As promised yesterday, here’s a partial list of the organizations that support writers in the United States. I’m sure other countries have them too, and I know that many American societies welcome membership from abroad. Many of these associations have regional chapters with their own events, and although many of those are being held on Zoom right now, they’re still a great way to make new friends with the same goals.
One other suggestion, check Meetup.com. That’s where I list my writers’ groups, and there are literally hundreds of local groups for writers, poets, screenwriters, etc. These meetings are held online, as is everything else, but don’t let that stop you from meeting new writing friends.
SFWA (the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) is self-explanatory. One useful service they provide to the public at large is a page called Writer Beware, which looks at problems with publishers, agents, scams, and the like. If you’re looking to publish, particularly with a small or indie press, this is a good place to do a background check.
The WNBA (Women’s National Book Association) welcomes men and women interested in writing and marketing books. They have several regional chapters you can join.
The SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) has many local chapters and members who are always willing to give new writers a hand. They too have monthly online meetings.
The NAMW (National Association Of Memoir Writers) is for anyone writing memoir, personal essays, and creative nonfiction.
The Academy of American Poets is a national, member-supported organization that promotes poets and the art of poetry. They also sponsor national poetry events and poetry publications in order to advocate poetry.
There are even associations for people who write about cats and dogs. According to their website, the CWA (Cat Writers Association) is a global cat-centric professional organization dedicated to excellence in written, visual, and audio media. Meow! And the DWAA (Dog Writers Association of America) encompasses all aspects of the world of dogs and is for anyone writing or communicating about dogs – mystery and fiction writers, poets, historians, photographers, and more.
There are groups for writers in various religious genres (Christian, Catholic, Islamic), among others; and groups for writers of erotica; journalists; and military writers.
Writers’ Relief, a company that provides support services to writers and a useful newsletter, has an excellent article with more suggestions. Read it here.
He had another good meeting, with friends old and new, thanks to our hosts, the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio in Westport. Those who weren’t there missed home-baked cookies provided by Kristin Ball. Thanks, Kristin!
I’m starting with the closest deadline this month, and moving on to some of the plethora of writing activities we’re lucky enough to have around here.
So, first, Highly respected literary journal Glimmer Train is at the mid-point of its final Very Short and Family Matters contests of 2017.
The Very Short Fiction Award (1st place wins $2,000 and publication) Continue reading →
We had another great meeting yesterday, with several new members, who contributed their points of view – something we value. And the WritersMic Meetup the night before had 11 enthusiastic readers plus guests. I wasn’t able to be there, but member Sheryl Kayne took over the duties of MC, to general acclaim. Thanks, Sheryl!
I’m going to begin the update with some events that are happening very soon.
Dr Suzanne Hoover, a former master teacher at Sarah Lawrence is giving a class on Endings, (how to end your novel) this Saturday, May 20th, from 2-4pm at the Westport Writers’ Workshop.
Also on May 20th, from 11-12.45, Patrick McCord is offering a FREE introductory class at Write Yourself Free in Westport. He has a specific method that can help you structure your writing to make for a better book. Although their main classes started this week, they may still have room for you to join one if you like the freebie.
One of our members, E.V. Legters, is holding a launch party for her second novel, Vanishing Point, on June 4th at the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio from 4-6pm. Come and support her, and enjoy the festivities, and hanging out with fellow writers and readers.
There are several Meetups around for writers, apart from the two I run:
One is headed by Jan Kardys, who organizes the Unicorn Writers’ Conference, in which you can bring 10 pages to be critiqued. The next meeting is on Saturday, May 20th. Check it out here.
And there’s an Open Mic Night in Norwalk Meetup, which includes performances of all kinds, including reading, I think. But check it out by being part of the audience, if you’re not sure whether it’s the right fit for you.
And speaking of telling stories, Barnes and Noble, our gracious hosts in Westport, will be having a regular storytelling evening each month, the first on June 21st. They’re looking for people with a personal story to tell about strong women who’ve had a personal effect on you, experiences where a woman with power helped or hindered you, etc. Like their Facebook page or call in at the store to get updates about how to tell your story.
The New York Pitch Conference, a 3-day event running from June 22-25 offers a wonderful opportunity of meeting agents who might actually be interested in seeing your work. It’s not cheap – so if you haven’t finished your book and got it publication-ready, it’s probably best to wait a while, according to those in the know.
Enter a contest. This one is the Brighton Prize, which exists to find inventive new writing. It’s open for entries until 30th June, and has two categories: short stories between 1000 and 2000 words, and flash fiction under 350 words. The prize for the winning story: £1000, with two runners up getting: £100 each.
Drew Lamm has shorter summer series of her unique writing groups for women: To Taste Life Twice. I’ve been going for some years, and value the peaceful place where I can write with other women, and get Drew’s reactions to the writing. She praises the good, so that we write more of it. And it works. Check the link above and the photo to the left.
If you can’t get to a live class, there are several online options. One is from Gotham in New York, and they have many to choose from – food writing, travel writing, script writing, video game writing, teen creative non-fiction, humor, romance, sci-fi etc
Creative Nonfiction has summer online classes give you the chance to experiment with new subjects or forms in a condensed 5-week format. Classes begin June 26, 2017 and include topics like digital storytelling, science writing for general audiences, historical narratives and experimental forms. Enroll by June 2 to get $50 off.
We talked about the importance of editors and a couple of people mentioned Allison Dickens, who is teaching a class called Nailing Your First 20 Pages -an advanced workshop in novel and memoir. It’s a one-week intensive at the Westport Writers’ Workshop, from 10-12, July 24-28. Another recommended freelance copy editor was Stephanie Finnegan.
Member Ed Ahern mentioned that the online journal he reads submissions for, Bewildering Stories, will always critique your submission, whether it’s accepted or not. Sounds like a good way of getting some feedback, and maybe publication. They accept submissions in all genres.
If you’re a friend of Poets and Writers, they give you the chance to list your latest publication in the nest Friends News. It’s too late for this year – entries closed on May 15th, but it’s worth bearing in mind for next year. Any book-length publication of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction published after December 2015 (so 2016 next year) is eligible to be listed, as are forthcoming titles. Chapbooks, translations, and self-published works may be included.