Honest Critiques

No, I mean it. REAL honest. Email your excerpts or full stories, up to 1000 words or so, to honestcrits [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk. Synopses would also be welcome. My backlog is so daunting now that I recommend not submitting anything you are not prepared to wait a couple of months for a response on.
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  • Thursday, August 25, 2005

    Two essays

    I've had two humorous essays in. One is from Margie, and comes from "'The Newfangled Grandmother.' ... a collection of humorous essays from the point of view of an older woman.I'm looking for either an agent or a publisher and so far, no luck."

    Now, that might be difficult. It's newspaper column length, really, and you seem to have to be a nationally-syndicated columnist to rate a collection of these pieces.

    I won't post it here, as it's short enough that it'd be meaningless to excerpt bits, and I don't want to publish the whole thing. But it does rather hop around, discussing Margie's grandchild's fantasy that he has a family of five living in his ear, and his first scurrilous lie. There are asides about the explosion in child safety warning labels and equipment and about how children learn to tell truth from fiction. It rather rambles. It would be difficult to get a newspaper to print this piece, let alone to get a publisher to buy a book of similar pieces.

    I think it'd be best to try a more focused column out on local newspapers.

    That's what Kim tried with her piece on substitute teaching, but they told her they only work with their regular journalists. I think the trouble might be that it isn't quite funny or interesting enough. Essentially, Kim tells us how she got her teaching license, how she is booked, and how the bureaucracy works when she gets to the school. What is rather passed over is the actual experience of teaching.

    That's partly the point: the teaching is apparently limited to setting work and supervising the pupils. But an essay which is essentially about the sort of annoying administrative paperwork that most of us face every day is not going to particularly amuse or divert the readers of the paper.

    It's not badly written, but it needs something more to make an editor's ears prick up.
    Torgo, 9:11 pm


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