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; 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 Assn    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.
  • EEI: Editorial Experts, Inc.    EEI offers numerous seminars and workshops to help keep editors up to date on editing standards and practices.
  • National Writers Assn    Along with the “usual” assortment of membership benefits, one stands out: complimentary third-party contract reviews, which provide objective and knowledgeable sets of eyes to make observations and recommendations.
  • 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.
  • National Writers Union    In their words: “As a freelance writer you may work individually, but you’re not alone. Our community of . . . freelance writers . . . works to advance the economic and working conditions of writers . . . through legislative action, lawsuits . . . collective licensing alternatives . . . and . . . mobilizing members to fight in their collective self-interest.”
  • American Copy Editors Society    ACES  “is dedicated to improving the quality of journalism and the working lives of journalists. Our main purpose is to educate our members—and others in the news business—in ways of improving the standards of copy editing and increasing the value the news industry places on our craft.”   Many states also have chapters; if not, several regional chapters are available for local training and networking.
  • The Assn 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.” By continuing to promote the concept that writing is a living, growing, evolving art form “that can be enjoyed by anyone who can read,” hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have awakened or resurrected writing programs. In doing so, a new generation of writers and admirers has been created.
  • is a source for locating freelance writing (including ghostwriters, screenwriters, and scriptwriters), editing, and related talents any place in the world. If you need a writer who knows the Russian countryside to make your story work, you can probably find one here. Likewise, if you need a PR person to promote your new publication in Argentina. However, if you need an editor to help you out, I hope you know by now to look no farther!
  • American Library Assn    As you might suspect, the ALA site provides a large 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.

If you are looking for additional organizations that might help you write for special audiences or if you want to check into alternative options for publishing your work, check this list . . .


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