Hope everyone around here is okay…
I’m pleased to be able to report that I’m back on the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers Scheme this year, so I thought I’d share the new and very cool logo with you.
Being a member of the RNA through the NWS means that I get to go to meetings and a conference in the Summer as well as some fab parties – (if I have the money and the inclination!) and that I have access to the cyber chapter of the organisation. ROMNA is pretty useful to say the least, with other newbies and published authors sharing news, info and writing tips. It also means that I’m working hard on finishing two works in progress in order to redraft and polish them in time to submit to the NWS by the August deadline. I’m kind of thinking that I’ll decide closer to the time which one to send in!
In the last month I’ve also managed to write three short stories and send two of them off to competitions, with the third to be sent off by the end of February. Two more to write in the next month; we’ll see how I go!
And I discovered something new in the Autumn – the Youwriteon.com website
Initially set up and sponsored by the British Arts Council, and with reviews by editors from some of the top big name publishers in the industry, it’s a free to use resource for writers to get critiques on their work, along with the competitive edge of trying to climb - or not – the charts. You basically read and critique other people’s work, usually a short story or opening chapter(s) with a small test to make sure you’ve paid attention, in return for a ‘reading credit.’ You then assign that credit to a piece of writing that you’ve loaded onto the site, and within a few days someone reads and provides a critique of your work. The intention is that it’s constructive criticism and the review has to be over 100 words long. Reading assignments are allocated randomly; you don’t critique the writing of anyone that is looking at your piece at the same time and you also can’t see what other people have said about the piece whilst it’s assigned to you, so the review is made in isolation according to what you, and only you, think of the writing. The chances of the reviews and ratings being deliberately skewed are pretty slim and that’s part of the magic of it – that the reviews are as impartial as they’re able to be, notwithstanding that everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to reading.
It’s pretty cool and I was initially addicted, but I’ve had to train myself to only go on twice a week. I was spending more time reading and critiquing than writing. So for me the answer is to get a healthy balance BUT I must admit I found it a challenge not to check it more often when my short story ‘The Importance of Hope’ hit no. 18 (joint) in the top 70! I’ve not reviewed or been reviewed in the last few weeks, so it’s slipped a bit. Nonetheless it’s at a comfortable no. 21 (joint) at the moment, so I’m still smiling…
If you’re keen to improve your writing and are ready to take the plunge and let it out into the world (in a limited fashion) then why not check the Youwriteon.com website out?
Happy Writing, Nikki