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Writer’s Resources

Professional Associations

AIGA—The professional association for design.

AMWA—The American Medical Writers Association

ATD-Associaion for Talent Development—Formerly the ASTD, professional association for learning and development professionals.

Independent Computer Consultants Association—”The Independent Computer Consultants Association (ICCA) represents a wide variety of information technology consultants who provide consulting, implementation, support, training, strategic planning, and business analysis services.”

PWA—Professional Writers Association for freelance writers who are working toward being a professional writer and others.

Society for Technical Communication—STC is an individual membership organization dedicated to advancing the art and science of technical communication. Over 23,000 members.

Trade, Association and Business Publications International—TABPI endeavors to bring together editors working for English-language publications worldwide, and encourage a common dedication to editorial ethics and excellence.

Other Professional Resources

Interview Preparation and Tips—Some pointers on preparing for an interview and tips to help you shine. Prepared by Writing Assistance, Inc.

Making Money In Technical Writing—Peter Kent, author of the best-selling Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Internet (Que) and Making Money in Technical Writing (MacMillan Publishing) shares his secrets for breaking into this lucrative field.

Online Technical Writing: Online Textbook—This text is used by students in online technical-communication courses worldwide as well as the online version of TCM1603, Introduction to Technical Communication, taught by David A. McMurrey, at Austin Community College (ACC) in Austin , Texas USA .

Technical Writers—US Dept. of Labor’s “Occupational Outlook Handbook, Technical Writers.”

Technical Writers – Working with a Contract Staffing Agency—A useful white paper for technical writers who are considering working as a contractor through a staffing agency. Examines the value of working with a contract agency, what to look for when contacting staffing agencies, interview tips and information on contract matters.

Technical Writing FAQ—Answers to frequently asked questions for beginning technical writers by technical writer John Hewitt.

Technical Writing Tips—Ten useful tips on technical writing by Matthew Arnold Stern, creative and technical writer.

The Pincus Group—Media training, crisis communication, speech training and presentation training.

The Value of Adding Images to Technical Documentation by V. Berba Velasco—A discussion of why it is important to judiciously images to make technical documentation clearer and more readable.

Usable Web: Guide to Web Usability Resources—A collection of links and accompanying information about human factors, user interface issues, and usable design specific to the World Wide Web.

Legal Resources

Copyright Basics—Copyright Office documents on all aspects of copyright.

Copyright Forms—Copyright forms. Some can be filled in online. All are available in PDF format at this site or at

United States Copyright Office

IRS FAQs About Independent Contractors

Works for Hire—A Section of copyright law that defines when copyrights are automatically conveyed to employer/client.

Your Rights: Independent Contractors—Contractor-centric discussion of basic legal issues.

Design & Style Guides

A Handbook for Technical Writers and Editors—This publication is directed toward professional writers, editors, and proofreaders. Those whose profession lies in other areas (for example, research or management), but who have occasion to write or review others’ writing will also find this information useful.

APA Style Guide—This site is devoted to APA Style and includes free style tips as well as links to online purchasing of the APA Publication Manual, Style Guides, and APA Style-Helper software.

Document Design—Journal of Research and Problem Solving in Organizational Communication. Site provides back issues, subscription, contribution guidelines, and board members.

Garbl’s Editorial Style Manual—Developed by editor Gary B. Larson, this online style guide offers writing and editing advice, including abbreviations, addresses, capitalization, English grammar, numbers, organization terminology, plurals, possessives, punctuation, spelling, word usage, and the web.

Style Manuals & Writing Guides—What is a Style Manual? A handbook or guide that illustrates the accepted format for citing your references in term papers, theses, articles, etc.

Writing for the Web—A research project about how users read on the Web and how authors should write their Web pages (a study by John Morkes and Jakob Nielsen): includes downloadable files, tasks, and questionnaires to allow replicated or revised experiments

Additional References and Educational Resources

A Non-Writers Guide to Estimating Writing Projects

Documentation Managers Survey Results—Sponsored by Metri-Mark, Inc., 1026 respondents of which 566 were managers and 455 were non-managers.

