FAQs

“How do I become a member?” and various other questions are answered here by topic. These include general questions about Utah Valley Writers and our meetings. We invite you to look over this information before contacting us. Most of the time the answer can be found here.

Utah Valley Writers (UVW)

Membership Questions

How do I become a member?

Thank you for your interest in joining our chapter. The Utah Valley Chapter is open to the public for membership and we accept all writers of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poets, etc. Membership fees are $40. To join our chapter please either pay online at http://theuaa.org/join-us/ or bring payment to one of our meetings (see “Our Events” menu) and speak with a member of the UVW leadership.

What benefits come from my UVW membership?

  • Friendship
  • Networking
  • Feedback on your writing
  • Meeting and Group Participation
    • In-Person or Online
  • If you choose, a Membership Profile on our website. (Professionals do care if you are associated with writing groups. It means you are committed to excellence in the craft.
  • Community Outreach Assistance
  • Special opportunities to serve and giveback to the community
  • and more…

Who are your members?

We have 40+ members in our chapter. We also have members that are not located in Utah County or even the State of Utah. These individuals feel welcomed on account of the online platforms we use. You can view a list of some of our members (those that have chosen to have a public profile) Here.

Do I have to live in Utah County to be a member?

No.

Because of what we do as a chapter, we have some members that are out of state and even a few members that are international. We embrace technology. If you are serious about learning the craft and business of writing or finding like-minded individuals, we welcome you from any location in the world. Note: We appreciate interest from various locations in the world, but we are an English speaking/writing chapter.

Will I fit in with other Utah Valley Writers members?

Writers by nature are an accepting group. While we cannot guarantee that you will “fit in,” a few simple courtesies on your part will help. Things to remember:

  • It’s okay to be nervous. A titter here, a snort there . . . it can be endearing. As long as you care about people and writing—in that order—you’ll be fine.
  • Believe in the “Giver’s Gain”. Give, serve, and help others. You’ll make friends and people will respect you with a desire to help you succeed.
  • All writers are on different levels. Patience is a virtue, but kindness and understanding earn respect and friends. The writing community is a small and close-knit. Tearing down others will definitely make it so you won’t “fit in.”
  • Avoid vanity. Our meetings are NOT a venue to promote your work. If you are looking at UVW, its members, or meetings as an opportunity to solicit your work, please go somewhere else. “There is nothing more annoying than an author stuck in marketing mode.” —Unknown.
    • Please don’t let it get to the point where we have to take you (well, parts of you) to meet the large trout on the Provo River. Our fishermen friends do enjoy a good chum, but it’s rather messy for us . . . and you. 😀

What kinds/types of writers are in your chapter?

Writers come from all walks of life and each genre fluctuates. We accept all genres except: Erotica and Splatter. In general terms, the majority of our members write works of fiction and we have some non-fiction writers and poets. Specifically, the break down in our chapter, by popularity:

  • Fiction:
    • Fantasy/Sci-Fi & Paranormal– Due to the popularity in Utah County and the success of several local authors — on a national and international scale — these genres and their sub-genres have a well-established presence.
    • Romance & Historical Fiction (including cultural LDS Historical Fiction)
    • Action/Thriller
    • Mystery/Suspense
    • Horror
    • Literary Fiction
  • Non-Fiction:
    • Creative Non-Fiction
    • LDS Historical
    • And a few other Non-fiction writers in specific areas.
  • Screenplays
  • Poetry / Song Lyrics.
  • Picture Books

Meeting Information

What kinds of meetings do you have?

We meet in person and online.

In-person Meetings are chapter workshops/guest presenters/educational topics, critiques, contest critiques, and publication primers. These are scheduled a year in advance, but things can change. For dates, locations, times and subjects, see Our Events.

Online Meetings currently are for critiques, publication primers, contest critiques, and some educational/workshop meetings. Tweet us or follow the posts on our Facebook Group. We will let you know through these mediums when and how to attend these meetings. If you are not on these social media platforms you can also see our Contact Us page for the online group email address. We are working to expand our online meetings to match our in-person meetings. More detailed descriptions of each meeting type can be found be clicking the name of each meeting.

Critique Meetings

These meetings usually fall the first meeting of the month going from 6 PM – 9 PM. They are members divided into groups of 5-6 persons, based on genre or interest where shared time is given for useful, constructive, feedback on each person’s work.

Note: You are responsible for printing out copies of your manuscript for others to give feedback on. Please put your pages in manuscript form (double spaced, 1 in margins, 12 point font, and NOT printed front to back). You will need at least 5 copies. Our word count limit is 2500 words (or roughly 8-10 pages).

We do things differently at our critique meetings. We expect out to learn how to critique well and receive critiques. It’s okay if you are not experienced in critiquing or have had bad experiences. We’ll help you.

Our critiques set us apart from other organizations, where you can come and expect detailed feedback on your work. If you’ve felt wanting for more feedback give us a try.

Now if you’ve had a bad experience with another organization or group, it’s likely they have ascribed to the misguided belief of “That’s just how it is. Here’s a box of tissues, now deal with it.” While ultimately every writer needs to develop a thick skin, we are NOT a tissue box organization. The best critiques are honest critiques and there is a difference between honesty and harshness.

