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Literary Organizations - National and Regional


Literary organizations run the gamut. We’ve broken them down into two kinds: national and regional. We say peruse our list, do some research, and knock yourself out. Whatever sounds like it’s worth the membership fee is probably a good bet because membership has its privileges. Joining a good literary organization can help you network with veteran published writers, keep on top of the latest literary trends, inform you of fresh publishing avenues, and give you discounts on conferences and seminars. Plus, participating in an established regional literary organization is a fabulous way to find support for your literary dreams and endeavors. Your own backyard is always a friendly and inviting place to start.



NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

American Christian Fiction Writers
If you're a reader or writer of Inspirational fiction (mystery, suspense, romance, women's fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, historicals, chick lit, etc.), you've come to the right place! ACFW is an organization geared toward meeting the needs of new and seasoned authors alike, as well as offering a venue for readers of Christian Fiction to learn more about their favorite authors and discover the vast array of choices available from the Christian Fiction market in general.

American Society of Journalists and Authors
Founded in 1948, the American Society of Journalists and Authors is the nation's leading organization of independent nonfiction writers. Their membership consists of more than 1,000 outstanding freelance writers of magazine articles, trade books, and many other forms of nonfiction writing, each of whom has met ASJA's exacting standards of professional achievement.

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP)
Since 1967, AWP has supported writers & writing programs around the world. They support over 24,000 writers at over 370 member colleges & universities & 125 writers' conferences & centers.

The Authors Guild
Since 1919, the Guild has worked on behalf of its members to lobby for free speech, copyrights and other issues of concern to writers and bring authors the latest news in the publishing industry via the Guild Bulletin. Book authors may join if they have been published by an established American publisher. An author with a contract for a work not yet published may join as an associate member. A contract with a vanity press or any press which requires the author to bear the expense of publication or buy copies of his or her own book does not qualify as a writer for membership in the Guild.

The Children’s Books Council
The Children's Book Council (CBC) is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to encouraging literacy and the use and enjoyment of children's books. It is the official sponsor of Young People's Poetry Week and Children's Book Week each year. The Council's Members include U.S. publishers and packagers of trade books for children and young adults.

The Horror Writers Association (HWA)
The HWA is a worldwide organization of writers and publishing professionals dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. HWA was formed in the late 1980s with the help of many of the field's greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale. Today, with over 1,000 members around the globe, it is the oldest and most respected professional organization for the much-loved writers who bring you the most enjoyable sleepless nights of your life.

International Thriller Writers, Inc.
ITW was founded October 9, 2004, at a meeting at Bouchercon World Mystery and Suspense Conference in Toronto, Canada. Thriller authors created ITW to celebrate the thriller, to enhance the prestige and raise the profile of thrillers, to award prizes to outstanding thriller novels and authors, and to create opportunities for collegiality within the thriller community.

Mystery Writers of America
Mystery Writers of America, Inc. is the premier organization for mystery writers and other professionals in the mystery field. MWA watches developments in legislation and tax law, sponsors symposia and mystery conferences, presents the Edgar® Awards, and provides information for mystery writers. Membership in MWA is open to published authors, editors, screenwriters, and other professionals in the field.

National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts—both new and established—bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.

Outdoor Writers Association of America
OWAA is a nonprofit, international organization that represents a diverse group of professional communicators dedicated to sharing the outdoor experience. They inform the public about outdoor activities, issues and the responsible use of our natural resources. OWAA's national headquarters is located in Missoula, Montana. The mission of Outdoor Writers Association of America is to improve the professional skills of their members, set the highest ethical and communications standards, encourage public enjoyment and conservation of natural resources, and be mentors for the next generation of professional outdoor communicators.

PEN American Center
PEN American Center, the largest of nearly 130 Centers worldwide that compose International PEN, is a membership association of prominent literary writers and editors. As a major voice of the literary community the organization seeks to defend the freedom of expression wherever it may be threatened, and promote and encourage the recognition and reading of contemporary literature.

