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Online writing is legitimate literature, critic says

Update: June, 17/2014 - 09:56

HA NOI (VNS)  — Veteran literary critic Pham Xuan Nguyen has called for more recognition from culture authorities and writers for online writing, which is attracting a fresh wave of young followers.

Online writing can co-exist in harmony with printed literature, he said at the workshop on online literature held on Saturday at the East West Culture and Language Centre, Ha Noi.

The workshop drew the participation online writers and poet, and drew attention from many readers and writers of printed literature.

Online literature appeared around 10 years ago in Viet Nam, but it didn't have a firm foothold in the orthodox literary field, but often gained critical acclaim, said Nguyen.

"My foreign writer friends call online literature self-published literature, where writers can publish their work easily on social networks," he said.

"These stories are spread far and wide without editing."

"Some pieces contain inappropriate content that may have a bad influence on readers, especially young people," he said.

A number of online books written by both professional and amateur writers have topped local best-seller lists.

Nguyen said the success of online writers and stories was undeniable and it would become an integral part of Vietnamese literature, but writers needed be more professional and responsible for their work.

"Most online writers write as a hobby because they love writing," he said.

"Even successful online writers like Phong Viet, who has won thousands of hearts for his poems, have confessed they are only amateurs."

25-year-old writer Han Nhu, who is known widely on the internet for her love stories, agreed with Nguyen. She said all serious online writers dreamed that one day, their works would be published.

Nhu started writing while she was studying at university. She has released several novels online and one of them, Chi Co The La Yeu (It Must Be Love), was adapted into a TV series.

"Most online writers claim that one of the benefits of releasing their works on the internet is they are easily accessible to readers," she said.

"Writers can also gain recognition and become famous more easily. In addition, online writing can also allow authors to interact fully with their readers. That's the advantage of writing online like us," she said.

Online literature forums were a promising destination for young writers, but Nhu insisted that these writers, mostly young people, should enrich their work with real-life experiences and improve the quality of their writing.

Readers were strict and intelligent enough to filter out serious writers from cheap trash, she concluded. — VNS

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