For our second installment of OA Recommends, we interviewed Denise Covey of the Write...Edit...Publish blog. Welcome Denise!
1- Are there any big events or exciting news for WEP in 2021?
We are, for the first time, using world art as prompts throughout the year. The artworks have been chosen after much deliberation - to reflect the current socio-political issues we are facing on an ongoing basis worldwide. They represent a swathe of artists, eras and places, from Italian masters to modern day painters. The last time we used an art prompt concept – in Feb 2020 with van Gogh’s Café Terrace, there was such an explosion of creativity – can’t wait to see where a whole series of arty prompts leads us! Excited!
2- Other than the bimonthly flash-fiction event, what does the WEP site offer?
We are connected to a huge pool of talent in writing and publishing and our prizes reflect this – we offer critique prizes to the challenge winner from professional editors and/or published authors. But that apart, depending on the member’s preference, we offer immediate individual critiques through our monthly challenge bloghop, tailored to their requirements. We are a supportive community that provides usable and actionable feedback on writing efforts, regardless of a writer’s proficiency levels. Many of our members have gone on to publish short stories or novels that started as a response to one of our challenge prompts. That’s so exciting for us!
Besides which, WEP is a great place to connect with like-minded writers and just generally hang out, we are a fun and a close knit community.
3- If someone wanted to offer a critique prize, what qualifications, background, or pedigree should they have, and how would they contact you?
Email Denise Covey at – email@example.com with an initial enquiry outlining publishing creds, unique writing successes etc. (We’re always seeking out critique prizes for our writers!) There’s a page on our site which outlines what can be sent for publicity – bio, image of latest book and what critique prize on offer (check out the sidebar at WEP for ideas).
4- What are some of the biggest changes WEP has experienced over the years and have your original site goals changed?
A major change was when we began, our word limit was 400 words! Now it’s 1,000 words, the maximum for flash fiction. Having a word limit encourages our writers to learn how to edit superfluous words, a useful tool. Our original overall goal was to provide immediate feedback for writers and this continues to be our most important role in the online writing community.
5- What is the origin story or history of the site?
WEP began as Romantic Friday Writers in 2010. Many participants were uncomfortable with the romantic element, so we dropped that requirement. From the outset there were two hosts – the original founder, Denise Covey, along with Francine Howarth. Since then, Denise continued with Donna Hole as co-host, then alone for a short time when changing from RFW to WEP. Now we have a team of five – Yolanda Renee, Nilanjana Bose, Olga Godim and Laura Keltner -- all with their own complementary roles.
6- What does it take to win the "BEST COMMENTER AWARD"?
Easy - commenting widely! The Best Commenter award is given to the members who visit and comment on maximum entries. Where there are multiple bloggers eligible the winner is chosen by lottery. This award is on hold for the time being though, as WEP is in an era called “WEP-lite” as members grapple with life events and the challenges of the pandemic. To their credit, through this award, members are in the habit of commenting/providing feedback.
7- What is the most beneficial aspect of WEP for writers who are new to the site?
The gift of confidence and self-awareness. Some new writers are tormented by self-doubt. Some want to polish up a certain aspect or writing skill. WEP can help them identify what they need to do to improve in a non-judgemental, impartial but supportive way. Whether they choose to publish or not, their control over their writing will be greatly enhanced at WEP. And they will have a lot of fun. And that fun includes friendships. Many WEP participants have formed bonds which continue outside of WEP. The fact that some current members have been with us since 2010 is a great testament to how they see WEP as being important to their lives.
8- Which genre is most often used for the thousand-word stories?
No genre restrictions apply at WEP except erotica. We welcome all genres – crime, horror, fantasy, action, sci-fi, drama, romance, poetry, women’s fiction, non-fiction… The prompt often dictates genre. And some clever writers have used the prompts to write ongoing serials during the year. We have those who toy with super-short fiction, which is always delightful. In a word – “diversity”.
9- With all the websites for writers out there, why should someone take the time to be on yours; what makes it unique?
The unique, customised support we provide to writers though our feedback, all sorts of support along with the critique prizes. And we have the most sumptuous badges, too, to display on websites! Nowhere else! A participant recently said: “There are not many websites that offer writers the opportunity to publish their fiction and have speedy feedback from other participants. Personally, I treasure this feature of WEP.”
10- Would you please list your links and ways people can find and connect with WEP?
The only link anyone interested to learn more needs is to our WEP website: https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com All other links and information can be found there.