22/05 Additional submissions added. Please note that this workshop will conclude after this weekend, so get those last critiques in over the weekend! Thank you
17/05- Submissions now on view, see below!
09/05- Gallery is now open for submissions!
For those who read the story this week, what were your thoughts? This piece was given to me to read in one of my very first workshops at university, which is why I thought it was an appropriate choice. We don't need to delve deep into the context and themes of the piece, but in particular, I hope there was some attention paid to how characters reacted to the change, and beyond reaction but living and coping with that change- because guess what? This workshop is all about change and reaction.
The Workshop Brief
The change can be anything; something significant or absurd- it doesn't have to be physical or even subject to one individual. However the important element would be not to share what the change is, but instead use the actions and reactions from characters or creatures in your story.
Try not to share with us how or why the change has happened either. We want to focus on how people react, accept/not accept and adapt/not adapt to the change. This is is a great workshop to explore dynamics and pacing and to take that into your other writing projects.
This workshop is open to poetry and prose (we know it leans slightly to prose, but it would be interesting to see how poets work with this!).
Word limit for prose is 1000 words.
Line Limit for poetry is 40 lines.
One submission per person.
How to Submit
The gallery folder will be open for submission from May 10th, 1 week after the workshop has begun. You will be able to submit either via sta.sh or by going into the gallery folder and submit. Your piece will go through a voting system to check it is applicable to this workshop, so stating so in your artists comments really helps!
Please note that we ONLY accept submissions for the current workshop and only members can submit to our folders. If people submit works not for the workshop, we will communicate with you this is not acceptable and continuous submission attempts will resolve in your removal from our group.
What Happens Next?
You have between now and May 17th to submit your piece to the workshop. Late submissions will be accepted, however we cannot guarantee your piece will be read by others.
On May 17th, this journal will be refreshed with the submissions to this workshop. We would expect members, especially fellow participants to take some time to read the pieces and offer feedback and thoughts on their pieces.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in this journal!
Here are the amazing people who have managed to come up with something for what has seemed to be a challenging challenge! We now encourage ALL our members, whether you wrote or not, to come give these a read (not all of them, but even one or two would be appreciated) and offer your feedback, your thoughts and critique. The whole purpose of a workshop is to share these thoughts and help pieces develop beyond the original constraints of the workshop.
There are 15 pieces in total...
Of/For"Gentlemen, you're up next. Tomorrow, oh-six hundred hours."
The briefer was met with silence, too heavy to ever fly, and a sea of accusing eyes. It was a bleak February afternoon, muted by grey weather and old snow, and the airmen who had once been best-known for talking back were just staring him down, silent. Motionless. Some of them were already dead; he could see it the eyes, dulled with long exertion and murdered hope. Some were perilously close. Those eyes were the ones that burned, the hearts of stars threatening to swell and then swallow themselves in their own fire. The little man at the front of the room had seen such eyes before, and thought he had grown used to them through the years of war, but this once he looked away to the safety of the map pinned on the corkboard. "Over Germany, standard bombing run...."
The map didn't help either. It couldn't stare with that horrible stillness, but there were the places and country borders, clean and written in permanent ink, and if
CreaturesOn the balcony, with nothing but a towel around his waist, Shinichiro tried not to feel the cloying indolence of summer. It was late. He ignored the astringent, emotional demand centered in the boneless flesh just south of his navel. At night, it was easy to pretend that The Absence wasn’t there. It was easy to pretend that the sky was empty of all but birds/insects/airplanes. Though he couldn’t see them, he knew that the culex were there, each as long as a school-bus from bumper to bumper: the larvae of mosquitos, hanging from clouds by their rigid, hollow tails. Even as adults, they remained in their larval state. They might have been monsters.
The Himitsu District was a nightmare labyrinth of neon and shadow: the only place in the city where the heat didn’t matter
He felt no surprise as he turned from the main thoroughfare onto a familiar, narrow street. It took no thought (and no effort) to find the narrow w
Chilli SquidI couldn’t get us to fit together anymore. Did it feel awkward for her too? My friend parted from the hug and I wanted her to slap me.
“I’m so hungry,” she said, sitting back down at the booth with her husband. “What took you so long?”
The slap would come later – today for sure – I wouldn’t chicken out. I sat opposite them and almost tried to gulp water from a glass that had not been filled yet.
Laughing off their question, I watched the conveyor belt of small coloured plates pass as by. “It was cold. My bed was warm.”
“Don’t feel bad,” her husband said. He put an arm around my friend. “I like staying in bed too.” He kissed her cheek and she slapped his chest, blushing. I’ve heard it said that you can always trust a person who blushes. He never blushed. I snapped my chopsticks open.
