Membership Organizations Provide Support, Learning, and Networking

A great way to keep up with the trends in memoir writing and stay up with new and established methods is to join a membership organization. They have all kinds of free information and you can interact with memoir writers who have been where you are or who are moving along at your pace. Membership can get your memoir-writing juices flowing.

Check with your library for the name and contact information of a writers’ group nearest you.

The following organizations have members throughout the world. Membership fees are annually and in U.S. dollars.

Association of Personal Historians (APH)
Purpose - Advance the profession of helping individuals, organizations, and communities preserve their histories, memories, and life stories.
Services - Educational, training, and networking opportunities to help professional personal historians, from beginners to advanced, build their personal history businesses, member web directory, regional events, annual conference, APH store.
Membership - $200. Open to any interested in personal history writing.

Biographers International Organization (BIO)
Purpose - Represent the everyday interests of practicing biographers: those who have published the stories of real lives, and those working on biographies – in every medium, from print to film.
Services - Member web directory, annual BIO Award for lifetime contribution to biography, annual conference, monthly newsletter.
Membership Levels:
Active - $45 to $150 based on annual writing income from biography. For those who are writing, filming, recording, or otherwise producing a biography.
Associate - $30. For anyone interested in the craft and art of biography.
Affiliate - $250. For corporations, companies, and firms wishing to provide financial support to BIO.

International Auto/Biography Association (IABA)
Purpose - Broaden the world vision of auto/biographers, scholars and readers, deepen the cross-cultural understanding of self, identity and experience, and carry on global dialogues on life writing.
Services - Biennial conference in exotic world locations, periodic newsletter.
Membership - Membership fee not required.

International Society of Family History Writers and Editors
Purpose - Encourage excellence in writing and editorial standards in genealogical publishing. This embraces all media, including newspapers, magazines, newsletters, professional journals, books (including compiled family histories), online columns, society and personal websites, web logs (blogs), and broadcast journalism of all sorts.
Services - Quarterly newsletter, annual writing competition, annual conference, links to members’ publications and websites.
Membership - $15. Open to anyone involved in genealogy columns and articles or writing about family history. This includes present and potential columnists, writers, and editors, as well as publishers, broadcasters, and webmasters for genealogical and historical societies.

National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW)
Purpose - Help memoir writers feel empowered with purpose and energy to begin and develop their life stories into a publishable memoir, whether in essay form, a book, a family legacy, or to create a blog.
Services - Workshops; tele-seminars; interviews with writers and experts in the area of memoir, writing skills, therapeutic writing, spiritual autobiography, and healing through writing personal, authentic stories. Free subscription to monthly email newsletter, no membership required.
Membership - $149. Open to anyone interested in memoir writing.
Image: Public domain

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