My personal essay, The Importance of a Penis, was a top 10 finalist in the Boulder Writers' Workshop Make Me Laugh Writing Contest. The final round was judged by legendary TV comedy writer Gene Perret. Ultimately I was invited to read the piece aloud earlier this year.
It had made it through their screening process and was accepted for publication. Then the committee of writer/reader peers that put together the magazine reviewed each piece. My review was mostly negative, which is yet more proof to me that taste is subjective. The following is my first "bad" review of a published piece. My skin is already super-duper thick after so many years of being a writer, but it did surprise me to have a magazine pick up work despite what was considered flawed. It seems there were varying opinions about it. One more piece of evidence that opinions on the strength of writing can be subjective.
"Given that this is a book club with members accustomed to Chinese Traditions and Writings, the story felt hackneyed to some, heartfelt to others. Unfortunately the writing was staccato in style, more akin to disjointed pieces of text stuck together than the expected flow of a well-constructed short story. While the vocabulary and grammar lacked precision (for example, many of our readers were turned off by the author’s use of the word ‘hubby’) some of the analogies and descriptive language seemed unique. Although the basic premise of the story would be considered solid if indeed it reflected a personal experience, the author should have paid more attention to its pace and flow. There was general agreement the story lacked maturity in style and flow."
One's man junk is another man's entertaining story.
-- from the Inkpot