Monday, May 11, 2009

"Under Observation" Released Into the Wild. Plus Other Stuff.

My short story, now renamed "Under Observation", has been released into the wild.

Many thanks to those of you who read it. The feedback I got for this story is the most enthusiastic feedback I've ever received. Let's hope it's not met in the publishing world with a yawn.

My membership with a certain online writer's organization has expired, and I've decided not to renew. It wasn't what I expected, and it's not worth the 40 dollar fee when the only benefit you get is membership of yet another bulletin board system.True, agents hang out there, but agents hang out at blogs as well, and lots of blogging agents take questions from readers.
Instead, I am thinking about joining Online Writing Workshop. I was a member years ago when it was free. It's a great system and I was an idiot for not fessing over the money and joining years ago. And it has an added benefit of specializing in fantasy, science fiction and horror. It's 49 dollars a year, which is only 9 bucks more than that other system. The drawback to this system is that I don't always have something to critique, and I tend to only critique works when asked, or when I have something for which I am seeking critique.
So I might just save the money and join the Romance Writers of America later this summer.
Blogging has actually been tremendously helpful to me as a writer, so I may join nothing. Are you a member of any writing organization?


  1. I have not taken that particular step yet. Colorado has a few semi-local and regional writer's organizations but I'm just not sure how much value they would add at this point. A few members of my [free] weekly critique group scorn paying membership fees to be a writer, but others go to workshops and all kinds of stuff. I think it's a mixed bag for where you are and how best you fit into what you find.

    Me, I think I'll just keep blazing my own trail. Maybe do a conference or a convention, but otherwise keep my nose to the grindstone.

  2. I WAS a member of Writer's Market but I've pretty much given up writing so I allowed the membership to expire.

  3. I belong to both OWW and RWA.

    The best thing about RWA is their magazine. You also get a discount if you decide later to join one of its sub-groups. But overall, it's a pricey organization.

    OWW is strictly a crit group. I don't crit online anymore because I already have a dedicated private group. But the trick to a successful relationship on OWW is to crit often and broadly. I learned so much from reading and reviewing stories outside my comfort zone.

    Generally you get back what you put in. When I was active, I had a group of 10-12 loyal critters for every post I put in, but I also critted widely and earned a reputation for good critiques. I must add that having that many critters is unusual, but I worked very hard to nurture my crit relationships.

    RWA and OWW are unique unto themselves, so basically it comes down to what it is you're looking for.

    RWA sub-groups could find you crit partners, but I prefer the bigger pond of OWW where I could screen the critters best suited for my work and vice versa.

    It took me the better part of six months to know what I wanted in a CP and where to find them. And most importantly how to get them to want me. *grin*

  4. I love for getting and giving crits. (and it's free) I've received really helpful information there. But no one is as valuable as my Critique Partner. ;)

    I'm in the process of joining PNWA right now - Pacific Northwest Writers Association and Sisters in Crime.

    But I've really loved the interaction with other writers I've had via blogging, too.

  5. I tried Critique Circle and while it is very well-designed, I was also trying AbsoluteWrite at the same time and found the crowd there both more knowledgable and slightly older (like me). Then, I started blogging and found three rather wonderful beta readers. Plus, I've befriended two authors at FD, both who have read my work.

    So at this point, I think I'm looking more networking more than anything. That's why RWA is tempting, despite expensive fee.

  6. Shoot! I totally spaced it with finals and everything. I am so sorry :( It was really really good though...

    Despite my totally letting that fall through the holes, if you are looking for a crit partner, I am looking for one. I swear that I will not forget about you again :-/

  7. Don't worry about it, Lauren! I was good with the reaction you sent me.

    I'll be in touch about the critiques. Thanks!

  8. I don't belong to any organizations, nor have I looked into any yet. I'm still at that stage so many writers seem to skip: convincing myself I really want to share my stories with more than just my friends. {Smile}

    I hope you find an organization or two that fit your needs. {SMILE}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  9. For now, that organization would be "blogging".

    As for the step you mentioned, I did skip sharing my stories with my friends. The main reason I did that was because I found out very quickly that friends give terrible feedback.

  10. What do you mean by terrible? Too polite? Never got back (so no feedback)?

  11. Either no feedback at all, too polite, faked enthusiasm or avoiding the subject.

    The only exception was my next door neighbor. She read the opening chapters of Forging a Legend out of curiosity. Then, she got to the part where I actually described Abriel.

    Then my neighbor--who is black--said to me, "Are you telling me that Abriel is a SISTER?" (I kind of left it as a surprise for her.) From that point on, she devoured it.

    But outside of my husband, that's the only good feedback I've gotten from someone that I know face-to-face.

  12. {shrug} I wasn't sharing my stories with my friends because I wanted feedback. That's a plus when it happens. I was doing it mainly to entertain my friends. In some cases, my stories do that. {Smile}

    In any case, I meant online friends. That's where most of my friends are. Even a couple who I do meet face to face at times are easier to send stories to thru email than otherwise. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin


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