Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing top sites 100 sites for writers

Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing

A writer is an artist with words. A writer paints pictures on a lexical tapestry. A writer grabs a moment of time on the stage of life and describes it to us in ways we may not have seen had we looked.  A writer is a storyteller, a healer, a grammatical physician; they evoke emotion and the ability to deal with things in life or to see another view of the existential.

A writer bears their soul to the world, hoping to touch someone. They are brave, often neurotic, and conversely, they are often shy, introverted beings that shake hands with society through their words.

~Scott Biddulph~


By Scott Biddulp|Editor-in-Chief 

01/10/2018

We’re humbled to once again make the list of The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2018. The list is categorized by the various functions of each blog—their specialty. The Write Life had several classifications for the blogs that made the list: Blogging, Editing, Publishing, Podcasts, Creative, Freelancing, Marketing, and Writing Communities. We were listed under Writing Communities.  

This made me think about our mission here, our audience, and our tagline: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing. We love to win awards and gain recognition. The important question: do we providing interesting, fresh, and useful content for our readers?

My dear friend and partner Marilyn L. Davis, our Assistant Editor, is a master with titles. I give credit where it’s due. She came up with our tagline. Moreover, it fits with our descriptor according to The Write Life as a “Writing Community.”

What is A Writing Community?

I sat and thought about the attributes of a writing community. I began to realize that we have broadened that phrase. Most people think of a writing community like a local writers group. We are similar to that; we see a vibrant discussion in the posts we publish, but we are more than that. 

If we publish a post that gets one like and no comments, this’s feedback. It’s telling us that we didn’t hit the mark, or the writer needs to work a bit more on their skills. I take some of the blame as Editor-in-Chief because I make the final decision about publication.

I try to be as objective as possible, and often, I’ve published works that may not have made the cut at other blogs or e-zines. That said, I do so because of my love for writers and my own personal experience. In the publishing industry, I’ve been a writer, an author, and an editor for a small press. I empathize with all of these roles. 

I learned that many writers get lost in the wind tunnel that is the editorial review process. At most print publications and online blogs, anthologies, and magazines, writing submitted for publication gets reviewed by assistant editors, or, sometimes, an intern. They all know (it’s their job to know) what the editor likes and may find acceptable to publish. Because of the huge amount of submissions that most larger sites and presses receive, reviewers will read a few sentences—literally—and if it doesn’t grab them, it hits the trash can.

Objective vs. Subjective

Many editors claim objectivity; however, my experience is that most are the opposite—subjective. For example, so much of our society has become politicized. I’ll be frank, if you’re a Christian conservative, you will face more scrutiny than other belief systems in the publishing industry. Stick with me, I’m making a point. 

Let me indulge, if I may, with a personal story:

Last year, I had a major essay approved for publication. It was with a large college in the North East. I submitted an academic essay addressing the shocking attacks against The First Amendment on our “Public” –very important emphasis on public—college campuses.

The essay was reviewed by four Ph.D.’s, and their editorial reviews were astonishingly genteel. I’ve had reviews before, and these made my heart sing. To have four Ph.D.’s compliment my writing and ask for very few edits before publication was extraordinary, to say the least. Only one was curt about a few areas of the essay. I was elated.

Subjective

As I worked to finish the essay and make the deadline, I received a letter from the editor that she was leaving the journal; a new editor would be contacting me to finish the project. My heart sunk. I wrote her back and asked if she thought the change might present any issues. Would the new editor continue with my publication? She assured me everything was already approved pending a quick review of the edits I was asked to make.

A month later, I received an email from the new editor. He asked me to rewrite most of the essay which was time sensitive because it involved a current event at a university in the mid-West. I asked him how he could do this when the reviewers had already approved my work. He said, “I saw their reviews.” Long story short, I ended up pulling the submission because of his extreme bias against my subject. This was another lesson in my life about subjective editors blocking what may have been a well received and interesting essay. I’m biased, but hey, it was already approved for publication.

Objective

Let me circle back to my main point. Writers, even some very novice writers, deserve a more in-depth look before a decision is made about whether their work is worthy of publication. Also, I think it’s vital that we publish essays, poetry, and other writings that have a premise or ideals with which we don’t agree.

Two Drops of Ink has published writers from all walks of life. Many are from different countries with varying religious or political views. I’m proud of that fact. That’s what a writing community should look like. It’s the only way to collaborate with other writers, authors, and bloggers. If we only publish what we agree with, then how can we reach a broader audience?

I normally don’t talk about my personal views, but for the purposes of this post, I will tell you that I’m a Christian and political conservative, yet, I will publish works with strong language, religious beliefs that I don’t agree with, or from people I might never interact with on a personal level. Why? Because our audience is diverse, and I believe in The First Amendment. I also believe in individual sovereignty and one’s right to say and believe as they wish. This is the heart of liberty and free speech. 

