Welcome to the second review in my series on writers websites! The more sites I get to know, the more I find out about. It seems like "writing communities" are popping up all over the place these days. Each one touts some special angle--on SheWrites, the angle is female writers.
What's up:SheWrites is all about community and making connections with other women writers online. At first glance, you might wonder where the content is when you visit the site. SheWrites has much less editorially-driven content than sites like Figment. The real value of the site is in the connections you can foster with other writers.
Depth of Content:Each week on SheWrites features a different guest editor who posts a series of articles. These articles are presented as blog posts (every SheWriter gets a blog page on the site). You can browse a stream of the latest posts on the home page. There isn't a high level of editorial consistency, so depending on the guest editor of the week, content can vary.
Each SheWrites member can also post content to their own blog. Occasionally they run an open call for content (as they are right now), and members can submit ideas for articles. You can browse a stream of all the blog posts on SheWrites as well.
Webinars and Classes are also coordinated and promoted through the site. They can be helpful tools if you're looking to learn about a specific topic.
Matchmaking Potential:The forums and groups are the most active aspects of SheWrites. As you can see in the above screen grab, members can join different groups that are specific to their needs. Some groups are for query feedback. Others are for first-time novelists. Some are specific to certain genres or stages of writing. All members are allowed to create groups and build connections.
When you visit a group page, you can start topic threads or participate in existing ones. It's a great way to reach other writers when you need input. SheWrites doesn't have the same level of foot traffic as Absolute Write or Query Tracker, so it can take a while to get a response--but the responses are usually very thoughtful and thorough. No quick three word answers. Members are interested in building quality connections with other writers.
Regarding feedback on written pieces, SheWrites is probably best used to FIND a crit partner than post writing samples. There isn't a "work in progress" review section like on many other sites. Professional editorial and publishing services are also listed on the site, but I haven't personally explored those resources.
Ease of Navigation:SheWrites isn't the easiest website to use. It can be especially challenging to find old content because of the blog format. I wish they would build an organized archive of posts that was easy to navigate and search. There are popular articles listed under Getting Started, but I wonder how often these are updated. You can find a wealth of good info, you just have to search around a bit.
Best Attribute:SheWrites members are a helpful bunch of people. Because each group requires you to sign up, the conversations are friendly and supportive. This is not the place to come to tear down someone else's work.
The best way to make connections on SheWrites is by filling out a proper profile so that people know who you are, and then making friends. You can send friend requests to any other SheWrites member. I found some of the best matches after reading through posts in the groups and forums.
Awesomeness:4 of 5 whoots, falling short due to lack of easily navigated editorial content.
Other reviews in this series:
What's up with: Figment.com?