Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Submitting Stories
  • Submitting Stories

     How long should my submission be?
    We recommend your submission is at least 300 words and 5000 words at the most.

    If the text is less than 300 words, it's difficult to write a critique long enough to earn a credit — and if the story is very long, critiquing it will be very time-consuming and you are likely to get fewer critiques.

     What is a Full-Manuscript Crit?
    Do you have a novel manuscript on your computer that you would like to receive full crits on rather than chapter-by-chapter or inline crits?
    Are you thinking to yourself that you'd rather just send someone your manuscript in email rather than send it through CC because it's easier?

    If the answer to these are 'Yes' then the Full-Manuscript Crit option might be for you!

    A Full-Manuscript Crit is submitted to a special type of story which is called Attachment Story.

    This story type can be submitted by Premium members and allows them to upload a file which is attached to a story submission. The reviewers can then download this file to give a crit on the entire manuscript from the author.

    The way credits work for these submissions is different than for other stories. If the story is submitted into a creditless queue there are simply no credits involved. However, if the story is submitted into a credit Queue, the author starts by paying 3 credits to submit the story. Then, for each critique received, the author can select to pay 5 to 50 credits to the reviewer on a member-by-member basis.

    This is important: The author of the story pays from their own credits 5-50 credits to the reviewer. Both the author and potential critter need to communicate with each other BEFORE a story is downloaded. This is both so the crit value is agreed upon AND so the author is aware that they have a private queue member working on a Full Manuscript Critique. Each member who reviews the story (which might be in several crits) incurs a cost of this number of credits to the author.

    Note that this only applies to credit Queues. If you want to send your manuscript to someone without paying them credits for it you can put your submission into a credit-less queue and it works exactly the same as if you would have sent it over via email, only more convenient

    An Attachment Story cannot be submitted into the public queues.

    An example of the way this works is the following:

    Submitting an Attachment story
    1. The author starts to submit a story into his personal credit queue
    2. On step 2 of the 'submit story' wizard he checks 'This is an Attachment story'
    3. The author completes the submit story wizard without actually putting the story text in. He pays 3 credits for the submission.
    4. The author clicks 'View the story' on the Submit Story receipt page
    5. The author clicks 'Click here to add an attachment to this story'
    6. The author selects a file from his hard drive (maximum 2MB), for example an MS Word document called mystory.docx and clicks 'Upload file'

    The story is now ready with an attached document. The author can delete the attachment and upload a new one, he can replace it by uploading another file with the same name and he can upload multiple attachments as his edits progress.
    It is important for the author to use the author's notes to give directions to the critters as to which attachments to use and any technical information that needs to be conveyed.

    Critting an Attachment story
    1. The critter clicks on the story and sees the attachments links where the story text is normally. He clicks on mystory.docx and downloads the file to his hard drive.
    2. The critter reads the story in the MS Word document and then critiques the story as he would normally. He chooses a 'classic' crit and submits his a crit of a part of the manuscript. He cannot use inline crits obviously.
    3. The critter continues reading the story in the MS Word document and submits additional classic crits and even a couple of template crits on the story. The critter has received no credits yet.
    4. The author now responds to some of the crits from the critter and attaches a new document with revisions
    5. The critter repeats the procedure and submits few more crits on the revised manuscript until the author is happy with the results.
    6. The author is quite happy with the crits from his critters and clicks 'Click here to distribute credits to reviewers' in the story. He can now select each of the people that sent in crits and transfer the credits from his account to their account.

    You can also submit an Attachment crit on an Attachment story!
    When you're critting an Attachment story you might want to do inline edits on the manuscript document. For example, in MS Word there is an option to 'track changes' and 'add comments' which is quite useful for such a crit and is similar to our own inline crits.

    It is very simple to download the manuscript document from the story, make your edits and then upload this revised document into your crit. Simply click "Critique story", select classic crit, write any text you want to into the crit on CC (you don't need to write anything) and click preview.
    Then, on the preview screen you need to check the option to 'Upload a file with the critique' and click Send.
    Now you can select the revised document from your hard drive and attach it to the critique. Voila, you have now returned the manuscript to the author with any edits that you have.

    Both the critter and the story author can delete attachments from the crit and the critter can add as many attachments to the critique as he wants.

    Please let the CC Admins know if you have any problems with the Full-Manuscript model. This is quite different from what you're used to with the critiquing process on CC. Good luck!

     Can I submit an erotica story?
    Critique Circle does not accept erotica as such into the public queues. You are welcome to set up a private queue for that purpose.

     How long can my Author notes be?
    You can have up to 3000 characters in each of your Author notes, both before and after the story. If you write more text it will be truncated when it's displayed in your story.

    If you are submitting a novel you are able to have twice that amount in each section of your author's notes.

     Preserving formatting from MS Word
    Critique Circle does not support submitting stories directly from your word processor or with any formatting unless you export it first as HTML which you might not want to do as that will not allow you to receive inline critiques.

    There is a way to convert some of the most used formatting from MS Word to CC-compliant text.

    CC supports bold, italics, underline and centered text, and you can convert such text in MS Word to CC formatted text before copy/pasting your text into CC's "Submit Story" window.

    To do that open up your find-replace option in MS Word (Control-H), make sure you are working in a throwaway copy of your manuscript so that you don't accidentally save over it though.

    In the find-replace dialog make sure you have your focus in the "Find What" text box (just click it) and then click on the "More" button, at the bottom of the dialog there is a "Format" drop-down button. Click that and select "Font". Now, select "Font Style">"Bold" and click ok.
    NOTE: There is an easier way You can press control-b to toggle bold, control-i to toggle italics, control-u to toggle underline and control-e to toggle centered. Just remember to have your focus on the "Find what" box and clear out previous formatting before entering a new one (f.ex. it might say "Not Bold", which is not the same as not searching for bold text. In this case you should hit control-b again to clear the bold flag)

    Under the "Find What" text box you should now see "Format: Font: Bold".

