Thanks to the indefatigable Matt Curran, Macmillan New Writers is up and running, and already has three entries--an introduction from Matt, a hello from Tim Stretton (the most recently signed writer, and a prolific blogger), and a self-profile from Faye L. Booth (author of Cover the Mirrors, the next book to be launched. [A book I've been looking forward to ever since I read the the first chapter in the anthology, I might add.]).
We kicked around the idea of the group blog a few months back, but I'm pleased and impressed at how quickly Matt pulled it all together. If you recall, the group blog was intended to serve several purposes. In case you don't recall, I'll go back through them (largely as a way of reminding myself).
First, the group blog was envisioned as a bit of a clubhouse where MNW authors past and future could stay in touch as a community. Presently it's quite an effort to keep up with anyone except the most active bloggers.
Second, the group blog was proposed as a way of giving all MNW authors access to the blogosphere. Some of our crew aren't interested in running their own blogs (perhaps wisely--it does eat up time that might be better spent doing something else!), though they do have websites: Conor Corderoy, Edward Charles, Hugh Paxton, Jonathan Drapes, Frances Garood, Brian McGilloway, Rosemary Ingham, and LC Tyler. Some others seem to have no web presence at all, at least as far as I've been able to determine: Brian Martin, Suroopa Mukherjee, Jason Webb, Peter Bourne, and Annabel Dore. (Suroopa sometimes shows up in Comments on various blogs, so we know she's out there. I list the others here in hopes that they will come across this while Googling themselves and drop through.) To keep people visiting a blog, the blooger must have new content fairly frequently. A group blog offers a chance to post only when desired on a forum where no single writer is responsible for keeping the ball rolling.
Third, individual blogs seem to have a short lifespan, and after three years most bloggers are ready for the old-folks' home. Roger Morris and Matt Curran have both mentioned at various times that they might be winding up their blogs--though both of them always have enough news that, like the Bear Farmers of Birnam, they keep a-goin'. But two of our formerly active bloggers, Cate Sweeney and Lucy McCarraher, seem to have closed up shop. Maybe a blog where you need not post frequently will lure Cate and Lucy back (Psst! We have candy...), and will also offer the rest of us (that would be Michael Stephen Fuchs, Aliya Whiteley, Samantha Grosser, Eliza Graham, Faye L. Booth, Peter Anthony, and Tim Stretton--oh, and David Isaak) someplace to toddle off to when we come to our senses and stop running our individual blogs.
Fourth, a group blog has the potential to act as a showcase for our work, a source of information for people interested in the imprint, and a sort of switchboard for people hoping to track us down. (Digitally, that is. Being tracked down in real life sounds a bit ominous.) More publicity never hurt anyone. Well, except Britney Spears. And those Watergate guys. And Prince Charles and his girlfriend, and Di and her boyfriends. And anyone who ever lost a libel suit...Come to think of it, more publicity has hurt plenty of people. But it sells books, and who can complain about that?
Finally, a group blog would be a fine place for new Macmillan New Writers (or do I mean New Macmillan New Writing Writers, NMNWW?--sheesh!) to drop though and introduce themselves to the rest of the gang, and to the world at large.
So, hats off to Matt, and feel free to drop through and say hello. (Or even post whatever's on your mind.) And if you have suggestions for improvement or additional features, tell Matt. Not me.
Just kidding. Actually, Matt has me down as co-admin. So you can toss suggestions to either of us. Or, better yet, post them on the Macmillan New Writers blog!