Writing, when you get down to the nuts and bolts of actually putting words on paper, is one of the loneliest professions. But then there are conventions, panels, collaborative serialized storytelling experiments, and (thanks to social media) Twitter hashtag fun and Reddit AMAs, all of which see authors congregating in the same physical or digital space. But what do you call it when these famously reclusive creatures are all collected together? Like a mob of kangaroos or a unkindness of ravens, we thought writers deserved their very own descriptive collective noun. We came up with “a mischief of authors,” but we want to hear yours!
A collective noun could be useful in all sorts of situations, really, including our fanfic about Lord Byron’s ghost story competition (the one that lead to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein). Oddly, one never comes up in Mike Carey’s The Unwritten, which features cameos from many authors throughout history and plays heavily with stories and the lives they warp.
If you need inspiration, there’s always Wondermark’s index of Supernatural Collective Nouns to get the gears turning:
Of course, your answer reveals what you really think about scribes, whether it’s “a rumpus of writers,” “an audacity of authors,” “a gossip of columnists”… Or none of the above!
So, we implore you to stretch your own writing muscles and fill in the blank: “a [collective noun] of authors.”