Observations: Put your prose under the knife

By Emma Love
Friday 21 November 2008 01:00

We all know what it's like to receive a healthy dose of constructive criticism – it might hurt a bit, but ultimately it's for our own good. Well, that's certainly the way the co-editors of Bad Idea magazine, Jack Roberts and Daniel Stacey work, and they've recently launched a new monthly debate night, The Butcher's Shop, to prove it.

The event, which takes place at the Old Operating Theatre Museum near London Bridge, involves the editors hacking up (hence the name) submitted short stories and putting them back together again to demonstrate the editing process from raw copy to perfect prose.

Stacey explains: "The main way to improve writing is to accept the editing process, and it's good to do it with other people. Every piece of writing has a point and the debate among the audience is about why the writers made the decisions that they did, what worked and what could be improved. This idea of the writer as untouchable genius is a fallacy."

So if you fancy having your work examined on the operating table (literally), you need to submit a short story of less than 350 words before the next Butcher's Shop night on 27 November. All levels of writing experience welcome.


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