Please put a check mark next to the appropriate boxes below. Print and attach this sheet on top of your submission to the Fiction Writing Workshop. This will help us take into account your inner angst as we read and critique your piece in class.
The submission you are about to read is…
☐ In decent shape. I tried to work on it every spare moment I got. However, I’d like to point out that I am cognizant of my many faults as a writer. Ira Glass once made a point that we artists are aware of high-quality work and we get discouraged that our own productions don’t measure up to that quality work we aspire to achieve. The piece in front of you does not meet the high expectations I have for my work. I apologize that this piece is not in polished, publishable form, even though that’s the whole purpose of being in this workshop.
☐ Mediocre. Yes, I wrote this and I looked it over, but I didn’t have much time because I got really busy at work. Okay, that’s not true. I went hiking and meditated. Okay, that’s not true either. The truth is that I binge-watched Narcos and that countdown at the end of every episode was too quick for me to have the self-discipline to stop.
☐ Really poor. I wrote this two days ago on a few hours of sleep. I had planned to write something earlier, but inspiration never struck me. I tried talking walks. I tried reading. I even tried LSD. Nothing worked. But then, while I was knitting a cute beard hat, I got an idea — a Pushcart Prize winning idea. That’s when I punched this out. Sorry about the typos and the fact that I shift tenses every paragraph. And that I change the name of the protagonist like seven times.
I’d really like your thoughts on…
☐ Whether I need more development of the main characters.
☐ Whether you liked the protagonist who is basically me.
☐ Whether you saw an actual narrative in the random scenes I put together in the hopes of writing something that would be considered “literature.”
☐ If I can publish this in the New Yorker.
☐ Whether I’m a good writer.
In your comments, please be…
☐ Brutal. I can take the tough criticism. It will make me a better writer.
☐ Compassionate. I’m still pretty sensitive about sharing my work in a workshop even though this whole workshop is voluntary.
☐ Able to write legibly. Honestly, if you’re going to scribble comments in chicken scratches I might as well burn the returned submission as firewood.
☐ A Grammar Nazi. The American education system has failed me and I am of a generation taught to just read in order to learn grammar. I could of been an editor, but I don’t have the motivation to look through a writing handbook and figure out how to write with proper spelling and mechanics.
Thanks for reading!