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Writers: give & receive critique

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Writer Beware: Sterling House Publishers [20 May 2009|08:36am]

[ mood | angry ]

As the contact for a long-lived Austin, TX, SF/F/H group, I got an email recently that began:

Are you an author?

Do you have a book?

Want to get published?

SterlingHouse Publisher, Inc. is actively filling its lines with fiction and nonfiction manuscripts for 2010. We know that many authors are sitting around with unpublished manuscripts and are afraid to take the chance and submit. Maybe you?ve heard in the news that the publishing industry has been hit just as hard as the rest of the world with the poor economy. Despite the economic situation, now is the time to take a chance on your dream. What people need now more than anything is an escape and to do something they never thought possible?have their story told. We are looking to fill our 2010 line with authors just like you. We have not lost our drive, passion and excitement for seeing new manuscripts be sold in the marketplace.
There is a spot on the shelf for everyone, and now more than ever is the time to submit.

Nowhere in the pitch did it mention that authors must buy 1000+ of their own books for the privilege of being published! I told them I was certainly NOT sharing their info with my group. I wondered how they could think we're not networked in with other professional writers' associations and wouldn't know that they are a vanity press?

Ahttp://accrispin.blogspot.com/2009/05/victoria-strauss-sterlinghouse.html for more background at the Writer Beware blog.

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The only sound was of the wind. [14 Aug 2007|04:35pm]

Where'd Everybody Go?
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[08 Sep 2006|08:08pm]


Hi everybody.


I just found this new community called fantasy_studies.

It’s for all those - writers or fans or both - who would like to share their ideas, facts, inspirations, and wisdom on fantasy/science fiction worlds. Particularly useful for aspiring authors in my opinion.

Maybe you’d like to take a look at what the community has to offer. I’ve already found fun links about Babylon 5, Tolkien’s world, and Vikings among several others, just to give you a wee taste, =)


I hope that no one will mind me posting this here, but it’s about fantasy/sci-fi, writing/reading, research/resources, etc, after all, so I thought I’d give it a try.


If this is forbidden, please inform me and I shall not do so again.


(cross-posted to  __fantasynovel and sfandf_critters)

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new to you [06 Sep 2006|07:50pm]

[ mood | pensive ]

Hello everybody.

I’ve just taken leave to add myself as a wordvinemember, and thought I’d introduce myself to you.

I’m called sudynhere in the LJ-world and am 22 years of age. I live in Germany but enjoy reading and writing in English. Currently I’m busy typing out a fantasy novel, but don’t (yet) have any intentions of getting published. The reason for that is mainly because I think my work is very needy. Perhaps you guys can help me out sometime.

And while I’m about it, I thought I’d hand out some tips against that accursed writer’s block.

I very much doubt that these tips were very helpful to any of you, but I mentioned them all the same. If they were utterly useless, you have just wasted precious seconds of your life. Sorry about that. *winks*

Well. Now you got to know me, and I hope I can get to know (at least some of) you.

Thank you very much for your attention


3 comments |post comment

[25 Jul 2006|11:19pm]

[ mood | curious ]

I wrote this short story for my high school portfolio. it was one of four pieces that receieved a distiguished. I live for comments about my work and would appreciate any you could give me.

i do have a concern about the end battle scene. something seems confusing, even from the author's standpoint.

The sky looked like the fuzzy grey of a broken television. Heavy clouds paled the vivid blue it once was, shadows only got darker. Rain danced a solemn dance against the slowly fading green of grass. Tiny heads watched the daily show out of their grey glass windows. It was misery and despair that left the chimneys with the smoke. It was hope and glory that lit the fire.Collapse )

3 comments |post comment

Contest to Rid Writer's Block! [25 Apr 2006|03:58pm]

[ mood | productive ]

I've announced a small contest, designed to help overcome writer's block, over at my blog Mere Words. You're all invited to participate.

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Writer's Block [22 Apr 2006|02:09pm]

I just posted some thoughts on writer's block over at my blog Mere Words. Your comments and thoughts on the subject are encouraged. Enjoy.
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piece of the pie [12 Apr 2006|04:49pm]

When I first arrived to Tokyo, which took me a little under 24 hours with three stops, I arrived at the airport exhausted and wrinkled. Ever since I heard of my parents' fate, I had denied it. There is no way they could have died. My father was the best, and most responsible driver out there. Even my mom would tease him about his over-cautiousness by calling him a grandma. At the funeral, I looked into the caskets and didn't recognize the people resting inside of them. I touched the one that was supposed to be my mother. It was cold as ice. My parents weren't dead. These people were imposters...everyone was mistaken...no, this was just a cruel dream. Yeah...just a nightmare. I will wake up soon.

