This week, the New York Times started publishing a series of articles under the heading “Six Months In,” looking at what we know now (and are still waiting to learn) after half a year of confronting COVID-19. That got me thinking about my friends in the writing world. We’re six months in, and our favorite writing conferences and conventions have been canceled, postponed, or made virtual. Writing is a lonely endeavor anyway, and it seems it has become even lonelier.
Or has it?
All of us at NLA have participated in myriad online events in the last six months, from one-hour Q&As to multi-day virtual events complete with pitch appointments, critique roundtables, social rooms, and dozens of workshops keyed to various learning tracks. We’ve witnessed event organizers innovate in some pretty commendable ways. The occasional tech glitch and Zoom learning curve aside, it’s actually been pretty great.
But I want to hear from you—all of you writers out there who have participated in online writing events and communities in the past six months. In our new virtual world…
• Are you more involved with writing communities, less involved, or the same?
• Is pitching to an agent or editor online more stressful or less stressful than it is in person? Why?
• Are you connecting with the same folks you were connecting with in person, or have you branched out and networked with new folks?
• How has your critique group adapted in the age of COVID?
• What types of online events have attracted you to participate, and how did they catch your eye?
• What could online-event organizers do to improve writers’ experiences, or what types of things do you wish would be offered?
• Have you attended virtual author readings or book-launch events? If so, what’s worked? What hasn’t?
I want to hear from you! Leave a comment with your thoughts down below. Next month, I’ll report back on the virtual writing world through your eyes…six months in.
(Unfortunately, our newsletter redacted the email we included to receive your responses. Please use the comment section to share your thoughts with us!)
Creative Commons Photo Credit: Ralf Steinberger