I support the following organizations (which are listed in no particular order) and have often found them to be helpful; as with my list of writing and editing organizations, I’ve indicated how they help me and how they might help you. Let me know what you think about my selections . . .
- SCBWI: The 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, and numerous news and research links.
- Assn for Middle Level Education Publications and special reports and studies from AMLE (formerly NMSA: The National Middle School Assn) enable writers for this market to stay abreast of teaching methods, reading reforms, and current trends in the world of young adult students.
- International Reading Assn Since the 1950s, the IRA has been “dedicated to promoting high levels of literacy for all by improving the quality of reading instruction, disseminating research and information about reading, [and] encouraging the lifetime reading habit.” After all, if you write, you need readers! “No matter what your professional context, IRA has a professional publication [and research] to match your needs and interests.”
- National Council for History Education Good old-fashioned quality education seems to be growing scarce! Thanks to the NCHE and its History Matters as well as the group’s annual conferences, I feel the war is not yet totally lost. Even if history is not your passion, this group’s ideas will inspire you to keep the faith and keep hoping for a return to the basics.
- Assn of Personal Historians “The many members of [APH] . . . care deeply about helping others preserve their personal and family histories[,] stories [that] can provide a link with the past for future generations—a priceless gift for loved ones that will be treasured beyond material goods.”
- AASLH: American Assn for State and Local History “Knowing where you have come from is important in forming an idea of where you want to go.” Perhaps more familiar as its acronym, AASLH, this organization releases interesting, timely, and accurate information in the field of social history so we have the information we need to use those words from Alexander Stille.
- American Assn of Museums AAM is the only organization representing the entire scope of museums and [the] professionals and nonpaid staff who work for and with museums. AAM currently represents more than 21,000 members . . . including directors, curators, registrars, educators, exhibit designers, public relations officers, development officers, security managers, trustees[,] and volunteers.” 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.
- Small Museum Assn SMA’s mission is to “develop and maintain a peer network among people who work for small museums, giving them opportunities to learn, share knowledge and support one another, so that they, in turn, can better serve their institutions, communities[,] and profession.” The SMA holds a national conference each year for the purpose of meeting and sharing face to face.
- Assn of Children’s Museums Once the Association of Youth Museums, ACM promotes the role and value of children’s museums and the importance of museum education through “exhibits and programs that stimulate curiosity and motivate learning.”
- Assn of Educational Publishers Formerly known as the Educational Press Association of North America (founded in 1895), AEP is now part of the school division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP). The group supports the international growth of educational publishing by (among other things) “strengthening the educational publishing community through opportunities for collaboration, interaction[,] and communication within the industry and beyond [and by] providing research, information[,] and analysis to the industry.”
- Assn of Publishers for Special Sales The membership of the APSS (formerly SPAN: The Small Publishers Assn of North America) has recently undergone a change in mission and is now striving to “make your books available where your potential readers shop (bookstores, gift shops, catalogs), gather (seminars, libraries, associations) or work . . . [by giving] you strategies, examples, help, tips[,] and tactics for making special-sales marketing.” Note that I have no experience with this new mission, but as SPAN the group was terrific.
- Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network SPAWN “provides information, resources[,] and opportunities for everyone involved in or interested in publishing, whether you are an author, freelance writer, artist[,] or [publisher].”
If you are looking more for general writing or editing organizations that might help you, check this list . . .
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