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The Write Crowd: Literary Citizenship and the Writing Life

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Writing may be a solitary profession, but it is also one that relies on a strong sense of community. The Write Crowd offers practical tips and examples of how writers of all genres and experience levels contribute to the sustainability of the literary community, the success of others, and to their own well-rounded writing life. Through interviews and examples of establishe Writing may be a solitary profession, but it is also one that relies on a strong sense of community. The Write Crowd offers practical tips and examples of how writers of all genres and experience levels contribute to the sustainability of the literary community, the success of others, and to their own well-rounded writing life. Through interviews and examples of established writers and community members, readers are encouraged to immerse themselves fully in the literary world and the community-at-large by engaging with literary journals, reading series and public workshops, advocacy and education programs, and more. In contemporary publishing, the writer is expected to contribute outside of her own writing projects. Editors and publishers hope to see their writers active in the community, and the public benefits from a more personal interaction with authors. Yet the writer must balance time and resources between deadlines, day jobs, and other commitments. The Write Crowd demonstrates how writers may engage with peers and readers, and have a positive effect on the greater community, without sacrificing writing time.


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Writing may be a solitary profession, but it is also one that relies on a strong sense of community. The Write Crowd offers practical tips and examples of how writers of all genres and experience levels contribute to the sustainability of the literary community, the success of others, and to their own well-rounded writing life. Through interviews and examples of establishe Writing may be a solitary profession, but it is also one that relies on a strong sense of community. The Write Crowd offers practical tips and examples of how writers of all genres and experience levels contribute to the sustainability of the literary community, the success of others, and to their own well-rounded writing life. Through interviews and examples of established writers and community members, readers are encouraged to immerse themselves fully in the literary world and the community-at-large by engaging with literary journals, reading series and public workshops, advocacy and education programs, and more. In contemporary publishing, the writer is expected to contribute outside of her own writing projects. Editors and publishers hope to see their writers active in the community, and the public benefits from a more personal interaction with authors. Yet the writer must balance time and resources between deadlines, day jobs, and other commitments. The Write Crowd demonstrates how writers may engage with peers and readers, and have a positive effect on the greater community, without sacrificing writing time.

30 review for The Write Crowd: Literary Citizenship and the Writing Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    I enjoyed what this book had to say about literary citizenship. Literary citizenship is where you stands as a writer or reader within the greater literary community around you. I found that the ideas presented in this were good starting points for giving back to the local literary community. It did inspire me to look into opportunities to volunteer and help more in my literary community. However, there was times that I felt this dragged a bit. There was some sections that honestly could have bee I enjoyed what this book had to say about literary citizenship. Literary citizenship is where you stands as a writer or reader within the greater literary community around you. I found that the ideas presented in this were good starting points for giving back to the local literary community. It did inspire me to look into opportunities to volunteer and help more in my literary community. However, there was times that I felt this dragged a bit. There was some sections that honestly could have been parsed back or could have done with some cutting back. There's certain parts that intrigued me and gave me ideas for giving back and others I didn't really connect with. That's a more personal problem for me though. I thought that this was an important book to read though about literary citizenship. It definitely showed how writing and reading is a larger community than we think and it's not all done in isolation. This was a fascinating read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This marvelous book answers a much-asked question: how to become part of a community of writers. The book is up-to-date, detailing online communities and resources, yet its perspective is timeless--help yourself by helping others. Author Lori May is deeply knowledgeable about the literary scene and kindly shares her insights with her readers. The appendixes may be especially useful to readers, as they offer a listing of literary organizations and sample book reviews that support the chapter on w This marvelous book answers a much-asked question: how to become part of a community of writers. The book is up-to-date, detailing online communities and resources, yet its perspective is timeless--help yourself by helping others. Author Lori May is deeply knowledgeable about the literary scene and kindly shares her insights with her readers. The appendixes may be especially useful to readers, as they offer a listing of literary organizations and sample book reviews that support the chapter on writing book reviews. I highly recommend this book for anyone delving into the writing life!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris LaTray

