Speaking of web developers who are always on the lookout for natural subjects of conversation, so they can start a self-perpetuating forum and sell ads on it:
The Frontlist was started by a small group of web developers with experience in developing community sites. Two years ago we recognised the potential of a community site that enables talented writers to expose writing to agents and publishers. We developed the Frontlist, with the aim of improving upon the way that unsolicited manuscripts are submitted and considered.Notice that the proprietors do absolutely nothing.
We wanted to do three things. First, we wanted to allow a community of writers to self-select promising work. Second we wanted writers to be able to gain detailed feedback on their work as part of the submissions process. Third, we wanted to tie in with agents and publishers to ensure that good quality work bypasses the slushpile to be considered seriously by an agent or publisher that specialised the work’s genre.
Writers, upon signing up to The Frontlist, will be able to submit sample chapters of work that they are looking to publish. They will then be invited to provide detailed critiques on several pieces of work. Once they have finished this, their own work will go up for critique. Work that achieves a score above a threshold will be fast-tracked to the desk of a respected agent or publisher who specialises in the work’s genre.Uh-huh. It’s YADS, a.k.a. Yet Another Display Site. (That trick never works.) Amateur writers will put up amateur writing and receive amateur critiques—which is not a bad way to start, but they don’t need this site to do it, and there’s no reason to think that editors and agents are going to want to watch.