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larissa kozak

Hi,
Does anyone know the site TheNextBigWriter.com? They offer to provide critiques for their members. How safe is it to post your work on their site? Has anyone had any experience with that site?

Thanks a lot!

Larissa Kozak
 

ATP

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Might I suggest to the mod that this post be transferred to B & BC forum?
 

JerseyGirl1962

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larissa kozak said:
Hi,
Does anyone know the site TheNextBigWriter.com? They offer to provide critiques for their members. How safe is it to post your work on their site? Has anyone had any experience with that site?

Thanks a lot!

Larissa Kozak

Larissa,

It looks like you have to pay to join - you need an account to access chapters, etc. That's what you want (it means that not just anyone dropping by can look at your stuff). From that perspective, it's very good.

As I didn't take a thorough look at the site, my only other question is if they have a free period where you can check it out. In other words, do they give you a week or a month to see if you like the crits (if they seem on the up-and-up, they're way too rah-rah, or if they bash the heck out of your stuff)? The one that I joined has such a feature (free for a month), and they also allowed you to put up a chapter or a short story to see if you liked the crits you received.

I don't have anything good or bad to say about the site since I don't use it, but it seems legit.

Good luck!

~Nancy
 

larissa kozak

Thank you very much, Nancy!

Could you recommend me a site which you use and thought it was good?

Larissa Kozak
 

JerseyGirl1962

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JanDarby said:
Miss Snark has a a couple entries dealing with this site. Scroll down to the entry entitled "step on up and fork over your cash." There's also a follow-up post a few days later.

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006_01_15_misssnark_archive.html

If the link doesn't work, go to misssnark.blogspot and the archives for 1/15/06- 1/21/06.

JD

Wow, Jan - I didn't realize they also publish stuff (unless I read the comments in the blog incorrectly). What's up with that?

I really should've looked thru the entire site, but today was a busy day, and I didn't have time (glad someone else did, though :)).

Larissa,

I belong to the OWW, the Online Writing Workshop. I'll admit, there are no claims of having Pulitzer winners or anything like that, but they do report when people have sold shorts and novels (for example, Elizabeth Bear, who currently has 3 books published, and I think just recently got another 2 or 3 book deal). Oh, and they don't have a publishing or editing arm, etc.

The website is here: http://sff.onlinewritingworkshop.com/

BTW, it's strictly for spec fic (SF, fantasy, horror).

A free one that I've heard is good (lots of different genres):

http://www.critiquecircle.com

They also have a paid option, but you don't have to pay to join.

Hope that helps.

~Nancy
 

larissa kozak

Dear friends! Thank you very much again! It's so great to be a member of a site where people are so generous to share advice! I’m just a beginner and I really appreciate your help!
 

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There are some ups and downs with this site. Yes, you have to pay a fee, which is good in that it does help prevent just anyone from entering the site. You can pay a small trial membership fee or sign up for a whole year. One downside is that a few times my boyfriend's credit card (he got me the membership as a birthday gift) was charged twice in the same month, once even after we had notified our intention to cancel. This could have been an honest error, however.

You have to review the works of others in order to receive credit to post your own work. There are several regular and terrific reviewers whose advice I found helpful. But I also found the site a bit "cliquish" in that it seemed certain writers were merely patting one another's backs and that you pretty much have to be accepted into this clique to really get your work noticed at all. A downside is that once a writer gets a certain amount of "reputation" on the site, readers will automatically click on selections posted by that writer to review them, thus elevating that piece to the top of the popularity polls when, in fact, many more deserving pieces may go unread or with little attention. The review system in itself can get to seem a bit cliquish, with writers simply granting "five star reviews" to a piece in order to reach their own review quota so they can post their own new piece as quickly as possible. (A problem that even the site moderator has addressed on more than one occasion).

I also found the formatting extremely frustrating, though I still can't say to this day if the fault was with their system or my own files (I suspect the latter, as I always have problems when I cut and paste my Word documents). No matter what I did, my stories would always end up looking weird on the site, with odd line breaks, etc. And then, the most frustrating of all, when people reviewed my stories, they would take up almost the entire review commenting on my story's format, rather than the content (as if I were an illiterate idiot with no idea how to type a story in standard format). I finally gave up in frustration, although there were many writers on there who kept telling me just to hang in there and work with it, that I would "get it" eventually. But I did, after one night when I literally spent hours re-formatting a document to post, only to have it (once again) look like sh** once it was posted. I was practically in tears. Obviously, it was a glitch I was never able to get a handle on, though as I said I still can't say if the fault was with their system or mine.

But a lot of people evidently are able to use the site without any such problems. And, if you have the time to invest in writing meaningful reviews, it can be a fun and constructive site (and even a bit addicting, because once you start posting you'll be curious to check your story's ranking, which is updated daily).

If you are simply posting work for critique, it is not considered the same as being published (no moreso than posting on the "Share Your Work" forum here). However, they do offer periodic contests with real cash prizes and opportunities for real publication. I don't know how satisfied any of the "winners" have been with the actual follow-up on these contests, but I would assume they are legit.
 

