Editorial Freelancers Association in Georgia

In the middle of 2018, I moved across the country. My husband and I traveled far away from family, friends, and the familiar places and faces we had always known. Nearly nine hundred miles from those roots, I knew I wouldnt thrive if I didnt put down new ones.

As we settled into our new town, I did just that, searching for water to nourish my transplanted editing career and displaced social circles. I longed for the community and support I had left, and, ever practical, decided I would begin seeking professional relationships I had left behind with the North Texas chapter of the Editorial Freelancers Association. Almost entirely a volunteer organization, the EFA provides innumerable tangible and intangible benefits to its members. The publishing industry has changed so much from what it once was, and there is a huge freelancer population just doing what we can to educate ourselves, excel in our fields, and help authors and presses, all while trying to make a living to support our families. And with organizations like the EFA, we dont have to do it alone. When I found out there were other members in my new home, I knew they, like me, would benefit from a chapter. So I wasted no time.

I sent out dozens of emails, communicating with the central EFA and members, testing for interest and compiling a plan. In 2016, the EFA helped me get started as a freelancer, and I wanted to give back. Thanks to the help of several other members, especially my tireless co-coordinator Mari Ann Stefanelli, our interest meeting was a success, and we threw a kickoff party a mere five months after I had landed in Georgia.

Fast forward to April 2022. Weve endured a pandemic together, huge life changes (hello, kids!), and have fostered relationships with the coolest editorial professionals across the country and even the world. More EFA chapters in other states have sprung up or been rekindled since our little kickoff meeting at Panera in small-town Georgia, and Im awed by the opportunities weve had to equip, inspire, and walk with writers and editors.

And this year, were going to our first writing and publishing conference as a chapter!

As workplaces continue to become more remote- and freelancer-friendly, more and more of us are running businesses from our homes. What a wonderful privilege and huge responsibility. And my goal is the same today as it always has been—to connect people to a community of editorial professionals who can support them in the push to achieve their goals. 

We need each other now more than ever.

If youre an editor or editorial professional looking for a community in Georgia or elsewhere, get in touch with the EFA, or drop me a line. Id love to point you in the right direction.

December 2022 Update: I recently stepped down as a coordinator for the Georgia chapter, as my family will soon be relocating to another area of the country. I am still an active EFA member and I attend as many virtual meetings as I can. It has been incredible to see where the Georgia chapter is headed, and I feel so privileged to have been a founding part of such a warm, encouraging community for these past four years! 

Christi Martin