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:
Sisters 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.
Logos from The Broad Universe site.