We hope you're taking advantage of the many conventions and contests that come around this time of year. There's nothing like a con to get you motivated. And check out the Grapevine below: Harper Voyager is going digital and offering a very limited window for submissions.
Also this month, OWW alum Ruth Nestvold discusses the pros and cons of indie and tradtional publishing in our author spotlight. It's food for thought in the ever-changing landscape of publishing.
As always, contact us if you have any questions, publication announcements, or ideas for improving the OWW Newsletter.
Maria Zannini, newsletter editor
news (at) onlinewritingworkshop.com
Write a revenge story. What was the slight? Is the comeuppance proportional to the slight? Does the vengeful character go through with the revenge or change their mind last minute?
Remember: Challenges are supposed to be fun, but don't forget to stretch yourself. If you normally write fantasy, try SF. If you've never tried space opera, here's your chance. It doesn't have to be great. It's all about trying new things. There's no word limit, no time limit, no nothin'. Just have fun. Put "Challenge" in your title so it can be found in a search.
Challenges can be suggested by anyone and suggestions should be sent to Maria (news (at) onlinewritingworkshop.com). This month's challenge was submitted by Lindsay Kitson.
Harper Voyager Announces Open Submissions for Digital:
For the first time in over a decade, Harper Voyager is opening the doors to unsolicited submissions in order to seek new authors with fresh voices, strong storytelling abilities, original ideas and compelling storylines. So, if you believe your manuscript has these qualities, then we want to read it!
We're seeking all kinds of adult and young adult speculative fiction for digital publication, but particularly epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia and supernatural. For more idea of the type of books we love to read and publish, check out our authors and their titles at www.harpervoyagerbooks.com
Submissions for digital originals will be open for a limited two-week period from the 1st to the 14th of October, 2012.
The Editors' Choices are chosen from the submissions from the previous month that show the most potential or otherwise earn the admiration of our Resident Editors. Submissions in four categories--science fiction chapters, fantasy chapters, horror, and short stories -- receive a detailed review, meant to be educational for others as well as the author.
This issue's reviews are written by Resident Editors Elizabeth Bear, Leah Bobet, Jeanne Cavelos, and Karin Lowachee (her final review for OWW). The last four months of Editors' Choices and their editorial reviews are archived on the workshop. Go to the "Read, Rate, Review" page and click on "Editors' Choices."
Congratulations to the current Editors' Choice authors!
THE BASTARD AND THE BARD, Chapter 1 by Katrina Oppermann
I was drawn into this submission by the excellent first line and the well-done scene-setting. That first line, in particular, is textbook: "Dek didn't see the men until after they'd almost killed him."
One of the objects of the opening of a novel is to get readers to ask a question. This is what we're really talking about when we talk about a "hook," or "getting the reader to engage." Basically, as writers, we're trying to get readers to care about what happens--and one way to get them to care is to make them wonder. But here we have a character, and we have his immediate peril.
It's possible that the line could be rewritten for slightly more direct impact by avoiding the weasel word "almost" (such qualifiers are "almost" always a bad idea, as they can rob prose of immediacy). Tension and therefore narrative urgency might be increased by leaving the outcome in doubt rather than telling readers immediately that the men didn't kill him. Some editors would also argue that it's better not to begin with a negative, but in this case I think it works. So, the option exists to recast the sentence in a couple of ways, but I think this particular sentence is fine as it stands.
The reason I bring up--and in some cases dismiss--these options is to make the point that part of mastering prose fiction is being aware of the options and choosing intelligently between them. As apprentice writers, we are most concerned with the hard task of getting through the manuscript in any way possible. Once we've achieved this goal, however, we have to learn to rewrite--and part of rewriting is figuring out if, when we got through that draft, we got there in the best available way.
Part of mastering the art of fiction writing is assembling a tool-chest of tactics and techniques that can be used in varying situations. If a writer is only aware of one way to get through a scene, that's the method that writer will use. If that same writer has thirteen possible tactics, it means that when looking at a specific task, he or she will have a much better idea of which is the right tool for the job.
