When I first decided to get serious about writing a few years ago, I was lucky to stumble across an online writing community called Writers Net. For a noob like me, it was incredibly helpful -- people shared information about the market, about agents, about the profession of writing overall. I would have made a lot more mistakes starting out if I didn't have WN as a support system, and as a fountain of information.
From there came Backspace, one of my favorites. Serious writers and people looking to either break into the industry or who have already made their bones frequent that forum. I can honestly say that I doubt I would have written HELL'S BELLES at all, if not for all the terrific people -- family -- I met through Backspace.
And, thanks to one of my writing group members, I also found Absolute Write. At the time, I joined to take part in the writing contest called Absolute Write Idol. I wound up getting an honorary mention, which was pretty cool. And I took the time to look through all the forums there, including the utterly amazing Beware and Background Check. And I never left.
I wasn't the biggest poster at AW, not even close. But I checked in numerous times a day. Through AW I met wonderful people, including the talented Cathy Clamp. Through AW, I contributed to the STORIES OF STRENGTH anthology as an editor. Through AW, I met Jenna Glatzer and a number of the moderators. And damned if I wasn't impressed by these writers -- from Jenna and the mods to the regulars at AW, to the new posters who seemed to come in every day. It's people that make any community, and AW had a thriving, living community.
And now, Jenna and AW need help. Your help.
JC Hosting, the previous web host for AW, continues to hold the AW databases hostage. Jenna is still struggling to get the databases back -- including the tons of information about scam publisher Publish America -- and now, in addition, she has legal costs as she fights the good fight against JC Hosting. And then there's the expense of rebuilding Absolute Write. (Oh yes, let there be no doubt: AW is returning.)
Bluntly, Jenna needs help. You can her blog entry for more details, but here's the gist: Donations can be made through PayPal (see Jenna's blog) or by sending a check or money order to:
Absolute Write, PO Box 621, Islip, NY 11751.
I'm sending in a check this evening. It's the least I can do to give back to a community that has been helpful and supportive as I've taken my first steps as a (soon to be) published novelist.
If you can send anything, please do. Every little bit helps.
And please, spread the word.
Addition: Here's another link about this. Boing boing!