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WRiTE CLUB 2012 - A Champion Crowned

All of my judges came back with their votes, and the 2012 WRiTE CLUB Champion, by the smallest of margins, is.......


The voting ended up like this:

Jill Marsal            Snivvy Crank
Sarah LaPolla      Snivvy Crank
Ann Collette        Raven Claw
Elana Johnson     Raven Claw
S.R. johnanes      Snivvy Crank
Rachel Gardner   Snivvy Crank
Tiana Smith        Snivvy Crank
Lucienne Diver   Snivvy Crank
Lauren Ruth        Raven Claw
ME Johnson        Raven Claw

Here are some of the comments the panel offered about Raven Claw:

In Raven Claw, I was intrigued by the way I was kept off balance--have the creatures made a terrible mistake in assuming the form of a cat or have then been incredibly clever doing that? One would have to read on to find the answer to that and so that writing sample had a narrative thread, the other didn't. - Ann Collette

Raven Claw had a nice twist at the end - it really made me interested in knowing what happened next. Unfortunately, it wasn't until the end that I really became invested. I think the reason why the description felt so heavy at the beginning is because there were a lot of words that aren't used all too often that the reader had to interpret. - Tiana Smith

The second piece felt too overwritten to me. Long sentences, complicated words when an everyday word will do, too many adjectives, etc. It was hard to get into the story because I found the writing distracting. - Sarah LaPolla

With “Raven Claw” I worry from a marketing perspective that it’s too light.  It’s a fun concept, and the author does a very good job right up front with the undulating cilia and six eyes that we’re dealing with an alien species.  However, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be a very serious piece, and the sf market (actually, that of most genres currently) definitely favors the darker, more suspenseful cutting edge works.  (Also, I had a minor issue with the overseer’s tail being described as a “shaft”…”hardened” and then swaying.  Potential double entendre aside, the visual of something that’s hardened doesn’t go along with something that sways, at least in my mind.). - Lucienne Diver

Raven's Claw has a more developed plot, the story flow is good, and its playful nature puts a  chuckle with a smile at the end - ME Johnson.

And here some of the remarks regarding our winner's - Snivvy Cranks piece:

I thought the suspense was terrific and the use of foreshadowing masterful. - Rachelle Gardner

It wasn't clear why the protagonist had to pay the price he did. It was a clever and self-contained piece, but I didn't understand what the protagonist had done to deserve to die. - Ann Collette.

Even though there were magical elements, I felt like I could understand the world right away. I'm also very curious as to why anyone would want to kill a mere janitor... I'm not as enthralled with the ending of the piece as I am with Raven Claw's. It's hard to answer the questions that are left if you kill of the character we've been following.  - Tiana Smith.

I’d tell the writer to watch out for overusing dialect in the dialogue. The narrator’s voice is easy to follow and distinct in its own right. However, when Mr. Jaspers spoke, it was quite jarring in a way that didn’t feel authentic, so much as it took me out of the story. - Sarah LaPolla.
It was difficult to judge.  It would have helped to know whether this was a prologue or whether this is the voice that would be used throughout the novel.  It’s less problematic to have the omniscient voice if it’s a prologue (which I assume this is rather than limited third person because the reader is told about the truck’s thoughts yet Mr. Jaspers seems unaware of them).  I didn’t really understand whether this was a world in which trucks are sentient, whether it was only this particular truck or why we were being told what the truck thinks unless the answer to these questions is important.  I also wasn’t sure whether the accent would continue throughout the book, because this can be tiring for readers to follow.  However, of the two pieces (both of which, again, were well done), Snivvy Crank is the one that had me most intrigued to continue reading. - Lucienne Diver.

I want to congratulate both writers, but especially Snivvy Crank for a hard fought victory.

So...just who are these talented writers? Well Raven Claw is none other than Chris Fries!  And our champion, Snivvy Crank, is the talented Mark Hough!

