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Pugilist's blog

"I appreciate Moderate Criticism"

I have to admit, I don't even know what that means in a workshop environment except that I will not offer anything.


Because I have learned that I disagree on what moderate criticism is. I maintain that all criticism I offer is moderate. It is considered, it is about the work, it is centered on suggestions and ideas, and it is often perceived as an attack by those requesting moderate criticism.

So, "moderate criticism" means I do not offer any thoughts.

Critique Workshop - Proposal

I want to put together a critique workshop with the following parameters:

1) Ten participant limit
2) Two week run
3) Public domain poem
4) Each participant will be required to provide a critique of less than 500 words
5) Each critique will be critiqued
6) No whining

Please let me know if you are interested.

Pro tip, if you are not interested, do not reply. Otherwise, you've violated rule #6.

It's a Workshop, Not a Support Group

Folks, I'm only here to help myself be a better writer. That has less to do with writing a lot and more to do with listening.

Look at it this way, if you practice something for 30 years the wrong way, all you've done is perfected getting it wrong. If you review your work with others, they can point out what needs to change and you can do it better, quicker.

Critique is the Opening to a Conversation

It's no mean thing to have the wherewithal to release our work to the world for review, praise, and criticism. It's even tougher to request folks give you honest feedback. Seriously, that is a world class nerve jangling decision.

We create the work, pouring our heart and soul into the words and images. We refine and trim and expand until we think it's ready, and we release it into the wild and stand back, hoping for the best.

The best is not unfocused praise.

The best is not knee-jerk criticism.

Please Use Care Critique Requests

I admit, I do not understand why anyone would participate in a poetry workshop and eschew thorough critique. When I see such a request, it translates to:

"Tell me I am pretty."

And I ignore it. All of our work should be important to us, if not n subject matter, then in competency of construction and only a thorough critique will add value and aid us in improving as poets.

I understand it may be frightening to open your work to criticism. But safe art is rarely of any lasting consequence.

I'm Only Here for the Workshop

If you desire to improve your work, request raw feedback and seriously consider every comment.

If you are just here to be told how pretty you are, we'll never interact. That will be best for both of us.

Please Use Care

If you do not want raw feedback on your work, I won't read it.

This is a workshop. I'm not here to be told how pretty I am and I refuse to waste my time with folks who shy away from a free exchange of ideas.

If folks find this insulting, remember, we don't interact. Let's keep it that way.

The May Contest

There's a contest for May:

And, I am told, some confusion.

My sincere apologies for any confusion and may intermittent appearances as of late. Real world pressures have kept me away and my only involvement has been coordinating the contests.

To answer the asked question, the May contest should include all three items listed as subject matter:

Please join me in congratulating Raj for winning the April 2016 Neopet Limerick contest.

His entry, The Royal Rush, was chosen from among the field of excellent entries. You can read it here:

This month's contest is The Triolet and you can review the contest via this link:


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