Come and Join Us (Individual Members)
Here at the OWPG we’re passionate about the outdoors. The guild exists to support and promote creative professionals who cover all aspects of the outdoors, from sporting activities to environmental concerns.
Among our number we have writers, journalists, film makers, photographers, broadcasters, artists, illustrators, editors and publishers, all linked through a passion for participating in the great outdoors and promoting its values.
Benefits of Membership
The guild’s website provides a forum for advice, networking and information exchange and provides a vibrant presence for members.
Individual Member Profiles
The website has a dedicated Members’ Profiles section, where you can post your biography, achievements, work examples and links to your website and social media. Editors and publishers in search of writers and photographers can search for a subset of members such as photographers, kayakers, or who cover Finland.
Various sections of the website are “Members-only” – these include our forum and professional advice notes.
Professional Advice Notes
Our “Members-only” sections of the website also contain an invaluable library of regularly updated professional advice notes. A few examples of the sort of topics included are:
- mapping and copyright
- tax guidance
- selling your work via Amazon
- rights of way
The Members’ Forum is also found on our website and is a lively meeting point for ideas, discussion, controversy, breaking news and updates on matters of concern. Our members come from all parts of the UK and the forum bridges the distance to bring us together as we share professional insights, advice, expertise and invaluable tips.
Professional Development (including OWPG Zooms)
During Lockdown 3 (2021) we introduced a series of OWPG Members Zooms and Blether! sessions. These are an Autumn to Spring program of once-a-month online get togethers covering all aspects of writing, photography and professional practice, as well as more general topics such as the Everest photos in the RGS archives. “Blethers” are a more informal online get-together – again held once a month during Autumn to Spring.
Previous in-person classes and seminars have covered all aspects of writing and publishing, keeping members up to date with the changing media landscape. For example, at our recent Big Weekend there were workshops on improving your photography and making the most of social media. We expect these to continue during future Big Weekends.
The guild publishes a high-quality quarterly magazine full of news, advice and practical tips. Written by members for members, it also displays their work, articles as well as photographs. It is delivered as a printed glossy magazine to members and is distributed in digital form to the guild’s extensive media and commercial contacts.
The Big Weekend
Every year, guild members gather at an attractive location for a range of activities, from outdoor excursions to brainstorming and seminars. Recent venues for our Big Weekend have included Exmoor, the Norfolk Broads, the Peak District and Snowdonia. The next will be held in the Yorks Dales.
The Big Weekend is also the occasion of the guild’s Annual Dinner and of our Awards for Excellence.
Presented at the Big Weekend, these are made to our members in categories which include guidebooks, articles, photography, websites, apps and films. The awards help promote the members’ work and are a useful addition to their professional CVs.
The guild’s diverse membership, which includes editors and publishers as well as writers and photographers, provides ideal opportunities for networking.
Members receive advance information of forthcoming projects and the chance to float their ideas for commissioned work. They can swap information, experiences and warnings, and so make the most of their membership in a profession that can at times feel isolating.
Members also learn about market events, press shows, press trips and other useful leads.
As well as a free group subscription to OS maps, OWPG members qualify for substantial discounts on a range of outdoor gear, books and maps. Support for travel and accommodation may be available when working on relevant assignments.
The OWPG press card opens many doors, both in the UK and overseas. Dedicated press passes for particular UK organisations are available to guild members.
All this for just £80 a year – and the rate is proportionately less if you join in mid-year.
To apply for membership:
Please send a CV and samples of your published work/links to your online publications to our Membership Secretary.
There is no need to send money at this stage; applications are dealt with quite quickly, and we will let you know when to pay your subscription.
On acceptance, you will soon be able to enjoy the full range of benefits that being an OWPG Member brings.