We chose our plates off the belt. I tried to not notice the grace of his hands as he used his sticks or
The End Is Come.“Fuck. Fuck. Fuckfuckfuck!”
Ian saw them coming, though they were still far away. They never made any attempts to remain hidden. He sat crouched behind a barren bush, staring longingly at the barn on the other side of the road. His tongue slid across his upper lip for a moment, as he mulled the possibilities in his head. He took a deep breath, but just as he wanted to make a dash for it he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder.
He turned around in a blitz, and tightly gripped the metal pipe he was carrying.
“Chill, Ian,” came a deep voice, belonging to the hand.
“Fuck, Nick, almost gave me a goddamn heart attack!”
“That’s not going to help anyone. Keep your cool.”
Ian sighed as Nick slid out of the darkness. He was the strong and silent type, yet somehow the bastard was silent as the night if he wanted to be. Ian threw another longing glance over his shoulder, but they were too close now. He wouldn’t make it.
“Fuck man, I co
The Wallflower Lily stared at her bedroom wall. She had thought Annie had been playing make believe, like when they used to dress up as fairy-tale characters. She had no idea that Annie had actually been telling the truth.
“Annie, it isn’t funny anymore. Get out of there!” On the wallpaper, the miniature picture of her sister shook her head and put out her tongue.
“Get out,” Lily ordered. “Now.” When that didn’t work, she said, “Do you want me to tell mum?”
Not at all concerned, Annie shrugged.
Lily would have to pull her little sister out of there. She reached out her hand. Realising what Lily was planning on doing, Annie plucked a pastel pink dandelion from the wallpaper, and then ran. As if on a precipice, Annie jumped and used the dandelion as a parachute. Floating in the wallpaper’s white space, she landed somewhere behind Lily’s b
Metamorphosis"I didn't think she'd do it," the woman in the blue overcoat sobbed. At least, I thought it had started out blue. The luxurious fabric had done a great job of absorbing food and snot stains, turning it into more of a camouflage pattern. Right where street curry met bad head cold, I caught the glimpse of an embroidered monogram. Two sets of initials, actually, encased by a heart.
"I really didn't think Jhuri would do it." She ran her hand across her dripping nose. My smile twitched when I saw a long clear strand wrap itself around the loose ring on her fourth finger. "She said she loved me more than E.O. Wilson, y'know? And he was her childhood hero."
"Go on, please, ma'am." Words you shouldn't say lightly, but they seemed better than trying to comfort her. For one, I'd left my Hazmat suit at home.
I ended up scribbling notes for fifteen straight minutes. In that time she had given me an address, how long they'd been together, the color of the bridesmaids' dresses, who caught the bouque
Half a World Away The first thing that overcame her was the humidity. It was hot and humid. It only took a few minutes for her skin to feel sticky and gross even with the rain. Then the smells assaulted her nose. Scents that were vastly different from a city.
The air smelled…clean. Well it smelled more like rain, moldy fruit, a musty old shirt, and something spicy that she couldn’t quite place her tongue on. But there was no gasoline, no beer, no horse dung…everything she had been used to was gone. And the realization finally hit her.
She was far, far, away from home.
And extremely out of her element. All her confidence, all her fearlessness, all her braveness, was gone. What was she doing here?
She stared out at the jungle, at the huge mass of trees and plants that engulfed her vision. There were sounds of screaming, howling monkeys, her grandmother and the pilot t
Poor Man "You're lucky to be alive, James." His micro-chipped guide telling him, sending a jolt of a buzz against his skull.
"I am?" A vision of his only company nodding his head was sent to his line of sight, confusing the poor man even more. He shook his head in distress, his head in his hands. He can hear it sigh against his ear, sending off his already racing nerves.
"Why can't you just embrace it, James? You're alive and healthy, that's all that matters. Who needs friends and family anyhow when you have me?"
"Well it's not everyday that I get bossed around by a talking micro-chip attached to my head, so sorry for my lack of enthusiasm." He barks sarcastically at his newfound nuisance.
"News flash, Princess, I'm not going anywhere!" A sudden spark flies form the chip, a jolt of pain bouncing against it's subject's skin,
"Oh, look at what you've done, you're overworking my circuits! Let's just both shut-up, eh? I've
Callow's ClassSome people just stopped coming to lectures. It wasn't reasonable, expecting us to understand all of that, they said. They may have been right, but we cling too closely to reason, sometimes. Others claimed to learn more by reading the textbook. I've always thought that was unfair. Prof. Callow may have been unreasonable – undoubtedly he was unreasonable – in expecting Freshers to appreciate the beauty of the eightfold way; but he did it with an energy and charisma that none of the books even aspire to. That may have been what scared them off, I suppose.
