Think you can code like our ebookcraft speakers?

We've got some great ebookcraft 2019 conference announcements to share with you: the first confirmed workshop presenters and new details about our fantastic ebook design competition, So You Think You Can Code. Think you know the contest? Well read on because we've changed it up this year. (But don't worry, the $2,500 cash prize courtesy of Rakuten Kobo is still up for grabs.)

We'd also be remiss if we didn't share with you that tickets are on sale at early-bird prices until Jan. 25, 2019, so book before that deadline to get a great deal. And you should sign up for our newsletter to be notified when we announce the next round of speakers — you'd better believe we're hard at work putting together the best conference yet.

ebookcraft speakers

First, let's tell you about the fantastic speakers we've got lined up.

 Image showing headshots for the ebookcraft speakers: Melissa DeJesus, Naomi Kennedy, Liam Quin.

Melissa deJesus, Associate Production Editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, will be leading a session called So You Think You Can Code? #eprdctn Life Hacks. This will be a hands-on workshop where participants take on a few of the perennial challenges unique to digital publishing. No advance preparation will be required to participate in coding and discussing solutions in real time. Harnessing the combined experience of the ebookcraft community, we may even compile solutions together that are better than any of us could develop individually. This session can be enjoyed with or without participating in this year’s So You Think You Can Code competition (more on that below) and will appeal to all skill levels, from beginners testing their mettle to pros ready to learn new tricks — or maybe even show off a little. Participants will need to bring a device, but code and conundrums will be provided.


Naomi Kennedy, Senior Manager for Ebook Development at Penguin Random House, will be guiding us across The Bunny Slopes of SVG Mountain. Navigate the slippery slopes of the SVG image format as it pertains to ebooks. No prior SVG knowledge is required — Naomi will go over what it is, how and why it’s used, and demo tools to create and edit these image files. Attendees will have the chance to code along with Naomi as she creates an SVG file and places it in an ebook to demonstrate its functionality (or lack thereof). This hands-on workshop will also touch on the differences and similarities between CSS and SVG, accessibility, common problems and their solutions, and supported features.


Liam Quin, Disrupter at Barefoot Computing, will teach you all about XSLT 3 for EPUB and Print. Learn how to use XSLT to produce EPUB2 and EPUB3 books from XML or XHTML input as well as PDF for print with CSS or XSL-FO. You don’t need previous XSLT experience but a willingness to look at a little code will really help. XSLT can be a functional programming language or a simple template language or anywhere between. This session will focus on the newer features of XSLT, after a quick overview. If you bring a laptop with Oxygen XML Editor or Saxon 9 HE ready to run, you can follow along with some examples, and if not, that’s fine too.

So You Think You Can Code 2019

 So You Think You Can Code logo.

Our design competition, So You Think You Can Code, is back for its fourth year, but this time we've changed it up. We want to help you create the best possible submissions! 

We've structured our ebookcraft workshop day on Monday, March 18 so that each instructor and speaker will be helping you along the path to creating the best possible EPUB. You'll get the file the day before, on Sunday, March 17, and the first session of the day on March 18, led by an expert in the field, Melissa DeJesus (introduced above), will help you work through some common solutions and best practices with SYTYCC in mind. 

Not only could you win the grand prize — $2,500 cash from Rakuten Kobo, a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, and a three-month subscription to FlightDeck courtesy of Firebrand Technologies — but everyone who enters a submission will receive a 25% discount to ebookcraft 2020. So there's nothing to lose and only great things to gain!

Here are all the rules and some more information.

For more information about ebookcraft or its sister conference, Tech Forum, visit the conference website. If you’d like to sign up for our conference mailing list to be the first to know about all future speaker and session announcements, sign up here.

We hope to see you in March 2019 in Toronto!