Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The internet is such a boon for writers. When I first started to get serious about publishing my work, long before we had (or could even imagine) internet access, I could turn to books like Writer's Market for information, but it was a lonely process. I knew other writers were out there--and I did know a few--but overall, I felt very isolated. The publishing world felt so far away, and was shrouded in so much mystery. I have since found such a wonderful community of writers, both in the world and online. A community that offers information and support and inspiration. It is remarkable how real community can be formed in a virtual world. I teach an online class, and love getting to know people through their words alone.

Here are some of the online resources I share with my students:

Poets and Writers has a great online presence. Much of the content of Poets & Writers Magazine (which all serious writers should subscribe to!) is available, and they also offer a lively discussion board, the Speakeasy.
Readerville is a forum for passionate readers and writers. You can access dozens of conversations about writing and reading and publishing 24 hours a day.
Publisher's Lunch is a free daily email newsletter about the publishing industry. You can also sign up for a paid subscription at Publisher's Marketplace, which offers even more information about what's going on in the publishing world. A good place for those seeking agents.
The Emerging Writers Network posts numerous interviews with underappreciated authors and provides great networking opportunities through the newsletter.

There are also some wonderful blogs about books and publishing. My favorites include:
Maud Newton (which focuses on literary fiction and publishing)
The Elegant Variation (which also has a literary emphasis)
Moorish Girl (which focuses on international fiction)
Buzz, Balls, and Hype (which focuses on book promotion)
Southern Comfort (which focuses on women's fiction and book marketing)
Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind (which claims to focus on crime fiction, but often casts a wider net)
Galleycat (which focuses on publishing news)
Cupcake Series (which has a great feminist literary focus)

Author Karin Gillespie, proprietor of Southern Comfort, recently started up the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit, to help women authors connect and help promote each other online. I thought this was a great idea and signed up right away. In the coming weeks, you will see guest appearances by other authors as we make the rounds of one another's blogs. This is kind of a twist on my friend Kevin Smokler's brainchild, Virtual Book Tour, which gives authors a wonderful new way to connect with readers. I look forward to being part of it!

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