The Writing Revolution

Here’s what I think.

People are fond of thinking in old loops, snarling their thoughts like old yarn, and spouting platitudes that really don’t mean that much. Some of these platitudes include the idea that the internet has ruined literacy.

I think the opposite.

I just spent an afternoon, an evening and half a morning playing around with this new resource I’ve found: Duotrope, a real resource for writers. Never mind the workshops and the advice blogs. This is an online database for submissions, and it’s collected thousands of markets for writing. And it gives links and info and stats on those markets. And it lets you keep track of your submissions, etc.

(Yes, I know. I’m a little slow. Blame it on my anonymity, so there. I hadn’t submitted anything under my own name that I workshopped under Scavella for years because I wanted to remain faceless.)

What does this mean to literature and literacy? Well, it means that magazines and writers can be brought together as never before, and all markets are accessible — unless they specifically don’t want to be — to writers from all over the globe. Literally. I have never heard of 98% of the markets on that database — that’s how many there are of them. Most of my target markets deal primarily or exclusively with Caribbean work, moreover, but that doesn’t mean that my stuff couldn’t find a home elsewhere.

Now granted, some of the markets are new, shaky, self-indulgent, of questionable quality, or downright mediocre. But some are solid, with a love of literature, and a thirst for a reputation. Just because something’s new or web-based these days doesn’t mean it’s second-rate. And the internet brings these together with people who are writing.

Literature can’t help but be revolutionized.


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