Fictionpress Penname: Julietish
Most Embarrassing Moment: Too many to describe.
One Book You Think Everyone Should Read: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
What You Look For When Judging: Character-driven stories. Polished grammar.
Pet Peeves When Judging: It's easier to write poor dialogue than well-crafted dialogue, especially when interspersing it with the dialogue tags and descriptions. When there is a long stream of short dialogue and a serious lack of tags, it's hard to look at and process. It makes it much more difficult to understand the characters themselves.
Writing Advice:I strongly believe that the more you read, the better you get. Also, you can't improve if you're not writing, so write, write, write.
Random Facts: I'm Hispanic. I have played violin for nearly half of my life. Lastly, Juliet is a pseudonym.
Fictionpress Penname: Mr. Ree
Most Embarrassing Moment: I'm actually not sure about this, though I'm pretty sure it has something to do with me being too drunk and thinking I'm not too drunk.
One Book You Think Everyone Should Read: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster is definitely a book that all humans should read, regardless of age, gender, etc. etc. It's a pretty deep children's book about being bored and wasting time and I just think that anyone who reads it will look at the world in a different light.
Do You Write?: Very badly.
What You Look For When Judging: Aside from the obvious (grammar, etc.) I want to see something that I'd enjoy the second time around, because those are the best stories around. But more specifically, I love characters who drive the plot, not the other way around. I love originality. There are so many stories being told that are the same as loads of others, same characters and events basically,and I like the ones that go against that.
Pet Peeves When Judging: I know it's weird, but I lose my mind every time I see someone write "anyways" instead of "anyway," because "anyways" isn't an actual word. Random POV changes drive me bananas, and so do author's notes in the middle of chapters. Punctuating dialogue incorrectly kind of puts me off, too.
Writing Advice: I've seen so much good writing advice and methods over the years, and I have to say that most important thing I've taken from that is try these methods! You never know what's going to happen when you make your brain do something different. I recently saw something about not re-writing, not editing, and I think it's the best idea I've ever heard. I'll be saying the same thing about something else I've heard in about a week's time.
Random Facts: I love Europe, especially England. My hope is to one day speak English, French, Cantonese, Italian, and Greek; I already speak two of them fluently and am learning the third, so here's hoping. I'm majoring in journalism. I love love love fashion, music, and art because I think creativity is the savior of man. I'm probably too spontaneous which is probably why I can never ever finish anything (ever). Anything unorthodox makes me happy.
Fictionpress Penname: Freekydisaster18
Most Embarassing Moment: Truthfully, my life is filled with embarrassing moments that I don't actually get embarrassed by them any more – now isn't that a bad sign? However, I will always remember the time in university when we had a party in the study room. This is back in the beginning weeks so it was an ice breaking party; you know the type, come meet the other residents in halls and make friends! Well we all got pretty wrecked on house vodka (paint stripper if there ever was another demon!) and I woke up the next morning in my bedroom only wearing my tee shirt and no jeans. To this day, we still don't know where my jeans have gone but it sure did break the ice! My friends and I still laugh (it's only four years later but oh well) about it and I think they'll probably tell my children.
One Book You Think Everyone Should Read:
Do You Write?: RomanceWhat You Look For When Judging: I look for a few things and they are: strong character development; realistic dialogue; believable drama; and tidy grammar.
Pet Peeves When Judging: A few things that I dislike when reading are: an unbalanced ration between narration and dialogue, IMO the more dialogue the better!; unrealistic dialogue between characters as if people never share conversations ever in their life; point of view changes that aren't obvious so you have to reread the chapter over and over again to understand; and finally, layout errors. Star or line out a paragraph break when we're changing time or place, please!
Writing Advice: I'm full of advice but I rarely follow it... Typical right? Here goes: Never follow a strict plan. Have a loose spider web of ideas and expand on them. That way you're not stressing because something you've thought of no longer fits in. The flow is always key. Handwrite notes in different colours, in every direction of the page and just make the page a damned mess! It'll help get the writing started and you'll feel much better for it.
