That's a wrap on Tech Forum & ebookcraft 2018

Another year of learning, debating, networking, tweeting, and hardcore snacking has come and gone, and with it, another batch of delicious, culturally relevant cookies.

All in all, this year's ebookcraft and Tech Forum was one for the books (pun intended). The ebookcraft workshop day, celebrating its fourth year, featured lots of helpful lessons on accessibility standards and new design practices. The lunch 'n' learn discussion on volunteerism in digital publishing also went very well! This warmed everyone up nicely for ebookcraft's main day.

Thursday's sessions were, as always, both informative and fun. There was a lot of emphasis on the need to create clean, accessible ebooks using EPUB3 standards and proper metadata. The audience was very engaged (which was largely due to the fact that we had a giant gyroscopic microphone to throw around), and the day featured a craft station, a yogurt bar, and a surprise popsicle cart!

Check out these workshop-day tweets rounded up by Laura Brady.

The After-Party and Pub Quiz hosted by the wonderful Evan Munday was also a great success, giving everyone a chance to show off what they learned about digital publishing throughout the day. It was a very close race, but Team Don Quizote was able to snag first place.

At the end of ebookcraft's main day, So You Think You Can Code 2018 crowned its third winner: Katy Mastrocola, a Production Associate at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who got the grand prize of $2,500 from Rakuten Kobo and subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud and Firebrand Technologies. Katy is the third Houghton Mifflin Harcourt employee to win SYTYCC, with her "near-perfect application of semantic markup and semantic inflection, and her fine typography work," according to the judges' statement. "She made use of the ACE by DAISY accessibility checker for EPUB files and achieved a perfect score across the board. Katy's file also passed EpubCheck and nearly scored perfect on her use of standards; she even took the time to update the file's metadata elements."

Katy definitely earned ultimate bragging rights and we couldn't be more proud. Her colleagues, Melissa DeJesus and Teresa Elsey, accepted the award on Katy's behalf.

All the best main-day tweets have been rounded up here.

(L-R) Naomi Kennedy (judge), Joshua Tallent (judge), Melissa DeJesus (colleague at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Monique Mongeon (judge), and Teresa Elsey (colleague at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) accepting Katy's cheque on her behalf. Photo by Yvonne Bambrick.

ebookcraft speaker Tzviya Siegman has written a great recap of ebookcraft over at the W3C Blog.

Tech Forum was bigger than ever before, and there was a wait list a mile long. Everyone celebrated another year of publishing innovation, while bringing major diversity and equality issues to light on the main stage. There was a resounding plea for diversity not only in the publishing industry itself, but also in the books we publish. If there was one takeaway from last week, it's that we can all make an effort to do better. Whether it's in creating accessible ebooks that are actually accessible to people with print disabilities, or building safe work spaces in which both women and people of colour can succeed.

Tech Forum started strong with Saadia Muzaffar giving a powerful keynote address about reimagining our work and its impact, and how to be informed participants in our world. This was followed by the phenomenal Women in Publishing panel featuring Kristin Cochrane, Bhavna Chauhan, Christen Thomas, Saffron Beckwith, and Scaachi Koul.

During the track sessions, DiverseCanLit's Léonicka Valcius co-led a discussion on how to build in-house momentum for diverse books along with Anyka Davis of Penguin Random House Canada, Book*hug's Hazel Millar, and Synora Van Drine of Dundurn Press. You can read more about Léonicka and this important discussion in this pre-Tech Forum Q&A from Quill & Quire (subscriber access only), where she talks about striving to give people of colour, especially women of colour, a voice in the industry.

Everyone regrouped at the end of the day for Noah Genner's chart-filled update on the current state of publishing, and a rousing talk from Jim Stengel, author of Unleashing the Innovators, on the usefulness of partnering with startups. 

Didn't have time to see everything you wanted to see? Don't you worry. We have the links you need:

  • SlideShare: The presentation slides that we are able to share can be found here.

  • YouTube: All of the recorded sessions will be uploaded to YouTube in the next couple of weeks, so make sure that you subscribe to our channel.

Tell us what you thought about Tech Forum & ebookcraft 2018! We'll use your feedback to help make next year's events even better! Attendees who fill out the survey before April 3 will have a chance to win one of these great prizes:

  • A free ticket to Tech Forum & ebookcraft 2019 (to be held in Toronto)

  • 1 of 3 $25 Kobo gift cards

  • A signed copy of Ellen Ullman's Life in Code, Andrew Piper's Book Was There, or Jim Stengel's Unleashing the Innovators

  • A free copy of The Canadian Book Market 2017

And finally, we would like to thank all of the speakers, organizers, sponsors, the ebookcraft steering committee, MaRS Discovery District staff, and everyone who attended this year. 

To stay up-to-date on next year's events, sign up for the Tech Forum & ebookcraft mailing list or follow @ebookcraft on Twitter. We hope to see you all again in 2019!

People are still talking about Tech Forum & ebookcraft 2018, so we've rounded up a list of links!

Let's keep the nostalgia train going:

Publishing @W3C goes to ebookcraft (W3C)

Accessibility, accessibility, accessibility: A recap of ebookcraft 2018 (the LERNER blog)

Ebook magicks (EPUBSecrets)

An #eprdctn noob's first time at ebookcraft (EPUBSecrets)

And Laura Brady has compiled your tweets and posts from ebookcraft's workshop day and for the main day!