Writing has often been described as a lonely profession. While it’s true that there is no substitute for putting in long hours at my desk, I’ve discovered that I don’t have to work in total isolation. My writers’ critique group provides valuable feedback and encouragement.
Support and opportunities for networking also come from the various professional organizations I belong to. Here are some of them:
- Mystery Writers of America
- The New England Chapter of Mystery Writers of America
- National Writers Union
- Sisters in Crime
- The Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime. This is an online group of “Great Unpublished Authors.” It’s an excellent resource for both aspiring writers and published authors. Many SinC authors have started out as guppies, gotten published, but kept their membership in this group.
- The New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime. I’ve gotten many speaking engagements through the Sisters in Crime/New England Speakers Bureau, and now happily serve as Speakers Bureau Coordinator. For more information about this important resource, check out the Speakers Bureau section on the SinC/NE website.
- Short Mystery Fiction Society. This is an online group that focuses on mystery shorts and sponsors the Derringer Awards for the best stories in several categories from flash to novella.
- New England Crime Bake. I’m a founding member of the New England Crime Bake Committee, and still serve on it. The Committee sponsors a three-day mystery conference every year in the fall, around Veterans Day. The Crime Bake Committee also sponsors the Al Blanchard Award, which, as Chair of the Al Award Committee, I present annually at the conference. For more information about this award, visit: http://crimebake.org/al-blanchard-award/
- New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA). This organization holds an annual conference in the fall, where various groups and individual authors can promote their books.
- New England Library Association. This organization also holds an annual conference in the fall, and it’s a great place for authors to connect with librarians.
- Mystic Seaport. Living history museum where I did much of my research for Murder at Spouters Point.
- Mashantucket-Pequot Museum. Museum and research center where I also did research for Murder at Spouters Point.
- Annual Gettysburg Battle Reenactment. If you are interested in attending the annual reenactment of the Gettysburg Battle, as I did, check out this website.
- Plimoth Plantation. Check out this site for a “living-history” museum dedicated to 17th century Plymouth, Massachusetts.
- Level Best Books. publishes themed anthologies of short crime fiction, and is currently accepting novel submissions.
- Belgrave House. The site to visit for e-books of your favorite mystery authors like Kathy Lynn Emerson, Nancy Means Wright, and me, of course!
- New Marlborough Land Trust. I have gone on many wonderful hikes with this organization, which have introduced me to places in my Berkshire town that I’ve used in my books.