We’re a membership organisation made up of around 150 health writers with diverse specialities and a huge breadth of experience. Many of our members contribute to national newspapers and magazines and have a record of covering major health stories. Others work for medical journals, report on conferences and write for charities. Nowadays, many combine various strands of health writing work. Some are freelance, some work on staff as commissioning editors
The Guild of Health Writers was set up in 1994 to bring health writers together and to promote high professional standards. It’s a not-for-profit organisation, with income derived primarily from subscriptions and sales of our Members’ Directory. Some events are sponsored by commercial organisations to help cover costs.
I’ve always valued the GHW for the way it fosters friendly support from other writers, organises topical educational events and social gatherings. The GHW has helped me forge friendships, make work contacts and win new work . I’ve found it invaluable for keeping in touch with other writers , PRs , medical experts and staying up to date with new developments in medicine and wider health and wellness trends.
I have been a member of the Guild for nearly 20 years and during that time I have been to many interesting talks and workshops which have changed the course of my career. Notably, one about getting published where I heard of Hammersmith Health Books who I approached successfully with one of my books, and a novel writing half day course which led to my novel, self-published this year. In addition, I have met lots of interesting people, had plenty of support, ideas for articles and short-term writing contracts. Well worth the fee each year. owner of www.healthysoul.co.uk and author of One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis.
If one looks at membership fees to say gyms or private clubs, the £50 membership fee to a Guild of Health Writers is an absolute bargain, in fact probably the most value for money ie £50 I spend every year. On membership you become part of a very special family of men and women with many common interests but also diverse opinions which makes networking and debate such a pleasure. This would be value enough, but the many events, so well organised with high profile speakers, whom one would not normally have access, is a huge bonus.
Guild members are so interesting, have such a wide variety of skills, backgrounds and experience. Events are stimulating allowing me to keep up to date and use the information in my writing & talks. I am always made welcome and have met people who until now, have been names in the press but I can now put a face to the name. Events are also great for networking and finding out what others are up to in the field of health writing.
The Guild was like a breath of fresh air. I joined because of my interest in complementary therapies and my respect for science and mainstream, medicine. The Guild seemed to fuse the two – rigorous, yet open minded. Down the years, the workshops and seminars have been brilliant – informative and fun – and I’ve made some terrific friends. Here’s to the next 20 years!
The Guild is about promoting pride in health journalism and maintaining high standards but also about providing friendship, support, practical seminars, networking opportunities …..and some great parties.