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Resources and Professional Organizations
Professional Organizations



Yes, this is the Internet age, and yes, some of the following sources are available online (see below). You're still going to want the books.


  • The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition. The bible. Get it.
  • The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual. More popular among newspaper and magazine editors, but nonetheless handy and informative.
  • The Elements of Style. By William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White. The 1999 edition is barely changed, and for a good reason: Strunk and White got it all right the first time. There is no excuse to not buy this slim, cheap classic.
  • A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, Third Edition, by H.W.Fowler. A classic, first published in 1926, and the last word on proper grammar.
  • Modern American Usage: A Guide. Erik Wensberg's lucid and droll revision of William Follett's classic.
  • Kirsch's Handbook of Publishing Law. By Jonathan Kirsch. Clear and comprehensive.
  • Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition. The favored dictionary among editors.
  • The Oxford English Dictionary. Comes in two weighty, expensive volumes, with a magnifying glass. Easily the greatest and most thorough dictionary of the English language.
  • Merriam Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
  • Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do, Third Edition. Edited by Gerald Gross. A collection of illuminating essays by distinguished editors.


    Copy Editor Workshop page. A very useful set of annotated lists of workshops, including online, on-site, and correspondence courses.


    Authorlink! An extensive site featuring news, resources for writers, editors, and agents, a manuscript marketplace, publishing imprints, classifieds and more.

    The Chicago Manual of Style FAQ. Questions and answers from the manuscript editing department at the University of Chicago Press, publishers of the venerable CMS.

    Copyediting-L Archives. Popular mailing list devoted to copy editing issues.

    Copy Editor. A print-only publication aimed at newspaper, magazine, and book copy editors. Free sample issue available. Also has job board, links, and workshop information.

    WWWebster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition. Considered a definitive dictionary. Searchable, with a thesaurus.

    William Strunk's The Elements of Style. The 1918 text of Strunk's masterpiece. Useful, but buy Strunk and White's latest print edition. It's cheap and invaluable.

    A Web of On-line Dictionaries. Links to hundreds of dictionaries in more than a hundred languages.

    Wired Style. A slightly snooty but helpful site from the arbiters of Internet Hip.

    Professional Organizations

    American Society of Indexers. "A nonprofit educational and charitable organization, ASI serves indexers, librarians, abstractors, editors, publishers, database producers, data searchers, product developers, technical writers, academic professionals, researchers and readers, and others concerned with indexing."

    The Freelance Editorial Association, based in Cambridge, MA, is a nonprofit membership organization staffed by volunteers. It works to promote the interests of freelance editors, illustrators, indexers, production specialists, proofreaders, translators, and writers. Very useful site.

    Freelance Online. Aimed at freelancers in publishing and advertising. Features job board, directory, forum, bbs, and more. Some features are free, others for members ($15 fee to join).

    Editors Association of Canada. A national, nonprofit organization of both English- and French-language editors, with more than 1000 members from coast to coast.


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