April 30-May 2, 2020

Salt Lake City, UT

Hilton Salt Lake City Center

Below is the current list of sessions for the ACES 2020 National Conference. Sessions and session times will continue to be added, please check back later for more information.

We are still reviewing session proposals and will be contacting all who submitted, those selected as well as those not selected. Thank you for your patience while we review!

Beyond Neutrality: How to Promote Gender-Inclusive Language

Claire Korzen, editor/writer, RTI International
Amy Morrow, PhD, editor/writer, RTI International

Gender-inclusive language ensures that coworkers, clients, and other business partners feel respected, professionally and personally. Are you curious about how you can promote the use of gender-inclusive language at your organization? This session will discuss what gender-inclusive language is (and what it isn’t), why it’s important, and how to obtain buy-in from stakeholders at all organizational levels, from authors to executives. This session will feature a step-by-step case study of how we developed gender-inclusive style guidelines at a mid-sized organization. We will also discuss the reasoning behind our guidelines, sources we consulted, and some obstacles we overcame along the way.

Community Listening: Staying Ahead of the Curve on Conscious Language

Steve Barry, senior copy editor, Healthline Media
Sara Giusti, copy editor, Healthline Media
Isabella De Soriano, Conscious Language and Research Manager, Healthline Media
Anne Arntson, copy editor, Healthline Media

In today's fast-paced world, conscious language is constantly evolving, as community advocates push us to continually reevaluate the words we use. So how do you stay current with trends in conscious language? At Healthline Media, a leading health information publisher, we've learned that waiting for the latest updates from AP or Chicago isn't enough. We stay ahead of the curve with community listening. In this session, we explain our editorial approach to community listening, guide you through recent examples of community listening in our content, and give you the resources you need to incorporate it into your own editorial process.

Edit Sober: 50 (or so) Quick and Dirty Tips for Editors

Mark Allen, owner, Mark Allen Editorial
Mignon Fogerty, founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl

Mark Allen has been offering word-related tips on Twitter for 10 years, and Mignon Fogarty has been sharing tips since 2006 through podcasts, books, Twitter and elsewhere. Here are some of the best tips they’ve heard, presented in a fast-paced format with time for you to chime in with your own bits of advice, too. What is the best writing or editing tip you’ve been given?

Editors Can Be Educators: Using PerfectIt to Lift the Quality of Writing at Your Organization

Daniel Heuman, CEO/founder, Intelligent Editing

People resent being corrected. No one wants to hear that words they’ve used their whole lives are offensive to company stakeholders. So how can you raise the standard of writing in your organization if people don’t want to hear about it? They may not want a co-worker to tell them, but people respond differently to software. Mishandling company branding, use of technical terms, and sensitive language are just some of the errors you can build into PerfectIt. Building your style manual into PerfectIt helps colleagues learn how to write at your organization without feeling scolded. When they send you better text, your own edits will be more effective too.

Editing with Head and Heart: Balancing SEO and Conscious Language

Jasmin Collier, lead copy editor, Medical News Today
Isy Godfrey, copy editor, Medical News Today

How do you write for an algorithm and a human being at the same time? Healthline Media are the top publisher within the health information category. As such, we have a responsibility to provide authoritative, inclusive content that gives our readers the tools they need to best manage their health. To do this, we must answer the questions that people are searching for. Sometimes, however, these principles come into conflict. This session will explain how we approach the challenge of balancing our focus on empathy and conscious language with our technical approach to SEO, which helps make our content visible.

Freelance Project Management: How to Plan for and Complete Multiple Projects at Once

Dr. Cathy Hannabach, founder and CEO, Ideas on Fire

Freelance editors are constantly juggling projects. While working on one project at a time might seem nice, it’s hard to make a living like that or build a successful business. In this session, we’ll tackle how to juggle multiple projects at once without letting any of them falter. Topics covered will include deciding whether time blocking or bouncing fits you better, determining what is allowed to fill your white space, harnessing productive procrastination, designing templates to reduce admin time, and setting up the calendars, apps, and workflows that fit your unique work habits and life.

