If you’ve ever wanted to find out about what a literary agent can do for you, or how a book gets published, or even how to make your writing the best it can be, then you’ve probably thought about buying an expensive book or maybe going to a writers conference. Conferences can cost hundreds of dollars and only last a few tiring days, but what if you could get the same classes from your living room or classroom? What if you could meet other writers in your position, form a group to improve your work? What if you could make friends with an agent or industry specialist? Well, you can do that here!
The San Francisco Writers University is an online social networking site where you can put together a profile, meet and talk to other writers and people in the industry, take classes, some for free, and even leave blog posts about your experiences in the publishing world. It’s perfect for everyone from beginners with no experience, who just want some direction, as well as for people who’ve been around a while and want to lend some expertise.
This project was put together by my friend and agent Laurie Mclean with help from the San Francisco Writers Conference and a team of internet gurus. Here’s what she had to say about it:
“This is an ambitious project many years in the making. Create a space online and in the real world that can offer valuable lessons and resources to writers of all types, at every stage of their writing journey. Wow. And my first college business professor taught me that to create something for everyone that does everything is a sure way to fail. But I don’t think that’s the case here. At least I hope not!
We created San Francisco Writers University because we detected a perfect storm of technology, opportunity and change and knew that the time was right. First, the internet. It makes for a 24/7 experience, a worldwide audience, an efficiency for cost-containment and a vehicle for both broad and narrow communication. Next, social media. It allows us to target our classes to what our members want and reach out to them with only relevant information so they get what they want when they want it. And finally digital publishing. We’ve seen the most changes in publishing occur in the past five years to the point where most editors now read manuscripts on their eReaders, talk to agents via email, and you can learn a lot about a publishing professional through their blogs and websites. Not to mention Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and more.
So we’re ready to provide classes for the writing masses that are affordable (most free or $10), valuable (from top notch industry professionals), accessible (online and offline), and easy to use (most are downloadable mp3 files that you can listen to on your iPod!) But we never want to fall into the trap that we know everything. We want to learn as well as teach. So we’re asking…what more can SFWU do for you?”
So if you want to get in on this fantastic idea, visit the site, make a profile, and friend me! Go on the forum and answer the question: what do you want to learn?