Several months ago, when I wrote a column about social networking resources for writers, I had help from one such author. My friend Bob Burke writes children’s fiction and he’s given me a real insight into the world of the aspiring novelist.
It’s no surprise that it’s an ideal building ground for an online social network. The best site Bob has found is supported by the Arts Council of England and it’s called YouWriteOn.Com.
Described as “X-Factor for books”, the homepage explains:
The YouWriteOn premise is simple: you review and rate another members opening chapters or short story and then your opening chapters are sent randomly to another member to review and rate.
Top rated chapters are referred for consideration to affiliated leading literary agencies including The Christopher Little Literary Agency and Curtis Brown, whose authors include J.K. Rowling, Ed McBain, David Lodge and Margaret Atwood.
As Bob explains it, members contribute reviews of each others work and, in so doing, make their own work eligible for review. The real value is the opportunity of professional feedback from experts such as Michael Legat, who reviewed Bob’s chapters after his peers had voted them to the top of the monthly chart.
Bob’s submission to YouWriteOn.Com is a story for pre-teens which recounts the continuing adventures of the clever hero of “The Three Little Pigs”. What happens after “happily ever after”? How does a clever pig make a living in day-to-day Grimmtown?
It was another slow day in the office. Actually, it had been a slow week in the office. No, if the truth be known, it had been a lousy month for the Third Pig Detective Agency. That’s me by the way: Harry Pigg, the Third Pig. Where did the name come from? Well, I was the pig that built the house out of bricks while my idiot brothers took the easy route and went for cowboy builders and cheap materials. Let me tell you, wood and straw ain’t much use when Mr. Wolf comes calling. Those guys were pork-chop as soon as he drew in his first breath and filled those giant lungs of his. Blow your house down, indeed. (more…)