Professional writers should belong to writers groups. It’s that simple. Writing is a lifelong adventure, and learning the trends, the changes in style guides, the latest in publishing technology, and the focus on expertise is a must.
But what are recommended groups for authors and wordsmiths? I have a few favorites.
Types of Professional Writers Groups
I belong to the following organizations because they add value to my services and also provide resources and inspiration for professional writers in journalism, book editing, authorship, scriptwriting and more:
Improving and protecting journalism since 1909 — The Society of Professional Journalists is dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty.
Houston Chapter of the SPJ
Nonprofit organization that actively advances the work of independent storytellers in film and theatre.
Organization for editors, writers, indexers, proofreaders, researchers, desktop publishers, translators, and others who offer a broad range of skills and specialties.
Organization that supports working writers and advocate for the rights of writers by supporting free speech, fair contracts, and copyright.
Organization that offers access to special events, educational content, resources, workshops, writing groups, critique groups and contests reserved exclusively for members.
Other Organizations to Consider
Yes, membership requires dues which can stretch into the thousands when you belong to many organizations. However, it’s an investment in yourself and your career. If you are on a tight budget, however, don’t worry. Do a little digging. Chances are, you’ll run across groups that cost nothing to join.
Writers groups can include book clubs, critique groups and blog tours — consider checking out local affiliations and testing the water. Sometimes the social aspects of working with fellow writers can be quite gratifying.
Do some googling (usually not capitalized as a verb) and check out Facebook groups as well. There is always something new to discover, some different angle through the lens, and opportunities to build camaraderie with peers.
Post Graduate Work — Writers Groups on Campus
Consider taking your skill set to the next level with continuing education. A master’s degree in mass communication or digital media can be especially helpful — and it’s never too late to return to school. I’m pursuing a much later-in-life graduate degree in digital media, a challenging and daunting endeavor that has enhanced my service offerings greatly, especially book-to-film adaptations.
And yes, most campuses have a thriving writing environment and groups of like-minded members.