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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Hatrack Groups » Wotf Critique Group -- 2011 Q04 (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Wotf Critique Group -- 2011 Q04
Crank
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The Virginia earthquake destroyed my manuscript.

Thanx to LDWriter2, Thomaskcarpenter, and Utahute72 for your thoughts, and especially for continuing the dialog and fielding some of my follow-up questions.

I've already arranged to send my second draft to Brendan and Tiergan.

History / Dr. Bob...it's been a while since we talked...do you still have time to critique my story?

S!
S!


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LDWriter2
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Dr. Bob I'm glad you submitted anyway. I believe your story at least worthy of consideration.


I don't know how KDW (Or is it kdw, I got a little confused with the last post about that) would react to it. But I know most other pro editors say they buy stories all the time, that do not fit the usual, because of the writing. This is a contest with evidently with certain types of story in mind of the editors. Of course that means your writing would have to be that much better so we shall see.

Meanwhile, I have still only received two stories to crit. And I'm working on the last revision of mine. Almost half way done with that.
But Egads I'm going to have to start double checking the then-s and than-s. I should have changed over half of them. I might still miss a few but I know the difference between the two words most of the time. Some of the wrong verb tenses I got wrong but others I should have seen. Then there are the words that somehow ended up in it that I didn't type. Somehow my spell checker most have put in the wrong word and somehow I let it go.


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History
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Hi,Crank,

Go ahead and send it.

I'm on call the next two nights, then quickly packing for a trip to California (to get away from the danger of east coast America hurricanes and earthquakes ). I'll critique it during flight if not before, length permitting.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob


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mbwood
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Hello;

I just submitted my story to WotF Contest.

Wonderbus, don't bother with critting my piece - it won't help anymore.

I'd like to thank Mrmeadors, Coralm, Axeminister, Owasm, Brendan, History and Crank for their thoughtful comments, which undoubtedly improved my story. They provided the 'fresh set of eyes' which saw mistakes to which I was blind - THANK YOU!

MBW

As always, remember the first rule of writing... Write!


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LDWriter2
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Mine is done and one person said they would give it a last look but I'm not sure if there is time.

I changed quite a few things and not only those things suggested. I got rid of a few was-s, shortened a few sentences and made an info dump smaller. Not as short as one person suggested but I found that harder to do than I thought. Plus I redid a few other sentences. Made them sound a bit more mature... or so I hope. I ended up adding about ninety words even though I deleted a few too.


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Utahute72
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I think you have a month, LD, this quarter closes the end of Sept. unless my count is off. You can send it to me.
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LDWriter2
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Two things there. August is the eighth month. For some unknown reason I keep thinking it's the ninth month. Did someone switch the months around sometime in the Eighties? Gotta keep reminding myself it follows the seventh month.

And the imposed deadline for this group is the last day of this month. Come to think of it that could be to give the late people some wiggle room.

I could send it Sunday.


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Utahute72
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I think writerdan puts out these accelerated timelines for slackers like me.
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LDWriter2
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Okay, sending my story. or trying to anyway.

I found one last critique, thought there was one more and I found it by accident.

So hopefully it is improved.


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WriterDan
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Official deadline for this quarter is at the end of September, and actually, I've put these groups on an accelerated timeline for three reasons:

1) Someone suggested that I do it that way;

2) those that can stick to the up-shifted timeline get their stories in earlier than the deadline and avoid the possibility of being part of the "crap-I-have-to-read-faster-because-my-deadline-is-coming-up" feeling that KDW might or might not get at the end of each quarter;

3) slackers like Utahute72...erm...slackers like Utahute72 and me.

Speaking of...I finished my second scene last night. Only three more to go. lol.

[This message has been edited by WriterDan (edited August 30, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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Okay, my story is ready to go. I finished the one last crit, thanks Utahute72, and double checked certain words, spell checked it one last time. I made a few changes on my own, hopefully making certain sentences sound more pro. To me they do but I have no idea if editors and judges would.


I'll send it later tonight, hopefully with the On The Premises entry also. That one should take just a few minutes to revise one last time. And I better not get them mixed up; the WotF one is way too long for OTP, plus it's not the right premise, and from what some have stated the OTP story is way to short for WotF even though other than that it might work.



