Writer's Conference! WOOOOO-HOOOOOOO!
Timely letter, this one. Tomorrow is the first day of the Pikes Peak Writer's Conference. I'm positively giddy. Scary, isn't it? but I enjoy hanging out with other creative types and learning more about my chosen profession. Plus, I like the food.
Speaking of the above, W is also for...
I've mentioned them on here before, but it never hurts to bring them up again. I highly recommend finding a local writer's group, or joining one online. For instance, the Pikes Peak Writer's group I belong to has members from around the world, and there is a Yahoo loop. They even put some of their monthly workshops on the website as of this year. They have a great, informative blog that anyone can look at, as well, so there are benefits to belonging to an online group if you don't have one local to yourself. Another benefit? It's free. They just made that change this year. I will say, though, that the activities and such that they promote are typically going to be in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado. I have, however, seen promotions for conferences in New Mexico and other places, as well, and it says right on the front page that they welcome anyone, anywhere, to join. This includes international membership, not just those of us from the U.S. They have an annual contest that anyone can enter, so check it out.
The other group I belong to is the National League of American Pen Women. They have regional branches around the country. Click here to find a branch near you (female membership only). There are various contests through the branches of the NLAPW, and they are usually such that anyone can enter. Only Pen Women members can be published in their magazine (though there is a contingent hoping to change this detail). Pen Women is, despite the name, not just for writers. The membership also includes the arts and music.
I've also now joined She Writes, an online community for female writers. (Sorry fella's, but groups like Pikes Peak Writer's are open to everyone). This is a national group and there are forums online for various conversations. I discovered this group because of the A to Z Challenge, and have not had the full opportunity to explore and get to know the site yet.
I get so much from these groups, each offering something different. I can't say enough about how much benefit it is to have a group of like-minded individuals to speak with, even if it is just online. I imagine most on here have already discovered that from the blogging community. Anything that puts you in touch with others can help you to learn, give you comradeship, and help you network. Plus, it gives this stay-at-home mom reasons to get out of the house sometimes, which I also feel is important. Vital to my survival, even.
Do you belong to any writer's groups, national or otherwise? Any you recommend to others? Any of you coming to the Pikes Peak Writer's Conference? If not, is there a conference you try to never miss?