Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)—Breaking Down the Benefits

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Danielle McLeod

Danielle McLeod is a highly qualified secondary English Language Arts Instructor who brings a diverse educational background to her classroom. With degrees in science, English, and literacy, she has worked to create cross-curricular materials to bridge learning gaps and help students focus on effective writing and speech techniques. Currently working as a dual credit technical writing instructor at a Career and Technical Education Center, her curriculum development surrounds student focus on effective communication for future career choices.

The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) is a professional organization that serves freelance editors, writers, proofreaders, indexers, and other editorial professionals. With the increasing demand for freelance editorial services, the EFA plays an important role in connecting professionals with clients and advocating for the value of editorial services.

The EFA helps its members stay current with industry trends and works to build relationships with fellow professionals. 

This article explains the EFA, its history, the benefits of joining the organization, and its relevance to your line of work. It also includes a detailed explanation of how to maximize your membership. 

Keep reading to learn how you can use this professional organization to grow your career network and stay on top of industry trends. 

What Is the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)?

Editorial Freelancers Association EFA—Breaking Down the Benefits

The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) is an organization that serves as a resource and community for freelance editorial professionals. 

The EFA was founded in 1970 in the United States by a group of freelance editors who recognized the need for a professional organization to support and advocate for the interests of editorial freelancers. The association has since grown to become an internationally recognized organization.

Its mission is to promote high professional standards and provide supportive networking, education, and professional development community opportunities. It offers a comprehensive support system to help grow and build freelance careers and a variety of membership benefits and discounts. 

What Are the Benefits of Joining the EFA?

The EFA offers members excellent benefits, including job and education support, networking, and industry representation. Consider the following to see if these are professional supports you could take advantage of:

  • Job referral service: This service helps members find new projects and expand their client base.
  • Educational resources: These include webinars, workshops, online courses, and publications.
  • Online community: Members can build professional relationships by participating in discussion forums, networking events, and mentorship programs.
  • Professional guidelines and standards: These cover areas such as rates, contracts, ethical considerations, and best practices.
  • Networking opportunities: These help freelancers build relationships, exchange ideas, and stay informed about industry developments.
  • Advocacy and industry representation: The association aims to raise awareness of the value and contributions of freelance editorial professionals.
  • Directory listing and recognition: This increases industry visibility and recognition.

Member Discounts

An incredible array of member discounts also comes with an EFA membership. Here are some examples of the discounts that have been available in the past:

  • Professional development resources: EFA members often receive discounted rates for webinars, workshops, and online courses organized by the association. 
  • Conferences and events: This may include discounted registration fees for the EFA’s annual conference and other industry events. 
  • Software and tools: Partnerships with various software providers and service platforms, which may offer exclusive discounts to EFA members, are often available. 
  • Professional services: Members may enjoy discounted rates or special offers on bookkeeping or accounting services, website design and development, graphic design, and other relevant services.
  • Publications and resources: EFA members often receive discounts on books, style guides, and other publications related to the editing and writing industry. 
  • Health insurance: The EFA has previously partnered with insurance providers to offer its members discounted health insurance options. 

Testimonials from Current EFA Members

Hundreds of testimonials are available online from current EFA members concerning their positive interactions with the EFA community as a whole, the networking availability, and the professional aid offered across various platforms.

Job searching and posting, in particular, is one of the most widely praised opportunities members take advantage of, as seen by these testimonials:

All of my clients in the past two years have come directly from EFA postings.—a member in Pennsylvania

Getting just one job from the list more than pays for years of subscribing to a source that presents potential jobs to me instead of my spending energy and time hunting for them… I call it a terrific deal.—a member in Delaware

I got one job which has more than paid for the EFA Job List subscription for years to come. That job has also given me a new client, who recently called me for more work.—a member in upstate New York.—a member in Phoenix

I keep track of the jobs I get through EFA referral, and my dues have been paid back almost tenfold in the year and a half I’ve been freelancing.—a member in Phoenix

I’m thankful for the wonderful talent you have brought our way.—a trade book publisher

What Should Be Considered Before Joining the EFA?

Before deciding to join the Editorial Freelancers Association, consider whether the membership cost benefits your needs. 

Cost of Membership

The cost of membership varies depending on membership type, location, and any applicable discounts or promotions. Specific membership fees are subject to change, so it’s advisable to visit the EFA’s website for the most up-to-date information.