Angelinity

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it's a pretty good site

larissa kozak said:
Hi,
Does anyone know the site TheNextBigWriter.com? They offer to provide critiques for their members. How safe is it to post your work on their site? Has anyone had any experience with that site?

Thanks a lot!

Larissa Kozak

hi, larissa,

it's a pretty good site, and getting better - if you don't mind paying for membership. i've been a member there for about six months, and i can say that my writing had improved as a result.

you can try it out on a monthly basis, and opt out if it's not to your liking.

however, i'm shopping around - hence i'm here - to find some 'fresh' eyes for my work. it's always good to get new perspectives ;-P
 

HapiSofi

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I'll admit to a prejudice. The site's proprietor got into a couple of brangles with Miss Snark after MS had reproduced 200-word chunks of the site's two top-rated submissions. As MS pointed out, neither was exactly stellar.

The owner of TheNextBigWriter.com immediately turned up with her fur on end, saying that what Miss Snark had done was illegal and morally offensive. I was dismayed. The owner of a critique site should have a better grasp of "fair use for purposes of review." She should also hesitate before calling a critique "morally offensive."

But what set off my prejudices was that she then referred to the "Pulitzer-nominated reviewers" she had on her site. That's when I stopped reading, because she'd permanently lost all credibility with me.

Any time you see someone bragging about being nominated for the Pulitzer, you can be sure that they're either a fraud or a sucker. Anyone can be nominated for the Pulitzer. The competition is wide open. All you have to do is send in the forms and the entry fee. A dog could get nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Either she knew that, and was participating in the fraud, or she knew so little about the writing world that she'd brag about having reviewers who made that claim. Either way, she'd lost me.

As I say, it's a prejudice of mine. I'm sure it's possible for someone who'd brag about Pulitzer Prize nominations to otherwise be a good, useful, caring person. But there are a lot of writers' sites out there where you can get critiqued; and given a choice, I'd just as soon go with one that's run by someone else.
 

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HapiSofi said:
I'll admit to a prejudice. The site's proprietor got into a couple of brangles with Miss Snark after MS had reproduced 200-word chunks of the site's two top-rated submissions. As MS pointed out, neither was exactly stellar.

Actually, the chunks were posted by a snarkling in the comment thread.
 

blackbird

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HapiSofi said:
I'll admit to a prejudice. The site's proprietor got into a couple of brangles with Miss Snark after MS had reproduced 200-word chunks of the site's two top-rated submissions. As MS pointed out, neither was exactly stellar.


You have to keep in mind, however, that these were people who had posted their work on theNextBigWriter, in good faith, for critique purposes. This was the point Sol was making. It is understood that this is not necessarily polished work. People are looking for comments and feedback to improve their work. While I have some of my own issues with the site (as per my previous post in this thread) I agree totally with the proprietor on this one. It was not right for some outsider to come along, take those posted works out of context, and re-post them as some sort of exemplification of the "quality" of work to be found on the site. Imagine if you posted work here, on the "Share Your Work" forum, to get feedback, then next thing you know, someone is using your work as an example to say, "The writing posted on Absolute Write.com really sucks, this is an example of the best they have to offer...". If you can picture such a scenario, you are getting the idea. Now, granted, I think that reviewer's real beef was the fact that these works were being touted as "5 star review" works. However, those decisions are made by popular vote among the site's readers. If it's not top quality work, well, that just goes back to what I was saying about the whole cliquishness of the site, which is a problem unto itself. But that still doesn't justify what this person did by singling out those works as an excuse to blast the entire site, when the real purpose is to get help for work that is still in development.
 

HapiSofi

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blackbird said:
You have to keep in mind, however, that these were people who had posted their work on theNextBigWriter, in good faith, for critique purposes. This was the point Sol was making. It is understood that this is not necessarily polished work. People are looking for comments and feedback to improve their work.
Sorry, I have to disagree with you. If you put your writing out in a public forum (which TheNextBigWriter.com is, even if it charges for memberships), people are going to react to it. If your writing is unpolished, it ought not come as a surprise that others think it's unpolished.
While I have some of my own issues with the site (as per my previous post in this thread) I agree totally with the proprietor on this one. It was not right for some outsider to come along, take those posted works out of context, and re-post them as some sort of exemplification of the "quality" of work to be found on the site.
Actually, it was. Those works had been held up as the best to be found in the forum. What's the point, if not to point them out as exemplifying the quality of the work to be found there? And if putting your words out in public makes you liable for feedback, receiving public recognition for it pretty much guarantees that.
Imagine if you posted work here, on the "Share Your Work" forum, to get feedback, then next thing you know, someone is using your work as an example to say, "The writing posted on Absolute Write.com really sucks, this is an example of the best they have to offer...". If you can picture such a scenario, you are getting the idea.
I can picture it. I'd be miffed at their approach and their judgement. I wouldn't tell them they had no right to do it.