Come Join Us

I hope my little rabbit trail of personal anecdotes helped you to better understand the site’s philosophies about writers and publishing. I’m willing to take a chance on any writer that has an interesting message, even if they have some serious grammatical flaws. In those cases, I give writers a chance to revise and resubmit. Do we reject some—absolutely, we, like other publications, get the occasional crackpot (laughing); yet, we have broken some very talented writers that at first glance were less than polished. That’s a writers community. That’s the way to help writers gain exposure through collaboration.

We have a very disparate group of contributing writers on our blog. Some hold advanced degrees. Some have little-to-no formal education. Others are widely published, prolific writers. That’s a writers community. That’s collaboration. That is how we conjoin audiences and produce a win-win for all involved. 

We Thank You

In closing, we at Two Drops of Ink want to thank every reader, follower, and contributor to this site. To those of you that read and never comment, maybe because you’re shy, we thank you. To our regulars that comment all the time, we thank you. Finally, to all the great writers, both our monthly contributors and those that have only submitted one post—thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


 Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing

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Submissions

We also accept “pitches” for potential publication:

Email your pitch: twodropsofink.com

 

 

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22 comments

  1. Congratulations! LTwo Drops is indeed a “writing community.”
    It takes a lot of hard work to put out a quality blog, and even more so to foster community! Well Done on both counts!
    I’m so grateful that you and Marilyn have given me an opportunity to publish within this awesome community of writers!
    I look forward to learning, growing and giving back as Two Drops continues to grow!
    Continued Blessings on your “collaborative effort.”

  2. I am so excited about this award…again. 🙂 It is a testimony to yours and Marilyn’s hard work. Thank you for creating a space a writer can share their voice and have it heard. It is a blessing to many. I am glad to count myself as one who has benefited from the collaborative philosophy.

  3. Scott, I’m so thankful that you gave me a chance to showcase my work. I can’t imagine your disappointment with your submission, but I bet in the end you weren’t surprised. Being a conservative working with a university is like oil and water. I’m really sorry this happened. I’m sure your work will find a better place.

  4. Awesome post Scott! Congratulations!
    I’m always grateful for the privilege of establishing my first piece here.
    Also, reading what you wrote at the beginning of this post literally gave me chills.

    You worded this so passionately, that it merits to be shown here in this comment.

    A writer is a storyteller, a healer, a grammatical physician; they evoke emotion and the ability to deal with things in life or to see another view of the existential.
    A writer bears their soul to the world, hoping to touch someone. They are brave, often neurotic, and conversely, they are often shy, introverted beings that shake hands with society through their words.

    I love how you wrote this.

    Thank you for all you and Marilyn do here. Appreciate it very much.
    Stay wordy my friend! John.

  5. For me, Scott, the awards we’ve received for Two Drops of Ink, confirm my belief that collaboration, giving people a platform to expose their writing to a wider audience and taking a chance on unpublished or aspiring writers, is what true collaboration and a writers community should be.

    We both have felt the need to crawl into a hole and never come out after a rejection of our writing when it appeared to be an assessment of ourselves and not the article.

    Sitting at Inman Perk, all those years ago, we vowed to be more gracious and look at the intent and message of the post. We knew that a few changes would polish the post. I’m pleased we stayed true to our intent.

    Some of our writers came from Facebook groups, where they were “learning to write.” In offering them a place to submit those early writings, I know it felt as if we were taking a huge risk. However, many of those writers found their readers and judging from the numbers and comments, they have a following. Their contributions to the site helped gain us recognition.

    Poets found us through other means. I leave the poetry editing to you. I know when I like it but couldn’t tell you why it’s structured correctly. Here, we’ve been blessed to have international contributors, many famous in their country, but not that well-read in the US. I’m glad we gave them exposure.

    I’ve always said that how something is said is just as important as what is said, and our writers offer tips, advice, and how-tos that speak to such a diverse audience. That’s the other benefit of collaboration. But it’s also about being willing to publish something that addresses a topic from a perspective other than our own.

    Our previously published authors helped us start “The Book Store.” Our first Ph.D. published on the site helped me understand that our audience wasn’t just our families and friends. It’s continued to grow, so, we’ll keep doing what we do.

    If any writers are reading this comment, and you wonder if you could “join” this community, consider submitting.

  6. A writing community is an important thing and Two Drops has published some interesting contributions over the last year. One thing I do, on a voluntary basis, is moderate a general writing site. In doing this have seen a wide range of articles with a wide range of views submitted. Of course a diverse set of views are published from the insane to the ridiculous. In moderation the key question is whether the quality of the writing is sufficient for publication, not about agreement with what is said.

    Congratulations to all contributors.

    • In a perfect world, you would be absolutely correct, Peter; however, many writers were overlooked by agents and publishers only become famous in the end. Just look at J.K. Rowling.

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and for pulling your submission. Not the first time I have read about editor’s bias.

    I can vouch first hand for your subjectivity. I’m old enough to be your mama, liberal, and haven’t figured out the religion thing.

    You hold your nose, grind your teeth and follow my blog. Thanks again.

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