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Education, Writing Groups, and Writing Software
What I consider ongoing education comes in two forms: Author organizations and associations; and, online courses.
Your previous education, be it high school level, college level, or even post graduate level is not what I am discussing here. If you were an English Lit, an English major, or a Creative Writing major, good for you. You’ve got a step up, but don’t take the step with tunnel vision, make certain you widen your scope.
Your education as a professional writer should be broadened with ongoing learning and understanding of your craft. One of the absolute best places to do this, is in conjunction with your author organizations.
There is one other aspect of being a member of a professional writer’s organization and that is in meeting other writers, forming relationships, and being able to learn from each other on an ongoing and personal basis.
I know many writers who, having met other writers they can relate to, have formed writing groups, to help each other with the technicalities of writing, to be a critique group, and to support each other through the hard times and celebrate good times.
The following information is not all inclusive, but the tip of the iceberg in writing organizations and ongoing education through them.
The Authors Guild holds online seminars and in person seminars throughout the year. Most of these deal with professional issues to help you through the pitfalls and pratfalls of being a writer and making a living. http://www.authorsguild.org
Mystery Writers of America has almost a week of writing education during their annual EDGAR awards, which are the highest awards the Mystery Writers of America gives out. During that week the classes will help you through all the usual issues with writing, from plotting, to research, and beyond.
The MWA does something very interesting as well. The local chapters meet once a month, and has a social period, followed by a meal, either lunch or dinner, followed by a program featuring a speaker talking on a subject of which they are an expert.
Several MWA chapters have annual conferences that offer one, two, or three days of seminars and workshops. The Florida Chapter is known nationally for their annual Sleuthfest conference. https://mysterywriters.org/
Novelists, Inc., has an annual conference offering three plus days of educational seminars and workshops, as well as brining in a large amount of publishing professionals from both sides of the tracks. Traditional publishers are represented as well as Indie publishers. Draft2Digital, Smashwords, Kobo, Amazon, and Apple have been represented at past conferences, and after speaking with them this year, I have been told it will continue on in this way.
Many of the leading “gurus” of the Indie world come to Novelists’ Inc, as well.
Novelist Inc., workshops and seminars go twelve hours a day, and the conference is well attended by both traditionally published authors and Indie published authors. https://ninc.com
Romance Writers of America like the MWA has a huge national conference. They have seminars running every day and evening, and their workshops are highly tilted toward education within the writing/publishing industry.
The RWA also has local chapters spread through the world, and these chapters are extremely active and do have their monthly meetings with guest lecturers/speakers keeping the education process moving forward for its members. https://www.rwa.org
Alliance of Independent Authors offers several educational venues:
ALLi offers a free online publishing course.
ALLi has a section called ADVICE. There is a blog that is educational, thought provoking, and should be tread by Indie writers with their morning e-mails. https://www.independent-authors.com/ These are a few of the educational opportunities available.
There are always online courses to take, but which ones will benefit you? That’s what you need to think about as you peruse the Internet. And please, do not take this listing as gospel. You’re a writer, do your job, research!
Gotham Writers offers online workshops, which are the same as their NYC in-class workshops.
Masterclass offers bestselling authors to teach you the craft.
Reedsy offers publishing courses and seminars.
WRITERS DIGEST UNIVERSITY:
Online writing classes from Writers Digest.
eNovel Authors at Work: https://enovelauthors.com/
This author group’s website, founded by bestselling hybrid author Jackie Weger, offers a treasure trove of information for the Indie writer. Do not fail to visit their website! Membership qualification depends on your publishing history.
Quoted from their website:
We are dedicated to helping one another understand the challenges facing writers in the digital universe. Everything we discover finds its way into these pages to help authors and readers alike to navigate the universe of Indie publishing. Our Author pages are filled with an array of well-written and entertaining books across all genres, from sweet romance to edge-of-your-seat thrillers. We do not promote erotica or gratuitous violence. eNovel authors are scattered about our good Earth: USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, France, Greece, Scotland. Africa and the United Kingdom, but we all come together right here.
We are all about THE BOOK. We help each other to get our books noticed and expand our audiences. Indie Publishing is constantly changing. We do our best stay informed. Whether an author has published one book or ten, success requires diligence, dedication, and focus. We don’t know all the answers, but we are learning who to ask, who to listen to, and how best to use the tools available to sell BOOKS in today’s market. What worked last year or even last month may need tweaking. We’ve tried everything: Blogging, Interviews, Tweet Fests, Newsletter swaps, Rafflecopters, Facebook events, Amazon Giveaways and promoting our titles free and discounted. Read the blogs to discover what works for us—or doesn’t.
The Kboards https://www.kboards.com/
Kboards is a Kindle authors bulletin board. Use this, it will help find out about various services these writers have used, as well as what’s happening Kindle-wise!
Facebook groups: Below are just a few. There are many more on Facebook.
Naturally, the last option I have for you, for writing groups, is you. Find two to five more like-minded writers and form your own group. Believe me, this is not hard, and it is extremely valuable.
Scriveners at: https://www.literatureandlatte.com/
AutoCrit at: https://www.autocrit.com/
Snowflake Pro: https://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/
Microsoft Word: https://microsoft.com