Given submissions were attenuated

very little "good writing" to respond to => harshness

When submissions or directions varied, members feedback was quite different.

Subject Line and Directions


Subject:  Active writer not quite cutting it for publication, Short Story, 8th grader

This young lady has been submitting a lot of writing in the last few months, most of it not to the standards of the ... editor. Perhaps the members of E-web can give (her) a few pointers on how to please me [us].

First off, I'm glad this young lady's been taking active interest in teenlit and hasn't given up. It's all too easy to become disheartened. As for this piece, there was some definite potential in it. The doomsday concept has been butchered by numerous films and stories over the years, and this is actually not a bad manipulation of the topic. Certainly, it was not like Deep Impact. Then, to its credit, it was not like Armaggedon [sic], either. The ending was one of the points I did not care for, because of the way it left humankind with 400 years to get out of the planet. It was vauge [sic], and left the author sounding as if she could not come up with a more decisive ending. I'm not much for stories with open endings. The message of hope at the end was a bit corny for my tastes. I actually thought that the line of asterisks was the end, and, upon looking back, it may have been more effective to leave humankind doomed. That, however, may just be me. Never the storybook ending... As for the writing itself, it was not bad at all. There were some very accurate and, at times, vivid descriptions. There were, however, some grammatical mistakes, such as the omission of many necessary commas and other punctuation marks. This made the sentences seem drawn out and sometimes lead to confusion. Breaking sentences and paragraphs more could make this an easier read. Also, the dialogue was a bit forced, sometimes cliched, and never very realistic. In humanity's last hours, desperation would have probably been running a little higher. One line in particular grabbed me as a little out of place. Something to do with a raving official yelling "we've been sitting on our bottoms!" Bottoms? In the time of crisis, you think the man would've at least said "keisters." I dunno, struck me as a little third-grade. This really is a good piece of writing that I would love to see published, but not in its current state. Hopefully, this young lady is up to one last revision, and I really would like to see it again in its revised state.


Far greater range of response and tone when given opportunity.

Definite untapped possibilities of community building

18. Contributions to Education and Technology>