A Story of Courage, Tenacity and Dedication

Here in the UK we once had a prime time children’s TV programme called Record Breakers. On said programme, the now sadly departed Roy Castle would play the trumpet over the theme song whilst a chorus of gospel singers (I may be exagerating, but this is how my memory remebers it) sang the shows catch phrase over the top. ‘If you want to be a record breaker, dedications what you need’.

Well, if you really want to see what dedication means, swing over to The Watchtower of Destruction and read in Ferrett Steinmetz own words his story of courage and tenacity. I was there the day in week 5 when the students of Clarion ’08 played their part in pushing Ferrett to his limit and beyond. If souls made a sound when beig crushed, I think it quite likely we might have heard Ferrett’s crack as we delivered our critiques. Being it that room felt like watching a back alley beating, and then realising you were in the gang and it was your turn with the baseball bat. It wasn’t a pleasant expereince, but it was necessary. A Clarion critique can be a brutal, brutal expereince, and without doubt Ferrett took the toughest of our six weeks there.

But Ferrett took that critique, learned the lessons and turned in his best story for week 6. And not only that, Ferrett then went and sold the story to best market in speculative fiction, Asimov’s. I have only one thing to say about that.

Good on you Ferrett. You are the paragon of dedication.


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

One thought on “A Story of Courage, Tenacity and Dedication

  1. This is awesome. And personally embarrassing, remembering all the times I gave up writing a story because of a rough critique, because I’d thought it was good. But I will bookmark this post and refer to it next time I give a story to someone and s/he shreds it, because it will happen. Thanks.



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