Networking sites for writers seem to be all the rage this year. First there was Pitchtopia, a site designed to bring writers, editors and agents together in a forum for shopping stories. Now there’s Greenwriter.org, a site bringing screenwriters, agents and producers together in the same fashion. This latest conduit for starving artists also incorporates an environmental angle into its mission:
“Screenwriters in America print 180 million sheets of paper a year. In six months, we hope to cut that in half.”
Sounds good to me. Saves on stamps, too. But writers should make sure to copyright their work before submitting it — Greenwriter can’t protect against story theft. Go to www.copyright.gov to register your work (note: basic claims cost from $35).
That’s your public service announcement for the day.
We’re in an age when publishing has been democratized — citizen journalists and iReporters ask celebrities questions for online news sources, and anyone can self-publish a book. Just go to Amazon.com and read about their manufacturing-on-demand models. If you have something to say, you can say it! But that doesn’t mean people necessarily want to hear it.
The best new site I’ve seen to balance quality assurance with the American Dream zeal is Pitchtopia.org. This forum plans to bring writers, agents and editors together to network. Meanwhile, a Pitchtopia team will cull the ideas received and pitch the best to the editors/agents. The site’s still in the works — it launched in beta form this month, with a full launch slated for September. They’re also currently hiring to fill that Pitchtopia team (check mediabistro.com for — gasp — job openings!).
What I like about this site is its earnest hopefulness — Pitchtopia’s revenue is purely ad-based. They don’t get a cut if there’s an editor/writer connection, and they even use online tutorials that explain the basics of pitching book or magazine ideas. I like to imagine a group of retired professors, editors and Jewish mothers sitting around drinking tea, reading our stories and making literary love connections. Hell, I even want to try it. I already signed up!
For people who don’t know someone in the business but think they have a good story to tell, this is their site. I hope it continues to blossom this summer. For now, I give it a thumbs-up.