Written by Jeanette Cameron
PENCON is the conference division of Christian Editor Network and the only annual conference for Christian editors. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, PENCON was held in person at different cities around the US. In 2020, however, PENCON launched its first-ever virtual conference, which was a resounding success. When attendees were polled afterward, the majority requested ongoing virtual conferences, and our international annual virtual conference was established.
PENCON seeks to equip editors of all kinds, from aspiring editors learning what it takes to break into freelance editing to experienced editors sharpening their skills and developing their specialties. This editor-focused conference is also a fantastic venue to encourage and be encouraged by other professionals and engage in session topics and discussions specifically designed for editors. But freelance editors for private clients are not the only attendees who benefit from the conference. In-house editors, first readers, proofreaders, freelance editors for publishing houses, and self-publishing or traditionally published writers can profit from a variety of sessions about indie publishing and working directly with publishing houses.
PENCON’s mission statement is “We equip and encourage Christian editors in cooperative competition through networking.” This division started in 2014 as part of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the PEN. PENCON offers a variety of workshops taught by industry experts as well as opportunities to interact with faculty during sessions and one-on-one appointments. Attendees may also meet and converse with other attendees in our monthly virtual fellowship meetings.
PENCON takes place in the spring each year, and in 2022 will be held from May 4 to 6 (Wednesday through Friday). This year’s keynote speaker is James Watkins, an award-winning writer, magazine and book editor, university writing teacher, speaker, and writing mentor. PENCON 2022 will offer nineteen workshops, featuring ten additional presenters, several of whom are fellow PEN members.
Keynotes, sessions, and presentation materials from each year’s conference are available. You may purchase a complete conference set or individual sessions from 2016 to 2021.
Denise Loock is the Director of PENCON. She is assisted by Cristel Phelps, Assistant Director; Bebe Dodd, Attendee Coordinator; Kim Autrey, Virtual Platform Coordinator; Judy Hagey, Social Media Coordinator; and Jessica Crooks, Prayer Advocate. Learn more about PENCON’s history and this year’s faculty.
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Jeanette Cameron is the current PEN Director and owner of Risen Editing, which serves Christian authors. From speculative to biblical and young adult to women’s contemporary fiction, she specializes in content editing, helping authors develop their storytelling skills, connect with their readers through stories, and honor God through the process. She enjoys learning about other cultures and having coffee or tea with friends. She lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, two teen children, and two dogs.