Write It Sideways Excerpt Critique Submission Guide

by Suzannah Windsor Freeman

Hand writing paper

The results are in.

Earlier this week, you answered poll questions about your genres of interest, and about a potential peer-critique feature on Write It Sideways.

The results for favourite genres of interest in our community are:

  • Fantasy 44%
  • Young Adult 40%
  • Literary 35%
  • Mystery 35%
  • Women’s Fiction 23%
  • Science Fiction 23%
  • Romance 19%
  • Other 19%
  • Suspense 14%
  • Children’s Fiction 9%

78% of you were interested in submitting an excerpt, and 83% of you said you were willing to critique others’ work.

Opinions on frequency of critiques were split between weekly (46%) and every two weeks (43%). Although ‘weekly’ won by a fraction, I’ve been leaning toward running this feature every second week during the trial period. Once the kinks are worked out, we’ll see if the majority would still prefer weekly critiques.

Thank you to those who’ve made suggestions on how to make this run smoothly. I’ve taken all your ideas into account, which is why some of the final details differ from my original ideas.

How to Submit

Submissions will be open for 48 hours: Thursday, June 24th at 8 am EST, until Saturday, June 26th at 8 am EST.

  • During this submission period, please send only adult or YA fantasy, literary, or mystery. (Genres will rotate, but this is to help manage the number of submissions.)
  • Excerpts should be approximately 250 words long (but don’t stop in the middle of a sentence).
  • Paste your excerpt into the contact form. Your name and email address are required in the form, but excerpts will be published anonymously on the blog.
  • Please only send one excerpt during a submission period. If your excerpt isn’t used, you can send it again during the next call. If your excerpt is used, please refrain from submitting a new piece for at least 2 months afterward.
  • It is recommended you do not send an excerpt of something you intend to submit for publication or a writing contest. More on that here.
  • If I decide to post your excerpt for critique, I will let you know via email. If you don’t hear back from me, please assume your excerpt won’t be used this time around. You’re free to send it again next time.

Rules and Guidelines

  1. Subscribe. Before you submit a piece of writing for critique, please make sure you’re subscribed to Write It Sideways (by either email or RSS), to ensure you don’t miss your writing being posted.
  2. Respect. The purpose of this feature is to give encouragement and constructive criticism to aspiring writers. That means feedback should be given with a spirit of helping each other. Any rude or disparaging comments will be deleted.
  3. Give back. Submit your writing only if you’re willing to give back by critiquing others’ work. A few people indicated in the poll that they would be interested in submitting their own work to be critiqued, but would not be interested in giving feedback to other people. While I appreciate voters’ honesty, I don’t think that’s fair to everyone else.
  4. Polish. Please don’t send unpolished work in an attempt to be first in line. If this trial period works out, I plan to continue peer-critiques for the long haul. There will be plenty of opportunity to submit when your writing is ready.
  5. Keep it clean. I won’t use any submissions that contain offensive material. Keep them PG.

I’ll read through the excerpts and choose ones I think we can all learn the most from. The first excerpt will be posted later next week.

If you have questions, please leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you soon.

Can’t wait to read your submissions!

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