To provide an approximate idea of cost, as of the publication of this article, it is $145 for a one-year membership or $260 for a two-year membership. 

Alternative Associations and Resources

While EFA is an organization for editorial freelancers, other associations and resources are available for freelance professional needs. Here are some alternative associations and resources worth considering:

  • American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA): ASJA is a professional association for nonfiction writers and journalists. 
  • Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP): SfEP is a professional organization based in the United Kingdom that supports editors and proofreaders. While it primarily serves the UK market, it welcomes international members.
  • National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE): NAIWE is an association that supports freelance writers and editors through resources, networking, and professional development opportunities.
  • Freelancers Union: Freelancers Union is a membership organization that provides resources, advocacy, and community support for freelancers across various industries.

Relevance of EFA 

When evaluating the relevance of EFA resources to your specific needs or stage in your career, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Industry focus: If you specialize in academic editing, technical writing, or fiction editing, review the EFA’s offerings to determine if they provide opportunities in your area of focus.
  • Career stage: If you are a beginner looking for foundational training and guidance, evaluate if the EFA offers introductory resources, mentorship programs, or workshops to support your professional development.
  • Educational resources: Review the EFA’s offerings, such as webinars, workshops, online courses, and publications, to determine if they cover topics relevant to your niche or career stage.
  • Networking opportunities: Explore if the association offers platforms, events, or forums where you can connect with potential clients or industry experts in your specific area of expertise. 
  • Job referral services: Assess if these services attract projects or clients relevant to your niche and if they have a track record of successful matches for freelancers in similar areas.
  • Community Engagement: Evaluate if there are specialized groups or forums where you can interact with professionals to seek advice or discuss specific topics. 

How to Maximize Your EFA Membership

Editorial Freelancers Association EFA—Breaking Down the Benefits 1

If you do decide to join, you will want to maximize your engagement with the EFA community to fully take advantage of all it has to offer. Your membership pays for a service that should benefit your career’s growth. 

Tips on Engaging with the EFA Community

  • Regularly visit online forums and engage in discussions relevant to your interests or expertise.
  • Share your knowledge, ask questions, and contribute to conversations.
  • Be respectful, professional, and considerate in your interactions.
  • Take advantage of the webinars and workshops offered by the EFA. 
  • Prioritize the webinars or workshops that align with your niche, career stage, or areas you want to develop further.
  • Actively participate during the sessions and take notes for future reference.
  • Explore if there are local EFA chapters or regional groups in your area. 
  • Attend local chapter events to connect with fellow freelancers.
  • Consider volunteering for a leadership role or helping to organize events.
  • Initiate conversations, introduce yourself, and explore potential collaborations.
  • Be proactive in expanding your network.
  • Consider offering to present a webinar, lead a workshop, or contribute to the EFA’s blog.
  • Volunteer for committees or working groups within the EFA.
  • Stay updated on new events, resources, and opportunities.
  • Actively seek out connections, collaborations, and learning opportunities.

Leveraging Resources for Growth

  • Explore the EFA’s webinars, workshops, online courses, and publications focused on skill development and industry trends.
  • Engage with the EFA community, both online and offline, to build relationships with fellow professionals and potential clients.
  • Take advantage of the job referral services offered by the EFA to access potential clients and project opportunities.
  • Stay updated on industry trends, best practices, and changes through the EFA’s resources, newsletters, and publications.
  • Take advantage of any discounts or partnerships offered exclusively to EFA members.
  • Offer your skills and expertise to volunteer for EFA committees, working groups, or leadership positions.

Other Strategies for Using the Membership

  • Display the EFA logo and membership on your website.
  • Include EFA membership in your marketing materials.
  • Request and display testimonials from satisfied clients.
  • Continuously update your skills and knowledge.


The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) serves freelance editors, writers, proofreaders, indexers, and other editorial professionals. Joining can significantly impact an editorial freelancer’s career. 

By becoming a member, you gain access to valuable resources, professional development opportunities, and networking that can help you enhance your skills and stay competitive in the industry. Additionally, being part of a professional organization like the EFA provides freelancers credibility and visibility within the editorial community. 

However, joining the EFA should be based on individual needs, goals, and considerations. Conduct a personal assessment of the benefits discussed and evaluate how membership in the EFA aligns with your career objectives and aspirations.