So, yes, I'm still reading American Gods, but I just read a blog that sparked a thought in me, so I have actual words on this Wednesday.
So, we writers who are privy (or were forced by the times) to social networking do these things called contests to try to nab an agent for our WIPs. They're very innovative and creative contests, and many of the hosts call on mentors or judges to help the writers along.
Key word in that sentence: HELP.
I've been a victim of this, and the writer of the blog post I'd read actually was crushed by this: there are times when one or two of the judges/mentors *gasp* criticize more than critique what they read.
Key words there: criticize, critique. People forget that there is a difference.
Now 95% of the judges/mentors will be really helpful and give you constructive feedback. Some of it might sting, but you learn from it and make your work better to either try another contest or query an agent/publisher. The other 5% can just be plain out mean. They don't take the time to say, "Hm, this might be just a BIT too harsh. Let me rephrase this."
"Well, if you want to be a writer, you need to grow a thick/tough/adamantium/whatever skin."
That's just lazy and selfish to fall back on. Yes, we have to let some of the critiques roll off our back, but we shouldn't have to bear the brunt of the criticism, especially when it was your job to help a writer who just wants to make it, not beat their self-esteem into a bloody pulp.
Writers aren't robots. We're not androids. Writers are PEOPLE with these things called EMOTIONS and FEELINGS.
Before you put out what you think is a witty or snarky "critique" or even comments you think the writer deserves because you didn't like what they submitted, and they need to know that point blank, remember what it was like when you first started putting your work out there and how crappy you felt when someone was a total douche because they felt they could be.