In Which I Opine (whine) about Joining Professional Writer Organizations

I have learned I am now eligible for membership in Western Writers of America. I already belong to the Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers of America. Therein lies the problem.

Do I need to become a member of  another professional writing organization? I am also eligible for the Mystery Writers of America. I mean, a line has to be drawn somewhere. These organizations have yearly dues and they’re not cheap.

Here is the crux of the problem. I am no longer convinced these organizations bring anything to the table in this new day and age of Have professional writing organizations become antiquated?publishing. Back in the day having the letters SFWA or HWA after your name, while it didn’t guarantee a sale, let the editor know he had a story from a writer with a professional track record.

I am certain these things are still important to some degree. I don’t mean to diminish their relevance while, you know, diminishing their relevance. But I can’t escape the fact the publishing world has changed drastically in the last three years (and will continue to do so) that organizations like this simply do not carry the weight they once did.

I am probably wrong about this. One thing I know is the cost of yearly dues is not cheap. At least it’s not cheap to me. I don’t want to become a member of WWA for no other reason than my own gratification, either.

On the other hand, I admit these organizations bring good networking opportunities. That is one thing that hasn’t changed in this new day and age of publishing. I also like my friends I have made in SFWA and HWA. Not that they would stop being my friends if I left, but you get the idea.

I suppose I would be missing out on more than I can list if I did not become a member of WWA. I hope no one looks at these organizations I belong to and thinks I am trying to prove something. Being a writer I am mostly always lost and confused anyway. It’s my constant state of mind.

Okay. I guess I will submit an application to WWA (when I get around to it) and continue my membership in the others even though it will put a pinch in my budget.

I guess when you get down to it these organizations still bring more benefit than not. Although, that, too, may change over time.

Thanks for hearing me out. I’m glad we had this little chat.

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6 Comments

  1. hannahkarena

     /  February 24, 2012

    I’m a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators) and I think I get my money’s worth. A monthly magazine chock-full of helpful articles and information, emails from my local group, eligibility in certain contests, a “how to get published” yearly starter packet with up-to-date marketing information (lists of agents and publishers), and invitations to local writing events and conferences. But I can understand that because your writing covers lots of genres, the hesitancy in joining more than one group. I think they’d really have to be helping my writing career to convince me to join.

    Reply
  2. KM, you will reap many benefits from those two additional organizations; and you well know it. Networking, finding an additional first and second reader or two, connections to other publishers–hey, it will be wonderful!

    Reply
  3. mindbla

     /  February 29, 2012

    Never hurts to sign up for these sort of networking opportunities if you can afford it. Which is a big if.

    Good luck!

    Reply

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