Tuesday, 25 May 2010

We are a Muse (d)

I've been members of several forums for writers and would-be writers. Some provide superb opportunities to discuss the trials and tribulations of the writing life with fellow authors. Others are more like an X-Factor holding pen of hopefuls. But something they've all had in common is not really producing anything of value for the outside world... until now.

The Litopia forum has produced an ezine by the name of Muse.

When this was first proposed, to be honest, I envisaged one of those rather tatty self-produced 'magazines' that clubs knock out. A bit like the Bulletin of the British Conker Enthusiasts (apologies if BBCE exists - I was making it up). The sort of thing that tends to appear as a 'guest publication' at the end of Have I Got News For You, so everyone can sneer at it. How wrong could I be.

In practice, Muse has superb production values - much better than some professional ezines I've seen - and lots of great content from author interviews to articles, fiction and reviews. And, yes, there's an interview with me - but this hasn't biassed me in any way. Really.

So run, don't walk, over to Litopia and take a look. Or just download your copy by right clicking here and selecting 'Save link as...' or 'Save file as...' I recommend downloading rather than reading in your viewer as some viewers (certainly the Firefox PDF plugin) slightly mangle it.


  1. To be honest, I had the same initial reaction as you to the news that there was yet another new magazine to download. But I trust your judgment (and would love to read your interview), so I'm off to download now.

  2. Brian

    Thank you for pointing out this e-mag which, like you, I think is well designed, with a but....

    ..which is that (call me old fashioned) I don't like white type on a black background because although it looks good is hard for me to read for any length of time. I prefer black on white with a plain font.

    Then I'll read all day.

    Probably a red rag to a designer but I'm only a customer/consumer/purchaser

    PS Liked your piece even though I found it hard to read

  3. Hope it wasn't a disappointment, Sue.

    Fair point L'sdad - it looks gorgeous that way, but it isn't optimal for readability. I guess the best thing would be to do title pages like that, but have most of the 'reading' pages on a white or off-white background.

    Takes me back to doing software usability reviewing in my BA days...