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Monday, February 27, 2012

Is it an award if you don't know about it?

Critters Writers Workshop is a great place to get feedback about your stories from strangers for the cost of critiquing other people's stuff. I have only been on the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror portion so can't speak to the rest but the SF, F,H one is great. The feedback I've gotten off there for the most part has been solid.

They also send out a Woo Hoo's list weekly which tells which crittered stories were published and where. So, it is also a good source for potential publication sites. But it does take up some time. So, I signed up in 2007, critiqued and submitted some stories and then took a break. While on there, one critiquer sent me multiple emails about how much he liked my stuff and that he was kicking around an idea about how to get new writers more exposure. I said that would be fine and didn't think much more about it.

In the last couple of months, I signed up for a second time at Critters Writers Workshop to get feedback on the first speculative fiction piece I've done in a few years. However, since I can't seem to get to (read last phrase as procrastination) the revisions suggested by my writer's group, I have been only on the giving end of critiques. I almost quit last month.

Instead, I sent in the only horror piece I've ever done just to see what I'd get. I don't love the piece and probably won't submit it anywhere but had it gotten rave reviews I might have. Some came in hot, some cold, most lukewarm so I probably won't spend my time on that one. However, one of the first critiques came from Carl Slaughter, that critiquer I mentioned above from my first stint, and he asked at the end of his critique whatever happened to my story "The Blair Special."

I have to admit, the idea that someone would remember my story for five years put me on quite a high. Then, in emails, he told me about this Showcase for New Writers Award. He started this award and seems to do most of his reading on the online Writer's Workshop Critters. Although there may be other sources since, as my research showed, he did do a call for submissions for it back in 2010. You may wonder why I would research this. Well, it seems, I won it.

I didn’t realize this until I was scanning this winners site and saw my name (slightly misspelled) and my story title listed. So yes, my short story "The Blair Special" won the Science Fiction Showcase Award for new writers at http://critters.org/showcase_award/ in 2007. Do the math, that was five years ago. I don't know that the course of my life would have been altered by this information but I still would have liked to have it. I'm not sure how much it means other than someone who reads a lot of short stories in Science Fiction and Fantasy really, really, liked mine. I know it doesn't mean any money, nor does it mean publication, but it still was enough for me to go brag to my husband at dinner and to post here.

16 comments:

  1. Surprise! Congratulations. Bummer he never let you know, but at least you did find it.

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    1. Thanks. Looking forward to your blog party tomorrow.

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  2. Well, that's pretty cool. And it's an interesting question. Do you have that story available to be read still?

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    1. It was cool but still seems rather odd. I have it and can email it if you'd like but it is a longer one (12000 words). I also looked back over it and hope my writing has improved some since that time. It's still a good story (imho) but there are some word repetitions and transitions that could be smoother. I was surprised in looking at some submission sites that if you put a story up on a blog it is considered published. But, I guess, if you have thousands of followers that makes sense.

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  3. A belated congrats! : )
    Whether you know you're awesome or not isn't the problem, it's being able to tell everyone else that you are. Ha!

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  4. Well, congratulations and what a nice surprise, after the fact!

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    1. Thanks Lydia, it was a surprise that is for sure.

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  5. Congrats on your award! I agree that it's a great excuse to celebrate. I hope you painted the town red.

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    1. Well, there was no painting but I did allow myself some dessert. I'm just going crazy in my 40's.

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  6. This is awesome Nancy. I think that story was well received around Knoxvegas for those who read it. WOOOOOHOOOOOO

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    1. Thank you. It's that whole "those who read it" part that seems to be the sticking point, eh? It's too long to go much of anywhere.

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  7. If nothing else, it has to be good for a few bragging rights and a pat on the back. Consider your back patted :-)

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    1. My back feels well patted, thank you.

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  8. yeah, I'd like to read it at some point. Backlogged, at the moment, but I'll try to remember to tell you to send it at some point.

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    1. Let me know, I understand backlog.

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