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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Writers need support groups

cj Sez: First: BSP (Blatant Self Promotion). Choosing Carter got a new rave review on Amazon, and I quote:  

A well written page turner! cj petterson did a wonderful job of putting you in the Colorado wilderness and weaving her cast of characters. I really enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it to others. I am going to buy several copies to give as gifts. 

And cj Sez: LOVE that reader, and thank-you-very-much.

As my writing year progresses (or not), I have to admit that I need a support group. As my regular readers have noticed, I promote critique groups and writing groups heavily and often (this post is a rerun) because it is my belief that authors really cannot write in a vacuum. We need something that a Google search for info cannot give us; we need human interaction but not just for the atta girls. We need personal testimony of experiences and verbal encouragement in order to continue the singularly and often lonely task of writing. And there are two or three groups in particular that I rely on…in addition to a fabulously talented critique group of which I am a member.

Disclaimer here:  I am a proud member of the international organizations I profile below and am writing this blog with a great deal of affection and appreciation for the support I’ve received from the members all along my journey to publication. Most of the paragraphs that follow are lifted directly from the public websites of the organizations because there’s no way I could say it better.

From the Sisters in Crime website:

“Did you know...
SinC was founded in 1986 and is now 3600 members strong in 48 chapters world-wide, offering networking, advice and support to mystery authors.

“Did you know...
We are authors, readers, publishers, agents, booksellers and librarians bound by our passion for the mystery genre and our support of women who write mysteries.”

The work of the organization benefits not just its members but all women authors of crime stories as it seeks to garner equal review space in newspapers and combat gender bias.

Sisters in Crime was founded by Sara Paretsky and a group of women at the 1986 Bouchercon. In 1996, SinC realized it had achieved real recognition by the publishing industry when Publishers Weekly called Sisters in Crime “ubiquitous” . . . indeed, in ten years, they were everywhere.

By the way all you aspiring author-guys, there are misters among those sisters, so don’t be put-off by the name.

Once a member of SinC, writers are eligible for membership in Guppies. “Guppies” is the online chapter of Sisters in Crime.

From the Guppies website:

“We come from many different occupations, locations, and avocations, sharing experiences and enriching our larder of resources. We write crime short stories and novels in the mystery genre. Our subgenres include; cozy, traditional, police procedural, PI, paranormal, supernatural, humor, suspense, thriller and romance. Our common goal: to see our work in print.

“The name ‘Guppies’ is an acronym for ‘The Great Unpublished.’ Although the majority of members start out as unpublished, many Guppies have changed that status by using the support and resources of the group to assist them in honing their craft and finding the right path for them to publication. Once published, many Guppies remain members to pass along their knowledge and expertise, which has become a tradition.”

A Guppy author’s BSP is guaranteed to receive beau coup congratulations . . . fin flaps, applause, virtual champagne toasts abound. Guppies are amazing in their generous and selfless support of the success of fellow members.

If you’re a mystery/crime writer looking for a great support group, opportunities for online critique groups, and whole manuscript exchanges, SinC and Guppies
are inexpensive memberships to consider. (Psst: I am also considering memberships in the highly acclaimed Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. They are a little more expensive, so I have to save my pennies for those.)

How’s your writing progressing this year? Facing a conundrum? Ask Lyrical Pens. Stick it in the comments, and we promise to answer.

Okay, that’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

(PS: The toons are from my Facebook pages.)
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo

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