A few months ago, I submitted a short story to Glimmer Train for their “Family Issues” contest. For this contest, I took an actual family event from my own life and I created fictional characters, changed a couple of things, and wrote a short story. I never heard from Glimmer Train and I apparently did not win. I was disappointed, of course, but rejection is part of the writing process.
I had my memoir writing group look at the story, but not before I had a chance to submit it to the contest. They gave me great feedback. They loved the dialogue, enjoyed the interaction between the two kids in the story, but they thought the emotion at the end of the story needed to have a bigger punch. There were a couple of other comments, but pretty good feedback overall.
I then submitted it to the Arlington Writer’s Group. I have been with AWG for a couple of years now. AWG is a very large writers group. Almost 200 members, and we can get 30 people plus at any given meeting. Receiving feedback can sometimes be overwhelming and the conversations can very easily veer off course.
We have worked very hard over the years too keep the feedback process focused and make sure people give a useful critique. That can be a daunting task for whomever is leading the group when you have 30 or so people giving their opinions.
I have to say, I’m very lucky with both of my writers groups. Wonderfully thoughtful people in both groups.
So, last night I had my story critiqued by AWG. I don’t want to describe it too much as I want to try to get te story published. Basically, it is a story about one girl’s broken dreams.
Just like my other writers group, AWGers liked the dialogue, the interaction, between the sisters, and the story overall. But they did pick out some major holes in my plot and made great suggestions. I have a lot of work to do, but I think the story will be a lot better once I’m done. Then I can enter it into a couple more contests.
On another note, this is what my day has been like. Everything I do seems to run into some kind of complication. It’s really too bad too because I would have enjoyed discovering alternate uses for lederhosen while I wait for train schedules to appear on my screen.