Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
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StarReacher
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby StarReacher » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:01 pm

RSchibler wrote:I took Dan Well's class on "Creating Character Arcs" and it was awesome. Not only does he sound just like he does on Writing Excuses, but the information was amazing. It just helped me finish off my Q2 submission.


Sounds like an awesome class! I remember really enjoying his "Partials" series.

Thanks for the great summary. I plan to go through once my draft is complete and make sure that I've hit all the arcs.

Best, Angela
2017 - R (4Q)
2018 - R (1Q), HM (2Q), R (4Q)
2019 - SHM (1Q), R (2Q), SHM (3Q), HM (4Q)
2020 - HM (1Q), ? (2Q)

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Wulf Moon
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:01 pm

I'm going to give you some free advice...wait a minute, all this advice is free! :)

I recall the most important thing I learned in sales, the KISS method: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. :) It is really, really easy to complicate what a story is, turn the process into some elaborate monstrosity, or cloak it in such mysticism no one can understand the process without paying some guru to unravel their secrets. I suspect all these many ways, Three Act Structure, Save the Cat, 7 Point Plot, Hero's Journey, all of them are saying virtually the same thing with different terminology in order to sell their system and sell their books. Try not to get too caught up in all the mysticism, or you will get lost, and have to pay the gurus to navigate you through their hedge maze.

A story is a character, in a setting, with a problem. Something enters into their normal world and disrupts it. They are forced to try to solve the problem, must fail at solving the problem, must try again in some new way, must fail again, and must gamble all in one last do or die attempt to shove the problem back out of their life and possibly their world (the climax). Having succeeded (or failed in a tragedy) they must return to their normal world with new knowledge that changed them. Finally, you must show life goes on (denouement).

Keep it simple. Tell your story. Don't get wrapped up in checking off too many systems and terms that all mean virtually the same thing: bad stuff comes into your heroines world, and she's gonna stand for it no more! And then take her on a journey to solve it.

Zeet, as to taking a workshop by a pro or hiring a pro to edit your work, depends on who is conducting the workshop, who is the pro you are hiring. Obviously, Dave teaches short story, and you would be wise to take one of his classes on it (I think everyone in the Wulf Pack did at Superstars, which was very smart, and I'm still looking forward to Liz's report, because she had some very nice things happen just by being able to chat with Dave after). But as to hiring someone, it is the way to ensure you have a pro look over your work and advise you on what you need to work on to improve. But what kind of pro? If they are bestselling novelists, they often are not great at short story--each are a highly specialized field. And if they have awards and great credits, do they have the skill to teach? I know many bestselling authors I would never pay to critique my work--they know how to write great stories, but they don't know how to translate that to someone else's work. I know. I was in Wordos, the best writing workshop in the country. Being able to actually help someone see what they need to work on in terms they can understand is a gift, and gift means a rare talent.

I do freelance editing. I once had my own publishing company, creating logos, brochures, public offerings, and advertising campaigns for Inc 500 companies in the financial industry. Now that I've had some nice sales and accumulated some respectable awards, people come to me both with fiction and non-fiction. Someone even approached me at Superstars and said Dave referred them to me. Another said he is going to hire me to edit his novel when he finishes in a couple of weeks. Lots of other things, too. Word gets around. My honest advice? Find someone that has won WotF that wrote a story you respect and see if they will critique your story. No one will give you better advice (aside from Dave and Kary) on how to write a story that wins. But if you can't find that, find some way to get a pro to critique your work...and yes, even if you must pay them, it will likely be worth it even once to figure out what your blind spot is. Provided they can figure it out. Like I said, teaching is a gift, and don't assume because someone is a pro that they have this gift, or you will be sorely disappointed (and lose money if you paid them for their advice).