Mark will now join Tiana Smith (2011 Champion) in the very exclusive club of WRiTE CLUB champs, as well as becoming a judge for next years finals.

Thank you once again to everyone who made WRiTE CLUB such a success this year!  WRiTE CLUB Skirmishes -- a chance for those not selected to get their chance in the ring -- will kick off next Wednesday, but for now...the ring is dark. :)


  1. Congrats to both of them for excellent snips!

  2. Congratulations to both Mark and Chris!

    Mark, I really loved all the Snivvy Crank entries and wondered if they were excerpts from longer pieces. And if so, what the premise was of each of them. I especially loved the pig woman.

    Chris, I noticed that all your pieces were different in tone and genre. Clearly you are a very versatile writer!

  3. Congrats to both Chris and Mark!! Great job and I enjoyed both pieces. Congrats again and good luck!!

  4. Congratulations, both of you! I couldn't think of two writers who more deserved the honor of making it to the finals.
    And I'm looking forward to the skirmishes! Should be great fun. :)

  5. First and foremost -- congratulations on a well-deserved win to Mark! I really enjoyed all your entries, and was fully captivated by the pig-woman and Mr. Jaspers. You have a tremendous talent, and I wish you tremendous success in all your writing endeavors!

    Second -- thank you to the judges from the finals and to all the participants of WRiTE Club who voted for my work, offered comments and critiques, or just took the time to read my submissions! I greatly appreciate it, and I learned a lot from the feedback. I was humbled and frankly, very surprised that my writing made it to the finals -- there were some tremendously talented authors in this year's WRiTE Club!

    Plus, of, course, thank you again to Don and Kim! You guys did a HUGE amount of work in pulling off this marathon, and I want to say again how much I appreciate all you did!

    And finally let me say: I'm glad it's over, LOL! It was stressful hoping my work made it to a random bout, then watching the voting each time it was up, and then having to wait a whole week to hear the results of the finals, lol! Plus, it was very hard maintaining my anonymity at times, especially last week when everyone else got to do their reveal.

    Congratulations again to Mark!

    1. Congratulations, Chris! Very well-deserved win. I enjoyed all of your pieces.

    2. Chris, if anyone deserves to be in this final round, it's you. I had a sense, though, that you'd end up here. I really did. Very, very happy for you, my friend!

  6. Congrats to the final two contestants, and to DL for all the hard work he put in this. And thanks to the judges who took the time to vote and give feedback.

  7. Congrats to you both! Great pieces!

  8. Congrats to both writers and a massive thank you to DL and his wife who both worked so hard for so long. You guys rock!

  9. Congratulations to both winners! Great job. And a huge thank you to DL, his wife and judges for working so hard to make this Write Club a success!

    1. ..and by both "winners" I mean both *writers*.

  10. Thank you so much for all the words of encouragement and congratulations. Chris, as usual, seems to have expressed so well everything I was thinking, but it really is worth saying again.

    Thanks to everyone who voted--especially those who kept voting to the end. As every writer knows, the only thing more helpful than praise is good criticism and I'm grateful to everyone who offered either.

    Being a yet-unpublished writer feels a lot like having a schoolboy crush on that cute girl with the pig tails--one day you're on cloud nine because she smiled at you and the next day when she forgets your name, you start contemplating becoming a fourth grade drop-out. Thank you, everyone, for the many smiles you've sent my way--they've made me realize that the elusive but attractive dream girl--Publication--may not be completely out of my league...and someday she might even remember my name...

    I'd like to send a heartfelt thanks to the judges, who gave of their time and abilities. You were the bottle of wine to this fine meal and gave the whole experience a level of professionalism which set it apart from other blog competitions.

    Congratulations to Chris, whose writing was so good it made the prospect of losing to him easy to bear, as were many other entries mine were pitted against. I personally would like to see Chris as a judge next year as well--I think he'd be great at it--but then we'd be prevented from seeing more of his work and critiques throughout. It's a sort of catch twenty-two either way.