By the way, did you notice how little criticism the pieces were given? The review was almost entirely quoting without comment. The criticisms that were made were few and mild, and not unjustified. The scenario you draw goes far beyond what actually happened.
Now, granted, I think that reviewer's real beef was the fact that these works were being touted as "5 star review" works.
I agree; that was the point of the review. As such, the excerpts and comments were entirely pertinent to the issue under discussion: "For forty bucks a year, you can have access to a site where these two pieces of writing are hailed as the best there is."
However, those decisions are made by popular vote among the site's readers. If it's not top quality work, well, that just goes back to what I was saying about the whole cliquishness of the site, which is a problem unto itself. But that still doesn't justify what this person did by singling out those works as an excuse to blast the entire site, when the real purpose is to get help for work that is still in development.
Sorry, I still disagree. Demonstrating that that level of quality was what got the highest ratings on the site was extremely informative. It was fair use, it was done for purposes of review, and like a well-designed experiment it zeroed in on exactly the characteristics of the site that Miss Snark's readers most needed to know about. I don't see anything inappropriate there.

And then there's the matter of those "Pulitzer-nominated reviewers." If you feel like essaying a sympathetic explanation of that circumstance, I'm all ears.
 

blackbird

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And then there's the matter of those "Pulitzer-nominated reviewers." If you feel like essaying a sympathetic explanation of that circumstance, I'm all ears.[/quote]

No, I'm actually in agreement with you there.
 

James D. Macdonald

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HapiSofi said:
Any time you see someone bragging about being nominated for the Pulitzer, you can be sure that they're either a fraud or a sucker. Anyone can be nominated for the Pulitzer. The competition is wide open. All you have to do is send in the forms and the entry fee. A dog could get nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Not strictly true. There are Pulitzer Prize nominees, or, more accurately, Nominated Finalists. They are the (generally three) top contenders in each category as chosen by the juries, from whose ranks the winners are selected.

Their names, year by year, are listed on the Pulitzer site. For example, the Nominated Finalists for Fiction for 2006 were E. L. Doctorow for The March, Geraldine Brooks for March, and Lee Martin for The Bright Forever. March by Geraldine Brooks was the winner.

Many, many of your less-than-stellar folks claim to be nominees when they are, in fact, entrants. To make a submisison, you need to send in four copies of your work and fifty dollars, and fill out a form. Submissions are not listed anywhere, and anyone can make one.

Or, you could save the fifty bucks and just claim that you sent in the four copies. No one can check up on you.

The usual thing is: claim to be a nominee, actually be an entrant. Or be a fraud entirely, with no way of proving it that you'd never submitted.

I'll bet you a nice lunch that the so-called Pulitzer nominees aren't on the list of Nominated Finalists that you'll find over at http://www.pulitzer.org/


--------------

Turning now to the subject of this thread: what's the beef? These folks posted their work for review and critique, they got a review and critique.
 
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HapiSofi

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That's a funny idea, that you could fraudulently claim to be a Pulitzer nominee/entrant.

I know they've added the Nominated Finalist category, but those are demi-Pulitzers. The likes of E. L. Doctorow don't hang out doing online critiques of newbie writers.
 

Jaben

Originally Posted by HapiSofi
If you put your writing out in a public forum (which TheNextBigWriter.com is, even if it charges for memberships), people are going to react to it. If your writing is unpolished, it ought not come as a surprise that others think it's unpolished.


It actually says it's a private site and it requires registration to view any of the material.

TheNextBigWriter is a dynamic, supportive private community where writers post their work to receive detailed feedback from other writers and readers.

About TheNextBigWriter

Originally Posted by HapiSofi
Demonstrating that that level of quality was what got the highest ratings on the site was extremely informative. It was fair use, it was done for purposes of review, and like a well-designed experiment it zeroed in on exactly the characteristics of the site that Miss Snark's readers most needed to know about. I don't see anything inappropriate there.

Putting aside the fact that it was wrong to do, I'm not sure how lifting one 200 word excerpt can be used to judge a book in the process of being privately workshopped, let alone the quality of an entire site. Hardly sounds like a rigorous or well-intentioned experiment to me.

The author made the first chapter of her novel publically available for those that wish to decide for themselves.

http://www.thenextbigwriter.com/competition/nancy_boy.html



The site just paid out their $5,000 prize and the writer received some decent publicity. Many of the authors on the site are getting published.
 
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soloset

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Jaben said:
The site just paid out their $5,000 prize and the writer received some decent publicity. Many of the authors on the site are getting published.

The issue of legality/morality (not the same thing, by the way) has been hashed to death on that blog thread and summed up nicely in this one.

Either way, it was terribly unattractive for a horde of members from that site to descend frothing on the blog comments thread, spewing vitriol and misinformed opinions on fair use all over the place.

I wouldn't want to be part of a community like that -- some of those posters were barely literate.

So, give us some info, since good news is always pleasant; who is being published, and where? And congratulations to the lucky winner -- how many contestants were there, out of curiousity?
 

Booksie Guy

[Display site] Booksie.com / LitLink

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Take a look.


http://www.booksie.com
 

Lance_in_Shanghai

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Good for the reader. Not very good for the writer. I don't see any way to promote the product. Where are the cover images, links to retail listings? It seems not much more than a collective blog, text only.
 

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