This is why I am trying to get to each of you with critiques. I did light crits for all with our opening flash exercises at the start of Super Secrets Year Two, but I am also working my way through the list each quarter. If you are meeting the challenge requirements each quarter, you keep the chance for a free crit open. But if you want to speed up your progress, well, you're asking the right questions. Now go forth and make the answers happen.

All the beast,

Beastmaster Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby AjZach » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:52 pm

zeeteebeez wrote:Wulf this brings up a question I have for you:
If you could only choose one, would you recommend paying for professional critiques from a NYT bestseller on a monthly basis (like what I mentioned above) OR paying for a workshop (take Dave’s upcoming fantasy workshop for example)?


Have you looked into a Writer in residence at the library or university near you? We have one at our library, I plan to take advantage of that program this quarter. In our program you can send in 3000 words for a critique, and spend an hour talking about your writing career. While they may not know WOTF, it's still a critique and advice from a published author for free.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby RSchibler » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:39 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:I'm going to give you some free advice...wait a minute, all this advice is free! :)

I recall the most important thing I learned in sales, the KISS method: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. :) It is really, really easy to complicate what a story is, turn the process into some elaborate monstrosity, or cloak it in such mysticism no one can understand the process without paying some guru to unravel their secrets. I suspect all these many ways, Three Act Structure, Save the Cat, 7 Point Plot, Hero's Journey, all of them are saying virtually the same thing with different terminology in order to sell their system and sell their books. Try not to get too caught up in all the mysticism, or you will get lost, and have to pay the gurus to navigate you through their hedge maze.

All the beast,

Beastmaster Moon


This a thousand times. A story is a story. These are just ways to think about it. I asked Dan Wells if he used this proscriptively or diagnostically - he said he uses them to figure out why a story isn’t working, not to write the story in the first place. Tell your stories.
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, P

ALWAYS available for critique. PM me.

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/A-Dying-Planet-Short-Stories-ISBN-9781787557819.html

2020 Writers of the Future Superstars Scholarship recipient

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby storysinger » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:02 pm

Hi Leah, I've done the Vital Flaw exercise.
Anyone that did the Blood Sucker prompt and submitted to Flame Tree probably got the email with new prompts for their contest.
You are allowed to submit to both the syfy and the horror prompt.
Horror- Inanimate Beings
Syfy- Avatar.
You have until 2-21-2020
Write On!
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby crlisle » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:06 pm

WOWSA!!! My head is spinning after all of this! I wish I could insert all this excellent information into my mind. I picture downloading to a memory stick and inserting it into a slot just behind my ear. I wish.

Where do stories come from? They come from wishes.
Q4 36 R
Q1 37 R
Q2 37 submitted
Sci Fi Lampoon, "My Ten Cents"

"Never give up. Never Surrender." - Galaxy Quest

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby officer » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:53 pm

RSchibler wrote:A story is a story. These are just ways to think about it. I asked Dan Wells if he used this proscriptively or diagnostically - he said he uses them to figure out why a story isn’t working, not to write the story in the first place. Tell your stories.

This is great advice. Thank you for the detailed notes you posted on Dan Wells's seminar. And thanks to everyone for sharing your Superstars experiences with the group!
HM, R, ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby zeeteebeez » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:01 pm

AjZach wrote:
zeeteebeez wrote:Wulf this brings up a question I have for you:
If you could only choose one, would you recommend paying for professional critiques from a NYT bestseller on a monthly basis (like what I mentioned above) OR paying for a workshop (take Dave’s upcoming fantasy workshop for example)?


Have you looked into a Writer in residence at the library or university near you? We have one at our library, I plan to take advantage of that program this quarter. In our program you can send in 3000 words for a critique, and spend an hour talking about your writing career. While they may not know WOTF, it's still a critique and advice from a published author for free.


I haven’t, but I definitely will. Thanks!
Z.T.

5x HM

SwiftPotato
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:38 pm

Got you, storysinger!

Others who are doing the extra credit flash challenge: we're halfway through February! Don't forget to do your flash!