Romance Writers of America
Romance Writers of America is a national non-profit genre writers' association—the largest of its kind in the world. It provides networking and support to individuals seriously pursuing a career in romance fiction. Currently, RWA has 9,000 members worldwide; with 1,600 members published in book-length romance fiction. RWA has more than 140 chapters throughout the world, with chapters in almost every state in the U.S.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
SFWA has brought together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world, and has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers' organizations in existence. Over 1200 sf and fantasy writers, artists, editors, and allied professionals are members.

Sisters in Crime
Sisters in Crime is an international organization of readers and writers dedicated to raising awareness of women's contributions to the mystery genre. The organization was founded in 1986 by Sara Paretsky and other women mystery writers and enthusiasts and now has over 50 chapters around the world. Sisters in Crime also offers the helpful online forum SinC Guppies, a cyber fishtank for aspiring writers working in the genres of mystery/crime/thrillers/suspense. They also offer the AgentQuest forum that helps with query and synopsis analysis, as well as share news of agents who are acquiring.

The Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, formed in 1971 by a group of Los Angeles based writers for children, is the only international organization to offer a variety of services to people who write, illustrate, or share a vital interest in children’s literature. The SCBWI acts as a network for the exchange of knowledge between writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people. There are currently more than 19,000 members worldwide, in over 70 regions, making it the largest children's writing organization in the world.

Small Publishers of North America
The Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN) is the premier voice of independent publishing and the second largest such association in the world. Their members are independent presses, self-publishers, and savvy authors who realize if their books are to be successful, they must seek to more effectively promote and sell their own books.

Western Writers of America
Western Writers of America, Inc., was founded in 1953 to promote the literature of the American West and bestow Spur Awards for distinguished writing in the western field. Today it has over 500 members who write everything from mainstream fiction to local history. Its annual convention occurs during the last week of June in a western city. At that time, members, guests, editors, and agents gather together to renew friendships, do business, attend panels, go on field trips, and conduct the organization's business.

Women Writing the West
Women Writing the West ® is a nonprofit association of writers, editors, publishers, agents, booksellers, and other professionals writing and promoting the Women's West. As such, Women Writing the West provides support, encouragement, and inspiration to all writers whose passion is to portray women and their stories in the American West in a way that illuminates them authentically. In addition, the organization provides support, encouragement, and inspiration to all women writing about any facet of the American West. Membership is open to all interested persons worldwide.

REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

The Adirondack Center for Writing (Adirondack, New York)
The Adirondack Center for Writing is an organization that supports Adirondack-based writers. They host numerous workshops, conferences, readings, and other programs to help keep writing alive in northern New York State. The Adirondack Center for Writing also gives writers the opportunity to share their work, and review grant and publishing information.

Aspen Writers' Foundation (Aspen, CO)
Aspen Writers' Foundation is a nonprofit arts organization that has been serving readers and writers since 1976. It provides programs that encourage writers in their craft and readers in their appreciation of good literature, and creates opportunities to bring readers and writers together.

The Attic Writer’s Workshop (Portland, OR)
The Attic is Portland's innovative literary studio. The workshops are small (limited to twelve), supportive, and intensive. Students receive generous attention, geared to their present & future writing. With two large windows overlooking bustling Hawthorne Boulevard, the studio is a place for students to gather in armchairs (surrounded by books) and settle into talking about your writing and the writing process.

Brazos Writers (College Station, TX)
Established in 1987, Brazos Writers provides a forum where writers exchange ideas, learn about the craft, and mentor others. Regular meetings take place the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm at the P. David Romei Arts Center at Wolf Pen Creek, 2275 Dartmouth Street, College Station, Texas.

California Writers Club (California)
California Writers Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit education organization with fourteen branches across the state. The organization is dedicated to educating writers of all levels of expertise in the craft of writing and in the marketing of their work. This is achieved through monthly branch meetings, workshops, contests, seminars and conferences at the state level and at each of the fourteen branches. Writers of all disciplines are welcome: fiction, nonfiction, prose, poetry, and memoir.

