Working The Web Authorship


Working The Web: Authorship Essay, Research Paper

Working the web: AuthorshipWanna be a writer? Seems a lot of us do. A survey carried out to mark the launch of WH Smith’s Raw Talent competition discovered we are a nation of would-be authors. Almost 50% of respondents said they would like to write a book, with thrillers and biographies leading the choice of genres. When you finally get around to taking the first steps to creating something, you will find plenty of support, information and practical help on the net – as well as outlets for your work. There is nothing to stop you setting up your own site and posting your work there, but you can increase your readership by submitting it to one of the thousands of e-zines dedicated to publishing original work online. They are often in the weirdest of niche areas that commercial publishers would not touch, and you are highly unlikely to get paid. But think of the glory. Since 1993, John Labovitz has been maintaining his list of 4,000-plus e-zines at, and is asking for someone to take over its time-consuming maintenance. Or, you can go further, and publish your own e-book. Famously, Stephen King abandoned his e-publishing venture halfway, but there are authors who say they are making decent money from self-publishing this way. The e-author Angela Adair-Hoy tells you how she and others do it at If you are keener on the dead-tree route to published fame, screen-loads of advice is available at, where some good people at the Publishers Association pass on information about copyright in the UK, ISBN numbers and getting an agent. More support for writers – aimed especially at women – comes from the magazine Mslexia, itself a paper publication, but with a workwoman-like website containing a selection of useful articles and a subscription form. One of the biggest UK sites for creative writing was started by Gary Crucefix, who describes himself as an “amateur writer”. His site Fiction House is growing all the time, and has an impressive selection of links. The page on different webrings for writers will put you in touch with even more resources. Crucefix says he “strives to offer content and opportunity which is educational and informative to writers of all genre’s”. That apostrophe is, I am sorry to say, Crucefix’s own. Call me picky. You may want to learn more about the whole craft of writing including, probably, where to put apostrophes, by following a course; you can, naturally, do it online. Nottingham Trent University’s online writing school, Trace, invites you to try out online learning with its live web-based open days, where you can chat to tutors and students, join a writing workshop and find out if you want to take it further. Getting published is only one way of getting a buzz from writing. The other way is to win a competition. There are dozens, here and overseas, and although prizes are on the titchy side (£50 or £100 are common) and you may even have to pay to enter (£3 seems fairly standard), it could be the one way you are likely to see any cash from short story writing or poetry. Find out about competitions at

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