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The New "Literary Maneuvers" Coffee Shop (5 Viewers)


Staff member
A poll of seconded prompts will be posted tomorrow. I will be running the JAN comp, Harper in FEB, and SueC in MAR....when we wash., rinse, repeat that schedule for the rest of the year.

Looking forward to seeing how things play out this year!


Financial Supporter
The obvious difference comes down to the fact that actual non-white people might be reading your story whereas, presumably, an actual non-human creature probably won't.
you rang?

This thread broke me. You broke me.

creation story/backstory idiom/proverb

i'm seeing the following.ish as seconded poll-able-isms:

death scene 10
alien invasion 11
wasteland 13

13 idiom origin/17 proverb

14- 24 species/29 race/31 gender-tristate?
all the they/other.ings/etc

tacit tactic

Attacking the message is okay.
Attacking the messenger is NOT.
*sharpies over toothpaste tube marketing phrase*
*stabs self in eye with toothbrush*

so, ummmm, is 2019 LM Dec (epistolary) closed for submissions?
has scoring begun?
is there popcorn?

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Twas not an ad hominem attack, but an observation.
Scars stated that the only conceivable way to write a POC was by using ebonics & spanglish.

"Maybe other writers on here could pull it off, but I don't think many can. What I forsee is a bunch of stories rife with hackneyed Ebonics and Spanglish. If you disagree, go ahead and second it and prove me wrong. I'd like that."

This struck me as a statement made by someone who had very little exposure to people of color...any color.
I apologize if you thought I was attacking you, but it was meant as an observation of your reluctance to engage on this topic.


Staff member
I was on the fence about this prompt but after careful consideration I can see it raises sensitive issues and I've changed my mind.

We can write from an alien's POV because none of us are aliens so therefore both the writer and Judges can use their imagination. However, when it comes to a black person writing from a white person's POV or vice versa, Japanese, Chinese etc, can we really walk a mile in their shoes with any degree of sensitivity?

If you were writing a novel or short story that's another matter and I hope you'd ask someone of the race in question to Beta read. But the LM is judged, so are we being fair on our judges?

I'm not saying any of this means people here are racist, only that I don't think the subject of race is being presented in a particularly serious or thoughtful manner. I suspect we're going to have mostly white people judging these 'another race POV's' and that seems in itself...pointless? A bunch of white people deciding if a white writer accurately captured a black or Asian POV, really?

Okay, so then on what criteria will this use of POV be judged? Imagination, like if it was an animal or inanimate object? So what do we, as white people, 'imagine' a non-white POV to be like, then? How much of that will be based on racial stereotypes and cliche that may be offensive and nobody will be in a position to make that call, so we can 'learn', as you mentioned? What if one of the judges is black and the story is about a black POV, should not the black judge's score not be weighted heavier when judging a black POV? Worse still, what if one of the writers is black and gets told their story doesn't 'sound black' by a white judge?

Do you see the worms inside this can?


There are more than worms inside this can.

I'd like to strongly suggest we drop this prompt because if there are disagreements and strong opinions from both sides about it now, if it won ... there's gonna be tears before bedtime when the results are published.

Please let's move on.


Staff member
The blue robes have spoken. The prompt will not be included and the topic is finished in this thread.


Met3 Member
Staff member
Chief Mentor
If I may be permitted a reminder about what we do. Probably reminding myself, more than anyone else. A good creative writer can become any character, immerse themselves as writers and, through their characters, become agents in any situation. Excluding the 'write from the POV of another race' prompt--and that is a good decision--is based on expediency and heading off fierce disagreements that would have precious little to do with writing and everything to do with differing socio/political views. Such disagreements could be absorbing, but way too marginal to be our proper concern.

It strikes me that participation in WF is all about finding one's Voice and Style as a writer. Poetry or Fiction, doesn't matter. Working on how we write is our fixed concern. What any one of us writes about should be irrelevant--Bukowski's famous poem about his wallet swirling around the public toilet in his own turds, is an example. h

Writing from the POV of another race is a highly unusual scenario, an exception, because here, content and style would be inextricably bound together. And our critiques of stories so written could (would?) be tilted to unacceptable excess by our personal experiences involving other races, as much as by the priciples of good writing.

So, my 'reminder'? (it takes me fuckin' forever, but I DO get to the point.......................................eventually.) Shakespeare's Theseus, in A Midsummer Night's Dream (V, i), reminds us all--poets and fiction writers--of how the Imagination works:

The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to Earth, from Earth to heaven.
And as imagination bodies forth
15The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

Any prompt that potentially will deflect attention away from the "imagination bod[ying] forth" and loop attention and comments back to the prompt itself, could be a fruitful philosophical discussion, but a very fragmented and unproductive discussion of Voice and Style.

  • Thanks
Reactions: PiP


Staff member
You should be able to see the poll results now. Feel free to start writing a death scene, comp thread will go up in a couple days.


Senior Member
Thanks velo. Do we need to describe the death scene in detail (the deterioration of the body / person's death throes agony) or just someone dying somewhere in the story is enough? Is it limited to humans?


Staff member
I don't know. Tell me in your story. Interpret it how you choose. As long as there is some identifiable connection to the prompt, you're good.


Staff member
Comp is up a day early. Had some down time and wanted to get it done. Nothing is changed from last month except the host a lot prettier.

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Death scenes have been done...well...to death.
So I'd suggest trying something outside of the box for this'n.
I look forward to being amazed by our incredible contestants!


Staff member
Yeah, points will definitely be given to unique interpretations. *wink* *wink*


Senior Member
It’s been a while but hey, why not!

This one is based around my hobby, I hope you like it.

Harper J. Cole

Creative Area Specialist (Speculative Fiction)
Staff member
Chief Mentor
The 2020 Grand Prize LM Contest is coming up in February!

The prize money pool will be $200.

First Place
Year of

Second Place
Half a year of

Third Place
Month of

People's Choice Award
Month of FoWF

The word limit will be 1,000.

The contest is invitation only - these will be sent out soon. There are several ways to be eligible...

  • Placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the LM during 2019
  • Judging the LM in 2019
  • Winning one of the weekly challenges during 2019
  • Being a past winner of the Grand Fiction Challenge

I'm looking for volunteers to judge. Please be aware that this means you will only be eligible to win the People's Choice Award.

Also, please suggest prompts for the challenge.


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