I got back from NULC (National Undergraduate Literature Conference) a couple weeks ago. It was amazing to get the opportunity to hang out with so many serious writers. It was also gratifying to know that I blew all of the non-serious writers out of the water. There were a few people that went simply to be able to say they went.
No joke, one girl had a two page story about a dog, from a dog's perspective, about not having food or water for almost a week. There were a few problems with the story logistically, but the one that stood out in the minds of my group was the lacking conflict. What pray tell, makes a short story except a conflict? Without a conflict there is no story. On the bright side, Chenoa, a woman from my group, got to finish her entire story because of the extra time.
This was my first time reading any of my prose aloud. It's a fairly unsettling experience. Although, I must admit that I still find reading my own poetry aloud much more jarring. Poetry is a much more direct window into the soul than prose. It's almost impossible to write poetry outside of one's own experience, while my prose is almost entirely outside of my experience (obviously, people must be based on people, whom I've actually met).
My sister totally rocked her poetry reading. I'm ridiculously proud of how well she did. Her tone and attitude was spot on for her pieces.