Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Caution, friends, I want your opinion!

Some days I don't know what comes over me. Basically, a friend threw down the challenge for me to enter a writing contest. Convinced to do so, I became so happy to oblige that I managed to write two entries.
Since I don't have a writing group I belong to (because of time constraints), I decided to send out a draft of the essays to friends and family--I wanted to know which essay worked better, based on the contest guidelines.
That's it.
Like most writers, I appreciate constructive criticism when a reader stays on topic. However, I wasn't interested in line edits, digs at a friend's own spouse, my "poor" selections of reading material or contests, my faulty memory or negative comments about my choice of friends and their challenges.
I think the responses shed many lights on the joys of writing: the subjectivity of one's readers and the inevitability of leaving one open to criticism, no matter the subject.
But when I run into someone who has read my blogs or one of my newspaper articles, I hear how wonderful the piece is...and then, why won't the newspaper do a better delivery job in their neighborhood. Interestingly, I never hear the negatives and just glowing accolades (which seem slightly unrealistic, but who am I to fight that battle?).
But, ask someone by e-mail and you learn a lot more about your friends and family than about your writing or the topic of your essay. It was certainly an eye-opening experience, probably one I'll hesitate before trying again, especially since voting is running neck-and-neck between the essays. It will be tough to decide which essay to submit. I'll have to rely on my own faulty subjectivity. Yikes.
So, next time a friend convinces me to enter a contest and I decide to send out the essay, I'll just leave my more vocal family members off the e-mail list. They can just read about it on my blog...and comment, nicely, in person.

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and creativity coach, who wishes she could use her delete button a lot more than she does. Besides contributing to AOL's ParentDish, she blogs at The Write Elizabeth, delving into creativity in everyday places.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


WOW! Facebook Friends and Fans Contest

If you're on Facebook and are a fan of WOW!, we are having a contest for Fans. You could win a really cute tee, tote, and hoodie, as well as a subscription to Premium-Green Writers Markets. If you are not a fan yet and you are on Facebook, consider becoming a fan today. Visit our Facebook Fan Page.

Official Rules:


Thank you for being a fan of WOW! Women On Writing on Facebook. We would like to have a contest to thank you for becoming a fan and to encourage you to invite your Facebook friends to be our fans, too! It’s simple to enter.

1. Invite anyone interested in writing, books, magazines, and so on to be a fan of WOW! Women On Writing on Facebook. Underneath our logo on the fan page, there’s a link that says, “Suggest to Friends.” Click on this link.

2. Your friends should pop up, and you can click on their photos and names. Then send an invitation to any of your friends who you think will be interested.

3. On the wall of WOW!’s fan page, please leave a comment, such as: “I just entered WOW!’s Friends and Fans contest. I invited 10 friends to become fans of WOW!”

4. Your friends need to be invited and your comment posted on our wall by Saturday, October 31, 8:00 p.m. CST. One winner will be announced on Sunday, November 1 on the fan page and with a personal Facebook message. (Winner drawn randomly from comments left on the wall.)

5. The prizes are a WOW! Women On Writing t-shirt, tote bag, hoodie, and 12-month subscription to Premium Green.

6. You can invite between 1 and 1,000,000 friends and be eligible to enter the contest. As long as you invite at least one of your Facebook friends to be a fan of WOW!, and you leave a comment on our wall, you can enter the contest.

Thanks in advance for participating, and stay tuned for our next fan contest in November, which might just have something to do with photos. . .!

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