the campus, all conference areas, including bathrooms, are fully accessible. Any person attending the conference can request a pass for a caregiver or support person to attend free of charge. Please email for more specific information and to share any ideas or requests that will help us make this conference more accessible for you or anyone you know.


This conference will be a one-day event with an opening keynote presentation followed by a series of concurrent breakout sessions lasting 45 minutes each. Most sessions will be in a seminar format across several tracks, with attendees choosing the sessions that best suit their experience and interests. (There is also the option of teaming up with one or more other experienced speakers to give a panel-style presentation.) Audience materials are required, either as printed handouts, or as links to your slide deck or to supplemental material.

Possible Session Topics:

  • Social media: Twitter, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Inclusive language or plain-language editing
  • Book editing (e.g., self-publishing, e-books, understanding the book publishing industry today)
  • Sensitivity reading
  • Business editing (e.g., technical, corporate, marketing & communications)
  • Unusual types of editing (e.g., comic books, video games, board games, ghostwriting, etc.)
  • Grammar for copy editing (e.g., tests, resources, for fun, tricky areas)
  • Editing for the web/SEO/website marketing
  • The business of freelance or in-house editing
  • Keeping up with new technology
  • E-book formatting
  • Academic editing and plagiarism software
  • Exercise and well-being for editors
  • Fact checking and references, libraries and librarians

There will also be a set of smaller, informal Q&A groups. Topics for these groups will be finalized after the primary programming is determined.

Presenter Qualifications

We are seeking experienced presenters who are currently active in the editing field or topic area of interest, with at least five years of professional experience. Current Editors Guild membership is not required.


If you are selected to present, you will receive free entrance to the conference and complimentary breakfast and lunch. Your bio will be featured on the conference website and in the conference brochure. We will also link to your business site or social media channels.

You are also welcome to bring free promotional materials to offer during your session, along with your presentation handouts. (To offer books or other items for sale, request information about purchasing a vendor table at

Proposing Your Idea

Please feel free to suggest topics that you would like to present, as well as topics others might present that you think would be of interest to our attendees.


To propose a session topic, please submit a complete proposal including the information outlined below to

  • Name, address, phone, email address
  • Your current C.V. or résumé (and those of any co-presenters)
  • Links to your website and any social media accounts (and those of any co-presenters)
  • A one-page bio or statement about your experience as a presenter (and that of any co-presenters)
  • A one-page synopsis of your topic and presentation, including the following:
    • a statement of why our attendees would be interested in i
    • an outline of your main points
    • a description of what resource-rich in-session handouts you’ll offer (or a link to same) and/or other supplemental materials for later distribution by the Editors Guild (one of these is required)
  • Note: Complete proposals are required for final consideration.


To propose multiple ideas, or if you would like feedback from the from the committee on an idea, please submit a brief description of the idea(s) and your contact information. The committee will follow up with you over the next few weeks. Full submission material will be required before final consideration.

Q&A Facilitators

If you are interested in facilitating a Q&A group at the conference, please email your idea for a topic and your relevant experience to

Help Build a Better Conference

We want Guild events and conferences to include, encourage, and recognize people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, and sexual orientations. We are actively recruiting a diverse range of speakers for our 2019 conference and may be able to offer support for those who would otherwise have difficulty attending:

  • Recommend presenters you would like to learn from: email with the potential presenter’s name, contact information, areas of expertise, and the reason you recommend them.
  • Share topic ideas with us you think will address more experienced editors’ interests. 
  • Forward our Call for Speakers to relevant groups with the message that we are looking for a diverse roster of presenters.
  • Suggest to potential speakers that they submit proposals.
  • Organize community-based public speaking training and practice events, such as Editors Guild coffee hours and workshops.
  • Continue to suggest ways that the on-site conference experience can be more welcoming and supportive: email with your ideas.

Questions & Submissions

Deadline: December 14, 2018. Send proposals, letters of intention, or any questions to, and include the words “Red Pencil” in the subject line. We’re looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you!

Conference Committee

Kyra Freestar/Lea Galanter/Erica Howard/Tina Loucks-Jaret/Tori Smith/Ivonne Ward/Polly Zetterberg