What Do You Get from Writer’s Organizations?

April 28, 2011

Years ago, I belonged to the California Writer’s Club, the Southwest Manuscripters and for awhile a small writer’s group in Palmdale, Calif. I’ve recently rejoined the Southwest Manuscripters and have attended meetings of the Los Angeles and Orange County Chapters of Romance Writers of America (RWA), trying to decide which to join. (I’ve decided to join both.)

Whether you’re an aspiring writer or a published writer, a good writer’s group can inspire, motivate, educate and offer networking opportunities that you might not have had otherwise. If you write full time, it can also give you some outside contact with the world…contact with people who understand your passion for words.

The writer’s groups I’ve belonged to are not critique groups, although many of them have critique groups you can join. They have guest speakers ranging from editors, agents and entertainment lawyers to writers published in nearly every area. Some invite experts in various fields to speak on areas that writers often research such as forensics and the court system or technology for writers.

One of the things I love about the groups that I’ve belonged to is the range of experience.  In the Southwest Manuscripters group, we have members such as renowned science fiction author, Ray Bradbury, poets who have won local contests, well-published non-fiction writers, etc. It’s an amazing range of published and aspiring writers who support each other, network and share their experience and passion for writing.

Many groups hold contests, share writing opportunities and market news. Each group has its own personality.

There are many online communities for writers as well. As we’ve said before, Elley and I met at the Harlequin Community, a great place for romance writers to talk to published writers, learn from editors and polish their skills. Writer’s Digest has a great site for writers of any genre of fiction or non-fiction to connect, learn from experts and meet other writers.

I love the convenience of the online groups (just log on at any time), and I’ve made many connections in online groups that I might not have made otherwise because of geography. I love the energy of the groups that I attend in person, the opportunity to meet other writers, agents, editors and other experts, shake hands, hear them speak and interact.

Do you belong to any writer’s groups? What do you love about your groups? What have you learned? What works or doesn’t work for you?

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One Response to “What Do You Get from Writer’s Organizations?”

  1. KimberlyFDR Says:

    I, like a few others here, have joined the BookCountry endeavor to hopefully get a wider range of feedback on my writing and hopefully make some more contacts in the field. This goes along with my local critique group that I’m just starting with (and I found one of my critique group members is also at BookCountry, so it’s all inter-connected!)

    I’ve looked over local and state-wide writer’s groups for NC and have debated back and forth on when to join. I know I’ll want to in the near future, but right now I’m so focused on edits and the like that I haven’t gotten the time to think about it as fully as I should. Instead, I engage in more online interaction with writing groups at varying levels. It fits my immediate schedule better at the moment.

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