The Writers Guild of Western North Carolina has been around since the mid-1980s, beginning as a chapter of the Romance Writers of America under the leadership of Yvonne Lehman and Mary Hooper, members of the national RWA. Newspaper ads produced a good turnout of local writers, not all romance-oriented, and the group welcomed writers of other genres and, as Mary recalls, “Eventually it was obvious that romance wasn’t the biggest interest, so we altered course and became a support group for all writers.” The focus centered on publication and marketing, rather than on critiquing. “Those who were published shared their knowledge, we exchanged information onpublishing opportunities and contacts and, in general, did all we could to encourage each other in the step beyond writing–publication.”

In early 1988 the group became the Writers’ Guild of Western North Carolina. Attendance varies but generally numbers between five and fifteen. As publication strategies and marketing means have changed, we now tend to talk much about electronics, social networking, choosing the best ways of getting published and getting bought.

Among the membership, we can count more than fifty published books as well as numerous magazine, journal, and newspaper articles. Our genres run the gamut: chick lit, paranormal, historical, short stories, humor, travel, memoir, travel, cookbooks, romance, mainstream fiction and non-fiction.