Thursday, April 25, 2013

Are You Connected?

You thought I meant social media, right? 


Dora here, and today I want to talk about connecting to a local writers group.

"Just one more thing to swallow more of my time." 

Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on the group. The dynamics, the schedule, the speakers, even the centrality of the meeting location.

Recently, under the leadership of newly elected president, Myra Johnson, (Yay, Myra!) our group transitioned to every other month meetings from our previous quarterly schedule. We also moved to a new, permanent location, a fire station "community room" conveniently located to a major interstate that connects both North and South Carolina. The new facility boasts a kitchen, WiFi access, and a large meeting area that accommodates up to fifty people.

Carolina Christian Writers ~ New Meeting Location

Like the new digs? Yeah, me, too.

But I digress. Of course, you're not just interested in visiting the fire station. But what if a Fire Chief talked about fire scenarios for your fiction? What if he cited examples or helped untangle plot issues? 

Missy Tippens, Love Inspired Author
OK. Maybe you're not working on a fire scene right now. You're polishing your manuscript and praying over it before you send it off to a publisher. Would you be interested in the advantages of working with a smaller publishing house? Or in a multi-published, award-winning Love Inspired author's presentation on Writing Proposals That Sell The First Time?  

Perhaps you just received a rejection from a contest entry. Would you want to hear an author with vast experience in winning and finaling in contests share tips? 

Or maybe you just want to connect with like minds and hang out with some of your favorite authors?
From L-R: Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Myra Johnson, Dora Hiers, Sandra Ardoin (standing), Mary Annslee Urban, Lynette Eason, Jennifer Fromke, Amy Clipston. Where is Angie Arndt?

There she is! Angie Arndt

Would it be worth a couple hours every other month?

Not yet? Really?


What if you received a publishing contract from one of these meetings?

Ahhh...your eyes just lit up. Now I have your attention.

I'm a member of the Carolina Christian Writers, the local ACFW chapter serving both Carolinas. My first contract with Pelican Book Group (PBG)/White Rose Publishing was a direct result of one of our meetings. One of my CCW friends directed me to PBG, who was about a year old and hadn't blipped my radar yet. Would I have found my publisher had I not connected with CCW? Only God knows that, but He definitely opened a door where I had no idea one even existed.

For me, the benefits and blessings I gain from my CCW connection far outweigh the time commitment. You see, on March 15, I celebrated my fifth release with White Rose.

What about you? Are you connected with a writers group? 
If not, did I convince you to get connected?
If you are, what meeting topics would interest you?

Purchase Link
After a humiliating breakup, best-selling romance author Teal Benning flees to Promise Lake to complete her current novel, minus paparazzi and flashing cameras. Suffering from writer's block and a broken heart, Teal accepts the offer of help from neighbor, Hunter Miciver. 

Hunter longs to be more than the friend who picks up the shattered pieces of Teal's heart, but when Teal finds out his secret, will she see him for the man he is—a man of faith and devotion, a man who would cherish her for the rest of her days—or will she lump him into the same category as all the other men in her life, including her father?

Will Teal recognize when truth whispers her name?


  1. Let me just add an "amen" to Dora's comments. Having a support group cheering you on is so important and it's the best (and least-expensive) way to learn about your craft, too. It's a win-win all the way around!

    And the icing on the cake is the long-lasting friendships you make from those connections. So glad we met Dora, and most of all, I'm so glad to have you as my friend!

    1. Awww, thank you, Angie. You made my morning. I feel the same about you!

      I've met and made so many great friends over the Internet, but there's nothing sweeter than meeting them face-to-face and wrapping my arms around them for a hug!

  2. At this point my entire help/cheering section is online. I have connected with a few friends in "real life," though and I would love to do so on a regular basis. Sharing coffee and cake over the internet just isn't the same ;)

    1. Oh, Dana, you're so right. I have two friends that live close enough to meet for coffee or lunch on a fairly regular basis, as often as our schedules allow. It's so nice to chat about "writer" stuff and get up close and personal, especially when we usually spend all day staring at a computer screen.

      Google "writers groups" and see what comes up for your area. Hope you can get connected!

  3. Agree with all of this! CCW is awesome. There's just something about being online all day that begs for personal contact. Giggles that can be heard are so much better than LoLs.

    1. Yay, Jennifer! Great to see you here!

      Loved the pictures of your writing retreat weekend. How did you manage to write? I have the best of intentions when we head to the mountains, but it never works for me.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I don't think I can add to what Dora, Angie, and Jennifer have said. I've been blessed with forming awesome friendships through CCW, and would encourage anyone thinking of joining a local group to do so--ASAP!

    1. ASAP! Love that, coffee buddy. :-)

      I might add that there are more writers groups out there than just ACFW. Romance Writers of America offers local chapters, and if romance isn't your genre, you can still find many other organizations to join.

      Thanks for popping in, Sandy.

  5. I've been blessed with local crit partners, and we've been meeting for years. But I recently jumped in and joined the Northwest Christian Writers Association. I didn't get involved for a long time because of the location and drive. But carpooling with one of my crit partners has made the trip fly by. It's always great to mingle and share with other writers.

    1. Hey, Dawn. You're so blessed to have crit partners nearby. We struggle with that same distance issue in CCW because we serve both Carolinas. Our members live as far as Raleigh, extend to the Columbia area, and stretch to the coast, so it was difficult to find an ideal location. The fire station isn't perfect, but it's close to the interstate that runs through both states. I can see how sharing the journey makes it even more fun!

      Thanks for popping in, Dawn. :-)

  6. Hi Dora, what a wonderful reminder on how much support and networking is out there for writers. And congrats on your latest release! Keep 'em coming.

    1. Plan to. You, too, Cali friend. :-)

      You're rocking with releases. Can't keep up with yours. Love the covers for MIDNIGHT BRIDE and CHRISTMAS FOR RANSOM!

    2. Christmas for Ransom? That sounds intriguing, Tanya.


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