Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do You Belong to A Writing Organization?

Here I am with Mary Micheff, on the left, at our Holiday party. She was the President of Chicago-North RWA when I first joined.

I've been a member of the Chicago-North Chapter of Romance Writers of America for years. I was trying to remember how many and came up with at least 13, maybe more, since time goes by so fast.

As you may know from previous posts and remarks I've made in person, I credit my local chapter for passing along enough encouragement and know-how to launch me on the road to publication. I doubt if I could have made it without them.

I also belong to Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and EPIC. Through listservs and networking, especially at conferences, such as Love is Murder, I've learned valuable information.

What about you? Do you belong to any writing organizations? Has membership helped your career? Or, do you go it alone? Please share. Feel free to brag about your organization.

21 comments:

  1. Nope! I don't I can't wait to join one. Right now though, I have a great group of online proof readers and friends and we all write together. It's been really great because we've been able to challenge each other to timed word challenges and see how much we can write on our WIP in 30 minutes. The one with the most words wins! Without our word challenges there is no way I would've been able to write 4 1/2 novels in 9 months like I have.

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  2. I can't believe you wrote that much in 9 months. That is incredible.

    Morgan Mandel

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  3. Sigh, no ... I don't belong to nothing. Well, no writing groups/organizations, that is. Maybe I should.

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  4. Oh my, I feel so bad saying I'm not.

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  5. Back when I had one, my agent suggested I join the Horror Writers Association which I did briefly until they changed their membership rules. You would think with all of the self-published authors out there, a group would exist solely for the purpose of help with crits, promotion etc. I mean strictly for authors of e-books and self-published titles.
    bill

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  6. I belong to several. Since I seem to move so often, it's a great way to meet local writers and learn new things.
    On-line is good, too, but sometimes you have to get out of the house and see live people. ;)

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  7. I wish I could, but my current work eats up all the time I have and even don't have, that I barely have time to go meet and see face to face some of my favorite local writers at book signings ;)
    Perhaps if I work up a tight schedule, or when the kids grow up and move out...ahhhhh I'm day dreaming again.

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  8. I belong to the Florida Writers Association and the Gulf Coast Writers Association. I have learned so much from other members of both groups. And, through the FWA I met my publisher.

    Jane Kennedy Sutton
    http://janekennedysutton.blogspot.com/

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  9. The first such organization I joined was International Thriller Writers. I became part of their first debut authors group and made close friends as we shared our experiences on the publishing path. Last summer, ITW began waiving dues for active members. So if you're with an approved publisher you can join for FREE and have your release featured in their monthly cyber newsletter.

    I'm also a member of Sisters in Crime and enjoy the local meetings and crime experts they bring in for speakers and their daily postings. When I went to Bouchercon last fall, I felt I had pals to hang around with. I also wrote an article and what broadcast media look for in an author guest that they ran in their national newsletter.

    I joined Mystery Writers of America more recently and will be meeting some of the midwest members at Love is Murder in Chicago next month. I wish I was geographically closer to their action, but they held a meeting in Minneapolis this fall that I was able to attend and I appreciate their monthly electronic newsletter. I've been made to feel welcome to contribute my latest news. I also cherish the Edgar pin all members receive.

    This year, I am going to join Romance Writers of America, because I've been told my debut, STALKING SUSAN, is a cross genre book and other authors rave about RWA to me and I have to find out what it's all about.

    As a journalist, I've been a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors much of my career and understand the value such organizations can lend.

    Julie Kramer
    www.juliekramerbooks.com

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  10. I volunteer with the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (I'm the Illustrator Coordinator for the MN chapter). I love my organization for all the networking and friendship opportunities it has given me. It was a boon when I first moved here so I could meet new people, plus I've gotten more than a few publishing contracts from it as well.

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  11. I've been involved with writer's groups, but never belonged to an organization. I don't write romances, mystery, sci-fi or horror, so there's not a lot of options.

    L. Diane Wolfe
    www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com
    www.spunkonastick.net
    www.thecircleoffriends.net

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  12. Wow! That's quite an impressive list of things to belong to. I know it is important to get recognition as well as help with the writing; hope all these groups do that for you.

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  13. I am a fellow Chicago-Norther (Morgan and I joined around the same time), and I love my local RWA chapter. Without the support of those wonderful ladies I would not be published. I owe much of my success to them!

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  14. I belong to lists. I did belong to SCBWI for years but since I could not travel to conferences I didn't feel I was getting anything out of it.

    Shari

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  15. I belong to:

    The Authors Guild
    Mystery Writers of America
    Sisters in Crime
    The Society of Midland Authors
    International Association of Crime Writers
    (IACW)
    and
    The Illinois Academy of Criminology.

    Of these, The Authors Guild is the most useful for traditionally published writers. (A.G. recently wrestled Google to the mat over Google's plan to scan books and make them available on line without the copyright holder's permission.)

    Sisters in Crime is by far the most useful for unpublished writers in the crime/mystery/suspense field.

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  16. I belong to Dog Writer's of America Assn. which is awesome. I also just joined a Writer's Success Group (www.originalimpulse.com) which is keeping me on task with two writing projects for the next 4-months. Cythia Morris, the writing coach is fantastic and I love coaching with her during my writing process. Getting support and offering support to the other writer's in the group too is so encouraging.
    Barbara Techel
    Author of Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog
    http://www.joyfulpaws.com
    http://www.joyfulpaws.typepad.com
    http://www.frankiethewalknrolldog.blogspot.com

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  17. EPIC. That's about it!~

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  18. I'm going to have to check out Dog Writer's of America Association.
    Now I may need to join another one.

    Morgan Mandel

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  19. I'm not a member of an organization, but I would like to be. I think it would help me out because I'm a bit nervous socially. It would be a benefit to my writing too, I think. :)

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  20. I belong to the Author's Guild. That's about it, though I used to belong to a local Children's Illustrators Group when I first entered the field. The Author's Guild is great for advocacy. They also have wonderful legal services, if you get stuck and need help. For years, I had health insurance through their group plan for self employed authors.

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  21. I belong to Sisters in Crime/LA and National and Henderson Writers Group. I am a founding member of the new Southern Nevada Sisters in Crime chapter, launching on Sunday in Henderson NV. For anyone in the greater Las Vegas area, check it out on www.cheesecakeandcrime.com.

    Belonging to writers' groups is invaluable. I've gotten most of my speaking and book siginings through SinC and HWG, improved my craft, networked and gotten my audio book deal because of an introduction.

    Not only that, but I've made many friends with common interests. If you don't belong to a group, and you're serious about being a writer, at least check into what's available in your area.

    MORGAN ST. JAMES
    www.silversistersmysteries.com
    www.morganstjames-author.com

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