When I heard that Jericho Writers were offering a year’s membership for a review of their website, I jumped at the chance.
Being an unpublished writer myself, I rely on a mix of paid and free resources to better my craft – both offered by Jericho Writers – so it seemed like a good opportunity to have a go and see for myself the range of support they have.
Jericho Writers describes itself as a ‘club founded by writers, for writers’ offering a number of resources for writers old and new, and now armed with my temporary password, I am able to share my thoughts with you.
Before you start
It’s fair to say there is a lot of advice online about writing. You can find a variety of generic information as well as specific ones on genres, editing, plotting, inspiration etc and it can be a little dauting to navigate it all. So, before you commit to any paid membership, I would suggest you check out what information sites offer for free as it should give you an indication of quality and relevance.
Jericho Writers does share some very good free resources so if you want to find our more yourself, I suggest you start there.
First, there is their newsletter. Yes, they have information about their coursers and membership – it is a business after all. But the ones by Harry Bingham (who started Jericho Writers) feel genuine rather than generic, with actual opinions, thoughts and anecdotes about what is happening in the industry.
Secondly, when you navigate the parts of the site open to non-members, you are also served with a number of free resources in exchange for your email address. Initially I found this irritating but the content it is offering is actually very good. So far, I have downloaded plot worksheets, a video tutorial on good enough ideas (incl. downloadable PDF), had access to Slush pile Live conversations (which I find particularly useful) as well as a submission pack template.
The downside is that these are sent individually so your inbox can seem rather full, but as the content was good, I looked the other way.
As far as the website goes, Jericho Writers has a lot of content and services to package to its users, and though some of the information is clear and easy to access, I found some a little hard to navigate.
The Editing Services and Courses pages are self-explanatory giving us straight up information on what we should expect, as well as deliver ourselves – there are testimonials and a telephone number for more information, always welcome in my book (no pun intended).
Their Events page is equally clear, and you can pre-register your interest in attending which is helpful.
The Library section however was less intuitive. Its drop-down menu has a list of great blog posts, and it’s easy to navigate, but I found that its home page (Library Home), had far too much going on. I was overwhelmed at times – there are just so many choices! And I felt a little lost, wondering how I got where I was (perhaps a breadcrumb navigation here would be useful), so I did find myself engaging less with the content on this page as I went.
However, it’s worth persevering because there is great information here. If you rather not invest in a course now, than here is where your yearly membership starts delivering, so do make sure you spend time getting to know the Library section.
The yearly membership will also give you access to online masterclasses, video courses, an agent match database, interviews with authors, agents and publishers, and a forum where you can talk to other writers – all extremely useful.
There really is a lot of great information on the website, and it would take you at least the year to go through it. So, is the membership worth it?
I would say absolutely.
I will certainly be making the most of mine.