Professional development for writers and editors: finding your tribe

Have you ever wondered if you are keeping pace with trends in writing and editing, or even the English language for that matter? It's important to know about changing norms and standards, and to be inspired by conversations of like-minded people talking about the same things that you are passionate about. Here are some ideas to help you find your tribe.

If you are a writer, editor, or indexer, you may find that you often work alone and only turn to your dictionaries and style guides when you need to figure out an answer to a pesky grammar question. But in my experience, it's far more fulfilling to seek out information and insight from online conversations with members of professional organizations.

Here are some great organizations to consider joining, depending on the type of work you do and the country you live in.

Editors' Association of Canada (EAC)

  • EAC on Facebook
  • Twitter @editorscanada

Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC)

  • PWAC Facebook site
  • Twitter @writersdotca

American Copy Editors Society (ACES)

  • ACES on Facebook
  • Twitter @copyeditors

Association of Freelance Editors, Proofreaders & Indexers (AFEPI)

Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)

  • EFA on Facebook
  • Twitter @EFAFreelancers

Indexing Society of Canada (ISC)

  • Twitter @IndexersCanada

Northwest Independent Editors Guild (NIEG)

Plain Language Association InterNational (PLAIN)

  • Twitter @PLAIN_Lang_Intl

Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD)

Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP)

Society of Business Editors and Writers (SABEW)

  • Twitter @SABEW

The great thing about joining an organization is that you benefit from its newsletters, email listserves, and Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts where members discuss everything from writing styles to how to set rates and invoice clients. Also, most organizations hold regular networking events and annual conferences which can be a great way to expand your professional network and learn new things about your profession. 

So this year for the Christmas, consider treating yourself to a membership to an association that will help you become a better writer, editor, indexer, and more!  

Stacey D. Atkinson is a freelance editor and author of Stuck, a novel she published via her independent company Mirror Image Publishing.

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