UVW focuses on the work and its structure. We strive to help the author make their work better. We invite you to read our blog post on critiques called, “The Myths of Critiquing” Once you understand this post, you’ll understand why critiquing is neccessary, what attitude you should come with and how it will help you become a better writer . . . and person.

Publication Primers

These meetings occur at the same time as the Critique Meetings. A table is specifically set aside to assist persons that have a complete manuscript who are getting ready to submit their work, those that need assistance with formatting, query letters, synopsis writing, etc. To join this meeting let people know when you arrive that you would specifically like to be at this table.

Contest Critiques

These meetings occur at the same time as the Critique Meetings. A table is specifically set aside to assist persons desiring to submit work to contests. We want our members to win and get literary cred. Often this table is combined with the Publication Primers. To join this meeting let people know when you arrive that you would specifically like to be at this table.

Workshops/Educational

These meetings usually fall in the 4th week of the month and rotate with guest presenter meetings.

6 PM – 6:50 PM is for Q&A, brainstorming, or for makeup critiques (Those that might have missed out on a critique during our Critique Meeting may bring the full critique and they have priority OR those that are unable to make the Critique Meeting have priority. Due to the shortened time, we can usually get through only 2 persons’ work. If you need your work critiqued, create or join a table that has 1 or no persons with work needing to be critiqued. )

7 PM – 9 PM is a focused on a topic that instructs, provides a literary exercise or assists members in craft of writing or the business of writing. These topics are generally taught be an experienced member in the chapter. We get mentored, learn and grow together.

Guest Presenters

These meetings usually fall in the 4th week of the month and rotate with workshops/educational meetings.

6 PM – 6:50 PM is for Q&A, brainstorming, or for makeup critiques (Those that might have missed out on a critique during our Critique Meeting may bring the full critique and they have priority. For any new critiques, the word count is cut to 1000 words or roughly 4 pages.)

7 PM – 9 PM is instruction by a guest presenter. This can be done by an author, editor, agent, publisher, or other writing or helpful to writing professional. Topics related to specifics about the craft or business of writing are spoken on. We learn from those that are there and/or have been there.

Online Meetings

We meet via video conferencing for critiques. These meetings can occur throughout the month, depending on the availability and number of UVW Critique Chairs, as well as the availability of members.

Participants are divided into groups of 5-6 persons, based on genre or interest, where shared time is given for useful, constructive, feedback on each person’s work.

We also rotate in Publication Primers and Contest Critique Meetings with these meetings. We occasionally will have workshops/educational meetings online too. (These later are basically the same as our in-person meetings but in an online format.)

As the meeting is scheduled participants determine through the social media formats whether or not they would like to share their work via a Google Doc with everyone and then meet online for the video conferencing or if they would like to meet and read it over video conferencing and then get critiqued.

Each participant is responsible for:

  1. Creating the Google Doc with the proper share rights.
  2. Ensuring Proper Formatting.
    • To avoid unnecessary time, if you copy and paste your work from MS Word, Scrivener, etc. into a Google Doc, make sure the formatting is fine. Formatting is not nearly as important through Google docs as comments can be inserted regardless of line spacing, but for the sake of consistency we ask that things to be in manuscript form (double spaced, 1 in margins, 12 point font, and NOT printed front to back).
  3. Sticking to the Word Count of 2500 words (or roughly 8-10 pages).

Can I attend your meetings before I join?

Yes.

Our meetings are open to the public for this purpose. Priority is given to our members for critiquing, but we do allow prospective members to attend our meetings for two months to see if they would like to become a member. If it works well for you, great! If not, we’d love to hear why. As writers and as an organization we welcome and appreciate feedback.

How do I attend your online meetings?

Tweet us or visit our Contact Us page to see our Online Group email address to be included in the next meetings. We will let you know through these mediums when and how to attend.

General Questions

How long do your officers serve?

For one year. The process of transitioning authority begins each May. Chapter members are asked to nominate individuals they feel would serve the chapter well. These individuals are informed of their nomination and asked for their willingness and availability by the outgoing executive leadership. Elections finalize by the end of June at UVW’s annual conference and the new leadership takes over starting July.

I would like to serve in the chapter. What can I do to help?

We appreciate your willingness to help. Learning to balance writing and public expectations is also a great way to start a career in writing. To serve in the chapter you must first be a member. After joining, the best way to go about this is to contact our Executive Leaders to the email address listed under Membership on our Contact Us page.

We’ll get you involved with the current leadership and the members. If you see a need or a path we could take, suggest it. Serving in any capacity is a great way to build friends, network, and develop yourself as a writer.

Do you have any rules or conduct associated to your meetings?

This is a great question. We care about the quality of our meetings. Ultimately be nice, courteous and professional. Since our meetings are in the Orem Library we ask that you:

  1. Please silence or put your cell phones on vibrate. We are realistic people and understand people have lives. If you are expecting a call, please sit in the back and step out of the room to take it. Also bear in mind the others patrons of the library too. Be respectful of volume in the common areas.
  2. Be out of the library no later than 9:00 PM. If you want to socialize after an event, please do so outside the library in the parking lot.

lrn_question   Sorry. Not seeing an answer to your question(s)? Contact us at uvchapterinfo (at) gmail.com