Headlines That Work: How to Capture Readers' Attention on Any Platform

Dana Sitar, editor, LendEDU

A single headline is not sufficient for most content in digital publishing. Readers access your content in a variety of contexts, and the headline that’s effective in one context is often less effective in another. This session will show you how to 1) craft headlines that catch readers’ attention across platforms without distorting your content’s purpose, 2) shape engaging content by starting with the headline and 3) build headline brainstorming and crowdsourcing into your editorial process to ensure the strongest headlines make it to the page.

One Command to Rule Them All: Introduction to Word Macros

Rhonda Bracey, freelance editor

Many editors use macros to save hours of time. But what's a macro? Can anyone create one? Learn the basics of Word macros so you can start creating your own for repetitive tasks. This session covers:

NOTE: Only Word for Windows will be demonstrated.

Skill level: Intermediate to advanced Word users

Recipe Editing Workshop

Karen Wise, freelance editor

In this workshop, we will work together to edit several recipes provided as handouts. As we edit, we will discuss the conventions and standards of recipe editing, strategies for ensuring clarity and consistency, and useful references to turn to for guidance, plus what to do when those references don't agree. The recipes will be chosen to show the most commonly encountered errors that need to be addressed, as well as some trickier situations that require special treatment. Bring your favorite Frixion pen or Col-Erase pencil!

Style Switching: Moving Comfortably Between Multiple Publishing Guides

Tammy Ditmore, owner, eDitmore Editorial Services

AP. APA. Chicago. Turabian. MLA. Becoming comfortable with multiple publishing styles can open more job opportunities for editors—especially nonfiction and academic editors. But how can any editor keep all those rules and guidelines straight? Do all editors need photographic memories? Come learn some tips and tricks for quickly mastering the basics of a new style guide so you can feel comfortable working with multiple styles for different clients.

Using Business Data to Increase Your Profits

Erin Brenner, owner, Right Touch Editing

Do I charge enough? How many more clients do I need to make the money I want? Your editing business has a black box of information that will help you answer these questions and more. In this session, you’ll learn how to decode your business’s black box and what to do with the information to earn more while maintaining your sanity. And the math isn’t hard!

What's New in the AP Style Guide

Paula Froke, lead editor, AP Stylebook
Colleen Newvine, product manager, AP Stylebook

Paula Froke, lead editor of the AP Stylebook, presents the Stylebook’s annual session on changes to AP style in the last year. AP Stylebook Online is updated throughout the year, and some of these changes will take effect today online, with ACES members being the first to know. They will also appear in the 2020 Stylebook, which is due out May 27.

Colleen Newvine, AP Stylebook product manager, will show you how to claim your ACES member discount on an AP Stylebook Online subscription.

Tweet your style questions to @APStylebook or stop by the AP Stylebook’s sponsor table to get your AP style questions to the top of the list.

Editing for the Generalist When Working With SMEs (a.k.a. Editing at CIA)

Editors from the CIA

Do you edit complicated content that needs to be easily interpreted by the generalist reader? Do you work with doctors, literal rocket scientists, or engineers? Join CIA editors as we present some of our stories from working with subject matter experts and give some tips on what we’ve seen work well for helping make complex content easier to access for the generalist reader, and in our case, the busy policy maker.

Editing with OCD, or Anxiety in General

Anna Tribolet, technical writer, Utah Department of Technology Services

Have you ever worried so much about your edits that you double- or triple-check your work? Do you ever waste time agonizing over a typo in an email you sent weeks ago? Do you read each page five times to make sure you've caught every issue? These habits may sound “crazy,” but for some editors, they’re a part of life. Welcome to the world of editing when you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or anxiety in general. In this session, we’ll discuss how anxiety can affect your editing and how to overcome anxiety so you can become an editing superpower!

