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Ten Tips for Finding Your Writing Tribe

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As writer, especially one just beginning the journey, it is important to find your tribe.

If you leave your writer cave and venture out, there are several places you can go to meet like minds.

1. Book events in your community such as literary festivals, book sales, and author's luncheons.

Printers Row Literary Festival in Chicago, Illinois.

The Augusta Literary Festival, Augusta, GA.

The Tucson Festival of Books, University of Arizona campus, Tucson, Arizona.

Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, Virginia,

North Texas Book Festival, Denton, Texas. 

Word of South Festival of Literature and Music in Tallahassee, Florida. 

SC Book Festival at theColumbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, South Carolina. 

2. Local books stores have author events and sometimes have notice boards for people looking for critique partners.

3. Local writing classes and workshops are great places to find your tribe.

4. If you have the means, don't be afraid to travel to workshops. You may even meet someone from your locale. I did.

Writers in Paradise conference in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Love Is Murder Mystery Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

MWA-U 2.0, Mystery Writers of America, Boston, Massachusettes.

The Writers' Police Academy is one of the best mystery and thriller writer hands-on workshops in the country.

Midwest Writers Workshop in Muncie Indiana

Sleuthfest annual conference for mystery, suspense, and thriller writers, Deerfield Beach, Florida. 

Left Coast Crime's annual mystery convention in different locations each year.

Indie ReCon, online conference for independent authors & publishers.

5. Libraries often have classes or community writing events. They may have a notice board where writers post ads looking for critique partners.

6. Check out local colleges. You don't have to take classes there, but they may have other budding authors looking for their tribe.

If you prefer to stay in your jammies, you can look for your tribe online.

7. Join social media groups for your genre or writing in general. Interact, don't just observe. There are pages for all of the main genres on Facebook. Many have their own websites you can follow.

On Facebook there are open and closed groups. You can ask to be added to a closed group. None of these sites like to be spammed with book promotions. Join the community, interact, and make connections. You can find hundreds of local, national, and subgenre groups using the Search function on Facebook. Your Facebook avatar should be a photo of you or your book, not blank.

Do not post your work in progress on groups that are not designed for critiquing. Unsolicited pleas for input are a huge turnoff in writing communities.

Build a reputation as someone who is helpful and supportive. Don't give in to the urge to criticize or deride other authors, no matter how much you dislike their work.

Romance Writers of America

Mystery Writers of America

International Thriller Writers

Horror Writers Association

Historical Novel Society

Fantasy Writers

8. Take online workshops. You are often assigned to a critique group.

Gotham Online Writing Workshops

Writer's Digest Online Writing Workshops (they often do local workshops as well).

Ten Universities offering online writing workshops such as MIT and Purdue.

Stanford University

The Crafty Writer

9. Post your work in online critique forums. You may meet other writers in your genre who are interested in finding critique partners.

10. Fan fiction sites are a place to meet other writers who share your passion.

Here are links to more resources on how to find your tribe:

The Write Life: 40 Places to Find a Critique Partner

Writer's Digest: Find the Right Online Critique Group

Inked Voices: a source for small, private writing groups

Jane Friedman: How to Find the Right Critique Group

Writing World: a critique and discussion group

Jodie Renner has complied a list of workshops and festivals for 2015 and 2016.

Whether virtual or in person, there is nothing more exciting than finding your tribe to keep you motivated, improve your skills, and grow your audience when you have a book to promote.

Join Story Building Blocks on Facebook  and Pinterest for more tips and tricks.

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