rushlight75 started a discussion about a week ago about how hard it is (nearly impossible, in fact) to get honest, detailed, constructive criticism on your stories around here. And she's right; it is incredibly difficult. I mean, hearing praise from people who really enjoyed a story is great -- I wouldn't want to give that up. [grin] But as a writer, I want to learn and grow and develop, and that's hard to do without feedback. Rushlight agrees, as did some other writers.
So, after quite a lot of discussion (and I mean a lot -- if you're interested, it's here), we decided to start a writing workshop.
Fair warning -- this is NOT a mutual admiration society. What it is, is a multi-fandom workshop where thorough and honest critiques are the name of the game, and the emphasis is on the writing. No nastiness or unconstructive trashing are allowed from critiquers, but neither are offended histrionics allowed from writers. This is a safe environment for writers and critiquers alike. Critiquers will be giving detailed feedback about what did and didn't work in stories and why it did or didn't work, with specific examples and discussion, and it's expected that any writers who join and post their stories are looking for exactly that, and can take constructive criticism in a calm and professional manner.
Here's how it works, in a nutshell. Head over to fanficsymposium and join; this is a locked community for the comfort of the members and no one who is not actively participating will be wandering through. When your membership has been confirmed, head on over and say hi. We've got some stuff for you to read, including a list of people currently in the workshop for you to friend. In order to maintain active membership, you agree to post at least one critique per month. You post stories to your journal, friendslocked, and other members post critiques as comments. You use a journal of your own so that if you should one day leave the workshop you'll still have access to the comments and discussions about your stories.
Note that we strongly encourage members to create a separate journal for use only in the workshop. Stories will be posted in your journal, not the workshop community, and all workshop members must friend each other in order to read and comment on each others' stories. If everyone uses their regular journal for the workshop, this could very quickly become a problem, so please create a workshop journal and use that to join.
Even if you're not interested in joining, please help us pass the word along. Every writer who wants honest feedback, who wants to learn and grow and improve, should be given every opportunity to do so. The better the writers get, the better for all the readers, right? :)