Grammar Saves Lives

Jennifer Rowe, associate professor, Missouri School of Journalism

No one wants a grammar error to ruin a piece of work or wreck your reputation. Get a refresher on some of the basic rules, fixes for common mistakes and tips for how to survive the pesky pitfalls of modern grammar.

For Editors Who Want to Wear All the Hats: Editorial Work in Instructional Design for Online Learning

Carla Douglas, editor and instructional designer, Queen’s University

Instructional design work provides opportunities for editors to apply their skills in all the editorial disciplines—developmental editing, structural editing, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading.

At any given time, instructional designers (IDs) manage multiple projects, identify copyright, permissions and fair-use issues, spot bias, reorder and rewrite content, coach subject matter experts, improve readability, apply house style, write video scripts, proofread design layout, create learning scenarios—and more!

In this session, we’ll walk you through an ID’s typical day, describe the variety of editorial tasks they engage in, and identify the technology and tools they use to bring learning to life.

When Content & Design Collide: Can Design Change the Rules of Grammar?

Ashly Stage, content marketing manager, Canvas

The marriage of words and design are vital to delivering good stories to the noisy, oversaturated interwebs. The desire for powerful visuals and even practical design specs have started evolving how words and design work together, sometimes even changing the rules of grammar! In this session, we’ll explore what changes like the typography trend of all lower-case lettering or the use of emojis mean for the editors in all of us, and we’ll discuss what grammar rules are worth fighting for.

The Dictionary and the Copyeditor

Emily Brewster, senior editor and editorial ambassador, Merriam-Webster, Inc.

The dictionary is one of the copyeditor's most important tools, but it may also be the most misunderstood. This talk digs into the role of the dictionary in American public discourse, and how that role has changed from the early 19th century to today. To what degree do current dictionaries try to be gatekeepers of the language? To what degree are they impartial monitors of the expanding lexicon? What do the answers to these questions mean for copyeditors? This talk will also cover Merriam-Webster's editorial policies and practices, including compound styling, variant order, and labels like "archaic," "dated," and "slang."

Editing Within the Government

Dakotah Daffron, editor, Management Concepts
Melanie Tague, editor, Management Concepts

Editing within the government requires the editor to learn countless acronyms, develop agency-specific style guides, and manage repetitive, yet ever-changing content. This panel will provide an introduction into the world of government editing; discuss how internal style guides are created; and advice on how to address outside requirements such as plain language and Section 508 compliance. Discover they keys for successfully breaking into a different realm of editing.

Don't Eat Your Words: How We Talk About Food and Bodies and Why It Matters

Jill Campbell, copy editor, Healthline Media

One category not often included in the conversation around conscious language is the language we use to describe food and bodies. This session will discuss how we can use words to combat our culture’s biased messages about food, weight, and body size, as well as how to address eating disorders in an inclusive and non-triggering way. Content note: This session will include mentions of eating disorders and examples of stigmatizing language sometimes used toward people in larger bodies.

What Editors Need to Know about Google Docs

Karin Horler, owner, KPH Editorial

Although Microsoft Word is the editor's standard tool, Google Docs is gaining popularity. Editors who are asked to work in Google Docs often have questions and concerns. Can you track changes or convert files to Word? How do you handle the workflow? What about Word macros—are there equivalents in Google Docs?

#StetWalk: Editor Health and Self-Care

Heather E. Saunders, owner, Just the Write Type Editing
Tanya Gold, book editor/writing coach/literary omnivore

This session will discuss ways to stay healthy (mentally and physically) so you can be at your editing best. We'll talk about workspace environments, organization tips that can help you feel in control, pacing yourself, and strategies that support work-life balance. Note: this session will include an actual StetWalk. Be prepared to walk about a mile, rain or shine!

Editing in the Newspaper Business: What it Once Was, What it Can Be Today

Neil Holdway, assistant managing editor/copy desk, Daily Herald
Alex Cruden, former copy desk chief, Detroit Free Press
Vicki Krueger, internal communications coordinator, BayCare Health System
Lisa McLendon, University of Kansas journalism school as the coordinator of the Bremner Editing Center

Join veteran editors of the newspaper industry in an open discussion on how editing has changed in the newspaper business and what editing can and should be done in the business today even with declining time and resources.

