Writer in Motion - Week 5

Updated: Jul 11, 2019

The Third Drafts

A note from Jeni

This week, the authors critiqued each others' self-edited drafts. Each author had two critique partners, so they each received feedback from two others, as well as giving feedback on the drafts of two other authors as well. This week might have been the most time-intensive for the authors! The goal was to have a story ready to send their editors, and in order to do so, it had to be under 1000 words.

Each editor was randomly assigned several authors and are providing editorial feedback to the authors. I want to say a huge Thank You to Carly Hayward of Book Light Editorial and Maria Tureaud and Justine Manzano of Craft Quest for volunteering their time to this project. The final, polished stories will go up on blogs by this Saturday, and I can't wait to see!

Show your support to the authors by leaving comments on their blogs and tweeting about their stories using #WriterInMotion.

Happy revising!


The Third Drafts (with feedback from critique partners)

“Life and Death” by Sheri MacIntyre

Nora sat smoking in the window of her Gastown loft, her view of the street below cloaked by night and the rain streaking down the glass.

She’d seen a lot from her window seat, but never a murder. Until today. And the killer had seen her, too. Read More…

Untitled by Jessica Lewis

My grandmother used to say, “There’s nothing water won’t fix.” Then she’d wink and whisper, “and if not water, a few nips a liquor’ll do the trick.”

Grandma’s word is gospel. That’s why I’m carrying an empty water bottle, an unopened bottle of prescription-strength sleeping pills, and apple-flavored Crown Royal. Read More…

“Blood Moon” by Paulette Wiles

A killer walked the streets of Marseille, but all Adeline cared about was having a smoke.

She lit a cigarette and took a long draw, resting her elbows on the window frame. Air channeled down the Rue du Panier, pushing strands of Adeline’s cropped brown hair into her kohl-smudged eyes. Read More…

“Written in Sand” by Dawn Currie

This wasn’t her bay. This one was sand and seagrass all shaped into hillocks like a badly stuffed mattress. Home was all rocks, black ones slick with weeds that would slip you under the waves in a heartbeat and huge grey ones further back where you could sit and watch the water if there was no work to do. Read More…

“Carly Saves the Kelp Kingdom” by Ellen Mulholland

All I want is a little adventure, and the Knotty Jib is the perfect vessel for one. Before anyone argues I’m not old enough to drive, I’ll say: if twelve’s old enough to babysit my annoying sister Jeni, it’s old enough to take Dad’s speedy Yamaha into the harbor for moonlight water donuts. Read More…

“Desert Spirit” by Fariha Khayyam

The clinking of glasses and the gruff voices of men filled The Boots Lounge. It was dimly lit and smelled of beer, sweat and salt from the sea. The pub was located at the last corner of Old Town where sailors and miners were the regulars. Old Town located at the south of west coast Read More…

“The Clementine” by Megan Van Dyke

Today would be the day Jane’s dreams came true. The certainty of it wrapped around her like the thick, Florida humidity. Almost ten years ago to the day she’d first heard the tale of the lost ship Clementine and its hoard of stolen Spanish doubloons. Read More…

“Gloves” by Belinda Grant

Another box of twenty gloves arrived.

I walk to Doveton to pick them up and suffer under Max’s suspicious gaze.

“What do you do with all these gloves?” He asks for the seventeenth time. Read More…

“Light my Fire” by Kristen Howe

Adrienne Sinclair sprinted past the Point Reyes Shipwreck sign and headed to the charred fishing boat. She grabbed her iPhone and snapped a shot of that landmark against the starry night. She captured the moldering beauty. The Pacific Ocean lapped in the distance, carrying its secrets Read More…

“Nowhere” by Melissa Bergum

Stars freckled Night’s sky. At least this imprisonment forced me out of the hustle of human cities that competed against those twinkling marks on his face. I couldn’t tell Night how much I enjoyed this view. How it brought peace in this solitude. He’d never let it go, or he’d blush. Tempting. Read More…

