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Meet Our 2017 Red Pencil Presenters

A national-level conference with local flair

Presenters at this year’s Red Pencil conference will be traveling from North Carolina, Wisconsin, Chicago, California, and even British Columbia and Spokane, to deliver presentations on topics ranging from the academic to ecommerce, with comic books and masterminding as intriguing twists. This is a conference you won’t want to just hear about later!

Presenters and Group Session Leaders and their Topics

For more information about our keynote speaker, Karen Yin of Conscious Style Guide and AP vs Chicago, see this page. Details on individual sessions can be found on our new sessions page.

Wendy Barron

(Session: Editors Canada: Not Just for Canadians!)
Wendy Barron made the leap to freelance editing from hospital administrative servitude in 2014. She is passionate about plain language and clear design, feminism, representation, literacy, and helping people tell their stories. She edits fiction, nonfiction, academic, scholarly, medical, business, and leisure writing, and has co-hosted a popular literary reading series in Vancouver. She helped organize the 2016 Editors Canada conference, runs social media for the BC branch, and chairs the national Student Relations Committee.

Anne Brennan

(Session: Editors Canada: Not Just for Canadians!)
Anne Brennan started editing almost as soon as she started reading. She figured out how to get paid for it in 1983. Today she’s a certified professional editor (CPE), having passed Editors Canada’s tests in structural and stylistic editing, copy editing, and proofreading. Her specialties are educational publishing, technical editing (especially for quilting and sewing publications), website content and construction, magazine editing, and project management. Whenever she gets a chance, she also gives presentations and workshops about quilting.

Rebecca Brinbury

(Session: Publishing Project Management)
Rebecca Brinbury is an editor and literary arts administrator. She works at University of Washington Press, where she is assistant to the director, and Poetry Northwest, where she is managing editor; Rebecca also works as a freelance copyeditor.

“To me, project management means understanding the scope of the project and how it impacts everyone involved, as well as understanding how my work can best support everyone else in the publishing chain.”

Joanie Eppinga

(Session: Academic Editing)
Joanie Eppinga brings 18 years of editing, research, interviewing, and writing experience in areas ranging from business to academic to marketing to governmental. She started the Spokeditors editorial group for colleagues in Eastern Washington.

Barbara Fuller

(Session: Working with Independent Authors: Challenges and Rewards)
Barbara Fuller is director of Editcetera, a professional association of 100+ freelance publications specialists. In that position she helps clients assess editorial needs, refers professionals, and coordinates a publishing workshop program. As an independent editor she also provides a wide range of editorial services, including developmental editing, writing, rewriting, and copyediting. Barbara has taught writing and editing classes and workshops for UC Davis, UC Berkeley Extension, Editcetera, and private businesses. She is the author of How to Start a Home-Based Editorial Services Business (Globe Pequot Press, 2013).

Em Gale

(Session: Publishing Project Management)
As managing production editor at Sasquatch Press, Em Gale oversees the production process working with authors, designers, and acquisitions editors, and she supervises e-books with Penguin Random House. She manages to fit in proofreading and freelance editing as well.

“For me, publishing project management means tracking everything from milestones (like manuscript transmittal dates to on-sale dates) to nitty-gritty details, like if a minute change to the text follows Chicago. It requires not only meeting my own deadlines, but also monitoring everyone else’s deadlines, all while maintaining a fine balance of keeping everyone happy while ensuring we get all the work done.”

Devon Gualtieri

(Session: Ecommerce Editing)
Devon Gualtieri is the managing editor of content26, a digital agency specialized in ecommerce content and Amazon Marketing Services campaigns. She manages a team of more than 30 in-house and freelance writers and editors. Her day-to-day tasks include coordinating workflow, consulting with brands, budgeting, hiring, and training. She is responsible for the quality of all published content, ensuring copy is on-brand and adheres to brand, retailer, and in-house style guides. Devon has created and maintained style guides for more than 650 brands and has line edited tens of thousands of pieces of content.

Jennifer Karchmer

(Session: Proofreading 101: Tips, Tools & Advice)
Jennifer is the owner of Over the Shoulder Editorial based in Bellingham, WA. A journalist, essayist, editor, proofreader, writing instructor, writing coach, and book reviewer, Jennifer works with writers of all levels in both fiction and nonfiction. She has carved out a niche in memoir, self-help, how-to, and addiction recovery titles. She has also spent more than 20 years as a newsroom reporter in CNN, AP, the New York Post, Gannett, and McClatchy. In addition to an MA in communication, Jennifer holds a TEFL (Teaching English as Foreign Language) degree from The Language House in Montpellier, France.

Kat Kruger

(Session: Not Just Superheroes: Editing Graphic Novels as a Medium, Not a Genre)
Kat Kruger is Chief Wordsmith at Steampunk Unicorn Studio. With over 10 years’ experience writing in the entertainment and gaming industries, the studio offers a wide array of storytelling, workshop, and publishing services. Formerly the creative director at Fierce Ink Books and an associate producer at CBC, Kat focuses on producing content with flair and providing talks on creative and gamified learning. She is also an acclaimed YA author, having written the novel adaptation of Bruce McDonald’s film Weirdos as well as the Lycan Code series (formerly The Magdeburg Trilogy).