Random Facts: I'm allergic to cosmetics, I have a scar running from the centre of my lip down to my chin from when I fell off the toilet as a child (I was dancing on it to keep my sister amused) and caught it on the step we used and I'm obsessed with crime shows.
Fictionpress Penname: Stuck in bed
Most Embarrassing Moment: (I actually had to ask my mum because I’d completely forgotten all of them. Voluntary amnesia is nice.) A few years ago, my school did sport sessions at this local gym, and so we were obviously not the only ones using it. I was the first one to arrive with my friends and when I opened the door, there was a group of elderly men using it (the changing rooms were interchangeable gender-wise). I don’t remember exactly what I did - it was a blur - but apparently I made this inhumane sound and slammed the door shut (the latter an extremely wise move). I was reminded of this for a long, long time by my classmates.
One Book You Think Everyone Should Read: 1984 by George Orwell
Do You Write?: Lately I've been writing more. I'm sort of writing a mystery/crime romance story. I've also got a number of one shots going on.
What We Look For When Judging: Something realistic. An emotional drive. I can't get involved in a story if I keep remembering I'm the reader - I need to feel and experience what you're showing (not telling) me.
Pet Peeves When Judging: Random change in characterisation just to move along a plot. More than one POV. Bad grammar. Love interests that just happen to be very, very rich.
Writing Advice: “You can fix anything but a blank page.” - Nora Roberts
Random Facts: I love skiing and watching movies. I have an odd passion for family trees and sweaters. Everything about the ocean freaks me out, which is why I advocate going to the mountains during the summer.
Fictionpress Penname: fellintothemoon
Most Embarrassing Moment My life is one big embarrassing moment.
One Book You Think Everyone Should Read: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Do You Write?: Sometimes, but it’s hard to keep myself focused.
What You Look For When Judging: Memorable characters, realistic dialogue, engaging plot.
Pet Peeves (Dislikes) When Judging: Abusive relationships, slut shaming, self-entitlement, stiff dialogue, misogyny, poor world building, 2D characters.
Writing Advice: “Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.” -Meg Cabot
Random Facts About You: I have my nose pierced. I really like turtles, coffee, waffles, Irish accents, Sailor Moon, Adventure Time, and slime videos. I frequently marathon TV shows.
Location: Sydney, Australia
Fictionpress Penname: rosieroo
Most Embarrassing Moment: When I was taking a class as a ski instructor and I fell over in my uniform in front of all my kids and other randoms. They all then skied down the rest of the hill screaming 'INSTRUCTOR WIPED OUT!' so everyone knew!
One Book You Think Everyone Should Read: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. It's without a doubt the best example of an incredible fantasy book.
Do You Write?: I most definitely do! I love writing fantasy the best, as well as romance and slash.
What You Look For When Judging: I always look for an original story with an author that writes beautifully. It helps if the story is memorable as well, the characters likeable/3D and the writing emotive.
Pet Peeves (Dislikes) When Judging: I can't stand a story that is corny and makes me cringe, mainly when things that are so utterly unbelievable are happening. I also dislike it when the author can't use punctuation at all and when he/she confuses words that sound the same - like 'apart'/'a part' and 'accept'/'except'. I can overlook the whole their/there/they're and your/you're pretty easily as they can be common! 'Anyways' instead of 'anyway' pretty much ruins everything for me.
Writing Advice: I've found that the best way to improve your writing is to read widely. It's always hard to capture a whole personality into words and not fall into stereotypes (as I sometimes do), so I suggest planning out your character before writing, as well as the key points of your plot. I don't believe in the whole 'just let the words flow out' idea - I am 100% all for the 'force out what you can until it gets easier, and then you can edit later'. That's why I love NaNoWriMo so much!
Random Facts: I'm studying journalism/international studies at university, will be spending 2015 studying in China, work at an organic food market, and am a ski instructor.
Staff banners made by Melissa, with the exception of her banner, which was made by Marta.