ABCs of Freelance Writing: O is for Organizations
Joining a writers organization can help you boost your career. Every group offers something different, so I recommend doing a little research before blindly joining any of these programs. Some are free, some require membership dues. But all require your time if you’re going to get much out them.
Joining organizations is a great way to extend your professional network. Don’t be surprised if, by joining one of these groups, you find opportunities to collaborate with other freelancers, learn more about how laws affect you as a freelance writer, and expand your business through introductions to new clients in new industries.
National Writers Organizations
National Association of Independent Writers and Editors: This organization will accept international members too. It pretty much covers writers in every field—freelancers, magazine writers, editors, business writers, writing teachers, and the list keeps going.
National Writers Association: I have to say that this organization could use a few more chapters across the United States. If you’re looking for something local, you might need to step up and spearhead the launch of a chapter in your area.
American Society of Journalists and Authors: This organization has been around since 1948. It’s headquartered in New York City, but there are also regional chapters if you want to get involved. One of its primary functions is to serve as a spokesperson for independent writers.
Women’s Writing Organizations
International Women’s Writing Guild: The IWWG was founded in the mid-1970s and touts itself as a personal and professional network for women writers. The group is open to all writers regardless of their portfolio.
National League of American Pen Women: The NLAPW is a 501 (c)(3) that promotes the creative works of women in “art, letters, and music.” You can participate through an active, associate, or student membership.
Unions for Freelance Writers
The Freelancers Union: This union acts on behalf of freelance writers as well as designers, consultants, etc. I’m a free member of this union, and have found the info in the organization’s newsletter alone is well worth the few minutes it took me to sign up.
National Writers Union: The NWU “represents freelance writers in all genres, formats, and media” and focuses on campaigns involving copyright defense, legislative action, freedom of speech and censorship.
Want to share your experience with these or any other writers’ groups? Leave a comment below.