What do we hope to find?
Do we go there with the expectation of joining or, more boldly, initiating erudite discussion on the real grit of the nuts'n'bolts manouevres in the dark that is creating fiction and narrative non-fiction? Or, do we simply want to shoot the breeze with fellow dunces? Or, maybe expound on a pet theory? Or, maybe just remind the world that we're still here, plugging away?
Maybe we just want to connect.
Whatever your initial motivation there are dozens of sites out there where you can hang out, sound off, pick up tips, learn more than you ever wanted to know about a fellow writer's obsessions, and throw your still tiny voice around like confetti in a gale.
Here are a few writers' forums you may want to check out:
- Absolute Write - Very much a U.S. site. Though it welcomes furriners, it's made pretty darn clear the regulars don't tolerate no Brit affectation when it comes to spelling, syntax and grammar; no way, not now, not today and not tomorrow.
- Authonomy - Be mindful this is a competitive slushpile set-up. Possibly the most international of the forums I've visited.
- The Book Shed - By written application only.
- The Red Room - Well worth checking out.
- The Write Idea - Very polite, but useful, by comparison with other sites.
- Writers Net - Basic and straightforward.
- Writers Wrule - Set up recently, welcomed a cohort of writers (including the racist) who departed Authonomy because of the Starcraft Caper.
- YouWriteOn - Another competitive slushpile set-up. A shadow of what it once was.
There are, of course, many, many more general writing forums out there. And then there are more focussed forums. I'll keep an eye out and report back as and when I come across them.
In the meantime please let me know your favourite forum and I'll put up a link.