G is for GSHW

What is the GSHW, you may ask. (I didn’t say you had to; I said you may.)

GSHW stands for Garden State Horror Writers, but it’s not exclusively a collection of horror writers. Historically, it started as a branch of the RWA, and it currently classifies itself as a multi-genre writers’ group, open to anyone who wants to write. Now, I don’t live in the Garden State, so why did I join?

Initially, I joined because my friend Ed is a member, and he kept urging me to come to meetings. I was impressed by the people they got in to talk to the group — Elizabeth Bear, John Joseph Adams, Ellen Datlow, Gregory Frost, and more. Tomorrow’s meeting will feature Jonathan Maberry.

It made sense to join a writers’ group because I would be exposed to new ideas, make new friends, and see facets of the industry that I won’t while sitting at my computer (no matter how many blogs I read). I don’t make it to all the meetings — less than half, in fact, with family and other commitments — but I enjoy the ones I get to, just as I enjoy hanging out and talking to people at the diner afterward. For the meetings I miss, there’s often a recording available so I can hear the talk (teasers available at the Website if you want to check them out), which is nice. Additionally, the Yahoo Group is full of supportive people talking about successes, trials, and what’s going on in the business.

I get a lot for my membership, even with as few meetings as I get to, and I really appreciate the GSHW. I encourage others to check them out, or find a writing group closer to home that may offer the same sorts of things.