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September 26, 2012 10:46 am

The accessibility of online content makes this a golden age for writers

Make no mistake, we are living in a golden age for writers. Not in the hazy, wine-soaked way that the ’50s were for the Beat Generation, or in the sharp, uncomfortable way that saw the late ’60s and early ’70s introduce revolutionary ideas and change the way people thought about everything.

Rather, this is a golden age for having your voice heard.

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times: CONTENT IS KING in the attention economy – and the creators of that content are in a unique position. It has never been easier to share a piece of writing that moves you, or makes you laugh, or educates you. And by sharing, you take part in a global and ongoing curating project that propels exceptional content into constant circulation.

It means incredible writers are now available at the simple click of a mouse. But in case your friends haven’t been as share-happy as they could, we’re bringing you some recommendations…

Charlie Brooker

Charlton ‘Charlie’ Brooker is probably best known for his work as a columnist, first for The Guardian and later for G2, a Guardian supplement. His acerbic style and often outrageously offensive comments (in 2004 he wrote a piece on George W. Bush that ended with: ‘John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. – where are you now that we need you?’) have landed him in hot water from time to time. Predictably, though, that has merely ensured his words are passed around the Internet like virtual hot potatoes.

What to read…

A good starting point for those interested in learning more about Brooker’s work would be this piece on nightclubs and the fact that nobody ACTUALLY likes going to them. The standout para would have to be:

‘Clubs are such insufferable dungeons of misery, the inmates have to take mood-altering substances to make their ordeal seem halfway tolerable. This leads them to believe they “enjoy’ clubbing. They don’t. No one does. They just enjoy drugs. Drugs render location meaningless. Neck enough ketamine and you could have the best night of your life squatting in a shed rolling corks across the floor. And no one’s going to search you on the way in. Why bother with clubs?”

Cat Marnell

If ever there was a divisive figure, Cat Marnell is it. Trust fund-fed, openly drug-addicted and recklessly, relentlessly honest, this New York personality has been fired time and again for a range of offences that all boil down to her prioritising heroin and angel dust over covering stories assigned to her.

Formerly Beauty Editor for (Jane Pratt’s online magazine), Ms Marnell currently writes a column for VICE magazine called Amphetamine Logic, which often details past drug experiences that are, to say the least, somewhat confronting.

Of those who know of are, half seem to love her, the other half despises her and all of them holds serious fears for her health. But there is no denying that Cat’s frank, honest and erratic style makes for compelling reading.

What to read…

This piece that Cat Marnell wrote on the death of Whitney Houston encapsulates everything that is good about her writing. Clear, concise, at times deeply sad but never self-pitying, it turns Whitney’s life – and indeed, Cat’s own – as a modern-day fable about the loneliest times in an addict’s life.

Although undeniably challenging, it is a good introduction to Cat Marnell’s highly individual style.

David Thorne

We’ve posted before about David Thorne, but just in case you weren’t listening, this guy is really where it’s at for the LOLs. While some of his work has you cringing and feeling sorry for his victims, the majority of it will have you snorting into your morning coffee while trying to hide the screen from your boss.

One of the most eloquent internet pranksters, his email exchange regarding a drawing of a spider went viral some years ago and brought Thorne’s unique content offerings into the public eye.

What most may not know, however, is that there is a large (and constantly updated) body of work just waiting to be discovered on his website.

What to read…

Presuming you’ve already seen his spider masterpiece, so check out this email exchange with his neighbour. Gold.


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