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Frequently Asked Questions

WritersNet helps writers find publishers, editors, and literary agents. We bring all the elements of the publishing world together in one place on the Web. How do we do it? We provide them with a place on the Web to meet and talk.

Search our directories for writers, agents, or to meet people from the publishing word through our discussion forums.

WritersNet has been mentioned in Writer's Digest and a number of newsletters, including Locus. (If there are others that have been missed, please contact us and let us know. Thanks!)

If you have a question for us, feel free to contact us. This section is for frequently asked questions from our members - make sure you check this list first to see if what you're looking for is already here!

How do I Join WritersNet?

Simply create a profile. If you forgot your password, simply click the forgot password link and enter your name and email address. The password will be emailed to you.

The email address for this writer/agent/publisher is incorrect. Can you give me correct contact information?

If you come across a WritersNet user that has an erroneous (or non-existent) email address please let us know. While there is little we can do to connect the two of you (we hold no more information than what is displayed on the site) it helps to know if there are errors in our listings so we can clear the site of misleading listings and make it more functional for everyone.

In order to locate the correct email address, it may help to ask around in the forums or simply search the Internet for information

The email address I am registered under is redundant. Can you change it for me?

Changing your registered email address is very simple. Just log in under your usual email and password, and click 'Edit Your Personal Profile'. In the following form you will see a space for your email address. Simply replace the existing address with your new one and you're done!

Make sure you remember that your registered email address is also your log in. This means that if you change your registered email, the email you use to log in changes also. Your password will remain the same unless you change it.

I've lost my password. Can you tell me what it is?

If you remember the email address you use to log in, simply go to the log in page and enter it there. Then you can click on the 'Forgot Your Password?' link and we will email you your password.

If you have forgotten which email address you use to log in, drop us a line. We'll do our best to help you. Please include the name you registered under, the address of your WritersNet profile, and your WritersNet ID number (don't worry if you don't know this) with your request.

Can you tell me if this agent is reputable?

There are many ways to find out if an agent is thought to be reputable or not. We suggest you use as many of them as you can. You can't do too much background research on someone you're trusting to handle your precious work.

Preditors and Editors is a resource a lot of our members recommend. They provide a great bulletin board where you can read about good agents, bad agents, and everyone in between.

Another good place to ask around is the WritersNet forums. The 'agents' thread is used especially for this purpose. Try posting a question to see if any of our other members know of the agent you're interested in. You may be surprised at what you find out.

It's also worthwhile searching the Internet or finding other writers that this agent has represented. The more you can find out about them, the better it is for you and it could save you a lot of trouble in the long run!

What do you think of my poem/story/synopsis?

Please don't send your work directly to us at WritersNet - we have neither the time nor the expertise to review manuscripts. If you want a general opinion, you could try posting it in the forums. Otherwise, we suggest you hunt out an agent, or maybe even another writer who would be willing to go over it for you. Make sure you're ready, willing, and able to take criticism!

Does WritersNet have any jobs available?

Unfortunately, no. Despite what it may look like, WritersNet is actually quite a small operation, with only two or three people working on it at a time. While there's plenty of development work to be done, we have plenty of people on hand to do it, too.

I can't log in to WritersNet. What's wrong?

Firstly, make sure you have your log in and password right. If you think you might have forgotten your password, have it emailed to you from the log in page and check you are using the correct one. It's easy to get passwords confused when you belong to a lot of sites!

If you're sure that you're using the right information, it's entirely possible that there is an error at our end. Occasionally we encounter bugs that cause people's log in information to fail. If you think this might be the case (eg. if you get a 'Sorry, your email address or password was invalid. Please try again.' message) then drop us a line and we'll look into it for you.

On the other hand, if you get a typical browser error (eg. if you get a 'Page cannot be displayed' message) then it's more likely that the site is just busy. At times the site can get overloaded which puts pressure on the servers and causes the site to fail to load. This isn't anything to do with your log in information or your computer. It's just an unfortunate problem. Simply wait a few minutes and try again.

Where do I find literary agents, writers, editors, or publishers to answer my questions?

WritersNet currently consists of four sections, visit the appropriate section to access discussion forums with publishing professionals and writers:

More sections will be added as our redevelopment process continues.

Who is WritersNet for?

WritersNet is valuable to writers, publishers, editors, and literary agents. It gives writers, both published and unpublished, a chance to get writing assignments from publishers and editors looking for writers. It also provides an opportunity for writers to find reputable literary agents looking for new talent to represent, and the chance to form friendships and alliances with other writers.

There are no strings attached. Listing is completely free and non-obligational, the only condition being that if you are a literary agent and your agency requires fees, you must explicitly state that in your description of services. Those that knowingly omit such a statement, if applicable, are promptly removed from the Directory.

Can we trust publishing professionals listed on WritersNet?

A listing in WritersNet does not constitute endorsement of the writer or agent. We at WritersNet do not have the time or the resources to verify the validity of each entry or review qualifications. However, if you discover an entry that you believe is inaccurate, misrepresentative, or unprofessional, please let us know.

See our Agents Directory for some ideas on how to check whether an agent is trustworthy. Alternatively, ask the participants in our Discussion Forums whether any of them have reason to doubt the integrity of a particular publishing professional you are considering entering into a professional relationship with. Unfortunately, there are members of the publishing world who mislead new and established writers and exploit them.

How did WritersNet come into being?

WritersNet was born in 1994 after Stephan Spencer, founder of the natural search marketing firm Netconcepts, saw the cover of the November 1994 issue of Writer's Digest: "Get Writing Assignments Online".

Intrigued by the potential of the internet to break down traditional communication barriers, Stephan read the article which described how writers were making connections with publishers and editors in online forums, on CompuServe, and other online services. Stephan was skeptical about how an editor or publisher could find the time to chat with writers of unknown caliber on CompuServe.

Stephan, never short of an idea, figured there was a better way for writers to connect with editors and publishers online. Why not build a searchable database of writers to allow writers to promote themselves online while allowing publishers and editors to quickly and easily find the sort of writer they were looking for before making the contact through the Internet?

By the end of December 1994, WritersNet was online and announced on various writing-related discussion groups.

Why create a site to help writers further their careers?

Stephan initially created the site because, as the husband of a writer, he can appreciate the difficulties that come with a career in writing, the difficulty breaking into the field, the difficulty making money from writing, and the difficulty in making the connections.

His hope is that WritersNet will help writers succeed by facilitating relationships between writers and publishers, writers and editors, and writers and agents.

Stephan Spencer left the world of viruses behind, after completing a master's degree in biochemistry, when his attention was grabbed by bytes not bugs. The web site design company he founded in 1995 now builds and maintains sites for large companies and industry bodies. He also consults for companies that wish to get on the Internet. He has presented papers at international symposia such as the Second International World Wide Web Conference.

Stephan's hope is that the writing community will continue to grow through WritersNet. He encourages all writers, publishers, editors and literary agents to list on the site. Remember, the only way to get listed on WritersNet is by joining the WritersNet community.

You can learn more about Stephen by visiting his blog..

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