Each Wednesday, I feature an amateur writer’s work anonymously. Then, my readers and I provide some constructive feedback. If you’re interested in submitting, send your work (of about 1,000 words or less) to email@example.com with the subject “Workshop Wednesdays.” Here are some rules for submitters:
- Have a thick skin. While my followers are generally gracious in their criticisms, tone of voice is difficult to convey over the internet. Sometimes, things may sound a little more harsh than they’re intended.
- Give us a BRIEF background. If you’re submitting a portion of a longer work, we may need to know something about the characters or story development so far. But the background should be no more than one medium-sized paragraph.
- Listen carefully. You’ll hear some great comments. Take them to heart. But don’t be afraid to chime in and ask for clarification.
Here are some rules for commenters:
- Be courteous. Understand that not everything translates well in the span of a comment, so be cautious of how you phrase your criticism. We’re not here to tear down, but to build up.
- Say something positive. Find something that’s working well in the piece and make sure to mention it.
- Find something that needs work. Identify it and give clear examples, so the submitter can see what you mean.
- Give suggestions on how to fix possible problem spots. Sometimes, we know something needs to be fixed, but we can’t put our fingers on it. Your suggestions might spur the brainstorm our submitters need.