All challenge beasties: we're also approximately halfway through the quarter. Write, write, write! Submit, submit, submit! (And don't forget to post here when you do!)
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:36 pm

storysinger wrote:Hi Leah, I've done the Vital Flaw exercise.
Anyone that did the Blood Sucker prompt and submitted to Flame Tree probably got the email with new prompts for their contest.
You are allowed to submit to both the syfy and the horror prompt.
Horror- Inanimate Beings
Syfy- Avatar.
You have until 2-21-2020
Write On!

Thanks for this. I got my nice rejection notice for my entry but no newsletter and it’s not the clearest site to find their prompts on.

storysinger
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby storysinger » Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:07 am

oishisushi911 wrote:Thanks for this. I got my nice rejection notice for my entry but no newsletter and it’s not the clearest site to find their prompts on.

I never received a rejection notice. I found out I was out of the running when I got the newsletter with the winning stories. They were good stories, I read both winners. In the newsletter the new prompts were offered so I created something for both. Just plugging along, write, submit, wait for the day when something different happens. This pack rules. wotf024
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby CCrawford » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:29 pm

storysinger wrote:I never received a rejection notice. I found out I was out of the running when I got the newsletter with the winning stories.


The same thing happened to me, but then I went back and found the rejection email in my spam/trash folder. wotf017
v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, ??

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:12 pm

So I'm seconding SwiftPotato's reminder: We are halfway through Q2. Since you signed up for the challenge reqs (and maybe the bonus flash challenge), this means you should have wrapped up your first fresh original story, and are starting on your second. By March 31st, you will have sent one story to Writers of the Future (the pick of the litter, or another you think has a better chance) and sent the other story out to a "respectable market." If you forgot what that means, go back to the start of the challenge for this year and read again. :)

Remember: meeting the requirements you signed up for has rewards. Most notably, each quarter you log in that you met the terms keeps you in my personal critique pool. I do four or more critiques per quarter, working my way through the list of those successfully meeting the challenge throughout the course of the year. And in the last contest year, everyone that successfully completed the challenge got my greatest Super Secret sent to them privately. This Secret has been a game changer for me, and I trust it will open the eyes of others once they understand it. But to get it, you have to stay in the race! The Wulf Pack is on the run, and fulfilling your oath has rewards!

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:30 pm

That's actually a good reminder for me, too--I keep forgetting to post my progress here since I AM the roster. I have submitted my first story for the quarter (to a few respectable markets) and am about 1300 words into my second. :)
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby officer » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:34 pm

Reporting in. I sent my first story of the quarter out today, just barely on schedule.

I knew something felt emotionally off but couldn't find it. Thanks to crits from fellow beasties, we discovered that I cut short my denouement and didn't properly resolve a secondary emotional thread/conflict (a couple paragraphs did the trick). While writing I felt like that resolution was implied, but in this case, it needed to be explicit to satisfy the reader.
HM, R, ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:28 pm

Reporting in on progress.
I've otherwise completed my 1st story for the quarter. Just pondering peer review.
Brainstorming stage for other story.
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby CCrawford » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:34 pm

Reporting in -- 1st story for the quarter is written; received some feedback from Pack members and will be starting edits soon. In planning stage for second story; plan to do my (bonus) flash sometime soon as well.
v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, ??

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:51 pm

Reporting in – Currently, in process of revision for 2nd Quarter story. Focusing on POV errors and correcting them. Reaching Catalyst and Big Event sooner. Adapting critique suggestions. Will be ready before March 31st.

Second fresh story written. Will take a fresh look before submitting to respectable market before March 31st.

Flash prompt will be done within the week.

Revised my novel and submitted full manuscript to respectable market.

