Writers Associations: The top groups and how to join

There are dozens of writers groups and associations in genres ranging from children’s books to science fiction. For active members, these organizations can be great ways to connect with writers and industry professionals, enter contests, attend conferences, and more. But how do you know which one is right for you?

I’ve outlined several of the top groups below in the general categories of nonfiction and fiction, as well as genres of children’s books, mystery, romance, and science fiction. You’ll get all the key facts and costs as well as links to membership pages and other pertinent information. And if none of these catch your eye, peruse even more options at the end of the post!

American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)

www.asja.org

What is it? According to their website, “the American Society of Journalists and Authors is the nation’s professional organization of independent nonfiction writers.”

Who can join? Professional, published writers of nonfiction. Find out if you qualify here.

How much does it cost? The membership fee is $210 per year, with a $25 application fee and a one-time initiation fee of $50. To learn more about membership costs, click here.

What are the perks?

  • 68-year-old organization with over 1,200 members.
  • Online databases, newsletters, and message boards.
  • Awards programs for excellence in nonfiction.
  • Discounts on major subscriptions.
  • For the full list, visit their Member Benefits

 

Authors Guild

www.authorsguild.org

What is it? According to their website, “the Authors Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for writers. Since its beginnings over a century ago, we have served as the collective voice of American authors. Our members include novelists, historians, journalists, and poets—traditionally and independently published—as well as literary agents and representatives of writers’ estates.”

Who can join? Professional authors and writers, including freelance and self-published writers, who earn an income from their work. Find out if you qualify here.

How much does it cost? The membership fee is $125 per year for new members. To learn more about membership costs, click here.

What are the perks?

  • The nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for writers.
  • Access to seminars, events, and other educational and networking opportunities.
  • Online connections to author authors within the organization.
  • The Back in Print
  • Legal services, such as reviews of agency and publishing contracts.
  • For the full list, visit their Member Services

 

Mystery Writers of America (MWA)

http://mysterywriters.org

What is it? According to their website, “Mystery Writers of America is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. MWA is dedicated to promoting higher regard for crime writing and recognition and respect for those who write within the genre. We provide scholarships for writers, sponsor MWA Literacy programs, sponsor symposia and conferences, present the Edgar® Awards, and conduct other activities to further a better appreciation and higher regard for crime writing.”

Who can join? Published and unpublished writers in the mystery genre. Learn about different levels of membership here.

How much does it cost? The membership fee is $115 per term. To learn more about membership costs, click here.

What are the perks?

  • 71-year-old organization with thousands of members.
  • Regional chapters where you can connect with other writers.
  • Manuscript critique and mentorship programs.
  • Newsletters and educational opportunities.
  • Home of the Edgar® Awards.
  • For the full list, visit their Benefits of Membership

 

Romance Writers of America (RWA)

www.rwa.org

What is it? According to their website, “Romance Writers of America (RWA) is a nonprofit trade association whose mission is to advance the professional and common business interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy and by increasing public awareness of the romance genre.”

Who can join? Lovers of the romance genre who are 18 or older. RWA is great for published and unpublished writers who love the romance genre—including YA romance!

How much does it cost? A general or associate membership is $99 (plus a $25 fee for new registrants). If you are a bookseller or librarian, you could also consider an affiliate membership, which runs for only $10. To learn more about membership options, click here.

What are the perks?

  • Network of over 10,000 members from across the globe.
  • Local and online chapters where you can connect with other writers.
  • Contests for published and unpublished authors.
  • Conferences for connecting with fellow writers and industry leaders.
  • Access to newsletters, educational materials, and subscriptions on topics and products related to the romance genre.
  • Home of the RITA Awards.
  • For the full list, visit their Member Benefits

 

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)

www.sfwa.org

What is it? According to their website, “SFWA is an organization for published authors and industry professionals in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and related genres.”

Who can join? Authors, artists, editors, and other industry professionals who meet the following eligibility requirements.

How much does it cost? Membership fees range from $90 to $115, depending on the level of membership. To learn more about membership costs, click here.

What are the perks?

  • Community with other science fiction and fantasy writers.
  • Assistance with book promotion.
  • Assistance with contracts and legal matters.
  • Access to educational materials, especially for new and aspiring authors.
  • Home of the Nebula Awards.
  • For the full list, visit their Why Join

 

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

www.scbwi.org

What is it? According to their website, “the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is a non-profit, 501 (c)3 organization which is one of the largest existing organizations for writers and illustrators. It is the only professional organization specifically for those individuals writing and illustrating for children and young adults in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia.”

Who can join? Aspiring and published children’s book authors and/or illustrators.

How much does it cost? Membership is $95 for the first year, and then $80 thereafter. To learn more about membership costs, click here.

What are the perks?

  • The largest children’s writing network in the world with over 20,000 members.
  • Regional chapters where you can connect with other writers.
  • Awards and grants for published and unpublished authors.
  • Conferences for connecting with fellow writers and industry leaders.
  • Access to “The Book,” a living compilation of literary agent and book reviewer directories, helpful articles for aspiring writers, and more.
  • For the full list, visit their Membership Benefits

 

More Options

Want to see what other organizations are out there? Take a look at the links below!

American Christian Fiction Writers

International Women’s Writing Guild

Historical Novel Society

Horror Writers Association

Military Writers Society of America

National Association of Independent Writers and Editors

National Association of Memoir Writers

National League of American Pen Women

Nonfiction Authors Association

Novelists, Inc.

PEN America

Poetry Society of America

Sisters in Crime

Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network

Western Writers of America

Women’s Fiction Writers Association

For more, visit http://writersrelief.com/writers-associations-organizations.

5 thoughts on “Writers Associations: The top groups and how to join

    • Jillian says:

      From my perspective, yes. It shows the writer is dedicated to their craft and puts time, energy, and money into improving. More importantly, you can meet editors and agents at events sponsored by these groups!

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s