ACES 2016: Portland

ACES turns 20 in Portland!


The 20th annual ACES national conference will be held
March 31–April 2, 2016, in Portland, Oregon.

ACES is the nation’s premier editing conference. In addition to high-quality, low-cost training from acclaimed experts, you’ll get to visit and network with fellow editors and word nerds from across the country and enjoy the Rose City from our base at the Hilton Portland.

The conference is sold out, but limited on-site registration is available at the following rates: $175 per day for ACES members, $275 per day for nonmembers, $85 per day for student members, $140 per day for student nonmembers.


 Who attends ACES?

Each year, the conference draws hundreds of attendees: editors for corporations, nonprofit agencies, governments, newspapers, magazines, websites, trade publications and book publishers, as well as freelancers, consultants, students and journalism professors. While ACES began as a journalism organization, the majority of our members now work outside of newsrooms, and the conference programming reflects that diversity.

Training highlights

ACES 2016 will include more than 60 sessions covering topics like:

• Core editing skills
• Diversity and respectful language
• Fact-checking
• Social media and digital editing
• Freelance editing
• News editing
• Job-hunting and career development
• Style guides and dictionaries

Keynote speaker – Friday night

Kory Stamper

Kory Stamper

Kory L. Stamper joined Merriam-Webster as an editor and lexicographer in 1998, and has defined and edited entries for a number of dictionaries and thesauri, including Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary, and the new Merriam-Webster Unabridged. In addition to defining, she writes on etymology and usage for the Merriam-Webster blog “A Thing About Words” at, and writes for and appears in the popular Ask the Editor video series at Her articles on lexicography and word trends have appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, and on, and her blog on lexicography,, has been featured in the Paris Review, The Millions, and The New York Times. She’s currently writing a book about language and lexicography. Kory earned her B.A. in Medieval Studies from Smith College with a focus on Indo-European languages and literature, and she likes her coffee like she likes her language: dark and murky.

Spelling bee – Thursday night

A big hit since its introduction in 2014, this popular fund-raiser for the ACES Education Fund will be held on Thursday evening before the reception. As we learned in Pittsburgh, a cash bar enhances the spelling and spectating experiences! You can watch by paying in person at the door; we already have 15 spellers signed up and we can’t take anymore because of time constraints.

Silent auction – Friday

As past attendees know, the ACES silent auction tends to get a little noisy, as people try to outbid one another to win editing-related, local and just plain cool items. The auction is held on Friday and also benefits the ACES Education Fund, which has awarded 88 scholarships to aspiring editors since 1999. Learn more about the auction.


The conference hotel is the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, 921 S.W. Sixth Ave.

The Hilton is located two and a half blocks from the Pioneer Square North MAX light rail stop; the MAX ride from the airport takes about 40 minutes and costs $2.50.

Schedule at a Glance

This schedule is subject to change. See the full schedule.

Wednesday, March 30

  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Digital editing boot camp
  • 3 p.m. Walking tour
  • 3–7 p.m. Registration

Thursday, March 31

  • 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration
  • 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Exhibitor/trade show
  • 8:30–9:30 a.m. Opening general session
  • 9:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Breakout sessions
  • 12:30–2 p.m. Lunch on your own or networking lunches on-site (advance purchase required)
  • 2–4:30 p.m. Breakout sessions
  • 5–6:30 p.m. Education Fund Spelling Bee (spectator tickets available for $10 at door)
  • 6:15–8 p.m. Reception

Friday, April 1

  • 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration
  • 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Exhibitor/trade show
  • 9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Breakout sessions
  • 12:15–2 p.m. Lunch on your own
  • 12:30 p.m. Oregonian newsroom tour – meet in main Hilton lobby
  • 2–4:15 p.m. Breakout sessions
  • 4–7 p.m. Silent auction
  • 7–9:30 p.m. Banquet

Saturday, April 2

  • 8 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Registration
  • 8 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Exhibitor/trade show
  • 9–11:45 a.m. Breakout sessions
  • 11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch on your own
  • 1:15–3:30 p.m. Breakout sessions
  • 3:45–4:30 p.m. Closing general session
  • 7–9 p.m. After-party (Ticketed event)

See the full list of breakout sessions.


