How Joining a Local Historical Association Can Improve Your Writing
Benefits for Everyone
You may not have thought about joining a local historical association, but if you are training to write non-fiction, it's a great way to get started. Why?
First of all, you benefit from surrounding yourself with others who are interested in non-fiction (in the form of history). Most of these organizations publish annual journals, so many of them can share their own writing experiences with you.
Secondly, the organization will benefit from your membership. They often charge a small membership fee, so your money will help the group. The writings you contribute will likewise help.
Maybe the best part of your involvement in a historical association is the fact that you will be preserving history. Your writings will play an important role for future generations!
Writing about History
What to Write About
Your historical organization may have a list of items they need to have written. If so, your topic choice is taken care of for you! Otherwise, you may have to pick your own subject to write about for the club's annual journal.
Before getting started, familiarize yourself with the types of stories or articles are typically printed in the journal. Also ask for a copy of the writing guidelines. Most organizations focus on a region or subject. Be sure your topic relates.
You may write about a personal experience, a great way to practice essay or memoir writing. You may write about an event in local history -- a good practice to develop research skills. You may write about a person -- an opportunity to build your interviewing skills!
Finding a Group
To find a historical association to join, check with your local Chamber of Commerce. Most of these organizations have a list of community groups that they are happy to share. Browse your local newspaper's upcoming events notices or the local lifestyles pages for updates about club meetings. Your local library can probably connect you with a group as well.