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LDWriter2
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I just sent in my story for Q4. Now on to '12 Q1. But first a stop on my novel. That is my unfinished novel, I haven't touched it in a month at least. And another stop on revising chapter two of a finished novel. Not to mention about half a dozen mini stories--less than 500 words. A mini contest with Onthepremises.com got my stuck on Shoooort stories. And also not to mention at least three crits in the next day or two.


Anyway, I looked over the WotF website hoping I could get a copy of their icon. I would love a wallpaper version. And I checked out some of their illustrations. Niiice. And again I say one reason-besides it being neat, prestige, the accomplishment of a goal, what it would mean about my writing, I would love to win because I would love to have an illustration with my story. That alone would make it worth entering.


Another Anyway. Since my local Barnes and Noble doesn't sell WotF anthologies, even though I'm sure I can order it, I thought about buying the E version. If I have to order it anyway--and my local Walmart isn't one that will be carrying it-- I just as well get it on my Nook. It's only $4 that way.


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JenniferHicks
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Thought I would pass this along. Someone on the WotF board posted detailed instructions on how to remove all references to your name from Word documents before you submit. You can find the thread here:

http://forum.writersofthefuture.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1016


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Nick T
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quote:
And again I say one reason-besides it being neat, prestige, the accomplishment of a goal, what it would mean about my writing, I would love to win because I would love to have an illustration with my story. That alone would make it worth entering.

Hi LDWriter2,

If you haven't already, you should check out Meghan O'Muriel's full colour illustration on the Amazon page for Writers of the Future 27. She uploaded the colour version of her illustration for Patrick O'Sullivan's story and it's absolutely stunning.

Seeing my story illustrated is one of things I'm most looking forward to, especially if it turns out anything like Meghan's drawing.

Regards,

Nick


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axeminister
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That's funny, I hadn't considered the illustration part of winning.
Probably because I never considered winning.

Axe


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LDWriter2
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Nick, you're right. Took me a minute to find since her name. It was listed slightly different but I should have gotten it since it was the only color illustration.

Anyway, I think it's the best one shown- there are four-- even if it was black and white. That's the type of illustration I would love for a story of mine.


But studying the pic I found something not seen at first. And I would love to write my own story based on that pic.


I need another story about writing, anyway.


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Crank
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Curious timing. I, too, never considered the perk of having an illustration done based on one of my stories until just this past week: one day, I showed up at work over a half hour early, so I pulled my copy of Writers of the Future volume XXVI (the one featuring Adam and Brad's winning entries) out of my gym bag. My mind began imagining what scene an illustrator might choose to represent my current WotF WIP...my cell phone alarm snapped me out of my daydream...and I never did get to read anything that morning.

S!
S!


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LDWriter2
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Crank, I've never gone that far into thinking about it. Probably because of how far away winning is but also I figure whatever scene the illustrator chooses to do may not be the same one I would choose.

Maybe I should wait 'till after the judging But I want to say one thing about my story. It's the third one set in the same setting. One is set before the event in this one while the other one may or may not be before the event, I haven't decided. It contains one character from the WotF story. Whatever happens with WotF, I would like to write more tales with the same characters.

One is ready to send out but I seem to have forgotten to revise the other story.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited September 04, 2011).]


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Nick T
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Hi,

One of the most nerving racking parts about the upcoming workshop (well, apart from the 24 hour story) is that fact that all the authors are shown all the illustrations at once and then you have to guess which one was drawn for your story.

In most cases, it should be pretty straightforward, but as far as I know the illustrators don’t have any restrictions on what they draw apart from practical publication concerns (i.e. how the picture will look in a mass-produced paperback). They might be inspired by an abstract concept contained within the story or they might decide to illustrate a literal scene. It’s up to them. I’d choose to illustrate my story literally, but I can only draw stick figures.

There are lots of nice little bonuses associated with winning, but having your story illustrated (and I believe you receive a framed print of your illustration) is right up there.

Nick


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LDWriter2
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For this story I'm not sure which scene I would choose but even if it was one I would choose last, it would still be cool. Especially if you get a copy as suggested.
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LDWriter2
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I got and started WotF 27. The illustration for the first story is great too. I've probably only read a quarter of the story but I think the pic captures the mood of the story.


