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Welcome!

#CRLiterature is a hub for all things Literature on deviantART. Run by the Literature Community Volunteers and community members, you should watch us to keep track of goings-on throughout the Literature community, or join us to submit community news to the group journal and participate in group-sponsored activities.

We post monthly news updates from the Community Volunteers, as well as contests, prompts, and chat events from throughout the community!

Stop by and say hello!
It is about that time! It's almost April which means NaPoWrimo and NaPoWriMo is back at it again :eager:

I wanted to revive this group in full force in time for April, and hopefully you all will join us for a long month of writing epicness.

About the group:


:bulletblue: We accept poetry only.
:bulletblue: There are four folders set up, one for each of the weeks of April. Please submit your poem according to the day it was written, not the day you posted it.
:bulletblue: In accordance with the above, please indicate in your author's description and/or the title that the poem was written for NaPoWriMo (you can simply put the group's icon if you like) and which day the poem was written for - i.e. "day 5" or "April 5th". If you're not writing one poem per day, you can simply put "poem #5" and we will consider it as written for day five.
:bulletblue: There is a limit of three deviations per day.


About NaPoWriMo (in general)

:bulletblue: Your task: write thirty poems in thirty days.
:bulletblue: You don't have to write one per day, but it's highly recommended.
:bulletblue: They can be as short or as long as you want.
:bulletblue: They don't have to be your best. Take the month of May to fix them up if you like (National Poetry Editing Month, anyone?)
:bulletblue: You don't have to finish - but if you do, there may be prizes to be won!


We will post weekly journals with prompts you can use for the week containing a multitude of words, photos, drawings, etc.

There will (might) be weekly contests as we did last year :) Depending on things, I'd love to do this again.

The prizes we had last year were awesome :la: Here are just some examples:

Features
Points
Favorites
Comments/Critiques
Llamas
and more :la:

I am looking for the following:

Admins (We don't need too many more, but if anyone is super interested. Positions are still open)

Prizes: Especially that. Anything is appreciated

Participants! The best part. It can't run smoothly without YOU guys sending in your daily poems :love:

If you wish to join us, head over to NaPoWriMo and request to join. Feel free to note me or the group if you have any questions.

See you in April,

-M-

Mentorship Project, Fifth Lesson

Fri Mar 27, 2015, 4:30 AM


Hello, my dear mentors and mentees! :salute: I hope the course is going fine for you all, and that you're learning and enjoying yourself. Hopefully making friends, too! (:

First things first

We have interviewed some great deviants for you: in tWR Interviews:Vocabulary, Narrative Voice and POV, raspil and Memnalar talk about narrative voice and POV, and Carmalain7, Vigilo, williamszm, kiwi-damnation and jade-pandora talk about vocabulary building for poetry. Please check it out! And maybe give it a fav:+fav: because it deserves the exposure. :heart:

Poetry Course - Lesson 5

This 5th lesson focuses on vocabulary building.

The Resources/Articles

Synonyms, the Thesaurus and You
Making the Most of the Words You Use (this is a Prose Basics article, but we thought it describes how to build your vocabulary for poetry in a way, too)
We also thought Showing, Part 1 worked right around here. Vocabulary building is also about how to build descriptions and so on, and we felt that the "show, don't tell" thing needed to be mentioned.
Building Your Vocabulary


As before, a warning. Some of these articles may repeat each other, some may give different kinds of advice for the same topic - you can read them all, your mentor can read them and then explain to you, you can choose a few or just one to read; it's really all up to you. We're giving you the tools, but you shape your own course together.

The Activities

Bullet; Red Mentor gives the mentee a list of 5 words straight out of a random vocabulary search, and the mentee must use them all in their poem. A good follow-up exercise could be to write a poem using the synonyms, or antonyms, of the above words.

Bullet; Black take the five words used previously, find words that rhyme with each, and use those rhyming words to make new poems. Rinse and repeat.

Bullet; White exchange a small reading list of good poetry with elaborate vocabulary; it can be DA poetry, too - and Carmalain7 is an example off the top of my head of someone whose poetry fits the bill.

