I'm hoping for some feedback on the idea of a writer's group. Is it a good idea? Too much of a pain? If it is a good idea, any ideas on how to go about it smoothly?
There seems to be a fair number of us who would love some constructive feedback from our peers. With hubber locations spanning the globe, I'm thinking that it would have to be a message board type of deal....someone wants something read, someone (hopefully more than one person) agrees to do it and the requestee forwards the manuscript. I can't think of how else to do it because of differing time zones.
Whaddy think? Any ideas?
I think this is a great idea and I'd love to participate.
My only suggestion would be developing a brief overview what is appropriate / inappropriate when commenting on someone's work. You know, tell everyone to be nice!
Yes, a good idea. If there is something that may need changing within a body of work, there are ways of suggesting it without tearing someone or their work apart. I'm glad you mentioned it. I take that sort of thing for granted, but maybe some folks don't.
Thx Amy Jane, for your feedback!
It's me again! LOL. I am all for this if we can figure out a way to do it! If two heads are better than one, just imagine what we can accomplish if we get a whole group together! Whew! Thanks for posting this, Shirley! I'll be keeping an eye out for the veriduct!
I like the idea.I am always seeking constructive criticism, advice or a thumbs up ! I went to a writers seminar a few weeks ago and that's one of things that the authors said- that is's vital that we writers have a place to hang out with other writers, and I know that here at the hub this is that place for me. Maybe we could ask Maddie or someone at HubPages for some advice on setting up a spot here at the hub to specifically ask for feedback and ideas?
Yes, I've been in a writer's group before (a longggg time ago), and I found it to be motivating...you want to progress in your writing because you know people are waiting to see it. It also cultivates an excellence in your work because you know peers are going to be reading it. Not only that, but it's great to have fellow writers to help when you get stuck.
I've tried to find online writer's groups in my area, but haven't found any yet. This seems like a great place to do it, because everyone is so supportive, and I think people would feel safe announcing their victories, knowing that the others would be happy for them.
Now, we'll just have to see how many want to participate. Even if no one else does, you and Amy Jane and I could still do it, but it would be really cool to have a large pool of people to get variety in the critiques.
I'm hoping to get some insights from anyone who has done this online.
Dorsi, welcome aboard, glad to have you!
I think asking Maddie is a great idea, but not sure how to go about it. I guess sending her an email directly is the best way. I can do that, and will pass on the response if Maddie doesn't do it herself.
I'm packing for an 11 day trip to Arizona. When you're from Canada, it's a vacation you can hardly wait to take, but I'll contact Maddie sometime today.
Thx, Dorsi. Great feedback.
Shirley, I think the writer's group is a great idea! Not only would I welcome input into my own work, but I'd be very pleased to share whatever I can from my 20-plus years of writing and editing for a living.
Amy Jane, you are so right. There would have to be guidelines, not only for reviewers, but for submitters as well. I think I can make a contribution here, since user documentation is one of my specialties.
I'd be very happy if you'd include me in this project.
Are you guys suggesting a centralized website, swapping pdfs, or what? It's a nice idea, though. I'm curious, and interested...let's say curiously interested.
Actually, we haven't figured out the details yet, Peter. I've emailed HPHQ asking if there is someplace on the Hubpages where we can all meet up, and also for any other ideas and input they may have. I'll let you know what I hear back, assuming that I do.
Hey Shirley, great idea. Not sure if you wanted to do this as a topic, but if you did, why not create one asking for writer's submissions in the Arts section, maybe call it "The Writer's Gallery". Subsequently, create another topic asking for the feedback separately and maybe call it "Gallery Gab" or something non-threatening. That way there would be an uninterrupted and continous flow of work without distraction. The feedback could be added and discussed in a different stream of energy. (I hope you don't mind the creative input).
That would be convenient for everyone, sure, but you better get HP permission for this first because of the prohibition against self-promotion. It's a fine line, but better to be safe than sorry.
Thx, Tibby. Heck, I don't mind creative input at all, in fact I welcome it. This suggestion is being put into the idea corral. When we're done hearing from everyone and HP, we can take a look at the feedback and see what we think will work.
Thx again for the input, Tibby!
You are so welcome Shirley, thank you for considering it...I feel that keepin' it simple is always the key, important to check with the powers at be! I look forward to seeing it up there (whatever you decide)!
