I Joined the Broad Universe #amwriting - Jo-Ann Carson

I Joined the Broad Universe #amwriting

I’m writing a post-apocalyptic adventure, which is a new genre for me. As I begin my second draft, I am looking around for distractions ways to become integrated into the speculative fiction genre. That’s how I found The Broad Universe, a women’s group for sci-fi, fantasy, horror and speculative fiction.
I’ve found writing organizations to be extremely helpful and I thought I’d talk about them today.

The Groups I Joined, but Later Left:


The first group I joined was the RWA (Romance Writers of America). I joined the large, international organization and a local chapter. They are an amazing group of writers who welcome newbies with open arms no matter how badly your writing is, give you tons of how-to information and monthly workshops. I could see my writing improving week by week. I had dreamed all my life of having time to write, and suddenly I was surrounded by like-minded people helping me along. It was a heady moment.
I entered lots of RWA contests too. For most of them you submit the beginning of your book (5,000 words) and three writers critique and grade it. Sometimes the comments and evaluations are wildly off-based, but usually they offer great insight and advice. Personal advce. I’ve learned a lot from contests.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed belonging to the RWA, I am now moving on. I met great people through the organization, went to two national and one regional conference and on the local level made life-long friends. But alas, all good things come to an end. I’m not renewing my membership because I’m not really a romance writer and it’s expensive ($99. USD). At this point I can use the money better elsewhere.


I belonged to the CWC, Crime Writers of Canada, for a couple years, but didn’t find any of their programs helpful. Don’t get me started. I gave up on them this year, after discussing with them my concerns. They are very nice people, but this group is not a good fit for me living on a remote island. The good news is that I’m now saving $130. CDN. That’s more than one ebook cover!

The Groups I Now Belong to:


guppiesSisters in Crime  or SINC is a women’s group for crime writers ($40.00 USD). Their mission statement is to: “Promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers.” (from their website). I would have to cross a border to get to a chapter meeting, so I’ve never been to one, but I follow their Yahoo loop called the Guppies, ($12. USD) which is an on-line support group for writers. The topics discussed on this loop are always helpful and it’s affordable. They also have critique groups but I haven’t taken advantage of that option. I look forward to reading my Guppy digest every day.

The Broad Universe

I know it may sound strange that I stumbled upon a universe, but I did, The Broad Universe.  It’s like the SINC only for speculative fiction. “Broad Universe is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres.” (from their website.) How cool is that! So for a small cost ($30. USD) I get a closer look at my new genre and an opportunity to meet writers within it. It also offers me the opportunity to list my books on Netgalley, which is where publishers list their books for reviews. I’m excited.

Joining and Leaving Writing Groups

I’m sure I will continue to join and leave writing groups as I carry along my writing journey. It’s a bit like trying on different bras. Some fit better than others and some meet my needs at a given time better than others.

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How about you?   Do you have writing groups you recommend?

Logos from The Broad Universe site.

0 Replies to “I Joined the Broad Universe #amwriting”

  1. I belong to Sisters in Crime, Inc. also and The Wisconsin Writers Association. Both have been beneficial. In the WWA’s Creative Wisconsin magazine, I have been a featured author and my first two mysteries, featured books.
    I’ll look into your groups. Thank you, Jo-Ann.

    1. Hi Susan
      I didn’t know you were a sister. That’s awesome. I envy you the WWWA. It sounds good.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Writing groups are really important to me.
      All the best,

  2. As you know I met you during your time with RWA and VIRA and you really moved both groups along, I’ve kept my memberships and added Kiss of Death which I’ve found very helpful. For myself I always tend to feel I should be doing more and getting more out of the memberships I have but I’ve got too many other things going on in my life. And I’m not saying I have a super busy life. I suspect other people do more and have far more going on, they’re just better able to manage it.

    1. Hi Pat,
      Thank you for for your compliment about helping groups along. I try to do my bit, like you.
      I really enjoyed my time with the Kiss of Death, but unfortunately you have to pay the RWA fee first to belong to it. I think I’ll be happy with just the SINC Guppies, but we’ll see. I may return.
      I think you manage a lot and well. Take care of that foot.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting,
      all the best,

    1. Hi Elysia,
      I am no longer with that group as my writing headed into a different direction.
      I think the best thing iz to get together eith local writers. It’s free.
      Wishing you all the best,

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