General Assembly—Courses in design, marketing, technology, and data online and on campuses worldwide.—Online learning resource with an extensive library of courses for all skill levels.

Online Dictionary—Features a complete dictionary and thesaurus for easy lookups, and it offers them in several languages. You can also improve your vocabulary with a “word of the day.”

Online Resources for Writers—From Amherst College.

refdesk—Indexes and reviews quality, credible, and current information-based sites and assists readers in navigating these sites. An incredibly useful site, with search engines, dictionaries, news, finances, weather, miscellaneous facts…you name it. You’ve got to check it out!

ScribeStudio—100% Web-based e-Learning toolkit that enables subject matter experts to quickly and easily author and publish online courses and training programs and to manage and communicate with learners online.

UX Fundamentals—Self-paced, free online course on User Experience fundamentals.

Webopedia— Online tech dictionary for IT Professionals.

The Advanced Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases—Being called upon to write your first press release can always seem intimidating. This guide from e•releases should help you get everything in order.

The EServer TC Library—Part library index, part web portal–for professional, scientific, and technical communicators (including technical writers). The goal of this website is to provide tech comm practitioners, students, teachers, and managers a single location from which to access the best resources available online.

The Technical Communicators Resource Site—A comprehensive resource for writers of technical publications, containing many links.

Professional Forums and Blogs

EServer TC Library—A real-time chat site for technical communicators, built to create an inviting online space as a way to foster a sense of community among professionals in this emerging field.

FFeathers—Technical writing and fiction blog by Sarah Maddox.

I’d Rather Be Writing—Technical Writer Tom Johnson’s blog on technical writing trends and innovations.

Kikolani—Kristi Hines’ blog on marketing strategies, guest blogging methods and social media tips for writers and professional bloggers. Also discusses the best digital tools for publishing, productivity and content marketing.

Smashing Magazine—Covers coding, design, UX, mobile, graphics, and WordPress topics all in one place.

Yahoo Groups – Technical Writing—Choose from over 15 discussion groups and mailing lists directly related to technical writing.

Articles for Technical Writers

Ethics of Technical Publishing: Trust Yourself—An article providing a look into the ethic side of technical publishing and writing. Who can you trust and what do you do when you are confronted with an unethical boss, co-worker or assignment.

Marketing Yourself as an Independent Technical Writer by Ron Kurtus

Salaries of Technical Writers in the United States

Top 3 Serial Killers of a Good Document—A look at the top three factors that kill a good document.

Writing – Copyrights and Trademarks Protect You by Marilyn Schwader—When most people consider writing a book, they don’t think about Trademarks. However, I highly recommend that you leverage your writing for multiple purposes, and that’s why registering a Trademark for your concept is a good idea. If you use your writing as the basis for workshops and other products, it’s in your best interests to protect your concepts with a Trademark.

Books for Technical and Other Writers

American Medical Writers Association Amazon Store—Self-study workbooks, Quick Reference Guides, and AMWA Journal subscriptions.

The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr

The Insider’s Guide to Technical Writing by by Krista Van Laan

Handbook of Technical Writing by Gerald J. Alred, Charles T. Brusaw, Walter E. Oliu

Letting Go of the Words, Second Edition: Writing Web Content that Works

Online Technical Writing by David A. McMurrey

Articles for Employers

Choosing and using a technical writer by Jean Hollis Weber

Getting Contractors Up to Speed Quickly by Miki Magyar

Hiring Contract Technical Writers by Scott Hartmann

Outsourcing Your Documentation

Reasons for hiring a technical writer by Joe Woodard

Strategies when hiring a technical writer by William T. Kelly

Ten Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Freelance Writer by Linda Elizabeth Alexander

Who needs a technical writer? by Jean Hollis Webe

Working with contract tech writers for documentation needs by William T. Kelly


Document Design—Journal of Research and Problem Solving in Organizational Communication. Site provides back issues, subscription, contribution guidelines, and board members.

Journal of Technical Writing and Communication—Serves as a major professional and scholarly Journal for practitioners and teachers of most functional forms of communication. (Baywood Scholarly and Professional Publications)

Technical Communication Quarterly—An ATTW (Association of Teachers of Technical Writing) publication that requires registration for access.