Friday, June 22, 2012

Website Review:

     There are lots of great online critique groups and writing communities out there for fiction writers. is more of a "community" than a "critique group," which means it's more about staying creative and having writerly fun than it is about serious business. It is especially geared toward lovers of YA fiction & popular nerdy culture, e.g. Cumberbatch's Sherlock or the newest "books to movies," and toward literary teen girls.

Figment PROS:
  • It constantly offers new writing contests with prizes ranging from exposure, advice or prizes from featured authors.  
  • It also offers regular giveaways (usually books), free writing prompts,  and a helpful, informative newsletter that includes updates on contests, giveaways and upcoming events.
  • It provides opportunities to interact with publishing insiders- popular authors (often YA authors), editors and other literary guests in moderated online events. The guests answer members' questions live. 
  • Members get to read sneak peeks of new, popular books.
  • The site is easily navigable, free to join and continually growing.
  • Stories can be written or copy/pasted into the writer's profile (as opposed to uploaded in a file), which "feels" aesthetically creative.
  • The community is eager, young & encouraging. Members are often looking for new writer friends with whom to exchange critiques.
  • The site offers writing classes.
  • The services to serious writers are limited. If you are looking for serious critiques from equally serious authors, this is not the best place to hang out. The authors are usually beginners, and very, very few offer fabulous feedback. A few do, but there are better place to look for experienced writers and critiques. (I would recommend
  • The writing classes are not free (although everything else I mentioned is).
  • Although a few contests are judged entirely by editors, many are based at least partially on the popularity of the writer or her story. Usually, the contestants are thinned out by popularity and the winners are chosen by editors. Obviously, this favors popularity more than skill, a downside for skilled authors who just don't have time to read through tons of other peer writings, and won't "heart" others just to get more hearts for themselves. The system is designed, of course, to be addictive and to promote activity. Luckily, it's easy to discover the judging criteria--just read the guidelines. 
     Overall, this is a terrific site for young, eager writers, especially teenagers over 13. I say "over 13" because most of the contests require that age level of the participants. The site provided motivation for me as a new, young writer, with its constant inspiration and contests; I still occasionally read the updates and enter giveaways or contests.

No comments:

Post a Comment