Writing is a solitary profession. Holed up in one’s office for hours on end with nothing but the radio or the internet to keep you company, it’s easy to feel isolated. To alleviate that loneliness, as well as provide a number of other perks, are writer organizations. With many of these national groups having local chapters, they’re able to provide a community of camaraderie, encouragement, and feedback to writers in a number of genres. No matter what genre you’re interested in writing for, there is a group for you. Below are five of the major national organizations and the perks of membership.
Mystery Writers of America: Benefits of membership include access to private online lists containing useful industry information, retailer discounts, automatic chapter membership, receipt of the national newsletter, and much more. Membership is $95 annually, and is open to mystery novelists, editors, screenwriters, and anyone interested in mysteries and crime writing.
Romance Writers of America: Among the many benefits of joining RWA, members get the monthly trade publication Romance Writers Report, a bimonthly emailed newsletter, local and online chapter membership, and access to contests and conferences. Membership dues are $95 annually for general and associate membership, and $10 for affiliate membership (only for booksellers and librarians). Anyone over the age of 18 who agrees to RWA’s bylaws may join.
Historical Novel Society: This group promotes historical fiction, and a myriad of book reviews can be seen on their website. Annual membership costs $50 and is open to everyone anywhere. Benefits of membership include the promotion of member websites, blogs, and news, event discounts, and magazines.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America: Anyone with a stake in science fiction or fantasy writing may join this organization. It is not for book enthusiasts. There are four membership options- active ($90 annually), affiliate ($70 annually), institutional ($110 annually), and estate ($80 annually). Check the eligibility requirements to see which is the best fit for you. SFWA promotes its members work, helps with contractual disputes, and hosts discussion forums for peer networking and communication.
Western Writers of America: WWA promotes writing on the American West. Membership is $75 annually, and is open to published authors, journalists, screenwriters, and others who write about the American West. Members receive The Roundup Magazine, attend WWA seminars and conventions, and network with other Western writers, agents, editors, and publishers.