Participants will receive entrance to each day's virtual sessions, which includes 24 sessions total. Attendees will also have access to keynote addresses, virtual networking opportunities, and exhibit hall. More information will be made available to attendees on the ACES website within the coming weeks. Virtual sessions will be recorded and available to registered attendees on the ACES conference website through July 31, 2021. All times listed are EDT. 

Thursday Keynote Session

Presenter: Alaina Lavoie

Thursday, April 22 | Noon - 12:45 p.m. EDT

Diversity is often thrown around as a buzzword, but what does it actually mean for editorial professionals to prioritize equity, inclusion, diversity, and anti-racism? What are the barriers that marginalized editors face and how can our industry better support editors? As an editor, what can you do to create meaningful, lasting change in our industry? We have also faced an unprecedented year—what does it look like for editorial professionals to continue thriving under extreme challenges? How can we continue to grow our careers while taking care of our mental health? What does rest look like during uncertain times, and why is it just as important as the work? As a high-risk disabled person who experienced the loss of her father in 2020, Alaina Lavoie will speak to the importance of seeing yourself and fellow editors as people first and professionals second, and the balance of adjusting your workload and expectations of yourself to match the collective trauma of a global pandemic. 

How to Ensure Accessible Websites, Social Media and Inclusive Photos

Presenters: Lauren Appelbaum and Eric Ascher

Thursday, April 22 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

With many newspapers moving to virtual formats, today’s website is the front lobby of our papers, and social media is fast supplanting the more traditional ways that we connect with the public. Research conducted by the disability advocacy nonprofit RespectAbility shows that organizations are not yet meeting basic requirements for accessibility, like captioned videos, screen reader-friendly designs, and photo description / alt-text. This online workshop will provide an overview on how to open your digital door to welcome all readers. 

Editing in the Age of Distraction

Presenter: Lindsey Wray

Thursday, April 22 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

We’ve all been there. You open a document, but your mind is elsewhere. Or you start a lengthy project, but you lack concentration to finish it. Even deadlines can’t prevent an editing plateau. But getting distracted and taking breaks may provide the focus you need to complete a task. Research shows distractions can be useful tools that strengthen our ability to tackle challenges. In fact, certain activities may boost cognition and attention. Here’s why distraction is good, as well as some ideas for distractions that will help you as an editor.

How to Create a House Style Guide: 5 Easy Steps

Presenter: Samantha Enslen

Thursday, April 22 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Whether you're an in-house editor or a freelancer, you've likely done work for a company that doesn't have an in-house style guide. That can be fun at first, when you have the freedom to make whatever style changes you like. But to ensure consistency over time — and to bring value to the company you're working for — you'll want to create a house style guide. 

What's That Noise in Your Head?

Presenter: Merrill Perlman

Thursday, April 22 | 1 - 2 p.m.

Your brain wants to tell you things. Is the tone of a piece wrong? Your brain can tell you where it went off-key. After you submit something, do you miss things only to discover them later? Your brain may have tried to warn you. Sometimes, you can ignore the noise inside your head. Learn when to pay attention.

One Command to Rule Them All: Introduction to Word Macros

Presenter: Rhonda Bracey

Thursday, April 22 | 1 - 2 p.m.

Macros can save Word users 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. In this session, I’ll cover:

NOTE: This session focuses on Word for Windows. Mac users should be able to do similar things, but there are no guarantees.

Much Ado About Point of View

Presenter: Christina M. Frey, J.D.

Thursday, April 22 | 1 - 2 p.m.

Who can see into a character’s mind? What exactly is a head-hop? And how much does the omniscient narrator really know? In this session, we’ll tackle one of the toughest things to edit — narratives with point of view issues. While we’ll talk about first and second person, we’ll focus in-depth on third person: how to help writers use third person close to their advantage, and how to navigate omniscient point of view narratives smoothly.

