Saturday, December 28, 2013

Writing Conferences & Book Events: Go Local

Get Involved...Locally!

My posts usually focus on various writing conferences and book events 
happening worldwide, but, today, let's talk about local writing events.

As writers, we often look to those conferences and workshops with awesome keynote speakers and showcase BIG NAME authors and that's fantastic, but we can't forget about what could be happening in our our communities. We can find a plethora of knowledge, experience, and support in our local 'hoods.

Places to check for writing/critique groups:

Local libraries - Check the community section/bulletin board. These are often advertised there.

Local indie bookstores - One of Omaha's local bookstores is where a writing group meets once a month. Some are a part of our regional SCBWI, some aren't. Either way, it's good to meet other writers.

Local high schools/colleges/universities - This would be an opportunity for you to possibly mentor, give talks, and/or become an accountability partner with someone who is interested in publishing/writing, never mind if you're pubbed yourself or not.

Twitter bios - This does not mean you should stalk the NYT best-selling author that lives in your town. This means, if you see that someone lives nearby, maybe you could meet, share writing space, or use each other as accountability partners. For instance, Kate Brauning, lead blogger of this blog/author/editor, lives two and half hours away from me. We've met each other MANY times to either write, talk shop, have fun, or all of the above. It's really nice to have someone in close proximity who "gets" your writer life, who can be there with encouragement and support.

You can also find local chapters of RWA (Romance Writers of America - which much of YA lit is included in) or SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators). Such local/regional organizations will host events and bring in publishing professionals to your area. Some will also put together writing retreats and networking opportunities for local authors.

Click this link to find a local RWA chapter

Click this link to find a local SCBWI chapter

The YA publishing world is unique in that we are a close, supportive community,  and we are fortunate because of that, but much of that takes place online. Don't be afraid to get out there in your own towns, cities, states and help create an encouraging, positive writing community.

Wishing you productive writing this weekend. Cheerleader out, yo.

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