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History of the Northwest Editors Guild

This post is adapted from information on the Northwest Editors Guild website.


The Northwest Editors Guild connects clients with professional editors of the written word in the Pacific Northwest. We also foster community among our members and provide resources for their career development.

We pursue our mission in the following ways:

  • Connecting clients with editors in our region via our member directory and job board

  • Fostering community via networking, mentoring, and an active email discussion list

  • Helping editors hone their craft via topical meetings, periodic workshops and conferences, and resources on our website

  • Having a Guild presence at regional conferences


The Northwest Editors Guild began in the summer of 1997, when eleven Seattle-area editorial professionals gathered to explore the idea of forming a group that met regularly. Out of the discussion came the realization that such a group could have many benefits: getting to know other editors, gaining a sense of having colleagues, building a job-referral network, and more.


The group agreed to meet bimonthly in Seattle. Early meetings were largely discussions among members, but we soon began to enjoy guest speakers on editing, professional development, client relations, and many other topics. Members in Portland and the South Puget Sound area hosted regular gatherings in their respective areas for several years; more recently, informal coffee hours (without speakers) have been hosted by Guild members in a number of Seattle neighborhoods, Portland, and elsewhere.

As the Editors Guild grew, we began to offer courses in editorial careers, proofreading, and copyediting through Seattle’s Discover U, an adult-education organization; around 2000, when the University of Washington began its editing certificate program, some of the first instructors were Guild members. Today many of the program’s instructors as well as dozens of its graduates are Guild members.

The Guild began our popular daylong conferences in 2007. Offered every two years, each Red Pencil conference typically features a keynote speech by a nationally known editorial professional (Amy Einsohn, Sheila Bender, Carol Fisher Saller, Alan Rinzler, Steven Pinker, Karen Yin) as well as panels, workshops, and discussion groups led by Northwest experts in editing, publishing, marketing, and more.

Who We Are

The Guild incorporated in 2010 as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization; we are a 501(c)(6), a business league.

We are guided by an all-volunteer board of directors and advisory council as well as a part-time paid administrator. The vast majority of our activities are carried out entirely by volunteers.

Over the years, the Guild has grown from a handful of Seattle editors with similar clients, interests, and backgrounds to a diverse group of nearly 400 members who offer a full range of editorial services and are located throughout the Northwest.

Until this year, the Guild was known as the Northwest Independent Editors Guild. In February 2018, the Guild board officially dropped the word “Independent” from our name. This change acknowledges that our organization welcomes both freelance and in-house editors. The new name better reflects our mission goals of fostering community among our members and providing resources for their career development, and it promotes future growth and expansion.

All of us involved with the Guild look forward to enjoying the continued growth of the organization.

Based in Seattle, Washington, Karen Parkin copyedits and proofreads fiction and nonfiction for publishers, book packagers, and independent authors. She currently serves on the executive committee of the Northwest Editors Guild board of directors.

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