What Others Say

Visit the official convention website: epaconvention.com

Still deciding about whether you and your staff should invest in attending the annual EPA convention? Read the comments from those who attended recent conventions.

What attendees liked…

One of the best conferences I’ve attended. Everything was done very well.

The pre-conference intensive was a good experience, and the workshops and plenary and evening speakers were great.

Good energy, wide variety of participants.

Venue, content of workshops, pre-conference intensive great.

Diversity of content, and a new and unique location.

Loved my first experience here — already reserved space for the next one on my calendar!

I brought students for the first time and they got a lot out of it, so we will keep coming.

Workshops were stronger than usual... good synergy... strong plenary sessions with diversity of presenters (thanks for working hard on that!)

Seemed to go by so fast and intended to make a lot more connections. But program was great and always enjoy reconnecting with friends I’ve made over the years.

Enjoyed making connections with other publications and learning from them.

I had interest in so many of the seminars!

I enjoyed and appreciated the focus on social justice issues and the call to be stewards of knowledge.

The panel on civil discourse. The quality of participants was impressive.

The workshops I selected were a highlight as they were very helpful.

The connections I made.

I enjoyed the final talk from Naomi Zacharias. She did a fantastic job.

I attended Ann Marie Winz’s intensive writing class, and found it enriching and challenging.

Meeting new people.

Plenary session speakers Brant Hansen, Karen Swallow Prior and Naomi Zacharias were phenomenal.

I enjoyed the workshops with Karen Swallow Prior and Ann-Margret Hovsepian.

There was good energy this year.

Engaging on the issues in the morning forum setting.

Talking to people from other publications.

My favorite session was “Writing as Cultural Engagement” by Karen Swallow Prior.

Interaction with editorial staff of other ministry publications during mealtimes and breaks.

I really enjoyed the session by Brant (Hansen). He was authentic.

Having the opportunity to spend time with other people who get ALL aspects of the work I do in faith-based publishing — both the technical work itself but also the underlying motivation for the work.

Plenary sessions, Samson, print museum.

The workshops were amazing. The show “Sampson” at Sight and Sound was amazing also.

The ability to network with others was wonderful, the variety of workshops available was great and the atmosphere was lovely (professional yet laid-back).

Brant Hansen was culturally relevant and funny, and he also was extremely vulnerable and challenging.

Bryan Loritts talked about God using trials to shape us.

The presentation on Facebook algorithms was great. The presenter knew her stuff!

All of the sessions attended were relevant to the work I am doing.

I appreciated Loritts’ message, based in a biblical text.

Bryan Loritts’ words were really powerful for me in my personal and spiritual life right now.

I liked the change in breaking up the first dinner and first talk.

Food was fantastic.

The schedule flowed very well.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way this convention was done.

(Mark Dreistadt’s session on Building Effective Teams) was a great workshop for me. I wished it could’ve been twice as long.

Bryan Loritts got our minds and hearts focused on the Lord and our purpose, setting the tone for the rest of the convention.

I always enjoy listening to Greg Breeding’s insights.

I enjoyed the worship music helping focus our efforts toward serving and honoring God. The Adamecs were excellent.

The interaction with other EPA attendees and the sponsors before the breakfast presentations was very enjoyable.

Naomi Zacharias’ ending, “Now write!” was certainly pointed.

What attendees learned…

Each year, I see others continuing to take tangible steps to improve and make their particular publication get better. This becomes a reminder and challenge for me to continue to grow in my profession and not get complacent.

Legal advice.

Suggestions for editing/writing collected in the various workshops.

Approaches for mentoring staff.

Bryan Loritts talked about God using trials to shape us.

How to execute a transition to digital publication of a print title.

More effective use of social media, including adding Instagram.

Better writing skills.

I will recommend using InCopy and InDesign between designers and editors as we work on our publication.

Responding to reader comments properly.

Write about 30 headlines before settling on one.

We’re already rethinking the way we do titling for the digital versions of our articles.

Trying to be more aware of “blind spots” when it comes to minority voices (women, ethnic minorities, people in the theological minority).

Viral Content workshop has given us ideas for social media posts in the future.

The multimedia workshop helped me think through some best practices for doing video interviews. Will definitely be doing more of those in the future.

Write shorter sentences.

From Marlene Bagnull’s session: “We’re writing for the King of the universe; we can’t be sloppy.” I’m an editor, not a writer, and it’s sometimes easier to just breeze over an issue in a story than to take the necessary time to address it. This statement convicted me that I need to be intentional in every word, paragraph and story I read.

I became more convinced that using anger/outrage to draw clicks and readers is both effective and wrong.

I especially thought Anne-Marie Winz’s encouragement in her pre-conference workshop to saturate our communication with the Holy Spirit’s direction...to go to the Living Water is where we should go.

Tell stories! Find the human interest in any piece I’m writing.

Be careful about copyright/photo rights issues. (I’ve already used what I learned in a potentially sticky situation.)

Confirmation of the need for editorial staff and design staff to begin collaborating earlier in the process on our monthly publication.

Design: F-shaped reading pattern. What makes content shareable.

Diversity lenses from Marquita Smith’s workshop.

Stories that present principles of the Kingdom make great stories.

We are revisiting some of our social media strategy.

To spend more time on design.

Design process of magazine and design ideas.

The InDesign/InCopy workflow.

Comments from Trevin Shirey’s workshop (about) making content viral — and once it’s viral, milk it for more; don’t stop there.

Customize content for the web.

After having an opportunity to sit in on the sessions Compassion led about improving workflow with Basecamp and InDesign (which we already had), we’re implementing tips to make us more effective in that way.

We need to become more creative and purposeful in designing covers for a magazine.

Design as Experience was great. I took lots of notes in this workshop. I work with freelance designers and now I feel that much more equipped to give input and guidance in this area.

Using magazine content online is crucial. We will take steps soon.

The need for increased dialogue concerning the global refugee crisis.

How to create visually compelling articles.

Writers are servants to the readers.

Digital information needs to be presented differently than print.

Proofread more.

How to make InDesign and InCopy work better in tandem.

Content and the Law was very helpful. I don’t have another way to get this kind of practical information.

Bryan Loritts talked about God using trials to shape us.

Dan Stelzer’s content was affirming, particularly with the emphasis on editorial and creative collaborating early in the process, before any text is written.

I appreciated Karen Swallow Prior’s suggestions on how to reach out into the prevailing non-Christian culture to engage readers who ordinarily would not read Christian publications.

The panel on print-to-digital transition inspired me to think outside the box, especially with the need for multimedia content.

Deciding as a team to pursue a new direction for our online version of our magazine.