When I joined Romance Writers of America, I didn’t understand what I could get out of the membership, except a nice little blurb at the end of my query letter. You know, the one that says: “Member of RWA since 2008”. Apparently, that’s one way to show agents you’re serious about writing or so they say.
Well, a year later, I admit membership to this writers’ group was worth every cent and I haven’t come close to taking full advantage of their programs. Here’s what I’ve gotten as a RWA member: a monthly magazine with interesting articles about the craft, marketing, and more; exposure to other writers in my genre; a list of online writing courses; and a discount on those classes.
Ten to twenty dollars bought a month of training from published authors. Some instructors even critiqued a few pages of their students’ manuscripts. The lessons and feedback showed me reading books on the craft of writing wasn’t enough. In fact, owning roughly a dozen such books only gave me a false sense of security. I wrote two romantic suspense manuscripts and believed I was ready to submit to agents. After taking a couple of courses offered through RWA chapters, I realized my stories needed some work.
I continued to study the craft by taking more online writing courses. I’ve learned how to make my characters three dimensional, how to add conflict to my plots, how to place hooks throughout the story, and much more.
Would I recommend joining RWA? Most definitely, but that’s just me. What do you think? Have you had any good or bad experiences with RWA that you’d like to share?