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Founder of The Writer's Chatroom
History of The Writer's Chatroom
Some of you have been with us through many challenges. Others are relatively new subscribers, and don't know our history—or how rocky things have been at times. There have also been some moments behind the scenes during live chats that we hope to share one day.
Milli Thornton started things off with the Fear of Writing Chatroom, with Jenny Turner as a moderator. Glenn Walker (Comic Widows and Writer Circle) joined in as a moderator, and took over all moderating duties when Jenny moved on.
At the time, I (Audrey) was trying to run weekly chats on a Yahoo group. I met Glenn, he talked to Milli, and I began using the FOW chatroom on Sunday nights. My life got easier, and we gained new members.
Eventually, Milli gave up the chatroom. Glenn and I scrambled to keep it going, and moved it to a corner of my business website. We ambled along for a while, then Glenn was struck with a health crisis. I frantically tried to keep things rolling by myself.
By that point, our group was too big for one person to handle it all. In desperation, I asked Linda Hutchinson for help. She joined in, researching potential guests and writing bios for me. Then I recruited Renee Barnes to work on the research while I pushed Linda into moderating. Glenn was with us as his health would allow.
In the fall of 2005, the four of us finally had things under control …and I got the urge to grow the chatroom. (Never give me spare time. I'll find a way to fill it.) I bought a domain name, and built the bare bones of a website exclusively for the chatroom. We started with three pages: the home page, a schedule and the chatroom itself.
Spring of 2006, Glenn's health once again kicked him in the butt. He stepped down and handed the group to Linda, Renee and me. We moved from Yahoo groups to Zinester for our mailing list and REALLY started growing.
Today, we have over 1400 members, and are gaining more almost daily. The website has so many pages I've lost count. We've had guests who have won prestigious awards, and some who have made the New York Times bestseller list. We started off our 2007 chat schedule with an Oscar and Golden Globe-winning screenwriter as our guest.
Now, instead of begging authors to be guests, we are sorting through requests sent to us. We feel an obligation to help our members grow and advance their own writing careers. Our focus has not wavered, regardless of challenges faced.
We have a forum where members can get together to talk and help each other between chats. We're Amazon affiliates, which gets us all those pretty book covers on our site, and the Amazon store where we are able to promote authors we have met in the chatroom.
We ran our first writing contest this spring, and our first workshop will be coming up in May. (Check the next newsletter for details.) Our newsletter started this year too, to bring you more than just announcements of upcoming guests. Our Tools and Resources page leads you to hundreds of links where you can find courses, markets, contests and information all writers need.
We are growing and expanding, but one thing will never change—our members come first. We do our best to bring you writing information and resources we wish someone had offered us when we were starting out.
You will find products and ads on our site, but only for things we believe in. We won't advertise anything we don't believe is of value to our members. Making a buck is nice, but not at your expense. We aren't willing to sell out our integrity. You trust us to not mislead you, and we respect that trust.
I certainly do talk a lot at times. But I wanted to let you all know how much we appreciate you. Without all of you, there would be no reason for the existence of TWC. Your emails and your votes tell us that we are doing something right. That's the encouragement we need to keep going.
THANK YOU ALL!
Questions? Comments? Contact audrey at writerschatroom.com