Last but not least, ACES 2016 is set in the heart of downtown Portland. Frequently heralded for its food scene, natural beauty and friendliness, Portland has more breweries than any other city on earth and is home to the world’s largest independent bookstore, making it a perfect fit for ACES!

• Get cheap eats at the city’s largest collection of food carts, five minutes’ walk from the hotel.

• Shop ‘til you drop with no sales tax at big-name stores and boutiques alike.

• Visit offbeat attractions like the 24-hour Voodoo Doughnut and the world’s largest independent bookstore, Powell’s City of Books.

• Sample craft beer at the city’s 70 breweries.

• Explore the visual arts at the Portland Art Museum or the First Thursday gallery walk in the Pearl District.

• Take a stroll along the waterfront, explore the urban forest or climb an extinct volcano.

• Check out Travel Portland’s guide to free and almost free things to do.


66 Responses to “ACES 2016: Portland”

  1. karyn palma

    Looking forward to conference schedule- do you know when that may be coming out?

    • Karen Martwick

      Hi Karyn,

      I apologize for the very delayed response! The general conference schedule will be posted this fall, with a detailed program to follow.


  2. Dan Hawkins

    Looks like the Hilton in Portland is in great need of a Copy Editors conference. Look at their cancelation policy:
    Cancel Policy
    Should you need you cancel your reservation, notice must be given to the Hotel at least 72 hours in advance of your actual arrival date and a valid cancellation number issued. If notice is not giving at least 72 hours in advance, you will forfeit your deposit or be charged one night’s room and tax as a cancellation penalty.

  3. Laura Whittemore

    I just registered and booked a room with two double beds assuming I’d wrangle a roommate. Will ACES facilitate connecting roommates at some point?

    • ACES Staff

      Sorry for the late reply. Yes, we do try to facilitate roommates by offering a thread on our Members Center forum. Forums for the 2016 conference should be posted soon.

    • ACES Staff

      A preliminary schedule was posted Nov. 18. It will be updated during the next few months.

  4. Wendy G.

    Please clarify hotel reservation policy/agreement for conference attendees . . . in calling and checking with hotel about when hotel would bill a credit card for reservation, the person to whom I spoke said reservations were PREPAID. Is this in fact what conference administrators negotiated ? This does not seem to be a normal practice — if so, the information should be on the ACES website with the hotel reservation information. thanks.

    • ACES Staff

      When you make a reservation, you should be charged one night’s room rate plus fees to hold the reservation. That amount is refundable up until March 26, 2016. If you are told something else, please contact us at

  5. JulieJ

    In search of additional information about the digital editing boot camp — is that still to come?

  6. Nora Stoecker

    When will the detailed schedule by time-slot be available? I especially need to know what sessions are being planned for Saturday afternoon. Travel arrangements hinge on that intel. Thanks!

  7. thom wright

    are our reservations closed out? it tells me i can’t get accommodations from Tuesday through Monday or Wednesday through Monday. but it’ll accept Wednesday through Sunday

  8. Heather Gates

    The hotel is booked Saturday night. Is there someone who can ask for more blocks of rooms for the conference?

  9. Chris Morgan

    Is registration refundable if I can’t go? I’d like to get the early-bird rate but I still haven’t heard from the company about whether they will help me out with any or all expenses. If I wait to register and they say yes after the cutoff, then I’ve missed the good rate. If I register now and they say no, I can’t afford to go at my own expense so I’d be wasting money on the registration if it’s nonrefundable. Thanks.

    • Gerri Berendzen

      You can find our refund policy here: So if you think your company will answer by March 1, you should be OK. However, I’m forwarding you questions to our conference director, Karen Martwick, just in case there are some nuances.
      Gerri Berendzen
      ACES communication director

      • Karen Martwick

        We offer a full refund up to 30 days before the first day of the conference, so Gerri’s note is absolutely correct: March 1, 2016, is the cutoff to get a refund for ACES 2016 registration fees.

  10. Laura Cameron

    Also tried reserving at the conference link, for Wednesday, 3/30, through Saturday, 4/2, and had Hilton return “no rooms” result on the search. Will make the conference booking today or tomorrow, and keep checking on the rooms situation! Thanks!

    • Karen Martwick

      We are working with the hotel to get more rooms added as quickly as possible. We’ll post an update when the additional rooms are available.