Chicago Writers Association (Chicago, IL)
Founded in 2003, Chicago Writers Association is a creative community of dedicated writers from Chicagoland. CWA members are both professional, published authors and those committed to joining their ranks. They focus their efforts on both necessary aspects of the professional writer: 1. perfecting a writer's craft and 2. getting writers' work out into the stream of commerce.

Chicago North Romance Writers of America (Chicago area)
Chicago-North RWA's mission is to support our members on their writing journey and in their publishing careers. We accomplish this through craft and industry programs, conferences, and manuscript critiques. We hope you will find these offerings valuable in advancing your career and improving your writing skills.

Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association (Connecticut)
Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association was established in 1994 to help Connecticut's authors (and aspiring authors) improve their writing skills and increase the visibility and sales of their books and articles by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information.

Colorado Springs Fiction Writer's Group (Colorado Springs, CO)
Colorado Springs Fiction Writer's Group aids aspiring and established writers in improving the quality of their craft by offering online research, editing services, monthly articles, publishing fiction works of up-and-coming authors online and a critique group for those in the Pikes Peak, Colorado.

DFW Writers' Workshop (North Texas)
The Workshop meets every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Euless, Texas, in the heart of the DFW Metroplex. We help and encourage North Texas writers of all genres and experience levels to produce professional quality writing suitable for publication. We do this by providing read and critique sessions, educational activities, networking opportunities and a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere.

Detroit Working Writers (Detroit, MI)
Based in Detroit, MI, Detroit Working Writers is a 108-year-old organization of professional, published creative writers from around the country working in numerous genres: novels, poetry, short stories, journalism, non-fiction, plays and more. Their mission is to foster excellence in writing and serve as a creative workshop for member published writers, helping them improve their work, support other writers and continue to excel and publish.

Gemini Ink (San Antonio, TX)
Based in San Antonio, TX, Gemini Ink nurtures writers and readers and builds community through literature and the related arts. They offer writing classes and workshops as well as poetry, fiction, and nonfiction mentoring programs in which established master artists use a low-residency approach to provide intensive one-on-one critique of student work. Their Autograph Series presents free public readings by writers of national or international stature.

Georgia Writers Association (Georgia)
Georgia Writers Association is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that works across the state 501(c)(3) to encourage and strengthen the proficiencies of writers in both the creative and the business aspects of the writing life. They do this through an array of speakers and programs at regular meetings and through workshops, conferences, seminars, retreats, contests and other events; by the formation of Pods, (satellite groups) and other forms of support groups; and by the bi-monthly publication of Georgia Writers News/Mag.

grub street, inc. (Boston, MA)
Located in Boston, MA, grub street, inc. offers high-quality workshops, events and professional development opportunities for writers of all levels, and the chance to be part of a literary community. You can read your latest work at "riot act," their open mike series. Meet editors and agents at their annual "Muse and the Marketplace" conference. Join them to discuss a new book with its author at their "online bookclub forum." Or drop by on a Saturday morning for "coffee and free-wheeling discussions" on topics of interest to readers and writers. At grub street, you'll make connections, meet other writers and, most importantly, get writing. Stay informed about grub events, classes, gossip, and other news with the grub street rag, delivered free twice a month to your email in-box.

Guild Literary Complex (Chicago, IL)
Based in Chicago, Illinois, the goal of the Guild Complex is to reach broad, multi-ethnic audiences with quality arts programming which includes poetry, fiction, art shows, panel discussions, workshops, and literary festivals. The programming, as well as the achievements of their publishing wing, Tia Chucha Press, reflects a deep commitment to cultural and features both established and emerging artists.

Henderson Writers' Group (Henderson, Nevada)
Located in Henderson, NV, The Henderson Writers' Group is a 501-C3 nonprofit organization with resources devoted to education, helping writers of all ages develop their craft, and supporting the local writing community by hosting weekly meetings and their annual Las Vegas Writers Conference. Their mission is to provide a networking and critiquing forum for writers of all skill levels. The goal of HWG is to help each and every writer reach the goal they have set for themselves whether or not they belong to our critiquing group, which averages over one hundred members.

