Monday, June 25, 2007


In a one-off comment in the last post, I have received a couple of emails and a hands-up from Cailleach and Jon M to an idea that I threw out into the blogosphere.

Competitions are lovely but they often give us no idea as to how we are progressing. A writers life is lonely and we all need, encouragement, help and support - so this is my proposal.

1. A monthly showcase of writing to be hosted on a different blog each month,


2. Setting up a new 'central' blog to which the contributors have the passwords. There could still be a different host each month.

3. Each host could decide the theme in advance.

4. Open for all types of poetry and prose (but with a limited word count).

5. Allowing for the possibility of individual, private critique, or help with editing.

There are lots of things going around in my head but now it's over to you. What do you think?



Unknown said...

I think you are talking about a workshop group, to be hosted on another blog, really. So, who's going to set it up and regulate it?

For examples of how this crit thing can work in a forum see here: Every Author

Unknown said...

This sounds like a fantastic idea Minx.

1 Sounds workable. It was good that you posted the entries on The Little Minx, which meant that you could carry on posting on your main blog. That seems to work.

2 Oooh sounds like hard work. Trying to do this with a colleague at the mo so that we can write collaboratively when she's out the country and so far we can't log in! Plus who would run and regulate it like Cailleach says. Whereas if we take turns then we all share the load.

3. Good idea. 4. Ditto

5. Yep if each piece came with an e mail then you could either critique on the comments or privately with the person concerned.

Unknown said...

I am perusing 'Every Author' Cailleach - thanks for the link.

I like the idea of a more informal kind of thing but with an inbuilt critique service (which should be open to all, as learning to criticise a piece constructively is a huge learning process in itself).

Jon M said...

I like the idea of posting work up on a central blog. Maybe the password to the blog could be handed out by one person so it doesn't sort of spread 'virally' so to speak? The idea of critique is wonderful and there are concerns about how some people might critique, too bland, too harsh? Maybe writers could post work with a 'worries about weaknesses' note asking for advice on specified areas such as pacing, characterisation etc. Sounds good!

You're very clever Minx! :-)

Roberta said...

You have a great idea here Minx.

I worked for six years as a "NOVL" on the AOL story boards.

We ran weekly contest and the winners were awarded prizes in points. The NOVLs were judges and each one took a week to man the competition. There was constructive critisizm and everyone was encouraged to do so: kindly.

However, there were problems with personalities, pornography, someone feeling slighted, someone feeling like they were doing all the work, and eventually the "boards" were discontinued.

In it's hayday, however, there were as many as 150 to 250 posted stories (under 50 word count limit) for each contest.

I think if you stay away from the contest forum and simply use it as a workshop this very thing might just work.

Anonymous said...

Just visiting from "the pride", and it appears I've picked a good day. The central blog idea seems to be working very well for the comedy writers, their link escapes me, but I believe there are 7 of them and they each take one day to showcase their work on the the central blog.

L.M.Noonan said...

I belong to no group and rarely get I welcome the idea. I'll tag along with any brainwaves you come up with

Roberta said...

PEEE ESSS: I have another available blog if you want to use it. I want no control of this, and I probably won't contribute much but it's a pretty place...and you might enjoy "Safe Harbour".

Let me know.


Anonymous said...

the central blog is a great idea. just have to work out the administrative part.

having a host on diff blog sites may be a viable option too.

in either case, someone will still have to take the lead. i'll gladly assist in ways i can.

Unknown said...

Hmm, I think there is food for thought here.
I have an abject fear of being a member of anything, how I ended up with a Shameless lion I don't know, but this seems like a runner!

Safe Harbour - I like that, Roberta.
Blogger can be set to 'members' (shiver) only for posting and comments but I also like the fact that it would be transient - moving from blog to blog. The only thing that might negate this would be if it got too big.

Unknown said...

ah yes getting too big. You see that's where a fora, or forum might possibly be better. I think that you might find a forum scenario better after a while. I've just remembered Critique circle as well: Critique Circle which is a very good example of positive critting - they even suppy templates for the novice, so it cuts out personal remarks, it is moderated and is also divided into genres, so you don't have to wade through things. I found them invaluable for some work I had done, but it's addictive stuff!

Anonymous said...

I do like your idea - as long as no one takes it too seriously and no one throws me out. That sort of thing has happened to me once to often....One day they will pay...Grrrrrr!!!!!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I am absolutely in for that, and thank you ever so much for your wonderful critique of my work.

It has enlightened me, dear lady.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Unknown said...

Okay, I'm going to take this idea and run with it for a few days (Did i say run? I meant a slow walk)

I think it could be as light, or as serious, as we wanted it to be. We would only chuck out people who wrote about their sexploits in Aya Napa - but then again....

No, problem Scarlett, hatchet is always at the ready!