Workshops 2021 — partial list

  How to Edit Photos for Maximum Impact on Your Audience

Bill Bangham, Photojournalist

A hands-on exercise in choosing photographs that compel the reader to look at your article, website or social media post. Good photographs always ask questions, not answer them.

  Creative Elements in Photography

Bill Bangham, Photojournalist

Whether beginner or experienced professional, still or video, our vision always exceeds our ability to execute it. These 15 elements can help us narrow the gap between what we imagine and what we produce.

  Reporting: From Pitch to Publication

Lisa Crayton, Freelance Writer and Editor

  Writing Tips for Multicultural Audiences

Lisa Crayton, Freelance Writer and Editor

  How Editorial and Design Collaborate

Sarah Gordon, Art Director, Christianity Today
Ted Olsen, Editorial Director, Christianity Today

We all know editors and designers depend on each other to produce each issue of a publication, and we can all probably agree it’s not always rainbows and puppies. CT’s Editorial Director and Art Director will share how we work through the tough stuff and what weird things make us better collaborators.

What you will learn:

  • How to foster good relationships
  • How to navigate conflict
  • How to celebrate with and encourage each other

  M&M – Can Ministry and Marketing Be the Same?

Chris Maxwell, Freelance Writer

Why do we select the words, stories, and titles we choose? Maybe to get attention. Maybe to keep attention. Maybe to tell the best stories and most relevant news reports possible. But as we write and market what we write, how does ministry fit? What makes EPA different from the general market? This workshop investigates motives, and offers ideas for quality work — for both ministry and marketing.

  Stop Procrastinating and Start Writing

Diane McDougall, McDougall Editorial

You might have heard some version of the saying, “I hate to write, but I love to have written.” Is that true for you? Once you’ve completed your research and conducted your interviews, what are your tricks for getting past the inertia and assembling the raw material? Bring with you a new assignment or something recently published, if you can.

What you will learn:

  • How an “elevator pitch” can help you narrow down your focus
  • Advice from experts for making your first draft a strong one, rather than a throw-away
  • A few tips for taking draft 1 to draft 2

  Build Your Brand on LinkedIn: Pro Tips and Hacks

Brooke Miles, Founder, Delaware ShoutOut

LinkedIn is a great place to generate leads, nurture relationships, and grow your publication’s audience. It also has much more favorable algorithms (i.e. you can reach more decision makers) compared to sites like Facebook and Instagram. But it’s often overlooked and underutilized. In this workshop, you’ll learn proven techniques and “hacks” to maximize your experience on LinkedIn for the greatest success. You’ll learn ideas and strategies you can apply right away.

What you will learn:

  • How to build a LinkedIn profile like a rock star
  • How to attract your audience’s attention with easy prospecting and content strategies
  • How to tap into key LinkedIn algorithms to stand out from the competition

  Christian Communications across Cultures: When the same message can offend and inspire

Geoff Peters, Chief Marketer, Operation Mobilisation

Operation Mobilisation (OM) has recently completed messaging research with Christians in seven countries around the world. From Australia to Ghana, and Hong Kong to Brazil, their research reveals popular message themes that inspire Christians in one culture, while offending Christians in another. As our audiences continue to become more international and diverse we cannot assume the same voice, tone, message and themes will always engage our readers. OM is making their research available to all EPA members through this workshop.

What you will learn:

  • Shape your content for a multicultural audience
  • Learn issues and fears which motivate Christians from other cultures

  Writing about Mental Health and the Church: The Why and How (panel)

Meryl Reist Gibbel, Clinical Psychologist, WellSpan Philhaven
Arthur Brown, Staff Chaplain, WellSpan Philhaven
Nelson Yoder, Pastor and Social Worker, WellSpan Philhaven

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. – 43.8 million – experiences mental illness in a given year. Many of these individuals turn to their church or their personal faith in search of support and guidance in times of emotional distress. Despite the prevalence of mental health concerns, there is still a stigma attached to mental illness in many Christian churches. The predominant culture of silence along with mistaken expectations and misguided attitudes often cause suffering believers to feel shamed, blamed, and alone in their experience of mental illness. Despite a growing desire to help those suffering with mental illness, church communities often report feeling ill-equipped to address the issues of mental illness and mental health in their pastors, church leaders, and congregation members. This breakout session will involve a panel of WellSpan Philhaven mental health experts and chaplains prepared to discuss: mental illness stigma in the church; success stories of faith communities effectively addressing mental illness and mental health; and the questions of why and how writers/ editors should and can address the issue of mental health.

What you will learn:

  • Mental illness is a prevalent problem in the U.S., including within Christian church leaders and congregation members. There is still a stigma attached to mental illness in many churches.
  • Churches can play a vital role in (1) promoting the mental health of their leaders and members, and (2) supporting members of their faith communities in recovery from mental illness. There are faith communities that are actively working toward these efforts and can serve as models for other churches interested in doing the same.
  • Writers and editors of Christian periodicals have a unique opportunity to influence the larger Christian community in the areas of both mental health and mental illness.


  From Conception to First Birthday: What to know to launch a podcast successfully

Stephanie Rousselle, Founder, Gospel Spice Ministries

This workshop caters to future podcasters. Come with your idea, whether it’s a distant dream or a well-defined concept already, and we will help you take the next step–from launch to growth. We will discuss what you need to know before you launch, the key questions you should be asking and how to find answers, the real issues faced at the various stages, from conception to launch, and the steps to grow your podcast in the first year. Time permitting, there will be a Q&A.

What you will learn:

  • What to know before you launch a podcast
  • How to craft a compelling concept, from idea to first episode
  • How to grow your audience after launch

  Creativity by Design™

Dean Sell, Director of Brand Development, Sight & Sound Theatres

This session provides a practical blueprint for managing the creative process, projects, and teams. Constructed using a biblical methodology, Creativity by Design™ uncovers the principles that govern mankind’s most valuable resource, enabling you to more effectively harness its power for you and your teams.

What you will learn:

  • Gain insight into the components of creativity and how they work together
  • As a creator, learn how to better apply your ability
  • As a leader, learn how to more effectively structure your staff and orchestrate your process

  Deadline Writing and Ways to Cut Corners but not Sacrifice Accuracy

Michael Ray Smith, Journalist and Educator

The formula works. That’s the key to deadline reporting. Internalize the formula and your article will nearly write itself. Know the formula. Gather the facts. Check your information with your sources and you can turn the raw information into a published piece in two hours, maybe less. This session draws on your ministry of remembrance. It will remind you of all the tips and ideas that you know but may have forgotten.

  Overcoming Creative Challenges (panel)

Dan Stelzer (moderator), Art Director, Answers in Genesis
Sarah Gordon, Art Director, Christianity Today

A moderated panel of respected designers will share their experience about what it takes to create a successful publication. This interactive forum will bring designers together to discuss the various challenges they face in their work and how they work to overcome them. Learn valuable insights from designers and come prepared with your own questions and solutions to share during a roundtable discussion.

We’ll be covering a range of questions, including:

  • How do you best work with your editors?
  • Where do you turn for inspiration?
  • What are some tricks you have learned to make the most of a limited budget?

  Writing Powerful Stories

Anne Marie Winz, Writing Coach, Cru

Stories connect our readers with our mission, and they inspire people to join us in our work. Discover how can you write more compelling stories.

What you will learn:

  • How to uncover three levels of conflict
  • How to structure your work toward action
  • How to add background so your readers care about the story
  • How to write like you’re on location