American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) on Getting the Polling Story Right

G. Evans Witt, CEO and principal of Witt Associates LLC/Councilor-at-Large for the AAPOR

The blizzard of polls in a presidential election year can be overwhelming. But polls are like any other source of information, with strengths and weaknesses that can be misinterpreted and misreported. AAPOR experts will talk about the science behind polling, how they are being conducted in 2020 and how polls should be reported – and which polls should not be reported. And they will be happy to explain that polls did NOT get it wrong in the 2016 election.

What's New in APA Style: Inside the Seventh Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

Timothy L. McAdoo, content development manager, APA Style team of the American Psychological Association

In this session, we will discuss the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, highlighting key APA Style updates chapter by chapter. We will provide insights into the rationale behind many of the changes and advice for navigating the transition to seventh edition style. Used worldwide by students and professionals in psychology, nursing, education, business, engineering, and many other fields, APA Style provides essential guidance for making writing more precise, concise, and inclusive. The seventh edition reflects advancements in ethical standards, research reporting, use of online sources, and accessibility over the past 10 years. It has been expanded to include expert recommendations for writing without bias, student-specific resources, and updated guidance on best practices in scholarly writing, research, citing, and publishing.

Building the Perfect Post

Andy Bechtel, associate professor, UNC-Chapel Hill
Vicki Krueger, internal communications coordinator, BayCare Health System
Teresa Schmedding, content manager, Wipfli LLP

What makes a great post for your company's website? Your own blog? In this session, we will first discuss how to combine headlines, photos, captions, text and links to create posts that engage, inform and entertain readers. Then, participants will immediately put that advice into practice, and the presenters will give feedback on the spot. Bring your laptop!

Content Matters: How to Tell -- And Sell -- Your Client's Story

Constance Brossa, founder, Final Edit

Conveying the ideal image and message about your business is crucial in the business world. So you need to carefully craft words and images for use online and in print that are clear, consistent. engaging and - above all else - memorable. During this session, you'll get pointers on creating collateral marketing pieces, social media posts and website content that will help you tell - and ultimately sell - your clients' unique stories.

Words that Glitter and Splash

James Harbeck, freelance editor

Most words have an arbitrary association between sound and sense. There are exceptions: imitative words such as “woof” and “thud.” But there’s also another set of words where the sound tends to go along with the meaning even in otherwise unrelated words, and you can change the tone of a document subtly just by using them—which is why certain genres of writing tend to avoid them. Linguist, editor, and author James Harbeck will open the door for you into the world of phonaesthemes.

Tense Without Tension: Choosing the Best Verb

Lisa McLendon, University of Kansas journalism school as the coordinator of the Bremner Editing Center

The English verb system is complex and can be confusing at times, even for professionals. Combining tense and aspect plus various auxiliaries, English verbs have a dozen forms, enabling precise expression of timing and completion of an action. This session will discuss the concepts of tense and aspect, all of the verb forms, and how to choose the best verb for the context.

What Editing Skills are in Demand for 2020

Teresa Schmedding, content manager, Wipfli LLP

A dictionary, style book and great grammar skills used to be all you needed to be a great editor. Then came pica poles, photo wheels and pagination. Later, editing for websites, social media and email. And most recently, "multiplatform" editors were in high demand. What's next in the editing game? This session will explore what skills companies are looking for when hiring editors today. And how you can get them.

Systems & Shortcuts: Supercharge Your Business

Lori Paximadis, owner, Pax Studio

Running a freelance business is not for the faint of heart. Not only do you need to do what your clients hire you to do, but you must also nurture your client relationships, find new clients, manage your overall workflow and individual projects, keep on top of your invoices and finances, and so much more,” all without losing your mind. This session will explore how to use systems and shortcuts to save you time, increase your productivity, bring flow to your business, and ultimately make you more money.

