Red Pencil Conference 2019: June Conference News

June 19, 2019

Contributed by the 2019 Red Pencil conference committee

Have you noticed we’re excited about what’s coming this September? The Northwest Editors Guild’s Red Pencil Conference 2019: Voice & Voices is getting closer and closer, and we hope you’re excited too. Registration is open now, and you’ll get the best price if you register before July 31 at the early bird rates.

If you’re still on the fence, here are a few reasons you might want to join us:

  • to catch up with old and new friends
  • to feast on the food at Bastyr (No, really! It’s delicious!)
  • to expand your imagination by learning about types of editing you may never have touched before
  • to deepen your practice by exploring a variety of ways editors think about voice and voices
  • to join in the choir of voices that make up this magnificent community of Pacific Northwest editors

Read on to learn about a few of the many inspiring sessions you’ll have to choose from. And consider how you might contribute, too.

The Editing for Comics panel at the 2017 Red Pencil Conference
The Editing for Comics panel at the 2017 Red Pencil Conference.

First Peek at Presenters and Sessions

How Many Words in a Picture? Editing Graphic Novels

Christina Frey joins us from Baltimore, where she is a developmental/line editor as well as co-executive of the Editorial Freelancers Association. Christina is also a traditionally published graphic novelist who knows that, in some cases, words alone don’t tell the story. In her session, she will demonstrate the graphic novel writing process from start to finish—from characters and plot to art and script—and discuss where editors and proofreaders fit in this industry.

Technical Editing for Science and Engineering: The Art of Translating Technical Topics into Clear Language

Thanks go to Northwest Editors Guild member Mike Maisen for organizing this panel of in-house and freelance technical editors, who will talk about how they approach the work of making science writing easy to navigate and digest for a variety of audiences. In this session, you’ll hear about the panelists’ day-to-day work at science-focused consulting firms and have the opportunity to ask questions about skills and careers in technical editing. Jennifer Koogler, Guild member, technical editor, and proposal writer at Aspect Consulting, will moderate, with panelists Hannah Garrison, technical editor at Anchor QEA; Kristen Legg, managing technical editor at Floyd|Snider; and Marcy McAuliffe, owner and editor at McAuliffe Technical Editing Services.

Tweet This, Not That: How to Write and Edit for Social Media

Alysha Love is a multiplatform editor at the Idaho Statesman in Boise and on the executive board of ACES: The Society for Editing. Her session will discuss crafting multiple voices to meet many audiences, because what works on one social media platform might not work on another. You’ll learn how various types of social media work, how to most effectively engage audiences, and how to adapt tone and language for each platform to meet what different audiences are looking for.

Many Authors, Unified Voices

Olympia, Washington, editor Laura Cameron works in-house at the Washington State Auditor’s Office, where her role ranges from story development to rewriting and line editing for complex performance and accountability audits that must be turned into readable, compelling reports. In Laura’s work, it’s often important to achieve a uniform tone across documents written by multiple authors. Her session will explore two distinct government publishing models and identify ways editors can sandpaper the joins and smooth the seams to achieve a unified voice.

Inclusive Language in Medical and Technical Editing

Guild member Jess Gee is a developmental technical editor and naturopath who edits case studies used in medical education. Having seen firsthand how individual voice can be lost when the technical edit kicks in, Jess will present ways to shift to inclusive language in medical and technical contexts and discuss how this shift opens up narratives and affects the way readers orient themselves toward the people represented on the page.

A complete list of speakers and session titles is available on our FAQ page. Look for future blog posts to feature yet more of the speakers you can look forward to meeting and learning from in September. To read more about the conference theme, Voice & Voices, see Erica Akiko Howard’s blog post welcoming the conference keynote speaker, Viniyanka Prasad.

Comics Panel Audience Applauds (RP 2017)
The audience applauds a panel at the 2017 Red Pencil Conference.

2019 Scholarships

Are you in a position where it’s relatively easy to say “Yes!” to attending the conference yourself? Would you like to help make that answer possible for others?

Thanks to the contributions of a few Guild members, we are now offering a small number of partial scholarships to the 2019 conference. In keeping with the conference theme, these scholarships aim to encourage attendance by editors whose personal and/or professional backgrounds add to the diversity of voices and perspectives in the Guild’s professional community.

If you’d like to contribute to this effort, please email, ideally by midnight July 14. Donations of absolutely any amount—from $5 to $500!—are appreciated and make a difference. (Please note that donations to the Northwest Editors Guild are not tax-deductible.)

To apply for a scholarship, or for more information, email, ideally by midnight July 14. Scholarships will be awarded July 21 and will cover half the registration fee.

If you’d like to contribute in ways other than financial, we would love to hear from you! Email now to find out about volunteer opportunities. Watch this space for more conference news next month. And remember to register! Early bird registration is available through July 31.

The seventh biennial Red Pencil conference is on Saturday, September 21, 2019, on the campus of Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington, northeast of Seattle. Registration is open now at

Check the Guild’s website, Facebook page, LinkedIn page, or Twitter feed for updates, including reminders of the July 31 early bird registration deadline. Use the hashtag #EdsGuild2019 to start new conversations!

To feature your company or organization at the conference, email For questions about accessibility, email For all other inquiries, email

The 2019 Red Pencil conference committee is Polly Zetterberg, Ivonne Ward, Tori Smith, Barbara Mulvey Little, Tina Loucks-Jaret, Erica Akiko Howard, Lea Galanter, and Kyra Freestar.

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