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View Full Version : Experience with Critters Workshop?


HoraceJames
01-23-2009, 03:48 AM
Have any of you horrorheads had an experience with this outfit? My local writers group sort of disintegrated, and I've been working in a vacuum. (It's quiet but the headaches are killing me.)

Alan Yee
01-23-2009, 03:54 AM
I have been inactive for a while at Critters, but I must say the feedback I got for my stories was very helpful. They have a large number of published writers who are members there, and there's enough people there that you're definitely going to get several critiques for your story once it's submitted for critique. You do have to submit critiques on a regular basis in order to have your work critiqued, but it will be well worth it.

DeleyanLee
01-23-2009, 04:05 AM
I don't write Horror (unless Dark Fantasy counts), however I joined Critters several years ago. I wasn't impressed. I liked the way it was set up, the fact that they did a good job of spelling out how things worked, etc, right up front. That was very positive.

I didn't mind having to earn the right to get something critted by giving crits, but when I finally got comments on my work not a one of the 22 crits I got even came close to hitting what an editor rejected it for.

The reason I quit it is because I went through almost three months, reading through the number of things they sent me to crit as well as the ones I was sent and, frankly, there was so much shit that I couldn't find anything to comment on. Well, not without getting into a litany of basic information (this is how a sentence/paragraph is formed--I'm talking basics) or having to give a crit longer than the story itself. It was highly frustrated and I finally couldn't take it anymore.

I know that some people really like it and found a place there. It just wasn't for me.

JeanneTGC
01-23-2009, 06:56 AM
HJ, why not go over to AW's Beta Forum and see if you can find some helpful and interested beta readers? I'd, personally, be lost without mine. (Note: You may not have mine. They are MINE. MINE, do you hear me? MINE! They may not beta for any others because they are MINE, MY preciouses!)

*ahem*

Beta readers, very useful, check out the Beta Forum here.

HoraceJames
01-23-2009, 04:03 PM
HJ, why not go over to AW's Beta Forum and see if you can find some helpful and interested beta readers? I'd, personally, be lost without mine. (Note: You may not have mine. They are MINE. MINE, do you hear me? MINE! They may not beta for any others because they are MINE, MY preciouses!)

*ahem*

Beta readers, very useful, check out the Beta Forum here.

I was under the impression that it was mainly for novels, not short stories?

rsmccoy
01-24-2009, 12:04 AM
I was active for a couple of years and while it is a very good group, I found it mostly populated with SciFi and Fantasy writers. Some of the input I got was great, and other times it was weak.

I recommend you check out Cafe Doom's crit group. Around 5 stories get submitted every month the feedback is top notch.

veinglory
01-24-2009, 12:41 AM
I have used critters on and off. I like the option to get a 'dedicated reader' for a whole novel rather than just going chapter by chapter. critiquecircle.com can also be good.

DL Hegel
01-25-2009, 06:32 AM
Have any of you horrorheads had an experience with this outfit? My local writers group sort of disintegrated, and I've been working in a vacuum. (It's quiet but the headaches are killing me.)

Try SYW--here.

I did for a bit but I didn't submit anything. They seemed nice enough. But I don't remember any horror stories--mostly sci-fi and fantasy.

DL Hegel
01-25-2009, 06:34 AM
I was active for a couple of years and while it is a very good group, I found it mostly populated with SciFi and Fantasy writers. Some of the input I got was great, and other times it was weak.

I recommend you check out Cafe Doom's crit group. Around 5 stories get submitted every month the feedback is top notch.

I didn't see this post--Cafe Doom people are really helpful--that is a super idea.

JeanneTGC
01-25-2009, 09:40 AM
I was under the impression that it was mainly for novels, not short stories?
My betas read my shorts as well. (We pause for all the snickering to stop.) It depends on the beta and the writer, really. In many ways, shorts are easier to beta because, well, they're shorter.

Keyan
02-01-2009, 05:56 AM
I was in Critters for years and I loved it. I left a couple of years ago.

I got a range of feedback on my work, much like you'd get from readers (rather than editors). However, that was F/ SF. There's a category for Horror, but I don't know whether that subset is more or less active. I do know when I subbed on story as Horror, it still got a pretty decent set of crits. (Stories are meant to be identified by category, and readers pick the ones they want to crit.

The downside is that the range of stories is also huge. As Deleyan pointed out, some of them are by people at the complete beginner stage of writing. That said, I've seen some *very* good stuff there, including stories I later saw published.

If I wasn't already on three smaller writing groups, I would go back to Critters.

SWickham
02-05-2009, 09:31 PM
I belong to Critters right now...although I am really behind on doing critiques right now. There have been quite a few horror stories on the lists and I've found that those are usually the best stories. It can be hard to find one to critique, there is a wide range of writing levels. When I have had my work critiqued it has been helpful since you can get 10 people saying the same thing so you know you probably need to change it :).

FOTSGreg
02-11-2009, 05:15 AM
I'm a Critter again, after taking most of a year off (and yeah, I'm behind again too). The thing you have to understand is that Critters is a slush pile. The stuff you get pushed onto your desk is what's going to get critted despite you wanting to read somebody else's work.

You don't get to read good stuff at Critters, you gt to read the same kind of crap that editors at magazines and publishers have to read. You get to comment on them in a much more detailed manner than any editor has the time to.

Unfortunately, just as with real editors, the real gems of stories come across your "desk" few and very, very far between.

A. R. Braun
10-14-2011, 02:34 AM
I've been in Critters for quite a while, but I've never had a publication because of their critiques. It's always been other crit groups that led to publications; it's better than nothing, however. They can point out believability issues and other things you missed. It never hurts to have a second pair of eyes. I'm horror, though, and it's mostly sci-fi and fantasy writers, with only 1,2, or 3 horror stories in the queue at any given time. If you're sci-fi and fantasy, I believe it's worth a look. They've had Nebula winners.

quicklime
10-14-2011, 08:31 PM
there have been beta requests specifically FOR shorts over in the beta forum at AW