“Space Cows” by S Kaeth

You lay among the scraggly brush, your rasping breath loud in your ears. Around you, the roars sounded, closing in around you. A sandy stretch of barren land lay between your meager cover and the Drop Site. It waited, concealed in the rusting remains of a small ship which listed to starboard on a sandbank. Read More…

“Surviving Gravity” by H.M. Braverman

If anything can survive an apocalypse, it is the cockroach. According to humanity they are practically immortal. Rolf wasn’t keen on becoming the exception, but Bob was less certain. With each wink of starlight overhead Bob imagined the collective universe judging him as he dashed Read More…

“The Seventh Warren” by Stephanie Whitaker

Water was a gift and a curse only Sahara could appreciate.

She lifted the thin scarf to cover her face and narrowed her brown eyes against the sand wafting through the air. Hooves pounded in the distance, kicking up a cloud of dust. Read More…

“Shadow of a Doubt (A Complex Kid)” by Sheryl Stein

Cami laid flat on the splintery park bench, her high, brown ponytail draped over the seat’s end. She inhaled the boardwalk perfume of tar, oily sausage, and fried zeppoles while staring at the sky. Pinpricks of white burst through the midnight blue Read More…

“The Witching Hour” by J.M. Jinks

The bell tolled on beat with my heart. One. Thump. Two. Thump. I had mere moments to reach the boat before the clock would strike twelve and it’d depart. On the witching hour.

I tugged the hood of my cloak lower and slid from the shadowed crevice I’d been hiding in, waiting for this moment. Read More…

“Desert Wind” by M.B. Dalto

If she looked hard enough, Adara could see the illumination of the city of Gadiel in the distance, glimmering on the desert’s horizon.

But she wasn’t trying to find the city. Read More…

“Joan” by Thuy Nguyen

He came to me on a midnight clear. An old man in a broken boat, rusted and screaming of tetanus. There was something odd about him—the way he seemed to light up from within, the way he floated across the splintered hull. Otherworldly. As if he’d come from another time and place. Read More…

“Fire & Whiskey” by K.J. Harrowick

Captain Khalon Riyath held a hand to his gut’s ripped flesh, hankering for a shot of whiskey. Blood leaked against his palm. He ignored the pain and stumbled across a wasteland of rock and broken machinery. Shit, he might die today. Read More…

“Deep Blue Warning” by Sean Willson

The seahorse wouldn’t leave Alora alone. It darted about her face and repeatedly pecked at her neck. She batted at it a few times and missed. The little bites stung.

“What do you want?” she shouted. Read More…

“Time to Mourn” by Kathryn Hewitt

Dirna hated going back. The wartime had been a different world. But she needed to say goodbye to her oldest friend. She wrapped her wolfskin cloak tight to keep out the cave’s coldness. Glow-worms tracked the way, not that she needed guidance Read More…

“The Folly of Youth” by Susan Burdorf

A dare soon became a test of courage and folly. The two are like equal sides of the same coin. Heads for courage and you win; tails for folly and you lose; I know that sounds dramatic, but aren’t all those things you wish you could do over from the safety of hindsight a bit dramatic? Read More…

“Swallow Sand” by Jen Karner

The desert is an unyielding mistress. Avoid the dunes, keep your engine running and your wits about you she won’t eat you alive. But if you make a mistake…nobody will ever find your body. I thought I was different. Capable of surviving anything she threw at me. Read More…

“Saudade” by Ari Augustine

Each breath I take fills me with the blackest of water and the remains of Twilight. Air bubbles escape to the surface as I reach out, the metal rivets of my knuckles aching from the cold, inky liquid surrounding me. My wooden fingers curl around the empty space where your hand had been moments before. Read More…

“Mad About the Boat” by Coffee Quills

…and people lived out here?

Gale pinched her nose, defending against the cloying scent of sea muck highlighted with a rotten overture of dead and dying things. The beached boat in front of her was a vision of determination from Read More…

Writer in Motion Week 1

Writer in Motion Week 2

Writer in Motion Week 3

Writer in Motion Week 4

Writer in Motion Week 5

Writer in Motion Week 6


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