The Alternative Writing Workshop

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How to Write

Welcome, friend, to the Alternative Writing Workshop. This is the review forum for writing which is experimental, creative, opinionated, in first person or which falls outside the Writing Guidelines for the Approved Guide in some other way. The Alternative Writing Workshop is a great place to submit entries for fellow researchers to read and comment on. If you're used to Peer Review, then you may find the Alternative Writing Workshop hauntingly familiar, and yet refreshingly new in strange and wonderful ways. We like to think of ourselves as 'yang' to Peer Review's 'yin'... or is it the other way around?

Why the Alternative Writing Workshop?

Simply submitting your entry to the Alternative Writing Workshop will bring it to a wider audience than leaving it for people to stumble upon with the search engine. The Alternative Writing Workshop is also frequented by researchers on the lookout for entries to feature in the various alternative sections of H2G2 including:

  • The Post - The Post has a major presence in the workshops. The Post's editors use the Alternative Writing Workshop as a rich resource bank of material and may select anything that appeals to them.

  • The Showcase -The Showcase is our new venue for Entries that are of the topmost quality. Those with a 'Wow Factor', they will have to be the finest grade, high-flying Entries. The sort of writing that you would recommend a friend to read. If you're an author who is aiming for a wide readership and a permanent place in the Guide, then this is the venue for your writing.

By submitting your Entry here you will be reviewed and supported by a wide range of interested people. You may receive comments that will help you to improve the overall standard and effect of your piece.

How to Comment in the Alternative Writing Workshop

The first step for commenting on AWW entries is to read them. This can be entertaining in a number of ways, and entries in the AWW are diverse and have many genres. Click on the title or the A-number in the list at the bottom of this entry and read on!

Once you've read the entry, don't click the 'Discuss this entry' link at the foot of the Entry, instead, click the 'Currently in the Alternative Writing Workshop' link on the right-hand side of the Entry - this will take you to the review thread. You can add your comments there, as with any other conversation on h2g2, by clicking 'Reply' to any of the existing postings and typing your comment in the box.

Notes on Commenting

Before you comment on an entry in the Alternative Writing Workshop, consider the following points:

  • Is it the author's first entry? (You can check their personal space to find out). If so, introduce them to the forum and be as gentle in your comments as you can.

  • Be polite - Nettiquette is an important part of h2g2, and creative writing is a sensitive thing, so tread carefully, you may be treading on the author's dreams.

  • If you like the entry - say so! Everyone likes compliments.

  • Feel free to be comment on your emotional response - this is creative writing, and the ultimate test of a piece of creative writing is the emotions it evokes in the reader.

  • Try to understand the author's intent in writing the entry. Some entries will be documentary or expository, others will be more poetic and free-form and may intentionally include non-standard usage. Clarity is important however. If an entry isn't clear to you, say so.

  • Don't be afraid to challenge an author to improve their work, but please temper any criticisms with respect for the author as a creator, and as the final decision-maker about the entry.

  • Don't just say that an entry is bad! If you don't like it, try to make your criticism specific and constructive. Not everyone is confident about grammar and spelling, so don't be a technical bully.

  • Try not to worry too much about typos or spelling mistakes - if the entry is picked, there will be procedures for dealing with that sort of thing. Concentrate on the content of the entry itself.

  • Read the entire thread. Your point may already have been made and responded to, and conversations in the AWW can be lively and interesting in their own right.

  • Stay subscribed to the thread; once you've commented, keep an eye on what others are saying. It may be the start of an interesting conversation.

  • If an entry is picked for inclusion in the Post or the Showcase, congratulate the author!

How to Submit an Entry to the Alternative Writing Workshop

To put an entry into the Alternative Writing Workshop, simply click on the 'Submit for Review' button on the entry itself, and follow the instructions, choosing the 'Alternative Writing Workshop' from the drop-down menu.

For a detailed explanation of the system of Review Forums, please read the Review Forums FAQ.

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