I told you about the online writing group, Fiction Addiction, sometime ago.
Over the last couple of years it’s turned into a useful support group for Womag writers. The founder, Sharon Boothroyd, has brought me up-to-date on its progress and I wanted to share with you what she had to say:
I set up Fiction Addiction in Feb 2011 because it was proving difficult for me to find honest opinions from other writers, and I couldn’t afford to pay for professional critiques all the time. My local writing group didn’t focus on short stories and on a recent creative writing course, the tutor didn’t know anything about the Womag market.
The idea behind my online writer’s circle is to ‘test’ your work on other Fiction Addiction members before subbing your work out to the magazines. We offer each other support, feedback, encouragement and motivation.
When I began Fiction Addiction in Feb 2011, I decided the first thing I needed to do was recruit members. Membership would be free.
I wrote an appeal and asked Kath if she would upload it on to her popular womagwriter’s blog. She did do, and Sally Jenkins very kindly featured me in her blog here in March 2011.
I was expecting one or two requests – but I was immensely pleased to be overwhelmed with people wanting to join! Some members were writers with lots of Womag sales, some were beginners and some were in-between. It’s still the same balance now, with 11 members.
My husband designed a website, and we put all the info there, including guidelines and a FAQ page. I wrote the website myself. To keep costs down, we decided to pick a free website.
As time passed, we’ve had a members leave and new members joining. Two years on, it is still lovely to read work and receive emails.
I do expect members to contribute, even if it’s once a month. Members can also drop out and join again.
We also look at competition entries and first chapters of novels.
Feedback has also been a problem for some. My advice is to be kind but honest, which I admit can be tricky! Of course, it’s entirely up to the writer what they do with feedback – they don’t have to use it.
We’ve had lots of successes when the writer has tweaked a story after receiving FA feedback, including me.
One of the first stories I sent round was an office girls story called The Game. After re-drafting, I sent it to PRIMA magazine earlier this year. It won their short story competition and was published in the May 2013 edition.
And very recently, (July 2013) a FA member has had a story accepted by Woman’s Weekly! She read our comments on her work and then adjusted her story before subbing.
We all feel very proud!
The Fiction Addiction website can be found at Http://fictionaddiction.biz.ly and Sharon has recently started a blog, click here to take a look.
So if you fancy a little bit of support with your writing, contact Sharon via the Fiction Addiction website and become part of the group’s success story!
#1 by Wendy Clarke on July 23, 2013 - 9:09 am
I have just visited the fiction addiction site and there is a lot of useful womag information on it as well as the service it provides.
#2 by Sally Jenkins on July 23, 2013 - 9:20 am
I agree, Wendy – it might be worth book-marking.
#3 by susanjanejones on July 23, 2013 - 2:51 pm
Sounds a great idea Sally and Sharon.
#4 by Sally Jenkins on July 23, 2013 - 6:50 pm
Thanks, Susan. For some reason your comment ended up in my ‘spam’box – I wonder if WordPress are getting more vigilant?
#5 by Linda on July 24, 2013 - 3:34 pm
A very good idea. The problem with so many online critique groups is that you don’t know who is reading your work and some publishers/ competition organizers regard this as ‘being published’ so it can affect your copyright. Sharing stories by email keeps your work, and readers’ comments, private.
I won’t join at the moment because I’m supposed to be concentrating on my novel rather than short stories – but I’ve bookmarked the site for future reference.
#6 by Sally Jenkins on July 24, 2013 - 6:25 pm
Good point, Linda. I wouldn’t post stuff on a website for critique but doing it by email ensures that it remains ‘unpublished’.