Why you should join a genre-based writing organization
by Donna Galanti
Joining a genre-based writer organization can be key for any author.
There are many big genre categories for writers such as science fiction and fantasy, westerns, romance, horror, and mysteries. Do you write in one or more than one of these?
Take the time to research writing organizations in your genre(s) that provide representation for writers in that particular line of fiction. They provide many member benefits that can be extremely helpful to new and veteran writers. Before joining any writer’s organization, be sure to ask questions to ensure that the group is a good fit for you.
Not published yet? There are usually levels of membership based on published and unpublished, but all may have the same benefits. There can also be an annual fee. Why pay this if you write in one of these genres?
Benefits of joining a genre-based writing organization:
Private forums. In these you can ask advice of members on areas of craft, publishing, marketing, and book contracts.
Networking opportunities. These can be offered through local chapters, national meetings, conventions, and conferences.
Mentor program opportunities. You could be paired with an established author in your genre as a guide.
Strengthens your resume. Being a member of a genre-organization beefs up your author bio and shows you are serious about your author career.
Writing awards. Many genre-based writing organizations have prestigious writing awards that novelists can apply to win.
Member-only anthologies. These are great opportunities to submit short works and have the chance to be published alongside major authors.
Go the Extra Mile: Volunteer within an organization!
This is a great way to engage with editors, agents, publishers, writers, and veteran authors.
How? Volunteer to help at the organization’s affiliated conference, do social media, conduct interviews, do public relations, or work in recruitment. Think about where your talents lie and how you can benefit the organization.
My first volunteer role was within International Thriller Writers (ITW ) where I did social media for ITW’s debut authors. For several years now I’ve transitioned to the role as a contributing editor for ITW’s Big Thrill monthly magazine.
With both roles, I’ve had the chance to interview and meet many authors from debut to established, and most importantly – build connections. Many of these authors have blurbed my books, been guests on my blog, asked me to be a guest on their blog, advised me in my author career, been guests on my Facebook book launch parties – and more!
Writing can be a lonely profession and writer organizations give writers a chance to join with others who share common goals and experiences. I hope you can see the many benefits of joining a genre-based writing organization. Not only can it help build your author platform but it can also be a great community resource.
For more tips on building your author platform, check out my 4 proven steps to connecting with readers before your first book even comes out.
Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). She is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem. Donna has lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She enjoys teaching at conferences on the writing craft and marketing and also presenting as a guest author at elementary and middle schools. Visit her at www.elementtrilogy.com and www.donnagalanti.com. She can also be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Goodreads.