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ZOETROPE VIRTUAL STUDIOS – http://www.zoetrope.com/

 

Francis Ford Copella’s Film Studio (responsible for many classic films such as Apocalypse Now) owns this fabulous creative writing and artwork development website. Here, writers can present drafts or completed versions of poems, novellas, short stories, extracts from their novels, photographic work, and potential film and television scripts, as well as art work and costume designs for others to enjoy and evaluate critically.  The rule is simply that to be able to submit your own work for critiquing, you have to provide critiques of other people’s work first. This takes the form of a written response to the work and a rating of the work on various criteria. The site provides a number of discussions and forums, and the best work from previous years has been presented in hard-copy publications. A number of agents and Zoetrope officials also look in on the site frequently. The quality of the feedback is strong, and there are a number of forums and discussion groups where writers can chat and exchange ideas as well. Registration is free, and each workshop operates independently of the others, so poets can assess each other’s work without having to read script too, etc. When you join, you are given a list of up to ten stories to read, of which you pick an average of about five to critique and evaluate. For each five you read, and critique, you get to post one of your own as well. Many similar sites have writers who want their own work critiquing but don’t read any other submissions. Zoetrope makes such behaviour impossible. Naturally, the site links in to what Francis Coppola are doing in their mainstream film work the site provides competitions and workshops, which you can also sign up for. There is a strong sense here of being in the hands of the professionals. http://www.zoetrope.com/

 

Arthur Chappell

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