Figment is a community for writers: the idealist, creative, poetry scrawling kind who are just starting to make the leap from moleskin to MacBook.
It’s an experiment in online literature; a free platform where anyone can share their writing, connect with readers and discover new stories by young authors. Figment offers a library of “thrillers, heartbreakers, cellphone epics, and everything in between.” Users can post their own stories, read other people’s stories and comment and share feedback.
Dana Goodyear, a staff writer at The New Yorker, is one of the site’s co-founders. She says the inspiration for Figment came from a story she wrote about young Japanese women who compose fiction on their cell phones. Figment’s other co-founder, Jacob Lewis, is the former managing editor of The New Yorker. “I really went into it and thought, ‘We’ll be the social network for young-adult fiction,'” said Lewis to the NYTimes. “But it became clear early on that people didn’t want a new Facebook.” What they wanted was a writing workshop experience- online.
Signing up is relatively easy, either with a Facebook or Twitter log-in, followed by a few personal contact details. Warning: The confirmation e-mail is a tad alarming because it looks so random. But once you get there and play around, the site is well designed and really well built with cute comments and detailed features. Users can follow writers and amass followers a la Twitter. You can also engage in live chats with up and coming writers and published authors. The interface for writing is clean and simple, currently boasting a holiday theme. You can add details, a cover design and page design to give your work a published feel when you’re done.
One of the most intriguing parts about Figment are its forums. They are filled with advice that you’d normally have to pay NYU’s creative writing school thousands of dollars for like trendspotting, myth busting, information about writing classes and publishing help.
Someone once told me that the only way to be a successful writer was to hang around other successful writers. This seems like a great place to start. Interested? Check out their New Years Eve contest on the site’s blog.