So what do you want to see from us before the lesson is over?

From the activities above, if you do happen to write a piece resulting from them, please note us:note: a link to it so we can include it in our Mentorship Project folder.

Do you need someplace to meet up and talk? A great idea is exchanging skype details, or meet up in theWrittenRevolution's chatroom, it's at your disposal. (:

Prose Course - Lesson 5

This 5th lesson focuses on narrative voice and POV.

The Resources/Articles

Point of View
An Overview on Point o' View
Pesky Point of View
These are offsite articles that could give some help too:
Narrative Voice
Point of View and Narrative Voice

As always, a warning. Some of these articles may repeat each other, some may give different kinds of advice for the same topic - you can read them all, your mentor can read them and then explain to you, you can choose a few or just one to read; it's really all up to you.We're giving you the tools, but you shape your own course together.

The Activities

Bullet; Red Mentee must write out of their comfort zone and use a POV they never used before.

Bullet; Black An exercise of inversion. Mentor chooses a short story/prose, and the mentee must either: 1, write it from another character's POV or 2, have the character who narrates have a completely opposite view of facts compared to the one they have in the original story. 

So what do you want to see from us before the lesson is over?

From the activities above, if you do happen to write a piece resulting from them, please note us:note: a link to it so we can include it in our Mentorship Project folder.


Do you need someplace to meet up and talk? A great idea is exchanging skype details, or meet up in theWrittenRevolution's chatroom, it's at your disposal. (:

So, what do we do now?

Now you start working on your lesson! :D

Poetry fellows,your next lesson will be posted on April 9th!

Prose friends,your next lesson will be posted on April 16th!



If you need anything...

Please note the group and let us know any concern you have, or clarification/advice that is needed, we're here to help! Just a note:note: away.



>>All hail ginkgografix for this beautiful skin.


Hello everyone, and welcome to our "tWR Interviews", where we interview experienced writers of our community about the art of writing
If you're reading, please favourite+fav and share the article so we can spread this amazing resource around!

Today we're interviewing our Carmalain7 and Vigilo, plus williamszm, kiwi-damnation and jade-pandora on vocabulary building for poetry, and raspil and Memnalar on narrative voice and POV(point of view) for prose!





If you want to get some more educational reading, here are the other interviews we've released so far:

Our poetry lesson focuses on vocabulary building, and the prose one on narrative voice and POV.

Poetry: Vocabulary building


It's very rare of beginners to have a wide enough vocabulary to avoid unwanted repetitions. Was there anything, an exercise or method, that helped you build your vocabulary, and do you have any tips in regards to how to self-assess whether your writing is becoming unnecessarily verbose?

Carmalain7, I take the time to read about five lines in both directions of anything I write to ensure that I haven't repeated a word without an unquestionably amazing reason to do so.
Repeated words actually turn me off of a lot of (mostly pop) music.

I think repeated words can kill any oratory flow, and are often a result of just trying to get the message down in early drafts when other words might serve the meaning behind the message better.

The absolute best way to improve your vocabulary is by reading. Specifically, target writing that you wouldn't normally read, because it often is written with a different audience in mind (thus using different vocabularies!).


Vigilo, Who likes metaphors? I like metaphors. Long ones, apparently.
Actually, we’re going with the same metaphor from last time, except in a slightly different vein. So, your poem is a house, and your words are the furniture of that house. You’ve just moved in, it’s an unfurnished house, and it takes a while to get all the furniture you need. You start with the necessities: a bed, a table, chairs, etc. Once you’ve got the necessities, you move on to the fancier items – maybe a lava lamp. Lava lamps are cool.

Now, like the furniture, the necessities are the words almost every poem will have, and you will always, always need. These are important words, not only because they’re necessary, but because it’s very easy to take them for granted – don’t do that. The fancier furniture (words) is something you’ll always be adding and removing from your house (poem), but it’s very important to keep in mind that they won’t always work for every house, and to not overdo it. 