I love getting feedback on my work. If my work needs something I want to know what it needs also. I suppose I would rather have a good review than just comments.
I have been reviewed by some of the toughest reviewers I have met on another site.
Not sure that I mentioned it in earlier posts, but I have emailed HPHQ. Haven't heard back, but will pass along any info if they don't do it directly.
Its a great idea! Its lovely to get comments but constructive criticism would be great - but you don't necessarily want your faux pas showing up in a comment! Maybe a new forum where people can post for critiscisms - if people are being overly promoitonal they will get themselves flagged anyway so I am yet to see a well written spam hub!
Jeez Lissie, I hadn't even thought about spam hubs. I doubt very much we would see many of those, and if we do I'm sure we can get rid of them somehow.
Besides, I think some folks want help with their other, longer works. Probably would be a fair amount of fiction, if I had to wager a guess, though it's a guess only.
I've emailed the HP people to see if it's okay for us to do it here, and have asked for any suggestions that they might have.
This thread was only born this morning, so it will be interesting to see how many writers we get. It's a good group so far.
I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon, gone until April 8th, but I'll peek in as often as possible. If Maddie or one of the other HP people come on here and give their blessing and instructions, go ahead and start without me...I'll just have to catch up.
If we help other hub authors with their works, we can be instrumental in their getting published....and we can say we knew them when.
I would love to have my work picked to pieces. It is easier to write in here as it doesnt have to be so... whats the word political correct especially in speach.
I am dammed if i can get it right when writing short stories. pronouns nouns incomplete sentences and all that I really fail in that field.
So always need help I would try and help too
Sounds like something I'd love to be involved in
Have fun in Arizona, you are lucky to be escaping this never-ending winter we are having this year...
I thought about something last night that may be a good solution to a problem I also thought about LOL.
What we need is a place we can post our work in a file so that just anyone can't come along and have access to it and steal it. I know how we can do that if we can get a good system set up to restrict the users.
We could set up a Yahoo Group so that we can moderate members ( gotta figure out a code). Once we set up the group, we can post the writings into files on the group.
We have this set up in our business so that only members in our business can join the group. In our case, we use our distributor numbers. But if we could have a specific code (similar to a password) that you must provide to join the group, we wouldn't have to worry about spammers or theives as much. In something like this, we can have it so that you must know someone in the group to get the code from to be accepted into the group. We can do that with the hubbers here through email then as we find other writers, we can invite them and provide them with the code.
Any thoughts on this idea? May not be what everyone wants but just thought I would run it by you. We MUST be able to control who has access or we could end up sorry later, ya know?
I dont understand Bonnie - if we are writing something to be published on the web or HP or whereever you still have the problem with plagarism - it goes with the territory - I use google alerts to let me know if someone is using certain key phrases of mine - like my name ROTFL!
I had this concern too, Bonnie, becasue the thieves are everywhere it seems.
I would hesitate posting what I am currently working on, or any large piece in general, for just that reason.
I like your idea
Thanks, Amy Jane. I just feel it would be in all our best interest to restrict access as much as possible. We know most of the hubbers here and we can easily email any of them through HP contact with a code number or phrase. If it is by invitation only, they would have to be known by one of us in order to obtain the code to join.
I had someone try to join the group I set up for my team that wasn't even a member so all I had to do was deny the request.
Hi, Lissie! At that point, it is finished work and can be copyrighted as a whole. What we would be doing for the most part is getting feedback on rough drafts and such which, even if copyrighted, may change before publication, making the original copyright void from the new one. A lot of things can be missed with looking for key words, too. Suppose the name is changed to theirs and you have changed the draft that they stole. Now, they have published the draft first and when you publish the finished version, although somewhat different, it will appear as if YOU were the one who stole the idea from them. I know! It's a vicious circle LOL.
Susan - thx, I'm sure I will have a good time in AZ, I always do.
Bonnie, I think that's a terrific idea! It would be easier than having to copyright unfinished works in progress and then have to re-do it on the completed piece.
Guess I'm too trusting, I can't imagine anyone having the gall to steal another member's writing.
Hehehe! Look around, Shirley! It is done all the time! That's why I hope we can restrict it to the people we know here at Hp and maybe a few other good writers we may know and trust.
