Project Grants

The Dictionary Society of North America will award small grants in support of practical or scholarly lexicographic projects by independent researchers, dictionary makers, and early-career scholars. The awards aim to support existing projects for which a small grant would make a substantial difference in bringing the project to a more advanced stage or to completion. The grants may be used to support purchase of necessary resources, including travel to sites to gather data from libraries or native speakers. While awards are not limited as to language, projects related to Indigenous languages of the Americas are encouraged. DSNA will make one or two awards, not exceeding $2,500 each.

Applications comprise three items: 1) a description (not to exceed 1,200 words) of the overall project, indicating what has been accomplished to date, what remains to be completed, and what the award funds would cover or enable; 2) a list of other sources of support for the project that have been secured or are on request, if any; 3) the applicant’s curriculum vitae or resumé.

Applications must be received by June 17, 2022, and a successful applicant must be a member of DSNA before receiving the award. Announcement of awards will be made before the end of July 2022. Award winners must furnish a brief report on the progress of the project within one year of the award and must remain a DSNA member through completion of the award period and submission of a report.

A second round of award applications will be announced in late summer, 2022.

Applications should be submitted by email attachment, with the subject line DSNA AWARD APPLICATION and sent to:  

Edward Finegan, DSNA President



 A workshop in lexicography and lexical computing
After last year’s unavoidable cancellation, we are happy to announce that the Lexicom Workshop will run again this year. Participant numbers will be limited to just 20 (to ensure social distancing) and we have a very flexible cancellation policy.

Jesus College, Cambridge, UK
20 – 24 September 2021

Your 5 days to get up-to-date with the latest developments in
corpus-driven lexicography and to activate and enhance your
corpus building and corpus query skills with some of the top experts in the field.

Check the programme, lecturers and invited speakers on the website

Call for papers: Children’s dictionaries

Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America invites submissions for a special issue focused on the topic of Children’s Dictionaries, edited by Susan Rennie.

Children’s dictionaries have a long history within the practice of lexicography, from Renaissance dictionaries compiled to aid the learning of Latin to the latest dictionary apps designed for use in schools. In content and style they are enormously varied, ranging from pedagogical dictionaries written for classroom use to whimsical glossaries of words in children’s fiction; and they span a wide age range from first word books and picture dictionaries to dictionaries aimed at high-school students.

A children’s dictionary is very different to an adult dictionary of the same size and headword count; and decisions over which words are allowed into, or excluded from, children’s dictionaries can be emotive. More weight may be given to words used in fiction, and less to slang and current buzzwords. Definitions and usage examples will reflect the experience of children rather than grown-ups; and children’s thesauruses typically have a more creative focus than their adult counterparts.

Despite these important differences, and the long and varied history of children’s dictionaries, there has been comparatively little research to date on the topic, and the specialism is often passed over in general surveys or handbooks of lexicography. This special issue aims to redress that imbalance. As well as pertaining to lexicography and dictionary history, the topic also has relevance for researchers in education, psychology and children’s literature.

Articles are invited on any aspect of children’s dictionaries, including but not limited to the following:

  • the history of children’s dictionaries or children’s lexicography
  • the compilation of children’s dictionaries, including the use of dedicated corpora
  • the content of children’s dictionaries, including the treatment of potentially sensitive terms
  • prescriptive versus descriptive approaches in children’s dictionaries
  • the relationship between children’s dictionaries and children’s fiction
  • the design of children’s dictionaries, including the role of illustration and typography
  • thesauruses or topic-based dictionaries for children
  • children’s dictionaries in languages other than English, including bilingual and ELT
  • digital applications in children’s lexicography
  • children’s dictionaries and literacy
  • dictionary usage by children and/or in schools

Full papers should be submitted to guest editor Susan Rennie ( January 15, 2022. Informal inquiries before that date are welcome.

All papers will be reviewed anonymously by at least two peers.

Information about the journal and guidelines for contributors can be found here.

Publication is planned for Spring 2022 (volume 43, issue 1).

DSNA Ballot

The Nominating Committee and Executive Board are pleased to present the 2021 DSNA ballot for electing new Board officers, new Fellows, and voting on new Amendments to our Code of Regulations. You can access the ballot at

Voting is limited to members of the DSNA in good standing. The ballot will remain open until April 17, 2021.

This ballot features quite a number of items, so please click through each page of the ballot and vote in all three sections. The ballot is introduced and explained in a letter by President Elizabeth Knowles.

We will announce the results of the ballot at our Biennial Business Meeting on May 21, 2021, at noon EDT (US). A link to the Business Meeting will be sent out to our members a week prior to the meeting.

Thank you for your participation!

New payment software

We have changed with how we process member payments. Due to steep increases in the fees that PayPal and WildApricot charge us to process payments, we have decided to switch payment platforms and save money there rather that pass those increases along to our members. This means that all automatic renewals currently in our system will have to be cancelled and reinstated on the new payment platform. We know this is a hassle, and will remind you when we send our our standard renewal letter that you will need to sign up for automatic renewals once more this year. If you have any questions about this, email the office at and we’ll help get your renewal sorted.


DSNA 23. President Elizabeth Knowles and the DSNA executive board are pleased to announce that DSNA’s 23rd biennial meeting will take place virtually on Friday, June 4th, 2021. Save the date for an exciting meeting, different in structure from previous DSNA biennials! Further details to come soon.

DSNA 24. To maintain DSNA’s history of meeting in odd-numbered years, the meeting previously scheduled for 2021 at the University of Colorado, Boulder will instead take place in 2023 at that university.