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The writing life can be a lonely one.

Often, it's just you against a blank sheet of paper (or more likely a blank word doc) in the solitary profession of writing for a living.

However, it's the successful writer who knows how to network to find mentorship programs, writing grants or other funding for their writing projects, or merely to get feedback from others in the profession.

Look around and you'll soon discover other writers and freelancers banding together to provide not only emotional support, but a healthcare plan you might join, along with solid leads and other valuable information that could end up advancing your career.

If you're new to networking as a writer, check out this collection of sites representing some of the top associations, organizations and societies for support and training of writers and authors worldwide:

PEN American Center
- This is the largest of the international centers devoted to freedom of expression and literary culture, offering public forums, awards, funding, and more.

The National Association of Independent Writers & Editors - Check out all the benefits of memberhip for US-based fiction and non-fiction writer and editors including a listing in the searchable database, a web site, free legal advice, teleclasses, newsletter, and more.

Canadian Authors Association - Read up on its history and activities and awards program, plus an extensive directory of related resources.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fiction Writers of America - Featuring a quarterly magazine, how-to articles, links and resources.

Horror Writers Association - If horror fantasy is your specialty, welcome to a rich resource of information, market lists, writers tips, FAQs, and general support with membership info and event calendar.

The Academy of American Poets - The country's largest organization offering news and events a database of poets and poetry, discussion forum and related links and resources.

The British Poetry Society - News, feature articles, events, educational resources, and more for its thousands of members worldwide.

The Australian Society of Authors - News, events, links to literary agencies, mentorship program, membership info.

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