organizations for special markets and purposes
I support the following organizations (which are listed in no particular order) and have often found them to be very beneficial in staying abreast of changes that might affect their associated audiences. In fact, I religiously follow and regularly consult nearly all of them—evolution waits for no one!
As with my list of writing and editing organizations, I’ve indicated how these resources help me and how they might help you. Let me know what you think about my selections . . .
Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators
SCBWI is the membership organization for anyone who is serious about working in the children’s or young adult markets—writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers, and others (if you can name any others). SCBWI has regional networking chapters, online discussion boards, a variety of digital workshops and podcasts, an extensive list of award and prize links, and numerous news and research links.
Association for Middle Level Education
Publications and special reports and studies from AMLE (formerly NMSA: The National Middle School Association) enable writers for this market to stay abreast of teaching methods, reading reforms, and current trends in the world of young adult students. The group’s blog posts, podcasts, and very informative “Browse by Topic” resources are publicly available.
International Literacy Association
Formerly the International Reading Association, ILA has explored the relationship between reading and writing and the urgency of promoting literacy and continuous learning to develop an individual’s potential since the 1950s. With current membership in 146 countries, ILA now stives to set the standard for how literacy is defined, taught, and evaluated. The site hosts a variety of reading lists, a blog, and other resources.
National Council for History Education
NCHE promotes the ideal that history, and historical thinking, develops a unique capacity to comprehend human situations, challenges, and interactions; introduces students to the wonders of the past; and fosters the ability to make judgments about the present and future. Even if history is not your passion, this group’s ideas reach far into the teaching realm. Their updated online presence includes a growing blog and a series of “History Matters” video conversations.
American Association for State and Local History
Perhaps more familiar by its acronym, AASLH, this century-old organization helps us realize that history teaches critical analysis, contextual understanding, and perspective—all to encourage meaningful engagement with concepts like continuity, change, and evolution, as well as the interpretion and communication of complex ideas. Three years of History News and decades of the group’s well-known and popular Technical Leaflets are among their online resources.
A Writer of History
Author Mary Tod, who writes under the pseudonym M. K. Tod, shares my passions for historical fiction and social history. While researching and writing, she also maintains this wonderful blog about all aspects of historical fiction—interviews with top authors, as well as debut authors; guest posts on a variety of relevant topics; results of reader surveys; and her own personal thoughts about reading, researching, and writing historical fiction. In addition to this information, Tod also lists (in a sidebar) links to her own favorite history, historical fiction, and writing resources.
American Alliance of Museums
AAM represents the entire scope of museums and museum professionals—including directors, curators, registrars, educators, designers, public relations personnel, development officers, security managers, and trustees—as well as museum volunteers, all across the United States. Industry news, results of audience and visitor studies, information about special writing needs, and developments in museums and the museum field make this group valuable to interested persons. Free resources include access to the Alliance Blog, a collection of research summaries and reports, and some unlocked articles from Museum magazine.
Association of Children’s Museums
With more than 460 individual members in 50 states and 19 countries, ACM (once the Association of Youth Museums) focuses more on teaching and educating than “museuming” to serve the needs and interests of children by urging the creation of exhibits and programs that stimulate curiosity and motivate lifelong learning. The group’s most valuable public assets are its blog, The Run Around, and its active Facebook page.
Association of American Publishers
AAP has evolved since its merger with the Association of Educational Publishers (formerly the Educational Press Association of North America) to support the educational publishing industry and lead a move toward digital learning resources—e-books, audiobooks, interactive courseware, and apps—and away from print materials. Statistics and news releases can be helpful, depending on your writing segment.
Association of Publishers for Special Sales
In spite of its outdated website, APSS (formerly SPAN: The Small Publishers Association of North America) works with members to supplement traditional book marketing methods by providing strategies, examples, tips, and tactics for “special sales” marketing: sales in gift shops, through catalogs, and at seminars, libraries, and gatherings, along with other locales outside the typical bookstore. APSS is still a sponsor of the Book Selling University, an online collection of informative classes and programs, and continues a public blog that is, unfortunately, too often self-promoting.
Writers and Publishers Network
Formerly the Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network (SPAWN), WPN focuses on the needs of independent authors, freelance writers, and small publishers, along with book marketers and those offering publishing services, such as cover design, interior layout, and related arts, in the digital age of publishing. Most of the network’s resources—including numerous articles on writing, marketing, and publishing—are available to nonmembers.
International Screenwriters’ Association
The ISA provides advice, mentors, classes, contests, feedback, and more to help writers get the attention of producers, directors, agents and other pros in the filmmaking industry. An assortment of podcasts, a few tips and tricks videos, and a list of writers in their development slate provide insights into this avenue of publishing.
Most of InkTip’s features are not accessible for free—it truly is “Where everyone goes for scripts and writers,” as their trademarked logline reveals; however, visitors to their website can access a list of articles related to scripts and screenwriting, links to film festivals, contests and competitions, and more; these are currently posted under the website’s “Networking” menu. InkTip’s free e-newsletter for writers contains leads/scripts requests, news and articles, festival and contest information, and special offers.
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter
If genealogy or personal history is your market, you’ve no doubt already heard of Dick Eastman. Eastman has been a part of the genealogy world for more than 35 years and has written an e-newsletter or blog on genealogy for most of them. In addition to tips on researching genealogy and ancestry, his current blog also discusses, among other topics, relevant books, television programs, and films; history and photographic archives; and grammar and spelling changes over the years. Eastman’s free e-newsletter contains links to much of the updated content on his website and some pertinent advertising.
If you are looking more for general writing or editing organizations or for other resources that might help you, remember to check this other list . . .
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