Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Benefits of Genre Associations

Fiona likes to critique
As writers, many of us are introverts and would rather hang out in our pajamas with our pets than go out and network and attend public functions where we don't know anyone.

Still, you really need to reach out and get involved with other people if you want to improve your writing and market your finished product.

There are multiple advantages to joining a genre-related group:

1. They have meetings, local and national, and online events so you can meet other people who love the same books you do. Most of them have online communities and Facebook groups which offer support and connections for beta readers, editors, etc. And I guarantee your TBR pile will grow and topple over.

2. Genre groups offer opportunities to build a virtual or in-person critique group. I met my crit group members at a local writers' conference. I wouldn't have met them if I hadn't gotten dressed and gone outside.

3. You can learn what is selling in your category. The groups often post articles about trends (and what not to do) and industry news.

4. All of them have great material on craft for their specific genres. Facebook groups post wonderful articles on craft, setting, worldbuilding, history, etc.

5. They can offer unique marketing opportunities. Banding together with authors who write the same genre allows you to do group promotions and cross promotions. A good example is Sisters in Crime for the Mystery genre.

6. Group blogs also help promote your work. A great example is Jungle Red Writers  with a few of my favorite mystery mavens: Hank Phillippi Ryan, Lucy Burdette, Rhys Bowen, Deborah Crombie, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Hallie Ephron, Ingrid Thoft, and Jenn McKinlay. There is power in numbers.

7. They often have contests you can enter to increase your exposure. You might even win!

8. They understand you. Unlike your partner, family, friends, and pets, they get what you are going through and serve as a support system and cheerleading team.

Here is a short list of groups by genre. Note, there are many other local, regional, and international chapters and subgroups. Look for those close to you.

Romance Writers of America http://www.rwanational.org

Gothic Romance Writers http://gothrom.net

Mystery Writers of America http://www.mysterywriters.org

Sisters in Crime https://sistersincrime.org

Thriller Writers http://www.thrillerwriters.org

Horror Writers Association http://www.horror.org

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America http://www.sfwa.org

Fantasy Writers Organization http://www.fantasy-writers.org/

Historical Writers of America http://historicalwritersofamerica.org/

Western Writers http://westernwriters.org/

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators https://www.scbwi.org/

Blatant self-promotion is always frowned up. It is important to be a positive contributor and follow their guidelines. Groups are not entirely free of cliques, hierarchies, or trolls, but for the most part they are wonderfully supportive and enlightening and well worth your time. It is important to participate and not just ask for favors. Be professional and put your best self forward. Always add value when you can. Make a name for yourself - a good name.

Read more about networking:

Face Time

Mentoring

Building A Critique Group

2018 Writing Workshops and Courses


Diana Hurwitz is the author of Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict, Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict, Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers, and the YA adventure series Mythikas Island. Her weekly blog, Game On: Crafting Believable Conflict explores how characters behave and misbehave. Visit DianaHurwitz.com for more information and free writing tools. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

6 comments :

  1. You're so right, Diana. I met my critique partner at one of those small conferences, and we've been together for years. We feel fortunate to have found one another. I also met writers at my first Sisters in Crime meeting who taught me so much. We're still friends and supporters. But it is so nice to stay in jammies and work in silence sometimes. Okay, most of the time. :-)

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    1. I have been a member of MWA for a long time. And I love how supportive mystery writers are of each other. Group promotion is a great tool.

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  2. I joined Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America way back. I guess I should also join Historical Writers of America. It's a great way to connect with other writers of the genre through newsletters and special events. MWA and SinC have quite a few local branches with the extra benefit of meeting writers in your own area and attending their workshops and meetings.

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  3. As always, Diana, you hit the nail on the head. As a lifelong introvert, I avoid large gatherings (and too often even small ones), but I do really enjoy one-on-one opportunities to meet with fellow authors. Your nudge to expand my interactions with like-minded writers and become a contributing member of a group has inspired me. I will be exploring the Internet today to see what I can find. Thank you. :-)

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    1. All of the professional groups have pages now. Plus there are many, many writers groups and fan groups for different genres. It is nice to mingle with all of them, and still be in jammies. :)

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  4. Thanks for this helpful list of organizations, Diana, as well as pointing out that it is important to connect with other writers. Attending genre-related conferences is also a good thing to do if one is able. I attended Mayhem in the Midlands, which was co-sponsored by the Omaha NE area SinC group, and that was very helpful to me as I was just starting to write mysteries then.

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