We encourage everyone in the publishing industry to belong to two professional organizations. The first is a large, general, career-building association such as NAIWE, and the second is a smaller craft- or genre-focused association that will help develop additional skills in the minutiae of your craft.
Each type of association offers different benefits, and the individual can benefit from both!
A large association can offer a wider perspective of a discussion topic with more people able to chime in from a variety of physical locations. The association can also offer training on topics with speakers you wouldn’t otherwise be able to learn from. Larger associations sometimes offer conferences as well, so take advantage of your ability to meet those speakers and network with your colleagues!
A smaller craft- or genre-focused association will have training that goes into a lot more detail on a given topic. Writers who write primarily in one genre, for example, may benefit from joining a genre-focused association in conjunction with a larger association such as NAIWE.
April Michelle Davis has been the executive director of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) since 2018. Prior to that, she was NAIWE’s Social Media Marketing Expert. NAIWE is an association that focuses on career building for writers, editors, and other professionals in the publishing industry by developing multiple streams of income; it helps its members market their products and services through social media, newsletters, and more.
She is also the coordinator for the Virginia chapter of the Editorial Freelancers Association, a lifetime member of the American Copy Editors Society, and a freelance editor, indexer, proofreader, and author. April Michelle has taught courses through her own company, Editorial Inspirations, as well as for associations and colleges on topics such as editing, indexing, grammar, writing, and creating macros.
Her credentials include a master’s degree in publishing from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Messiah College, as well as certificates in editing (University of Virginia), book publishing (University of Virginia), and professional editing (EEI Communications).
April Michelle has shared her insights about her career development by contributing quotes and vignettes to several books. She has presented sessions on various editorial topics to many groups, including the Virginia Writers Club, the Communication Central conference, Randolph-Macon College, the Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, the EFA, Copyediting newsletter, RavenCon, and the Hanover Book Festival. In addition, April Michelle has published three books.