Invest & Prosper: Your Local Literary Allies

By Christina Katz

The “Shop Local” movement is hitting its stride. And writers, even those without local clients, cannot forget that making local alliances is just as important as maintaining regional and national relations. Last month I talked about the importance of joining regional and national professional associations. This month I’d like to talk about going local.

Connect with other local writers, and make sure each literary person you meet knows you are open to connecting with their local writer friends, as well.

Are there local writers meeting in your hometown or within a short distance? Why not join them? You might hear about a local critique group you’d like to join.

Is there a local social or educational event for writers that you can attend? If you’ve set your sights on authorhood, you’ll want to start connecting now with everyone local in the book-selling or book-circulation business. This includes both booksellers and libraries.

If nobody else is hosting a literary event, why not you? Sure, it takes time and energy, but hosting a local literary event will act like a magnet that attracts other literary folks in your area into your sphere. Besides, who doesn’t like meeting like-minded people? I always enjoy meeting fellow writers.

Make it your mission to meet and introduce yourself to everyone who is involved in the literary scene where you live. Here’s a little checklist to clip and post near your computer screen. It’s not hard to meet one person per week. Why not make that your mission?

Your Local Allies Include:
__ Local Writers and Authors
__ Your Local Librarians and Administrators
__ Your Nearest New (or used) Booksellers and Bookstore Event Planners
__ Your Local Literary Event Organizers (Check libraries, community centers and schools)
Christina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Build an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (both for Writer’s Digest Books). She started her platform “for fun” seven years ago and ended up on Good Morning America. She teaches writing career development, hosts the Northwest Author Series, and is the publisher of several e-zines including Writers on the Rise. Christina blogs at The Writer Mama Riffs and Get Known Before the Book Deal, and speaks at MFA programs, literary events, and conferences around the country.


4 Responses to “Invest & Prosper: Your Local Literary Allies”

  1. 1 Kelli October 7, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Thanks for the tips. I just recently got a job as the Children’s Programmer/Storyteller at my local library…which I love! I’m hoping it will help me to be aware of some opportunities/events that I might not have known about otherwise, and I’ll be planning events too. So we’ll see!

    P.S. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll! Very cool!

  2. 2 Luci October 11, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Excellent advice, as usual Christina! I’ve been doing a book review for a local journal, meeting others in the field. While no amazing book deals have come out of it -yet :), it feeds my brain with all things literary, and keeps me focused. Thanks for breakin’ it down, very practical and effective.

  3. 3 Tamara October 17, 2008 at 10:12 am

    This is great advice, Christina, especially during times when economics seem to rule the collective consciousness. I still don’t believe that it’s money that makes the world go ’round, but people and community.

    It can be difficult to make any money as writers, but when we network with our local support system—booksellers, arts and humanities councils, newspapers, small businesses, private groups (like writing groups and mothers’ groups), libraries, schools and the like—it’s always a win-win situation.

    Thanks for your reminded that much of what we need is right next door to all of us.

    Tamara Sellman

  1. 1 Networking with Local Authors « Charlottesville Words Trackback on October 6, 2008 at 1:34 pm
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