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Writers on writers


The idea of writers’ groups fill me with horror. I’ll be honest with you and say that I have only ever been to one. I have also dabbled in writers’ magazines and a couple of online forums. Nevertheless, the only attraction for me is that I know I’ll do the voices in the right way if I read stuff out.  That’s it. Otherwise I’m still scared. It’s just that I’m right there, in front of them.

If asked I usually say that the writing’s the important thing, I’m happy knowing that I can manage to put some kind of narrative together. And to an extent that is true. Being naturally shy and retiring, if anyone’s going to read my stuff then I’m happy for them to do that and not ever tell me. Why would I want to read them my stuff and get their opinion? Am I mad? They might not like it.  They might laugh.

Coward. So the advent of a Nottingham-based online writers’ group should appeal, yes? Let’s hope so. The brainchild of Adam Charles, is centred around one man’s quest to get a readership, to get critiqued, to improve and maybe, just maybe to be published. Having taken the brave steps – to write, to rewrite and to send off, Adam’s is the familiar story of a burgeoning collection of rejection slips and no feedback. Overworked, flooded with manuscripts, publishers and agents don’t do feedback. Fair enough. So who will?

Well, what about other unpublished writers? We’re all happy to criticise everyone else (or at least, I am) so let’s put that to good use instead of carping on to an empty room. And you can do it online! You don’t have to be face to face! When I hear people talk about how impersonal they find the web – “I prefer talking face to face” they say – I know they’ve never faced the prospect of reading out their short story or novel excerpt in front of a room of strangers. is aiming to be a “democratic cyber city where writers can upload, sell and receive ratings and reviews on their hard work. Where unpublished writers can sell their passion for writing as well as their stories. A place where readers can provide direct feedback to writers, have access to them and become part of the writing process. A brave new world in the dynamic between unpublished writers and readers everywhere.” In short, it’s made for cowards like me.

There have been a number of these sites appear in the last few months – Quilliant does something similar – but here’s one in Nottingham itself. What’s more, it’s brand spanking new and offers tempting gadgets as incentive to get involved. Register now in time for the full launch and you’ll be entered into the draw for a new ereader.

We’ll keep you up to date with how this site does in future months but in the meantime, give it a try, let us know how you find it or offer us some alternatives!