The first topic, Search Engine, of the “new” FaithWriters Writing Challenge (click to read about it) is in the process of being judged by the anonymous professional editors. So, you may ask: what’s next?

Sure – we have that new topic to write about. And you can always sit back and twiddle your thumbs for the next two weeks until Search Engine winners are announced. But why? Please, make a point of  popping in on the current Search Engine entries and leaving constructive criticism.

We encourage everyone who enters the Challenge to start leaving feedback on Challenge entries as soon as they go live (that would be YESTERDAY). This will put you in the running to win a free ratings report on your entry (well worth winning – click here for a PDF sample report), but more importantly, it will bless other members.

ONE challenge enterer who gives feedback on entries will win the ratings feedback prize (a random entry will be chosen, and one commenter who entered the challenge that week will be chosen off that entry to receive the prize).

We’re hoping to include other little freebies in the future–all to say “thank you” to those who take time to comment.

We are also encouraging members to get hold of a ratings worksheet (Excel or Open Office) and really take time to evaluate the entries you read. You don’t need to go into detail in your feedback on the entries, but a brief overview of the strengths and weaknesses, in your opinion, will help the author. It will also help you to develop your critiquing skills (which will help your own writing). Leave a comment here or here to get one sent to you.  If you don’t have Excel or Open Office you can still use the rating categories when reading entries. You just need to write or type them on a sheet of paper, and then rate them the same way. It will still help you pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses.

Because of this new procedure, traditional “hinting and hunting time” will be eliminated, mostly to help assure more people (those who didn’t hint, for example) get feedback. We will still have “Throw a Brick” day, but that won’t be until a few days before the winners are announced and our ratings feedback winner has been chosen (remember – two weeks instead of one). So if you want to win a prize, you need to be involved in the commenting before the direct links to entries start being posted in the forums.

So, what are you waiting for? Leave those yellow boxes!

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