    This book could really be viewed as a primer on how to just be a good citizen, period. Get involved. Be kind. Pay stuff forward. Wise words, no matter the undertaking.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pandaduh

    So I picked up this book because Daniel Green reviewed it on thereadingexperience.net and I needed to see it for myself (side note: I wish #libraries had his book _Beyond the Blurb_ so I could ILL it...). He points out that this book overlooks the reader as a citizen and how it is too idealistic and is actually (sort of) a case for self-publishing. Because of his review, I was ready to review it with a line like "if there's citizenship then that implies government. So, consider me an anarchist." So I picked up this book because Daniel Green reviewed it on thereadingexperience.net and I needed to see it for myself (side note: I wish #libraries had his book _Beyond the Blurb_ so I could ILL it...). He points out that this book overlooks the reader as a citizen and how it is too idealistic and is actually (sort of) a case for self-publishing. Because of his review, I was ready to review it with a line like "if there's citizenship then that implies government. So, consider me an anarchist." Yet idealism isn't bad. I just wish the idealism didn't fuel the machine already in place. Sigh. Read the rest of my review here: https://blackandwhitepandaduh.wordpre...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    I had to read this book for university and while I quickly read the first fifty pages, intrigued by what the author had to say, it slowly turned into a slightly boring and repetitive read. The last fifty pages felt like I was reading the same over and over again. Yes, I should take part in the literary community, but please stop repeating that I should do workshops for elderly or at risk teenagers. I got it the first time. Still, an interesting read which made me think about my part in the litera I had to read this book for university and while I quickly read the first fifty pages, intrigued by what the author had to say, it slowly turned into a slightly boring and repetitive read. The last fifty pages felt like I was reading the same over and over again. Yes, I should take part in the literary community, but please stop repeating that I should do workshops for elderly or at risk teenagers. I got it the first time. Still, an interesting read which made me think about my part in the literary community.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Abi Putnam

    Attention new writers, MFAer's, professors, and any writer in general looking for something to shake things up on their own little island of creativity: Lori A May's book is here to remind you that you are not alone. In a powerhouse combination of pep talks, cautionary tales, and quotes from a plethora of authors both alive and dead, this novel will inspire you to glance up from your computer screens/notebooks/napkins/clay tablets or whatever else you may use to write upon, and to take notice of Attention new writers, MFAer's, professors, and any writer in general looking for something to shake things up on their own little island of creativity: Lori A May's book is here to remind you that you are not alone. In a powerhouse combination of pep talks, cautionary tales, and quotes from a plethora of authors both alive and dead, this novel will inspire you to glance up from your computer screens/notebooks/napkins/clay tablets or whatever else you may use to write upon, and to take notice of the other writers and poets around you. This book offers a delicious buffet of ideas, examples, and some experiences from the author herself, of how to connect with something bigger than you and your writing, how to give back, how to be a good person while being a good writer, and best of all, how to become a literary citizen.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten Staller

    Went into this book with a lot of negative feedback, but Lori May had an excellent hook in the prologue and the writing was actually extremely interesting. It was a good read and gave a lot of good ideas what to do. Inspired me to want to write right now and disregard the homework.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Lyon

