Social media has revolutionized the way writers interact - with each other, with readers, with the publishing industry. Not every writer is on every platform, or even necessarily on any of them! (But, er, clearly you are, gentle reader, or how else would you come to be here?)
I have to say: I love it.
I've also grown weary of sweeping proclamations. It seems that every day some person somewhere on the internet says, "X is changing the face of publishing!" But social media is one of the values of X that I believe to be true, and one of the ways it's doing so are through contests.
Seriously! I knew they happened, the fabulous Authoress runs some well-attended ones regularly, but I don't think I realized just how popular they've gotten - and how many agents are not only willing, but eager to participate.
Writing contests, as they exist in the blogosphere, are fabulous because while they shake up the traditional path to publication by ending with critiques or even offer of representation for some authors - in a method that mostly didn't exist until very recently and is dramatically different than the norm - they are also fun. For everyone involved!
I've entered a few recently, including the First Line Grabber competition on Authoress's blog last month. (Or was it earlier this month? I can't keep track of time in my old age, it seems...) The spirit of friendly competition among fellow writers is rivaled only by the support they give one another. For something that is so often a solitary activity, it's a wonderfully refreshing change of pace.
And as these contests multiply in number, and are elevated in profile, there is frequently the promise of Lurking Agent Eyes (tm). Which is just so cool, and these LAEs frequently drop by to leave comments, offer feedback, or even surprise-attack folks with page requests!
Publishing has its challenges right now, to be certain. But I honestly can't think of a more exciting time to be around and part of a vibrant, giving community - that still knows how to have fun.
And I think this kind of unconventionality and the willingness to explore new, fun ideas is a predilection that will keep publishing alive and prospering for a long time yet.
Have you entered any blog contests recently? How'd it go? Inquiring minds want to know!
(Inquiring minds also ask that you pay no notice to the fact that by EDT standards it is technically no longer Monday. Time is but an illusion, and Monday finds this Tuesday dress to be quite slimming.)