Best,

Retro

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:24 pm

SUPERSTARS WRITING SEMINAR: A Short Report

I encouraged the Forum to find a way to attend this amazing writing seminar, and many did. If you go to my Facebook page (wulf dot moon dot 94) you'll see a wonderful picture of our Forum group at dinner! We had four scholarship winners from the Forum in our group, including two of our very own from Super Secrets that were awarded the very first Writers of the Future Superstars' Scholarships! And guess what? We had a surprise visit from Joni Labaqi! What a kick! Another surprise, and something new for me, every swag bag for attendees had WotF Vol. 35 in it! I've never had a story as part of a swag bag before. EVERYONE at the conference had a copy of Moongirl, and I loved having people come up asking me to sign their books! So that was pretty special, and another bonus of having WotF as your publisher.

Tremendous knowledge was shared from writers at the top of their game. You want to know how to indie publish and rise in the Amazon bestseller charts? James Hunter was there, #1 with his Viridian Gate novel, explaining release strategies. You want to have a pro go over the first three chapters of your novel? Eric Flint was there, giving one on one critiques. Is middle grade or YA the right place for you to be writing in? Jonathon Maberry explained the sweet spot. Do you want to create fascinating fantasy worlds? Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta went through detailed outlines of every aspect of worldbuilding and how to make your civilizations believable. How about crafting the perfect short story? David Farland did a Craft Day workshop on that, and I think all of our group attended (except me because I'm going to have two weeks with him total with the WotF workshops). There were pitch sessions with agents and editors, and I'm hearing some of you had exciting results from your pitch! But the most important thing of all at Superstars...some of you got to sing with me. Okay, maybe that wasn't the most important thing for you, but I was pretty thrilled you came to my folk and filk session, we had so much fun!

Finally, there is Tribe. You meet so many people just like you, trying to find their way, ready to give you encouragement and support. Not just at the seminar, but for the rest of your life. Superstars becomes family. They stand with you through time, as you will find out if you become a member. It is VERY important to have allies in this business, and you won't find a nicer bunch of professionals and aspiring professionals anywhere, highly focused on spec fic, I might add.

If you'd like to attend but are financially challenged, the scholarships are available to help those with needs get there. They are merit based, but you saw how many here have the writing skills necessary to meet their high standards. I'll try to let you know when scholarship applications open again for 2021. And if you have the means, as Ferris Bueller said, I highly recommend it. It's next level stuff, but if you're ready to make the jump to the next level, this is the place that will help you get there. Find a way to attend.

Many of you have asked if you could ever be of help to me, to let you know. I'll tell you how you can help, and how I can help you. You can reserve your registration now for just $100, and pay throughout the rest of the year. And if you'd like $100 off your registration, please use my code WULF9928 in the general discount code box when you register. If enough of you go, it will help me to be able to go as well. But go because you want to up your game and learn from the best in the biz. https://superstarswriting.com/

Looking forward to more reports from our group that attended Superstars! It was so absolutely wonderful to meet some of you there and I enjoyed our meals together!

All the beast,

Beastmaster Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:30 pm

I’m behind, overall. Boo. My update on writing progress:

After getting some great feedback on my flash from the Dragon Next Door prompt, I sent it out and it got its first rejection; I’m sending it out again soon. My Blood Sucker flash also got some great feedback, was sent to Flame Tree, and is now out again, pending response at a respectable market. I also sent some short stories to market, one of the three short stories I finished for Q1 consideration, and two stories rejected by WotF earlier in 2019. One was rejected and I asked two writers for critiques before sending it out again. The rest are pending a response. I’ve been sorting through my other stories to consider what to send out next and what may need revision.

I’m giving the two prompts at Flame Tree for this month a try, though I might not make it since I have some voice work and such that just came in. Will try.

So I’m getting much better about sending stories out, but I’m behind on writing my Q2 stories. I have started both stories based on separate starts on earlier flash prompts from Jan and Dec. The first story has 688 words of a planned 4000. The second story is brainstormed but waiting its turn once I finish flash, submissions, and the first story. Most of my WotF submissions secretly want to be novels (two actually are and need to be revised), or at least novelettes, and have trended between 10k-17k words, so I plan to make both my Q2 stories shorter than usual for easier submission to a range of other markets, and also to try and improve the overall quality of the stories.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:33 pm

Retropianoplayer wrote:Revised my novel and submitted full manuscript to respectable market.

