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    1. October Tildes Writing Club

      My further apologies to anyone who has looked forward to another Writing Club while I was busy running from a cruel summer. Finally stationary, I send this from a bewitched region. I've wandered...

      My further apologies to anyone who has looked forward to another Writing Club while I was busy running from a cruel summer. Finally stationary, I send this from a bewitched region.

      I've wandered into a church of horrors recently, at 10 pm, completely ignorant of the liturgical occasion for it standing open and illuminated at that time of night. An elfin woman in a sweatshirt spotted me and my wife as we took in a St. Sebastian statue.

      "Come take your photos of this!" she said, and drew us toward a glowing pit under the tabernacle. Besides a priest scribbling behind a cracked door we were the only souls stirring. I kept him in view as we climbed the steps to the high altar.

      "Is this OK... are we OK here?" asked my wife, in sparse Castilian.

      "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes," replied the churchwoman. I'm learning that such verbal generosity is typical here.

      What she led us to was the sacred center of the church, the relic over which swarmed a hundred angel heads, pewter candelabras, attendant saints and golden aureole. But they were above ground. Beneath the floor it stood, lit extremely: a worn, worn, sea-washed stone, about the size of a cocooned 10-year old child. Coins rested in a depression at its crown. It bore a jumble of an inscription in a font you could count on James Cameron to pick if he had to display an "ancient curse." What or whom the monolith hallowed was beyond our powers to decipher or the churchwoman's to explain. But it seemed older than the cross barely scratched into it. Somehow I knew it had stood apart for millennia. It was the sick feeling it provoked in me, the reflexive reverence it forced from someone. Down the aisle a Mater Dolorosa wept tears like glue beads into her properly black Spanish dress. St. Lucy served her eyeballs on a platter. An underlighted St. Iago trampled moors unlucky enough to have been caught inside the glass case with him and his white charger. The viscera of belief.

      We left without understanding, and the lady promptly shut the doors to us and the night.

      The stone might have moored a ship purported to have carried St. Iago. Its letters might signify a dedication to Neptune. It may have come from a flooded temple.

      Surely these are elements for an eerie tale, but this was merely my birthday on a full-moon night.

      And now I would really like to read some Halloween writing. Please plan on sharing some short, tense, spooky, autumn-scented, decay-touched words with the writing club. Due on October 31.

      10 votes
    2. Writing Club #3—"Madness" (Submissions)

      Shakespeare's birthday is observed today. Thank you, verily, for sharing your writing! Please post your efforts below, with an introduction and/or questions for your readers. Here are the...

      Shakespeare's birthday is observed today. Thank you, verily, for sharing your writing!

      Please post your efforts below, with an introduction and/or questions for your readers.
      Here are the guidelines, again.

      8 votes
    3. Writing Club #3—"Madness" (April 23)

      Rounds one and two of the Tildes Writing Club have been smashing, if small-scale, successes. In the interest of luring out a few lurkers with a timely provocation, I want to establish this month's...

      Rounds one and two of the Tildes Writing Club have been smashing, if small-scale, successes. In the interest of luring out a few lurkers with a timely provocation, I want to establish this month's theme by fiat.

      What do you have to say about madness? Your contribution can resemble a clinician's assessment, a confession, a polemic, an absinthe specter, the cry of the cuckoo, the diagnosis offered by Major Clipton (but hopefully of greater length), or a 1980s ska band. That is, whether you take the word to be romantic, offensive, biographical, inspirational, or risible, take it as inspiration for your writing this month.


      Just follow these easy guidelines:

      Your submission can be prose or poetry of any reasonable length. Less than 7,000 words, surely.

      Watch for the April 23 submissions thread to appear. Reply to it with a link to your work, which may be housed anywhere you like, including on Tildes. Prioritize venues that are not known to be aggressively anti-privacy (e.g., Google Docs). You may provide questions for readers.

      You must provide feedback on 3 submissions if you are posting a submission. Only one needs to be a substantial critique. If you see a post without feedback, consider giving it preference in the order of your responses. No one likes to be left hanging.

      You don't have to follow the theme. Your detective fiction about beaver glands is welcome, too.
      Feel free to post questions or comments.

      12 votes
    4. Writing Club #2 Submissions

      It's nearly spring (in one hemisphere) and time to share our first longer pieces! Whether or not you've been inspired by this month's theme of liminality, I hope you've found this transitional...