To figure out what sort of furniture you want, you have to look at other houses and other furniture styles, and I’m going to stop with the metaphor for a while here. The point is, reading other poetry is the best, sure-fire way to building your vocabulary, apart from actually writing a lot of poems. In addition to that, there are quite a lot of vocabulary-based prompts out there - this NaPoWriMo one from last year, for example (you don't have to use a news article - it can be a book, another poem, etc, but one with lots of unfamiliar vocabulary!). 

Honestly, though, I would say that your vocabulary is something that comes with the amount of time you put into reading and writing poetry, and something that never stops being built. I'm still learning. It's also important to keep your audience in mind, especially if you decide to drop in a less well-known word - it could make or break your poem. Imagine having a ten-foot tall statue of, I don’t know, Satan, when you have visitors over to your otherwise mediocre flat. Awkward. 

To avoid being verbose, finally, try reading your poem out. If it sounds awkward and unwieldy to you, imagine how it’d sound to your readers! It’s like the Lucifer statue all over again. Lastly, look at the words that are the potential culprits and identify exactly what it is they do for your poem. Does the bedroom actually need a coffee table? Yes, I know, it would be cool, but that’s the point: it might be cool, but is it needed? If not, throw it out.


williamszm, I feel like the only sure way to develop a broader vocab is to simply read more. So while you are practicing your writing, just be sure to keep reading as well, and eventually the two ought to start influencing each other and improving. Reading other works that you enjoy will also help make it easier to see how your writing differs from those, including if it is too verbose or too bland. But this isn’t a quick solution—I’m still working on improving my vocabularly, and know I have a lot of work to do.

kiwi-damnation, I created a challenge called the December Form Challenge in 2008. I did this because I found my writing was becoming repetitive and stagnant. I found that experimenting with forms forces you out of your comfort zone in many ways, including vocabulary. You are made to tell things differently and therefore you seek and discover new words. I am also a reader and I think this is one of the best ways to create a good vocabulary. Read and store new words in your psyche so that when you write, they will bubble to the surface and beg to be written.
In regards to verbosity, I think you need to assess whether someone walking off the street could relate to what you are saying. I am a rather honest and straight-forward poet and I think that the core part of poetry is relating to others. When purple prose became a large part of poetry, people stopped reading it. Well, the vast majority of people stopped reading it and it became known as Shakespeare or emo. The art form was made to be trivial and the skill set ignored. If your family could almost get the gist of what you are saying then you are on the right track.


jade-pandora, Ah yes, when the word “verbose” was penned, it was and still is perfect for its meaning of too many words (verbs) used.That is an observation of mine regarding writers with not enough imagination to know how to work that limited vocabulary into succinct and interesting verse. Before writers have built up a strong range of words to use, they need to know how to work well with what they have. If you do not do it right with a few words, you will be challenged with even more words. It is not just the vocabulary of larger words, but the annoying filler words that so many people habitually use in their everyday speak that translate over to their writing. Such as “just”, “really”, “basically”, “actually”, oh don’t let me go on, you get the idea!

In my experience as I have matured into my writing, I have always set time aside to read a dictionary – yes, that’s right – read a dictionary, a physical book on my lap as I sit in a chair. Quiet downtime. I go to random pages and scan the columns of five to ten pages, both sides. I always luck out to find one or two very interesting words that I make note of for when I have a moment of inspiration, taking that opportunity to try the new words out. If you do that often enough over months and even years, you build yourself an impressive vocabulary. Be sure to learn how to use those words in sentences. To know of the words and their meaning is only half the journey. Having a thesaurus handy (or accessible online) is also useful. When it comes time to apply these evocative new words to literary art, you want to have knowledge of the emotion and descriptive they lend to a piece. Of course that goes for any words no matter how well you think you know them. Word choices are very important to your success, and making sure the word groups you use have the right “sound”. That alone is a whole other class-worth of information that all writers, especially poets, should study. The results will be unnoticed or very subtle to a reader who is not familiar with sound in word groups, but it will have its way and be effective all the same.