In any case, the promise of the first line is rewarded by the second. The past perfect informs us that we're stepping back in time slightly, and we're given a nice, terse, euphonious description of setting: "It had been snowing all morning, a constant, hissing curtain of white." I might recommend an em-dash in place of the comma after "morning," to prevent a hasty reader from connecting the hissing curtain of white to "morning" rather than "snowing," but the fact that I'm not doing anything but quibbling with punctuation at this point shows that the writer has control of the narrative and has piqued my interest.
The third sentence, though, starts off strong and promising but unfortunately fails in trying to do too much at once. There's good sensory detail, but the sentence suffers from a comma splice and also strings itself out: "The wind moaned through the branches, his horses' hooves made a dead swish and thud as it plodded along and other sounds echoed strangely, the howl of a wolf, now near, now far and the cry of some bird, a mocking call that seemed to come from every direction at once." To avoid a run-on sentence, the comma after "branches" must become a semicolon or a period. There is too much detail here, strung together in an ungrammatical way that doesn't flow well. (It also seems strange to me that birds would sing or call during snowfall. In my experience, that's rare--except for crows.)
I know it seems like I'm picking incredibly small nits here, but there's a method to my madness. This is a strong, active narrative with a pair of intriguing protagonists, but it's suffering on a craft level because the author does not yet have good control of the narrative's level of focus or its level of detail. This is distracting to readers, who should be sweeping eagerly through these early paragraphs, enthusiastic to discover what happens next and how Dek eludes his fate--if he does.
For the rest of this review, visit the Editor's Choice area of the OWW site!
Author of THE SEA THY MISTRESS
THE VOLUNTEER, Chapters 7 and 8, by Ian Morrison
In what seems to be a parallel universe, Lil Sugiama is a stranger on the run. She flees a technologically advanced government to hide out and live amongst a displaced native population now making their living by the coast (of what seems to be Vancouver...the actual Earth names are used sometimes). There is some suspicion about where she's from and who she is, and as Chapter 8 concludes, definitely some notice placed on her strange abilities (a kind of super strength). Much of the suspense is driven by a mysterious necklace given to her by a man from another community and by the possibility of danger in both her life and the lives of the women she's come to consider family. This submission is obviously well on in the novel.
There is some lovely language here that elevates the prose--an ability to nail specific imagery that adds another layer to the storytelling: "In the silence, the room contracted until she felt there was too much of her in one spot."
In other places, however, it doesn't work quite as well: "She tried to get a grip on herself, but her body was an outlandish collection of rooms, hallways, porches--all unknown and waiting to be discovered." This metaphor just doesn't mesh as well; Lil is trying to "get a grip on herself" but the image of her body as spaces "waiting to be discovered" implies a sense of wonder or exploration, not someone trying to gain control.
Overall the writing is very smooth, with a natural cadence to the sentences, and descriptions that don't feel clunky; this is also reflected in the general pacing and especially in the pacing of the dialogue. An example:
The door opened into a dim room crowded with several dozen people. Some stood but most sat on the hard dirt floor. Many were in costumes of skins and feathers, while others looked to have wandered in from the street. A small group of dancers hopped in procession to a pulsing sound. Instruments, little more than noisemakers, flashed in their hands to add to a raspy chorus of voices. Clear brass notes supplanted the dry, skeletal beat.
There is a lot of illustration of crowds and events, and building scenes like this can sometimes slow down the narrative or seem dry, but there is none of that here. From Lil's attending festivals to her working on the docks, each piece is dealt with a sure hand to create a world that intrigues and yet feels familiar and real. We see these people, their beliefs and their customs, as clearly as Lil.
Sloppy copyediting or formatting problems made reading the chapters confusing at times. There were funky dialogue breaks -- even none sometimes -- as well as missed endquotes and other punctuation problems. While this is a draft, it's important when you put work up for critique that you don't make the reader stumble over something as simple as punctuation and line dividing, if you can help it. This takes readers out of the story and forces them to try to parse basic elements that they shouldn't have to. Related to that is the first conversation between Carmela, Lil, and Tomo. It wasn't entirely clear in places who Tomo was actually interested in or who people were talking to specifically. When writing a conversation among more than two people, it's important to always clearly define who is saying what to whom or else the readers are left to flail.
Finally, the way Lil dismisses Mey's hesitation over the necklace didn't quite ring true. Lil seems to respect, admire, or sustain a real interest in the lives and beliefs of these people. She's not merely hiding out there to save her own skin; she wants to immerse herself in the culture and be good to the people. This doesn't seem to scan with how she talks herself out of Mey's concern holding any weight. So therefore it reads like a plot convenience rather than organically making sense to the character and her situation.
