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Favorite resources for freelance editors

This list of links was presented as a handout at the “Freelancers Forum” session at the American Copy Editors Society conference in Phoenix in March 2011. It was compiled by Mark Allen, Kate Karp and Liz Smith. It’s not intended to be exhaustive, but it represents some of our favorite places to find help when we are editing at home.

Please send me a note if you find any bad links, and please share your favorite resources in the comments.

Resources for Freelancers

Organizations, websites and a list

ACES (blog, news, resources, jobs, and the ACES forums):

Copyediting Newsletter (Links, blog, jobs, resources, training):

Editorial Freelancers Association (Training, resources, jobs):

Journalists’ Toolbox (Compendium of links to useful sites)

Copyeditor’s Knowledge Base (Links to resources for freelance copyeditors):  

Common Errors in English Usage (Big list of quick-hit usage tips):

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips (transcripts of all the podcasts):

Grant Barrett’s searches (word-related sites, Google books):

CE-L (mailing list for copyeditors): Sign up at

Stylebooks and usage guides

The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual (available as an app and online by subscription)

Chicago Manual of Style (also available online by subscription)

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association  (online subscription available)

Yahoo! Style Guide

Concise Rules of APA Style

MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing

A Pocket Style Manual

The Bluebook (Harvard Law Review legal citation guide; online subscription available)

Quick Check Editorial Reference Cards (from

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (guides to Chicago, MLA and APA style)

Garner’s Modern American Usage

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage

The Gregg Reference Manual

Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Elephants of Style and Lapsing into a Comma (Bill Walsh)


Merriam-Webster Collegiate 11th (Chicago’s preferred; online free, on CD-ROM, and as a free appUnabridged by subscription)

Webster’s New World College (AP’s preferred; also as an app)

Oxford dictionaries (New Oxford American free online or as “Dictionary” application on a Mac; includes American English and World English options)

Oxford English Dictionary online (check with your local library)

Canadian Oxford Dictionary

Wordnik (contains American Heritage, Century Dictionary, others)

American Heritage (also as an app)

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

Visual Thesaurus (subscription),,

Compiled for ACES 2011 by Mark Allen, Kate Karp and Liz Smith

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