Those backstabbing writers

cynthialeitich reviews a book called Some Writers Deserve to Starve! by Elaura Niles, agreeing with some of its assessments, but disagreeing particularly with Truth #12: Writers Rarely Help Each Other.

She comments that the fact that this doesn’t apply to her experience has to do with writing for kids, but you know, I’ve yet to find a genre where writers don’t help each other. Adult SF/fantasy writers help and educate each others a tremendous amount, and see themselves as unusual because of this. Children’s writers are supportive and giving to one another, and see themselves as unusual because of this. As far as I can tell, romance writers are part of a giving and supportive community as well, though I don’t know whether they consider themselves unusual on account of it or not. And I’ve seen established poets give generously of their time in online workshops, too.

Are there really genres or fields out there in which most of the writers are self-centered backstabbers who focus wholly on their competition with one another, and act as if publication is so limited a pie that they have to hold everything close to their chests? Because, while I’m sure there are mean-spirited individuals everywhere, I’ve yet to find a place where this is the norm, even though everyone seems to assume that place is out there, somewhere.

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