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The 35 Writers Who Run the Literary Internet

The debate as to whether the Internet is good or bad for literature doesn’t seem any closer to resolution now than when it began, years ago, but the fact remains that some people in the literary world are excellent at using Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and even Instagram or Pinterest to communicate with readers and get people interested in what they’re writing. These aren’t the writers who have hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers but only tweet when they have a book come out, or the ones who write a guest blog post every year to get their names back into the conversation.

Some are young authors, others are firmly established. Some of them are publishing industry veterans or new media superstars who want to use their clout (or Klout) to talk up writers they love, while others command small armies via their Tumblrs. Some start hashtag trends, while others have scored book deals with their clever tweets.

Whatever it is they do on the Internet, these 35 people do it better than anybody else in the book world, and that’s why they help steer literary conversations and tastes.

EmmaStraub

Emma Straub

It isn’t easy making it onto the New York Times bestseller list with your second novel, but Straub did it with The Vacationers — the perfect book to bring with you on your summer getaway. Straub also has spent the last few years cultivating one of the strongest Internet presences of any writer. She tweets, she’s on Tumblr, she writes for Rookie, and she pops up even when she doesn’t have a book to promote.

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32 comments
PaulHerman
PaulHerman

Chuckle! Jason, for an article about writing, yours falls short not only literarily but grammatically. Your run-on topic sentence (61 words!) is orphaned by a lack of supporting detail & a conclusion congruent with the opening: Is the Internet good for literature?

Since no editor in the world of professional publishing would accept phrases like "as to whether" or "the fact remains" I guess the answer to the debate is: the Internet's egalitarian publishing access debases literariness.

bejebus
bejebus

i gotta say i looked at those feeds and some of the tweets i saw, maybe most, were shite.

prduysings
prduysings

Okay; nice to show this list of successful people with figures of their prominent media accounts, but no details on how they got there.

So how did they get to be so successful on the practical side? Please do tell - anyone?

DaleAndersen
DaleAndersen

I didn't see Billy Shakespeare or Joey Conrad on the list, Jason.

SteveGlines
SteveGlines

How come Tim Gager and meg Pokras aren't on this list?

Tegerian
Tegerian

Who the hell are these people.

IAmQuarterback
IAmQuarterback

Could also title, "Why Literature on the Internet Feels Like High School All Over Again." 

JosephCrouse
JosephCrouse

haha i just checked vox day has more followers than any of these

JosephCrouse
JosephCrouse

larry coriea gets more hits with one post than the plonkers

JosephCrouse
JosephCrouse

hahaha no most of the Baen authors have way more presence than these social justice wanabees

baggy_beasts
baggy_beasts

No Finnegans Wake . . . ? 

All of the internet is in there . . .

lynda
lynda

I would add Sherman Alexie to the list. In addition to being a terrific writer and performer, this man was made for twitter. 

BTorresSF
BTorresSF

So there are no Latino writers worth following? Very typical, but disappointing, to leave Latinos out of the literary scene.

MichaelLangan
MichaelLangan

Dear Flavorwire,

America is not the world, for Chrissakes.

lrr
lrr

The 35 Middling Millennial Writers Who Run the Literary Internet for the Middling Millennials.

"Middling Millennials. They are largely white women who are almost totally in the dark about their privilege, many bolstering a blinkered neoliberal feminism that demands a rectifying army of Mikki Kendalls and Djuna Barneses. They often confuse the act of literary engagement with coquettish pom-pom flogging. They are somewhere between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-three and are often found on Tumblr interspersing “fun facts” and JPEGs with quotes that, despite the lofty intent, are more self-help than literary. These relentlessly unchallenging digital shrines are frequently adorned with a bean-boosting “THIS” appended to the head of a calcified, well-tread, self-righteous sentiment that is reblogged — that is, if the MMs are not too busy Gchatting with others about the latest literary gossip. Some of the more pathetic specimens lean closer to forty and are often enlisted to interview esteemed authors before a small crowd under the mistaken impression that the interviewer is the center of attention. This group is not to be confused with the fine young minds and respectable hustlers who run and contribute to The New InquiryOpen Letters Monthly,JacobinHazlittFull StopHTML GiantThe American Reader, and Triple Canopy (to name but a few), who have all proven to be promising and proficient readers of a wide range open to lively and respectful challenge. 

DogtownJen
DogtownJen

I used to follow Rebecca S. and the BookRiot folks. But I got tired of the grouchy takedowns of other readers, authors, people who like this or that. The site posts some good articles but the people seem to spend a lot of energy wanting to assert some superiority over anyone who likes anything they don't. Sometimes the tweets aren't very well informed or they're just plain whiny. All that angsty grousing gets old.


MelissaParker
MelissaParker

So, what the title actually means is the writers who run the literary internet, but not including writers we consider too pedestrian, or authors of genre fiction, or graphic novelists, except of course our pet Neil Gaiman, who falls into these categories, but to whom we always give a pass. Both Anne Rice and Stephen King have serious internet presence, and Alan Moore is no slouch either. Usually I can overlook the Flavorwire snobbery, as I am a known book snob,  sometimes I even find it is even part of this site's charm, but this time it is just sticking in my craw so to speak.

M.j.Rose
M.j.Rose

I think Anne Rice should have made the list with over 1 million Facebook followers and fascinating articles and conversations that sometimes top 1000 comments.

rwrmj
rwrmj

@lrr Gee, that's funny. I see at least seven white males, at two of whom are older, three African American males, four African American females, one Asian male, perhaps two Jewish females, and one Indian female, not to mention a handful of what appear to be over 40 females. And many have several million followers and several best-sellers. Please spare us the politically correct, oh-so-tired banter about 'privilege." Everyone in America is privileged, compared to the rest of the world. Perhaps the title was a little hyperbolic, but that's the way people write them. If you don't like the authors, move on. There's plenty for everyone out there. 

DaleAndersen
DaleAndersen

White, in-the-dark,  pom-pom flogging females bolstering a blinkered neoliberal feminism. Pathetic specimens, all.


Well spoken, lrr

MelissaParker
MelissaParker

@GregorSansaClegane @MelissaParker  Sure, you can call them genre writers, but they are also currently critical darlings so Flavorwire has included them. If they were more popular with the public but less so with the critics/media, I don't think they would've made it. Most of the time, I enjoy the literary material on this site, but I do feel that there is a certain level of snobbery and disrespect shown for writers who are more beloved by the people than the critics. That is why I chose the examples of King and Rice. Granted, they occasionally mention King in a complimentary way,  but Rice is usually treated with dismissal bordering on mean spiritedness. That all adds up to this piece feeling like it isn't necessarily about who in the whole literary world has the largest/most influential/ most interesting internet presence, but which writers of the ones Flavorwire deems cool enough have a "significant" internet presence.

BabySuggs
BabySuggs

@GregorSansaClegane @MelissaParker - Seriously? John Green, anyone? Thanks to the fawning fanboys at the New York Times and elsewhere, who can't seem to write a decent YA novel review without contriving some way to bring his name up, even when it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, John Green has become synonymous with the entire YA genre. You would think no one else has published before or after him. Yes, John Green is beyond popular with the critics.

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