Thursday, July 15, 2021

Members Only: Join a writing organization

 Hello, readers! 

At least once a quarter, I stand on top of the bleachers and shout into the gymnasium about the importance, nay, the necessity of writers joining writing organizations. 

Writing is a lonely endeavor, and I don't care how introverted you think you are, writers need camaraderie. And help. And scrolling through writing forums is only going to give you so much. These organizations benefit authors in so many ways. I can only speak for my favorite group, Sisters in Crime, but we offer educational opportunities by the buttload (professional term). Webinars and podcasts--we got 'em. Craft. Marketing. Publishing advice. Amazon ads. Editing. We have a webinar for that. And if we don't, we even give grants to help our members take classes. Want to network? Actually chat with people again? Most writer organizations have regional chapters with virtual events, and almost of them have conferences for writers to network, present, and learn. Some organizations also offer mentorship programs and awards.

Membership dues are typically low. Some may be tiered based on publishing status, but don't sweat that. And don't wait until you publish something to join. Pre-published writers have the most to gain from these organizations. The educational opportunities alone are worth the cost of membership.

And there is an organization for every genre. Historical Novel Society. International Thriller Writers. Horror Writers of America. Western Writers of America. Mystery Writers of America. Romance Writers of America. All the Of Americas

There may even be smaller, more regional ones. For example, PennWriters is an group for writers living in Pennsylvania. And just with some googling, I found an organization called Women Who Write, a group in New Jersey. So if a big group feels intimidating, try checking out smaller groups or writing circles.

These groups need young blood, so don't be shy, pay the dues and get involved. Take a webinar. Attend an event and volunteer. It may just be the best thing for your career.

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