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Thread: Suite101

  1. #1
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    Suite101

    I see that there are about four pages of forum members that write for Suite101. I just recently starting writing articles for them, but I want to pose the question: Would that be a good thing to put in query? I've read mixed reviews about the site and I wonder if there is a stigma associated with it in the literary world. On one hand, it's writing experience and on the other, it may be dismissed easily by a prospective agent.



  2. #2
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    Thomas, I've no experience with Suite101, other than eschewing those links when I'm googling anything. But since no one has offered specific advice, I'll just speak to what I think I know about the generalities of writing credits.

    Pay
    If a market doesn't pay writers, it's generally not considered a professional credit. There are loads of places that solicit writers, and they can be great experience, but until you get a check, it's not usually considered a professional credit.

    Competitive
    The other part is how competitive a market is. The more competitive, the better the credit. Even a non-paying credit can be bona fide if it's in a competitive market. Right? If I publish my letter to the editor in my little hometown newspaper, that's not saying much. If the NY Times publishes my letter, that's saying something because the competition is stiff.

    Perception
    This is where it gets wiggly. Let's take the worst case scenario: Suite101 doesn't pay you; you didn't have to prove yourself against hundreds of other writers to get the gig. But the general perception is that this site is where folks go on the net to get answers, that the quality of information is reliable and on point. It could be a good credit even if it doesn't meet the parameters of a professional writing credit. (I've no idea what suite101's cred is in the big wide web. I know I eschew clicking on those links when I'm researching. I find the pieces worthless in comparison with second-page links. But then I'm of the sort that found AOL (back in the day) worthless and can't be bothered with the about.com ilk. But that's just me.)

    My best guess, assuming this site doesn't pay, isn't competitive, and is your only writing credit, is to use it, but PLAY it. Right? You wouldn't want to list it like a writer who'd been published in the New Yorker. No, you'd play it slant. If you can tie your pieces on the site into the subject matter of your book, do so. If not, I'd do something that's humble and funny or humble and satirical or faux proud and insightful. Something that plays off your voice in the book, or subject, or whatever. Just slant. Even a ninny who's had several of those poetry scam pieces published could play that off in Q to tickle a laugh out of an agent and bolster the notion that the writer has been paying his dues in all the wrong places.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
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    Thanks C K. Suite101 is a pay per click site and I had to submit a sample to get "hired," of course, they could just let everyone in and I wouldn't know. But, I'll see what I can do with spinning it like you said.

  4. #4
    Senior Member L C's Avatar
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    If I publish my letter to the editor in my little hometown newspaper, that's not saying much. If the NY Times publishes my letter, that's saying something because the competition is stiff.
    Funny, I never thought of a letter to the editor as a publishing credit. I once wrote a nasty letter to the Wall Street Journal. A few weeks later I choked on my coffee when I saw it published. No point to this sad story other then to say calm down before firing off letters because editors might really publish them. And you'll be embarrassed. Well, I was.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by L C View Post
    Funny, I never thought of a letter to the editor as a publishing credit.
    It's not. It's hard to get a letter published in People Magazine, too. But I wouldn't consider that a writing credit, either.

  6. #6
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    Funny, I never thought of a letter to the editor as a publishing credit.

    Please, put that in a query letter as a credit and give an agent a good laugh.

  7. #7
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    Said CK: "If I publish my letter to the editor in my little hometown newspaper, that's not saying much. If the NY Times publishes my letter, that's saying something because the competition is stiff."

    Hey, wow, I've had not only three letters to the editor published in The New York Times, but also several ditties published in their Metropolitan Diary section!!!

    But, no, I can't count those as "credits."

    *_*

  8. #8
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    I agree that not every letter to the editor in the NYT would make a good credit in a Q. I made this statement in the context of looking at the competitive nature of a market as part of determining a credit's value in a Q. A friend used her NYT editorial piece as a credit for her Q successfully, but the piece covered the same subject as her book and had garnered a lot of interest on the Times' website. So other factors to keep in mind.

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