How to make friends (and win a book)

After I gushed last week about my gratitude for writing friends, a reader raised a critical point:

How do I make writing friends? 

Excellent question! It's not easy making friends, at any age, and it can be a real challenge to find niche companions. Want a running partner? Head to the running store. Seeking foodie friends? Take a cooking class. But writing friends? Do you stalk bookstore shelves looking for people with pens? Pace the paper aisle of your local Staples?

Desperate needs call for desperate measures but you don't want to appear desperate. Get too needy and you are a neon sign broadcasting Danger! 

You want to cultivate literary friends, but how?

I've got a few ideas, born out of desperation and desire. But before I spill my first-hand blunders and sometimes success, I want to hear from you — and I'll sweeten the deal by offering a free book. Tell me:

How do you make writing friends?

Where and how have you made friends? What's worked? What hasn't?

Jot a note in the comments section below, and I'll enter you in the drawing for Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words by Kim Rosen.

Feeling shy? Send me an email with your suggestions to I'll include you in the drawing, too. 

Deadline to enter is Thursday, August 25, 2011. Winner of the random (i.e. highly unscientific, blindfolded drawing of name) will be announced on Friday, August 26, 2011.

Looking forward to your ideas, experiences and suggestions!