Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Importance of Being Part of a Writing Community

I am a member of two primary writing communities, RWA and the Authors Guild.  I've also been a member of my local RWA Chapter, the Rose City Romance Writers for going on ten years.  I very much believe in writer's communities whether you are just starting out or a seasoned pro.

I joined Savvy Authors in September 2012.  I must admit, I haven't been very involved with the site due to too little time and too many books to write. However, I do subscribe to their feed and often take a few moments to read an interesting article or learn more about the changes in publishing. Savvy Authors is dedicated to helping writers and I jumped at the chance to be a small part of their blog tour to help people learn more about their new and improved site.  Today I'm hosting Elizabeth W. Gibson in a guest post about her experience with Savvy Authors.

Unlikely Bedfellows

You’ve seen it before.  If not in your own home, on Facebook or Pinterest, the fearless kitten snuggling with the big family dog.  You see it and suddenly you’re in an oversized terry robe you’ve borrowed, along with rabbit slippers, (yup, the ones with the big floppy ears) and you’re holding a warm cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows floating on top.  Plus there’s a smile or maybe a chuckle, whichever, you’re feeling all’s well with the world.  

Okay, perhaps I’m projecting here.  But, the warm and cozies I get with this image of pure heaven is how I feel about online writing communities.   They bring writers with diverse backgrounds, varying levels of experience and a trainload of different genres to bed down together.  Figuratively speaking of course.  Although, romance and erotica writers can get pretty frisky, but it’s all on paper.  But, it doesn’t matter what you write, if you’re published or unpublished the door is open 24/7.

I joined Savvy Authors, around November, 2010 and I’ve spent most of my free time hanging out on the site.  I met my crit buddies in a workshop and we have met online in the chat room every night for the last two and half years.  We sprint, critique, make fun of each other, talk about books, the business of writing or simply support each other to keep going.  In our little group, which we call, Critters, Clubs and Corsets we have different styles of writing and write in different genres.  Nonetheless, we still managed to help each other grow.  In the group, one writer now has a contract with Entangled Publishing and another recently went to a conference and had agents pushing their business cards on her after reading her first page.  As for me, I’ve had an editor ask for a full manuscript.  

Now would any of this have happened without the writing community or the critique group.  Probably.  We’re a determined group, but I believe the environment that Savvy fosters, writers helping writers was a key to our continued growth.  

Another group within Savvy Authors I’m honored to be a part of is the Fantasy Forge.  I’ve been with this group almost as long as the other one.  We formed our own blog for the diverse genres we write in called Speculative Salon.  I considered these women my dear friends too.  

I’ve also been a volunteer moderator at Savvy Authors for two years plus.  For me, it’s a way of giving back the wonderful experiences I have had within their cyber space walls.  Savvy Authors has also givin me the opportunity to co-write a monthly feature interviewing different professionals that might pique the interest of a writer as a profession for their characters.

I suppose, I’m biased regarding Savvy Authors because they continue to give me the warm and cozies.  But let me list the benefits for you:
         1. Learning in workshops with professional writers
         2. Opportunities – pitching for agents and editors
         3. Friendships
         4. Networking

I could go on but I think you get the idea.  Whether it’s Savvy Authors or another online writing community, it’s a place where you can gain your confidence as a writer.  I could sing the little ditty in the Army’s recruiting commercial, but I won’t.  
Do you belong to an online writing community?  If you do, share with me your experiences.
Till next time,

Elizabeth W. Gibson writes YA Fantasy with romantic elements.  She is a member of SCBWI, RWA, Savvy Authors and YALitChat.  At Savvy, she is a moderator and co-writer of a monthly blog featuring industry professionals.  Over at YALitChat, she is the staff coordinator for Agent Insider.  Elizabeth is also an artist and studied in Paris for four years.  
Contact Elizabeth on the Web:
Website | Speculative Salon Blog

Join the Savvy Authors admin and volunteers as we tour the blogosphere in anticipation of the launch of our improved and updated website. We are excited to share our love of Savvy, and all writing communities, with each of you during the summer months. Below is a list of stops we’ll be making – please feel free to stop by and say hello! (and definitely check out the new look of our site)

June 10th – Ella Gray on The Speculative Salon
June 12th - Elizabeth Gibson on Maggie Faire and Maggie's Meanderings (You are Here!)
 June 19th – SharonPickrel on Pen of the Dreamer
June 21st – Riley Darkeson Writing Secrets of Seven Scribes
June 25thLeslie Dow on A Writer’s Musings 


Ella Gray said...

Great post, Elizabeth! I'm reminded that it's such a joy to see the growth and accomplishments of friends within writing communities as well. That definitely gives me the warm fuzzies :)

EW Gibson said...

Maggie, thanks for having me here on your site.