Taming the Inner Perfectionist: Turning a Potential Enemy into an Ally

Presenter: Suzy Bills

Thursday, April 22 | 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Perfectionist qualities can help you be good at your craft but can also lead to paranoia and poor performance, ultimately leading to burnout. So how can you balance perfectionist tendencies with the realities of editing, including tight deadlines and the hard truth that no one is perfect? In this session, you’ll learn strategies that you can apply immediately to work toward a high level of accuracy and overcome the fear of failure. The result is that you’ll enjoy your work more, perform better, and avoid the stress that makes editors wonder why they ever got into the business.

Tense Without Tension: Choosing the Best Verb

Presenter: Lisa McLendon

Thursday, April 22 | 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

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.

Copy Editing for the Next Generation: What Do Tomorrow’s Writers Need to Know Today?

Presenters: Laura E. DavisRuby Yuan, Mimi Geller, and Eileen Chen

Thursday, April 22 | 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

As both language and newsroom workflows evolve, a new generation of writers and editors have questions whose answers often aren’t available in traditional reference material: Filipino or Filipinx? Can I use “WFH” in a tweet? We’ve observed these and hundreds of other questions from student journalists across the country in our work on Stylebot, a product developed at USC Annenberg that functions as SaaS for your style guide. We’ll share insights on what they need and want to know, their approach to editing and how style resources can stay relevant in our ever-changing media landscape.

Editor Websites: From Blah to Boss

Presenter: Nate Hoffelder

Thursday, April 22 | 4 - 5 p.m.

An editor's website is their online office and storefront, but it doesn’t have to be a stodgy one. In this session, you will learn how, with just a little work, you can rapidly transform your website from blah to boss. A good website doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars; your site can be as simple as a single page and still present a professional face and help you land clients. It all starts with knowing what you want to do and why.

In this session you will learn:

"The" Dictionary Doesn't Exist (But Dictionaries Sure Do!)

Presenters: Emily Brewster and Peter Sokolowski

Thursday, April 22 | 4 - 5 p.m.

All of us say "Look it up in the dictionary" or "lt's not in the dictionary," and others understand what we mean. But, if we're being precise (as editors like to be), it's inaccurate to say "the" dictionary--and not just because there are different dictionary publishers, but because there are so many different kinds of dictionaries. This session will be a deep dive into the way that dictionaries differ from each other, addressing the way they are researched, the information they provide and how it is presented, their linguistic principles, and how they are marketed. A little historical and practical knowledge of lexicography is needed in order to have accurate expectations of what information a dictionary can and should provide, which might also prevent errors or mistaken assumptions on the part of writers and editors.

Google Docs: What Editors Need to Know

Presenter: Karin Horler and Mike Pope

Thursday, April 22 | 4 - 5 p.m.

Sooner or later, every professional editor will need to edit something in Google Docs. How does it compare to Microsoft Word? What features are most useful to editors, and how do you handle the workflow with clients or colleagues? In this session, you'll learn tips for working effectively in Google Docs, the pros and cons of converting files to Word, and how to automate tasks in Google Docs. The session offers insights from two perspectives: a technical editor at Google who has switched from Word to Google Docs and a freelance editor with experience in multiple platforms.

Editing for UX in Digital Content

Presenters: Vilja Johnson and Aaron Gates

Friday, April 23 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

As readers consume an increasing amount of content online, how do we adjust our editing to meet their needs? How do editing best practices change when your readers are scrolling on their phones while in line at the grocery store? This session will do a deep dive into editing for UX (user experience) in online content: how to structure your content to match online reading patterns, what it means to edit for a “mobile-first” experience, and how to balance writing for users with writing for Google.

Sometimes I Feel Like a Fraud: Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

Presenters: Christina M. Frey, J.D., Erin Servais, and Kristine Hunt

Friday, April 23 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Do you ever chalk up your success to dumb luck, no matter how long and hard you’ve worked for it? Or fear that others will discover you’re secretly a fraud? This is called imposter syndrome, and that inner voice of doubt bullies just about everyone. But you don’t have to let it win. In this transformative, empowering, and hands-on session, we’ll teach you how to identify the way imposter syndrome affects you. And you’ll learn the Cognitive Behavior Therapy techniques, self-soothing methods, and practical business tips to help you overcome it and take back the power in your professional life.

