The Best of New Writing on the Web

January 14, 2008

Second Edition: Refutations

Filed under: Editorial,Writing — litlove @ 12:10 pm

As I was compiling this edition, it struck me that the posts featured stood as convincing ripostes to the endless clichés we have to put up with from the mainstream media that claim bloggers are ‘Pooters’, talentless, dull navel gazers whose limited concerns are matched by limited skills. Not only is the quality of writing amongst these pieces far higher than any you’ll find in a daily newspaper, but there’s a halo of intelligence that glimmers around them, born from mastery of the medium and confidence in their knowledge. Many were drawn from community sites that foster and promote creativity in the arts, again belying the tedious insistence that such forums do not exist online, or if they did would only turn into cabals. I’ve been consistently astounded by the quality of the creative writing sites and the artistic web ‘zines that I’ve come across. Where else in our contemporary media would you find such community support given so generously and to such good effect? Quite.

If you scroll down through the eight featured posts in this edition, you’ll find two brilliant poems, one by the magnificent jillypoet whose work I discovered at the impressive poetry site readwritepoem. Jill has also started her own community site called poem, where: ‘Each month we will read a poem by a well-known or lesser-known poet, then discuss for a week. The next week we will write from a prompt based on the poem (and maybe other poems like it). The next week we’ll have everyone post links to their poems, and the final week, well, it’s a poetry free-for-all.’ The other is by the equally, but differently wonderful Chris Powici, which I found featured at the online literary magazine, Dogmatika. Experimental and fearless, Dogmatika gives us all confidence in the continuation of original art. Chris also provides poems for PoetryScotland, whose open mouse section has a fine crop of poems chosen from open submissions.

Flash fiction comes from the talented TiV at The Individual Voice, in the form of an uncanny trip down the lesser traveled corridors of a hospital, whilst this edition’s short story, a fantastic rewrite of the Robinson Crusoe legend, is by Canadian writer Jeff Bursey. I loved the slow-burning quality of this one, and the way the plot gradually unfolds before the reader’s eyes. I should say that this story is also available at Scarecrow, another formidable mine of literary and artistic talent, but although I emailed the editor to check it was ok to reproduce the story here, my mail kept pinging back to me. So hope this is ok, Scarecrow!

On the non-fiction side there’s a glorious evocation of a reader’s developing relationship to James Joyce’s Ulysses (the author already has a book published) that came originally from that other wonderful community site, Chekhov’s Mistress, run by the ever inventive and magisterially organized Bud Parr. There’s an entertaining and subtly enlightening post by writer Lloyd Mintern at Black Mirrors that defies any kind of conventional categorization I’ve ever come across but can best be described as philosophical life writing (check out the site – I was spoiled for choice), a brilliantly incisive and well-informed book review from the consistently humane and humanitarian Charlotte’s Web, and a hilarious post from the Little Professor, who envisages the possibility of an academic Olympics. Once you’ve read it, you’ll wonder how such an event doesn’t already exist….

Please do keep the suggestions and nominations coming in – I rely on you to keep me informed and up to date. If you do not see your work, or your nominated work here, then don’t lose faith. I find myself making decisions on issues of variety and length that have nothing to do with the quality of people’s work, and I’ve had to put aside for another time several posts I would dearly have liked to include. I’ll get around everyone in the end. Next fortnight’s edition will be particularly focused on bloggers setting the world to rights. Politics, religion, domestic, cultural and artistic issues, all most welcome here. Enjoy this edition and keep blogging!



  1. Thank you very much for my inclusion in your second edition. I am thrilled, and have had a lovely read of all the other posts, enjoying the variety and high quality of writing that is happening right here on the Web.

    Comment by charlotteotter — January 14, 2008 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

  2. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me weed through all that’s out there online to discover some wonderful bloggers and writing.

    Comment by Emily Barton — January 14, 2008 @ 7:53 pm | Reply

  3. This looks great, and I like the way you have them all lined up on one page. And I’m pleased to see the Little Professor’s post here — she writes such funny stuff!

    Comment by Dorothy W. — January 14, 2008 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

  4. There is no question that some excellent writing is being done in the world of blogs. Given that the technology of blogsites is getting so sophisticated perhaps we can envision a time when there is blogging in the old fashioned sense of a weblog on one hand and writers utilising free technology to create individual sites on the other. I think we need to accept that a new medium is being developed and your work here is certainly at the forefront of that. Interesting diverse selection of pieces, all brilliant and careful writing. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by gingatao! — January 26, 2008 @ 11:52 pm | Reply

  5. Thank you so much for your support! I really do appreciate it. It makes me feel it’s really worthwhile to take the time and trouble to put this together.

    Comment by litlove — January 28, 2008 @ 11:33 am | Reply

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