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ROBERT WARD GILMORE writing contest
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I am 56 years old and I work as a data manager in the juvenile prison system in Ohio.

Story: The Trip to Canada


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What is the best writing advice you've ever heard?
I heard it from myself. Don't lead your characters around; if you don't have anything to say more adjectives won't save you.
When you start a new story do you prepare an outline in advance or do you just jump right in?
I know the entire story in my head and writing is the act of converting it from a conversation, an interplay with a person into text.


Lisa Rose

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Your characters are interesting. The story kind of tells you that drugs will get you nowhere, the two brothers end up right where they started with nothing accomplished for the day. I noticed a few typos, but nothing a good proof read wouldn't fix. If you have the time please read my story 'Drift Away' and leave a review to let me know if you liked it.

Teresa Garcia

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Whether or not you like the storyline on this one is going to be a matter of personal taste. If you like character focus, you will like it. If you don't like drugs, then I'm pretty sure you won't like this story. My father was a correctional officer, and he would have used this story to show us why doing anything under the influence of drugs is a bad idea. I personally found this one a little clumsy and hard to read. Some of the sentences need some commas or to be broken up. I note that one sentence begins with an abbreviation. At the beginning of a sentence, it should be "Third shift" and not "3rd shift," which is one of my peeves, but I finished anyway wanting to give the story a full chance since it is short. It does work to signal that the story is told from the point of view of someone under the influence of something mind altering, but if I had this come to my desk in the position of an editor, I would have been making a bunch of recommendations. The story serves as a picture of what it looks like to be stoned and drunk, which can be taken several ways- depending on one's mindset. For some, it will be enough to make them not want to try it for themselves. For others it could be an encouragement, because of thinking it "funny." My interpretation is the former, that I am glad I never went down that road and made myself look so foolish. Morals: 1. Know where you're going, have a plan and directions. 2. Don't attempt to travel high. 3. Remember snacks for your trip. Suggestions: Read your work through several times after finishing it. Read it out loud, where you have a bit of a pause or a full breath make sure you put some sort of punctuation. Spell check in your dialogue also, I found a few places that stumbled me due to misused words.


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Really well-written but the story meanders along with the characters, with no clear plot. Without a plot or any great moral to the story, it doesn't have much to offer aside from insight into the actions of people on drugs.


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Shows you exactly why you shouldn't smoke pot! Read this and you don't ever have to. Because you will know what it's like just by reading this.

Book lover

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I'm sorry...a story about two brothers getting drunk and high, and then driving all around the state and back again? And the only lesson learned is that they need a state map? I feel like I just wasted my time reading this...The one ray of hope I will offer is this...the story was well written. That leads me to believe that the author could write a story that is well written and better thought out if he really wanted to.


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Great stuff


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He writes like a pro. I loved the images, felt as if I were there. Quite a bit better than the 20 or so I read here already. The character's voice of seeming adventure really brings to life his social conditioning to addiction. Hard to do for an amature; have his character stating one thing boldly and clearly and giving us something else, the real story.

Mr. Angst

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I read this and I get sucked right back to then,with all the bleak landscapes and bad ideas money could buy.If my theory is correct and the best laugh is one step short of a desperate cry of anguish,this guy is funny.If I am wrong,he's still funny.


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Ironic, Humoristic,fatalistic but at the same time filled with an indestructible optimism the characters trod forward on their sojourn. A journey, at face, to Canada, or Lima, but in reality a struggle to maintain sanity, purpose and dignity in a not too dignifying or inspiring existence. A story of Survival.

Not Tony

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Really fresh and clean. Gilmore's imagery is superb. His succinct phrasing, economy of words allow the images to form unrestricted by clumsy text. He puts you in a unfamiliar place and lets you live it first hand. You come away thinking it happened to you.

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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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