general writing and editing organizations
Over the years, I’ve found the following writing- and editing-related organizations (listed in no particular order) to be quite helpful—in fact, I’ve been involved with many of them at one time or another.
As with my list of organizations for special writing markets and alternative publishing options, I’ve indicated how they help me when I need them and how they might be able to help you. Let me know what you think about my selections . . .
Editorial Freelancers Association
The EFA is a national, nonprofit, professional organization of self-employed workers in the publishing and communications industries. Members are editors, writers, indexers, proofreaders, researchers, desktop publishers, translators, and others who offer a broad range of skills and specialties. Use their online directory to research qualifications of members.
American Society of Journalists and Authors
The ASJA is the largest group of freelance nonfiction writers in the country. Its primary concerns are enforcing a strict code of ethics, serving as an advocate for the industry, and providing educational and networking support. A blog and a newsletter; a library of podcasts and webinar recordings (most for purchase); and a listing of events, conferences, and writing awards (with links to past winners) are all available to anyone.
National Writers Union
In their words: “As a freelance writer you may work individually, but you’re not alone.” The NWU works to promote and protect the rights, interests, and economic advancement—including pay equity and issues of copyright, freedom of expression, and diversity and inclusion (by ethnicity, political affiliation, religious connection, racial identity, age, disability, and sexual/gender orientation)—of writers by organizing them into a collective bargaining unit. Their public blog provides news on many aspects of writing and publishing.
American Copy Editors Society
ACES is an international alliance of editors working in digital media, traditional print media, corporate communications, book publishing, academia, government, and other similar industry sectors. Members are freelance editors, journalism students, and professors in the writing and publishing industries, all united by a love of language and a passion for precision. Nonmembers may use online grammar quizzes and participate in training workshops.
The Association of Writers & Writing Programs
AWP was founded in 1967 to fight the belief that “the best, most respected writers were those long dead and safely entombed in anthologies and libraries.” The group fosters literary achievement by continuing to promote the concept that writing is a living, growing, evolving art form, and it strives to advance the art of writing as essential to a good education. In doing so, a new generation of writers and admirers has been created. Anyone can make use of AWP’s Guide to Writing Programs, list of contests, and directory of international writers’ conferences and writing centers.
PubWest, Publishers Association of the West
A trade association for small- and medium-sized book publishers, printers, editors, proofreaders, graphic designers, binderies, and related editorial and service companies, PubWest (founded as the Rocky Mountain Book Publishers Association) now promotes a number of educational and marketing services for members in most states and four countries. The group’s e-newsletter includes a regular section titled “Publishing Industry News” that provides timely updates on all aspects of the book business.
American Library Association
As you might suspect, the ALA site provides a vast amount of information for writers. The site links to a number of discussion groups, forums, and interest groups as well as several book lists, including some for teens that can be found in the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) division. Much of the basic information here is free, but members have access to additional resources, such as annotated lists.
Macmillan Dictionary Blog
Not really an organization, but this compilation of blog posts, podcasts, and videos provides amazing resources for writers and editors, from learning English as a second language to grammar and spelling assistance, a Word of the Day listing, quizzes, and a look at Words in the News. Access to all elements is free.
If you are looking for additional resources to help you write for special audiences or if you want to check into alternative options for publishing your work, check our list of organizations for special markets and purposes . . .
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So, get in touch—you won’t
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