If you’re reading this, you either know about organizations for writers, and would like to know which ones are worth it, or you’re curious as to why any of this matters. Truth be told, the question is a valid one: why does it matter? Any writer can join an organization, but without a clear reasoning behind it, there’s no real point.
For this reason, rather than provide a simple list, we’ve done that and more. Let’s dive in.
Why Should I Care?
Some organizations are free, others not so much, but whatever the case might be, each organization has its share of resources you can benefit from. There are organizations that help you find literary agents, arrange meetings with editors, or even just…make some like-minded friends who know what it’s like to be a writer. Writing is a solitary practice, after all.
Furthermore some organizations give you access to workshops and conferences geared toward furthering education and enhancing your skills. At the very least, you can talk books, and changes in publishing!
- Academy of American Poets, for—you guessed it—poets. This organization aims to help poets in all stages of their careers.
- Poetry Foundation, geared towards poets looking for special events, podcasts and articles that help craft new ideas and techniques, etc.
- Poets and Writers Foundation, for writers looking for literary journals and magazines, small presses, conferences and residencies, grants and awards, and even MFA Programs.
- Association of Writers and Writing Programs, for writers looking for career help, contests, guides to writing programs, conferences, and more.
- The Center for Fiction, for workshops, the studio (located in NYC for writers who need a nice, quiet space to get their writing done), new reading material, advice, awards, etc.
- PEN America, for writers looking for programs, like the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, member-only receptions, grants and awards database, a member profile where you can mingle with other writers and members, and a subscription to the PEN America journal.
- National Endowment for the Humanities, for those looking for grants. The NEH grants go to libraries and colleges, among many other institutions, but also, individual scholars. If you’re more of an educator, this might be your ideal organization.
- National Endowment for the Arts, much like the National Endowment for the Humanities, only this one is geared more towards literature, playwrights, and writers that work in visual mediums. Let it known, however, that it is also filled with members that do various forms of art, including opera, dance, media arts, music, etc.
- National Book Foundation, for awards, and recognition of literary excellence. It aims to advance the careers of all writers, established and emerging.
- Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, for a mailing list, camaraderie, workshops, roundtables, conferences, awards, discussions, small press and literary magazine fairs, news, etc.
Whatever kind of writer you are, there’s an organization for you to join. These 10 make our list of organizations you should look into, but they’re not the only organizations out there. Make sure you do your research and join the organization that you feel will be the most beneficial. But most importantly, make sure to pick one where you can also have fun giving back. That’s how friends are made, friends that can help you reach your dreams.