This is the cheerful graphic that will greet you at Linda Carlson's Writer's Block. Linda is the owner/moderator of this interactive writing communtiy and Wordsmith, its offshoot. These two sister sites are all about giving writers a chance to gather in a community, or a neighborhood, for those with an interest in writing. It's not necessary to be a writer to join and enjoy the fruits of the groups.
Linda is gifted with the ability to use graphics to illustrate the stories and poems posted. I use the term 'gifted' because her interpretation of other's writing can sometimes be almost magical. Linda has waved her magic wand over several of the nonfiction stories and poems I've posted and when I see what she's done, I almost always am bowled over. To see a sample, look at this memoir story I posted to see what Linda did with it. She had asked me to send a photo of my grandmother. I was thrilled with the result.
Because there is so much to see on these sites, Linda has a page that will help you navigate easily. It's all in one place for you. Click on each topic and read, then go back to the list and click on another. Besides helping navigate this particular site, I found it to be a fab lesson in learning all the little things on the top tool bar. I knew many of them but a few were new to me.
Recently, Linda has added a section of Writing Opportunities by linking to a blog that lists places looking for submissions from writers. I spent some time with it last evening and was wowed by the numerous places that were new to me.
Start here. You'll see the poster above, then scroll down the page until you find the list of topics and start reading.(On most of the pages, you must scroll down to find what you want or click on a link that will take you to a new page.) Next, you'll want to read some of the other writers posts and comments. And finally, you can post work of your own. No worries about being accepted by an editor. You post your work here for the enjoyment of others. No one will critique your work, unless you specifically ask them to. Positive comments are allowed, negatives are not.
You do have to create an account to become a member of this writing community. But I assure you that it is free, easy and has no bearing on anything else you do. Websites which require creating an account do so to keep spammers out, so it's to your benefit. Once you have created your account, bookmark the site. I am considered signed in each time I return so am automatically taken to the page, no having to put in the user name and password each time. See how easy it is.
This is a place where writes can post, read the writing of others, chat with other writers or people interested in writing, and feel comfortable. Put in a nutshell--it's comfort food for writers! To get the most out of it, you need to participate.
One word of caution: Remember that anything you post on this site, or any other, is considered published, and you will not be able to submit and sell to an editor except as a reprint. My personal solution to this problem is to post work at Writer's Block that has already been published elsewhere first.
For a complete printable guide to joining this writing community, go here.