      It's nearly spring (in one hemisphere) and time to share our first longer pieces! Whether or not you've been inspired by this month's theme of liminality, I hope you've found this transitional time a pithy precipice.

      Please post your efforts below, with an introduction and/or questions for your readers.
      Here are the guidelines, again. I applaud everyone who submits for taking part in something new.

      12 votes
    5. Call For Submissions--Writing Club #2 (March 14)

      Lay it on the line in our March club posting! This time, let's submit short stories, chapters, essays. @eve suggests that the optional theme be "liminality/liminal spaces. It could be about them,...

      Lay it on the line in our March club posting! This time, let's submit short stories, chapters, essays.

      @eve suggests that the optional theme be "liminality/liminal spaces. It could be about them, the creation of one, a dissection, the destruction of one, or just take place there. Anything and everything liminal."

      Liminal is a sort of between. The definition is: relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

      You can also look into liminal spaces. These can be real places (like a train station that's simply a point people transfer to other trains to) or even the emotional betweens; coming to realizations or on a precipice of something. Like, summer vacation could be a liminal space even!

      If you're not into borders and transitional spaces, or if you've been incubating a polemic all pandemic long, you are still encouraged to share your writing! You may draw inspiration from any theme (fictional or real).

      Just follow these easy guidelines:

      1. Produce a short story, essay, or chapter of a longer work. Your submission should not exceed 7,000 words. Let's aim for pieces 350-3500 words.

      2. Watch for the March 14 submissions thread to appear... on March 14! Reply to it with a link to your work, which may be housed anywhere you like, including on Tildes. Prioritize venues that are not known to be aggressively anti-privacy (e.g., Google Docs). You may provide questions for readers in hidden expandable text, if you like.

      3. You must provide feedback on 3 submissions if you are posting a submission. Only one needs to be a substantial critique. Our first outing was a trial run, and the offerings were extremely short. I anticipate proportionally longer responses to come easily this time. If you see a post without feedback, consider giving it preference in the order of your responses. No one likes to be left hanging.

      Feel free to post questions in this topic. We had a stimulating and moderately edgy trial run. I'm excited for the longer prose to come!

      12 votes
    6. Writing Club #2 (March) Discussion

      We had a stimulating and moderately edgy trial run with our Valentine's Day submissions thread! Thank you to all who took part. Next up is short stories, chapters, essays. I initially posted this...

      We had a stimulating and moderately edgy trial run with our Valentine's Day submissions thread! Thank you to all who took part. Next up is short stories, chapters, essays.

      I initially posted this with the wrong date (thanks @eve and @deimos for the help), so I'll put the call out in a fresh post with the correct date.

      10 votes
    7. Writing Club #1 Submissions

      Valentine's Day Edition Optional Themes: love / unlove / hate / red / heart / viscera Submit your "Quick 'Ficts' and Poems" below! Very relaxed rules apply to this first round. Basically, just...

      Valentine's Day Edition

      Optional Themes: love / unlove / hate / red / heart / viscera


      Submit your "Quick 'Ficts' and Poems" below! Very relaxed rules apply to this first round. Basically, just post something short. And remember to leave feedback for at least two pieces if you're submitting (but more is welcome). You don't need to submit to leave comments. Looking forward to reading!

      14 votes
    8. Call For Submissions 2/14—Quick Ficts and Poems

      You are invited to cut right to the heart of things for the first Tildes Writing Club event. Let's road test the club with brief fiction or verse. Got a sonnet that needs airing? Want to weave a...

      You are invited to cut right to the heart of things for the first Tildes Writing Club event. Let's road test the club with brief fiction or verse. Got a sonnet that needs airing? Want to weave a brief spell and dip before the magic fades? Let's read it!


      Length: less than 500 words of prose, or 30 or fewer lines of poetry.
      Theme: Optional. But if you're in search of inspiration, @acdw suggests you work with this palette: love/unlove/hate/red/heart/viscera.
      Guidelines: Post your short work in the submissions topic, which will open on 2/14. Throughout the next couple of weeks, leave feedback for at least two other submissions. Brief rules for a brief, trial-run writing event. To opine on the rules that are taking shape for 3/1, reply here.

      11 votes
    9. Writing Club Theme Discussion

      Let's discuss themes for our March 1 Writing Club submissions. (If prompts or themes aren't your thing, you may write what you like and post when the submission topic opens.) Feel free to suggest...

