Author, Eve Feldman invited me to my first Children's Literature Conference. As a result of attending that conference, I joined an organization for writers. As a result of joining that organization, I met great people, had articles published, got a picture book contract and formed a writing-critique group with women I met at a workshop.
Why do writers need writing groups?
Writing is a solitary pursuit. Alone, in your sweats at the computer, you can begin to feel isolated and question the quality of your work. You can even, (GASP), enter the "revision rut," where you are unsure if your 20th draft is any better than your first. You need the camaraderie of fellow writers who know what it is like to agonize over a scene, a sentence, a phrase, even a word. You need feedback from an objective observer, who hasn't been looking at your manuscript for months and months. Of course, some might argue that you could just ask family and friends to proofread your manuscript, but really? Asking someone who loves you what they think of your manuscript is a little like asking your spouse, "Do these jeans make my butt look fat?" You're sure to get a sweet response, but probably not the cold, hard truth.
So, if you are a writer, I strongly urge you to join a professional organization for writers in your genre, and even better, form a critique group. On Valentine"s Day, Newsday published an article on the Long Island Romance Writers, a local chapter of Romance Writers of America. Below is a partial listing of some other professional writing organizations you may want to explore:
Academy of American Poets www.poets.org
American Crime Writers League www.acwl.org
Horror Writers Association www.horror.org
Mystery Writers of America www.mysterywriters.org
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America www.sfwa.org
Happy reading and writing,