Where to Start Networking
by Jackie Hosking
Now what exactly do I mean by the word 'networking'? I looked it up in the dictionary, because I like to be
accurate, and to my surprise found that firstly, the verb 'to network' did not exist at all and that secondly, the
noun 'network' could only be found as part of the word 'net'. Mind you I did use a 1983 version, however it read
Net ~work (n) arrangement with intersecting lines and interstices recalling those of net, complex
system of railways, rivers, canals etc., chain of interconnected persons or operations or electrical conductors,
group of broadcasting stations connected for simultaneous broadcast of same programme.
'Chain of interconnected persons' is about as close as we're going to get so let's start from there. The
first writers that I came into contact with, I met at my local Community House. John Bartlett, a freelance writer,
was running a course in creative writing for beginners. That course, and those people were the first links in my
I joined my local writers group and subscribed to their newsletter where I learned about local writing events,
workshops (many of them free to members), competitions and other writing opportunities.
I joined my state's Writers' Centre and was introduced to an even richer writers' community.
Three years later I find myself at a Children's Writers' Forum organised by a writer that I met through a Yahoo!
Group - remember them?
(see http://www.writing4successclub.com/jackiehosking1.htm to jog your
Meredith Costain was one of the guest speakers at the Forum. Meredith is a full-time children's writer who writes
both trade and educational books. She is also an editor (and literary editor) for the Victorian school
The first thing that Meredith did, at the beginning of her extremely informative session, was to write on the
board, in big bold letters, the words NETWORKING. I smiled and nodded and had to refrain from jumping up and down
and clapping my hands with glee. Here was a highly successful author confirming that I was on the right track -
what a relief. All those lunches and emails and friendships, were not only enjoyable and wonderful, but they were
also adding links to my chain.
So even though the definition that I found in my twenty-year-old version of The Concise Oxford Dictionary is not
the most up to date, it still enables us to understand the concept. A chain without links is, well, broken.
If you haven't done so already, I urge you to reach out and touch someone. Start your chain of connections today.
Get on the InterNET (isn't language clever). Surf the WEB and find support - it's everywhere.
I spent some time, the other day, searching for places to start you off and here's what I found.
And of course if you aspire to be a children's writer then you can't go past PASS IT ON (free every Monday until
July 2005. After that there will be a small subscription fee). For back issues visit
Until next time, happy hunting.
Your writing buddy,
© copyright Jackie Hosking