Best of 2012: Build Your Community

by Bess Weatherby
published in Community

“Writing is a fairly lonely business,” Marc Lawrence wrote, “Unless you invite people in to watch you do it, which is often distracting and then you have to ask them to leave.” This is true: we face the blank page alone. But writing doesn’t have to be a lonely business. Indeed, at DIY MFA, we believe it cannot be one. There are too many other writers! And connecting with them can make the writing journey a richer and more rewarding experience. That’s why one component of DIY MFA is Building Your Community.

Build Your Community

This portion of the DIY MFA focuses on three types of communities: other writers, readers and publishers/markets. In the age of social media, there are many ways to build your community online as well as locally. Whether you are just starting out or already active in communities DIY MFA provides advice on how to get involved and make the most of this crucial element of the writing journey. It’s only a fairly lonely business if you want it to be!

Here are a few links to help you build your community

5 Lessons About Community That Writers Must Learn Community is important. Your life and your writing will benefit from the vibrant connections you can make online and in person. The benefits are tangible, in friendships, connections and knowledge. This article will tell you why.

How to Submit to Literary Magazines Publication in a literary magazine is a great way to build your professional credibility. Thinking of dusting off a short story or writing a new one this year? This article will help you get your query package in tip-top shape for submission.

Agent Conference Tips Some of the best community-building is done at conferences. These are the place to meet other writers, editors and agents in person. Book deals are made at conferences. Critique groups are formed at conferences. After the Backspace Writer’s Conference, Gabi compiled a list of great advice from agents who attend these conferences on how to put your best foot forward. Whether you’re pitching, networking or just seeking to build relationships, this article will help you prepare.

Branding for Writers In today’s marketplace, whether you are self-published, traditionally published, or somewhere in-between, it is essential that writers market themselves. This idea can be scary. Aren’t we supposed to be at our desks, alone and in our own heads? When you’re writing, yes. When you’re branding, no. Branding can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about being yourself and connecting with others. This article will help you get started, or get re-charged if you are already in the process.

Four Steps to a Winning Query When submitting, the query letter is often the only piece of writing the agent or editor sees. It’s of paramount importance. However, writing a query letter can be an incredibly useful exercise even if you are still drafting or editing. Distilling your story down to a few short paragraphs will give you a clearer sense of it. This article provides tips on how to make it as perfect as possible.

Networking for Authors: 5 Survival Tips Writers are not generally extroverts. This can make conferences and networking difficult. But in today’s market, being able to network effectively is essential. Headed to a conference this year? This article will help you not only survive it — but thrive in it!

Three Things to Look for in a Critique Community If writing is a fairly lonely business, a critique group can be a vital source of support, encouragement and advice. Forming a critique group? Thinking about joining one? Three things to keep in mind when making this important decision.

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