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Writing is a solitary profession, but you can get engaged in a writing community to find the feedback and encouragement you need from colleagues. Actively participating in a community—whether organized by genre or region, in-person or online— can benefit both your craft and your career. This discussion will provide guidance on how to find a writing group, how to identify a workshop that will be worth your time, how to manage the obligations of literary citizenship, and more. We’ll hear from five authors who manage or are actively involved in local and regional writers groups.

Special thanks to Broadleaf Writers AssociationThe Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning, and the Institute of American Indian Arts for collaborating with the Authors Guild Foundation on this panel. Additional thanks to James River Writers and the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative for offering guest speakers.


Deborah Taffa is the director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Winner of the PEN Jean Stein Grant, her memoir Whiskey Tender is forthcoming from HarperCollins Harper in 2023. A MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Tin House, and Kranzberg fellow, she’s from the Quechan Nation and Laguna Pueblo, and earned her nonfiction MFA in Iowa City, IA. 

Claudia Love Mair is the author of 11 books. She’s the coordinator of the Carnegie Center’s Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative, a free learning initiative designed to elevate and celebrate Kentucky Black voices at every level. Claudia lives and works in Lexington, Kentucky.

Sarah Glenn Marsh is the author of several young adult novels including the Reign of the Fallen series and children’s picture books including Ninita’s Big World (an Amazon Best Book of 2019) and the Junior Library Guild–selected Dragon Bones: The Fantastic Fossil Discoveries of Mary Anning. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and menagerie of rescue pets both furry and feathered. 

Julian Winters is the author of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award-winning Running With Lions; the Junior Library Guild Selections How to Be Remy Cameron and The Summer of Everything; and Right Where I Left You. A self-proclaimed comic book geek, Julian currently lives outside of Atlanta, where he can be found reading or watching the only two sports he can follow—volleyball and soccer.

Moderator Zachary Steele, founder and executive director of Broadleaf Writers Association, is the author of three novels, including his latest, The Weight of Ashes. He was nominated for the Sidewise Award for Alternate Fiction and has been featured in the Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionPublisher’s WeeklyWriter’s MagazineShelf Awareness,and City Lights with Lois Reitzes on NPR. Currently, he is hard at work on Jude, due out in 2023, as well as the first book in his upcoming fantasy series, The Fallen Hero.


With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Penguin Random House, and our donors, the Authors Guild Foundation is pleased to make Business Bootcamps for Writers free and open to the public.

Several writers organizations have partnered with the Authors Guild Foundation to help shape these programs. Our deepest appreciation to these organizations.