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!
- Academy of American Poets (www.poets.org)
- American Independent Writers (www.americanindependantwriters.org)
- American Society of Journalists & Authors (www.asja.org)
- The Authors Guild, Inc (www.authorsguild.org)
- Canadian Authors Association (wwwcanauthors.org)
- Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators & Performers (www.canscaip.org)
- Children's Book Insider Clubhouse (www.cbiclubhouse.com)
- Education Writers Association (www.ewa.org)
- Fellowship of Australian Writers (writers.asn.au)
- The International Women's Writing Guild (www.iwwg.com)
- Kidlitosphere Central (www.kidlitosphere.org)
- National Association of Independent Writers & Editors (www.naiwe.com)
- National Association of Women Writers (www.naww.org)
- National League of American Pen Women (www.americanpenwomen.org)
- National Writers Association (www.nationalwriters.com)
- National Writers Union (www.nwu.org)
- Poetry Society of America (www.poetrysociety.org)
- Poets & Writers Inc (www.pw.org)
- Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network (www.spawn.org)
- Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (www.scbwi.org)
- Teachers & Writers Collaborative (www.twc.org)
- Williamette Writers Group (www.willamettewriters.com)
- Writers Guild of America-East (www.wgaeast.org)
- Writers Guild of America-West (www.wga.org)
- Writers Union of Canada (www.writersunion.ca)