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The Christian PEN

The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network

 

Getting established as a freelance editor can be difficult. You may have excellent skills, but how do you find the contacts?

Even after you've been doing it for a while, freelance editing is often a "feast or famine" business. Some months there's more work than you know how to handle (which is often a mixed blessing) and other months you wonder if you'll have enough income to pay the bills (and your friends and family members start nagging you to "get a real job").

Once you've established yourself as a professional, you get to a point where you don't have time to do every job that comes your way. You may not want to turn down jobs, but you have to be selective about what new clients to take on.

Freelance editors at all levels are occasionally asked to work on projects outside their fields of expertise. If you don't know who to refer such jobs to, your only options are to attempt the work anyway (and hope you do a decent job of it) or turn down the business.

In addition, most freelance editors and proofreaders work in solitude, without the opportunity to communicate with others who face situations similar to their own.

The Christian PEN was created to help solve these problems.

This organization can take some of the load off your shoulders when your schedule is overbooked and can be a source of additional jobs when your workload is slim.

The network also provides a way to make contact with reliable Christian professionals who specialize in areas outside your realm of expertise. (Being a good referral source will ultimately do far more for your professional reputation than taking on the wrong project and doing a mediocre job.)

There are many online groups for Christian writers. It's time Christian editors had a network of their own!

THE OBJECTIVE
The objective of The Christian PEN is to provide proofreaders and editors (and other freelancers who provide support services for authors and publishers) with a venue for "cooperative competition" through mutual support and the exchange of information, leads, and resources.

THE RESOURCES
To facilitate this objective, we have:

1. The Christian PEN Online Group
Members of the online group can:

  • post messages relevant to freelance proofreading, editing, and related occupations
  • exchange ideas, tips, news, findings, questions/answers, resources, and suggestions
  • post details on conferences and events
  • ask questions about editing, proofreading, and other aspects of Christian publishing
  • share discoveries from The Chicago Manual of Style and other publishing references
  • pass on writing and business tips
  • enjoy online fellowship and networking. (We also encourage members to post a notice if they're planning to attend a writers conference or similar function so they can make efforts to meet other members in person.)

    2. TCP-Prayer
    TCP-Prayer, a subgroup of The Christian PEN, is a forum for sharing prayer requests, praises, and other personal messages.

    3. The Christian PEN website (www.TheChristianPEN.com). The website has articles, lists of books published by contributing members, recommended reading for freelancers, and special tools to help editors and proofreaders. Through the bios, contributing members can get to know one another's backgrounds and specialties. Many members receive editing jobs directly through the website.

    4. Online courses. From the "Fundamentals of Copyediting and Proofreading" to "Establishing a Freelance Business," The Christian PEN's online courses will teach you everything you need to know to become a successful editorial freelancer.

    MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA
    The Christian PEN online group is open to any Christian who:

      1. is a freelance proofreader, editor, or other writer-supporting occupation (at any level)
      2. is seriously planning to become a freelance proofreader/editor
      3. is investigating the freelance proofreader/editor field

    HOW TO JOIN
    1. Go to http://groups.google.com/group/The-Christian-PEN to join the organization. In your request for membership, please include YOUR NAME (very important!) and some background information on yourself, including a brief statement of faith. (Yahoo Groups limits this to 200 characters.)

    2. After your membership is approved, you can begin posting messages to the group, reading other members' messages, and replying to posts. Please start with an introduction of yourself to the other members, including both professional aspects (type of manuscripts you work with, specialties, how long you've been freelancing, etc.) and personal details (where you live, marital status, kids/grandkids, etc.)

    3. Go to http://groups.google.com/group/TCP-Prayer to join the prayer subloop (optional).

    CONTRIBUTING MEMBERSHIP
    Anyone can join the online discussion loop or access the TCP website. For a small fee ($30/year), contributing members of The Christian PEN receive:

      1. website exposure:
            your bio (with link to your website and/or e-mail address)
            articles (with link to your website and/or e-mail address)
            advertising your published books (including self-published and compilations)
            offering material helpful to other editors (contracts, time-management tools, etc.)
            book reviews
      2. Job leads for potential clients
      3. E-newsletter with helpful articles, tips, news, book reviews, and more (each issue also includes an in-depth interview with a "featured member")
      4. The opportunity to teach online courses and receive discounts on classes you take
      5. A chance to give to others as some have given to you

    Best of all, you become a member of a family of freelancers like yourself.

    SPREAD THE WORD
    If you know of other Christian freelance editors or proofreaders who might be interested in this group, please feel free to tell them about this website.

Christian Editor Connection

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The Christian PEN

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