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National Association of Independent Writers and Editors
From their website: "NAIWE is a professional association for writers, editors, and you-- if you work with words. We exist to help members succeed, and our unique focus on creating multiple streams of writing income can make it happen. We are open to members in any country.
We believe in writers who cross borders, blur boundaries, and do what it takes to earn a living as a writer. We'll cheer you on when your first novel hits the shelves, or the first printing of your business book sells out. We'll support you as you add new skills to your repertoire and learn to make a great living doing what you do best.
We believe in editors who love the rhythm and cadence of the language, and are committed to polishing even the humblest prose to its highest luster."
National Association of Science Writers
From their website: "In 1934, a dozen pioneering science reporters established the National Association of Science Writers at a meeting in New York. They wanted a forum in which to join forces to improve their craft and encourage conditions that promote good science writing.
The association was formally incorporated in 1955 with a charter to "foster the dissemination of accurate information regarding science through all media normally devoted to informing the public.
Over the years, its officers have included both freelancers and employees of most of the major newspapers, wire services, magazines, and broadcast outlets in the country."
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
From their website: "The National Society of Newspaper Columnists was founded in 1977 and exists to promote professionalism and camaraderie among North American newspaper columnists. Membership is open to general interest, humor, op-ed, online, or other newspaper columnists. Academics and student columnists also are eligible to join. The annual conference is NSNC's primary event."
National Writers Association
From their website: "The National Writers Association Foundation exists to enhance the future of writers by fostering continuing education through awarding scholarships and providing no or low cost workshops and seminars. A non-profit organization, we provide education and an ethical resource for writers at all levels of experience."
National Writers Union
From their website: "The National Writers Union UAW Local 1981 is the only labor union that represents freelance writers.
Now, more than ever, with the consolidation of power into the hands of ever-larger corporate entities and with the advent of technologies that facilitate the exploitation of a writer’s work, writers need an organization with the clout and know-how to protect our interests. One that will forge new rules for a new era.
Combining the strength of more than 1,200 members in our 13 chapters with the support of the United Automobile Workers, the NWU works to advance the economic and working conditions of all writers. Our members also directly benefit from the many valuable services the Union offers—including grievance assistance, contract advice, and much more—while actively contributing to a growing movement of professional freelancers who have banded together to assert their collective power."
Native American Journalists Association
From their website: "The Native American Journalists Association serves and empowers Native journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures.
NAJA recognizes Native Americans as distinct peoples based on tradition and culture. In this spirit, NAJA educates and unifies its membership through journalism programs that promote diversity and defends challenges to free press, speech and expression. NAJA is committed to increase the representation of Native journalists in mainstream media. NAJA encourages both mainstream and tribal media to attain the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and responsibility."
From their website: "To give playwrights time and space in the company of gifted peers to create work, realize their artistic potential, and make lasting contributions to the theatre."
From their website: "Ninc is the only writers organization devoted exclusively to the needs of multi-published novelists. Whether a two-book author or a 102-book author, if you're serious about your career, Ninc is your lifeline."
Outdoor Writers Association of America
From their website: "The mission of Outdoor Writers Association of America is to improve the professional skills of our members, set the highest ethical and communications standards, encourage public enjoyment and conservation of natural resources, and be mentors for the next generation of professional outdoor communicators."
PEN American Center
From their website: "PEN is the voice of cultures truthfully addressing one another rather than governments or armies in confrontation. The object is not to win something, but to illuminate something." —Arthur Miller
"PEN American Center is the U.S. branch of the world’s oldest international 'literary and human rights organization. International PEN was founded in 1921 in direct response to the ethnic and national divisions that contributed to the First World War. PEN American Center was founded in 1922 and is the largest of the 144 PEN centers in 101 countries that together compose International PEN.
Throughout its 90-year history, PEN American Center has remained a writer-centered organization in which members play a leading role. PEN presidents, such as Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Susan Sontag, and Salman Rushdie have, and continue to place themselves at the forefront of the struggle to oppose censorship and defend writers."
Poets & Writers, Inc.
From their website: "Poets & Writers, Inc., is the primary source of information, support, and guidance for creative writers. Founded in 1970, it is the nation's largest nonprofit literary organization serving poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Our national office is located in New York City. Our California branch office is based in Los Angeles."
Poetry Society of America
From their website: "The Poetry Society of America, the nation's oldest poetry organization, was founded in 1910 for the purpose of creating a public forum for the advancement, enjoyment, and understanding of poetry. Through a diverse array of programs, initiatives, contests, and awards, the Poetry Society of America works to build a larger audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the art, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life."
Romance Writers of America
From their website: "Romance Writers of America® (RWA) was chartered in 1981 to serve as a nonprofit trade association for romance writers.
The mission of Romance Writers of America is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. RWA works to support the efforts of its members to earn a living, to make a full-time career out of writing romance—or a part-time one that generously supplements his/her main income.
More than 10,000 romance writers and related industry professionals are members of Romance Writers of America. Although the association is called Romance Writers of America, membership is not limited to individuals living in the United States. Approximately 900 RWA members live outside the U.S., and RWA fosters connections between its members through the RWA website, www.rwanational.org, and its 145 local, online, and special-interest chapters. RWA's chapters provide opportunities for members to come together to discuss the industry and build connections with fellow romance writers."
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Bluedolphin Crow is the writer for BellaOnline's Nonfiction Writing Site. Why not circle her on Google+?