I know what the answer to this post is. "Start one yourself." And I just might do that.
For the umpteenth time in my writing career I happened upon a sight last night that looked like it was a group I wanted to join. It was for writers of women's fiction. Yahoo. I write women's fiction. I don't write chick lit, I don't write romance, I write women's fiction. Then came the letdown. It was only for writers who had been published by big companies. Self-published authors need not apply.
I don't know what people are thinking. Or maybe I do. It's the old high school IN club thingie. Only in this case it's not "if your father isn't a member of the country club you aren't good enuf for us" it is "if you haven't been published by a big publishing house you are not good enuf for us."
I've written this before, but there are some of us who just don't choose to buy into the system. We don't want to go through the rigmarole of submission-rejection. We feel our work has merit and we don't need someone with an eye only to what THEY can get out of our work to tell us that. Perhaps we don't need the stress of watching the "Your work is not a good fit for us at this time" letters roll in. (As an aside I felt so much better when I stopped saving those letters and consigned them to the garbage heap.)
So we choose to self-publish. We get most of the profits from the sale of our books. We get zero stress dealing with agents or publishers or editors who want us to rewrite our visions. I bet a study would show that our collective blood pressure is a few points lower.
But still. We would like the world to know that we are just as committed, just as professional as those other folks. We would like to be included in professional organizations.
I know. Start one yourself.