Professional Training

ACES offers professional training through its annual three-day national conference; various one-day regional workshops and Editing Boot Camps; and through associations with other organizations, including copy editing curriculum that is part of an ACES training partnership with The Poynter Institute’s News University.

ACES national conference: Since 1997, more than 5,600 participants have taken advantage of the educational and networking opportunities offered by ACES three-day national conferences.

Workshops and panel discussions form the backbone of the gathering, but each year we have added and reconfigured sessions in an effort to thoroughly cover topics of interest to all those who edit copy. The conference schedule now offers three full days of training; a banquet, awards ceremony and keynote address; pre-conference networking opportunities; and sponsors exhibits.

The 2017 national conference will be March 23-25, 2017, at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront.


• Great Bosses Boot Camp, March 22, 2017, St. Petersburg, Florida, at ACES conference hotel: Added to the national conference this year will be the Great Bosses Boot Camp led by Jill Geisler, author of “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know”. She will facilitate a daylong workshop on March 22 where you will learn about motivation, managing change, dealing with tough conversations and building a team that plays to win. Register now.


Regional boot camps:

The American Copy Editors Society now is offering Digital Boot Camps in addition to its Editing Boot Camp, plus it will begin offering its new Advanced Editing Boot Camp in 2017.

The Digital Boot Camp , with a rotating lineup of presenters, will cover:

  • • Writing and Editing Text in the Digital Space
  • • Digital headlines and SEO
  • • Engaging audiences through social media, curation platforms and eblasts
  • • Digital Analytics and innovation

The new Digital Boot Camp includes hands-on exercises, so participants are required to bring a laptop or tablet.

The cost is $250.

2017 Digital Boot Camp schedule and registration:

• April 21: University of Kansas. Register.

• April 26: Seattle. Location TBA. Register.

• Oct. 4: Washington, D.C. Register.

• Oct. 26: Hot Springs, Arkansas. Location TBA. Register.

Watch this page for updates and any schedule changes.


ACES continues to offer its Editing Boot Camp to cover editing basics and a bit of advanced material for newer editors or for veteran editors seeking a refresher. Beginning in 2017, ACES will also offer Advanced Editing Boot Camps to provide more intense, advanced training.

The Editing Boot Camp covers the following topics:

  • • Why editing is important (and how to convince your bosses)
  • • Grammar and punctuation basics
  • • Commonly confused and misused words
  • • Elements of proofreading
  • • Clarity: smoothing out dense or garbled prose, streamlining copy
  • • Accuracy: checking facts and sources, ensuring charts/graphics are correct, identifying and filling in missing information
  • • Headlines: writing clear, informative display type in print and online (including SEO)
  • • Style: why you need a style guide

The Advanced Editing Boot Camp will cover some of this material and more; more details will be coming.

The editing boot camps are sponsored in part by:

Extension logo

A UC San Diego extension copyediting course will be raffled off at each boot camp (not at the digital boot camps).

The cost of the Editing Boot Camp is $100 for members, $175 for non-members. The cost of the Advanced Editing Boot Camp is $175 for members, $250 for non-members.

Editing Boot Camp schedule for 2017

• April 18: Charlotte, North Carolina. Location TBA. Register.

• Sept. 6: Anaheim, Anaheim Marriott. Register.

Advanced Editing Boot Camp schedule for 2017

• Sept. 14: Milwaukee. Location TBA. Register.

• Nov. 15: Dallas. Location TBA. Register.

Watch this page for updates and any schedule changes.


ACES/News University partnership: In the fall of 2012, ACES entered into a training alliance with The Poynter Institute’s News University. As part of the agreement, Poynter NewsU will provide discounted training for ACES members in exchange for ACES contributions on several Poynter NewsU training initiatives.

The partnership includes the certificate in editing program.

« Read about the partnership, or find News U courses.

The partnership was expanded in July 2016 with an an advanced online training program for editors and writers seeking to hone their skills.

« Read about the advanced certificate.


• Past conference archives: ACES members can benefit from the national conference even if they can’t attend through session handouts and stories posted on conference sites. ACES maintains an archive of information from recent past conferences. Find links to handouts and stories with tips at each year’s conference site:

Conference blog from 2015 and later

2016: Portland handouts

2015: Pittsburgh handouts

2014: Las Vegas

2013: St. Louis

2012: New Orleans

2011: Phoenix

3 Responses to “Professional Training”

  1. Marissa


    I am a copy editor and editorial assistant at an education publishing company. I am in the process of looking for an organization that would help me stay sharp on my copyediting skills. Many of the organizations listed on your website are connected to newspapers who use AP. Do you offer any training or information on other styles like Chicago? MLA?

    All the Best,

    Marissa Dunham

    • Maggie

      I am also interested in answers to Marissa’s question about training in Chicago style.

      • Gerri Berendzen

        Maggie: We have copy editors who work in all types of styles. At our conferences we have sessions that cover different types of style. We do have an AP-specific session each year. A lot of our training is style agnostic.
        That being said, the editing certificate that we sponsor in connection with Poynter’s NewsU tends to be AP style oriented. But the training itself focuses on much more than style.


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