Oops, I Joined Another Literary Critique Site

I joined another literary critique site, Scribophile, about a week ago.  I posted my short story about three times on Critique Circle, and I wanted some fresh eyes on it before I submit it to literature magazines in August.  One advantage of Scribophile over Critique Circle is that you get reputation points for being a good critter.  I put a lot of effort into my critiques, so it’s nice to be recognized for that quality.

I actually had to use a real name to sign up (they wouldn’t let me use Paper Butterfly), so I used Tessa Brant.  I guess that is my pseudonym now XD  Previously, I was debating the names Ella, Tessa, and Janna, but I felt like a Tessa when I signed up, so that’s who I am now.  It’s still kind of weird when people call me Tessa because I’m not used to it.  I never wanted to publish under my real name because I’m still a bit scared my cyberbully will come after me.  I guess if I ever become popular then my real identity will come out, but I’ll cross that bridge if it ever happens XD  Scribophile is bigger than Critique Circle so there are more writers and critters.  The nice thing about that is that no one person dominates the forums and/or critiques.  Since it is so large there are more writers.  I already found a few other writers that love poetic prose and flailed around like a fangirl 8D

A benefit that both of these sites share is that they are locked unless you have a user ID and password.  This allows you to post your stories without exposing them to the whole internet.  Most literature magazines will not take a story once it has been blog published or published anywhere on the internet.

I think I’ve definitely improved since joining literary critique sites.  It helps to read the critiques of other writers, and then you get a better sense of what works and what doesn’t.  I’ve become more critical of my own writing in the process.  I don’t think I’ll be joining more than two of these sites because it’s more than enough to keep me busy.

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9 thoughts on “Oops, I Joined Another Literary Critique Site

  1. I have often wondered if people still write under pseudonyms. It must be wonderfully freeing, knowing that you can write all you want to and not be recognised. I like that idea very much, indeed, especially if I were to write some personal memoirs. It saddens me to think that any poems I have shared on the blogosphere will have to go unpublished, but then, I wanted to share them widely and I wondered if people would pay to read poetry anyway. Perhaps I will have to sharpen up those writing skills and come up with something completely fresh- if not now, then later, when I have lived a bit longer.

    • Yeah, it’s kind of fun to have a new name 🙂 Actually Stephen King went under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman for a while. It was because he wanted to see if it was his name that was selling or his books. I like the name Tessa. I feel like a Tessa. I like my real name too. I just would rather be invisible to my cyber bully 😉

      Well, some of the literary magazines publish fiction that was already published on blogs. I made a list a while ago: https://thepaperbutterfly.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/list-of-literary-magazines-accepting-blog-published-fiction/

      A huge percentage of the top 50 literary magazines don’t take blog-published poems or short stories, but those are almost impossible to get into anyway XD Actually if you like poetry, you should read through some of the New England Review: http://www.nereview.com/vol-36-no-1-2015/

      They allow one or two poems and short stories to be read for free out of each issue, but there are like 50 past issues archived on their website XD It goes back several years. They have some very beautiful poetry there 🙂 There was one about butterflies that was so beautiful. Don’t remember which issue that one was in though. . .

      Just for reference, here is a list of the top 50 literature magazines: http://www.everywritersresource.com/topliterarymagazines.html Some post a few free stories online. I’m sure you could check some out at the library though. I’ve bought a few issues of Glimmer Train, and the stories are very good. Okay, I think I’m rambling now XD

      • Thank-you so much for taking the time to share that. I look forward to reading your list and checking out some of that poetry. Means a lot. 🙂

  2. I’ve been debating about joining a critique circle for a long time… not many of my close friends and family are into writing so I’ve been looking for a place to share my writing and get feedback as well. I’m just really shy/afraid of sharing my writing with other people… I guess criticism kind of scares me. 🙂

    I’m pretty new to this whole blogosphere and so I’ve only just stumbled upon your blog, but I really like it so far! You have an amazing way with words. 🙂 Just followed, and am looking forward to reading more posts!
    -Meghna

    • It’s nice to meet you Meghna! It might be better to join Critique Circle, and wait a bit before posting. I’ve actually learned a lot from reading the critiques of others like Robsmy. He’s an editor, so his critiques are helpful. Most of my interactions have been positive. When I first started creative writing for fanfiction, it was hard getting criticism. It’s been like six years since I started writing, and it’s easier now. I wouldn’t say I have thick skin, but I’m not thin-skinned either. To a certain extent it’s hard for everyone because writers pour their heart into their stories, so when someone doesn’t like it, it feels personal. It gets somewhat easier. No matter how well you write, not everyone will like it, so you always have to keep things in perspective. If one person says something doesn’t work you can kind of ignore it, but if several people comment on the same problem, it’s probably an issue that needs to be addressed. Actually, I remember sharing my writing with my mother when I was in highschool. I’m not going to lie, I wrote purple prose. I mean I was a teenager XD I still remember I gave my mom a piece of writing for my English class, and she asked if she needed to read it in the bathroom because the last piece of mine she read she laughed so hard she had an accident. So I hear her reading it in the bathroom and she is laughing hysterically XD It was an angsty piece with purple prose, so it wasn’t meant to be funny. . . At the time, I think I was a bit crushed but it’s kind of a funny memory now. We all have to start somewhere 🙂

      • Haha that’s so relatable! I’m still in that teenage phase so for me whenever I write something expecting it to be deep and personal I get kind of crushed when my mom reads it and is struggling not to laugh lol. Yeah it’s tough to put your writing out there, especially when we pour our heart and soul into it, as you said, but based on what you’re saying maybe critique circles are the way to go. After all, I’d much rather get critiqued by someone who hardly knows me/my work than have it be more personal.

        Thank you for your reply! Super helpful. 🙂
        -Meghna

  3. I’m on Scribophile too, but I haven’t posted anything yet. I get a lot of critique from in-person writing groups so I kind of forgot about it. But this entry reminded me, so maybe I’ll finally get on there. 🙂

    Do you use Duotrope for finding lit mags? I love it. Highly recommended.

    • Ooooh, what’s your name on Scribophile? Mine is Tessa Brant. I also feel like I learn a lot through reading other critiques. I read the critiques of specific writers on Critique Cycle because they are amazing critiquers. Let me know if you post anything! Although tell me how honest you want me to be. . . I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings :$ Someone just blocked me because my critique was too harsh 😦 It was constructive, and I always try to be nice. I felt awful and cried a bit. I don’t like it when people hate me although everyone is entitled to their opinions. I have heard of Duotrope. Not sure why I haven’t used it XD I kind of forgot about it.

      • I get critiques all the time, so I’m open to them, as long as the person isn’t just being a pompous jerk. But I can’t imagine you being a jerk. 🙂 I haven’t done a single thing on my account except upload a picture, but my name there is the same as here.

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