Why Start a Word Weavers International Chapter (and why become a member)?
Compiled by Carol Barnier, Past Word Weavers President & Mentor
Updated by Eva Marie Everson, CEO Word Weavers International
“Why shouldn’t we instead just plop ourselves into a simple group of local writers who meet together on their own, with no formal organization?”
I recently found myself composing an answer to this question when a woman, contemplating her own Word Weavers chapter, asked me about the reasons for joining a group like ours versus going it alone. I began to jot down a few benefits, and before I knew it, the list had grown.
- The network. As a member of Word Weavers Internatioanl, you’re part of a much larger group than if you were on your own. What does this mean?
- More ears to the ground, with updates on industry news, best tips on what works, etc.
- Others with niche experience you can access. For example, you may learn of a Word Weavers member in Alaska who has the same plot dilemma as you. You can then connect and share ideas.
- The opportunity to lessen a writer’s normal isolation, first, by involvement in the local group and then by the nearly 1000 across the world with whom you are connected.
- Access to big players you might not find in a local group not associated with Word Weavers. In recent videos and in our Open Mic segments, we’ve heard from such greats as Dan Walsh, Jerry B. Jenkins, Mesu Andrews, James L. Rubart, Tosca Lee, Tamara Alexander, Bill Myers, and more! The Word Weavers International network is growing rapidly, so the benefits here are bound to increase.
- Scholarships to the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference. Word Weavers owns this solid conference with top-notch speakers and workshop leaders. (My own breakthrough into Focus on the Family came via this conference several years ago.)
- FaceBook page for members only. When something relevant to writers hits the social media, it often appears at the Facebook private group page in minutes. There are just more eyes and ears out there watching and listening for things that matter to you. When our members find something of value, they share it, which funnels it to you and your chapter very quickly. We also have daily updates from writing blogs, etc. It’s like Living Room University!
- Monthly newsletter (the Loom) for members only. The Loom is chock-full of writing opportunities, member news, nuts-and-bolts writing tips, and up-to-date info on what’s happening in the organization.
- The Word Weavers Critique method. It’s so simple that you may think it a small thing. But the cold sandwich method, when coupled with silence from the presenter, is HUGE. This simple, years-perfected method changes everything. And if you’ve ever been in a group that doesn’t follow these rules, you’ll feel the difference immediately.
- The Word Weavers organizational structure. I’ll admit that the manual is a bit overwhelming but what you’ll find is information for both large and small groups. There is also a manual for online group members, written just for them.
- Decreased chance of burnout. With Word Weavers, you have a network behind you. Each chapter has its own mentor who is in contact with the chapter president monthly—sending reports from “headquarters,” chatting over the phone, sharing ideas on how to handle situations that arise. Often the mentors can come to your location (either in person or via Zoom) to help launch your new chapter. In addition, presidents have access to other chapter presidents whose experience base can be mined.
- As the number of chapters grows, we’re starting to see regional gatherings emerge. For those who aren’t yet ready for the big leap of attending a major conference, these regional events are meeting some real needs.
- Agents and editors value writers who have been involved in an established group. Go to any writers conference or event, mention that you are a member of Word Weavers, and watch the reaction. Membership is an indicator that you take writing seriously and are making the effort to grow in your craft.
- Again, Word Weavers International is gaining a reputation for producing writers noted for quality work. Several publishers are actually on the lookout for submissions from those with a Word Weavers membership.
These are but a few of the benefits of starting your own chapter or becoming a member of Word Weavers International. Word Weavers International provides a New Chapter Liaison who is happy to discuss the ins and outs of starting a chapter after which she will provide you with “The Notebook.” A couple of weeks later, CEO Eva Marie Everson will set a time for the two of you to talk. She’s more than happy to answer the questions that will prepare you for a successful Word Weavers International traditional group.