Saturday, February 8, 2020

Acronyms and Abbreviations for Popular Terms Used by Writers

This list of seemingly random letters PB, MG, ALA, WIP, OP, RWA, ISBN, and SCBWI might be recognizable by some authors, but enough to make other writers’ heads spin.

I have compiled a list of common abbreviations that most writers use at least some of the time. Regardless of how many you’ve heard of before or how many you use on a regular basis, this list can come in handy.

Parts of Speech

N - noun
V - verb
ADJ - adjective
ADV - adverb


JUV - juvenile
PB - picture book
CB - chapter book
MG - middle grade
YA - young adult
NA - new adult


BIO - biography
CONT or CR - contemporary or contemporary realistic
DYS - dystopian
F & SF - fantasy and science fiction
FF - flash fiction
FIC - fiction
FN - fantasy
GN - graphic novel
HR - horror
NF - nonfiction
PAR - paranormal
PNR - paranormal romance
RO - romance
SCIFI - science fiction
SFR - science fiction romance
SP - speculative fiction
SUSP - suspense/thriller
UF - urban fantasy
UR - urban
UT - utopian


ABA - American Booksellers Association
ALA - American Library Association
AWP - Association of Writers and Writing Programs
MWA - Mystery Writers of America
NAIWE - National Association of Individual Writers and Editors
NANOWRIMO - National Novel Writing Month
RWA - Romance Writers of America
SCBWI - Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
SFFWA - Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
WD - Writer’s Digest
WWR - Writers Who Run

Manuscript, Story, and Editing Terms

AN - antagonist
BS - back story
CH - chapter
GMC - goals, motivations, and conflict
HEA - happily ever after
ILLO - illustration
LI - love interest
MC - main character
MS/MSS - manuscript(s)
PH - plot hole
PLI - primary love interest
POV - point of view
PP - pages
SC - scene
WC - word choice
WC - word count
WIP - work in progress

Other Writing Terms

AGT - agent
ARC - advanced reader copy
BIC - butt in chair
CP - critique partner
R&R - revise and resubmit

Other Bookish Terms

APS - Associated Press Stylebook
HC - hardcover
ISBN - international standard book number
OP - out of print
PB - paperback
POD - print on demand
POP - pay on publication
POS - prior owner signature
RRP - recommended retail price
SASE - self-addressed stamped envelope
TPB - trade paperback

That’s all I’ve got for you. But if you want even more, check out Kathy Stenemann's abbreviations or this list of understanding rare books with Abebooks.

What are some of your favorite ones? Is there one you use all the time that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

Outline Your Novel With a Simple Plot

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