One quick caveat, spend your time with online groups wisely. If you’re not careful you’ll find yourself using your writing time visiting with online groups instead of writing. If you make good choices and limit the number of groups you’re active in and these can be a huge boon to your career.
- If you write books, you’ll find that every genre now has an online group. There are groups for writers of mystery, science fiction and romance, just to name a few. The best way to find these groups is to do a search online. Also ask for referrals from other writers you may know.
- There are also groups for children’s writers, the largest of these is SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators). For those who write Christian fiction ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) may be the place for you.
- There are also groups for those that do business writing, copy writing, grant writing and journalism.
- There are also groups for those of us who are editors, as well as writers. I particularly like The Christian Pen editing group.
- There are also more general groups. One of my personal favorites is a Yahoo group, The Christian Writers View 1 and 2. TWV 1 is for professional writers and TWV2 is for beginning and intermediate writers. These groups are well moderated and the information provided is stellar!
Most of these groups offer at least a regular newsletter, to help their members grow as professionals. Some even offer full online magazines (e-zines) that are available whether you’re a member or not. One of these is Afictionado, the e-zine for ACFW.
Many of the bigger organizations also offer online courses at a free or reduced cost.
Some of these groups can require steep, yearly dues. You also have to watch out for groups that aren't well moderated. These can open you up to spam. They can also be full of incorrect information and angry poster. And, as I mentioned before, they can be time suckers if you don’t watch out.
I’ve limited myself to three groups.
- The Christian Writers View 1
- The Christian Pen
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