Why You Should Read Peer Fiction

The Show Off Writing Contest: Dissent Edition is closed. I was very pleased to see twenty-six entries to the competition this month. The judging team and I are going to have a great time reading them all.

As someone who has submitted my own writing many times, I know how vulnerable and scary it feels. I’m proud of you for overcoming fear. Thank you for sharing your work, your art, with the world.

Read Peer Fiction

Photo by Kelly B

Read Your Peers

In my creative writing classes in college, probably the most productive exercise is when we spent the class reading each other’s pieces. Reading the work of your peers causes you to ask two very important questions:

  • How can I write as well as that girl, because I really like her writing?
  • How can I avoid writing like that guy, because I really don’t like his writing?

Reading the work of your peers teaches you to write. It shows you what you like about other people’s work and what you don’t like. You can read published authors too, you can read the classics, but there’s something about reading an in process draft of your peers that helps you see behind the veil of writing at the underlying framework beneath. This is why we ask you to read and comment and a few other practices every day, and it’s why after every writing contest, we give you the chance to step into an editor’s mindset, read a few of the contest entries, and vote for the one you think is the best.


Today, spend some time reading the entries to the Show Off writing contest: Dissent Edition. Then, choose your favorite Dissent story by clicking the “Like” button at the bottom-right corner. While this will play into our decision a little, it’s mostly about giving you the chance to read your peers and think like an editor.

Again, here are the rules:

1. Read at least three Dissent Stories.

2. Vote for the best one by clicking the “like” button at the bottom-right.

3. Pat yourself on the back for getting better at writing by reading!

About Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).

  • Steph

    What a bummer. I thought it closed tonight. I was just finishing mine up )-: .

    • Sorry Steph! Wednesday at 11:59. 🙁

      • Steph

        I just had my dates wrong. Oh well, it wasn’t a winner anyway. At least I plodded through it – there is some value to that! Looking forward to reading some of the others.

        • Marianne Vest

          Darn Step. I always love reading yours. I didn’t do one for this month either.

          • Steph

            And darn back atcha, Marianne! I enjoy your work so much, too. I can only hope that you didn’t submit because you are completely immersed in writing your novel.

  • Love the old pictures of Jeff. : )

  • Steph, joining you in the “bummer” thing, except I took the theme “dissent” and promptly forgot till I got this email!!!!
    My blonde week moves on.
    Almost forgot to bring a pen with me on vacation – severe blondism

    • Steph

      So that’s my problem! And here I’d been blaming my kids…. 🙂

  • Thought maybe the photo was Jeff Goins! LOL! Thanks so much for your faithful encouragement of our writing! You are a blessing!

  • Yvette Carol

    I was on a writing course so that was my excuse. Only problem with that is, now I have no excuse for this month!!