If you have an internet connection there is no reason for you as a writer to be isolated or alone on your journey in the craft. Writing forums are an excellent way to meet and connect with other writers regardless to where they may be in the world. There are of course a plethora of good and not so great ones with the understanding that depending on what you are looking for and want out of the experience, will depend on the sites you frequent and spend your time in. A cautionary note needs also to be added here as forums can be major time suckers; where although the posts and topics may be of interest, perhaps your time might be better spent writing rather than hours reading the trials and tribulations of other writers.
I’ve compiled a list of my favourite forums. Some are places you can ask questions regarding technicalities (especially good for science fiction topics),others great resources for the craft of writing and others specifically good to promote your work or submit reviews and articles. Most forums are free to be part of, though some require you to be active within the discussions. On the whole, forums are populated by well meaning individuals, willing to assist and share their knowledge or expertise. As with all public forums, caution is suggested with personal details.
This forum has been in existence for over ten years and is easily navigable with topics overing most subjects including agents, editors, getting published, and honing your craft.
The Writer Magazine
The writer magazine is great place to connect with all types of writers. It looks at subjects in getting contracts, how to freelance, and has an online classified ad section.
This forum purports in being the larges online resource for the writing community. As to be expected it is populated with everything you might need to know about writing and being published. There is a section for peer group reviews on short stories and poetry, which if you are a little short on beta readers, can assist enormously in your stages of preparing a submission for editing and publishing.
This forum looks at supporting the emerging writer through peer group reviews on stories and articles and providing information on the craft and press releases.
The Writer’s Beat
This forum seems to be well organised and keeps it information up to date. They run an interesting flash fiction writing competition every quarter and post information on paid opportunities and the marketplace.
This forum is enormous. I particularly like it as they have a good level of humour and moderation in play for posts; allowing members to have free say, but in the same vein, now allowing flame wars or personal attacks to influence the excellent submission and discussions. There is a huge amount of information on paying markets, local events, writer workshops, open jobs, tips on how to write, and a critique area.
Forums may or may not be your cup of tea. Despite your personal views on them, there are many advantages in being part of a group who have similar interests to you and who are generally online at the same time as you are to answer just about any sort of question. It refreshing sometimes to connect with others who understand ‘the voices’ and passion you have for writing. Lasting friendships and fruitful business connections can be made through this medium; so don’t discount it merely as a gossip space.
Image “The Gossiping Bench” by ercwttmn via Flickr