Having said all of that, it should become easily evident as a writer learns, practices, and improves to tell when one is about to cross the line or has shot past it that the piece has turned into a verbose gridlock. My tip to everyone who writes at any level: I can hear the gridlock better than I can detecting it on paper or on the monitor screen. I speak aloud the lines and verses, and repeat over and over where it still does not sound right as I make my edits. I always manage to worm out the unwanted clutter, so to speak. Try it and see.


In poetry, every word must serve a purpose - and when you're faced with needing to change one word in it with a different one, often a number of other words will have to change too! What's your editing method, in this case? How do you decide whether something needs to go or stay?

Carmalain7, Before I start evaluating a single word on a 'keep or trash' basis, I usually start at the whole stanza; then the individual lines; then the word.
The question I ask myself always stays the same though: "does this add value to the whole?" If the answer isn't yes - including if it's an undecided or maybe - then it's gone.

You have to have to have to be able to 'kill your darlings'. In the past, I've missed out on good chances to shut up, delete, and move forward. 

If there is one thing I would impart to my past self, it's to never miss a good chance to shut up.


Vigilo, This is very true. I just want to re-emphasise that. Every word counts.
So you start by removing what isn’t counting – what is definitely not helping the poem (no matter how strongly you’re attached to it) – well, I start by doing that, anyway, you might do it differently. From that, I can see what happens to the rest of the poem, and after that, it honestly depends on the words. It can be as easy as replacing a word or as difficult as having to remove an entire segment of a particular image. 

Now, for deciding what needs to go and what needs to stay. Kill your darlings applies to poetry as much as it does to prose, though not to characters, but to particular turns of phrase and the like that are – well – your darlings. I had to cut out a part in one of my recent poems that was a very good line but it didn’t do it for the poem, so it had to go, and that was that. Editing a poem is like having a sale for a shop that’s closing down. Everything! Must! Go!


Specific vocabulary for specific imagery, theme, and so on. Maybe we want to write some space poetry, but we're not really that informed on how space works. How do you get it done?


Carmalain7, Reading - especially outside of what you normally read - as the best method to expand your vocabulary is something I touched upon earlier. 
Expanding on that, if you want to write space poetry, read one of the many amazing Niel deGrasse Tyson books first. Take time with the book, take time to digest it, then sit down and write. I think you'll amaze yourself with how much you retain, and how much can bleed over into your writing.

Alternatively, just apply that method for any other subject or genre.


Vigilo, Read up on – and around – the topic before you start. Keep reading while you’re at it, but definitely read up on it before you start. Informal sites are good – I’m a fan for Wikipedia for writing poetry, honestly. I also like using films – particularly, documentaries – as well as photography. Visuals are very helpful when it comes to researching poetry, because they help with building your imagery. 
My own personal process: I tend to Wikipedia-hop before and during writing a poem that’s, say, retelling a myth, and pick up certain information that I find particularly striking and try to work it into my writing. I can’t actually write the poem without the imagery, seeing as that would be a very strange poem, for me, considering a good half, if not more, of my poems is imagery-based. 

So, say there was this poem I did involving space, particularly around, I don’t know, Jupiter’s moons – I’d Wikipedia that, first, then maybe see if there’re relatively simple articles online about it, then maybe see if I can find old-school explanations of it as well, for variety’s sake. Chances are, I’ve found something I like in all of this, and am starting to sketch out a rough outline of the poem. During this, I’ll move on to looking for my visuals, maybe even some sounds / music, and eventually, there’ll be a point where I’ll stop the research and focus on the poem proper. 

Don’t go too in-depth with research. You’re making poetry out of theory - not poetry into theory.


Every writer has that moment when they know what they want to say, but not necessarily how to. Do you have any advice on how to overcome it?

Carmalain7, If you've got a great idea, but are unsure how to approach it, the first thing you should absolutely do is note down your idea.

Got it? Cool.

Next, leave it. Seriously, work on something else, go take a walk, cook some food, get some sleep, take your time.

