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I am putting these here for your consideration — while I am a member of the RWA at the moment, and I used to be a member of Sisters in Crime and the WCDR, the others are ones I thought you may be interested in.
Canadian Authors Association – “are a membership-based organization for writers in all areas of the profession—aspiring, emerging and professional—in every genre and across all writing-related professions. As a not-for-profit national arts service organization, much of what we do benefits all writers, whether they are members or are affiliated with us as partners or through other writing groups.”
Writers’ Union of Canada – “The Writers’ Union of Canada is the national organization of professional writers of books. Now 2,000 members strong, the Union was founded 40 years ago to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers.”
Sisters in Crime — for crime writers (was originally for women because there was originally so few women crime writers and many of the bigger groups were not receptive of female writers, but men can join too.) you can join as a member at large as part of the main organization, or if you want to go to an actual physical meeting, there is a chapter in Toronto group.
Novelists, Inc. (NINC) – for published authors — to join you must prove you have two contracts with an established publisher and have received a minimum of $2,000 advance per contract, or if you’re self published, you must prove you have published two books and have earned a minimum of $5,000 within a twelve month period for each book. (US based)
Romance Writers of America — national organization of romance writers. They accept beginning writers as well as published authors. There are various levels such as PRO (you have to prove you have submitted a work to an agent or editor, or finished a manuscript) and PAN (Published Authors Network — you have to prove you have earned $1,000 within a twelve month period from a published work) — you need to check with the organization regularly as they change their standards every year. They have numerous online subchapters and online forums where you can exchange information and take courses from established authors or editors. They also have a huge conference every year (as in over 2500 registrants) where you can attend writing and research workshops as well as listen to keynote speakers, pitch sessions with agents and editors, and generally soak up all things writing. Registration is $100 US annually.
There is a terrific group of extremely supportive romance writers in the Toronto region — to be a member of the Toronto Romance Writers, you must be a member of the RWA main group, and then pay an additional $50 (Cdn) to the TRW annually. They meet monthly — every second Saturday of the month at 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (check their website for the locations as it varies from month to month.) I learned far more from this group than I had online — 18 months after I joined them, I received my first contract.
Writers’ Circle of Durham Region — $50 annual membership plus $20 per meeting. When I was a member, I found they tend to lean heavily to literary fiction, poetry and memoirs. But they run a writers’ conference every year, and a Bookapalooza event in November that you might be interested in.