Every year I produce an anthology of The Writers of Lovedean's work. I make it clear to the group that this is not a commercial venture. I also stress not to include any pieces that they may want to send elsewhere as some publishers won't accept a piece that has been previously published in any form.
I think it's an excellent venture for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is quite common to have excellent pieces of writing that don't fit anywhere. To long to be flash fiction, not the right length for a short story. Perhaps the subject is unsuitable to send away. Secondly, some members don't want to be constantly trying for publication but want to see their work in print. Thirdly, it's a great place to put some of the work produced during the year from writing exercises and group exercises. Lastly, it's a nice reminder of hopefully happy times.
I'm actually cutting down on the amount of editing I'm willing to do. I'm not good at editing and I don't have time at the moment. So, I'm asking that the members take as much care as they would if they were sending it away. I'm also putting aside a little money from the groups fund to ask a member to proof read.
In the past we have focused on spelling, punctuation, and the layout of dialogue. However, for the members who have been coming to the group for a number of years I would like them to look at the following list before they edit their work.
Do you start the story in the right place? Is there a hook, question or conflict?
Do the characters need to solve a problem or tricky dilemma?
If you have a sub plot to your story - is it necessary? Does it add anything to the central conflict?
Is there enough description? Is there too much description?
What's your vocabulary like?
Have you checked for cliches?
I hope that work is sent for this years anthology - the deadline - and this time it is a real deadline because I will be starting my degree is the 31st of August.