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Writers and Editors: Expert Knowledge from A to Z


When you first arrive at Pat McNees's blog Writers and Editors, it's like opening the door to a gigantic warehouse with books stacked from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. The sheer amount of information stored here is so immense that it is hard to describe how much content is actually found at Writers and Editors; you simply must see it to believe it.

Pat McNees, or Pat, as she is referred to on her blogs, heads up three websites—Pat McNees, Comfort Dying, and Writers and Editors. The websites serve a dual function as both websites and blogs because they house static information along with material and news that is updated on an ongoing basis. Indeed, much of Pat's time is devoted to adding content (in the form of links or personal commentary) to all three blogs; each one is jam-packed with information and Writers and Editors is the largest by far.

Writers and Editors actually grew out of Pat McNees's eponymous blog, where it is described as a sister site with links to tremendous resources for writers, editors, and those who hire or read them. For our purposes here, we will focus solely on Writers and Editors and explore its stated purpose of connecting writers and editors with each other, resources, markets, and audiences. Pat goes on to explain it further: As a writer-editor, I am often asked for advice about how to make a living as a writer or editor (or both) and how to find a good writer, editor, or proofreader. I launched this website to provide frank information both for people who want to know the basics and for those who want to dig deeper in a particular field. So, while the blog covers the work and craft of writing, it also goes much further to address the choice of writing as a career. assists writers with editing text assists writers with making writing a career. Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

To help get started, here are four ways to search for information on Writers and Editors:

  • To search for text on a single web page that's opened in your browser, use the keyboard shortcut search function ("Comm F" on a Mac, or "Ctrl F" on a PC);
  • To scan an entire site for a specific word or phrase, use the Google site search function;
  • To use the site's Index to scroll through topics alphabetically, go to the Home/Index page of Writers and Editors;
  • To scroll through items organized by topic on Writers and Editors, go to the Site Map.

Now that you have the tools needed to do an efficient search, it's best to break down what can be found at Writers and Editors so you can begin navigating the halls of this great storehouse of information.

For writers

Here is a small taste of the immense variety of topics you will encounter: finding the right word, narrative nonfiction resources; memoirs; mysteries, suspense, thrillers, crime novels, and cozies; narrative structure in science and medical writing; punctuating poetry; resources for bloggers; niche and specialty writing; ghostwriting; self-publishing; and finding and choosing the right literary agent. There is also a static page full of information on local and regional writers' organizations.

For editors

You will find a selection of useful topics with titles like: tips and tools; academic authors; contracts; order of front and back matter in a book; software programs; fonts and typography; audio editing software and instructions; kinds of editors and levels of edit; résumés, CVs, and alternatives; British vs. American punctuation; editing checklists; video production and editing; and style and grammar books.

For students

Looking to beef up your knowledge or find unique expertise on a topic? There are several "how-to" subjects found on the site, such as: degree programs in science writing; pitching a magazine story; writing a book proposal; becoming a personal historian; and making the most of Twitter. Pat even leads specialized writing classes, attends workshops regularly, and delivers talks in the greater Washington, D.C. area, where she enjoys meeting and interacting with other writers and editors.

Students can attend workshops focusing on the world of writing and editing.
Students can attend workshops focusing on the world of writing and editing. Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

For events and organizations

You will find a large variety of conferences, classes, programs, workshops, organizations, and support groups throughout the U.S. Some examples include: book tours; outdoor writers' organizations; film awards, festivals, and competitions; critique groups and writing workshops; book fairs and book festivals; storytelling venues (for stories told aloud to live audiences); and Iowa Writers' Workshop vs. NYC.

For job hunters

Pat shares numerous tips gleaned from her extensive work experience in the publishing and writing industry, and she addresses a wide range of topics and questions with her unique candor and insight. She has offered frank, pertinent advice and information on the following: Making a living as a writer; collaboration agreements; fees for ghostwriters; settlement of freelance writers' class action lawsuit; drawing up a contract for a book/editing job; clearing rights and finding rightsholders; agents and how to protect yourself against the bad ones; grants and fellowships for writers; and how to make money as a freelancer. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, she provides an extensive list of "job banks" where you will find a large list of websites, directories, and organizations that will help you research career and employment opportunities.


Pat's extensive work experience and expertise make her blog, Writers and Editors, a worthwhile one to check out. Not only does Pat cull extraordinary amounts of information regarding the craft and work of writing and editing, but she also creates a substantial amount of content in the form of her personalized commentary and insightful thoughts found throughout the site. She provides helpful links to websites, organizations, and information that are useful for writers, both general and specialized. Whatever type of writing you do, Writers and Editors has information galore for you!

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