Those of us who live in the Midwest have a little secret: The Midwest is awesome. We have the Great Lakes, bustling cities, and stunning rural landscapes. We enjoy four beautiful seasons—sometimes all in the same day. And of course, we have the best food and nicest people. (Okay, I’ll admit that as a Midwest native, I’m a bit biased.) We also have vibrant writing, editing, and publishing communities that are supported by a variety of professional associations and organizations, several of which are listed below. I have also included a few Chicago- and Illinois-specific groups for my fellow Illinoisans.
Midwest Writing, Editing, and Publishing Groups
Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers connects writers, editors, and other professional communicators who are interested in conservation and traditional outdoor activities including hunting and fishing.
Midwest Automotive Media Association connects automotive journalists and media-relations professionals through its luncheon program and other auto industry events. It also hosts car rallies in the spring and fall.
Midwest Independent Publishers Association provides information and peer recognition for authors and independent publishing professionals in the upper-Midwest.
Midwest Travel Writers Association focuses on travel journalism including traditional guidebooks and magazine articles, as well as interactive media such as travel blogs, mobile apps, and social networking.
Midwest Writers Association offers networking opportunities and educational events for professional, nonfiction writers.
Midwest Writing Centers Association promotes collaboration between academic writing centers throughout the Midwest.
Society of Midland Authors promotes literature by connecting traditionally published Midwestern authors and playwrights. The Society also hosts public literary events.
Chicago and Illinois Writing, Editing, and Publishing Groups
Chicago Women in Publishing is an organization for women—and men—who work in all aspects of publishing including traditional publishing, self-publishing, and corporate communication. Although its core activities occur in Chicago, it also offers suburban networking opportunities.*
Editorial Freelancers Association is an international professional association for freelance copy editors, proofreaders, developmental editors, and indexers. It has local chapters throughout the United States, including Chicago. The Chicago chapter hosts periodic in-person meetings; participates in networking events with other related organizations; and represents the home association at publishing events, such as the Printers Row Lit Fest.
Independent Writers of Chicago says that it is the largest organization for freelance writers in the Midwest. It holds informative meetings for members, and its website helps clients find freelancers.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list. If you know of other Midwest writing, editing, or publishing groups, please don’t keep them a secret! Tell me about them in the comment section below or send me a private message. I will be happy to update this blog post as needed.
And remember, the Midwest is the best! (Okay, there’s my biased again…)
*I am a member of the Chicago Women in Publishing and the Editorial Freelancers Association.