The winners of the Editorial Freelancers Association 2024 Coin-a-Word contest were announced at the organization’s Annual Meeting on June 26.

The contest, which took place throughout February and March, challenged EFA members to come up with original words that described a thing or concept related to editorial work, freelancing, or EFA membership for which there was currently no English word.

And they came through with flying creative colors! EFA members submitted more than 200 neologisms, from which the EFA Board of Governors chose six finalists. Then it was up to the people to decide—and more than 600 EFA members made their voices heard!

It was a tight race, but the people have spoken.

And this is what they said:

Coin a Word EFA Contest

Coin-a-Word’s grand prize winner is Alexandra DuSablon of Seattle, WA, who was awarded a free year of EFA membership for her brilliant word, which describes something all too familiar to editorial freelancers of every stripe: “freeglancing.”

Alexandra will also be able to proudly display her prizewinning word on four pieces of EFA swag featuring the above designs.

For their own winning way with words, each of the five worthy runners-up will receive their winning-word designs on four swag items of their choosing. You can view these equally fabulous designs—and purchase your own swag—at our EFAShop storefront.

And the winners (in alphabetical order by word) are:

Crystal Adaway, Alexandria, VA
commanundrum
noun | ˌkä-mə-ˈnən-drəm
a frequent dilemma in which editors must decide whether to use a comma, use some other bit of punctuation, skip it altogether, or rewrite the entire sentence because now nothing looks right

Lisa L. Owens, Issaquah, WA
commaraderie noun | ˌkä-mə-ˈra-də-rē
a collegial spirit of appreciation for all styles found in the art, craft, business, and people of editorial freelancing

Lynn Nikkanen, Helsinki, Finland
ediquette
noun | ˈe-di-kət
the set of professional standards and practices governing the conduct and behavior of editors, emphasizing courtesy, precision, and integrity in the editing process

Jess Romaine, Santa Cruz, CA
regrediting
noun | ri-ˈgred-i-tiŋ
work that an editor is completing at 2:00 a.m. while regretting having agreed to the budget and deadline

Sara Clarke, Springfield, VA
upstet
noun | əp-ˈstet
the feeling you get when you need to undo a change you just made

Congratulations to all our winners!

And great news to all EFA members, colleagues, and fans alike. Because everyone can get the winning neologisms on their own T-shirts, mugs, totes, and more. Trouble picking your favorite word from such a great bunch? Now that the voting is over, you don’t have to choose just one.

Even better, all the swag is available for 35% off at our EFAShop storefront through midnight on Sunday, July 7—no coupon code required.

So show your EFA pride and order your Coin-a-Word swag—or choose any of our other amazing designs—today!

Office Closed Monday April 8.

The EFA Offices will be closed Monday, April 8, 2024. We will reopen on Tuesday, April 9. Job postings, discussion list subscriptions, and other customer service requests may not be responded to until then.

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