Tag Archives: critiques

Dispatch from AWP: The Fine Art of Constructive Praise

There are workshops that tear you down for sport, and there are workshops that build you up with meaningless praise. Somewhere between these two extremes exists the sweet spot of the creative writing workshop, where, as four panelists from Grub … Continue reading

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More Guidelines for Good Workshop Discussions

A few months ago, I posted six guidelines for workshop discussions. Folks suggested more, which I think are worth mentioning here. 7.   Assume the writer meant every word. Writers are expected to make a piece as good as it can … Continue reading

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Car Accidents In Fiction: Always Cliché or Sometimes OK?

Car accidents happen and, unfortunately, lots of people die in them. In 2009, nearly 34,000 people died in car accidents in the United States (US Census Bureau Statistic). Chances are that you’re aware of someone who has died in a … Continue reading

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What Happens When We Don’t Like A Workshop Piece?

A few months ago, a group member asked me, “How do I write a response to a story I don’t like?” Given the diversity of artistic sensibilities in the BWW, it’s pretty common that participants will read stuff they don’t … Continue reading

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