The chapters themselves all end on suspenseful notes and there is definitely a sense of the story and plot moving forward to some sort of catastrophe. Danger is just on the edge of this world in which Lil finds herself, and she even knows that she might ultimately be bringing harm to these people. These are all hints toward what is to come, and what's to come promises to be more great story.
Author of THE GASLIGHT DOGS, BURNDIVE and CAGEBIRD
"The Pursuit of the Whole is Called Love" by l.s. johnson
l.s. johnson's "The Pursuit of the Whole is Called Love" is a story with some serious, standout strengths. Its world-building is applied with just the right touch: internally consistent enough to give the sense of a well-thought out biology, but without info dumping. The speculative element is introduced early enough, and in a way that's sufficiently integrated into moving the plot forward, that readers can remember and reference Jess and Cam's reactions later, when the weals and body-morphing start to drive the plot.
And the major strength of this piece: Its breathtaking sentence-level work, in which a few elements combine to produce prose that has authority, telling readers Yes, don't worry, I know what I'm doing. Analyzing "writerly authority" isn't an easy thing, but there are several components of the sentence-level skill of "The Pursuit of the Whole is Called Love," the most obvious of which is the rhythmic quality of the prose:
"Everything good in us, everything bold and vivacious, stands naked before the television laughing into an imaginary phone, feigning delight at how cellular phones make the world so small, how they bring us closer to each other."
This is a paragraph made to be read aloud, because Jess is quite literally telling us a story, and that's a powerful tool; it lets the author use tricks and techniques that apply to telling oral stories. Each phrase in the sentence above has a different number of beats -- to find them, read each phase aloud and keep a drumbeat with your hand on your desk as you do -- but repeats certain words ("everything", or "how") to make sure the phrases still feel part of a unified whole. That different-but-unified style means it stays interesting to readers, and makes the prose feel alive.
The style is also very literally sensual -- which is good in a story that's quite literally about embodiment! Think about how many physical senses are involved in the following two sentences, and how many ways they're interacting:
"We always cross to the sunny side, we stand before the whitest walls and let the reflected simmer bathe our bodies, Cam's face in my neck, my hands in her pockets. The fabric of our clothing hangs like sandpaper between us."
Going beyond visuals and tactile information, there are whole subsets of information here: temperature, light quality, body language; what Jess is touching and how each of those things is different from the other. This is information that our bodies register without us even really paying attention, and including nods to it, using it to convey plot or character information, is a great way to pull a reader more deeply into a story by making the world feel more real.
What we're given is a lively, immersive, very textured sort of world that draws readers in immediately -- a major plus.
The drawbacks, though, come in during the second half of the piece, when the plot conflicts that have built up -- Cam's wanting Dave, and Jess wanting just Cam; who's in charge in the power struggle between Jess and Cam -- just fizzle. And that's because instead of following through directly on the implications and consequences of the conflicts as they've been set up, the story takes a few sharp turns, both structural and narrative, on which it may lose some readers.
I'd suggest looking at two elements in the second half to address this problem. The first is the question of points of view. While there are definite upsides to finally showing Cam/Jess from an outside perspective -- and I think those upsides need to be considered in a rewrite -- both of the last two scenes suddenly switch to non-Jess points of view, where we've only had one such switch before. Readers learn from a story itself what to expect from it; if you put in alternate viewpoints early they'll be on the lookout for more, but if a writer sticks with one narrator throughout and then, late in the story, adds a second one (especially considering the ways Cam and Jess's identities meld together and Dave thinks one body is Cam!), readers will get a real headwrench as they stop mid-story and have to look back to figure out what just happened. They then lose faith in their assumptions, and lose their immersion in the story. In short, while the prose does an excellent job of establishing writerly authority, the POV jumps squander that authority.
For the rest of this review, visit the Editor's Choice area of the OWW site!
