Do you have a local group of writers near you? I remember when I started writing I thought writers were a special group of people who lived somewhere (maybe in writers colonies or secluded mansions) but nowhere near me. What a surprise when I discovered (and joined) a nearby writers’ group that included one member who wrote for Reader’s Digest, another who had received a Newberry Medal Honor for her children’s book, and another who wrote for the city newspaper. I still belong to that group (though over the years some of the original members have moved away, stopped writing, or died). That group helped me on my journey to be published, and I still learn new things when I attend meetings.
Local groups are wonderful, but I also value the national writers’ organizations, which usually have local chapters. Their newsletters have information about publishing, publishers, contests, and conferences along with articles about the craft of writing. More than one editor has told me that Romance Writers of America (RWA), over the years, has done a tremendous job in raising the quality of writing submitted to publishers. Mystery Writers of America (MWA) and Sisters in Crime (SinC) not only sponsor conferences, they feature tracks at those conferences and meetings that deal with law enforcement and forensics. I belonged to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) for a couple years and their newsletters and the one conference I attended taught me a lot about children’s book publishing.
On-line groups can answer specific questions for specific genres or can give support to writers who can’t always attend a writers meeting or conference. Facebook has writers groups. So does LinkedIn. And there are several writers’ groups through Yahoogroups.com. I belong to Crimescenewriters@yahoogroups.com, which has thousands of members and includes retired and active members of law enforcement and the FBI, private investigators, coroners, doctors, etc. It’s a fantastic group for writers of crime fiction.
So how does one find a writers’ organization?
Do an online search for the type of writers organization you need. Below, I’ve listed a few sites that might help you with your search.
Online Writer Groups
For In-Person groups
Good luck finding groups that will help you, and thank you, Paula, for suggesting this topic.