Hudson Valley Writer’s Center (Sleepy Hollow, NY)
Located in Sleepy Hollow, New York, The Hudson Valley Writers' Center, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1988 with a mission to promote the appreciation of literary excellence and to stimulate and nurture the creation of literary works in all sectors of the population. It offers classes for professional and amateur writers, presents public readings by well-known and emerging prose writers and poets, does outreach work in several community sites, and publishes at least one book of poetry each year under the imprint Slapering Hol Press.

Inprint, Inc. (Houston, TX)
Founded in 1983 by a group of community volunteers and writers from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, Inprint champions creative writing and reading in Houston. Its programs and events play a vital role in Houston's rich cultural life and include a reading series, writer’s workshops and seminars, and a Poets and Writers Ball.

Intersection for the Arts (San Francisco, CA)
Intersection for the Arts is San Francisco's oldest alternative art space and has a long history of presenting new and experimental work in the fields of literature, theater, music and the visual arts and also in nurturing and supporting the Bay Area's cultural community through service, technical support and mentorship programs. Intersection is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2005.

Just Buffalo (Buffalo, NY)
Located in Buffalo, New York, Just Buffalo’s longest standing commitment has been to the community of writers who practice the literary arts. They support writers by providing venues in which they can present, discuss, publish, and improve their work. When possible they support writers financially by paying honoraria for readings or by paying them to serve as teaching artists through their Writers in Education program.

Kansas Writers Association (Kansas)
The KWA offers its members a way to network with fellow writers as they sharpen their skills, explore genres, and learn more about the writing industry. Members receive monthly newsletters filled with advice, resources, publishing news, and more. They also offer educational workshops, writing seminars, activities, and contests, and annual seminar.

Literary Arts (Portland, OR)
In 1993, Portland Arts & Lectures merged with the Oregon Institute of Literary Arts and was renamed Literary Arts. The merger brought the Oregon Book Awards (started in 1987) and the Oregon Literary Fellowships (established in 1988) to the organization. To date, these two programs have honored 400 Oregon writers and publishers and have distributed more than $450,000 in fellowships and awards. It has a 19-year history of producing arts programming and of acting as an advocate for Oregon's writers and publishers.

The Loft Literary Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Founded in 1974 in a loft above a Minneapolis bookstore, The Loft is now Minnesota’s largest and most comprehensive literary center, offering programs and services for readers and writers. Take a creative writing class. Attend a special presentation by a favorite Minnesota writer. Enter a writing competition or attend a reading. Writers are invited to become involved in the Loft's unique community and to join others who engage in a reading and writing life.

The Cabin, A Literary Center for Idaho (Boise, Idaho)
The Cabin The Cabin is a center for writing and reading in Idaho. It is a place to engage the art of language, to meet novelists and poets and essayists, to take a class or workshop honing particular skills in the art of writing, a place to find one’s voice.

Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance (Maine)
Founded in 1975, Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance (MWPA) is a nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to promote the value of literature and the art of writing by building a community of publishers, writers, and readers of all ages within Maine.

Maryland Writers' Group (Maryland)
The Maryland Writers' Association (MWA) is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the art, business, and craft of writing. MWA offers monthly meetings with guest speakers, writing workshops, an annual writers' conference, and a literary journal. Members include both fiction and nonfiction writers from all over Maryland as well as from D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

MinnesotaArtists.org (Minneapolis, MN)
mnartists.org is an online database of Minnesota artists and organizations from all artistic disciplines. It offers to Minnesota-based artists a central gathering place on the web, and aims to grow to become a marketplace and community hub, allowing the public a new way to explore art and get to know artists.

New Hampshire Writers’ Project (New Hampshire)
The New Hampshire Writers’ Project is a resource for writers, publishers, booksellers, literary agents, educators, librarians, and readers in and near New Hampshire. They support the development of individual writers and encourage an audience for literature in New Hampshire.

