No matter what kind of writer you are, there’s a professional organization out there just for you. Many of these require that you have a certain number of professional publications, but not all do. You can get into many of them by simply paying the dues, though you may not have full voting rights or other privileges reserved for professional members.
If you’re not yet a professional writer, you will benefit from membership in a professional writers’ organization even more than the pros do.
So, why join? – Angel’s Top Ten Reasons
|10.||We all pay our dues. When you support your writers’ group with your annual dues, you’re supporting the industry that you hope will support you. It just makes sense.|
|09.||Not everyone understands the challenges of building a writing career. Find people who had you at “Hello, my name is _____, and I’m a writer.”|
|08.||Guilt by association. You hang with writers, then you must be one. It’s easier to convince both yourself and others that you’re really a writer if you talk the talk and walk the walk. Besides, it looks great on your resume, web page, or Linked In profile.|
|07.||Make industry contacts who can help you open doors that were previously closed to you.|
|06.||Good karma. Yup, a writers group is an opportunity to fill your cookie jar with karma cookies. You volunteer for the group, and all kinds of good things come back to you.|
|05.||Marketing is a team sport. When you’re out marketing your book, it’s cheaper and more fun to do it with other writers.|
|04.||Meet writers who’ve been there, done that, and who can tell you how to avoid the snake pits.|
|03.||Enthusiasm is contagious.|
|02.||Never sit alone at cons, especially those far away from home. Your org buddies will congregate together. Join them!|
|01.||Writer = Hermit. Make more friends.|
A Mini Listing:
There are many organizations out there, so do your research. Find the one that is best suited to your genre, industry, and interests. The following list is a bare minimum representation, at best. Put Google to the test and find your perfect match.
- Association of Writers & Writing Programs
- Comics Creators Guild
- Horror Writers Association
- Int’l Game Developers Association / Game Writers Special Interest Group
- International Association of Crime Writers
- International Thriller Writers
- Mystery Writers of America
- Romance Writers of America
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
- Sisters in Crime
- Before you send money to any organization, make sure it’s legitimate. You’ll be able to tell by perusing their membership list and website. If other professional writers are joining, then you’re in good hands.
- Browse the org’s website and see if the information they’re providing is solid.
- Look for ways you can volunteer for the org immediately. It’s a wonderful way to start meeting people.
- Always, always, always behave professionally and politely when dealing with other members of your org. Word spreads like wildfire if you’re a dick, and you’ll be burning bridges before you can say, “Flame.” Don’t do it. These people may some day be in a position to reject you.
If you are a member of a writers organization that you would recommend to others, leave us a comment below.