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Doward Stevens writing contest
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Doward Stevens

I am a single father who likes to write as a hobby. I love horror and suspense thrillers with unexpected twists. I live in Ohio with my daughter Melody. I am trying to gather enough of my short stories to compile a book for publishing.

Story: D.R.T.


Each week authors will be given a new question to answer which will lend additional insight into their story and writing process. Do you have a question you'd like to see the authors answer? Tweet it to @aNextAuthor!

What is the best writing advice you've ever heard?
Write EVERY day. Eventually you will become good at it.
When you start a new story do you prepare an outline in advance or do you just jump right in?
I jump write in. Whenever I plot something in advance the story ends up turning its own way.
How do you deal with writing criticism, apart from just ignoring it?
Some is good, some is bad. As long as it is given with respect I can accept it.
America's Next Author has been running for almost 8 weeks. If you could re-submit now, would you change anything about your story?
Nope. Constant revisions detract from the original intent of the story.


Fred Ruark

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Doward: Your story was anything but D.R.T. It is alive and well. Your descriptive language and creative use of verbs is entertaining. The quick change of pace between the disastrous landing and "The eagle has landed was skillful. The only touch up maintenance I would recommend is this: All the tech specs on the aircraft - Are you an Air force vet? Even if 100% accurate, totally superfluous to the story. Lose it. All of the omniscient info on the pandemic caused the story to lose some momentum. As a reader, I found myself asking, "Where the is that intel coming from? And finally, I think #14229 would have realized he made a fatal mistake trusting the first person he met when Emory said "Prepare you for surgery." I didn't think #14229 was so pathetic that he submitted to death without a fight. Perhaps believing that his family may have been annihilated, he lost hope... or did Emory lie about that too. Good to leave 'em guessing. I totally enjoyed the read. Imaginative, creative, good stuff


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Really good! I enjoyed this story immensly! Plese kkep writing. the sombre tone was just right, you left us hanging with the horror...all good!

Mike Gasaway

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Gotta love Ohio horror! A very fast read that kept me interested. Interesting dialog as well. Can't wait to read more!

Lisa Rose

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Every man for himself, at the end of the world. This piece is very good. I would have liked more dialogue from prisoner #14429 and that fact that we never knew his name was a give away to me. Everyone knows that the unnamed character is the first to go. But still good, I liked it. If you have the time, please read my story, 'Drift Away' and leave a review to let me know if you liked it.

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Not a great read
December 18th, 2012
The winner of America's Next Author 2012 has been announced! [...]
December 7th, 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
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America's Next Author is the first social writing contest. Friends, family, fans and publishing industry experts will read authors' submissions and nominate their favorite to be America's next major author. Everyone can participate!