Publishing Industry

Writers Helping Writers | Jill Willis

During this time of COVID-19 isolation, I’ve done a lot of reflecting and discovered that I don’t miss a lot of things. I can get by without fancy pedicures, group exercise, and Friday nights at restaurants with friends.

But there are some things that have been a real adjustment for me. I’ve had to substitute Angel Soft for Charmin because I can’t find it. I can’t roam library aisles on a whim. As info, I love reading so much that I’m a card-carrying member of both Gwinnett and Hall County libraries. And, most frustrating, I’ve seen my 84-year-old mother only once since mid March. Her independent living center has her safely quarantined.

One steadying factor throughout all this chaos has been the North Georgia Chapter of ACFW. I am so thankful for the supportive friends in this group. They’ve reached out through Facebook, emails, and texts to ensure our members are connected.

Our main cheerleader, Hope Welborn, didn’t hesitate to host our meetings online. As a result, our attendance has been equal to what we had before our regular meeting venue was locked down. She’s also published super helpful email blasts, keeping us all up-to-date on industry news.

Tony Trendl organized a weekly critique group, and Carol James set up monthly Zoom book club meetings. Other members have signed up to present at our meetings.

This is one of the most caring, faith-filled groups in which I’ve had the honor of participating. Members have given me hope at several points along my publishing journey when I’d been ready to quit. I look forward to meetings, eagerly open newsletter emails, and light up when a member calls. I’ve gained so much more than I’ve paid in dues.

Can we do more to help each other? Yes, I believe we can. Here are some ideas:

  • Follow each other’s blogs.
  • Sign up for each other’s newsletters.
  • Volunteer to help with meeting segments.
  • Post writing tips on Facebook.
  • Offer to critique each other’s work. (Thanks, Allyson Lewis and Julane Fisher, for your help with my manuscript.)

Any other ideas? Comment below. Also, please share the links to your blog and newsletter so we can subscribe. Mine are in the footer of my website, May you be as blessed with this writing association as I am.

Jill Willis

Jill Willis is a part-time freelance writer and editor. Her passion is writing fiction for young adults. Last month, her manuscript placed in the American Fiction Christian Writers Genesis Contest. It’s a contemporary story with a pinch of paranormal.

She’s a founding member of the Storyteller Squad, a talented group of 12 Christian writers who specialize in stories for kids, tweens, and teens. She grew up in Atlanta and graduated from the University of Georgia. She’s worked for a newspaper, a magazine publisher, a telecommunications company, and a public relations agency. Now, she lives on a lake with her husband and a one-eyed cat. Her adult children proof her stories when they get bored.

Connect with her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

3 thoughts on “Writers Helping Writers | Jill Willis”

  1. Yes, Jill, we have a good group in ACFW NGA. The lock-down affects us all differently. Hopefully, the bit of doldrums you’re experiencing will lift soon. I’ve been fortunate–I barely noticed anything different until May when I couldn’t attend my hot-season car shows.


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