    In an increasingly competitive world, where we are taught to regard success in terms of money and numbers, it is refreshing to be reminded that writers, first and foremost, should be book lovers. Every single writer, regardless of experience or accomplishment, is part of a literary community that relies heavily on its members to keep it alive and growing. It is humbling, yet inspiring, to be reminded that rather than setting out to simply make a name for yourself as a writer, we should always ke In an increasingly competitive world, where we are taught to regard success in terms of money and numbers, it is refreshing to be reminded that writers, first and foremost, should be book lovers. Every single writer, regardless of experience or accomplishment, is part of a literary community that relies heavily on its members to keep it alive and growing. It is humbling, yet inspiring, to be reminded that rather than setting out to simply make a name for yourself as a writer, we should always keep in mind the literary world in general, with the overriding aim of contributing to it in whatever way we can. In the words of writer and journalist Chris Cleave, “a lot of people have lost sight of the fact that writing should be a vocation, not a career. You have to leave it [the world of books] better than you found it.” In essence, this book is about how to be a more effective ‘literary citizen’, which is someone who engages in, supports and promotes the literary world. Using her own experience and history, Lori A. May puts forth examples and advice in order to inspire fellow literature lovers to engage more forcefully with the arts. We are also given words from other successful writers and professionals, including interviews with notable editors and agents. This book is not a how-to guide on becoming rich and famous, but rather a step-by-step explanation of the benefits of connecting and contributing to an industry that you once fell in love with. The reader is given various ways in which they can do their part for the arts. This can be done either in the ‘real world’, by helping with events such as book signings, or in the cyber world, by starting up an online publication designed to showcase new talent, or by reviewing books. There are seemingly endless ways to help promote literature, especially in this modern age of technology and social media. If you are a bibliophile, it makes for truly exciting reading. Like most nonfiction, this isn’t a book that you will read in one sitting. In all likelihood, this book will be put down and picked up a number of times. For me, this was because I was inspired by the material and eager to put the advice into practice and investigate opportunities in my local area. If you aren’t an extremely extroverted individual and find it hard to engage in something new, this is something that the book covers. A great deal of a writer’s life will be spent alone, behind closed doors, but this book does the important job of reminding us that we should make time to add to a community that we are reliant upon. This book should be considered integral reading for every writer, whether they are established or just starting out. It’s a fantastic introduction to the industry, and an important reminder for those who have been successful for so long that they run the risk of taking the literary world for granted.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I am reviewing this book for NetGalley. All writers are looking for ways to promote themselves, but the premise of this book is less about self-promotion and more about becoming what is termed a 'literary citizen'. What this means is, as a writer, you should find ways to support not just other writers, but everyone in the literary community. The author points out that you don't need to be living in a large city with a buzzing cultural life in order to do that. According to her, literary citizensh I am reviewing this book for NetGalley. All writers are looking for ways to promote themselves, but the premise of this book is less about self-promotion and more about becoming what is termed a 'literary citizen'. What this means is, as a writer, you should find ways to support not just other writers, but everyone in the literary community. The author points out that you don't need to be living in a large city with a buzzing cultural life in order to do that. According to her, literary citizenship is something that you can get involved in no matter where you are. A book like this is necessarily going to be regional and, as the author is from the United States the focus is, of course, on the United States. As such, as a reader from Australia, I found myself wading through examples which I couldn't really relate to. Similarly, the lists at the back of the book of literary and writing groups means very little unless you are in the US. However, on the flip side, if you get through the regional emphasis you can find a number of little gems in terms of advice. The information on book reviewing was particularly good, and the advice on getting involved online, although not comprehensive, still provided enough ideas for a motivated writer to get started. I also appreciated the suggestion that blatant self-promotion is often counterproductive. Paying it forward can provide a far more effective way of becoming noticed and provides that added benefit of making you feel good. Of course, above all else one needs to write and write well. But I completely bought into the idea of literary citizenship and, despite some repetition and a slightly tiresome happy-clappy message, I think the overall idea of this book is completely sound. I took notes and I'll definitely be putting some of the more relevant ideas into practice. I wouldn't say it is a must-read for a writer, but I definitely think there are enough words of good advice for a thorough flick through.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Loreen Niewenhuis