  11. Karen Martwick

    UPDATE: The hotel room block has been increased, so you can now make reservations. Let us know if you run into issues!

  12. Deborah Leiderman

    I am leaving phone message for the group reservation person but I was told by the front desk person that they will not be opening up any more rooms in a block for the group. Please let us know ASAP if there will be any more rooms. Thank you so much.

  13. Melanie Kolden-Ramsey

    I just tried to book a room for Wednesday through Sunday and was told there were no more rooms. Is there a spillover hotel option? (One nearby that would work?)

    • Karen Martwick

      We are working to add more rooms to our block at the Hilton. We’ll have an update on Feb. 1 to let you know how to proceed.

    • Paula Buckner

      Hi Melanie, if you don’t mind sharing with 2 other women for that time frame, you’re more than welcome to join us. “No” is an acceptable reply, with no hard feelings. Just trying to offer another option. pb

      • Melanie Kolden-Ramsey

        Just saw this. Thanks for the offer. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to go to the conference after all, even though I registered. My employer isn’t giving me the two days off (Wednesday and Friday) to attend. :-( I’ll know for sure in a couple of days.

  14. Colleen Newvine

    Great problem to have — look at all these ACES folks planning to be there! — but I’m being told there are no rooms in the block, as well.

    Best I can find nearby is the Paramount for $189, so that ACES block looks pretty good for downtown Portland. The Hilton is going for $199 without the ACES discount.

    • Gerri Berendzen

      We’re working with the hotel to expand our block and hope to have an answer today. Check back on this page for an update as soon as we get one.

      Gerri Berendzen

    • Ann Ihrke

      I booked at the Paramount just to make sure I had a room instead of waiting for a maybe room at the Hilton. It’s only a block away.

  15. Karen Martwick

    HOTEL UPDATE: We are still working to increase our room block and make sure we have enough meeting space for everyone. (As Colleen says, it’s a great problem to have!) Thank you for your patience as we work it out. Everyone will get a room and we’ll post another update here as soon as we have one.

  16. Heather Gates

    Which meals, if any, are provided within the confines of the registration fee? I need this info ASAP to calculate my per diem rates for my travel authorization. I see that lunch is on our own each day, so I know I’ll need per diem for lunch. Is breakfast covered each day? What about dinner?

    • Karen Martwick

      The only meal that is included in the registration cost is dinner at the banquet on Friday. We also provide heavy appetizers at the Thursday reception and coffee and tea each morning.

  17. Colleen Newvine

    Just booked my room — the price coming up for the ACES block is $183 for a single, not $173, but that’s still better than anything I was finding in the neighborhood and a discount from their standard rack rate.

    Thanks for all your logistics work, Karen! This looks like it’s going to be a big one.

    • Karen Martwick

      Sorry for the slow response; the rate for the rooms added after our original block sold out is $10 higher, and I’ve updated this page to reflect that change. As you noted, Colleen, it’s still a pretty good deal for Portland in the spring!

  18. Chris

    Will there be an app again this year to keep track of all the sessions? That was such a BIG help last year! :)

  19. Gail Kerzner

    Would love to share a room. I’m easy to get along with. Coming from Cleveland, so
    I’d love to save a few bucks and bond with some fabulous gals. I loved the conference last year.

    • Emily

      Hi Gail,

      I’m coming from Ohio as well! I’ll be traveling to the conference for the first time alone this year and would love someone to tag along with for lunches and such. I know this is really last-minute, but let me know! (

  20. Clarisse Banks

    I know I’m a little late to the party, but is there any chance the hotel block will be increased? I was able to book a room at the hotel, but not at the group rate.

    • Gerri Berendzen

      We have added a note about the hotel room block to this page, Clarisse. Our room block is completely sold out now. There may still be rooms available at the hotel, however.

  21. Laura Whittemore

    For ACES Las Vegas I remember some signup sheets showing up on this site for finding a roommate and signing up for newbie lunches. I’m no longer a newbie, but I’d love to find someone to share my room. Will you be adding those forms again or do you have another recommendation?


    • Karen Martwick

      Stacy, you have the option to purchase an after-party ticket when you register online. We may sell additional tickets at the conference registration desk, if there’s still room. We’ll announce that either way at the opening general session and in the mobile app.

  22. Michael

    Is or will there be a video or transcript of the keynote speech available?


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