Come back to it every now and again and see where you're at and how you feel with it. If it's still not there, don't force it; there's no rush, the idea isn't going anywhere.


Vigilo, This is a difficult one, because it’ll surely be different for everyone, and what sometimes happens to me is that I go away and do other things until it comes to me suddenly right before I’m about to go to bed. I hate that, really.

Sometimes, though, what I do end up doing is that I write it out, in a very long-winded way – like in a paragraph, for example. I know it’s not how I want to say it, but it does often help to get out what you want to say and figure out the how after. 


Can you think of an exercise our mentees could do to improve their vocabulary?


Vigilo, Read, read, read. Do some found poetry using sources that have vocabulary you don’t know (say, an economics textbook chapter, a news article on astrophysics, what have you). Do some fixed form poetry – like a sestina, for example – because it’ll make you hyper-aware of both vocabulary and form.

(you don't know what found poetry is? Read Writers' Workshop: FOUND POETRY! to learn about it, it's a really amazing method of writing)

Prose: Narrative Voice and POV



How do you decide who tells your story?


Memnalar, Quite often, a story of mine starts with a character idea, so it's usually that character who gets the Point of View. Other times, I try to think of which character will have the most interesting perspective - not the most informed perspective, but the most interesting - and tell the story from her POV.

raspil, It depends on how the story will be best served. Who is closest to the drama. Who has the most to lose. I've wasted my time with POV rewrites in the past. I imagine how the inciting incident sounds in both POV and the one that can be exploited/represented best wins.

How do you give your POV character a realistic voice?


Memnalar, I try to think of any characters as people, not as types. If I'm successful at doing that, the realism starts to take care of itself. How would this person, in these circumstances, with these problems, react in this situation? How does she sound? How does she deal with other people? How is she different from what the rest of the world thinks she is, because in our own way, all of us are different from the way the world sees us.

raspil, I believe all the television I watched when I was a kid on upwards (MASH, Roseanne, Seinfeld) helped me create characters I can blend and imagine in moments to know how they are supposed to be. I've got my favorite directors, too. My characters are far more influenced by TV than literature. It helps with visualization. 

I need to read about things happening. I start out with a story first before I come up with the character -- I think finding the character is easier and faster that way, plus I can start tossing obstacles at them immediately. 

Example: if I'm writing a story about a drug deal gone wrong, I know I will need a character who is savvy about these things but have a secret that if anyone involved knew, it would get them killed... knowing the story first helps me know the character and I can make their voice more believable... and all of this with very little information.

Here's a freebie: Want to know how to get drama in your story faster than anything? I'll let you in on a secret: it's a secret.


Which is your favourite kind of narrator, if any, which do you use the most and why?


Memnalar, I prefer narrators that aren't omniscient, although I've read many stories and novels which succeeded with omniscient narrators. In general, it's easier for me to engage with the story if I'm discovering things "along with" the narrator and POV character. I'm experiencing the story rather than being told the story. That's a very general preference, though, and I've never discarded a book simply because of the type of narrator it employs.

raspil, I primarily use 3rd person limited. I pick one character to represent and I stick with it. I generally write protagonists but I can see doing something with an ally character in the future. I used to head hop until I realized how fast my writing tightened up when I made the switch to limited. It's more challenging but more rewarding at the same time. I'm into stuff like that. 

I will write in 1st person but only when I need to get inside a character's head for more impact. I don't do it too often. Like I said above, it depends on how the story will benefit most/best.


Do you prefer your narrator to have a distinctive voice, or be a more neutral one? Does this decision affect stories strongly, or is it an unimportant one?


Memnalar, I want the narrator to allow me to forget I'm reading a story. It's not distinctiveness or neutrality that's as important as consistency, which is achieved through careful editing and rewrites.

raspil, As long as it feels like it's the narrator's voice and not the writer, I'm happy either way. I want the stories to be one true word after another.





