Network News: North West, one member’s resolutions

A delightful email dropped into my inbox the other day. It was the information form Steph Williams, our local network coordinator about forthcoming network events.
There are some great offerings this year:
• A critique group meeting once a month in Manchester
• A Scrawcrawl in the spring
• A meeting with the professionals in the summer

We’re also looking at a writer’s retreat - perhaps just a day long. There will also no doubt be a couple of sociable gatherings where we just get together to talk about writing in general and our feelings of success and / or failure.

 But what has this to do with resolutions? Well I’ve kept my first and everything is in the diary. Here’s my list:
1. Get network meetings in the diary quickly. Hooray. ‘Tis done.
2. Have something ready for the critique sessions.
3. Network.
4. Do something scary and proactive every day. Okay I’ve cheated here and this is from my more general list but the point is that being a proactive network member makes this easier – go on, talk to that agent, or ask the events manager about that book signing whilst you happen to be in town for the critique group or tell your network friends you are going to submit that typescript next week – then you’ll have to!
5. Value your network friends.

Are you a writer? Do you write?                              Then you are a writer. 

But there are other things a writer does. One writerly behaviour is connecting with other writers and this is where our networks really come into their own.

I am published now, and have been for some time, but I still enjoy talking to other writers, sharing their success and keeping my finger on the pulse about what’s happening in the industry.

Resolution 3 is “network”. We’re probably all used to this through social networking and it’s true that if you keep your eyes open and really connect with like-minded people you can get many leads. But as writing can be such a lonely occupation it’s also good to meet people in the real world. Be nice to people. Make friends. Your local network gives you that opportunity.

 Gill James has been a SCBWI BI member since 2002 and belongs to the North-West network. She was pleased to attend the conference this year ... and managed to win a critique of a YA novel.   

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