Freelance Like a Boss: Act Like a Business, Not an Employee

Amy J. Scheider, owner, Featherschneider Editorial Services
Erin Brenner, owner, Right Touch Editing
Laura Poole, owner, Archer Editorial Services, Inc
Lori Paximadis, owner, Pax Studio

Does it seem like your clients hold all the cards? Like you have no control over your fees, your scope of work, your schedule? Not so! When you are doing business as an editorial freelancer, YOU are the boss—with all of the corresponding rights AND responsibilities. In this panel presentation by four experienced editors, you'll learn to adjust your mindset, set appropriate boundaries, and put yourself in the executive's chair.

Putting Source Citations into Editorial Perspective

Russell Harper, editor of The Chicago Manual of Style Online Q&A and the CMOS Shop Talk blog

Source citations can be a lot of fun, but you won’t learn that by looking at a style manual. That’s because manuals focus on the mechanics—what to include and how to style and punctuate it. What they don’t tell you is that those details are usually flexible. And now that editors can follow citations where they lead and examine the sources (and often their citations) for themselves, the priorities have shifted. This session will look at the rationale behind a variety of citation styles (including Chicago’s) and consider some strategies to help editors keep it all in perspective.

Commas and Code: Developmentally Editing Technical Material

Sarah Grey, developmental editor, O'Reilly Media
Virginia Wilson, senior development editor at O'Reilly Media

Ever wondered how to transition into working with technical material? How is developmental editing different with tech books? How can you DE material on highly technical subjects without subject matter expertise? In this lively overview, two developmental editors from the respected tech publisher O'Reilly Media talk tech and DE, touching on peer review, author relationships, corporate-sponsor relationships, industry-specific considerations, code, math, editing workflows, and more.

Editing Stories on Mental Illness and Suicide

Melissa McCoy, writer/editor/educator

Handling stories and other communication about suicide and mental illness can be challenging for even the most veteran editors. This workshop will provide news editors and other front-line communicators with the tools for editing these stories across platforms (whether on deadline or in long form) in a compelling and accurate way, with emphasis on accuracy, language and public service. The session will also cover headlines and other display type.The discussion will focus on ethics, standards and journalistic responsibility, but this workshop would be helpful for book editors or any communications professional who wants to be sensitive while handling this difficult storytelling

Fact Checking Tips for All Types of Editing

Gerri Berendzen, lecturer, University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications

No matter what you edit, every editor needs a dose of skepticism. Making sure the facts are correct is a part of many editor's day-to-day work. So it helps to be able to recognize the red flags in all types of writing, to know when to take a closer look and to be able to find credible sources fast. This session will cover the tips and tricks of fact checking and include time to share your tales of fact checking success.

The Language of Reporting on Firearms

Kevin Michalowski, executive editor, Concealed Carry Magazine
Ed Combs, senior editor, Concealed Carry Magazine
Beth Alcazar, associate editor, Concealed Carry Magazine

Editors will learn the accurate and correct descriptions of various firearms, operating systems, ammunition and other topics related to one of the hottest reporting topics today. In a nation with more than 100 million gun owners, the failure of editors to correctly use the terminology leaves a huge credibility gap. This is especially important as we approach a national election where gun control will be in the forefront of the national discussion.

Diverse Content: How Publishers Can Combat Implicit Bias in Editorial Departments

Brittany Yost, freelance editor

Inclusion and diversity continue to be a goal for the publishing industry with various tactics being used to diversify content including hiring practices and the use of sensitivity readers. This session will investigate the concept of implicit bias, specifically in regard to editorial departments as content influencers, to determine how bias might negatively affect manuscript commissioning. We will discuss possible tactics in combating bias within editorial teams in order to lead to more diverse content.

What Is a Copy Desk?