However, that story blows what I usually say about First sentences out of the water. It's long and kinda complicated. I need to see how the rest of the stories start.


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axeminister
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So I gave this Q's MS to my beta reader the other day.

Turns out, it's not ready.

This relegates me to spectator for this quarter.

I write quickly - but I edit s l o w l y.

Axe


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Grayson Morris
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Well, Dustin, it may turn out to be a moot point anyway. ;-)
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LDWriter2
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If I recall correctly WotF isn't the only one to illustrate stories. Asimov's does the lead story I think and maybe one other. And seems like there are one or two others that do the same. Beneath Ceaseless Skies maybe?

And I'm having the same problem getting in them all.


Besides doing them all WotF is a special case.


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axeminister
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Grayson, are you in Google + with us?

If not, I'll send you an invite.

Axe


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Crank
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After much deliberation, I have decided NOT to submit my Q4 entry to WotF. Its current version is not to my liking, and it probably won't be until I rewrite it to match my original vision...which will take me longer than Sept 30th. So, those who were still waiting for me to send it to them...you're off the hook! I'll rework it and submit it to WotF at another time.

In the meantime, I might have a go at a new story for the start of the 20123 season.

S!
S!


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Utahute72
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Crank, if you've figured out how to make it to 20123 you have a real basis for a story there.
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Crank
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Actually, Utahute72...at the rate I'm going, that will be the year I finally finish my current WotF story.

S!
S!


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Meredith
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Okay, my Q4 entry is away.
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Owasm
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Q4 has just been sent in. On to 2012!
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LDWriter2
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A little late for this quarter but we have discussed what WotF want in these threads.

I'm trying to keep the spoilers down here in case someone reads this who hasn't read 27 but wants to.

I read two stories that had scenes that made me go HUH? One has a guy who comes out of no where and he is never explained. He gets into a police complex and is a crack shot but there are only very basic details about who he is and none on his background. Yet he turns into a major player. And very little on why he does what he does.

The second story has something important that happens that isn't fully explained either. I could have gotten confused or missed something in my reading but I wasn't totally sure who did it and there's no idea of why. It's an important event but it's something of a mystery.


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axeminister
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Louis,

I've found in my reading that their top priority for a winning story is originality. Show them something they've never seen.

This isn't to say it doesn't have to have the other characteristics such as being written well, strong characters, etc, but I think some things are given a pass if the idea is fresh.

Now, if the idea is trite and there's flaws, then I just can't explain it.

I'm currently hammering my 4Q entry with a sledge hammer. This is not the proper way to write a story. It require finesse, more like molding clay, but I really want to get this one in so I'm working overtime on it.

The prose is OK. The characters are pretty strong. The MC is much stronger in this re-write. But my idea... Not highly original. I know this, but I'm working it anyway because I love deadlines and I want to improve. However, my expectations are low.

I don't mean to abuse KDW's time, but I'll do whatever it takes to get better. I'm not bringing an A idea, so I'm going to bust my hump to dress this one up into something presentable.

Then, when my A comes along, I'll have the experience to know what to do with it.

Axe


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LDWriter2
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Well, evidently they don't mind flaws in the plot if the story is new.


But the one that takes place on the moon isn't all that new. I won't say much more about it but the plot, even with a reporter on the moon, isn't that new. Putting it altogether might be what is original.


But that brings up hope for some of us... me at least. Depending on how many they get dealing with buildings coming alive that is. There are some books out there with living buildings but how many warehouses? And just maybe they can overlook a couple of flaws. Maybe. My idea but I still say we shall see.


Hmm, how about a warehouse that's a were-house?


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JenniferHicks
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I wasn't part of the Q4 group, but I feel the need to share that my story has been submitted. That feels like an accomplishment this time around. I was having a hard time letting go of it, for some reason.
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LDWriter2
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That's good Jennifer. Writing it and sending it in that is not the problem of not letting go.

Another chance at a hatracker getting in.

And more than likely it's a good story.