Justin Norman

(Session: Not Just Superheroes: Editing Graphic Novels as a Medium, Not a Genre)
Seattle-based Justin Norman draws comics under the name Moritat. He is the artist for many comic books starring characters such as Batman and Harley Quinn. He’s also worked on supernatural and Western-themed comics for clients such as DC, Heavy Metal, and Image.

Laura Poole

(Session: Boost Your Career with a Mastermind Group)
Laura Poole is co-owner and director of training for As a freelance editor, she specializes in scholarly nonfiction. In addition to founding Archer Editorial Services and the Editorial Bootcamp training events, and co-founding Pilcrow Group with Erin Brenner, she is an instructor for the UC San Diego Extension Certificate in Copyediting Program.

Andrea Leigh Ptak

(Session: Publishing Project Management)
Andrea Leigh Ptak is a project manager, editor, and designer with over 35 years of experience in the publishing industry. She has served as project manager for a variety of publication types including corporate employee newsletters, nonprofit donor/member magazines, books, and an academic journal.

Carol Saller

(Session: Introducing Chicago Manual of Style’s New 17th Edition)
The author of The Subversive Copy Editor, and longtime manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press, Carol Saller is editor of the Chicago Manual of Style Online’s Q&A and of the CMOS Shop Talk blog. She has also written several children’s books, the latest of which is Eddie’s War, a young-adult novel set in rural Illinois during World War II.

Amy Schneider

(Session: Copyediting Fiction for Traditional Publishers)
Amy J. Schneider, founder of Featherschneider Editorial Services, earned her degree in graphic art and worked briefly in print production before jumping into freelance copyediting. She started out working primarily on college textbooks, and she has also been copyediting fiction since shortly after she began freelancing. Over the years, she has edited for major publishers in several genres, including romance, westerns, mysteries, cozies, paranormal, and urban fantasy, and now counts several New York Times best-selling authors among her clients.

“Nothing pleases me more than when an author specifically asks for me to copyedit his or her next book. And along with my growing experience in copyediting fiction, I have begun giving presentations and writing articles on the art of fiction copyediting, in order to provide professional development for my colleagues as well as to sharpen my own skills.”

Karen Upson

(Session: Publishing Project Management)
Karen Upson is special projects editor at Girl Friday Productions. She has more than 20 years of experience as a project manager, 10 of that specifically managing the production of written and visual content.

“I love that the publishing process has a linear elegance; at the same time, it also accommodates a (sometimes messy) creative process. I really appreciate that the time constraints inherent in any publishing project serve as both blessing and curse.”

Amanda M. Vail

(Sessions: Not Just Superheroes: Editing Graphic Novels as a Medium, Not a Genre; Publishing Project Management)
Amanda M. Vail not only manages communications in a nonprofit environment, but she’s also an avid comics consumer. As a managing editor for Bleating Heart Press and writer for Women Write About Comics, she reads and reviews comics regularly. In addition, she is the co-creator of Wayfarers, a graphic novel currently in production. She has participated in a number of panels for the EdsGuild, including past conferences and a panel at GeekGirlCon.

“In my role, publishing project management means working with independent designers and printers to produce and distribute our organization’s publications–from a 20-page Annual Report to annual appeals, event invitations, and more.”

Kristy Valenti

(Session: Not Just Superheroes: Editing Graphic Novels as a Medium, Not a Genre)
Kristy Valenti is an award-winning publishing professional with 15 years of experience in writing, editing, researching, proofreading, copywriting, and managing book releases from beginning to end. She has edited dozens of books for the Seattle independent publisher Fantagraphics, including New York Times best-sellers, and helped edit more than 50 issues of The Comics Journal. She also writes for popular sites such as comiXology and, and for books such as Pretty in Ink. She specializes in graphic novels, especially translated ones, and nonfiction about comics history. She recently won a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award, the field’s top honor.

Jen Vaughn

(Session: Not Just Superheroes: Editing Graphic Novels as a Medium, Not a Genre)
Jen Vaughn is a freelance cartoonist and game designer. By day, she has written for the Episode app, Glu’s Nicki Minaj: The Empire game, and Plants vs Zombies. By night, she creates comics like Avery Fatbottom: Renaissance Fair Detective, and the D&D-style collaborative comics anthology, Cartozia Tales! She’s worked in every part of the comics creation: marketing at Fantagraphics Books, coloring for Archie Comics, inking for Vertigo, hand-selling comics at Bookstop, and devising teaching curricula at the Schulz Library.

Mark White

(Session: Ecommerce Editing)
Mark White is a founding partner of content26, which manages Amazon marketing and content for brands. He is responsible for the company’s strategic partnerships and has overseen the development of services and processes since the company’s inception. He has worked in publishing and online media since 1999. He is a University of Washington Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy executive advisory board member.

Welcome our Fantastic Presenters!

We’re thrilled and delighted to welcome the above presenters and a host of other editing professionals not listed here as we get ready for what we hope will be our most exciting and satisfying conference yet!

Please join us in welcoming our presenters and speakers on Facebook and Twitter at #EdsGuild2017, and keep an eye out for more exciting announcements coming soon. And please check out our FAQ page for answers to all your Red Pencil questions.

The Northwest Independent 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.