ABCs of Freelance Writing: O is for Organizations

writers organizationsJoining 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.


0 thoughts on “ABCs of Freelance Writing: O is for Organizations

  1. Great list of associations, but I’m in search of writer’s groups that meet locally. I’m far enough along in my freelance writing career that some of the “benefits” of groups like NAIWE are unnecessary for me right now. But I’d love to connect with other writers in my home town. Have you experienced any success trying out groups that meet face-to-face?

    • This is where you have to take a little initiative and delve deeper. Search for local chapters of larger groups that meet monthly, or look into starting a local chapter of an organization that interests you if there isn’t one in your area.

      For other local searches I suggest scouting your local library’s event calendar, searching for a group in your area, or simply inviting writers you know over one evening for coffee and appetizers to discuss ways to get involved in a collaborative group.

      • Thanks Emily – I did a little more searching today and found some informal groups in the area. I live near Boulder, CO so I just KNOW that there are some creatives around here. I’m just really new to the area and am having to learn a lot all at once about how to connect here. Thanks for your reply. 

      • You’re welcome. Not being in Denver, I can’t offer very specific advice, but I’m certain you’re right about there being a number of creatives in the area. That’s the great thing about larger cities.  I wish you the best getting settled and finding other freelancer writers to collaborate with.

  2. Mahesh Raj Mohan says:

    Nice work, as always, ES!  I am in the beginning stages of creating a local freelance writing/editing group in the Portland, Oregon, area with another freelance writer.  Person-to-person networking groups are enormously helpful for all the reasons you raised.

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