The Writers’ Program announces the launch of WP NOW, a new membership program for current and recent students. The membership offers discounts, exclusive professional development events, a private online community, and access to reciprocal memberships in up to three professional organizations.

WP NOW is short for “Writers’ Program Network of Writers,” and the connections between members is the point. “We wanted to find a way to enrich what was happening in the classroom,” Program Director Charlie Jensen said, “but also give people a way to connect through those classroom walls, into other parts of the Writers’ Program, with people whose paths they might not otherwise cross.”

A priority was giving students practical career advice from instructors and other experts in the field. “Our classroom curriculum is among the best the country,” Jensen said, “but striking out on your own to forge a successful and enduring career can require more opportunities to grow.” WP NOW’s exclusive professional development events, at least four per year, will train aspiring writers in the field- and industry-specific tips people need to know, like making connections with potential mentors, taking advantage of existing mentorship programs, and understanding the business landscape of their creative careers.

Along with valuable discounts on courses, WP NOW includes relationships with three significant member organizations that can help writers extend the reach of their networks. WP NOW members can choose free one-year memberships in up to two of these partner organizations:

  • Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), the national organization for creative writers
  • New Filmmakers LA (NFMLA), an LA-based organization supporting people and infrastructure to strengthen the regional filmmaking community from the ground up
  • Independent Writers of Southern California (IWOSC), a regional group offering training for writers interested in publishing, editing, freelancing, and other independent writer business activities
  • The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the only professional organization specifically for aspiring and published individuals who write and illustrate for children and young adults.

WP NOW members then have access to these organizations’ member benefits as well.

“We were thinking about that strange and awkward time for writers when you’ve maybe progressed beyond the classroom but you aren’t truly a working professional yet,” Jensen explained. “We know finding and cultivating networks of colleagues, mentors, and peers is such an important step to laying a foundation for a career later. It’s our hope that even our recent students and ‘alums,’ as we call them, will find WP NOW to be an effective way to invest in themselves and make those important connections.”

WP NOW will open for members beginning August 3, in tandem with Fall Quarter course enrollment. A one-year membership costs $99 and includes a host of valuable benefits. For more information, visit https://www.uclaextension.edu/wp-now.

 

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