    I've got one final thanks sitting here waiting to hand out and it's unfortunately way too big to fit properly in a comment section of a blog--like trying to stuff the Pig Woman into spandex. It goes to Don and his wife Kim for doing what must have felt at times like being the wedding planner at a party. If only you two knew the ripples your selfless work will have in the writing careers of many participants... I, for one, know that because of this contest I will be renewing my commitment to writing with the determination of trained fighter. Thank you for creating such a contest where writers can celebrate little victories in their writing lives.

    Thanks again, on behalf of Snivvy, for everyone who was a "fan" (Suze and Diane--that means you). I look forward to judging next year's Write Club and to seeing every entry in the Write Club ring...where it doesn't matter what you bench press and only the bruised and battered are left standing.

    1. Congratulations, Mark! Your pieces were excellent.

    2. Mark, I remember your remarks on my piece, which lost in round 8, with deep appreciation.

      You deserve this 'win,' but may it be only the beginning for you. You are enormously talented, brimming with wit and have such an impeccable grasp on all the variables that have to brew just right. I raise my mug of coffee to you this morning. Well-deserved and well-done. I'm very pleased to discover the excellent 'Snivs' was you.

    3. Congratulations Mark, you survived and won. Great job!

  11. What a wonderful job you did!
    Congrats to all the entries and to the winner!

  12. Congratulations everyone! Cheers all around! And Don, you and your wife are amazing for pulling this all off! I think all the writing was amazing, and it was so fun to read the various styles and samples. Everyone who participated deserves a pat on the back. It's hard to submit your work for critique :)

    Note - Your feed looks excellent! It must have worked! You still have it set to only showing a snippet, rather than the whole feed, but that's your call, and I'm glad it wasn't showing as garbled text! Woot!

  13. Wow, huge congrats to everyone who participated, to you for making it such a success, and to the winner! I'm sorry I wasn't around more to vote.

  14. Congrats, Mark and Chris. Making it into the final two is fantastic. I enjoyed both writers' pieces. Congrats, Mark, for winning the whole show!

  15. Congrats to both fellas. Thanks for the chance to read your wonderful words. I have to admit that I had my suspicions about you, Chris, when you didn't come forward last week. ;) And Snivvy Mark - excellent, consistent performance the whole way through. We wants more Pig Woman!!!

  16. First of all, thanks to DL and wife for such a huge effort this must have been!
    Congrats to Mark on the win. I couldn't have chosen better writers to be finalists than Chris and Mark. Congratulations to you both!

  17. Congrats to both but especially the winner!

  18. The big reveal! How exciting. Congrats to you both for some fine writing!

  19. Well done to Mark and Chris, those who volunteered to judge and to you, *two,* Mr & Mrs. Write-Club :)

  20. Congratulations Mark and Chris. A big pat on the back for DL and his wife for hosting this writing fest of awesomness!

  21. Congratulations to both Mark and Chris. As this competition had illustrated, you guys have talent out the wazoo. And of course, thanks to DL & his bride for all their hard work.

  22. Congratulations, Mark - and all the finalists!

  23. Congratulations to Mark and Chris - both talented writers! Great commentary by the judges too!

  24. Awesome. Congrats to the winners.


  25. that was incredible! congrats!! thanks so much, DL for all your work!

  26. Congratulations to both Mark and Chris. Awesome work.

  27. Huge congrats, guys! What a wild ride to the top.

  28. Congratulations to two great writers.

    A huge thanks to DL, his wife and the judges who all donated their time to this great competition.

  29. Congrats! to Snivvy Crank and all the participants! I signed up but life soon overwhelmed me. I'll try again next year.

  30. Woo hoo, congratulations!
    This was so much fun, I'm glad I got to participate and cheer from the very beginning.

  31. Congrats to Chris and Mark. Also, you deserve a high five for orchestrating such a terrific event!!

  32. WOW, what effort on everyone's part. Impressive!




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