Best,

Retro


Submitted your novel, too! While also handling all the short story and flash challenges. Much respect!
R.J.K. Lee
2015-2017: 4 HMs, 5 Rs; 2019-2020: 5 Rs

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:47 pm

Thank you, Oishisushi 911.

Submission is only half the process. The rest is waiting until the jury returns with its verdict.

When the jury delivers its verdict is the second half of the process.

Similar to when an attorney presents his/her case in court. You do your best, agonize over everything, review the evidence. But, in the end, the jury (publisher) makes the final decision.

Best,

Retro wotf022

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:28 am

Nice job with the updates, beasties! Keep em coming! And don't forget to post here again when you've submitted those stories so I can roster you. :)

And without further ado, it's that time again! This week's Monday prompt is: DRAGON DREAMS.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby crlisle » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:01 am

I've submitted to Analog.
I'm waiting to hear from 2 non-WoTF contests.
I submitted and received a personal rejection from Fantasy & Science Fiction; that took 1 day. He's fast!
Q4 36 R
Q1 37 R
Q2 37 submitted
Sci Fi Lampoon, "My Ten Cents"

"Never give up. Never Surrender." - Galaxy Quest

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zeeteebeez
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby zeeteebeez » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:11 am

Reporting in —

Flash for blood suckers done, submitted (rejected), and marinating so I can expand on it for story 1.

Story 2 is a seed that was planted a few weeks ago and is now starting to break the surface and reach skyward. I plan to KYD it right away.

My story from last quarter is on the submission carousel. Some positive personal feedback, but nothing more than that yet.
Z.T.

5x HM

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby AjZach » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:53 am

Reporting:

My first story is in the editing stages and I just finished the first draft of my second story last week.
I am doing the flash challenge prompt this week.
In the final stages of editing for Flame tree's February prompt.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:19 am

Great job on reporting in, all. It also encourages our wulf pack, because they can see each of you on the prowl, encouraging them to do the same. Sales are made through many repeated efforts as we continue to send our stories out, and return to writing the next fresh one. You will see. We haven't heard the end of the good results that will happen in this second year of the Super Secrets. Because you are doing the work.

May good rewards come to each one of you for your efforts!

Finally, I have a secret program open only to Super Secret members, past or present. Please contact Ari Officer for details, and do not share with others. Thank you.

All the beast,

Beastmaster Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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crlisle
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby crlisle » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:26 am

I put a report on Brad Torkensen's keynote address at LTUE in "Interviews" in this forum for those who are interested. He is a humble, gentle man and I am happy that we got to hang out a bit.
Q4 36 R
Q1 37 R
Q2 37 submitted
Sci Fi Lampoon, "My Ten Cents"

"Never give up. Never Surrender." - Galaxy Quest

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Peter Glen » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:29 am

Thanks Wulf and all for the updates on SuperStars ... sounds like one helluva workshop!
For my update, I have first draft of my first story and 6K in on my story number two (based on the growing impulse prompt ;)
Still waiting on results from both my Q1 baby Krakens out in the wild.
Finished a flametree flash and will post for critique soon.
HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:32 am

Peter Glen wrote:Thanks Wulf and all for the updates on SuperStars ... sounds like one helluva workshop!
For my update, I have first draft of my first story and 6K in on my story number two (based on the growing impulse prompt ;)
Still waiting on results from both my Q1 baby Krakens out in the wild.
Finished a flametree flash and will post for critique soon.

Ooooo you expanded on the growing impulse one? I’m curious to see where that one went.
R.J.K. Lee
2015-2017: 4 HMs, 5 Rs; 2019-2020: 5 Rs


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