I’ve been blogging long enough now to know that not only is the web full of high quality writers, it’s also a place where all kinds of original and unusual types of writing find a home. The orthodox market for publishing has, by its nature, become so standardized and conservative over the past twenty years that there simply hasn’t been any place in it for an awful lot of new, exciting, and niche writing. What we would like to publish, ultimately, is a collected volume of new writing from the internet, one that showcases the talent on display on the web and provides a crossover pathway between the orthodox book reading public and those already well acquainted with the blogosphere. We think such a volume could have a widespread appeal, offering bloggers the chance to see their work in print, and encouraging book readers to venture out into the internet with some sense of the sites they might enjoy and the sheer potential for new writing out there.
However, it’s a big wide web, and I’m only one pair of eyes. What we’ve done initially is to start this new blog here, The Best of New Writing on the Web, and, weekly, I’ll be posting a selection of great writing. I want YOU to nominate that writing for me. If you’ve written something you’re particularly proud of, or if you’ve been reading a post that has struck you as notably well-written, then EMAIL ME THE LINK at email@example.com. It doesn’t matter what the post is about; content is irrelevant right now, as is the kind of writing, be it fiction or non-fiction, opinion pieces, life writing or poetry. All that matters is the quality of the writing and the talent of the blogger. Once a week I’ll make a selection and cross post the pieces at the blog site; it’ll be a kind of online weekly magazine, I hope. If the blog does well enough and we get a suitable range and quantity of posts to choose from, then we can use those nominations as the basis for a published volume.
It’s early days and I’m very conscious of the need to be flexible until we know what works. When I say ‘the best of’, you’ll be realizing that that means, ‘what I like’. It’s not a particularly sophisticated criterion, and the best I can say for it is that I’ve spent fifteen years now working one way or another as a literary critic, so I know my own mind, if nothing else. But it may well be that every so often we’ll invite offers for a guest editor, just to welcome in a fresh perspective. Please know we’re very interested in any ideas, suggestions and recommendations other bloggers might have. But to get this project launched, all I need right now is nominations for suitable blog posts. I’ll be scouting around too, but the more writing I have presented to me, the better. So don’t forget, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , and I hope to have a first edition of the blogzine out on 1st January 2008. Promote your work and support your fellow bloggers!