Here at the University of Michigan, where SmartGirl.org is based, all of the students are finished with class. Most of them have gone home to visit with their families. The town is empty and quiet. I am used to jostling my way around campus and weaving in and out of crowds on my way to work, but now I find that I am a lone wanderer. I feel like I'm in a science fiction movie and I have missed the memo that there has been an evacuation. I imagine the rare stranger who I see on the street as a soon-to-be comrade-in-arms against some near disaster. We left-over Ann Arborites will have to band together to save the day, discovering our own strengths--and our weaknesses. Hey, SmartGirls... anyone feel up to writing that screenplay?
The real point of this post, however, is to offer you a sneak peek at just one of the many changes we have been brainstorming for SmartGirl. I don't want to promise anything at this point, but I'd like to offer up our ideas. Feel free to tell us what you like and don't like about the idea, what is missing, and what you'd like to see.
Idea #1: Writing Workshop
How it is:
First we are focusing on improving something that already exists on SmartGirl. We have some incredible authors who regularly contribute their work and even proofread each other's stuff. Right now, it's all done through email. Although it gets the job done, it's a little disorganized. At every step, someone always has to wait on someone else to check her email. What a drag! Even more of a drag is that not everyone has the same software to write their work in, so sometimes proofreading gets a little crazy as the text switches from one format to another.
Everything is going to be in one new place: on the website on SmartGirl. Girls can either upload what they've already written on their own computers or just start writing right on the website. Then they can submit their work to be proofread right through the website.
As soon as they submit, the work shows up so that any editor who has been approved by SmartGirl can start proofreading right away. As soon as the editor is done proofreading, it shows up immediately in the author's account. The author can see it right away, make any changes right there on SmartGirl, and then submit it for publishing.
Hmm... I think this post needs pictures. Next post: a mock-up of the process. In the meantime, let me know what you think or if you want me to explain something better!