Whatever the reasons, the class shrank rapidly. The nonchalant back row slunk forward to become the furiously-calculating third row. The middle-of-the-class snoozers dwindled and found less quieter neighbourhoods to nod off in. The smart alec girl at the front who said things like “I think you mean non-decreasing rather than increasing, Prof,” became a personal hero. The little details turn out to matter more tha
The Wolf's Deed “There you are, Arsenios! I’ve been looking everywhere for you,” Erastos grinned as he slipped through the doorway of the bathing chamber. His eager mood faltered when he noted the look of betrayal haunting his slave’s eyes. “What’s wrong?”
Arsenios turned away from his master to glance at the dripping rag in his hands. He wrung out the cloth, letting the excess water fall into the terra cotta basin at his knee, before spreading the rag on the windowsill to dry. Erastos noted fresh stains discoloring the washcloth.
“Arsenios?” he whispered, now concerned.
“I’ve just come from Lykos’s house. You lent me to him, remember?” the slave replied.
Vigas- Fade---4: Fade---
They say that you can teach skills, and that practice overcomes even the best natural talent. This was the lifeline that kept the hopeful student adrift in a sea of doubts and fears. It wasn’t much of a lifeline, but it was all he had.
Once, he had studied and practiced and trained like his life depended on it- as far as he was concerned, it did. He toiled and researched and made every effort to succeed, but it always seemed to be in vain. Nothing he could do would change a simple, inescapable fact that gnawed away at his existence with crashing waves of dread and apprehension: The hopeful student was completely and utterly rubbish at magic.
How cruel, then, that his whole life had been devoted to its study and practice. He had dreamed of being a part of the Skyloft since he was a small child, and had spared no expense to get there. He would not be denied. He would learn what the wizards had to teach. He would master the arts, and he would be the best.
And so he bel
change thingCan you see the difference, the change?
Before everything was so ordinary, normal
to me, but thats not so much now what I see.
At first the change was just a little bit here,
but there came a time later where nothing
was the same as before; change overcame.
All was not right, or actually nothing was all right.
It seemed broken; like this world, but with different
rules: incoherent, undefined, and unknown.
But, just like a person's mind, the world is
ordered. It is not sane, instead it is rational;
not chaos, but just chaotic, understandable.
See the patterns, over time, reaction still follows action;
but is it because of ritual, or is it some kind of magic?
Study and find one thing really does lead to another.
Habits prove their value in the face of change.
Experience it compared to what was before,
but obsessing over it is not the same as learning it.
It's just consuming time, repeating a rote process,
instead of refining and learning what is
Dear Daddy(Note: this story switches between two narrative styles; a child writing a letter and a mother going through life. They will be separated using --------- .)
I found Mommy hanging from the roof today. Her note said she couldn’t take the change anymore, but I don’t know what she’s talking about.
“What do you mean they’re suing us?” The woman stood yelling at her lawyer as she was presented the news.
“I’m sorry Mai, but people want more than what they got. They want more people to suffer like they did.” The lawyer tried to soften the blow, but he knew better. People wanted people, and now the family had to suffer.
“But I didn’t know what was going on! I didn’t know!” All Mai could do was repeat her screams over and over again. The screams pierced through the door a
Until All Is StardustI wanted to be popular, desired for what I was.
Now I see my folly then, hating their applause.
They can't see it's not craftmanship, not his skill.
They can't see I'm trapped here, inside the statue still.
Someone has to realize that the model is now gone.
Someone has to realize that the artist is a con.
Why, oh why, can't they see the hairs are too fine?
Why can't they see the golden tears are really mine?
Frozen, Midas' legacy conspired to provide him fame.
I'm golden, but would rather my freedom reclaim.
They coo and clap and awe and kiss the artist.
While I silently will weep until all is stardust.
Never Knows "Wake up, you!"<da:thumb id="454602055"/>
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"Please wake up..."
"Your punishment has not even yet begun."
"Yes, Eth'rur - the mirror. Look at us."
The thing hovered impatiently in the sky above this patch of desert wasteland that had somehow found a way to become further wasted. Eth'ros looked into the nine faces of the Prism God searching for any other reflection than the one looking back at him, and although each mirror face was, in itself, a different facet of the original divine shape, they all seemed to reflect the same image. It wasn't a pretty reflection either. Strangely, he felt like a corpse ever since waking - if you want to call it that - so at leas
To those who have written: don't sit back and wait for the critique to come pouring in! Go check out critique groups and the lit forum thread and seek more feedback where you can, it doesn't have to be limited to the workshop.
Also, we are still accepting late submissions, however you may not see as many comments if they are late.
We now have a week or so of critiquing before this workshop concludes, so feel free to get all excited and stuff