Contributed by: Krissy Brady, Editor of Brady Magazine
Without the internet, it was difficult and time-consuming for writers to find new resources and make beneficial connections; this was especially the case if the writer was shy and anti-social. Being shy is a huge drawback when striving for a career where it is necessary to make connections with editors, publishers, and let’s not forget other writers.
The internet has not only helped writers by providing a whole new avenue with which to publish their writing, it has also helped shy writers make connections in the comfort of their own homes. The best way to do so is by visiting writers’ forums, where registration is free and the contacts are priceless. Writers’ forums are easy to join, and easy to create. The shyest of writers can make connections and be open with others without having to worry or feel uncomfortable.
After much poking around, here are the top four writers’ forums on the internet (in no particular order):
1. FictionAddiction.NET http://forums.fictionaddiction.net
"There’s a real sense of community among the members,” says Apryl Duncan, forum moderator. “They are people from all over the world who will probably never meet, but they are just as much friends as you are with your next door neighbour.”
Fiction Addiction’s forum has many features that are beneficial to writers, including a critique group, sections for readers and writers, as well as a roundtable that has hosted and will continue to host many interesting discussions. When joining this forum, expect dozens of hellos from the regular members, and be ready to feel warm and fuzzy inside.
2. Absolute Write http://pub43.ezboard.com/babsolutewrite
What distinguishes Absolute Write’s forum from the others? It’s a forum for all writers. There are boards for fiction and non-fiction writers, book authors, screenwriters, playwrights, and many more. They also have boards where writers can share warnings with each other about deadbeat publishers, where they can share leads, and where they can find mentors.
“Our boards are pop-up ad free, open to all writers, and easy to use,” explains Jenna Glatzer, Editor-in-Chief of Absolute Write. “We have many experienced writers who love to share advice and help out new writers. Our boards have become a place where writers can network, look for advice, find jobs, or just get some camaraderie when their work has been rejected.”
3. Writer’s Block http://writersblock.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi
Although Writer’s Block’s forum is not intended to be different than other writer forums, it is still a great place to make connections. They concentrate mainly on a writer’s enlightenment and on his or her future.
“Its sole intention,” explains Twona, forum administrator, “is to help artists and writers of various categories find new writing instruments and guidance, so they continue in the direction of their hopes and dreams.” They have a variety of message boards for writers of different stages and genres, and they have boards especially for meeting business connections for future projects.
4. Brady Magazine http://users.boardnation.com/~bradymagazine/index.php
“To me,” says Camille LaGuire, children’s writer, “the key to various forums is that it doesn’t matter if they are big and popular—as a matter of fact, that can be a detriment.” Brady Magazine’s forum is by no means large (only 147 registered members), but its goal is to provide writers with as many resources as possible to keep them motivated and striving for publication. Its members consist of writers and those who provide services to writers, making it easy and enjoyable to make new connections.
There is also the option of beginning your own forum. What would attract members?
“I work as a writer,” says Cathy Buburuz, Canadian writer and artist, “and I’m always on the lookout for paying markets. To me, this is the most important aspect of a forum.” Writers also enjoy having a place to improve their writing, and to get the inside scoop on publishers and their preferences. It is also a good idea to create a message board dedicated to reports on writing scams and other negative attributions to the profession. Not only will it keep you informed, but it will be a great place for your forum members to rant and rave about their bad experiences.
As for setup, here is some advice from our top forum moderators:
“Take a look at the forums you like to visit.” advises Apryl, “See what forum software they’re using if you like the look of it.”
“It’s important to have moderators so you can get rid of people who post advertisements or start flame wars,” explains Jenna. “Also, make sure you have a few people who will start new topics to keep people talking.”
Being a shy writer no longer has to be a drawback. It is now possible to make important connections while still maintaining an introverted quality. Happy connecting.
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