The Fine Art of Critique - July 2020
Receiving feedback on your work is an essential part of improving as a writer. It helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses, and gives you an idea of how a reader might react to your words. But not all feedback is created equal. It can range from the sycophantic (just praise, no ideas for improvement) to the sledgehammer (this is wrong, this is wrong, it's all wrong approach) - and neither extreme, in my opinion, is particularly useful.

This four week workshop will give you the chance to reflect on what makes for good feedback, what to look for when assessing someone else's writing, how to go about framing your feedback without trampling on a writer's fragile confidence, how to pick out the positives as well as the main areas for improvement, and how to avoid simply expounding our own literary prejudices.

You'll upload one piece of flash fiction before the workshop to a private Google workspace and will get feedback from both Matt and your fellow workshop participants before a chance to edit and re-submit your story for a second feedback pass. You'll also be added to a group chat on Twitter where you can connect more freely and discuss various aspects of feedback and critique.

Beforehand: write and submit one piece of flash fiction (200-500 words).
Week 1: work through a series of exercises to hone your critiquing muscles.
Week 2: feedback from Matt and peer review on first draft.
Week 3: reflect on the best ways of assimilating feedback + editing your story.
Week 4: feedback from Matt and peer review on 2nd draft.

Dates: 6th July - 2nd August inclusive.

Price: Pay what you like. I'm firmly in favour of opening creative writing opportunities to people from all backgrounds. The suggested fee is £15 but I would encourage all writers to set their own fee dependent on what you feel you can afford. There's also no need to pay up front. When we get to the end of the workshop, I'll send out a link to my PayPal and you can decide then what amount to pay.

Places limited to 10 participants.
First Name: *
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Surname: *
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Email Address (NOTE - to take part in this workshop, you will need to supply a gmail account): *
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Please tick to confirm you are happy to be added to a private Google workspace for the purposes of uploading stories and sharing feedback. NOTE that your email address will be discoverable by other members of the group. *
Twitter Handle:
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Would you like to be added to Matt's mailing list to receive details on future workshop opportunities as well as his monthly showcase blog?
What happens next?
You'll receive an email from me checking your email address works correctly and acknowledging your sign up to the workshop in the next week or so. At the end of June, I'll email again asking you to send me the flash fiction story you'd like to submit, the deadline for which will be the 3rd July. I'll add you to a Twitter group chat as well as the Google workspace. During the workshop, you'll get regular emails from me and I'll be on Twitter, looking forward to connecting with you all and hearing how you're getting along.
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