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One of this month’s features asks a handful of authors that exact question, and I always love hearing people’s responses. I met mine through Camp NaNoWriMo about eight years ago. (In fact, you can read about our group, the Treehouse of Writers, in the article!) During the summer sessions of the writing challenge, the site used to sort participants into “cabins,” virtual chat rooms where you could cheer on one another. Most of our group found themselves in the same cabin from the start; I was lucky enough to stumble across them a few days later in the forums when my original cabin was a bit of a dud. They adopted me, and that was that.

We chatted incessantly that summer, keeping our cabin open for as long as we could. And when the website inevitably refreshed and locked us out, we migrated to other platforms to stay in touch. Since that first summer, we’ve continued to sprint with one another, encourage one another, and share our writing wins and woes. Beyond that, we’ve also become inseparable friends. And we still call each other nicknames based on our NaNoWriMo usernames, for old time’s sake.

We live in multiple time zones and write in a variety of genres; if it weren’t for that cabin chat room in 2015, I doubt any of us would’ve ever met in real life. But maybe your group’s origin story is just as happenstance: an impromptu meeting at a writing conference, a decision to visit a new coffee shop one weekend instead of your usual hangout. As the four writers highlighted in this issue can attest, finding your people isn’t really something you can plan, but it’s undeniably magical when it happens. I know I’m forever grateful for the friendship I’ve found among the Treehouse and for the encouragement and glitter-infused joy they’ve brought to my writing and to my life. Here’s wishing you all a chance to experience that magic for yourselves—and for those who already have, a chance to celebrate it this month with the ones who helped conjure it in the first place.

Nicole Schroeder 

Editor in Chief

Picture of Nicole Schroeder

Nicole Schroeder

Nicole Schroeder is a storyteller at heart. As the editor in chief of Indie Author Magazine, she brings nearly a decade of journalism and editorial experience to the publication, delighting in any opportunity to tell true stories and help others do the same. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism and minors in English and Spanish. Her previous work includes editorial roles at local publications, and she’s helped edit and produce numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including a Holocaust survivor’s memoir, alongside independent publishers. Her own creative writing has been published in national literary magazines. When she’s not at her writing desk, Nicole is usually in the saddle, cuddling her guinea pigs, or spending time with family. She loves any excuse to talk about Marvel movies and considers National Novel Writing Month its own holiday.

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