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 PUBu14  |  October 20-21, 2014  | Wheaton College, Wheaton Ill.



Larry Weeden

Community Manager

Larry Weeden
Director of Book Development, Curriculum, & Acquisitions
Focus on the Family

"The PUBu editorial committee has planned a well-rounded program that will appeal to, and meet the needs of, a broad range of editors."


SESSION 1: Deciding What to Publish:  Panel of Industry Editors

Moderated by Larry Weeden, Director of Book Development, Curriculum, & Acquisitions, Focus on the Family

A panel discussion exploring how various Christian houses make acquisitions decisions, including financial considerations and other "filters” for evaluating projects.

Al Hsu

Stephanie Smith
  • Stephanie Smith, Associate Acquisitions Editor for the non-fiction editorial team, Zondervan
  • Sarah Atkinson, Associate Acquisitions Director for Tyndale Momentum, a nonfiction imprint of Tyndale House Publishers
  • David Horton, Editorial Director at Bethany House Publishers
  • Al Hsu, Senior Editor, IVP Books / InterVarsity Press

Al Hsu (pronounced shee) is Senior Editor for IVP Books at InterVarsity Press. He joined IVP in 1994 and has been doing acquisitions and development since 2001, acquiring and publishing books in such areas as church, culture, mission, discipleship and apologetics. He has been a columnist for Christianity Today magazine and is the author of three books, including Grieving a Suicide and The Suburban Christian. He is a graduate of Crossroads College (MN) and Wheaton College Graduate School, and he is currently a PhD candidate at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL.

David Horton is Vice President, Editorial at Bethany House Publishers (a division of Baker Publishing Group) where he has worked since 1998. He is the author of several books and the general editor of The Portable Seminary.

Sarah Atkinson is associate acquisitions director for Tyndale Momentum, a nonfiction imprint of Tyndale House Publishers known for a publishing list that includes Tony Dungy (Quiet Strength, #1 New York Times bestseller), Shawn Johnson (Winning Balance), Mosab Hassan Yousef (Son of Hamas, now a Sundance award-winning documentary: The Green Prince), Abby Johnson (Unplanned), Susan Gregory (The Daniel Fast), and Cathy LaGrow (The Waiting, recently featured on the Today Show). Sarah joined Tyndale in 2006 with a professional background that includes academic publishing and magazine and journal editing. She holds a master of arts degree in British and American literature from Northern Illinois University.

Stephanie Smith is committed to partnering with authors to bring fresh, forward-thinking ideas to life. She is the associate acquisitions editor at Zondervan, previously serving as an editor at Barna Group and RELEVANT, where her editorial management of led a 320% growth in readership. Her first entry into the publishing world was through the publicity and marketing department, and this experience combined with her editorial work equips her with a full angle approach to the publishing process. Stephanie lives in Grand Rapids, MI with her husband, and you can find her tweeting at @stephindialogue.


SESSION 2: Copy Editing 101

Ruth GoringRuth Goring, Senior Manuscript Editor, University of Chicago Press

Getting the editorial essentials right is the editor’s most basic responsibility. This session is a crash course for young editors and a good refresher for veterans. Our work will be based on the Chicago Manual of Style, but because we’ll focus on issues of grammar, usage, and punctuation rather than style, editors who use AP and other styles will still find the workshop apropos. You’ll get some tools to spot and fix problems that are common even in good writing—and we’ll have some wordplay fun along the way. Bring a pen or pencil; handouts will be provided.

Ruth Goring is a senior manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press and teaches advanced manuscript editing at the University of Chicago’s Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. In years past she edited at InterVarsity Press, Salem Press, and several magazines. She has published Bible study guides with Harold Shaw and IVP, along with the booklet Date Rape. Her poetry collection Yellow Doors was published by WordFarm (2004), and her poems have also appeared widely in literary journals. Having grown up in Colombia as an MK, she is fluent in Spanish and has been interviewed several times on Chicago Public Radio’s Worldview show about her recent Colombia advocacy. Besides words, she loves Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, gardening, singing, being able to walk to church, and experiencing the world’s many colors, textures, and smells.


SESSION 3: How to Feed the Editor’s Creativity

Vinita Wright

Vinita Hampton Wright, Editor, Loyola Press and author of "The Art of Spiritual Writing" and "The Soul Tells a Story: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life"

How to continue to grow as an editor, finding new approaches to old challenges, and not getting stuck in an editorial rut.



SESSION 4: Working Effectively with Your Authors

Senior Editor Stephanie Rische

Stephanie RischeStephanie Rische, Senior Editor, Tyndale House Publishers

Sometimes the trickiest part of a manuscript isn’t the manuscript at all—it’s the human being behind the manuscript. It’s one thing to know how to whip a manuscript into shape, but it’s another to be able to convince the author to get on board with your changes. What should you do if you have an author who thinks his work is finished once he’s turned in the manuscript? What if you have an author who believes her work is divinely inspired, down to each comma? Or what if your author has an effective speaking voice that doesn’t carry over into written form? In this session we’ll talk about how to get the best effort from authors, how to retain the author’s voice when editing, and how to build an environment of collaboration between author and editor.

Stephanie Rische is a senior editor of nonfiction books at Tyndale House Publishers in Carol Stream, Illinois. She has worked in Tyndale’s editorial department for eleven years, where she edits manuscripts and manages one of the company’s five editorial teams. She has served as editor for a wide range of genres: Christian living, devotional books, children’s products, and memoirs by athletes, bloggers, TV personalities, and musicians. One of her favorite parts of her job is getting to collaborate with a number of fascinating authors, including Charles Swindoll, David Jeremiah, Beth Moore, and Ann Voskamp. She blogs about unexpected moments of grace—and occasionally about editing—at


We thank the following companies for their support of the industry and this event

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