When will you be back from vacation? I'll try to keep the thread moving and getting feedback while you are gone so hopefully, when you return we can iron out the details. I am so glad you had this idea!
Thx, Bonnie!!! I`ll be back on April 9th. I`ll be able to pop in while I`m away, but not sure how often.
Please excuse my backwards apostrophes....my keys are spitting out different characters from the ones I`m typing, weird.
HPHQ hasn`t responded yet to the email that I sent yesterday. May have to email Maddie directly, wasn`t sure that was good protocol so I sent it to HQ.
Thx again, Bonnie! You rock!
Thanks to you, Shirley, for making this suggestion. I am looking forward to it!
Will be watching for you to drop in! We'll know it is you by your posessed keyboard! LOL
I like the idea of something like a Yahoo! Group and would like to join.
What kind of submissions are you all thinking of?
Nothing in particular, Stacie. Just a place we can work together and get some feedback from other writers on our drafts, be it poetry, short stories or even novels. The longer the manuscript, the more we may have to break up the files into several. It just depends on the file size limit put forth by Yahoo. I figure we can kind of take it a step at a time to play with the controls and see how they work for us. I guess, sort of trial and error. But in Yahoo Group, we could moderate members to limit public access to the drafts.
This is encouraging, I am in the early stages of writing a novel and this may help keep me focused.
I'm preparing a portfolio to apply to grad school, so I could use all the feedback I can get.
This is awsome! Judging by posts so far, I count about 14 total that are interested! That's a great start! I would much rather have an entire group giving me feed back than just one! Everybody sees things differently and this could give us a heads up on something that just one reader may miss! I am getting excited here!
Hey, Charlotte! Took you long enough, girl! I knew you'd help us out!
Since I've been reading your comments, I've been thinking about writer's groups I've belonged to in the past. They were informal, started by one friend talking to another who talked to another. For the most part, they were small in numbers, no more than 10 at any one time, and met once a week at someone's home. Anyone who submitted a draft made sure everyone in the group had a copy to review before the next gathering, but there was no obligation to review. As it turned out, about half the group would participate in reviewing any one person's draft, and all drafts and edits were considered confidential and intended to remain within the group. Now, this was before we all became so computerized and internetted, so to speak.
There are some features to the "old" structure that might work here.
--The group was informal. It was never sponsored or sanctioned by anyone or any institution. How the group communicated, where it met, what resources it used, and whatever rules it worked under were determined and managed by the members.
--The group size was limited. When too many people wanted to join, another group formed, sometimes including one writer or two from the original group. So there was an organic flow of writers in and out and new groups forming. As a result, a writer could look forward to a fresher pair of eyes reviewing her work, and no two writers became completely dependent on each other.
--There was no obligation to review a submitted draft. Yet, there was never a lack of input. If there were 6 members of the group, then at least half would provide input. As we know, reviewing can be intensive and it is time-consuming, so there was always a consideration of availability and a respect for others' time.
--The work of the group was considered confidential. Since there was trust in an agreed confidentiality, there were no copyright or plaigerism issues.
The yahoo idea sounds good because it already has the capability to limit members and restrict access, and it has no relationship with HubPages (I'm assuming they have no business connections with each other.)
On the other hand, HubPages could adopt a "closed" forum format for writer's group activities, but would the group then be subject to the current forum rules, such as the one prohibiting promoting other sites? Would that create a problem for a writer who wants input to a piece of writing that advertises a product or promotes a site?
I’m new to HubPages and I’ve never so much as opened up yahoo’s home page. So I’m not sure of all the mechanics in either place. But I hope these thoughts help in making a writer’s group a reality.
Sorry I didn't respond sooner... as you can imagine there's a lot of backed-up work here at HP that I'm just digging into...
Do you guys have any specific ideas about what kind of support you'd like from HubPages? We can pretty easily have Paul Deeds set up a new forum specifically for the purpose of constructive criticism, but he's out this week on a much-deserved vacation.
As far as being overly promotional, on a project like this you have no cause to worry. You are all obviously high-quality hubbers who are serious about your craft, and looking to better it! If any spammers do creep into the picture, myself and the team will deal with it, as we do on the other forums.
Let me know what kind of specific ideas you all have regarding getting this set up, if you were thinking something other than a new forum designated to this purpose.
