Monday, July 30, 2007

A sad farewell

The Whitebrook Farm message board is closing. It's a sad day in the land of Thoroughbred.

What is Thoroughbred? It's the ultimate horse series in the YA market. The first ten books are worthy of being studied by any YA writer. The Whitebrook Farm community is simply one of the best there is for fan fiction, and home of some of the most talented writers I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. It's a safe place for girls to indulge a love of all things equine. WBF was also the home of one of the most prolific fan fiction communities that has ever existed outside of ff.net. There are probably close to a thousand stories that have been written and posted to WBF. Some weren't all that great, others were truly magnificent.

I barely scratched the surface in my reading there, but did discover a couple of truly great writers. One went by the screen name of moscowflyer. She's about my age, a journalist in England. With an amazing gift for characterization. Another goes by the name of syrinx. She started it all, and maintained a monstrous archive website, all while going to college. And of course there's Nicole, who's writing grew better and better with every story she wrote. We'd spend hours on AIM brainstorming ideas and tweaking dialog.

And Claire, the webmistress. Without her, we never would have had a place to post all those wonderful stories and talk about horses and racing until we were blue in the face. It's been her decision to close the forum. It hasn't been very active recently. Maybe someday it'll open again.

Two years ago we said good-bye to the series. It was cancelled. That was a sad day too, and a happy day because none of us liked the writing of the last batch of ghost writers. On September 1, we say good-bye to an awesome message board community.

We'll still have a place to get our TB fix, and I need to do some copy and pasting work from the board to make sure I don't lose the wonderfulness of moscowflyer's Charlie series that was dedicated to me. I was her head cheerleader and most loyal reader.

I won my first writing award at WBF, for a Samantha story in the Best TB Fiction category. That was a huge thrill that I'll never forget. I also won a challenge award for a short story. Syrinx would issue challenges with certain things that had to be included in the story, and then she'd pick the best one out of all the entries. I won the Christmas 2004 challenge.

Farewell, Whitebrook. It's been a great ride!

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