Any new writer knows that social networking is imperative in these uncertain times of trying to be published, but a very easy and enjoyable way, if you belong to the RNA, is by joining one of the Chapters.
I belong to two, Chelmsford and London and although they are very different, the outcome is always the same; I come away feeling cheered up and have at least one more business card or email address to add to my list of acquaintances.
Each chapter is different and so is the format. At the London chapter we usually have lunch to catch up on writerly news, or any news come to that, then we retire to a separate room to hear a speaker.
We normally have a theme running through the year and the speaker is invited according to the theme. This year the theme is “Sisters are doing it for Themselves.” No big surprise that it’s about self -publishing. The massive rise of the ebook and the ease of publishing ‘your baby’ yourself has allowed writers to break free of the traditional route to being published and do it for themselves. Just a quick aside here; most writers I meet still want the endorsement of being signed for a book deal; maybe we’re still an old fashioned lot or maybe we just want to feel that someone loved our story enough to throw time and money at it. But regardless, we are all united in our desire to write even though sometimes it’s like pulling teeth!
Next year we are considering ‘genres’ which I think will be interesting and have already requested that someone comes along to talk about Steam Punk which I find fascinating but confusing.
The Chelmsford meeting is normally a meal and a chat in a pub. Sadly most of us drive to the venue so we are awash with sparkling waters and diet Coke by the time we leave, but the chat is always lively and interesting. We are a very talkative lot, talking over the top of each other and across the table – I think that’s probably why they tend to put us far away in an alcove.
Most of the Chelmsford Chapter members are published so I learn a lot and my confidence is always boosted by their (possibly misplaced) conviction that I will get published one day. I have made lots of writing friends over the years so
if you need an excuse to get out of the house or away from the children for the day, make a point of coming to the next Chapter meeting- there’s one near you, I guarantee it!