Want a free manuscript critique worth a market value of approximately $100? Here’s how it works!
At OnlineWritingTips, we’re following the writers’ workshop model that was developed at the University of Iowa in the 1930s, and which is used at universities and writers’ groups around the world. We’ll post an extract of your work publicly and encourage responses from our users (we’ll block anything that isn’t constructive). Then, at the end of the week, you’ll receive feedback from an experienced writing teacher and published novelist, including an annotated version of your text such as this: Mountain of Souls feedback or this: Watching Bees feedback. Your work can appear anonymously, or with your name, writer’s bio, and links to your social media. And it’s all completely free! Check out an example of how it works here or here or here.
What to do
If you’d like to receive a free critique of your novel or short story then please send the following in one word-compatible document:
Under the heading Author information
- How you would like your name to appear (this could be as “anonymous”, as your real name, or as a pseudonym)
- A short bio of no more than 100 words (optional)
- Links to your social media accounts (optional)
- Photo (optional)
Under the heading Description
- A sentence describing the genre and length of the project you’re submitting for critique; for instance, “The Hedgehog in Space is an 80,000 word science fiction comic novel aimed at an adult readership.”
Under the heading Extract
- An opening extract of not more than 1200 words.
Under the heading Synopsis/ blurb
- A synopsis/ blurb of not more than 500 words. Normally a synopsis should always tell the whole story, including the ending. However, since this is going to be published online, you probably don’t want to share any spoilers! So feel free to write this more like a blurb – as long as it gives us some idea of where the novel or story will be going after the opening section. In other words, please be clear who the main characters are and what the central conflict is, but don’t feel you have to explain how that conflict will be resolved.
Please send all of the above in one word-compatible attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject heading should be: Critique Request – [Title of work submitted]
What we don’t read: please don’t send poetry, children’s fiction, play scripts, screen plays, pure erotica, graphic novels, or fan fiction. Sorry! We love that stuff (especially erotica), but we don’t have the expertise to critique it usefully.
We look forward to reading your work!
[By sending your work you give permission for OnlineWritingTips to publish the work as sent on our website. We won’t make any changes to your work before publishing it, except – regrettably – using asterisks to partially conceal any swear words (this is not an attempt to bowdlerize literature; it’s just because of how search engines work). OnlineWritingTips has no other rights regarding the work and copyright remains with the author. The critique service is subject to availability and we cannot guarantee to use all work that is sent to us. Beyond the online publication described above, we will not share your writing or personal details with any third party.]