I’ve never been afraid of getting feedback. Perhaps I have had mostly positive experiences (definitely not all positive feedback, I must add), or perhaps I’ve been graced with receiving feedback from people who know the best way to give it. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.
Receiving feedback can be scary especially when you don’t personally know the people providing it. Some feedback could be hurtful unless presented in a constructive and encouraging manner.
It takes skill to give well-delivered feedback–start with some positive, offer some constructive, always include specifics and end on a good note. It’s a pretty simply formula although you’re probably not surprised how many people screw this up.
Start with some positive, offer some constructive, always include specifics and end on a good note.
I recently received the judges feedback from the second writing contest I’ve ever entered. Receiving feedback directly from the judges is one of the two best features of the writing contests sponsored by The Write Practice and Short Fiction Break. By the way, if you’re interested in future contests, jump over to either site and sign up for their e-mail list.
The other best feature of these contests is the pre-entry workshop. All contestants are required to workshop their stories with each other in the week prior to the submission deadline. My experience workshopping my stories has been extremely positive and some suggestions have been enormously helpful. I’ve also learn quite a bit reading the other contestants’ stories and providing feedback. Although some people disappear from the forums after making their final submissions, there are still a number of people who respond to requests for last minute feedback. What an incredibly supportive community of writers.
Have you had incredible or horrific experiences with feedback? I’d love you hear about them in the comments.