What contestants told us about the feedback on their stories
Jenny Heap. Warwickshire, England.
"I was most impressed that you were able to give such genuinely
considered, insightful and helpful feedback – a definite bargain!"
Sonia Bellhouse. Armadale, W. Australia. "I
am thrilled to announce that I have won two major awards in the
Rockingham Short Fiction awards. I took your advice and you can see the
Mark Sheehan. Cwmbran, Torfaen. "Your 100 words or so [of critique] is well worth the entry fee alone."
Gun Caundle. Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. "[Following
your critique], I won the Takahe Cultural Studies competition for my
story ‘Ross’. I also put this down to your lessons. They have raised the
quality of my writing."
Mary Jane Lick. Gatesville, Texas.
"I appreciate the very helpful critique you have offered on my piece.
This is the only contest I have found, so far, that provided a critique
without charging extra for that. You offered some excellent suggestions
that I will certainly consider."
Carrie Mumford. Alberta, Canada. "I can't thank you enough for your helpful feedback. You run a wonderful contest and website. Thank you for offering this to aspiring authors! I'll be sure to share news of your contest and website with my writing group."
Carolyn McKenzie. Auckland, New Zealand. "Thank
you very much for your feedback and comments on my story. I
particularly like your marking system and suggestions. They make the
'critique' very encouraging and useful. I consider my entry fee very
well spent indeed."
David Hill. Eastbourne, England. "Your advice on short story competitions is excellent. I have followed it and won
one competition and been shortlisted in two others so far."
Nancy Pawelek. Ottawa, Ontario.
"Getting your critiques WAS worth the entry fee. I appreciated the
conciseness of your advice and your encouragement. Seeing the points for
each element now helps me focus in my re-writes."
Keith Smith. St Etienne sur Usson, France. "Your
comments have given me much food for thought and I greatly appreciate
your encouragement and integrity. I thank you for what is, to me, the
best writing site on the net."
Patsy Miranda. London. "This
is the best website I have found so far especially if you are an
aspiring writer. The free writing tips are invaluable, the critiques are
extremely helpful and certainly more than their money's worth, and free
access to the winning stories is a bonus. Absolutely well worth a
visit, or two or more!"
Warren Glover. Woollahra, Australia.
"I've both placed and been unsuccessful in Writers' Village contests
and each time I've found the feedback fair, justified and extremely
useful. I'd recommend Writers' Village contests as both a motivational
and learning tool."
James Ward. East Sussex.
"Out of the 66 writing competitions I've entered to date, yours is far
and away the best organised, most competitor-friendly, and easily the best value for money."
Angela Johnson. Barcelona, Spain. "I treasure your valuable feedback and I'm glowing from some of the comments you made. I am sure I will enter a story again!"
Madeline Parsons. Southend-on-Sea, England.
"I very much liked your marking system. It made me feel confident that
the story had been judged against a set of criteria which had been
applied to all the entries, and thus the competition was less
subjective. I found your feedback to be just and insightful."
Laura Lindsay. Freeport, USA. "You cannot imagine how excited I was to receive good useful feedback from someone who knows the field. It was a gift, indeed."
Barbara Leahy. Cork, Ireland.
"Competitions can be like black holes swallowing up stories so it is
great to get feedback from someone who actually read and thought about
Joan Sonnenburg. Ontario, Canada. "Many thanks for your comments. These are more helpful than any cash award."
David Roberts. Westerham, England.
"Your feedback was much appreciated and indeed well worth the entry
fee. It's always good to know where exactly you fail in a competition
otherwise it is almost impossible to improve oneself."
Charles Clennell. Gilberton, Australia.
"Thank you for your very constructive feedback to my two stories.
Failing to gain a prize was less important to me than receiving useful
feedback to help improve my writing skills."
Susan Hartnell-Beavis. Yeovil, England.
"[I'd like to record] my thanks for the tremendous value your critiques
have for me. Not only does it help us improve as writers, but it is
also obvious, from the winners that you choose, that your standards are
very high. That is why we can trust what you say."
Ken McBeath. Ontario, Canada. "A critique such as yours is worth as much as a prize or more - and very
few competitions offer feedback without a hefty extra payment."