Author of ABOVE
"The Voyage and the Ship" by Tim W. Burke
One of my favorite types of stories is the "enclosed space" story (sometimes called a "pressure cooker" story), in which characters are trapped in a small space. This limited setting can create a lot of tension as characters find themselves trapped with a threat or unable to escape a conflict. "The Voyage and the Ship" quickly places its characters on a ship, an effective enclosed space. Alecsandri, the first-person narrator of this story has a stunted, half-formed body that only the spiritually sensitive can see. Yet he brings unease wherever he goes. So the more time he spends on the ship, the more uneasy and irrational the crew and other passengers become. This is a very good setup for a suspenseful story, and Alecsandri is a unique and intriguing character. One of my favorite points is a confrontation between Alecsandri and an old crewman. Alecsandri reveals himself to the crewman, traumatizing him. The story also has some nice pieces of description, such as "On deck, the lights still flickered like a force communicating in some unknown code."
While it has many good ingredients, this story is not yet as suspenseful as it might be. I see three main reasons for this.
First, the plot lacks a strong causal chain. With a strong causal chain, one event causes the next, like a row of dominoes falling over. A causal chain helps the reader to believe that events are unfolding on their own, rather than that the author is manipulating events. The author is, of course, manipulating everything, but the reader needs the illusion that the events have a life of their own. Further, the causal chain helps to create suspense. If readers see one action leading to the next, and the next, then they are able to anticipate what's going to happen a few dominoes away, and they can be concerned about that. That concern creates suspense. Perhaps most important, the causal chain explains why. That is critical both intellectually and emotionally for the reader. We will feel very differently about a man who is sent to jail because he stole a car for a joy ride than we feel about a man who is sent to jail because he stole a car to drive his dying child to the hospital.
Right now, events seem to happen randomly, without strong causes or connections. Pelicans appear and sometimes attack, sometimes sit at a distance, sometimes fly and squawk. I don't feel a strong progression or a cause for their various actions. Alecsandri's physical condition grows better and worse at various times, again without a clear cause. One day, the captain has a seizure, but I don't know why he has a seizure on that day. What is the immediate trigger? Alecsandri's demon and other spirits appear one night, but I don't know the cause for that. If these events are all linked, readers need to be let in on it a bit more.
Alecsandri comes to the conclusion that the demon is trying to use the passengers and crew to kill him, but no murder attempt actually happens, so I don't know why he comes to that conclusion, and if the conclusion is true, I don't know why there isn't an attempt or why Alecsandri survives. Alecsandri discovers that many of the passengers and crew jumped off the ship, but I don't know when or why. Why did they jump rather than attack Alecsandri? Alecsandri thinks that he can't leave his body to make a spirit-visit to a guru who might offer help. Yet later he does make the spirit-journey and survives, and I don't know why he survives.
One simple way to connect some of these events in a causal chain is to have them get progressively worse rather than getting worse, then better, then worse, then better, which is how it seems now. If some of these problems are caused by Alecsandri's presence on the ship, then it makes sense that they would get worse and worse the longer he's on the ship, and you only have to establish the initial cause to create the chain.
I think the rest of these events can be connected with causal connections. Often, causal connections exist in the mind of the author but just don't come clearly onto the page, and I think that's the case in some instances here. Once the story has a strong causal chain, readers will feel their dread and concern growing as they anticipate future events, and they will be turning the pages.
The second way in which you can strengthen the suspense is to clarify what is at stake and make that more vivid for readers. As is, I really don't know what can hurt or kill Alecsandri, aside from a spirit-journey. He doesn't seem human, so I don't know if a knife or bullet could kill him. I don't know if he could be thrown overboard to drown. I don't know if a pelican could peck him to death. He has some powers, and I don't know the limits of those powers, so it always seems as if he can escape any trouble. This means I'm never really worried about his safety.
For the rest of this review, visit the Editor's Choice area of the OWW site!
--Jeanne Cavelos, editor, author, director of Odyssey
Article by Ruth Nestvold
When Maria asked me to write an article for the OWW newsletter, I originally thought I could do a piece about my research process when writing fantasy. Not only am I something of a research addict, I was recently invited to give a guest lecture at my old alma mater, where I spoke primarily about the research for my Arthurian novel, Yseult. But when I noticed the article deadline was drawing near, I went back and looked at some recent newsletters to see what others had written -- and there, in August, Ian Tregillis wrote about research.
Foiled again at recycling ideas!
