7 Professional Organizations Devoted to Writing

Being a member of a professional organization, such as TESOL, gives me a variety of opportunities for professional development. Annual conventions, online workshops and programs, publications, and communicating with the TESOL community through listservs—all of these can be valuable resources for someone who wants to enjoy the benefits of being part of a professional community.

Having second language writing as part of my academic interests, I am particularly grateful for the TESOL Second Language Writing Interest Section (SLWIS), which is open to those interested in any aspect of the field of second language writing.

In my today’s post, I’d like to mention other professional associations that are devoted to writing.

1. Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP)

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs “provides support, advocacy, resources, and community to nearly 50,000 writers, 550 college and university creative writing programs, and 150 writers’ conferences and centers.” The AWP’s goals are “to foster literary achievement, advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, and serve the makers, teachers, students, and readers of contemporary writing.” The organization supports its members by providing opportunities for networking, publishing, and exchanging ideas on various topics related to writing.

2. European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing (EATAW)

The European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing is a forum for those interested in the development of academic writing across Europe, including teaching, tutoring, research, and administration. The membership is free, and anyone—not only from Europe but also from all over the world—can join. The major goals of the EATAW, as defined on their website, include “connecting teachers and scholars of academic writing through conferences and other means; raising awareness of the importance of teaching academic writing; developing European scholarship in academic writing, and initiating projects to exchange experience and know-how about academic writing teaching.”

3. International Writing Centers Association (IWCA)

Founded in 1983, the International Writing Centers Association “fosters the development of writing center directors, tutors, and staff by sponsoring meetings, publications, and other professional activities; by encouraging scholarship connected to writing center-related fields; and by providing an international forum for writing center concerns.”

4. National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE)

Founded in 2007, the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors welcomes writers and editors who make a living from their work. Members include writing teachers, copywriters and copyeditors, proofreaders, business writers and editors, fiction editors, academic writing evaluators, and other specialists. The ultimate goal of the organization, as defined in its mission statement, is “to help freelance writers and editors earn a living with words.”

5. National Association of Science Writers

The National Association of Science Writers was founded in 1955, and its goal is to “foster the dissemination of accurate information regarding science through all media normally devoted to informing the public.” The membership includes students, science writers, and editors.

6. National Association of Writers’ Groups

The National Association of Writers’ Groups is a UK organization, but it welcomes creative writers not only from across the United Kingdom, but also from other countries. To support its members, the organization offers numerous professional and social opportunities, including writing festivals, competitions, workshops, and tutorials.

7. Society for Technical Communication (STC)

The Society for Technical Communication is concerned with developing the field of technical communication and supporting its members in their professional endeavors. Members are provided with opportunities for continuing education and advancement in the workforce. To accommodate the needs of the diverse membership, STC also offers a variety of interest sections in which members support each other and share similar ideas related to technical communication.

About Elena Shvidko

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko is an assistant professor at Utah State University. She received her doctorate in second language studies from Purdue University and her master’s degree in TESOL from Brigham Young University. Her work appears in TESOL Journal, System, Journal on Response to Writing, TESOL interest section newsletters, and TESOL's New Ways series. Her research interests include second language writing, multimodal interaction, interpersonal aspects of language teaching, and teacher professional development.
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