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Acronyms for Writers and Others

Acronyms are short versions of a word or term using the first letters of the word(s). When I first got started in the writing industry, I learned some new acronyms. I am still learning new ones, some of which are very helpful in my writing journey. Then there are those older ones that I have heard or read my whole life, and they are still helpful.

Need-to-Know and Fun-to-Know Acronyms for Everyone

These abbreviations help make communicating easier:

e.g.   exempli gratia, Latin, “for example.”

et al.   et alii, Latin, “and others.”

etc.    et cetera, Latin, “and so forth” or “and so on.”

a.m.   ante merīdiem, Latin, “before noon” or in the morning.

p.m.   post merīdiem , Latin, “after noon.”

RSVP   derived from the French phrase Répondez s’il vous plaît, “respond if you please,” to request a response to an invitation.

RSVP response card for wedding, one of the acronyms used daily

Old Standard Acronyms for Writers

SAE   self-addressed envelope.

SASE   self-addressed stamped envelope. Both of these first two were much more popular in the days before the internet’s widespread use. We used snail mail to request publisher’s guidelines, and had to enclose mostly SASEs for their responses as well as for responses to submissions. I can remember doing so. Now it’s mostly done through their websites and email.

MS   manuscript. Your work typed up in a document.

POV   point of view. How the story is looked at; through whose eyes.

United States Postal Service mailbox with a large snail on it with a stamp on its back

Writers for Youth Need to Consider their Audience

Juv   juvenile. Usually geared to children under twelve years old. 

MG   middle grade. Fiction intended for children in middle grades, in the age range from eight to 12.

NA   new adult (this is a recent audience-genre term). Fiction with protagonists (main characters) between 18 and 30 years of age. 

YA   young adult. Fiction that appeals to readers from twelve-years-old to those in their early 20s.

Writing Acronyms that are Newer to Me

ARC   advance reader copy. Some of the first copies of a finished book, sometimes issued before publishing to generate reviews.

CP   critique partner. A writer who provides feedback on a fellow writer’s work, usually in exchange for a critique of their own work.

MC   main character. The protagonist of a story.

NaNoWriMo   National Novel Writing Month. This is a challenge in the month of November to finish writing the first draft of a novel by the end of the month. When I first heard this acronym, I thought someone was being funny, if only my own ears. But now having participated, I appreciate it for the power it has of many writers supporting each other in working diligently during the same time period.

WIP   work in progress. The story or book you are currently working on.

close up of a writer editing, as BIC is one of the most important acronyms for writers

The Most Important Acronym to Put Into Action

BIC    butt in chair. Refers to putting the time in to actually write. Much like doing your own pushups in martial arts.

Here’s a list of commonly used acronyms from

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger

Jenifer Tull-Gauger Kyoshi

Children's picture book author/illustrator. Traditional karate teacher and practitioner. Loves drawing and all kinds of art. Also into animals, plants and Mother Nature.

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