Reality didn't hit me at the funeral or the days after when I was taken to the airport. I was going to wake very soon. I could feel it. My father would shake me awake, just arriving home from the slopes and was very angry at me for dozing off. I was supposed to be studying the books, not drooling all over them. I would apologize and tell him about my awful dream and he would swoop me into his big arms to assure me that it was just that. I would feel warm again.

I stepped off the plane and headed though the terminal. The flight wasn't bad really...the attendants were very nice. One gave me an extra dessert. Now I suddenly wish that I had refused it because it threatened to come back up as my stomach tightened into hard knots.

I approached the gate and saw an old woman standing to the side. She had a hard look and an intimidating scowl that almost immediately caught my eye and kept it. I never saw a picture of my Aunt Cho and the only description was that she was old and a picture of me was already sent to her. I didn't even look at the other people in the crowd anticipating their loved ones to disembark because deep down I knew I had already found her.

I slowly walked towards her, every step feeling more and more like reality, until I was facing her. I managed to squeak out a small "Aunt Cho?" which was more a statement than a question. My eyes burned. I bit my cheek in an effort to ward off impending tears but her eyes stayed on me. Hard. Analyzing. Discerning even, which seemed to cut through all the dissolutions of the truth I had built up. Without a word she forced me to relent. My parents were really dead. I was really all alone and unwanted. My life will never be the same.

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What do you think? [02 Apr 2006|05:26pm]

This is the opening of a fictious autobiography i had an idea for. Please feel free to tell me what you think and if you want to read more please check out my journal.

So here I am firmly rooted in the wood chips looking up at my savior in awe, when I suddenly realize that I have yet to hear his voice. I have never been the sentimental type so me agonizing over something so insignificant as this takes me by surprise. I only look up at him, staring rather stupidly, with my mouth flapping like a fish, unable to find the words to thank him. The perfect moment...his profile eclipsing the sun making his skin glow, when I recognize him from class hours earlier.

I was introduced to the class in that embarrassing way that I have come to accept is universal no matter where you school. I had to stand in front of the entire class as the teacher introduced me. Thank God for small miracles that I didn't have to say anything at all. The teacher must have thought I spoke little to no Japanese which was entirely false. My father insisted to have English taught to me first, but my mother made sure that I was very fluent in the event her father ever came around, and we would be able to meet. In fact, I was quite fluent, perhaps better than most of my peers that were staring up at me now, but I did have a flaw. I wasn't taught to read.
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Anyone here? [28 Mar 2006|06:04pm]

I just joined the community. I'm willing to critique others, though I don't know if I'd be very good at it. It looks like this community is inactive, but I'm giving it a shot any way.

I have an essay - non-fiction on integration. It needs a title if anyone has a suggestion. It's for a publication that is distributed in a multi-racial middle-class area. I don't have a lot of descriptive imagery, because I'm trying to keep it short, due to the constraints of the publication, while still getting my point across.

Read more...Collapse )
Thanks in advance to anyone who attempts this. Specific examples of how I could improve it would be helpful. The audience is probably primarily working commuters and single restaurant users of all ages and interests.
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[25 Jan 2005|11:09pm]

All Roads Lead to You

She keeps walking, with a big black bag hanging over her shoulder and plastic bag-wrapped shrimp crackers clutched by her other hand. Dressed in a long skirt and medium-high-heeled shoes, she seems oblivious of the small pools of water in the tiny cracks along the narrow street connecting her office and the main road stretched no less than two hundred meters ahead. There is no taxi in sight and the night has long come and it is starting to drizzle again. Yet none of them matters to her. She swings her legs lightly and carelessly as if she were not there drenched in the rain. As if she were bathing in sunlight instead in a vast green prairie. She even only puts on the raincoat as she is halfway to the main street. No. Not an iota of this discomfort weighs her down. A hand reaches out at a golden band suspending from a fine platinum necklace, and her smile breaks.

This is unedited. Please. Slash it apart with your sharpest knife. :)

Thank you.
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Wordvines Write-Off #1 [09 Jan 2006|03:51pm]


Happy New Year, everybody! Hopefully many of you have been writing over the holiday season, but if you haven't, and even if you have, pick up your pens and participate in the new writing challenge!

From now on our writing challenges will be known as Wordvines Write-Offs. A new Write-Off will be posted every two weeks. There will be a winner decided at the close of each Write-Off. Initially winners will be decided by the moderators, but if the Community starts getting active again, and you guys want to vote for winners yourselves, then that's what we'll do. The winner of each challenge will be displayed in a winner's icon posted in the Community Info for all to see. If the Write-Offs become a success we may be able to incorporate a small prize for winners, but for now you'll just get to bask in the glory of being a winner. Which isn't a bad thing.