    Lori A May does an excellent job of exploring how to live a full and connected life as a writer. With clear examples gleaned from her own writing life along with tips and experiences from many other successful writers, May offers many ways for the writer to authentically connect and contribute to the writing community. While this book is not a marketing guide, may of the tips here -- when undertaken to foster relationships within the literary community -- will be more effective in spreading the Lori A May does an excellent job of exploring how to live a full and connected life as a writer. With clear examples gleaned from her own writing life along with tips and experiences from many other successful writers, May offers many ways for the writer to authentically connect and contribute to the writing community. While this book is not a marketing guide, may of the tips here -- when undertaken to foster relationships within the literary community -- will be more effective in spreading the word about the work of the writer than many lists of suggestions from other sources. This book also sheds light on the viewpoint of the editor and publisher, all valuable insight for the writer. The appendix provides a list of literary community organizations and other online resources to help the writer connect with their local or regional community.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    This is an important read to any writer that feels disconnected from the "real world" while undertaking the solitary act of writing. All writers are part of a literary community--online, in person, or a combination of both--and it is important to focus on being an active literary citizen. It's a wonderful resource and a great reminder to writers of all levels of success to reach out and take part in your writing community. I may have special affection for this as someone born and raised in Metro This is an important read to any writer that feels disconnected from the "real world" while undertaking the solitary act of writing. All writers are part of a literary community--online, in person, or a combination of both--and it is important to focus on being an active literary citizen. It's a wonderful resource and a great reminder to writers of all levels of success to reach out and take part in your writing community. I may have special affection for this as someone born and raised in Metro Detroit, and the author mentions a handful of times about moving to Detroit and finding her way through its literary community.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    The Write Crowd by Lori A. May Bloomsbury Academic Nonfiction (Adult) Pub Date Apr 27, 2015 The Write Crowd, is a wonderful resource for authors. It includes great advise on how to get yourself known suh as getting involved in Authors interviews on well known blogs, as well as a comprehensive link to writing resources. The links to well known artist and author orginizations are included, making this a must have book for new authors especially, trying to find more ways in which to get involved in the The Write Crowd by Lori A. May Bloomsbury Academic Nonfiction (Adult) Pub Date Apr 27, 2015 The Write Crowd, is a wonderful resource for authors. It includes great advise on how to get yourself known suh as getting involved in Authors interviews on well known blogs, as well as a comprehensive link to writing resources. The links to well known artist and author orginizations are included, making this a must have book for new authors especially, trying to find more ways in which to get involved in the writing scene. I give the Write Crowd, five out of five stars, and would definitely recommend it to my author friends. Happy reading

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Lori A. May's The Write Crowd Literary Citizenship & The Writing Life is full of good ideas for being a literary citizen. There are ideas for every level of involvement--from individual efforts, grassroots, or joining national organizations. If you love reading, writing, and everything it means and want to become more involved in spreading your love of all things books, this book is for you. Lori A. May's The Write Crowd Literary Citizenship & The Writing Life is full of good ideas for being a literary citizen. There are ideas for every level of involvement--from individual efforts, grassroots, or joining national organizations. If you love reading, writing, and everything it means and want to become more involved in spreading your love of all things books, this book is for you.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura Lam

    This is the main textbook for our Authorship module, which I'm helping teach next trimester. It's about the things you do outwith writing to give back to your community--signal boosting others' work, critique groups, book reviewing, community outreach, teaching, mentoring, starting a literary magazine, etc. A quick read and very useful for the course, which I'm excited about! This is the main textbook for our Authorship module, which I'm helping teach next trimester. It's about the things you do outwith writing to give back to your community--signal boosting others' work, critique groups, book reviewing, community outreach, teaching, mentoring, starting a literary magazine, etc. A quick read and very useful for the course, which I'm excited about!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Grace LeMon

    Lori A. May has put together an excellent case for literary citizenship as well as a good resource for writers looking for a place to begin their journey of giving back to the writing community. At times, the writing was repetitive, but this is a book that will live on my shelf and be returned to time and time again.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lilly

    I had to read this book for my Literary Citizenship class. My professor got the idea for this class from this book. It was very much like an instruction manual. I learned a little from it but, very dry.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joshua P'ng

    Very useful for aspiring writers. I especially enjoy the balance between rural/township/urban resources.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Great book, gets at the heart at literary citizenship. You do it because you love it, not because you expect anything from it. Can't wait to teach with this book in the call. Great book, gets at the heart at literary citizenship. You do it because you love it, not because you expect anything from it. Can't wait to teach with this book in the call.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Sivins

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Samuels

  21. 4 out of 5

    Larissa

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  23. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Leigh

  24. 4 out of 5

    Quincyann Hillery

  25. 5 out of 5

    victoria lynn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jill Kandel

  28. 4 out of 5

    D Ferrara

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nastassia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yailene_Reads

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