For Members

Writer Services

The Library is proud to be a home away from home for so many wonderful writers, past and present. Since our founding in 1754, writers as diverse as Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Willa Cather, and Wendy Wasserstein have used the Library as a source of inspiration, research, and community. Because it is a tradition that continues to the present day, the Library has developed a series of programs and services specifically to support the efforts of our large and diverse writing community. 

For more information on services for member writers, please email writers@nysoclib.org.

The Writing Life Daytime Talk Series

This popular monthly series features talks on topics of particular interest to writers in a small, intimate setting. The series was inaugurated in 2009 to engage the Library's member writers and to foster a supportive writing community. Experts in the field discuss the craft of writing as well as present practical information about book publicity, social networking, book contracts, self publishing, e-publishing, and finding a literary agent, among many other topics.

WINTER/SPRING 2023 programs

  • Thursday, January 19, 3:30 PM: Plot Wrangling, with SJ Rozan
  • Wednesday, February 22, 3:30 PM: OpEd Writing, with Liz Robbins (details to come)
  • Thursday, March 7, 3:30 PM: Son of Plot or Plot Wrangling, the Sequel, with SJ Rozan (details to come)
  • Thursday, April 20, 3:30 PM: Food Writing, with Adam Platt (details to come)

Live from the Library!

Twice a year, the Library opens up the Members' Room for a special evening program of readings from our very talented member writers. Members showcase their works in progress or recently published writing while enjoying wine and refreshments in the company of a supportive and encouraging audience. Visit the Library blog to read a rundown of a few of the most recent Live from the Library events! Live from the Library will next take place March 14, 2023 (registration details to come)

Writing Workshops

In 2012, the Library inaugurated a number of ongoing workshops on the craft of writing. Designed to appeal to a wide range of experiences, the workshops offer writers the chance to get back to fundamentals and focus on the essentials of good writing practice. Topics vary by season, but past workshops have included Facing the Next Draft, Turning Characters into People in Fiction and Nonfiction, Die or Dialogue!, and the always popular Prompt! sessions that get the creative juices flowing. Check the Calendar of Events each season for details.

WINTER/SPRING 2023 Workshops:

Writing Groups

The Library hosts monthly writing groups for fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry, and children's/young adult writers. The groups are intended for members with at least some experience as professional writers, and members must be comfortable being critiqued and critiquing others. All prospective members must submit a writing sample for a blind evaluation prior to acceptance into any group. If space is not available or members are not accepted into their first choice of group, they will be placed on a waiting list for a slot in a new group.

As of WINTER/SPRING 2023: Space is available for writers working all genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children's/young adult. We are especially looking for interested members to start a new memoir group. If interested, please email writers@nysoclib.org with the following: genre you are interested in, 6-7 page sample of your work in progress (or 4-5 poems) formatted in Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Leave your name off of the sample, as groups make blind evalautions about acceptance based on the writing alone.

Reference and Research Support

We recognize that writers have special reference and research needs. The Library has dedicated resources for the member writer community to assist with research, aid in the procurement of reference materials, and facilitate introductions to other writers, editors, publishing professionals, and contacts at area research libraries.

The following additional member-only services may also be of particular interest to writers: