Wednesday, February 13, 2019

PSL - Publishing As a Second Language – Networking Defined

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

The Oxford Dictionaries define “networking” as “the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.” What a perfect definition for writers!

If you are just starting out, you may be wondering why writers even need to think about networking. Isn’t the important thing that we learn how to write, create excellent manuscripts, then share them with the public to help change their lives?

That is true. It’s the last phrase in which networking becomes so important. We need help in getting our words out there. We are not in this alone. We’re part of a team in the publishing industry where our job is to provide material. There are others whose jobs are to know the markets inside and out and advise us where we can find a good fit.

Just the thought of networking may be daunting in the beginning of your writing career. After all, some of the people you need to know are famous, others are super successful in their writing, still others are publishers, editors, and agents. But with just a few pointers, you can be well on your way to becoming an excellent marketer.

Go to the Right Places

Yes, you can do some networking from your home office but the best advice I can give you about networking is to get out there. Go where you can meet people face-to-face. You become more memorable when they can put a face with your name. This is a good reason to include your picture on your business cards. Even after you have returned home, your face is still connected to your name.

Writers Conferences

Many writers conferences exist today as a gathering place for writers and editors and publishers. There are all sizes, focuses, and prices. Find one near you that fits what you are looking for. Check out who will be there and make sure if you are pitching a specific genre there will be people there who publish that genre. That being said, I have never attended a conference of any kind that I didn’t learn a lot and make great connections, even if I wasn’t pitching anything. Conferences offer workshops, critiques, meetings with professional writers, editors and publishers, and so much more. 

Make sure you arrive at a writers conference armed with lots of business cards. Make sure your contact information is correct and up to date. Don’t be shy. Hand them out to everyone you meet with, eat lunch with, sit beside in workshops, etc. Likewise, collect cards from every one you meet. Make notes on the card if the person has a specialty you might someday write about and need an expert. File the cards as soon as you get home. Many systems exist that will help you keep your cards in an easily retrievable format.

If you are looking for a conference in the near future, I’d like to invite you personally to the Carolina Christian Writers Conference, March 1-2, at First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, SC. It’s so affordable and not too late to register. There is still room for you. More than two dozen professional writers, editors, publishers, and writing coaches will be on hand to help and encourage you. The website for this conference is and we would love to see you there.

Other conference this spring include the Asheville Christian Writers Conference, Florida Christian Writers Conference, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and more. Do a search for the type of conference you are looking for and you won’t be disappointed.


A current trend in the writing world is the appearance of many writing retreats. Retreats are smaller gatherings and many include hands-on time to write. Faculties are smaller and it is a good time to build relationships with others. Retreats are often shorter and occur over a weekend. Still great networking opportunities.


Often libraries or universities invite authors to come speak to the community. While there may be limited time to network with the keynote speaker, these meetings present a time for fellowship and networking with those in your immediate area.

Writers Groups

Almost every community has a writers group. Seek out those in your community who are writers and who can help you learn the business of writing. A group can encourage you, help edit your work, and brainstorm with you. If you can’t find a group in your area, there are online groups as well.

Remember when you attend an event, makes notes of any comments made by editors and professionals. Write a thank you note which just extends your networking and continues to build your relationships.

From Home

If you aren’t able to travel to a conference, retreat, or seminar, you can do a lot of networking at home. Join writers Facebook groups and comment often. Listen to what others are saying and good markets to write for.

When you see an article written by a professional writer, send an email to let them know you liked it. Look for any opportunity to continue to build a relationship that began at a conference or online. 

Networking does take work and you must be diligent about keeping relationships fresh and strong. But it will pay off as you network with others to help each other find markets for your writing, discover new markets to write for, or build confidence for navigating the publishing world.


Linda Gilden loves networking with those in the writing industry. Her contacts and long-standing relationships with others continues to encourage her. Linda is an award-winning writer, speaker, editor, certified writing and speaking coach, and personality consultant. Linda recently releasedArticles, Articles, Articles! and is the author of over a thousand magazine articles and 18 books including the new LINKED Quick Guides for Personalities. Linda’s favorite activity (other than eating folded potato chips) is floating in a pool with a good book surrounded by splashing grandchildren—a great source of writing material!


  1. Thanks for the reminder and breakdown of different writing events. Sometimes I have wondered about those.
    I must add that my husband has worked for Frito Lay for 20 years and your “folded potato chip” comment in your bio cracked me up. Lol :)

    1. Haha! Yes, I love folded potato chips. Just had some yesterday! Thanks for you comments. Blessings, Linda

  2. Oops the above comment - missed the “comment as” box. :)

  3. Great article, Linda.
    I needed to read this today.

  4. Wonderful information. I look forward to attending the Carolina Christian Writers Conference in SC. :-)

    1. Thanks, Melissa! I look forward to meeting you too.