New York State Writers Institute (New York State)
The Writers Institute was founded in 1984 by novelist William Kennedy as a center for the literary arts in the state of New York. Today the Writers Institute is one of America's premiere sites for celebrating the art of the written word. Numerous and diverse programs provide the broadest possible educational base for students of writing, access to some of our greatest living authors for serious readers of literature, enthusiastic audiences in excellent venues for visiting writers and important cultural initiatives for the general public. The Institute's central aim is to celebrate literature and to enhance the role of writers as a community within the larger community.

Paragraph: Workspace for Writers (New York City)
Paragraph in New York City is dedicated to providing an affordable and tranquil working environment for writers of all genres. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Paragraph was created by writers for writers, with an understanding that writers work best in a quiet, comfortable space away from the hurry and obligation of urban life.

Richard Hugo House (Seattle, WA)
Located in Seattle, Washington, the mission of Richard Hugo House is to build a vital learning community that develops and sustains practicing writers doing essential work. It is a place that nurtures writers, readers and audiences of books, plays, films, and brings innovative and effective writing education to people of all ages and backgrounds. The Richard Hugo House has five writers/mentors—including one teenager—who serve the community by holding office hours (open to the public by appointment) and by designing and implementing an innovative program to serve the Seattle community.

Small Press Traffic (San Francisco, CA)
Small Press Traffic Literary Arts Center promotes and supports writers from all over the globe--particularly those who push the limits of how we speak and think about the world. Since 1974, SPT has been at the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area innovative writing scenes, bringing together independent readers, writers, and presses through publications, conferences, and our influential reading series.

St. Louis Writers Guild (St. Louis, MO)
Since 1920, the St. Louis Writers Guild supports writers of all genres and levels of experience to further their literary goals. They hold two monthly organization events: a workshop and lecture meeting as well as Open Mike readings at a local coffee shop. Members receive promotional support, including personal features on their website and in their two newsletters, bookselling services, and vast, grassroots publicity throughout Missouri via newspapers, radio, and email. They also provide members with publication opportunities, sponsor contests, and provide a Blog and Discussion Boards for work sharing and networking.

American Independent Writers (Washington, DC)
Located in Washington, D.C, The AIW Freedom to Write Fund (FWF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to protecting the essential benefits to a democratic society that flow from efforts to maintain a thriving community of independent writers. FWF sponsors educational programs and innovative approaches to reporting developments in free expression, access to information, and copyright, as well as to public advocacy on those topics.

Writer’s Center (Bethesda, Maryland)
Located in Bethesda, Maryland, The Writer's Center is a literary crossroads designed to encourage the creation and distribution of contemporary literature. To support these goals, they offer a host of interrelated programs and services including workshops in all genres, a gallery of books and journals, readings and conferences, publications, desktop publishing center, meeting and workspace, and information and communications center.

Writers' League of Texas (Austin, TX)
Formerly called the Austin Writers' League, the Writers' League of Texas has expanded its outreach to service the whole state of Texas. WLT is dedicated to helping writers take their art to the highest level. Writers hoping to find beginning, intermediate or advanced instruction on writing fiction and nonfiction can turn to a number of weekend conferences, as well as informal classes and workshops held throughout the year. These workshops are presented by established authors in the community and from around the state.

Writing Salon (San Francisco, CA)
The Writing Salon, based in San Francisco and Berkeley, offers intimate classes of 6 to 13 students in a warm, informal setting, complete with fresh-brewed coffee, tea and cookies. Their 5 to 9-week courses and one-day workshops, taught by a staff of dedicated, experienced teachers, include classes in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and journalism. If you're a beginning writer, they'll help you to lay the groundwork in basic craft. If you are an intermediate to advanced writer, they'll help you to move up to the next level.


If you represent a regional literary organization and would like to be included on our weblist, please email us at updates@agentquery.com. In order to be include on our weblist, we require that you maintain a website and provide literary events, classes, workshops, readings, seminars, or other supportive community programs to encourage emerging writers in their artistic endeavors.