Maureen Gallagher. Galway, Ireland. "Yours is the most exciting competition I've entered. A real thrill to get your insightful comments!"
Helene Dolder. Newcastle upon Tyne, England. "It wasn't the taking part, it was the taking apart that most encouraged me! Your time to read, digest, regurgitate and comment was tremendous value for the entry fee."
Sharon Birch. Aberfeldy, Perthshire. "Feedback
such as this is invaluable to me as a writer and very helpful when I
come to edit and put them right. I shall enter your future competitions
and spread the word amongst fellow writers. Your helpful tips emails are
extremely informative and a welcome insight."
Joyce Mackenzie. Dundee, Scotland.
"I am delighted at the [feedback you gave me]. Its just as good as a
win for me. Your marking system is extremely good. It lets the writer
know where they have succeeded and where they have failed."
Hazel Martell. Keighley, West Yorkshire.
"Thanks again for the kind comments - they really were appreciated! I'm
also passing information about your competitions to various writing
friends and hope they will also be encouraged to enter."
Alan Coley. Thames Ditton, England.
"It was very good to receive your comments. It's so refreshing to
receive constructive criticism rather than being left to stare at the
short list and not be able to work out why my name wasn't on it. Many
Kim Kremer. Penrith, Cumbria.
"Thanks for the feedback I received on my two stories. It was
encouraging and helpful, and I'd definitely enter the competition
Debbie Allard. Spring Lake, Michigan.
“I love every part of your program. I’ve received invaluable tips. My
feedback was highly detailed and helped me improve my writing. Thank
Donald Blair. Garve, Highland. "Thank you very much for your very encouraging comments on the stories."
Peter McGinniss. East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire. "I
found your comments to be very helpful, and illuminating in terms of
what is being looked for in a short-story writing competition. I shall
take the advice on board."
Nicola Young. Sevenoaks, Kent.
"Thank you for your feedback. It was a great to help to me. It's just
encouraging to know you're going in the right direction, especially as
I'm new to this."
Lande Abudu. Eastcote, Middlesex.
"I really needed to hear an independent view of ways to improve my
writing. It was helpful to get feedback as I am only just venturing into
the world of writing competitions; I'll keep at it and hope to be a
winner some day soon."
Valerie Bowes. Surrey.
"Thank you very much for your comments, which I did indeed find
helpful. Of particular use is knowing how I scored on the points system
which you use to make your judgements. And the writing tips are very
good, as well!"
Gail Richards. London.
"John treated my stories with respect from start to finish, understood
the theme and the characters and made some incisive and pertinent
suggestions for improvement. I was impressed with the time and trouble
he took and the insight he showed. If this is terse feedback I'd love to
see a full critique!"
Paul Barron. Co Wexford, Ireland.
"I found John's feedback exceptionally good.The breakdown and marks
particularly good in focusing attention on parts that are not working.
Most competitions offer no feedback or charge a fee. For my part I can't
you can improve unless you know where you went wrong. Thanks again,
John, for the feedback."
Jason Heaver. Streatham, London. "Yours is the only competition I've found that gives any kind of feedback as part of the entry fee, rather than for an additional price, and it's greatly valued."
Doreen Stoneham. Oxford, England. "Your
comments have helped me to identify points which appeared clear to me
but not to the reader. I shall certainly be entering again. I have been
recommending your site to my writing group. It’s the best I have found."
Evelyn Evans. Buckingham.
"Your comments are really helpful and I will certainly act on your
advice. This is the first time I have had the courage to share any of my
work and I feel enormously encouraged (if not amazed!) by your
response. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to read it so
Amy. High Wycombe, England.
"Your comments brought clarity to my doubts and renewed my interest in
those two stories, which is fantastic. I really feel it is possible to
make both those stories work now, whereas before I was unhelpfully
despondent/irritated with the outcome."
Kim Offenburger. Kentucky, USA.."I want to really thank you for offering these important lessons! I've
taken quite a few writing classes on line, and these free lessons and tidbits
about writing are really extraordinary. Almost everyone of them gives me an 'a ha!' moment."