Anyway, onto the challenge----

In a piece of prose between 500 and 1000 words, write about a chance encounter between two strangers. Include a beginning, middle and end, some form of conflict and some form of a resolution. Your imagery should be focused on two or three of the senses, NOT including sight. Too often we focus on sight in our writing, so now's your chance to dip your fingers into the other senses.

Your entries will be critiqued by mods and anybody else wishing to critique is welcome to. Scores and a winner will be announced in two weeks. Good luck!
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[23 Dec 2005|12:49pm]

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Wish you a greater New Year with a higher spirit.

My small gift to y'all...

PosingCollapse )
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Community Update [16 Dec 2005|01:19pm]


Hey guys!

As you may have noticed we've now got our new mod team together. Your mods are hundakleptisis, loveandwarrior, xsmiley_smbx and myself.

Look out for a new writing challenge being posted in the next few days. As well as this, from now on, we'll also be announcing winners for our challenges. hundakleptisis has made some wonderful winners icons, on which we'll display the winners for weekly and monthly challenges. We'll also have winners icons for our most active and helpful critics.

If anybody's interested, we may run an annual writing challenge for those wanting to complete a novel. Through Wordvines you can benefit from community support and critique, and you can take time to prepare a manuscript with a focus on quality as opposed to merely quantity. This isn't a dig at Nano, which is an immensely worthwhile challenge for many of us, including myself, but rather an alternative challenge where you can produce work at your own pace, and still have a whole community of support to make it the best manuscript it can be. If this sounds like a challenge that appeals to you, let us know.

And another thing... We'll soon be incorporating a "Word of the Week" prompt, so look out for that.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to post here or email us at wordvines@gmail.com.

Your mod,
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[12 Dec 2005|05:48am]


Is anyone available for a quick read through of a twenty-something-page history thesis paper? I can't stand to look at it again after having to WRITE the thing, so I really just need someone to proofread it for silly grammatical errors.

Please! I will pay! I will buy you LJ-time or more icons or--whatever you want that isn't too expensive. Seriously, I will. Am just desperate and cannot stand to look at paper again, so am not above bribing.

Oh, yes, the 411: The paper is for a college history thesis class. I am writing about the court of Louis XIV and how he uses the theater to his advantage. Or something to that effect. You don't have to know history to read it, just grammar. :D

Email me at hampanel@gmail.com if you have the soul of an angel or would like LJ time or something else. :)
5 comments |post comment

Comparative Essay [07 Dec 2005|03:00am]


I just wrote an essay comparing the figures of the prostitute and criminal in Crime and Punishment and Oliver Twist for my college English class. I'm supposed to explore the social and the symbolic meanings of the images of the murderer and the prostitute and examine what role the characters' interaction with each other play in the novel. It's a big topic, and I'm afraid I've rambled, so I'd just like to know if this essay makes sense to anybody. Nitpickiness = wonderful.

Essay here.Collapse )
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A Betaing Community [22 Nov 2005|06:31pm]

As originally posted by olliegami:

A friend of mine suggested I get myself a beta for my work. I was going to post and ask on the Communities about getting a beta, but then I thought one better. Why not make a Community so that Beta's and writers can get together.

What more can an Author want than having many Beta's to check through and give pointers and advice on their work? The Community Info tells more about what goes on at the Community.

I've only just created the Community Today, So I'll be needing quite alot of support Advertising and Sorting out a few small things. I thought it would be a good idea to advertise the Community in the Writing Communities I'm a part of.

Sorry if this is an annoyance to any of you, and thanks for your time.

Find me a BetaCollapse )
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My entry to the 500 word without I challenge. [18 Nov 2005|12:18pm]

[ mood | artistic ]

Heh, well I can't set the challenge without doing it can I ?

Here's my go.

Challenge EntryCollapse )

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Wordvines Guide to Critique [18 Nov 2005|11:19am]


Ever read somebody’s work and failed to write a critique, because you didn’t know what to say? That’s why we’ve brought in the Guide! In this entry, you'll find a bunch of suggestions on how to write your critiques. hundakleptisis and I put this together with works of fiction mainly in mind, but the information here can be applied to critiquing poetry and nonfiction, as well. I'll be putting this under the community's memories, so everybody has easy access to it in the future.

Clicky.Collapse )
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I take your challenge for the Wordly Inclined... [15 Nov 2005|04:21am]

[ mood | creative (and sleep deprived) ]

See, I should have been writing a piece for my Writing Workshop tomorrow ... but the challenge sounded too good to refuse :P

490 words (close enough), no ICollapse )

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