The Best of New Writing on the Web

January 1, 2008

Welcome to the First Edition!

Filed under: Editorial,Writing — litlove @ 12:08 pm

A very Happy New Year to you all! I hope you’ve enjoyed wonderful festive celebrations and are in the mood to begin 2008 with some fantastic new writing from around the blogosphere. May I offer a very big thank you to everyone who nominated a blog post for inclusion here – I could not have done this without you. There was so much excellent material to choose from, but I finally settled on the eight posts you’ll find below.

First up is a delightful poem by Anne Holloway (links to sites are included with the post) that is everything I think a poem should be: direct, accessible, moving, real. However do people write poetry? Having tried it myself and produced nothing but abject disasters, I have such respect for writers who can make the everyday sing in this way.

Next, from The Sacred Journey, is a glorious meditation on recovery and recuperation. I like the way the French say it, with the verb ‘se remettre’ which literally means to put oneself back into place again. The author of this piece is currently recounting his travels in the Grand Canyon at his blog, and I can highly recommend those posts, too.

I’d not come across The American Fez before, but when I found his pithy, hilarious posts, I knew I had to include one here. I do love a writer who can make me laugh, and his concise account of anarchy amongst the Christmas toys is just a joy.

Remaining in humourous vein, the next post, from Telecommuter Talk, considers the madness of Hollywood through the recent festive release of Beowulf with its dubious casting of Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mother. ‘Tell me the truth now. She’s exactly what your imagination conjured up, isn’t she?’ But I also love the perceptive analysis of the way that films of books can ruin our cherished illusions. Posts that make me laugh and have something to say: now those are something quite special.

In fact the blogosphere has made me rethink all kinds of cherished illusions of my own. I never had much interest in flash fiction, indeed never believed it to be a genre capable of producing anything worthy of the name of literature until I started reading Very Short Novels. In the fifteen months or so that this blog has been going, I don’t think I’ve read anything by this author that is less than brilliant, but ‘Overdue Books’ which I include here is touched by a special kind of Christmas magic. So much creativity packed in 299 words is a pretty impressive feat.

I’m also a big fan of Dan Green at The Reading Experience. It’s a favourite occupation of his to take the hackneyed or hidebound statements that get flung around in our media culture about reading and writing and put them through the meat mincer of his intelligence. He was in fine, provocative, perceptive mode when he wrote about the notion that reading is for an elite percentage of the population.

The Ruricolist was another new blog to me, however, but I instantly admired this writers exquisite short essays. In the post I’ve chosen below, he meditates on the often surprising life of the notebook, and its sentimental and historical value. I love writers who can pack depth and richness into a few short paragraphs.

Finally I’ve ended on a seasonal – if subversive – note with a hilarious short story from the talented Andy Rants. I think it’s really hard to do Christmas stories well, but the verve and the acidic edge of this author’s writing are just irresistible.

I could have chosen at least another eight posts from the material I had, so if you have put work forward and it hasn’t been included here, please do not be discouraged. There will be many more editions of this blogzine ahead, I hope, so just keep your writing coming. If you think you can do better than the authors featured here, or know of a blogger you deeply admire, excellent: email me with indecent haste at Finally, the format of this blog may change as it’s all experimentation at present and this was the simplest way I could do it. If you have any thoughts, suggestions or comments, I’d be delighted to hear them. And I’ll be posting the next edition in a fortnight’s time. So, I’ll send my warmest wishes for a productive, creative 2008 and leave you to enjoy the wonderful writing of fellow bloggers.




  1. This is a tremendous honor, Litlove. You must know we’ll all be trying to be represented week after week, once we’ve had a taste of the spotlight. Thank you very much indeed.

    Comment by davidbdale — January 1, 2008 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  2. David – you are more than welcome, and wholly deserving.

    Comment by litlove — January 1, 2008 @ 8:27 pm | Reply

  3. Thank you very much LitLove. Your endorsement means a lot to me, and I appreciate your work as well. Keep writing.

    Comment by aristaeus — January 1, 2008 @ 9:24 pm | Reply

  4. Oh my, this is a wonderful compilation, and my head has tripled in size to be included in the very first issue. How am I going to fit into my turtlenecks? Thanks for the honor!

    Comment by Emily Barton — January 1, 2008 @ 11:40 pm | Reply

  5. Aristaeus and Emily – I’m delighted to have you both in the first edition. And I got a lot of enjoyment out of reading your blogs and trying to decide which post I should choose!

    Comment by litlove — January 2, 2008 @ 8:59 pm | Reply

  6. I love this first edition, and look forward to reading more. Thanks for pointing to the quality writing that is being produced on the Web.

    Comment by charlotteotter — January 3, 2008 @ 9:59 am | Reply

  7. many thanks for including me on your blog and for remarks about my offering! To know that I have made the everyday sing is the highest praise I could ever hope for. Thankyou.

    Comment by Anne — January 3, 2008 @ 6:24 pm | Reply

  8. […] a new blog that collects the best writing from the blogosphere.  The first edition can be found here. She possesses remarkable taste and her chosen posts reflect it. It’s […]

    Pingback by We interrupt this rant… « The Public, the Private and Everything In Between — January 9, 2008 @ 8:27 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: