On the acknowledgements page of my novel, Other Wise, I’ve included a thank you to the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance (MWPA). Specifically, I’ve thanked them for conferences, workshops, and community (the last being the most important to me), but they offer so much more.
The yearly membership fee for MWPA is minimal and well worth it. (You can even pay more than the minimum if you have the means! Community is always about contributing to the welfare of the whole, after all.) And for that fee, the benefits are countless — some too elusive to articulate.
Even though I’m not a crime or mystery writer, I attend the annual Maine Crime Wave conference when possible and always come away filled up and inspired. There’s nothing like being in the company of those who “speak the same language” for a day of workshops and panel discussions to keep the words and juices flowing. Back at my desk alone, I’m companioned by those I’ve met but briefly — buoyed by their encouragement and example.
And as for the many and varied workshops? … I only wish I could attend them all. Fine writers abound in Maine and they generously offer their expertise and wisdom to any who reserve a spot. From the economy of flash fiction to the enormity of keeping the often unwieldy elements of a novel in line, there are workshops to address all needs. From day-long sessions to continuing courses and off-the-grid (or wall) retreats, MWPA has offerings for everyone.
In addition to the quality of the presenters, I’ve found a fascinating synergy to the group that shows up on any given day. No matter the topic. No matter the extent of individual participation. There is value to simply being there in the mix.
From social media groups to regional Gathers, MWPA is engaged and engaging. There’s a monthly platform for announcing newly published books (Ex Libris Maine), a listing of Maine authors with photos and bios, http://find.mainewriters.org , and much much more.
Membership requires as much or as little involvement as you desire. I highly recommend that you consider joining this or another reputable organization of your choice. You won’t regret it.
It’s MWPA for ME. What’s calling to you so you don’t have to go it alone?