So this is something I periodically struggle with and then subsequently forget about after checking my empty wallet. A writer with his or her ducks in a row would probably be in all the right writing groups/clubs/associations/etc. A writer just trying to get through grad school and work and puppy life doesn’t even know where his or her ducks are. Raise your hand if that last one is you.
Don’t worry, me too.
So I decided spur of the moment to give you a list of some of the major writer’s associations that you should at least consider. And by consider I mean look at your wallet. If you can do it, do it. If you can’t, don’t feel bad. There isn’t a secret rule that keeps us loners out of the publishing world. But you will make lasting friendships in these groups that will support you on your road to publication.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to at least take a look.
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
This organization is huuuuuuuge (in a good way). They also work on the regional level so you don’t get lost in the shuffle. Obviously it’s for children-young adults, and the plus side is it’s not too expensive to join. Students even get a discount! You’ll have to check out the conferences/opportunities for each state individually to see if it’s right for you.
Young Adult Chapter of the Romance Writers of America
Like the lovey dovey stuff? Check this out. This group includes a mentorship program which is awesome and rare along with the usual discussions and support.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
So this one is pretty exclusive because you have to already be a published writer to join. They have a special group within the organization specifically for MG and YA writers that focuses on sharing knowledge on this particular audience.
Hopefully these will get you started on your search. Don’t forget to look at your state associations as well. They don’t have to be MG or YA focused to benefit your writing.
And if after all this research you feel like an organization is not for you, then I definitely encourage you to look into going to a writer’s conference, specially those with agent panels and pitch sessions. Those experiences are invaluable and some of my best memories as a writer.
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