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This week: Scheduled TasksEdited by: Leger~
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The purpose of this newsletter is to highlight some of the current contests and activities on the site, help educate members on how to host contests and activities, and provide clues to submit quality entries to contests. Write to me if you'd like something in particular covered.
This week's Contests and Activities Editor
I bet you did it. Did you? Did you make some New Year's resolutions? Are you sticking to them? Did you send a letter to yourself in "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest" ?
My holidays were spent packing up things in my house to move them to Florida. Talk about stressful! It all turned out fine in the end, but I had absolutely no time to be online. And my house doesn't get internet until next week.
Now that I've moved, I feel like I should revamp my writing time too. I usually try to get some work done in the mornings and then if I feel like doing more, I'll revisit the story in the afternoon and see what has percolated in my head during the day. This year, I'm going to try and enter a few more contests and send reviews.
Do you have special times that seem to be more creative than others? Do you set aside time to edit, write emails, send reviews and check on contests you've entered. Make a task list! Check it twice! In the busy - busy that is life, sometimes things get forgotten or slip away unnoticed. So now even WDC gets a task list. It seems the older I get, the more lists I need. Hopefully when all the boxes are unpacked and the office is completed, I can find the lists!
But truly, a little time spent organizing can pay off in extra time for writing. And we all love that, don't we? Once those tasks are complete, as always, Write On!
This month's question: Do you have a task list? Send in your answer below! Editors love feedback!
Excerpt: Many of the great authors we hold dear today got their first paying jobs writing for pulps like Weird Tales, Astounding Tales, and True Detective, just to name a few. Speculative fiction writers like Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, H.P.Lovecraft, and Robert E. Howard all began submitting their stories and honing their skills.
Excerpt: Who should I write about? For the purposes of this contest, choose someone who is a blood relative from a generation prior to yours. In other words, your parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-aunts and great-uncles, grandmother's cousin, etc. Not acceptable would be your own siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, second-cousins, etc.
Excerpt: Your mission is to write a story based on the prompt in fewer than 690 words, that is either romance, erotica or a combination of the two genres.
Excerpt: The mission of this contest forum is for those who are serious about writing for children, to write! The more you write, the better you'll get, especially if you receive great suggestions from reviewers.
Excerpt: One of the love interests should be human while the other must be one of the following: a. ghost, b. vampire, c. shape-shifter/were, d. angel, e. demon, f. witch, g.enhanced human (eg, hightened hearing, eyesight, running ability, or to blend into surroundings)
Excerpt: This forum is where you can ask (and answer!) questions about grammar and writing mechanics.* We also have activities where you can win Gift Points, Merit Badges, and Awardicons.
Excerpt: It doesn't have to be a huge thing, it doesn't have to be glorious. Just a little gratitude.
Excerpt: This forum is a place to sign-up and discuss the challenge to read 52 books in 52 weeks. Across the internet, there are many iterations of this challenge, I figured the WDC community could use one as well.
Excerpt: This blog is an opportunity to learn how to do just that. There will also be a group made so that anybody who wants can receive daily blog prompts. Just complete your blog like you normally do.
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This month's question: This month's question: Do you have a task list? Send in your answer below! Editors love feedback!?
Last month's "Contests & Activities Newsletter (December 23, 2020)" question: Do you take the time to add kindness to your reviews?
Jolan top Unicorn herder : I honestly try but sometimes I come across just as blunt in the written word as I do in the spoken.
Soldier_Mike : Yes, and not just in my (depressingly infrequent) reviews, either. I try to remember to smile and say 'Thank you!' to anyone serving me in any capacity: checkout staff, restaurant staff, department store staff, door-holders, etc. I'm sure they get "difficult" customers from time to time, so I try to be at least one bright spot in their day. I also wave at police and firemen as they go by. They seldom see anything at its best, and that just has to be tough on them. /// Definitely! I'm not a great critical reviewer, but I see absolutely no point in providing a review that may cause a sigh or two, and then be mean on top of it.
Dr. Alex Dolittle : To me kindness is mandatory in reviews, or to at least be respectful, so yes.
W.D.Wilcox : Most of my reviews are all about kindness. Every writer wants to hear some encouraging words from their readers. If it is riddled with errors I'll suggest they re-edit or I'll give a quote from their manuscript that needs to be looked at. I'm not a paying magazine editor and feel I don't have the right to be brutally abusive.
n.lea : Critiques always go over better when its done in kindness. If your rude, but youve got freat imput, i will just toss all you said in to the bin. But if you are kinds im so much more likely to heed your advice.
TJ-dodging Cupid's arrows : If I didn't take time to be kind and positive in a review, there wouldn't be any sense in giving one.
Kåre Enga, P.O. 22, Blogville : I would rather be opinionated based on experience and knowledge. That's what I'm not being paid for. *HeartO* That said, my opinions are just that. Doesn't mean I'm right. You're always entitled to other opinions. And frankly? I may not be your targeted audience. Your opinion counts most. It's your writing.
But... I'm Death staring at you when you write poetry in a form I've known for all my life. Stories? I'll rate as to whether it makes sense and whether it connects. I'm not a grammarian, although a misspelled word should probably be pointed out (And thank-you to everyone who have corrected mine). It's not what I rate on.
I should have been a professor. I would have given out grades of A, B, C but never a D, E, or F. If it wasn't good at all? I'd reject it and give you an I for incomplete. I also would've been stingy with A+ even if you were published once in the New Yorker. Well-know poets write stuff that I would reject or 'flunk' here at WdC.
So no... you put something out there I'm not about to mollycoddle you with a 5.0 even if you're my friend. I'm not your daddy.
But kindness. Yes, kindness counts. I'll remember that as I reword the December mini-reviws I'm about to 'dump' on the review page. They range from a ~2 to 4.8.
I lamented in my blog:
"How does one trash a poem without trashing the poet? No one of any age needs to be crushed by a severe review but at the same time it's dishonest to applaud what is barely readable. I'm not just talking about this short unfinished ditty. I've read worse. And I've read 5.0 rated writings here that imho are no better than a 3.5. Are they only being read by friends?
At times it's painful to read what people consider poetry. Some would be better off sticking to prose (which has different rules) or telling stories (not my strength)."
A piece I recommend because it connected with me: "Glances [poem]"
I will add some of these thoughts to my newly connected item on reviewing (under construction): "My reviewing: Cleaning up the mess."
It has a photo I took in 2012 of vultures on top of garbage bags.
I've created a vulture trinket (a nice picture of a couple Vees sitting by the sea) that I'll give out with reviews sent and received. Because... y'know... *green*vultures clean up the mess and good editors do the same. Reviewers? We do our best.
jdennis : I guess it depends on how many reviews I gave that day and where on the list yours resided. That's why I try to keep my lists short. However, some days I feel ambitious.
Anna Marie Carlson : Yes, I do. I also reward them when I can.
GeminiGem🎱 : Well said, Leger! I have noticed that the stress of the holidays has turned people particularly snarly this year, at a time when we all need to find it in our hearts to show civility to one another. When you feel like tearing into someone, pause, take a breath, and consider that you are not the only one feeling the stress of these unprecedented times. A bit of calmness and a bit of kindness go a long way.
Lilli ☕ : Well, I try to be kind when writing reviews, and I hope that I am successful at doing so. My intention is to give balanced reviews.
Thanks to everyone for the replies!
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