- May 18, 2015 at 1:39 pm #18992
Peter M. BallKeymaster
We often get people who see the free User account on the subscriber page and wonder what use they can get out of the Australian Writers Marketplace as a free user. Since we’ve been getting a significant up-tick in the number of people asking about this via email, I figured I’d add our usual answer here.
The Free User account serves a number of uses on the AWM site and only some of these are directly useful to writers. Primarily, it’s a means of allowing people to access a handful of tools like these forums, the Commercial Services listings, and some of our introductory content in the Writer’s Advice archive that’s available for free. We also maintain the Australian Writer’s Marketplace blog and run our regular Writing Race events on Facebook, neither of which require you to sign up for the site.
Forums and Writing Races
Both the Forums and the Facebook Writing Races are maintained with the same goal in mind – we want to create space where writers can come together and engage with a community of other writers. While the AWM listings accessible by subscribers can be an enormously valuable tool, everyone who has worked on the Australian Writers Marketplace over the last few years is also writer and we come to the job acutely aware that not every writing opportunity can be catalogued and listed.
Networking and getting to know other writers is enormously valuable and often opens up pathways for publication and development that aren’t available to the general public, and while many new writers mistake networking for “getting to know an established writer and getting their help,” my own experience has seen those writers starting out at the same time I was being the most valuable contacts (they were, after all, getting to know editors and figuring things out in much the same way I was; more advanced writers were frequently dealing with a whole different class of problems).
The forums also allow us to add new features, like this Writers FAQ section, where we can answer questions writers need answered and other forum users can add their two cents in based on their own experience. This is a relatively new section of the site, added in response to a user request, so it’s a resource that will grow over time. It also allows us to create a discussion space for AWM events, like the upcoming GenreCon writers conference,
COMMERCIAL SERVICES LISTINGS
Many people come to the Australian Writer’s Marketplace looking for places to publish their work, but some are after resources such as professional editors/proofreaders, manuscript assessors, self-publishing services and printers, ebook conversions services, and many other commercial enterprises aimed at writers and indie publishers.
Since the bulk of the resources we list are designed to help writers earn a living – either through publication (magazines, competitions, newspapers, publishers) or through the opportunity for professional development (organisations, courses, events) – these services are aimed at making money from writers and are placed outside the subscriber-only content so writers aren’t being charged twice.
Other Uses for the User Account
Many of the people signing up for the user account aren’t necessarily writers – many of them are the editors, agents, competition organisers and other professionals behind the listings in the Australian Writer’s Marketplace. While we search for new opportunities to add to the listings and frequently update their details, the vast majority of the listings are also attached to a user account. This allows, for example, the representative of a publisher to come in and update their details if they’ve changed address or a new editor is in charge of submissions.
FREE ACCOUNTS VERSUS SUBSCRIBERS
While the bulk of our resources are aimed at paying subscribers, it’s worth noting that The Australian Writers Marketplace is maintained by the Queensland Writers Centre, a non-profit organisation whose mission revolves around supporting and promoting writers at every stage of their career. Any income generated from AWM subscriptions or courses gets invested in the development of additional resources for writers. This iteration of the Australian Writers Marketplace website is still relatively new at time of posting and, as it matures, the resources available for free users will likely expand.
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