Prepping the Interview and Writing & Editing a Compelling Narrative Profile

Presenter: Emily Primeaux

Friday, April 23 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

This session will look at the initial interview and how to make the subject's answers flourish on the page. We'll cover building rapport, asking the right questions, handling awkward or difficult interview situations, piecing together timelines, and how to set yourself up for success. 

Learn how to edit a profile as you go — how to add quotes in the right spot, rework your lede as the piece evolves, creatively think through a new article flow, and how to rework your piece after receiving feedback.

Fact Checking Beyond the News

Presenter: Gerri Berendzen

Friday, April 23 | 1 - 2 p.m.

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 for all types of editing and include time to share your tales of fact-checking success.

How to Ensure A Welcoming Lexicon and Inclusive Storytelling

Presenters: Lauren Appelbaum and Tatiana Lee

Friday, April 23 | 1 - 2 p.m.

More than 60 million people live with some form of physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health or other disability in America. In fact, consumers with disabilities represent a $1 billion market segment, the third largest market behind Baby Boomers and the mature market. When you include their families, friends and associates, that number becomes a trillion-dollar market segment. The use of certain words or phrases can express bias either intentionally or unintentionally. During this session, attendees will learn about terminology and definitions and how to ensure your storytelling is inclusive of people with disabilities, while avoiding inspiration porn.

Content: What's Hot, What's Not and How to Edit for Both

Presenter: Teresa Schmedding

Friday, April 23 | 1 - 2 p.m.

Digital readership, voice activated search, pandemic, elections, climate change: It all is changing how, why and where people absorb information. This session will explore the biggest B2B and B2C content trends and how you can edit them.  

Grammar Saves Lives

Presenter: Jennifer Rowe

Friday, April 23 | 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

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. From agreement issues to misplaced modifiers to distinguishing restrictive and nonrestrictive information and more, this session provides life-saving guidelines for today’s editor. 

Editing With Style: Updated Resources for Seventh Edition APA Style

Presenters: Timothy L. McAdoo and Hayley S. Kamin

Moderator: Jason M. Wells

Friday, April 23 | 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Used worldwide by students and professionals in psychology, nursing, education, business, and other fields, APA Style provides essential guidance for making writing more precise, concise, and inclusive. We will briefly discuss the seventh edition APA Style, highlighting key details important for copyeditors, some changes from the previous edition of the manual, and where to find detailed breakdowns of both. We will then discuss the expanded online resources and digital and print products APA offers to help individuals learn and master APA Style and end by asking for your ideas about what works best for teaching or learning APA Style.

Inclusive Language

Presenter: Talysa Sainz

Friday, April 23 | 4 - 5 p.m.

A study on language use and specific words to use or to avoid to make your language more inclusive--and which words to look for in any manuscript you edit. Language we have unconsciously learned from society can be ableist, sexist, racist, etc. Learn how to edit language that is mindful to those who have learning disabilities, mental illness, chronic illnesses, physical disabilities, or those who are neurodiverse.

The Winning Numbers

Presenter: Neil Holdway

Friday, April 23 | 4 - 5 p.m.

Learn the math that is used in copy again and again -- but is so easy to get wrong -- and make sure all numbers are meaningful to your audience. We'll first review percentages -- how to calculate them, how to present them. We'll briefly review rates and ratios, and other ways numbers are written. And we'll examine how common business and stock market figures are and should be presented. In all cases we'll have an eye on the ethical use of numbers.

What’s New in AP Stylebook Online?

Presenter: Paula Froke and Colleen Newvine 

Friday, April 23 | 4 - 5 p.m.

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.

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 and include #ACES2021Online to get your AP style question to the top of the list.