Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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February 8, 2013

Writing Organizations—Finding the perfect fit

by Orly Konig-Lopez

When the idea of writing morphed into a dream to get published, I quickly realized I had a lot to learn. I sought out writing organizations that would provide the opportunity to meet other, hopefully like-minded, writers.

What I discovered is that there are a lot of writing organizations. Some niche focused, some general. All had great things to offer. But none were focused on what I needed as an aspiring author of women’s fiction.

Then someone recommended an online chapter under Romance Writers of America that was dedicated to women’s fiction. I couldn’t believe my luck!

In the two years since joining, I’ve met amazing writers—multi-published authors (can we say fan girl squees?), debut authors and aspiring writers, treading water just like me. I met my fabulous critique partners, learned heaps about publishing, and gained the confidence to go after my dream.

As many of our readers will remember from a post Laura Drake wrote for Writer Unboxed in December, RWA decided to refocus the specialty chapters so that they better align with its mission to serve career focused romance writers. While that decision was right for RWA and the many romance writers under their umbrella, it left a lot of us feeling homeless.

See a Need, Fill a Need

In my house, we watch a lot of animated movies. The other day we were watching Robots and one line stuck in my head. The slogan for master inventor Bigweld (played by Mel Brooks) is “see a need, fill a need.”

The need is for an organization dedicated to women’s fiction. Whether the stories are contemporary or historical; literary or commercial; include a dash of romance, a heap of romance or none at all; the stories all have one common thread—they are about a woman’s emotional journey.

A new organization—Women’s Fiction Writers Association—is being launched to fill the need. It will be an inclusive community of career-focused women’s fiction writers with networking, education and support at every step in their career path.

Why? Because being part of a supportive community brings dreams down to earth.

Finding that Perfect Fit

Below are a few of the organizations that I know of. I’m sure there are more out there so if I’ve missed some, please post the details in a comment.

And, of course, if you’re interested in learning more about the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, please leave a comment and we’ll respond.

Note: Writers In The Storm is not endorsing any of the above organizations, this list is meant as a reference only.

So? What do you think? Do you need the support of a group, or do you go it alone? Do you know of any groups we missed?

0 comments on “Writing Organizations—Finding the perfect fit”

  1. Great list of resources. Thank you. And thanks for all the hard work on WFWA. Although I was bummed at first by RWA's decision, it's that lemons/lemonade thing. Now I'm excited again. Great things are coming to the Women's Fiction Writers Association.

  2. Yes, please, YES. I've been searching for the right organization to join, the place where I'd fit. By late last year, I'd decided to join RWA just for the WF chapter—in January. I'd heard so many great things and I was craving networking, support, and a safe place to ask questions and learn. Then in December... So much of a writer's success can often be attributed to their support network at all stages of the process. I'd love to be a part of one.

    1. Being in a group of like-minded writers is wonderful. I've met so many amazing people and learned more than I imagined possible. I'm excited about what we can do with this new group and glad you'll be joining us. 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on Rakes Rogues and Romance and commented:
    AS a writer, do you find the support of Writing Organizations helpful? I have recently joined several and I am finding them to be filled with such warm and helpful people. They are just the encouragement I need to continue on my journey.
    What groups do you belong to?

  4. I'm very interested in learning more about Women's Fiction Writers Association. Does it have a website yet? A Facebook page?

    1. Hi Mary Jo. We're still getting WFWA off the ground. At the moment it's just a yahoo loop where WF writers can connect. Won't be too much longer though before everything is up and running. You're more than welcome to join us on the loop!

  5. Great list, Orly. Thanks. I know lots of new writers don't know where to even start looking. I didn't know RWA existed until one day many moons ago I spied a large newspaper article about in AZ. It was talking about about the big conference taking place. I was thrilled!

  6. When it comes to artistic endeavor, I go it alone.

    As a bass player, I tried joining a few bands, but my musical taste is so eclectic and my business sense so strong that I couldn't fit in without cutting off my ears. I worked alone until I found a group of guys who loved my music, and they were willing to be my followers.

    My writing career has been the same way. I love talking about it, sure; I've written a novella's worth of comments right here at WitS (have I told you lately that I love you? It's okay; Best Beloved knows I love writers) but I doubt I'll ever find a group who will understand what I'm doing well enough to help me with it.

    Maybe I'm just an old curmudgeon.

    1. I wasn't convinced at the beginning either but now I love my groups - can't imagine not having my critique groups and have made some amazing friends through the various groups. But I agree with you, groups don't work for everyone. You have to do what's right for you!

  7. I commend you, Orly, for taking steps to make an organization that will work for you. I've learned a ton from my associations through RWA and it's various chapters. At this point, I might be able to go on my own, but I wouldn't like it. I love being able to throw a quesiton out and 3-6 writers take a moment to respond. I love being able to help newer writers. And I know my transition to retirement was made easier by RWA. I wish you well with WFWA. It certainly seems like you'll be filling a need. I expect you'll succeed. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Marsha! The Founding Team is working hard to make something that will support the broad umbrella of women's fiction.

      Like you, I've learned so much from the groups I'm involved with and it's nice to know I'm not alone. 🙂

  8. Hi Orly,
    I am a part time career gal but couldn't imagine my life without writing. I get lost in it. I am a member of a couple of writing groups and absolutely love the support they provide. So yes please, count me in, I'd love to be part of it!

  9. This sounds great! For a long time, I never even knew RWA had a Women's Fiction division, so never joined - and shortly after I DID discover it and thought oh, there IS a writing organization that might fit for me - y'all told me it disbanded.

    Count me in!

    1. As it turns out, the RWA Women's Fiction chapter has not disbanded. Enough members voted to keep it going that we were able to reorganize under new leadership. The WFWA is an awesome new organization that welcomes writers of women's fiction of all types. But the RWA chapter will continue, especially for writers of women's fiction with a central love story and optimistic ending.

    2. The RWA-Women's Fiction chapter is indeed still going. The focus will be changing based on RWA's mission but if your WF is primarily romance then it would be a very good fit.

      The Women's Fiction Writers Association is a totally separate group with a broader definition of women's fiction.

  10. I too stumbled across RWA by accident. I read my aunt's 2 books and decided if she could do it at her age of 73 when her first book came out and 74 when the second one came out. She's never finished the third one says she doesn't have time to write. Her computer crashed while she was writing the third one and I think it discouraged her and she lost interrest.

  11. Writing organisations are great, if they work. I've had luke-warm reception from the many that I've joined. No one seems to want to reply, or they've developed their little niche groups and don't want to let you in. It's sad.
    Okay, they're all in the USA and I'm from GB, but why shoud that matter. All I'd like to find is a group willing to help aspiring writers (like me) no matter where they're from. Critique partners and groups. Help with finding Beta readers, stuff like that.
    I write MG/YA fiction. If you have any ideas on this genre, or other non-specific organisations who could help, I'd really appreciate any information you could give me. 🙂

  12. I would be very interested in connecting with the Women Fiction Writer's Group when it's running.... You can email me at Bengolfs@verizon.net
    Lisa Ellis
    Author of FINDING LILY: A novel
    Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Soul Mate Publishing

  13. Thanks for putting together such a great list - bookmarking this for future reference, definitely! Am very interested in the new group you're putting together. I mostly write Sci-Fi, but there is a particular piece I've been working on that keeps calling me back, and I think it needs the help of other women's voices to push it along. Please let me know when you're up and running so I can get involved! 🙂 You can email me at andrejia@hotmail.com or hook up with me on Twitter @theworld4realz .

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