Ella, being part of a group gives me the warm fuzzies. :)

Kelly Hashway said...

I belong to quite a few online communities and I love them. It's a great support system. said...

Great post, Elizabeth. I find online writing communities so supportive. I'll have to check out Savvy Authors.

Jessa Slade said...

I love Savvy Authors. Great classes, great links, great people/writers. I always find something there to interest and inspire me.

Lexa Cain said...

This sounds like a wonderful group. I belong to and have a great crit group there. I would be nowhere without them. <3

Sarah Negovetich said...

Great post. I don't spend much time on Savvy Author, but what I have seen has been great.


Hi, Elizabeth. It's so nice to get to know you. I've been a Savvy Author for a few years. There's been some very nice people who have been so supportive. My go to group is Plotting Princesses. We originally met at a RWA chapter and got together and plotted. Things have evolved so much and I just won't move without a consult from them.

Melinda B. Pierce said...

Lovely post, Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing with us!


Marilyn Muñiz said...

Great post Elizabeth!

Maggie Jaimeson said...

It's really great to see so many people learning more about Savvy Authors. Thank you so much for being here Elizabeth.

Ellen Russell said...

As a member of Critters, Clubs and Corsets, I thank Savvy every day for introducing me to my wonderful crit partners. Mmmwah, Elizabeth! So great to see you here with Maggie, one of my RCRW buddies!


Raven said...

Checking in on my crit buddy, Elizabeth. I see she's been up to good. :) I swear by crit groups. When I first started out there wasn't much out there. Now, it's a big world.

I believe in taking advantage of it. :)

Savvy Authors is a tremendous resource. I love it.

Laurel. (from CCC)

Melia Alexander said...

Writers DO need other writers on this insanely crazy journey we've chosen. Great post!


EW Gibson said...


You're a great participator, supporter of writers and amazing at producing a body of work. We can all learn from you.

Thanks again for your support.

EW Gibson said...


Wow, with your reviewing skills you could teach a workshop at Savvy. I certainly would be the first to sign up.

Thanks again for your support and comment.

EW Gibson said...


Nice to meet you. Savvy does seem to be the place, doesn't it. :)

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

EW Gibson said...


Well, your new contract to Muse It Up Pub and what you say about your crit group speaks volumes.

Thanks for your support.

EW Gibson said...


Oh, you also could teach a workshop at Savvy. A class from an agent's pov about publicity and marketing would be great. I'd sign up pronto.

Thanks for your support, it means a lot.

EW Gibson said...


I've seen your name around Savvy, but having actually met you. Howdy. Isn't it great to have your own group that supports you? Don't know what I'd do without my pals.

Thanks for commenting. See you inside. :)

EW Gibson said...


Thanks for the opportunity to toot about Savvy. :)

EW Gibson said...


Looking forward to your post about writing communities. Thanks for commenting.

EW Gibson said...


Mmmmwah back at you. :)

EW Gibson said...

Ravan aka Laurel,

Did you bring your whip? Heh. Glad you found your Goggle addy. Thanks for your support here and there(over at CCC).

EW Gibson said...


You are so right we need each other on this insane journey whether it's to crack the whip, as my bud, Laurel does or to hold our hand as we jump into the abyss blind.

I'm so glad you stopped and commented. Nice to meet you. :)

Catherine Stine said...

Savvy Authors sounds great, and yes, community is key to a lot of things. The writing community is a special one.

EW Gibson said...


I know you speak from experience because you're a community builder.

I appreciate your support and thanks for commenting.

Samantha MacDouglas said...

Great post, Elizabeth! I think having people around to celebrate your successes, who understand your trial (like no one else can) and who provide the necessary balance when the muse runs off is essential.

Thank you for sharing. :)

EW Gibson said...


How lovely to see you here. You are so right about having people around you that understand what you've been through, how hard you've worked to make steps forward. I think it also keeps one authentic, it reminds you where you started.

I appreciate your support and comment. Thank you.

Ana Kenley said...

Great post, Elizabeth! I love Savvy! It has helped me connect to others in such a solitary profession. Thanks for sharing your experience.

EW Gibson said...


Thank you, Ana. Well, Savvy is where I hooked up with you. :) Savvy is the best.

I appreciate your support and comment.

Tonette dela Luna said...

Thanks for the post, Elizabeth. I have big fat squishy love for Savvy Authors and have yet to master the art of restraint when it comes to signing up for workshops. It's a lovely juggling act between Savvy, the home front, and my other writerly duties. It's nice to know that I'm not alone aboard the Gratitude Train when it comes to how amazing and beneficial my time has been with the Savvy Authors community.



EW Gibson said...


Hahaha, I hear you about the workshops. They are addictive. Thank you for sharing your love of Savvy, makes me smile.

Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.