A Place for Writers

Stuart Watkins

Arizona has a number of writing groups to join, whether you are a poet, songwriter, author, screenwriter, playwright, or a science fiction writer. Since we live in SaddleBrooke, let’s take a look at the SaddleBrooke Writer’s Group.

They meet monthly and sometimes in between. Patricia Freemont Smith is president, and her contact information is [email protected] or 520-818-1332. Meetings are usually held at the MountainView Country Club, but sometimes at a member’s home. Membership is $10. The group includes writers of prose, poetry, memoirs, and family history. Many members have authored a variety of books available on Amazon and some at the SaddleBrooke Gift Shop. Members hear each other’s writings and offer suggestions or critiques. It is a very supportive group that encourages each other.

The Arizona State Poetry Society (ASPS) is based in Phoenix but has chapters throughout the state. President Christy White can be contacted at [email protected]. ASPS sponsors contests for members and non-members. Membership is $25 for adults and $5 for youth. The annual contest starts each June and includes thirteen categories: ASPS Award, Cowboys, Haiku, Horses (any form), Humor, Jesse Belle Rittenhouse Memorial Award for Rhymed Poetry, Legacy Award (small towns), Long Free Verse, Previously Published Poems (any subject), Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Short Free Verse (about politics), Traditional Rhymed Poetry, and the Young Poets Award (age 13-18 original unpublished poetry). Complete details are on the website. The East Valley Poets meet in Tempe. Scottsdale Mustang Poets meet in Scottsdale. West Valley Poets meet in Sun City. The Tucson Poetry Society meets monthly, and their membership fee is $5. Contact President Elaine Powers at tucson[email protected] for current meeting times and locations.

The Arizona State Poetry Society has four contest categories, Annual and Members Only. The Members Only includes Traditional, Free Verse, and the Monthly Subject. For this September, the subject is “Of a Certain Vintage.” Winning poems are published in Sandcutters. There are monetary prizes in each category. Membership allows members to receive the national publication Strophies, which includes contests from chapters across the nation.

The Society of Southwestern Authors also meets monthly in Tucson. Contact Membership Chair Sharon Lashinger at [email protected]. Their mailing address is SSA P.O. Box 30355, Tucson, AZ 85751 and membership is $30. Many of the members are award-winning authors, and each monthly meeting has accomplished publishers, authors, or interesting speakers.

And for mystery writers, visit www.tucsonsistersincrime.org. This is an international organization founded in 2012 to promote the work of published members. They meet monthly via Zoom at 1 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month. Got a mystery? Have a clue? Join them. The membership fee is $25 for a full member and $15 for an associate member. Full members must also have membership in the national Sisters in Crime.

Writers have many outlets to expand, explore, share, and grow. Don’t be a stranger, join a group.