Wednesday, July 31, 2013


It's time once again for WRITERLY WISDOM where every Wednesday we will sneak a peek into the world of writing and publication. I can't believe we are more than halfway through this series and just look at all the wonderful words of wisdom we have gathered along the way! Hopefully, at the end of the year, both new and established writers will have a complete beginner resource site for all things writerly! Today I want to talk a little bit about why belonging to a professional writing organization is so important...

Three Reasons To Join A Professional Writing Organization
By Donna L Martin

New writers have so much to figure out. Other wise authors have covered so many of those topics since  this series began in January of this year. Now it's time to consider joining a professional writer's group if you don't already belong to one. While writing can be a solitary endeavor, the writing life itself doesn't have to be.  Professional groups devoted to writing can certainly boost the confidence of a beginner writer while providing networking opportunities to the established one. Take your time when considering which professional writing organization to join and remember there are three good reasons to associate with a particular group...


There is a comfortable feeling being part of a group where members understand how driven you are to write.   Chat rooms, critique groups, and question forums all give new writers a chance to dip a toe in the writing community and create new friendships which can last a lifetime.  Agents and publishers are also members of some of these same groups and what better way to get to know them than through an industry related organization? Those kind of connections are priceless and can sometimes lead to future successes.


A professional writing organization will usually have tons of articles available for it's members on many different topics. Everything from how to write character driven stories and developing proper tension to how to create a strong query letter will be waiting for the novice writer to discover. Conferences, workshops, and contests will be listed if available and sometimes there are even online book stores promoting member books. Professional writing organizations offer the foundation for any writer to continually improve their creative skills.


Everywhere you look there will be obstacles in your writing career. Competition to become a published author is fierce and a great support group will not only celebrate your successes, no matter how small, they will also be there to ease the sting of all the bumps and bruises you will collect along that path to publication.  But even more important than the fellowship, becoming a member of a writing organization adds clout to your query letter. Joining groups like the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, Children's Book Insider Clubhouse, or other professional writing organizations show agents and publishers you are serious about your craft and your career.  If you invest in your own writing future then it's possible they will too.

As an added bonus, I have included 25 of the literally hundreds of possible writing groups where you can become a member. Look around, ask questions, find the one that is right for you, and join the fun!


  1. Academy of American Poets (
  2. American Independent Writers (
  3. American Society of Journalists & Authors (
  4. The Authors Guild, Inc (
  5. Canadian Authors Association (
  6. Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators & Performers (
  7. Children's Book Insider Clubhouse (
  8. Education Writers Association (
  9. Fellowship of Australian Writers (
  10. The International Women's Writing Guild (
  11. Kidlitosphere Central (
  12. National Association of Independent Writers & Editors (
  13. National Association of Women Writers (
  14. National League of American Pen Women (
  15. National Writers Association (
  16. National Writers Union (
  17. Poetry Society of America (
  18. Poets & Writers Inc (
  19. Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network (
  20. Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (
  21. Teachers & Writers Collaborative (
  22. Williamette Writers Group (
  23. Writers Guild of America-East (
  24. Writers Guild of America-West (
  25. Writers Union of Canada (


  1. Wow! What a huge list! This is a great post, Donna. You are so very, very right.

    If it weren't for the alphabetical thing, I'd put SCBWI right up at the top of the list. When I started getting serious about writing, and realizing I didn't know what I needed to know, I was advised to join SCBWI, and I am so grateful that I make that investment every year. I also know I haven't begun to plumb the depths of what is available through SCBWI.

    I so wish my regional chapter of SCBWI was close enough that I could participate. May I urge anyone who can to get involved in their regional group? There are so many great opportunities.

    Okay, I'll stop reiterating the stuff you've already said! Thanks again, Donna, for this post, and for this awesome series.

    1. Hi Beth and thank you for your kind words. I completely agree with your assessment of SCBWI and I get a lot of great info from the Children's Book Insider Clubhouse as well. And yeah, if I weren't trying to create an alphabetical list I probably would have put them at the

      I have the same issue as you do regarding my SCBWI local's about 3 hours from me on the other end of the state and my poor old car would never make the trip...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  2. Fabulous post, Donna, thank you. I ditto Beth's and your comments; I've yet to join SCBWI because my chapter is 2 hours away. But you pointed out something very important of which I was unaware. I am a member of the Children's Book Insider Clubhouse, but never thought to list it in my queries. I don't yet have any publishing credits, so my bio paragraph is slim to none. Now I have something to add, Yay! Thanks again.- Donna Sadd

    1. Hi Donna! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. In regards to SCBWI and the fact your local chapter is 2 hours away, I would suggest you consider the following:

      1. Agents and publishers typically look FIRST for SCBWI participation before other groups.
      2. SCBWI members get access to articles and support including critique groups not available to the general public.
      3. Many agents and publishers are also members of SCBWI and what better way to begin contact with them?
      4. Only SCBWI members have access to participate in the wonderful grants each year for a chance to win monetary awards.
      5. SCBWI provides the latest industry news and updates all in one handy source.

      There are a lot of great reasons to become a member of SCBWI, even if you aren't able participate in regional events. The good far outweighs the bad. I've been a member for two years, despite my never being able to attend chapter events and I will continue to be a member as long as I am able to afford it. It looks really nice on my bio page as I only have one small publishing credit to my name so I'm not that far ahead of where you are at...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and coem back any time!

  3. Great post! I think the list will come in handy!

    1. Hi Erik! I agree...this list will come in handy the day you decide you are ready to join a professional writing group...

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  4. ooohh.. another great post and certainly jolts credits to add to ones own bio. Thanks for that. Will keep this post in my favourites to refer to.

    1. Hi Diane! Anything to help a fellow writer...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!