I love visiting the Poets & Writers Magazine website. It’s turned me onto many useful Tools for Writers. Even though there is an excellent searchable database for literary agents, I wish there was a better match-making service online for pairing writers and agents, writers with publishers and even writers with editors. It’s like online dating for writers without the romance or personal stuff, unless that is, your genre-of-choice is a bodice-ripping memoir. I belong to an online writers forum called She Writes, which has some fantastic resources for women writers. But it still lacks this kind of match-making system that I’m talking about. The challenge I often face is that my writing is usually a cross-hybrid, e.g. natural history-memoir, or humor/parody/sci-fi/creative nonfiction. It makes it difficult to check off 1 box on a searchable database and find an agent, publisher or editor who works with such mixes of genres. Same goes for the Writer’s Market reference guide, another favorite resource.

An online writing profile might offer these things:

Name: Leah S.
Years Actively Writing: 30+ (started with a tape-recorder when I was 5)
First publication: Short piece in Wiscasset newspaper, circa 1983 (on wanting to be a journalist)
Genre(s): (List predominant genres as well as those tossing around in the back of the dryer) Creative nonfiction, poetry, environmental science & nature writing, technical, children’s fiction, short fiction, novelette, screenwriting, blogging

Describe writing: My fiction is a hot mess with a chip on her shoulder and a fascination with the absurd, e.g. surfers and the sharks who become them; sexual predators devoured by invasive fish. Creative nonfiction is my practical side. Keepin’ it real. Poetry–Mainiacal. Yes, spelled with two Is and a capital M. That means “from Maine” and “of or related to mania, or a maniac.”Β 

My writing has been compared to: Kerouac, Millay.
No Regrets: Don’t mention Muppets.
Current obsession: hybrid genres
Editors say: Leashless energy, arresting imagery – essentially stop-go-stop-go traffic patterns
Biggest Hurdles: Dysfunctional computer and printer; oppressively red walls in writing room
Favorite writers: Shirley Jackson, Terry Tempest Williams*, Annie Dillard and other chain-smokers
(Note: *Williams is not a chain-smoker to my knowledge)