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Fred Ruark writing contest
Fred Ruark wants to be
America's Next Author!

Fred Ruark

Born in Baltimore. I am retired, four times over, and spend my time now researching and writing a historical novel set in 17th century Ireland. I enjoy listening to and playing Celtic music. I have been happily married for 55 years, have 2 fabulous professional offspring and 4 incredible adult grandkids. Over time, I have enjoyed scuba diving, playing and watching soccer, nature photography, traveling, reading. writing poetry and short stories. I spent much of my career writing technical papers, teaching management, leadership and creative problem solving. I have published short stories and non-fiction articles. I have a BS and an MS from Johns Hopkins U in Baltimore. I am currently involved in acting and directing in community theater.

Story: Labor Problems in Ancient Egypt: A Satire


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?
Considering that writing is a creative endeavor, two things come to mind: 1. "Envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide" Ralph Waldo Emerson in self reliance. 2."Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative" Noel Coward
When you start a new story do you prepare an outline in advance or do you just jump right in?
I believe that 'outlines' per se, are tools of linear thinkers. I prefer to craft my ideas in a mind map, a tool for lateral thinkers. Outlines tend to build barriers to expanding ideas, and frequently have to be rebuilt as ideas expand.
How do you deal with writing criticism, apart from just ignoring it?
I tend to weigh it against other critiques to see if certain criticism is replicated across a broader readership. I then consider it against my motivation for writing the piece in the first place.
America's Next Author has been running for almost 8 weeks. If you could re-submit now, would you change anything about your story?
Perhaps shortening the piece a bit. It has ample examples of corruption, I sense some readers saying, "All right, enough already. I get it !



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The story was totally believable and amusing.

Peter Lahanas

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A very imaginative and cleverly humorous story. I can see this being a movie! It's well written and very entertaining. A great read! Nice job Fred.

Lisa Rose

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As I was reading your story, I didn't want to laugh but couldn't help myself. It was really funny. I did notice a few things about your text. When you write dialogue your punctuation needs to be inside the quotation marks. You wrote: "Chained to an oar", Shahada added with a roar. It should be like this: "Chained to an oar," Shahada added with a roar. Also when you ask a question you don't need the comma. For example you wrote: "What?", the minister screeched. Drop the comma like this: "What?" the minister screeched. I hope this helps. Good luck in the contest. Again, funny. 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. [...]
America's Next Author

#ANA2012 | What Fans Have To Say


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!