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Critiques on the Challenge

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Moderators: mikeedwards, itsjoanne, beaedwards, RedBaron

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Come forth
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Critiques on the Challenge

Postby Come forth » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:36 pm

Hi guys, I'd like to invite you, Deb too, to look at a discussion some members and I have been having regards review comments for the Challenge.

We have an idea for forming an approved group (your approval of course) that will have the task of leaving constructive comments on entrants in an organized, growing way.

Obviously our desire is to honour you three guys as our leaders and not only want your approval but also your input.

Also I want to acknowledge your greater insight and understanding, so maybe we have missed something. If this is NOT a good idea, then you guys would know why and should feel free to let us know that.

Blessings, Graham.
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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Deb Porter
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Re: Critiques on the Challenge

Postby Deb Porter » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:34 am

Hi Graham. People were doing that ages ago, in an unofficial way. That's what the "Jewelers'" group first set out to do, and they were blessings.

I have no problem with an unofficial group working quite intentionally to leave encouraging feedback and helpful critique on entries. You just have to be careful not to give critique if people aren't asking for it. That's a problem we've hit in the past with the Challenge specifically. People entering the Challenge don't always want critique. There have been upsets in years gone by for two reasons. One, people don't get enough critique on their entries; Two, people do get critique on their entries. However, if they have asked for it, go for it.

BUT be prepared. As the amazing "Jewelers" group discovered, doing this kind of thing on a regular, volunteer basis fairly quickly becomes an exhausting and tiresome thing to do. It can actually turn you off the Challenge completely, so if you do go into something like this, keep those cautions in mind and be aware that you can stop at any time. In other words, don't keep doing it if the labour of love becomes just a chore you think you have to do.

Love, Deb
FaithWriters' Writing Challenge Co-ordinator


Breath of Fresh Air Press - a little publisher with a lot of heart

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Re: Critiques on the Challenge

Postby itsjoanne » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:50 am

As the Jeweler "Mama," I want to confirm, absolutely, what Deb said. We are STILL around, by the way. We started out with our goal being to leave a comment on every entry (an encouraging one - for the reasons Deb mentioned). When that got crazy (back when we were approaching 200 posts a week, it didn't take long), we changed to making sure every entry had a comment (in other words, we only commented on ones that didn't have any at all.). Thanks to the increase in comments (THANK YOU, wonderful people!), we now make sure every entry has TWO comments - encouraging, sometimes with a touch of constructive.

There are six of us, by the way. We each take a level on a rotating basis, we have one "backup" person who leaves the second comment if necessary, and one person is off a week (or if someone can't do it for whatever reason, we have that wiggle room). With the lower numbers of entries, and you guys helping, it is manageable - but we look forward to challenge breaks almost as much as Deb, I would imagine ;)

I might suggest you do one of a few things: 1. put a thread where people can request this constructive feedback, 2. only leave it for brick throwers who ask for it and/or folks who request it on their entry, or - possibly -3. leave encouraging comments, and add a little aside in the comment that you'd be willing to leave constructive feedback if they ask you, and have them PM you (or post in the aforementioned thread) that they would like it.

Just some thoughts from the peanut gallery :)

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Re: Critiques on the Challenge

Postby beaedwards » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:12 pm

Fabulous suggestions from all of you and I gratefully leave it in your hands :lol:

I'm back in school and haven't been able to read entries and leave many comments lately. I miss the privilege of reading all the talent!

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Come forth
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Re: Critiques on the Challenge

Postby Come forth » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:11 pm

Thanks guys for responding, but can I ask a favor. The conversation started on the other thread that I failed to leave a link to (I'm sorry, that was an oversight). but there are five other members involved in this conversation so I wonder if you would re-post your replies in that thread (to save the conversation becoming disjointed). here's the link: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=37868

I wouldn't ask you to do this except I think this conversation is going to go a lot further.

I"m confused about something here. As I read your replies, Deb and Joanne; I get the impression that we are NOT to leave constructive reviews without the writers permission. That needs a LOT of conversation. And, Bea, are you giving us permission to leave constructive comments or are you also agreeing with Deb and Joanne.

I don't want to start an argument, but I feel a healthy conversation on this is very important. I honestly believe that this is counter productive to the site, encourages people to remain weak and defeats the entire purpose of the Challenge if all we can do is leave sugar and not add the spice.

How would a writer cope in the real world of writers (and this site is suppossed to be about EXACTLY that) if they cannot accept a loving comment from a Christian brother or sister? And how do I help my brothers or sisters to grow as a writer if I just continue to stroke, even worse to feed, this disfunction?

To me, I see it like inviting people to enter an exam room where I will give them a little test but never give them honest feedback on how they went. Another ananolgy is to promise to help someone to reach for the stars but only ever applaud without telling them what they could have done to get higher.

Please, I'm not trying to be offensive, but if you tell me I need to do this, then I must respond with honesty and tell you why I think it is wrong. Like I said, I think this needs conversation.

I honestly believe that far more people get upset over the sugary sweetness of it all than those who get upset over constructive, loving correction. Yes, some folk leave because they can't handle being told their name isn't Phillip Yancy, but this great author actually encourages writers to seek critiques which are critical, nit picking and hard to accept; by the way, he also advises want-to-be-writers to avoid asking family and friends for critiques because they will only be too nice and unhelpful.

I think more people leave for the other side.

Please, let's take this over to the other thread so that the others can join in. I'll post this over there.

Blessings, Graham
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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Deb Porter
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Re: Critiques on the Challenge

Postby Deb Porter » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:51 pm

Hi Graham, only time for a quick comment, and you can share that with the other discussion. LOL.

No one says you can't leave constructive criticism. I'm just saying be prepared if you do that some people won't like it. That's why we tend to say it's best to avoid giving too much critique unless the author has actually asked for it. Seen too many people upset (both critiquers and critiquees) over the years.

There is a valid argument on both sides of the coin. Some will say that if they enter the Challenge they are obviously opening themselves up for critique. However, the other side of the coin is that they are opening themselves to critique they don't ever have to see, and then only from the judges. Some people are very fragile and may be entering the Challenge for a variety of reasons. Of course we know that good critique is going to make a stronger writer; however, not everyone is in that place yet.

So my best advice is to encourage liberally; leave critique on those who request it; and offer more in-depth critique privately if someone would like to message you.

Does that help?

Love, Deb
FaithWriters' Writing Challenge Co-ordinator


Breath of Fresh Air Press - a little publisher with a lot of heart

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Re: Critiques on the Challenge

Postby beaedwards » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:58 am

Yes I agree with Deb Graham. She has been doing this a long time and offers highly qualified advise :D


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