Thursday, April 29, 2010

Promoting RWA PRO Writers

I've been a PRO writer with the RWA for over a year now. I could have applied for this status about four years ago, but I didn't go for it till 2009. I'm glad I did because it opened up a world of opportunities for me as a writer.

Some of you might be wondering what the heck a PRO is so I'll give you a quick rundown.

*PRO writers with the RWA have finished at least one manuscript and queried the manuscript to accredited agents/editors of publishing house only to be rejected. After they are rejected, they fill out an application with the RWA (found on the website), send in proof of their completed manuscript and a copy of their rejection, and they are approved PRO by the RWA.

*When a writer in the RWA becomes a PRO, she/he is privy to all kinds of business information because they want to do more than write, they want to and are seeking publication. The RWA PRO organization has classes, Yahoo loop, a special retreat at the conference where editors and agents share more about the industry, and access to PRO materials through the RWA including a newsletter.

*A PRO writer's greatest ambition is to progress from PRO to PAN because a writer who becomes a PAN is a PUBLISHED writer. Woohoo!

*Becoming PRO doesn't mean a writer will suddenly become more eligible to become published, but if the writer utilizes the information and continues to actively learn and grow as a writer within this umbrella of writers, she/he has a better chance of becoming PAN.

*PRO writers can be PROs for years despite their best efforts or they can become PAN very quickly. The business is capricious so there are no guarantees.

If you are a PRO, what are the perks and pitfalls of being a PRO?

If you are not a PRO, why not?

If you have a finished manuscript, have you tried to query and sell it? If not, why not?

If you have tried to sell a manuscript to an accredited editor/agent, have you taken the next step in your career and applied for PRO? If you haven't, I highly recommend you go for it!

I'll be focusing a lot on PRO writing for a few days because I want to take this to another level. I'm considering a Q&A blog to recur where I will interview my fellow PRO writers and give them an opportunity to share their work on my blog. I feel the more traffic we can generate toward our writing, the better.

Stay tuned!


JustineDell said...

Whoop! I'm a Pro member!!! I haven't figured out all the bells and whistles of it yet, but I'm proud to be one. Can't wait to read more post on it.


Christine said...

Justine: That's great. There are so many resources available to PROs. The best one is the PRO Retreat at the National Conference. Are you attending the conference this year?

How long have you been PRO?

Ann said...

I am not eligible for membership, but I am delighted such a thing exists.

Christine said...

Ann, I'm glad the organization exists as well!

Gwen Hernandez said...

PRO has been a huge boost to my learning curve, and it also makes me "feel" more like a professional writer. Just like we want our kids surrounded by friends who push them in good directions, writers need that same kind of community of friends who are actively working to further their careers.

Plus, access to the PRO loop, the bi-monthly online bootcamps, and the PRO retreat don't hurt either.

marthawarner said...

I agree. PRO is one the best things I've ever done with my writing career. It has introduced me to new people (*ahem* like you & Gwen) and driven me to do my best.

The feedback and support that can only be given by those who have a mile in your shoes, so to speak, is invaluable.

Great post, Christine!

Christine said...

Gwen: I'm glad I'm a member of PRO. I missed out on one of the bootcamps (not sure where I was at that point--probably bogged down in my ongoing revision LOL). I think I'd like to feature a PRO per week to talk about the expectations, pitfalls and highlights of being a PRO. Plus I'd like to help PROmote our current works in progress on the blog.

Christine said...

Martha: I love all the new contacts I've made via the PRO loop. This experience has been invaluable to me as a writer.

And I can't wait to meet my new friends in person!

Wendy Marcus said...

I'm a PRO, but only since November. I didn't want to bother with the hassle of sending in a completed manuscript, so I waited until I entered the Golden Heart and then forwarded the other documentation RWA needed to approve me.(See how I got around saying rejection letters!)

I like being PRO because I have learned so much on the PRO loop. I really think being PRO has helped me take my writing to the next level.

Christine said...

Hi Wendy: I waited four years before I applied for PRO. I wish I had applied a LOT sooner. But maybe I would have been overwhelmed by the information on the loops as a newbie. So I try not to bang myself over the head for waiting :-)