Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Being Part of a Writing Community

I am a member of two primary writing communities, RWA and the Authors Guild.  I've also been a member of my local RWA Chapter, the Rose City Romance Writers for going on ten years.  I very much believe in writer's communities whether you are just starting out or a seasoned pro.

I joined Savvy Authors in September 2012.  I must admit, I haven't been very involved with the site due to too little time and too many books to write. However, I do subscribe to their feed and often take a few moments to read an interesting article or learn more about the changes in publishing. Savvy Authors is dedicated to helping writers and I jumped at the chance to be a small part of their blog tour to help people learn more about their new and improved site.  Today I'm hosting Elizabeth W. Gibson in a guest post about her experience with Savvy Authors.

Unlikely Bedfellows

You’ve seen it before.  If not in your own home, on Facebook or Pinterest, the fearless kitten snuggling with the big family dog.  You see it and suddenly you’re in an oversized terry robe you’ve borrowed, along with rabbit slippers, (yup, the ones with the big floppy ears) and you’re holding a warm cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows floating on top.  Plus there’s a smile or maybe a chuckle, whichever, you’re feeling all’s well with the world.  
Okay, perhaps I’m projecting here.  But, the warm and cozies I get with this image of pure heaven is how I feel about online writing communities.   They bring writers with diverse backgrounds, varying levels of experience and a trainload of different genres to bed down together.  Figuratively speaking of course.  Although, romance and erotica writers can get pretty frisky, but it’s all on paper.  But, it doesn’t matter what you write, if you’re published or unpublished the door is open 24/7.
I joined Savvy Authors, around November, 2010 and I’ve spent most of my free time hanging out on the site.  I met my crit buddies in a workshop and we have met online in the chat room every night for the last two and half years.  We sprint, critique, make fun of each other, talk about books, the business of writing or simply support each other to keep going.  In our little group, which we call, Critters, Clubs and Corsets we have different styles of writing and write in different genres.  Nonetheless, we still managed to help each other grow.  In the group, one writer now has a contract with Entangled Publishing and another recently went to a conference and had agents pushing their business cards on her after reading her first page.  As for me, I’ve had an editor ask for a full manuscript.  
Now would any of this have happened without the writing community or the critique group.  Probably.  We’re a determined group, but I believe the environment that Savvy fosters, writers helping writers was a key to our continued growth.  
Another group within Savvy Authors I’m honored to be a part of is the Fantasy Forge.  I’ve been with this group almost as long as the other one.  We formed our own blog for the diverse genres we write in called Speculative Salon.  I considered these women my dear friends too.  
I’ve also been a volunteer moderator at Savvy Authors for two years plus.  For me, it’s a way of giving back the wonderful experiences I have had within their cyber space walls.  Savvy Authors has also giving me the opportunity to co-write a monthly feature interviewing different professionals that might pique the interest of a writer as a profession for their characters.
I suppose, I’m biased regarding Savvy Authors because they continue to give me the warm and cozies.  But let me list the benefits for you:
         1. Learning in workshops with professional writers
         2. Opportunities – pitching for agents and editors
         3. Friendships
         4. Networking

I could go on but I think you get the idea.  Whether it’s Savvy Authors or another online writing community, it’s a place where you can gain your confidence as a writer.  I could sing the little ditty in the Army’s recruiting commercial, but I won’t.  
Do you belong to an online writing community?  If you do, share with me your experiences.
Till next time,

Elizabeth W. Gibson writes YA Fantasy with romantic elements.  She is a member of SCBWI, RWA, Savvy Authors and YALitChat.  At Savvy, she is a moderator and co-writer of a monthly blog featuring industry professionals.  Over at YALitChat, she is the staff coordinator for Agent Insider.  Elizabeth is also an artist and studied in Paris for four years.  
Contact Elizabeth on the Web:
Website | Speculative Salon Blog

Join the Savvy Authors admin and volunteers as we tour the blogosphere in anticipation of the launch of our improved and updated website. We are excited to share our love of Savvy, and all writing communities, with each of you during the summer months. Below is a list of stops we’ll be making – please feel free to stop by and say hello! (and definitely check out the new look of our site)

June 10th – Ella Gray on The Speculative Salon
June 12th - Elizabeth Gibson on Maggie Faire and on Maggie's Meanderings (You are Here!)
 June 19th – SharonPickrel on Pen of the Dreamer
June 21st – Riley Darkeson Writing Secrets of Seven Scribes
June 25thLeslie Dow on A Writer’s Musings 


Maggie Faire said...

Thanks for being here Elizabeth. I see most of the action is on my author blog, but at least you are getting action. :)

Evelyn Bohn said...

I've been thinking about joining a writing community, but wasn't sure where to go because I don't write romance. Is the Savvy Authors community good for people who write SF or Mystery with no romance?

Kathy Thiessen said...

I'm new to the writing world too. I write YA contemporaries, though not yet published. I've never heard of Savvy Authors before. So, do you have critique groups or just workshops?

EW Gibson said...

Maggie, thanks for having me here. I love both your sites. :)

EW Gibson said...


Yes, Savvy is for all genres. I don't write romance either. I write YA Fantasy. All genres are welcome. Give a look around and check out the workshops. I'm sure there's something you will like. :)

Thanks for posting Evelyn. Hope to see you there.

EW Gibson said...


Savvy has both critique groups and workshops. Plus all the other things I mentioned. And it's always fun to check out new stuff happening on the main page.

Thanks for posting Kathy. Hope to see you too inside Savvy.