Quality should always take precedence over quantity when it comes to membership in professional writing and editing organizations. If you don’t belong to at least one such group, what is holding you back? The yearly dues for such organizations vary widely as do membership perks. The key is active involvement, and like any habit, regular participation needs to be cultivated. As with any endeavor, you tend to get out of the group in proportion to your willingness to commit.
I currently belong to six professional writing and editing organizations. While I don’t see this number changing any time soon, it’s important to note the need to continually reassess the pros and cons of remaining a member when it comes time to renew and pay annual dues. It’s also important to note I do not go to every single meeting or webinar. It’s a given some topics are not of personal interest or conflicts can arise with my freelancing project schedule. I also belong to a book club, poetry club, and writing club that I found via Meetup.
Member dues run $145 for one year or $260 for two years. A $35 fee is charged to new members as well as those who let their membership lapse more than thirty days. The online membership directory as well daily job post emails make this a worthwhile resource. Also noteworthy is that they do not list low-paying or nonpaying jobs or internships in an effort to uphold common editorial rates. Thousands of members equates to fierce competition at times, but the visibility is worth it. Member discounts are offered to education programs of interest to freelancers as well. One downside is the absence of free webinar offerings. I most enjoy the tips in the bimonthly newsletter as well as the active email discussion list where I have learned a lot from those who participate.
Idaho Editors Association (IEA)
Membership is free and luncheons are held on the second Wednesday of each month at Bella Aquila in Eagle, Idaho. The group is primarily organized by Stacy Ennis and utilizes a closed Facebook group to facilitate communication between group members. Many of the members also belong to the Idaho Writers Guild, which is where I first learned about this group. Their Facebook page contains a cohort file where members can list their editing and writing specialities. It’s not uncommon for members to refer other members to clients when their project plate is already full. Other helpful documents are available and members are always willing to answer any questions members may post to the Facebook page.
Membership runs $35 a year. Luncheons are held on the third Tuesday of each month at the Riverside Hotel in Boise, Idaho. The luncheon fee runs $15 for members and $20 for non-members. In addition to the monthly luncheon topics, members can register for a variety of Saturday writing workshops. A yearly Pitchfest offers slots to meet with literary agents and participate in panel discussions or pay an extra fee for a manuscript evaluation of your book’s first ten pages. A yearly writing contest is held as well and entrants receive the judges’ scorecard. Other perks include a free monthly book club as well as the meet and mingle Wordplay group that gives fellow writers the chance to gather informally on the first Tuesday of each month at The Drink Waterfront Bar & Grill.
Free and paid memberships are available. With 10,000 members and growing, local chapters have now been formed. I currently help co-organize the Boise group with local NFAA leader Cristen Iris. Free memberships include listing in the searchable member directory, access to monthly live educational teleseminars, and a site badge. Paid Authority memberships run $19 a month or $190 for a yearly membership (that’s two months free plus a welcome kit). Authority members do not have to pay the $10 fee for local monthly chapter meetings. The discounts and resources offered are not to be missed! Authority members gain access to recordings of the teleseminars and discounts for BlueHost, Office Depot, the annual nonfiction conference and more. Exclusive weekly site content and emails are offered and random members spotlighted.
This regional group based in Seattle functions much like the Editorial Freelancers Association described above. The membership fee is $65 a year and open to residents of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. The member directory is searchable by prospective clients. The job board can be viewed once logged in or subscribed to via RSS, but not yet via email. The group strives to post meeting notes or videos for members who are unable to attend the bimonthly meetings in person. A daylong conference takes place every two years. In addition to online resources for career-building, opportunities are also available for speaking and teaching opportunities with colleagues and clients. A set number of members can also take advantage of a nearly $10 discount off the online version of the Chicago Manual of Style each year.
Memberships run $65 a year and $25 a year for students. Members receive a discount on the yearly writing conference held at the DoubleTree Hotel by the SeaTac Airport. Numerous sessions on the craft and business side of writing are offered in addition to great keynote speakers. For writers ready to do so, pitch sessions with agents and editors are available. The yearly literary contest offers numerous categories and a discount for members. Each submission receives detailed feedback from two judges. Monthly meetings can also be listened to online. Groups can also be accessed online for conference attendees, the interview video archive of Author Magazine, as well as genre groups for finding critique partners. An impressive workshop series is offered as well as a $65 discount on a subscription to Publisher’s Weekly.
Finding the national, regional, or local professional writing and editing organizations that are a good fit for you is only an online search away. Get started today, and you won’t regret taking that step to become more involved.
What national and regional professional writing and editing organizations do you belong to? What benefits have you reaped?
Jeri Walker will shower you with editor love if you share the quote image in this post!