2017 Red Pencil Sessions

You can now download our full conference brochure, including schedule and room information, here.

Below is our schedule of events, followed by descriptions of our sessions and panels that you will have the opportunity to enjoy at our 2017 conference, Red Pencil 6: Tracking Changes in Editing. You can also read more about our fabulous presenters, get the details on our marvelous keynote speaker, Karen Yin of Conscious Style Guide, or check out our FAQ page for more information about the conference in general, and register here.

2017 Red Pencil Schedule

8:30 – 9:30             Registration & Full Breakfast (vegetarian)
9:30 – 9:45             Welcome Remarks
9:45 – 10:30           Keynote Address by Karen Yin
10:30 – 10:45         15 Minute Break
10:45 – 11:45         Session One:

  • Proofreading 101: Tips, Tools & Advice
  • Publishing Project Management
  • Academic Editing

11:45 – 1:15            Lunch
1:15 – 2:15              Session Two:

  • Not Just Superheroes: Editing Graphic Novels
  • ECommerce Editing
  • Boost Your Career with a Mastermind Group

2:15 – 2:30              15 Minute Break
2:30 – 3:30              Session Three:

  • Working with Independent Authors: Challenges and Rewards
  • Copyediting Fiction for Traditional Publishers
  • Editors Canada: Not Just for Canadians!

3:30 – 3:45              15 Minute Break
3:45 – 4:45              Session Four:
Introducing Chicago Manual of Style’s New 17th Edition
4:45  – 5:00             Final Remarks
5:15 – 7:15              Off-Site After Party at Nine Yards Brewing


Keep reading for full descriptions of our fabulous session offerings!

Academic Editing

Joanie Eppinga

Academic editing is a growing niche in the editorial field as more and more universities turn their focus from mechanics to content, meaning they more often encourage—and in some cases insist on—the use of editors by their students. This form of editing has its own rewards and bugaboos, and an experienced academic editor can offer information that will ease the way for those who are entering the field.

Main Points
  • Mechanics (style guides, software, use of language, and formatting)
  • Ethics
  • Marketing
  • The money part

Boost Your Career with a Mastermind Group

Laura Poole

The mastermind group is no longer reserved for C-suite executives and entrepreneurs. For editors who wish to create community and grow in their skills and profession, a mastermind group is very valuable resource (especially for freelancers, who don’t benefit from mentoring and career development in a traditional work arrangement). This kind of group can range from casual to formal and provide support in an authentic, positive, constructive way for all who take part. The existence of my own mastermind group (affectionately called The Quad) has become somewhat well-known among some editors, and we believe in spreading the message of how others might benefit.

Main Points
  • Defining what a mastermind is and can be—and why anyone should take part
  • Real-life experience of various members of mastermind groups
  • How to find members, create the group (ways of communication, possible structures), and keep it going
  • Rules of engagement and support

Copyediting Fiction for Traditional Publishers

Amy Schneider

Many editors got their start in editing nonfiction, but are attracted to the idea of editing fiction: getting paid to read and shape the novels and stories we all enjoy reading for fun. But the skills needed to edit fiction are quite different, and although some can be transferred from nonfiction editing, some require an entirely different mindset and approach.

Main points:
  • Quick overview of the “soft skills” of fiction editing: attention to author’s voice and style, flexibility in allowing “incorrect” and nonstandard grammar and syntax, editing dialogue, diplomacy in queries, and (for traditional publishers) limiting the editing level to copyediting only
  • Four style sheets the presenter keeps for fiction (general, characters, places, and timeline) and the types of things to watch for and note on them

Ecommerce Editing

Devon Gualtieri and Mark White

Editors play an important behind-the-scenes role in discovery, branding, and conversion on Amazon and for other online retailers. This session will help attendees understand what ecommerce editing is like. In addition, attendees will get an inside view of the local ecommerce editing scene and learn what skills are needed to succeed at this quick-paced form of web editing.

Main points:
  • Why content matters to Amazon (and all online retailers)
  • The various types of ecommerce content
  • How ecommerce editing is different
  • Skills needed to succeed at ecommerce editing

Editors Canada: Not Just for Canadians!

Wendy Barron and Anne Brennan

You don’t have to be Canadian or live in Canada to benefit from Editors Canada’s meetings, conferences, professional development seminars and webinars, and certification programs. Editors Canada has a reciprocal agreement with NWIEG. Join two active members of the British Columbia branch for a discussion of fantastic personal and professional opportunities available from your neighbors to the north.

Introducing Chicago Manual of Style’s New 17th Edition

Carol Saller

The 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style is here! Carol Saller will preview specific changes, updates, and additions and explain how the Manual’s past informs its future.

Not Just Superheroes:
Editing Graphic Novels as a Medium, Not a Genre

Kat Kruger, Justin Norman, Amanda M. Vail, Kristy Valenti, and Jen Vaughn

Graphic fiction and nonfiction have recently been New York Times “Best Seller” categories; titles such as Fun Home and Persepolis have sold hundreds of thousands of copies; comics are now taught in schools. As comics and graphic novels rise in popularity, independent publishing is also on the rise, thereby opening up a whole new market for independent editors. This panel will break down the many different methods of editing a graphic novel and will provide the audience with a basic understanding of how they might adapt their skills for this burgeoning market.

Main points:
  • Break down four types of comics editing
  • Explain how artists who draw comics are coauthors
  • Discuss the medium’s particular challenges of word balloons, limited space, and layout considerations
  • Identify opportunities for experienced editors who specialize in different fields—cookbooks, science, YA, translation, and more

Proofreading 101: Tips, Tools & Advice

Jennifer Karchmer

Proofreading goes hand in hand with editing in the manuscript process. Unfortunately, proofreading gets “pooh-poohed” by some authors and writers who dismiss its importance and even skip the step completely, publishing work that looks sloppy and careless, ultimately affecting sales and credibility. Gain a better understanding of how to do proofreading most efficiently and work effectively with a proofreader in the editorial process.

Main points:
  • Why proofreading is perhaps the most essential step in the editorial process
  • How proofreading differs from all other forms of editing
  • How to work more efficiently and effectively as a proofreader
  • How to work with a proofreader, if you are an editor

Publishing Project Management

Rebecca Brinbury, Em Gale, Andrea Leigh Ptak, Karen Upson, and Amanda M. Vail

What exactly does a project manager do? The answer is as varied as the types of publishing projects that exist. This panel brings together four Seattle-based professionals with over 30 years of combined experience as project managers in the book publishing industry. They will introduce the variety of positions open to someone with project management skills and help attendees determine whether this might be a possible career option—especially in this era of “wearing many hats” for employers and clients.

Main points:
  • What practical skills do you need to do your job, and how did you gain those skills?
  • How many projects do you work on at any given time?
  • Describe a typical workday
  • Do you use special “planning” software?

Working with Independent Authors: Challenges and Rewards

Barbara Fuller

Editors today have many opportunities to work directly with authors, including some authors who plan to self-publish and others who want assistance with their manuscripts before they present proposals to publishers. Some of the most advanced editors with a history of working with traditional publishers are ideal candidates for this work—but some are caught off-guard by the expectations and sometimes by the inexperience of indie clients. In this workshop, we’ll look at editor-author relationships and things that editors can do to best succeed in their work directly with authors. Freelancers who are prepared for the challenges, in fact, often find this kind of work to be particularly satisfying.

Main points:
  • Why edit directly for authors?
  • Potential challenges
  • Ways to improve your chances for success
  • Potential rewards