History and Mission


A small group of editing students started the Professional Editors Network in 1984 as an informal way to stay connected. We are now a nonprofit with over 125 members and an eight-person volunteer board of directors that provides management and general oversight. Many other members volunteer to plan and present meetings, research and write newsletter articles, edit and publish the newsletter, and update and manage the website. Every task is essential to keeping the organization running smoothly.

Over the years, we have welcomed copyeditors, writers, proofreaders, indexers, book designers, and other wordsmiths as members. Most live in the Midwest, but others reside in states around the US and in Canada. If you work with words, PEN is for you no matter where you live. Click here to learn more about joining the Professional Editors Network and the benefits that come with membership.


PEN supports the professional growth and success of its members by offering learning opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills, by promoting member services to potential clients or employers, and by building a dynamic and supportive community of highly qualified professionals.


To be a recognized source of highly qualified professionals who work with words in all mediums to support clients around the world.

Core Values

Our programs and strategic planning process reflect the following core values.

  • Excellence: Deliver accurate, clear, concise, and compelling communications to clients
  • Inclusion: Embrace a diverse membership of all professionals who work with words
  • Education: Present learning opportunities to stay abreast of industry standards and changes
  • Community: Create and nurture a supportive community of professionals

Code of Conduct

PEN maintains a code of conduct that provides guidelines on how members are expected to behave when communicating with each other or when representing the organization. Click here to read it.