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Change Can Bring About Good Things

The year 2020 has proved to be one of unprecedented change and challenge around the world. Financial instability, confusion, and unpredictability have overwhelmed many. Change has deeply impacted our lives, the communities we serve, and our organization.

Thank you for showing your support for NAIWE by joining the monthly webinars and the annual conference. This year, we put our full library of on-demand trainings online, and we offered the conference for free! We did both of these things to help you keep your skills up-to-date in an affordable manner.

We have worked hard this year to find ways to continue to serve our community, and we will continue to do so in 2021.

New members who join NAIWE during our annual end-of-year drive, using code "HOLIDAYS," and who enroll in automatic renewal will receive 50% off the first year! That's a $50 savings!

December Webinar: Metaphor and Its Hazards

We wanted to get to know John McIntyre (NAIWE's Grammar Expert) better, so last month we sat down with him. Here are some thoughts he shared with us.

Remind us why we should be interested in metaphors.

Because human beings are deeply motivated to seek out patterns, comparisons, and correspondences, we are awash in metaphors. Comparing one thing to another leaves us feeling that we have both a sharper and a broader understanding.

And this does not happen exclusively in poetry or more ornate prose. We are bathed in metaphors in our daily speech, some of them so deeply embedded that we no longer perceive them as metaphors.

For example, when we relinquish control of something to someone else, we say that we give that other party “free rein.” It evokes the era of horseback riding, when a rider would drop the reins, giving up control of the horse and going wherever the horse chose to go.

Of course, since most of us no longer ride horses, that image has faded, permitting the frequent, and misguided, substitution of the meaningless homonym, “free reign.”


Everyone appreciates an apt simile or striking metaphor. Figurative language enlivens prose and aids the reader’s understanding. But it is easy to get entangled in mixed metaphors, comparisons that fizzle, or images that convey the opposite of what the writer intends. And writers are not always the best judges of their effects. John McIntyre, who has been a working newspaper editor for four decades, will take you on a tour of regrettable metaphors and explain how they fail to achieve their purpose. Some laughter may be involved.

You can join in this conversation on December 15, at 2 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a webinar on figurative language and more! The cost for NAIWE members is $10 and $30 for non-members.

To register for this webinar, please visit the NAIWE website.

On-Demand Training: What's New in AP Style for 2020

Guest: NAIWE’s AP Stylebook Mark Allen

Changes are plentiful if not dramatic in this year’s Associated Press Stylebook. The growing reference tome provides guidance on how to use gender-neutral language and language dealing with sexual assault. It cautions against the “senior citizen” label. And it proclaims “mistress” is not a very useful term. AP Stylebook Expert Mark Allen will give us the rundown on all the updates in the new edition and talk about the move away from the paper book and toward doing more online.

Here’s what you can expect to learn in this class:

  • Capitalization of “Black”
  • Gender neutral language
  • Sexual harassment and sexual misconduct
  • Race-related coverage
  • Usages for midnight, preheat, + symbol, coronaviruses

Mark Allen is an editor, writer, and teacher focused on helping people communicate with clarity and honesty. He has trained hundreds of editors and writers on a variety of topics, including the latest and most important elements in the Associated Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style. Mark has led conversations about copyediting and writing at conferences and workshops in Detroit, St. Louis, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland, Columbus, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York City, and York, England. He was the first freelancer elected to the executive board of ACES: The Society for Editing, and Mark currently teaches advanced copyediting for UC San Diego Extension’s copyediting certificate program.

Words, Words, Words!

“…you will learn to love words and their meanings.” –Kevin Spacey in Pay It Forward

As a professional editor, I, too, have learned to love words and their meanings. How do I improve my vocabulary?

Joining professional editing associations has done a lot for me regarding this. I often read posts that my fellow members make. These are very intelligent people who have an impressive vocabulary and use sophisticated words habitually when they write. I tend to pick up on their language and use it myself.

To read the rest of this article, please visit NAIWE member Suzelle Fiedler's blog.

January Webinar: How to Be Effective In a Team Environment

In January, we will be chatting with Stephen Colwell, NAIWE's Branding and Marketing Expert, on the very important topic of being a team player.

