Projects for Writers
This issue, we look at projects created for people on the other side of publishing: the writers. Find out more about Aysel and Charlotte’s projects below.
Aysel’s project, www.featherpenblog.com, is a website dedicated to sharing the works of other writers. She has created a “welcoming creative platform for all types of writing and writers of all backgrounds”, giving writers a space to share their work without limitations and giving readers an opportunity to discover new talents and find their next favourite piece of writing. The inspiration behind this website was, in fact, rejection; coming from a country where the arts and creative industries are not widely valued, she found it extremely difficult to breach into this industry as a writer, citing her lack of work experience opportunities and lack of exposure in terms of published work.
Only one year old, one could say that this project is still in its infancy, but that isn’t stopping Aysel. She is incredibly proud of the development and growth achieved in the last twelve months. Of course, there is a lot of work still to do: whilst she believes the blog is fulfilling her initial vision, she acknowledges that there are still many new writers to reach out to.
“I believe when someone has a platform they can share their work on, it motivates them to create more.”
With the online hosting powered by WordPress, Aysel explains that her website journey has not been plain sailing. “I wish I knew more about hosting and [the] technicalities of managing a website,” she says after completing a stressful website mitigation. She advises that it's important to “know at least the basics of the tools you’re using at the beginning.” Time and patience are crucial for reaching the audience one is aiming for, and word of mouth has helped Aysel’s platform to grow.
The project has firmly bolstered Aysel’s CV, showing a dedication to helping others and a passion for writing, as well as providing her with new skills in terms of website management. She has also developed skills for editing, social media marketing and team management; Aysel prefers, instead of turning away work and giving budding writers yet another rejection, to give feedback and help the writers find pride in their work. The project has made her feel more passionate about publishing generally, giving her that push to view the industry as one designed to help others flourish.
Feather Pen Blog is always on the lookout for new talent, and anyone thinking of submitting (whether it’s poetry, prose, or new article ideas) is greatly encouraged to do so through the email listed on the website.
Like Aysel, Charlotte Maidment has also created a project which provides a platform for writers to share their work. Raised Brow Press (https://raisedbrowpress.wordpress.com/) is an independent online literary magazine aimed at creative writers of all levels, regardless of whether they are published or not.
Charlotte says she came up with the name ‘Raised Brow Press’ as a rejection of the concept of high-brow literature, but that does not mean that features in the magazine are low-brow. Issue One includes high-quality pieces from writers from the UK, Canada and the US.
Getting her project featured on Duotrope, a literary magazine directory, was key to attracting many of the submissions to the magazine. In general, however, gaining exposure has been tough due to the magazine still being in its early stages, something that Charlotte wants to change. So far, poetry has been the main genre of submissions but as the magazine grows, she hopes to encourage more prose and creative non-fiction features.
For Charlotte, Raised Brow Press is not only a passion project but also something to add to her portfolio for potential future employers. Created during lockdown when work for her final year of university ended, the magazine has encouraged her to work on her website development, copy editing and proofreading skills. She has also put a lot of work into Search Engine Optimisation, something she hopes will be beneficial in the field of content writing and digital editorial, which she hopes to enter.
Raised Brow Press stands out from the crowd. “I also have a book blog that I love, but as I graduated I realised that so many other people do too,” Charlotte says. “Raised Brow Press is completely unique to me and I think it is a cool way to show employers who I am in a different way.” She encourages other publishing hopefuls to start projects which centre around something they genuinely enjoy. As well as showing employers what you’re interested in, this means that the hard work required to get a project off the ground “won’t matter”.
Looking to the future, Charlotte is keen to turn Raised Brow Press into an e-zine or magazine-style Instagram account. She is currently looking for social media marketing, graphic design and photography volunteers to join the team and help make this a reality while she continues to run the editorial side of the project. For those interested, a contact form can be found at https://raisedbrowpress.wordpress.com/join-the-team/. Contributors can submit work for consideration here: https://raisedbrowpress.wordpress.com/contribute/.