Learning to Accept Critique

Anne made up her mind that the next time she wrote a story she wouldn’t ask anybody to criticize it. It was too discouraging. (…) In imagination Anne saw herself reading a story out of a magazine to Marilla, entrapping her into praise of it – for in imagination all things are possible – and then triumphantly announcing herself the author. 

– Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

I love how Anne imagines being a published author and the struggles she encounters to become one, in the series Anne of Green Gables. One of her struggles is dealing with critique—people who ‘don’t get it’; people who have nothing positive to say; people who have a vague comment like ‘I didn’t like that bit’ without explaining why. It can indeed be very discouraging.

That doesn’t mean that as a professional writer you can do without critique. The right people – usually other writers – can help you see the flaws in the language and in the story. But finding the right critics is only half the battle. Most beginning writers have to learn to accept critique. No story – however good you are as a writer – is flawless after the first draft. Read More

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Incognito via Flickr

13th Edition Cecile’s Writers Magazine: Escapism and Realism

There are moments when news—really bad news—inspires writers and poets, and in that inspiration we read works that are indubitably relevant to our present condition.

On a lighter note, we are excited about publishing a couple of character-driven speculative fictions.

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12th Edition Cecile’s Writers Magazine: Elements of Literature

© inna dee via flickr.comOn a dry and windy day in January 2012, Cecile, Samir, Sofia and Vanessa walked out of the notary’s office in Rotterdam, nervous and excited at having registered officially as a foundation. Now more than five years later, we are still up and running and barely managing to cope with the influx of submissions.

We are privileged to meet writers from all over the world with such varied backgrounds.  This edition is long overdue, since our special poetry edition in October.  In these pages you will find, for the first time, poetry intermingled with flash fiction, stories and essays.

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9th Edition Cecile’s Writers Magazine: Discovering New Genres

Our ninth edition contains two new flash fictions—Shower Break by Russian Maria Shanina shows us how valuable a mother’s shower time is; and Kuwaiti Haitham Alsarraf exhibits the universal ceremonial repetitiveness for prayer in his vignette Friday Mosque.  In her personal essay Ful and Falafel, Sarah Osman shows the friction that arises from the clash between American and Egyptian culture.  Matt Smith’s short story Faux Pas explores the thin line between expressing opinions and racial discrimination. Plus an interview with Nigerian author Abubakar A. Ibrahim.

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New Year Wishes and Submissions Updates

Fireworks
(Courtesy of S273s @ en.wikipedia.org)

Happy New Year!

Thank you for helping CW magazine grow and sending in your stories and essays in 2015.  We have enjoyed another year of working on the magazine and the website, bringing you stories from all over the world by intercultural writers—both beginners and veterans.

We have open submissions for the foreseeable future in Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Novelettes, Novel excerpts, Personal Essays & Memoirs.

We also have two new categories open: Plays (drama) and Poetry!

For poetry, submissions close on the 31st of March, so hurry and send in your poems.  We hope to publish the first poems on CW Magazine’s pages in the beginning of summer.

Please read the  guidelines carefully before submitting and make sure your submission qualifies for our publication (Note: poetry guidelines are on a separate page).  We hope to read your work soon.

All the best for 2016 and keep writing,

CW Team

Dear Readers,

Cecile’s Writers Magazine continues to grow and demands more of our time and attention. We are happy with the progress there and are working hard to ensure writers get the maximum attention we can afford to offer them so that their stories are published with us. Stay tuned for new developments and features in the near future.

We will continue to update this blog, but it will not be as frequently as we would like it to be. Thank you for your continued support and interest in both our Magazine and blog.

CW team.

Literary Tidbits

poetry-and-prose_0
(Courtesy of http://www.differencebetween.info)

Lets get right down to it, I love literature and I love the different genres literature offers: prose, poetry, drama, and criticism.  If I really have to choose a favourite, mine is prose.  I certainly wouldn’t hold it against anyone though if they loved another genre, even if it wasn’t literary but more mainstream or commercial.  To each his own.  So when one friend killed another in a drunken argument in Russia, because the former insisted that poetry was superior to prose, I say it’s taking a love for literature one step too far.

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Rushdie (Courtesy of artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)
Rushdie (Courtesy of artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)

It’s an age-old argument that we have to keep fighting for: censorship is a no! So kudos to the organisers of the Frankfurt Book Fair for sticking with Salman Rushdie as the person to open the fair, with the Iranians threatening to boycott the event if they went ahead with their plans.  And kudos to Mr Rushdie’s outspokenness against censorship.

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Book Obsession

(Courtesy of lib.utah.edu)
(Courtesy of lib.utah.edu)

My husband and I needed to clear a room, which meant I had to get rid of some books.  I was heartbroken when I took three boxes filled to the brim to our local library.  I couldn’t possibly bring myself to trash them, and although I can’t enjoy them anymore, I’m glad that most of them at least will get a new home and lots of new readers.

Thank goodness we still have one bookcase in the living the room that is filled with books – two rows on each shelf.  I wouldn’t be surprised if late one night we are woken up by the whole thing crashing down.  I wonder how many of them I will ever read again?  Probably just a handful, but their presence comforts me, and I like the idea that I could lend them to friends and family who haven’t had the joy of reading them yet.

Yes, I suppose I’m obsessed, but this quote shows me that I’m not alone:

Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it.

-Jeanette Winterson

Vanessa