Never underestimate the importance of networking as a writer. Are you looking to develop your writing skills? Want to learn more writing and publishing strategies? Don’t know how to start revising your short story or poem? Need to rid yourself of writer’s block? Connecting with other writers by networking within the community can be the key to improving your creative writing. Here are some suggestions for networking with other writers in your area:
1. Attend local readings and book signings.
Many large chain bookstores have schedules of these events listed on their Web sites and have flyers with this information in the stores when you visit. Find one or two that interest you and just go. It’s a great way to meet other writers and find out about other writing events. Or, just enter “poetry readings” or “book signings” followed by your location in your Internet browser to see what’s in your area.
2. Contact your local community school.
Many high schools and community colleges offer evening classes and other less expensive courses about writing, proofreading, and getting work published. Be sure to check the credentials of the person teaching the course.
Local colleges may also offer individual courses in your area of writing, whether it be fiction writing, memoir crafting, or poetry forms, that you can take on a non-matriculated basis. It’s worth a look to contact the continuing education adult school in your town.
3. Join a writers’ workshop.
Some writing workshops are held over the course of a weekend; others are day seminars. Still, there are others that are week-long events. An excellent Internet resource to find these kinds of workshops and seminars is our free list of writing conferences and contests.
Some of these conferences are genre specific, such as mystery or romance; others deal with play writing, children’s, and adult book manuscripts. Many offer workshops for writers of different levels, and others are designed for beginner writers. Some require an application and can be competitive; others are not. Many have a limited number of participants, so it’s best to decide early and sign up for the workshop of your choice so you’re not left out. Read more: Ten Things NOT To Do At A Writer’s Conference.
4. Use social networking.
Keep networking online. In this way, you can find out about other events in your area that can help your writing. Make contacts with other writers. Find out what they do to help their own writing. Learn more: Network Up! How To Meet Literary Agents and Editors on the Web.
5. Keep trying!
Go back to your story, revise, rewrite, and research the best markets to get published! Read more: Seven Ways To Build Your Reputation As A Creative Writer.
QUESTION: How do you network in the writing community? Have you used any of the suggestions we listed?
I find that colleges are great places to look for author readings/talks. As long as the colleges have an open door policy, you can just go to the local college and hear fantastic writers, poets, and even graphic novelists speak. Also if there is a college or university by you, you should find their English department website to see if they have some sort of a writer’s festival. Lots of schools bring in a bunch of writers at one time to have workshops/talks/readings. If they allow non-students, take advantage!!
Being an active member of the writing community is so important. I like going to readings at book stores and just mingling that way. But I do think I’ll look into taking a creative writing class at a local college, I’ve been thinking about that for a long time actually. Thanks for the reminder!