Shortly before I started catching up on the OWW newsletter, I'd checked Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing for my "Prior Six Weeks' Royalties" and was thrilled to see the best numbers I've had to date. It reminded me of how glad I am that I took my career into my own hands, and how much more focused I am since -- and I realized I had my article topic.
Last year I had a serious setback in my writing career, but the upshot of it was that I got the English rights for my novel Yseult back from the German publisher. They'd had no luck placing the original English; there was no interest in Arthurian novels. So rather than give up on a book I believe in, I decided to try my hand at e-publishing.
Now, seven e-books later (two novels, two novellas, and three short story collections), my indie income is growing steadily. It's not a living by any stretch of the imagination, at least not in Europe and the US. Averaged out as monthly writing income, it's not even half what I made in my best years in traditional publishing. (One of the sticky notes I have on my monitor is a quote from James Lee Burke: "One thing an author can always rely on is that if he has success, it will go away from him. When you have some success, put it in the bank, because you'll need it." Those are very wise words.)
Yet, I have become a convert. At first, I only brought out works as e-books that had been previously published elsewhere -- free money, basically, minus the cover art for Yseult and stock images for the short-story collections. Since everything had already been through the editing process somewhere, I didn't have to invest in editing or proofreading services for these first e-books.
Then I started noticing how much happier I was when tackling the writing projects on my to-do list. I was no longer writing under pressure for editors, who wanted so-and-so much by such-and-such a time without really providing any usable feedback. I was writing for myself and my readers, those who cared enough to write reviews and ask for more. And so I went from very nearly hating writing to loving it again.
Don't get me wrong, going indie isn't easy, and it isn't for everyone. In addition to creating fiction, you're also responsible for formatting, cover creation, hiring an editor, and marketing. But let's face it, in this day and age, traditionally published authors also have to do most, if not all, of their own promotion. And traditionally published authors are getting 10% of the cover price of their books instead of 70%. I'm actually making more per book on the $3.99 e-book of Yseult than I made on the 19.95 Euro hardcover of the German translation, Flamme und Harfe.
Those calculations make it sound like it's all about the money, but it isn't. For me, it's about the freedom. I can write the books I believe in and don't have to listen to agents and editors who tell me that Arthurian novels won't sell, or time travel that messes with literary history won't sell, or long novellas won't sell, or social science fiction won't sell. I can write all those things -- all those stories tripping around in my head -- and I can publish them, and I can prove the naysayers wrong. Since I published the e-book edition in January, Yseult has sold over 800 copies, and been borrowed another couple hundred times. Not too shabby for a genre no one reads anymore.
I still submit short stories the traditional way, and I think the feedback I get from magazine editors is important for me to learn and grow as a writer. But for novels I am, for the forseeable future, an indie writer. I have no interest in submitting my next novel to an agent or publisher and waiting years for a response. Instead, I'll be reinvesting recent profits in cover art and a freelance editor and maybe even some advertising. And then I'm going to get on to the next book, probably in yet another genre that publishing experts are sure won't sell. But I can take that risk, because I'm not trying to predict the next big thing; I'm writing the stories that move me for the readers who have the same tastes I do.
And I can't help thinking that with the new options we have now, it's a great time to be a writer.
Her latest book is Shadow of Stone, Book Two of the Pendragon Chronicles (available from Amazon).
Tim W. Burke says: "My story ‘Flammin' The Haints' is in the newest issue of Space and Time magazine. Many thanks to OWW for helping me get the story in shape!"
Sarah Byrne's story "The Princess In The Tower" is in the September Aoife's Kiss.
Eliza Collins has a story "Midnight Calls" in October's Plasma Frequency.
Natalie Jones told us: "'Fire, Fury, Faith,' a work posted on OWW, was accepted for e-publishing with Siren-Bookstrand. It will be available for purchase this November."
Kodiak Julian won third place in the 2nd quarter 2012 Writers of the Future Contest.
Vylar Kaftan announced, "I'm in the current issue of Asimov's with my short story "Lion Dance." It's about a flu pandemic in San Francisco, at Halloween-time, and a bunch of guys who entertain themselves by running around outside in Chinese lion costumes. I'm excited about my first appearance in Asimov's (and my next will be in February 2013)."
Holliann Kim's story "Love and Lettuce Leaves" appears in Beyond Centauri this month.
