Purple Prose + writing associations

The Twelve Days of Christmas for Writers: Day Five

©Stina Lindenblatt

When I first started writing fiction, I knew nothing about writing associations. Then one day I discovered an international organization called Society of Children’s BooksWriters & Illustrators (SCBWI). It didn’t take much convincing to get me to join. And four years later, I’m still a member.

Last year, one of my writing friends talked me into joining the Romance Writers of America (RWA). I’m glad I did. A short time later, I joined three of its chapters: YARWA (YA writers), Kiss of Death (suspense and mystery writers), and CaRWA (the chapter in my city). Of the three, KOD has been my favorite, as I’ll explain in a future post.

There are many benefits to joining writing associations (two I’ll be talking about next week), but because the memberships can be expensive, you want to make sure they meet your needs. I would love to join the International Thriller Inc, but after paying memberships for the above, I have to draw the line somewhere.

The best thing to do is figure out what you want in an organization.

  • Do you want to attend monthly meetings?
  • What are you looking for in a meeting? Some groups get together just to socialize. Others have educational sessions throughout the year dealing with craft, social networking, promotion, etc.
  • Are you interested in attending workshops and conferences?
  • How far are you willing to travel? If you are looking only for these things, and the organization doesn’t hold any in a location convenient to you, you might decide not to pursue a membership in that organization.
  • Are you looking for an online community, resources, etc?

If you notice one of your fellow bloggers belongs to the organization (because we love to advertise the fact), email the individual to see if she would be willing to talk to you. This way you can find out what the strengths and weaknesses are of the group. You might end up deciding to join a different organization instead. Are your favorite authors members of the group? That speaks volumes, too.

And don’t forget to include in the bio section of your query the organization(s) you are a member of. This shows agents and editors you’re serious about your writing career.

Other Major Writing Associations

International ThrillerWriters Inc

Horror WritersAssociation

Mystery Writers of America

Crime Writers ofCanada

Sisters in Crime

Christian WritersGuild


Are you a member of a writers association? What is the major benefit you’ve found to being a member? Are there any others not listed that you recommend?


On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . .

A membership to a writing organization,
Three books for kickass characterizations,
Tons of yummy chocolate,
AquaNotes, so you can brainstorm in the shower,
And Margie Lawson’s awesome lecture notes.

12 days of Christmas, best, book, favorite, fiction, and more:

The Twelve Days of Christmas for Writers: Day Five + writing associations