Some people argue the web will be the death of fiction and literature, the demise of thought-provoking writing and in-depth analysis. But this past week has persuaded me otherwise.
While the digitized era certainly seems to favor short attention spans, the web also offers wonderful surprises.
- LONG READS — A website devoted to the best long articles and essays being published. David Cheezem at Fireside Books told me about LongReads.com, and it is now one of my favorite websites. They post articles from magazines like Esquire, the Washington Post, Vanity Fair, and lesser-known publications. You can receive notices by email, and you can nominate articles you think should be included. Already I’ve read some of the most interesting, and well-written, pieces I have ever come across.
- ANNOTATION NATION — My mom, Julie LeMay, is pursuing her MFA in poetry at Antioch University. Through her colleagues, she learned about the site Annotation Nation. The postings aren’t reviews — “Loved it. Five stars” or “Stupid and pointless.” These are thoughtful essays looking at how a piece of writing actually works, including fiction, nonfiction and poetry. It’s a fabulous resource for writers, but I also think serious readers will enjoy it.
- FIVE CHAPTERS — This website recently enabled me to get one of my short stories out into the world. FiveChapters.com serializes short fiction, publishing it daily over the course of a week. My story Remnants appeared on the site this week. It’s exciting to think they are creating more opportunities for fiction to thrive.
The biggest challenge of the web is learning about sites like these. That’s one reason I want to spread the word. And ask you — what treasures have you found online? Any websites that support arts and literature that you recommend?
P.S. If you click on the title heading for each website, it should take you there.