      Let's discuss themes for our March 1 Writing Club submissions. (If prompts or themes aren't your thing, you may write what you like and post when the submission topic opens.) Feel free to suggest a prompt (a scenario, dilemma, or background), a theme, or an ambiguous title to jump-start writing efforts. What do you want to suggest?

      8 votes
    10. Writing Club Organizational Thread

      All writers are invited to take part in the newborn Tildes Writing Club! Let’s let the club organize as it grows, but as a starting point, I present loose, inclusive guidelines formed from the...

      All writers are invited to take part in the newborn Tildes Writing Club! Let’s let the club organize as it grows, but as a starting point, I present loose, inclusive guidelines formed from the meeting of ideas in the last thread. (I was going to list aspects as separate replies for easier picking apart, but I guess I can’t make separate replies to the same post.) Feel free call out an aspect to compare it with a different approach.

      Schedule

      A thread will surface every three weeks inviting you to post your work. You may post your piece to the thread at any time before the next appears, but you risk missing out on readers. Finish and submit your critiques before the next recurring thread. (I declare this quite confidently for someone with no idea how recurring threads work.) Should the inaugural submission thread open on March 1?

      Sharing

      Reply to the recurring submission thread with a link to your work, which may be housed anywhere you like, including on Tildes. Prioritize venues that are not known to be aggressively anti-privacy (e.g., Google Docs). You may share a selection from a larger work, but your submission should not exceed 7,000 words. Shorter by half that is likelier to be read. There will be no minimum length. You may provide questions for readers in hidden expandable text, if you like.

      Feedback

      Critique participation will operate on the honor system. When submitting, you are encouraged to provide meaningful feedback to three pieces each cycle. These will be self-assigned. To assign yourself a piece, post a reply to it as placeholder. Assign yourself to pieces that haven’t yet been taken before signing on as a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th reader. That is, while there are still pieces without assigned readers (which will be apparent due to the lack of replies), take one of those first to ensure everyone is getting read. Naturally, you may leave critiques or comments in a free and unregulated fashion if you aren’t submitting work for critique this round. I suggest leaving feedback in the reply you created as placeholder. Others may have better ideas.

      Themes / Forms

      Hopefully, taking part in the club will motivate you to produce new writing. The community will suggest themes as inspiration after the posting of a submission thread. These could be chosen democratically, or by a rotating theme-warden, but should be mooted outside the submissions thread. I prefer themes to be extremely flexible, rather than a prompt: “Orange; Breathless; Common Parlance;” instead of “On Tuesday you discover the ability to control trains with your mind.” Submissions do not need to follow the theme. We might decide to have a round dedicated to poetry, but then again, why not gather an assortment of forms and genres?

      Showcase and ‘Zine

      As motivation for writers, and to benefit the wider Tildes community, I would like to see a periodic showcase thread highlighting the best of our work. It makes sense to post this separately, rather than just by tagging exemplary pieces, because most of us will want to improve our submissions with feedback in mind. @acdw has the idea of organizing a ‘zine to further showcase our best work. This, it seems to me, suggests wonderful opportunities for collaboration with visual artists. The schedule for both of these will have to depend on activity in the club.

      Spirit

      I hope for the club to be egalitarian, advanced by participants with good ideas and a flair for organization. Despite my failings, I hope to be such. To the degree that I can direct the energy of the group, I would like to give the following precept: Be generous. Writers, be a gracious guest in the minds of your readers. Be generous in your criticism. Don't abstain from lauding your favorites--that is important. At the same time, recognize that you compliment writing when you take it seriously enough to voice serious problems you may wish to see it avoid. Interpret criticism in the same spirit of generosity.

      24 votes
    11. A Writing Club

      I'd like to gauge interest in a writing group. The quality of expression I find at Tildes and the nature of some of the Timasomo projects prompt me to wonder if maybe there aren't enough...

      I'd like to gauge interest in a writing group. The quality of expression I find at Tildes and the nature of some of the Timasomo projects prompt me to wonder if maybe there aren't enough regularly-writing members to form a circle for critique and support. I have some experience teaching, but never have run a group. I'm a committed generalist--I don't think I would want to limit it to a particular form or genre.

      Anyone interested? Have you taken part in one before / belong to one now?

      31 votes