Ruth Nestvold told us, "One of my Alaska stories, 'The Shadow Artist,' was sold to Abyss and Apex."
Aimee Picchi emailed us to say: "I wanted to let you know that my short story 'Scoring Seraphim,' which was reviewed on OWW, was accepted for the Fall 2012 issue of The Colored Lens. The reviews from OWW were hugely helpful in rewriting the story before I sent it to The Colored Lens for submission. I'd like to thank the reviewers: Jennifer Oliver, Adam Shannon, Sarah Beth and Daryn Paciotti."
David Young's story "The Nottingham Faces" appeared in Roar and Thunder in September.
The Reviewer Honor Roll is a great way to pay back a reviewer for a really useful review. When you nominate a reviewer, we list the reviewer's name, the submission/author reviewed, and your explanation of what made the review so useful. The nomination appears in the Honor Roll area of OWW the month after you submit it, and is listed for a month. You can nominate reviewers of your own submissions or reviewers of other submissions, if you have learned from reading the review. Think of it as a structured, public "thank you" that gives credit where credit is due and helps direct other OWWers to useful reviewers and useful review skills.
Visit the Reviewer Honor Roll page for a complete list of nominees and explanatory nominations.
September 2012 Honor Roll Nominees
Reviewer: James Thomson
Submission: Lovers and Rabbits by Pierre Lombard
Submitted by: Pierre Lombard
Reviewer: Durand Welsh
Submission: Sunrise on Ganymede by D. Scott Thayer
Submitted by: D. Scott Thayer
Reviewer: L. K. Pinaire
Submission: MIDWAY, Chapter 1 by Steven Howell
Submitted by: Steven Howell
Reviewer: Laurence Pittenger
Submission: The First Question Is The Easy One by Tim W. Burke
Submitted by: Tim W. Burke
Reviewer: Arlene Ang
Submission: Bird in the Hand, Chap 1 (revised) by Caroline Norrington
Submitted by: Caroline Norrington
Reviewer: Frances Snowder
Submission: Bird in the Hand, Chap 1 (revised) by Caroline Norrington
Submitted by: Caroline Norrington
Reviewer: Amy Paul
Submission: And So to Bed by B. Morris Allen
Submitted by: B. Morris Allen
Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (Greenwillow Books, September, 2012)
She does not know what awaits her at the enemy's gate.
Elisa is a hero. She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.
Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from both foreign realms and within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.
To conquer the power she bears once and for all, Elisa must follow the trail of long-forgotten--and forbidden--clues from the deep, undiscovered catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her goes a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man who--despite everything--she is falling in love with.
If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.
Fees: $49/year, $30/6 months, or $6/month. First trial month free. (more)
How to pay: PayPal, Kagi, check in US dollars, money order in US dollars, barter (more)
Scholarship fund: We accept scholarship fund donations and award full or partial scholarships to active members in need. (more)
Gift memberships: You can give a gift membership for another member; just send us a payment by whatever method you like, noting who the membership is for and specifying whether the gift is anonymous or not. We will acknowledge receipt to you and the member.
Bonus payments: The workshop costs only 94 cents per week, but we know that many members feel that it's worth much more to them. 25% of any bonus payments we receive will go to our support staff; the rest will be tucked away to lengthen the shoestring that is our budget and keep us running! (more)
A thought prompted by Ruth Nestvold's description of her self-publishing success: venues like OWW may come to serve a more useful purpose for already-professional writers as they do more self-publishing. Instead of hiring a professional editor to contribute to a manuscript, "crowd-sourcing" the editing (at least of the crucial first few chapters) is a real possibility. This step, combined with a few faithful reviewers who will go through the whole novel, would go far to address the lack of professional editorial input. (Which I hear is often lacking at regular publishers now anyway.) Here's the tip, though: hiring a professional copy-editor is not a step to skip. Not only does it professionalize the presentation of your prose, but a copy-editor will keep track of names (so they don't change), spellings of created words (ditto), even characters' eye colors. Well worth it!
Got a helpful tip for your fellow members? A trick or hint for submitting or reviewing, for what to put in your author's comments, for getting good reviews, or for formatting or titling your submission? Share it with us and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. Just send it to support (at) sff.onlinewritingworkshop.com and we'll do the rest.