Emma Alpern, senior copy editor, Eater and Curbed
Kara Verlaney, senior copy editor, The Verge

As the media landscape shifts, many staff copy editors find themselves acting as a resource for editors who copy edit their own work, rather than someone who reads every published word. What happens when fewer articles pass through the copy desk and more of our time is spent educating? We’ll address some of the pitfalls of digital media’s approach to the copy desk, and we'll talk about how to advocate for the time and money that a robust copy editing program requires. We will also suggest strategies for creating resources that writers use — easy-to-grasp style manuals, grammar guides, and word lists — and developing small-group classes that writers find useful.

Going for the Grant: Strategies and Tips for Editing Grant Proposals

David Lindeman, president, Global Grant Solutions

Clear, compelling, and well-edited grant proposals are increasingly important today as organizations and companies vie for limited funds. Led by an experienced grant proposal writer and copyeditor, this workshop will provide an overview of the grants process and then cover dynamics of copyediting for grant proposals, including funder requirements and expectations, working with multiple writers, nuances of tone and style, terminology and jargon, and online proposals.

The Invention of the Modern American Dictionary

Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large, Merriam-Webster

Noah Webster’s revolutionary 1806 publication A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, the first truly American dictionary, and his subsequent work were showing their age and shortcomings by the mid-nineteenth century, when competition from the excellent dictionary of Joseph Worcester drove the publishers to a moment of truth—and of disruption. The decisions they subsequently made set the course for the company’s editorial and business policies to this day. This change from the idiosyncratic work of an individual to the organized effort of a team was an important and influential moment in the development of modern lexicography, and it is best understood alongside the business strategies that were its motivation. Webster’s work, the details of the “War of the Dictionaries,” and the teamwork resulting in the landmark edition of 1864 will all be discussed.

Don't Let Computer Injuries Sideline You

Molly McCowan, lead word nerd, Inkbot Editing
Merrill Perlman, freelance editor and consultant, Merrill Perlman Consulting
Ashley Bischoff, owner, Friendly Editing

Computer athletes like you (yes, you!) are susceptible to repetitive strain injuries that can cause physical pain and discomfort and even endanger your career. If you're skimming through this thinking, “This doesn't apply to me,” keep reading. RSI goes by many (sometimes misunderstood) names like carpal tunnel syndrome, overuse injuries, and tennis elbow. You may have it and not even know it, though with bad luck you will. This session features three editors who have personal experience with RSI and who have found techniques and tools to help them maintain their careers and lead healthier lives. Using a blend of personal stories, research, and audience interaction, we'll look at what RSI really is, how to catch it early, and some tips and techniques to both prevent it and adapt to living with it.

How to Think about Usage like a Linguist

Jonathon Owen, editor, Brigham Young University

Linguists are often viewed as anything-goes usage hippies, but this view isn't just inaccurate—it often hinders editors from seeing the value of a more objective approach to language. This session will help editors learn how to approach usage questions more empirically, using evidence from areas like etymology, syntax, and corpus linguistics. It will also cover cognitive biases like the recency and frequency illusions, which trick us into thinking that errors are new and more common than they really are. By learning how to get all the facts, you'll be better able to decide which rules are worth following and which ones should be tossed out along with the ban on split infinitives.

Editing Quotes and Dialogue for Fiction, Journalism, and Those Tricky Points In Between

Dan Letchworth, copy chief, San Diego Magazine

How much change is permissible to a quote? None? Minor punctuation or typographical points? Entire words? It depends on what you're writing, whom you're quoting, and—to be real—who's funding the project. How do I format a quote in relation to the surrounding sentence? Is it "officials said," or "officials say"? Do I *always* have to tag who's speaking? Can nonvocal verbs introduce a spoken quote? If I don't use quotation marks, how much of their language can I repeat before it's plagiarism? Here's everything you need to know about putting someone else's words in your mouth.

Make Your Mark as a Twentysomething Editor

Lauren Filippini, editor, Alpha Chi Omega

As editors, we want our edits to matter - and to be made. But what happens when you're editing for someone who has been in business longer than you've been alive? This session is for younger editors who want to learn how to establish their expertise, achieve buy-in and ensure their role as editor is taken seriously.


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