Feedback on novels, poems and short stories – 22 February 2017

Wednesday’s meeting was a feedback/read-a-round evening. The format for this type of meeting is that people bring along four copies of pieces of prose or poetry, no longer than 1,000 words. The items submitted are all anonymous and the organisers make sure that each group of reviewers does not receive their own work, to avoid bias or embarrassment. Around seventeen of us were there, reviewing nine separate pieces in groups of three or four.

After the break, when the time came to comment on our efforts, we started with a short story titled ‘Escape’, which was much appreciated by all those who read it, and led to much discussion. A piece of flash fiction, ‘The Hiccup’, was enjoyed too, and included a misunderstanding at the Brownies over new display and nudist play. From that item we also learned what ‘give someone the dizzy’ means, but it’s still not clear if that term is only used in Tarbolton.

From comedy we moved to a serious exposition of what life can be like if you have ME. There was humour in this too, which helped with the reading of such a difficult subject. A couple of poems followed: ‘Twisted’ was about two people in a broken relationship and ‘The Blank Page’ was a short, fun piece that everyone could relate to.

A prologue for a novel, ‘Name Games’, left the readers wanting more. This was also the case for those who read an extract of a short story (untitled) that contained many twists, and posed questions about relationships past and current. This story, although written in a hurry, had some great ideas in it, and we all want to see how it develops.

A magazine piece, ‘New Covenant’, was also well received and is part of a series on a similar theme. The article ‘Head Held High’ was a true story about a nine-year old girl and a racist bigot who did a very good deed.

The evening passed in a flash and the standard of writing was excellent. I would urge anyone who has not attended one of these feedback evenings to do so, because it is inspirational to read other writers’ work and a great way of obtaining comments on your own.

There is no meeting next week, but nature writer Jim Crumley will be our speaker on 8 March.


Jennifer West

One comment

  1. Catherine Glass

    I would agree. We had a great night.
    It was so interesting to hear feedback on all the different pieces.
    The styles of writing were so diverse.

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