Spotting the Thin Skinned Narcissist in the Workshop
Know the symptoms of a writer group's worst enemy.

Have you ever been in writer workshops and reacted to criticism of your writing or story by demanding the other writer defend their decision in such detail that it served your purpose of making certain they never gave you unfavorable critique again?


Hell hath no fury like a thin-skinned narcissist with a needy manuscript... But wait!

Could you be one of them? In case you're not sure if your skin qualifies, Algonkian psychologists have developed a few skin test questions below. Feel free to respond honestly to yourself as you read each one. We desire to work exclusively with writers able to take fair and direct critique, and we also wish to avoid time-wasting instances of Offended Writer Syndrome (OWS) that often take place in writer workshops all across America.

Now, time to take THE THIN SKIN TEST:
    - Has any writer ever prefaced their critique of your work by first saying to you, "Don't hate me, please?"

    - Do you sense that writers who unfavorably critique your work are "loading the gun" and taking aim?

    - Do you rush to defend your work when a reader gives you criticism rather than absorb and weigh it carefully?

    - Do you feel a need to say unkind things about a writer's work if you perceive she or he was unkind to you first?

    - Have you ever chastised any writer for what you consider to be improper or incorrect critique of your work?

    - Have you ever been in writer workshops and reacted to criticism of your writing or story by demanding the other writer defend their decision in such detail that it served your purpose of making certain they never gave you unfavorable critique again?

    - Do you receive critique you oppose in good humor, but routinely seek the negation of it from those you know will agree with your version of reality?

    - Do you feel a bout of OWS coming on after reading the above questions?
If you answered yes to three or more of the above questions, the Algonkian retreats and workshops are definitely not for you. Additionally, please discontinue attending such events. They won't help you and you can't help but make them less productive for everyone else.

- Michael Neff




Women's fiction author, Joani Elliot, (September 2019 NYC Pitch) just informed her workshop leader, Susan Breen, that an offer from Jennifer Weis Agency was forthcoming following the NYC Pitch and that the NYC Pitch played a major role in sealing the deal. No surprise there! Congrats to Joani.

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