Hi, Mattie! For one, we are thinking restricted access due to the sensitive private material, of course. But we are also aware that posting an entire manuscript on one forum page is out of the question as well. Therefore, we need to be able to have a file area we can access to upload files that other members can access and download to read at their convenience.
I hope you don't take the restriction request as a strike against anyone here at HP but I am sure that you understand the need for uncopyrighted content to have restricted access in almost any case.
This is why we were thinking of some type of member code to join so that only those specific members would have access to the files of uncopyrighted manuscripts.
If HP doesn't have these features and we decide to go through Yahoo Groups, all we would ask of HP is your blessings and maybe a thread to help direct some writers to the group itself.
We don't have all the details complete at the moment but would definitely need a specific "screening" procedure to be sure that those requesting to join were legitimate writers and not just someone wanting to gain access. Not sure how we would establish that as yet so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Maybe if we either personally knew them or (if they are members at HP) review some of their hubs to decide if they are legit or not. What do you think?
Unfortunately we don't have the capacity for this at the moment, and too much other work to put it on the to-do list at any near point in time. I suggest you go the Yahoo! Groups route, espcially considering that it seems some members are interested in manuscript critique, and fiction is not really HubPages' forte (or purpose)...
Maddie, what good news and what a nice message! Since I'm the newbee here, I'm going to wait until the others read your great post and give some feedback.
Come to think of it, I don't think we would really need a thread for this purpose as we have access to all hubs here and could just do membership by invitation when we find hubbers that are good candidates. How's that?
Thanks so much, Mattie! Please don't feel we are trying to steer anyone away from HP in any way! You won't get rid of us that easily! We are all addicted!
We truly appreciate your input and your consideration on trying to help us get this started. I also hope that, as your time allows, you would consider joining our group as well! Thanks so much!
OMG! I am sooo sorry, Maddie! I knew that but for some reason, I did it wrong! I humbly apologize, my dear!
Hey, I like Maude! Reminds me of the funny t.v. series with Bea Author! I loved that show!
Ok, hubbers! The Gods have spoken! If you are up for a Yahoo group just give me a Yay and I can set one up if you'd like!
I'd like to vote for Google Groups too (just easier for me)! But I can handle yahoo if that is what you all decide...
I started a group for hubpages on google a few months ago, but never got around to telling anyone about it, feel free to join it........jimmy
http://groups.google.com/group/hubpages … ages?hl=en
I'd like to get in on this group before it gets too big as someone suggested to limit it in numbers. Google Groups works fine. Or any other way that works for others.
LOL I wasn't even aware that Google had groups! That tells you my homepage, doesn't it? It doesn't matter to me which. Google is fine if that is what everyone wants! I'll have to play around to find out how to operate that one but that's how I learned in YG! LOL
Jimmy, I will be in your group ASAP! In the meantime, I have a group ready for us! here's what we can do. Anyone wanting to participate, email me the email address that you would like an invitation sent to and I will get one sent for you to join. In that email, I will give you all the details on how I have the controls set up! I'll be looking forward to welcoming all of you!
Shirley, you still there????? LOL. Hope her keyboard didn't abduct her!
Here I am, Bonnie! Wow, you've been a busy gal, it's wonderful! I will send you an email addy, I am thrilled there's been so much interest.
I'll be on and off here as often as I can, assuming that my keyboard doesn't take over and refuse to work. Yes, I lugged my heavy laptop along.
Kudos, Bonnie! Did I mention that you ROCK!
So we're gonna have two hubpages groups? SWEET! More fun friendly emails in my Gmail box from you lovely Hubbers.
Woohoo, Jimmy! I would say that 4 is a group! I got one so far!
Jimmy, I am looking forward to the fun! Right now, however, I gotta get a shower. I just got word that my Mom is in the hospital. As it stands, I won't be heading south right away. We are waiting to hear from the x-rays to see how serious things are. I just have to be prepared just in case.
Therefore, if anyone emails me for a group invitation, know that I will get that to you ASAP. As far as I know, I will be around tonight (on and off the phone) but will get the invitations sent as they come in as long as I don't have to "fly south". Any prayers would be appreciated.
Google groups seems to me to be a bit boring, so I thought of a much better place for us to hang, it is our very own social networking site where you can add pictures, music and video, and blog adding links to your hubs, I have just created it here http://hubpages.ning.com/
give it a go, you might just like it lol.....jimmy
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