You know, I’ve long been wondering why there isn’t a “Genre Writers of America Association.” You’ve got Romance Writers of America, you’ve got Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. There’s International Thriller Writers and BROADverse. You name the genre and there is an association for it. However, I think it would be really helpful if there was a general organization that serviced writers in all commercial genres (outside poetry and literary fiction). Why, you ask? Well, if you are familiar with these genres, you will notice that often (say like 98% of the time) there is overlap of 2 or more genres. How many contemporary thrillers have you seen also include a large romantic element? How often do you see military terminology in science fiction? How about mystery in fantasy? And how many times have ALL these genres contained an element of adventure? Pretty often, right? I read an article in Writer’s Digest last night that was talking about creating a believable military hero. Holy crap that info was interesting and relevant to me! I’ve been cooking up a hero with a modern military background. But, again, most groups that would offer more in-depth exposure to that are interested in a genre that is not my primary focus. I like to genre mash. I say put it all in the pot and mash the hell out of it – see what happens.
I was recently investigating some of these associations to see if any would be useful to me. The local chapter of Romance Writers offers fantastic sounding guest speaker opportunities (a man panel, law enforcement experts etc.). But you need to be a member to attend their meetings and events (except for the first two sessions, which are a kind of sample). To join you also have to be a member of the national RWA. That’s $95 plus the $40 local chapter dues. I don’t know about you other writers out there, but my writing ain’t paying my regular bills, much less association fees.What if there was just one association that allowed you move between genres as needed and that had just 1 annual fee to cover administration costs. In-depth courses or workshops might carry a nominal additional fee. I don’t know… just brainstorming here.
While most of my stories contain a romantic thread that runs pretty strong, romance is not the PRIMARY focus of my fiction, a key requirement when joining RWA. So, I can’t benefit from those great workshops – even though they would be helpful to me and my writing. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America would be a good association for me. Except you have to already be published in the field. Okay, so writers like me, who haven’t been able to break into the scene yet, are excluded. Even though we could get a lot of benefit from hanging with these other sci-fi/fantasy writers. Hmmm…
Why the hell is there not an association for genre writers that welcomes new AND experienced writers that provides great workshops and guest speakers, networking opportunities, news and trends, and whatever the hell else associations are supposed to do? Am I crazy? Does no one else see this? I feel like I’ve taken CRAZY pills?
Ooops, sorry lapsing into my Mugatu.
Okay, so if someone knows of an association like this that has simply escaped my searching, PLEASE let me know. Come on, I can’t be the first person who has pondered this. Seriously, anyone? Bueller? Beuller?