A big, big THANK YOU to all who participated in this interview, your contribution was amazing. :heart: If you reader have any questions, tag the deviant you want to ask them to! They knew they were signing up for it. Totally. :shifty:

>>All hail ginkgografix for this beautiful skin.
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Our lovely Community Volunteers collectively feature a few pieces of literature every day, many from suggestions by the community. Each CV likes to feature certain things more than others, and you can find their suggestion guidelines below!



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For more information about Daily Deviations including what they are, how to (and how not to) suggest them, and more, see these helpful articles.

Did you know that there's a found poetry workshop going on right now at Writers-Workshop

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New to Literature on dA?

Expose-Lit: Your Literature LifelineWelcome to Expose-Lit, your group home on the web for a variety of tips on how to make the most of your DeviantART Literature experience. We hope to provide everyone with a fresh perspective and to assist wonderful deviants just like you in finding your way within our community. And, we all realize that every writer has their own personality, interests, strengths and weaknesses, so we aim to provide unique pathways into the community for everyone. We are here to help!
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If you are a new writer to DeviantART, or perhaps trying to discover what the general Literature community has to offer, you find out quickly how vast this community is and can be outright confused by everything that this diverse website offers. With the creation of Expose-Lit, it is our hope to merge together the wonderful Writers Welcome Wagon R
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Literature has long been considered one of the closest knit communities on deviantART. As a result, some people find it difficult to "break in" to the Lit crowd. There are rumors of elitism, difficulty in getting exposure, and lack-luster appreciation for the incredible work that goes into writing a good piece of prose or a well structured poem.
If you look at a painting you can see amazing detail, great use of color, and the importance of the subject immediately. You know it came from the artist's imagination and that he or she had to spend hours translating that to a canvas. The tangibility of the work is right in front of you. With writing, it is not quite the same. The effort the author puts into the work can only be appreciated if readers put in their own effort to read the work. The gratification is not instant, which is one reason the lit community is so close knit.
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Comments


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:iconja-mes:
Ja-mes Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
D'oh! So sorry to submit something to the gallery! It has been a while and I didn't take the time to remind myself about the different groups here.

it felt GREAT to be writing again. Thank you for everything you're doing!
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inknalcohol Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015   Writer
I couldn't agree more!  I just got back into doing actual writing recently, and it's a wonderful feeling!
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thebunnyinthetardis Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015
Hello!  I'm new to the group and have been enjoying exploring today.  :)
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sailorcancer01 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Hobbyist
I really enjoyed my time in :iconcrliterature: club.
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AnieWrites Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
What the hell is the group good for then? Fuck.
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BeccaJS Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015   Writer
Did you not read the "about us" bit? :)
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IrrevocableFate Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2015   Writer
Hello! We are not an open submission group, which is why your submission was denied. That particular folder was entitled 'New Articles' as a way for members to submit news articles to us. :)
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AngeInk Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for the request! :heart:
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ReThinkable Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Just out of curiosity, is everyone permitted to submit blog entries?
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Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, but they must be relevant to the literature community.
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ReThinkable Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Ah, okay.
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inknalcohol Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014   Writer
And you need to be a member of the group, if you aren't already.
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ThiranosTales Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
thank you for submitting "Numb" into your group as well as the mention in the journal! :love:
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:iconnemox7:
NemoX7 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014   Writer
Hello! :wave: Thanks for allowing me to join! :love:
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:iconmsstarryduck:
MsStarryDuck Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for submitting Untamed Hearts to your gallery! 
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:iconpotatoandwombat:
PotatoandWombat Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Hi guys, could I get some feed back on one of my writings?

Here is the link:
potatoandwombat.deviantart.com…
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:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014   Writer
We don't offer feedback here, but I would suggest submitting to theWrittenRevolution or WritersInk
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:iconpotatoandwombat:
PotatoandWombat Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
okay, thanks!
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:iconradishstick:
RadishStick Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2014  Student General Artist
Hi, I'm just wondering what the process is for submitting deviations (or offering them) to this group. :)
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:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2014   Writer
We don't allow submissions to the group.  We request Literature Daily Deviations to our gallery as well as projecteducate Literature Week submissions.  The only gallery folder we have open for submissions is our News Article folder.
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