As freelancers, we often find ourselves thrust into team environments that are unfamiliar, confusing, and chaotic. Assignments often lack clear definition, details are scarce, feedback is vague, and deadlines are moving targets. Stephen Colwell will be sharing the foundational methods and processes today’s top-performing teams are using to empower each other, eliminate waste, and accelerate progress...without all the overwhelm, chaos, and fatigue.


Stephen Colwell serves as CEO and head of strategy for Clarify Media and Completing, two Southern California-based firms specializing in marketing and project management. With over 10 years of hands-on agency experience as a copywriter, brand strategist, and project manager, Steve brings a broad and deep range of both marketing and operations expertise to the community. From strategy and design to growth and performance, Steve offers a rare mix of creative and analytical thinking toward helping creative professionals, teams, and small businesses accelerate their progress and achieve more. Steve has led project teams responsible for over $100+ million in annual revenue across four continents. A certified Agile practitioner, he is fanatical about helping others work in teams more effectively and operate at their best using the same proven routines practiced by today’s top-performing companies.

The cost for NAIWE members is $10 and $30 for non-members. To register for this webinar, which will be held on January 26 at 2 pm eastern, please visit the NAIWE website.

November's New & Renewing NAIWE Members

Barbara Anderson (Davis, CA); Elizabeth Belasco (Wimberley, TX); Nancy Bersin (North Palm Beach, FL); Lise Brenner; Mike Christie (Hemet, CA); Julie Conzelmann (Camano Island, WA); Christina Dubois (Burton, WA); Dick Franklin (Livingston, TX); Denise Gibbon (Cary, NC); David Har-Zion (Round Top, NY); Robert Kenney (North Kingstown, RI); Dennis Lowery (Jacksonville, FL); Jeannie Michael (Hampton, VA): Diane Morsch (Springwater, NY); Christina Pfister (Manzanita, OR); Russell Santana (Flanders, NY); Amber Starfire (Napa, CA); Renee Troxler (Manor, TX); Steve Walker (Rowlett, TX).

Be sure to post on your NAIWE website, and we will link to it when you renew!

From CMOS Shop Talk

Q. When is the word that unnecessary? Here’s an example: “She manages the team, making sure that everyone is in the right role and that everything is of the highest quality.” Is it okay to remove those thats?

A. More than a few grammatically nebulous constructions are actually cases of omission—or what’s known as a grammatical ellipsis. In the following examples, the brackets supply information that would be understood from context or otherwise:

[It’s amazing] How ugly [that rock is]!

She’s taller than I [am]. (But see CMOS 5.46.)

Why [did you do that]?

Thousands rushed to serve him in victory; in defeat, none [of them did].

Jasper missed her and she [missed] him.

[Would you like] One lump [of sugar] or two [lumps of sugar]?

We made sure [that] everyone was happy.

The man [who is] in the moon isn’t real.

All those sentences make grammatical sense without the bracketed words that might complete them. In some cases the elliptical construction is preferable (as in the proverbial “man in the moon”). The “rule,” if we were to state one, would be simple: Any omission that sounds right and does not obscure or alter the intended meaning is an option.

Your example works well enough either way. If you favor economy, delete the thats. If you think they provide a bit of useful emphasis, keep them. If you’re unsure, try reading both versions of the sentence aloud. For more on relative pronouns and grammatical ellipses, see CMOS 5.226 and 5.229. (For the punctuation mark known as an ellipsis, see CMOS 13.50–58.)

Member Benefit

Discount on JSTOR

JSTOR provides access to more than 10 million academic journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines, and JPASS is an easy way to access the world’s leading academic research. You’ll have superior reference materials from a wide range of subjects available to you to help ensure the accuracy and quality of your work. NAIWE members receive 25% off annual memberships.

Visit the NAIWE website to see all of the member benefits.

Why Should You Join an Association?

You are welcome here, even if you are a writer or editor who doesn’t fit neatly into a genre or specialty.


"If we do what we do without panicking, we can accomplish great things. "

—Tony Dungy


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