by Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink
“Networking” with writers, PR professionals and journalist is the core for the more than 130 members of the Professional Writers of Austin (PWA).
The group is celebrating its first anniversary after launching on Meetup.com in January last. In September PWA, which receives approximately 10 new members a week, became an independent organization.
“We have one of the most comprehensive job boards for Austin-based writers – jobs not found on Craigslist, said co-founder Riki Markowitz.
“I can say with nearly 100% certainty that published jobs are all paying gigs.”
PWA is partnered with the Austin-based writing organization; WriteByNight, a writing center and writers’ service dedicated to helping writers achieve creative potential and literary goals.
“We believe that combining our efforts reaches a greater number and greater variety of content creators,” said Justine Tal Goldberg, founder of WriteBy Nite.
Goldberg works primarily with creative writers, while Markowitz centers her attention on the editorial and technical fields. Both encourage groups and individuals to collaborate with writers of all skill sets.
PWA has a networking event each month.
“Initially we were seeing 10 to 16 members at these gatherings,” said Markowitz. “Now we’re seeing 30 to 40. We invite recruiters and employers that work with Austin content creators to attend. In addition, we have a brunch networking event about once every six weeks.”
PWA also offers listings for internships that may not pay, but offer college credit.
“I would love for more employers in Austin to know about us so that writers do not have to sort through the muck on Craigslist to get to the good jobs offered by respectable companies,” explained Goldberg. “We do our best to introduce ourselves to Austin employers via networking events and social media. We also encourage our members to let potential employers know that they heard about the company through PWA.”
In January WriteByNight and PWA sponsored Deadliners, a journalism discussion series moderated by Alex Hannaford . The inaugural event held a panel discussion on the obstacles photojournalists face while doing their job, from heavy-handed security to misunderstanding of the First Amendment.
PWA also publishes a bi-weekly blog about writing and Austin. It covers topics from; writing/editing goals, different and diverse media, finding writing voices, networking and others.
“We’re working on providing our members and Austin employers with a more direct way to find each other,” Markowitz explained. “And, at our core, we will always be that little networking organization that provides Austin writers with the opportunity to ally with colleagues and get out of the house once in a while.”