Sunday, December 22, 2013

Write This 2013

It has taken me a while to have 6.2 minutes of spare time to put together a post about an end-of-year FSP academic writing contest, but here it is, finally. You probably don't have much time either, so this year's contest has a brevity requirement.

To summarize the last five (5) contests:

I was just thinking about how I finally have some time to work on my own writing, but then I realized I have letters of reference and nomination to write and I have promised to comment on the proposals and manuscripts of some colleagues and I have some manuscript reviews to do. The latter is the inspiration for this year's writing contest: REVIEWS. Specifically, I refer to reviews of manuscripts and proposals.

Reviews can be quite lengthy. In fact, some are longer than the original manuscript (I have only done that a few times). No matter how long and detailed the review, however, some reviewers signal their overall opinion in a few introductory sentences that address the general issues raised in the rest of the review. Is this review going to be mostly positive, negative, or "mixed"?

It is those first few sentences that form the challenge of this year's writing contest.

In 2-4(ish) sentences, write the introduction of a review. Your review can be of any flavor that you wish -- you can write a few sentences of pure scathing venom, you can write a beautiful prose-poem of praise, or you can be passive-aggressive and compliment (faintly) whilst undermining the entire premise of the paper.

I prefer that these reviews be entirely fake, but you can of course use real reviews (that you have written or received) as inspiration, ideally suitably disguised so that no real individual is targeted for insult or humiliation. The point of this exercise is to have fun and entertain with creative writing of the academic sort.

Send your entries to and I will post results intermittently whilst the FSP Family is traveling around an interesting part of the world for the next 2 weeks or so.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is the type of paper that keeps giving to area X its bad name.