It's nearly the time of year when I have to write the check for my membership in RWA. For those of you who are members, you know it's a hefty fee. For the past three years I've held a debate with myself on whether to renew or not. I haven't written romance for a long time though some of my romance books are still on the market. All my recent novels have been in the genre I love most, fantasy. Should I rejoin RWA? The only reason I've retained my membership for this long is because I must if I want to continue with my local chapter, CPRW.
Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers is a wonderful bunch of committed authors. Many are published, many are on the verge and all are super supportive of each other. I know I would never have been published without the guidance and knowledge they've shared with me over the years. So each year I cough up the dough for the national organization so I can remain part of the local group. It's a difficult decision this year especially in the current economic environment. Two kids in college further tightens the home budget.
Pennwriters, a state wide writers organization. Members represent every branch and niche of the profession. Each year they host a weekend-long writing conference with excellent guests including agents and editors of major houses. It's a terrific conference. They also put out a newsletter to bookstores promoting the work of their published authors. Thanks to that effort, I was contacted by the Borders Store at the Lycoming Mall in Williamsport, PA to do a booksigning for The Keepers of Sulbreth this Saturday, July 10th from 1-3 p.m. This is a great service provided to me as a member of the group. And the cost of belonging to Pennwriters is less than half of what it costs to belong to RWA.
So I have about sixty days to decide if I'm going to put the money out there for a large national group who really doesn't do much to help me. I would miss seeing my friends at our local meetings but a few of them also belong to Pennwriters and a few others I keep in touch with on FB and through blogging. Pennwriters also have a few local groups I might start taking part in this month. It's a difficult decision but I must weigh the cost versus benefit before renewing membership. What about you? Do you put out a lot of money to membership in professional organizations? What kind of benefits do they provide beyond moral support?
And don't forget to drop in at the Borders on Saturday for my booksiging at the Lycoming Mall in Williamsport.