There’s this guy named Joe (Joe Bunting, actually) and he’s the man behind Story Cartel. I’ve mentioned Story Cartel before, it’s a site for authors to offer downloads of their work in exchange for reviews.
My personal experience with being a featured author has been very positive–I know that at least four of the reviews that Catskinner’s Book has on Amazon are from people who downloaded it from Story Cartel, and I suspect a couple of others might be as well (the name people use on Amazon doesn’t always match the name they use on their e-mail, so I can’t always tell who is who.)
Joe also has a website called The Write Practice, where he offers regular short articles discussing writing topics like foreshadowing and characterization, with brief exercises. I’ll be honest, I don’t usually do the exercises, but I like the articles. Joe and his partner Liz Bureman also offer paid editorial services through the website, but it’s not a hard sell, the information is there, but they don’t slap you in the face with neon banners on every page.
The Write Practice is now offering a free course called the Story Cartel Course, for which I just signed up, and I would encourage other writers to check out the site and see if it looks like the kind of thing that would interest you.
Joe seems to very sincere in his vision, which is building a community of writers–his use of “cartel” is very deliberate to describe professionals working together to further their common goals. As a misanthropic curmudgeon and a card-carrying member of the Get Off My Lawn Club, I’m not sure how much of this community thing I can get behind, but it’s worth a shot.