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WriterDan
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So how is everyone doing on their stories? I've seen that a number of your entries have already been sent in. Anyone still working? I've officially thrown in the towel for the quarter, but will be moving my current story onto next quarter. Finishing my dissertation has been more stressful on me than I realized. Anyone looking for a last minute read? Hope it's all going well.
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Utahute72
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I'm travelling and working through a host of computer issues. I really want to get this thing in this quarter because Writer has given it the kiss of death and I don't want to waste another quarter with it.
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JenniferHicks
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Last day to submit for Q4. If you haven't yet, get your story in. Your chances of winning diminish greatly if you haven't entered. And good luck, everyone!
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Utahute72
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Just a warning. The contest site appears to be having a problem with the electronic submission site. It locked up when I tried to submit and I called the help number. The administrator is swamped with calls from people with issues.

UPDATE: Joni just called me back and the story is in. Seems like their system is swamped with submission at the moment so it might pay to double check to make sure yours doesn't get lost in the electronic fog if you don't hear anything. They really need to update from that Apple IIE they are using.

[This message has been edited by Utahute72 (edited September 30, 2011).]


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JenniferHicks
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I'm glad you got your story in.

I wonder whether it's just a surge of last-minute submissions or whether it's a sign of more submissions overall.


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Utahute72
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It sounded like it was a bunch, whether there were just a lot more procrastinators like me or this thing is blowing up who knows.
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LDWriter2
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Can we make a list of those who entered this quarter?

Or is there one way back up there.


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Utahute72
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I would agree with those that say that originality counts more than flaws. I reread mine for last quarter and figured out about a hundred ways to make it better. This quarter Writer Dan felt mine is a little to familiar, and he was right last time, so the kiss of death.

Anyway from reading these things I think that is somewhat overstated. I've read some that were both trite and pretty tough to read that won. So I'm back to having no clue what they want. I think if you hit KDW in the right mood it will pass through her and then it's up to the final readers whether or not they like your story.


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wirelesslibrarian
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Well, I submitted my story last night with about 17 minutes to spare. Still wasn't happy with the ending, but I let it go anyway, off into the cold, cruel world. Good luck to everyone!

[This message has been edited by wirelesslibrarian (edited October 01, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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Utahute I think we all do that with our stories.

The problem and this is for wireless too, as beginners we don't always know how well we did. Sometimes we think we did well and made half a dozen writing mistakes other times we thin we did lousy and that story is picked. I know people where that last has happened. Not with WotF but with another contest and with ordinary sells.


But good for you wireless you're never know how well you actually did without sending it in and it's good practice.


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thomaskcarpenter
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Dustin,

What's your name on Google+? The gmail name is thomaskcarpenter (go figure!)

For that matter, anyone else send me a circle request on there if you'd like. I'm also on twitter @thomaskcarpente (no 'r' my name is too long.)

And good luck everyone! I sent my story in a few weeks ago, but I don't have much hope for it. I think the content of the story might be a little too rough for the contests tastes.

And thankfully, Q1 is already done for me. I rewrote the beginning to a story I considered for Q2 and unless I get a flash of inspiration for a different story, I'll be sending that one in. That way I can keep my focus on novels and "starter" stories for publication. I have way too many items on my to-do list these days.

But it's a good problem.

Tom

Thomas K. Carpenter
www.thomaskcarpenter.com


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axeminister
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Thomas,

Just Dustin Adams as far as I know.
I did a search for you just now. Your name came up in the search drop down, but then Tom Anderson popped up. (The Myspace guy, not Neo)
I clicked on the People tab, figuring that would do it, Michele Edwards popped up.

Can't figure out where she came from in a search for Thomas K Carpenter...

Axe


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Utahute72
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So as near as I can tell sifting through the comments here are the submittees for the quarter:

Wordcaster
MbWood
UtahUte72
History
LDWriter2
OSWAM
Meredith
JenniferHicks
Wireless Librarian

While Jennifer wasn't technically part of the group we'll take her anyway. Feel free to add or detract from this list if I missed you or misread your post.


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snapper
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Wordcaster
MbWood
UtahUte72
History
LDWriter2
OSWAM
Meredith
JenniferHicks
Wireless Librarian
snapper

Okay, I wasn't part of the group. I didn't even start writing until two weeks ago. Didn't take it seriously until a week before the deadline. Didn't even finish it until 24 hours before last call. Hell, I only gave it one edit.

Winner! For sure!


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JenniferHicks
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Heh, Snapper. Sounds like my quarter 3 entry.
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