Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why Join?

Recently I renewed and reactivated my memberships in the two writers' groups I've belonged to nearly since the start of my writing career.

Pennwriters is a state-wide organization of writers. Poets, journalists, nonfiction and fiction writers of all genres belong to this wonderful group of supportive and knowledgeable people. They run an affordable and educational conference every year, bringing in editors, agents and successful writers to lead workshops and answer any question a writer could have. I love the way they cater to writers at every point in their careers from beginners to multi-published.

RWA is the national organization for writers of romance. Unlike some other national organizations for select genres, RWA welcomes unpublished writers as well as the published. They also support local chapters of their organization, in my neck of the woods, CPRW. My local chapter is a wonderful, friendly group that meets once a month in a local library.
Drinking my wine from a Christmas goblet

Why spend the money to join writers' groups? I've found in my first few months as a full time writer that I'm quite happy to sit in my office for hours everyday and work. Alone with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Sure I share with other people online but I don't speak to anyone else about my writing. I need those writing groups for some personal contact with other writers. It's so refreshing to sit in a room with them, exchange ideas, ask questions, answer questions, share in successes and failure. I'm always inspired after a writer's meeting.

A large amount of networking goes on at meetings and conferences. We make plans to promote each other, do book signings together, and some writers find their critique partners there. Being a writer doesn't mean you have to lonely.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are they worth the money to belong? What do you get out of the group?

Don't forget to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh this week to celebrate the release of CassaStorm.


  1. Love the look of your cosy corner, complete with wine glass and MS...
    It sounds like a physical group has lots of benefits...
    Writer In Transit

  2. I don't belong to any in the real world, just online.

  3. When I first started this writing adventure, I reached out to our regional writing group the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Association ( and @rmfwriters on Twitter). Ironically, I don't write fiction, at least right now. Even though I live in the other side of the state as most of them, I have loved my involvement in the group and am even the co-editor of their online blog ( It's a great way to meet other writers, get involved, increase your contacts and support!

  4. Hooray!! Can't wait to see you back at a meeting, Sue!!

  5. You said it just right, Julie. I'll be there soon, Ava. Alex, I thought your comment said you don't belong in the real world when I first read it.
    I love my little corner, Michele.

  6. no i don't belong to any writing groups---i am sure they are a wonderful resource :)

  7. I belong to a local writers group that only costs me $11 a year. We meet once a month except for July and August. I get a little bit out of going, but it's a very small group that tends to be fairly nice in critiques so I don't know how much I learn. I have won $21 in contest prizes this year and that's cool.

    A Faraway View

  8. I'm a member of the SCBWI and it's great, but the bi yearly conferences are REALLY costly. I went to their winter conference a few years ago and relished EVERY SECOND of it. I wish I could go all the time, but funds are limited at the moment. But I do hope to return within the next few years.

    I may check out Pennwriters. That sounds like a great organization. Thanks for the info.

    I totally believe writers need to meet their peers on occasion. It is important to have the 'human' experience ...

  9. I've been thinking about joining RWA. Thanks for letting me know about local chapters! I'd love to join one in my state.

  10. I belonged to a writing group once some time ago, which I fictionalized in my novel House of Diamonds. That pretty well sums up my experience, and also why I avoid them now. Online works for me.

  11. I did back when I wrote fiction. Some where helpful and some not so much.