    In the "Replace With" text box, enter [ b ]^&[ /b ] (without the spaces) and click "Replace All".

    This will find every piece of Bold formatted text and encase it with [ b ] and [ /b ].

    Do the same with italics, underline and center (that's in the "paragraph" option group). In every case, make sure that the option you had before is no longer selected, so that only bold, italics or centered is shown below the "Find What" text box.
    Even if you have text that is italics _and_ bold you use the same method.

    Here are the codes you want to put into "Replace With":

    Bold: [ b ]^&[ /b ]
    Italics: [ i ]^&[ /i ]
    Underline: [ u ]^&[ /u ]
    Centered: [ c ]^&[ /c ]

    Remember to omit the spaces when you write these in.

    Now that you've done these four changes you can copy the text from your manuscript into CC's "Submit Story" window and voila, you've got (some) formatting

    Note: Although this applies to Microsoft Word you are sure to find similar tricks for other word processors.

     Can I email you a story to see if it is suitable?
    If you're unsure about your story being suitable, please consult a newbie helper. CC has a rule against pornography, beastiality, sex involving minors, copyrighted material and fan fiction, most other material is okay. For more specific information regarding Erotica, please see:

     Can I send 2 short stories to make the minimum word count?
    You can, as long as they are different pieces or stories, and not the same text cut and pasted twice to make the 300 Word Count limit. Remember though, that short pieces can also be put up for review in the 'short text' forum, and critted for free...

     How do I warn Critiquers about the content of my story?
    In step 3 of the story submission process is a text box where you can enter a "Content Advisory" warning. Here, you can enter the type of content you would like your readers to be forewarned about. If you have, mild language, adult situations, sexual innuendo, etc. here is the place to put that warning.

    If you have strong or graphic sexual content (Not Pornography, which is not allowed at CC) or heavy swearing, you can also check the box in step 4 marked "The story contains language/material which might offend readers." This prevents underage member from reading this story. Keep in mind, however, that you cannot use this flag unless your story has explicit material. If the moderatars determine that the flag was used simply to disallow crits from members under 18 year of age, the story may be removed.

    If you have further questions, or you are in doubt as to whether you need either of these, you can always message the Moderators for a review.

     Into what queue should I submit my story?
    There are five public queues on Critique Circle: General, Sci-fi/fantasy/horror, Women's/Chick-lit, Children's/Young Adult and the Newbie Queue.

    The first story you submit to Critique Circle must go into the Newbie Queue. After that, you can choose to move to another public queue that is appropriate for your genre or to submit again to the Newbie Queue. A maximum of three submissions to the Newbie Queue is allowed.

    If you have a YA story you should submit it to that queue, a horror story goes into the horror queue etc.

    We leave it up to you to decide what genre your story belongs to so what queue you should submit to but if a story is clearly in the wrong queue the administrators will move it to the right queue. Remember, posting in the correct queue is likely to mean your story is seen by those most interested in reading/critiquing your genre.

    You must have clear reasons why a story that seemingly belongs to a certain queue has been placed in another.

     Can I submit a nonfiction article?
    Yes, you can.

    When you submit your work, you can select "non-fiction" as "genre".

     If I delete my story from the queue do I get my credits back
    If you remove your story from the Queue before it comes up for review, the credits are restored.
    The same happens if a story is rejected by the Admins.

    A story that has gone through the critique cycle and is in 'older' will yield a refund if deleted only if it has received no critiques.

    So, if you delete your story and it has no crits you should always receive a refund.

     Can I submit texts in languages other than English?
    Yes, you can submit stories in any language — but you may not get many critiques.

     Can I edit my own upcoming story before it is up for review?
    Your story goes through three stages on CC. When you submit the story it goes into the Upcoming section. This is our story queue. In a week or two it will go Up for review at which point people will start to critique it. It stays there for a week and is then put into Older at which point you will stop receiving crits.

    Our Premium Members are able to revise their story while they are in the Upcoming section of the queue - before they are in review.

    Only Premium Gold Members are able to revise their story while they are Up for review.

    Everyone can then revise their story after it hits the Older section.

    Non-premium members who want to edit their story while it's in the queue and before it comes up for review will need to remove the story and submit a new one.

     When can a story be hidden?
    As soon as a story finishes its critique cycle it can be hidden or deleted by the author.

    For period Queues the story goes into Older stories when its time (usually a week) is over, but for period-less Queues you have to manually put the story into Older Stories before hiding it.

     Why has the formatting gone wrong when I submit a piece?
    The layout of CC was designed with Internet Explorer 5 and later versions in mind, so if you are using an older version than IE5, you might run into some problems.

    Some other browsers (Opera, Mozilla etc.) are also not fully compatible. You might experience some problems with Macintosh computers as well.

    As we're constantly striving for making CC as browser-friendly as possible we strongly urge you to contact us if there is reason to believe that CC doesn't render well in the browser you're using.

     Can I have multiple stories in the Queues?
    Yes. Each concurrent submission after the first one has an additional cost so the more you submit the more you have to crit.

    For more information see this faq entry.

     What if my story isn't suitable for teens?
    We can mark your story so that children and teenagers don't have access to it, but of course that depends on them giving us their age, which not all choose to do.

    There is also a red lettered warning about it being adult oriented on top of the story.

    If you're concerned, we also recommend that you use the Content Advisory box to warn people. That way there are at least no nasty surprises.

     Practical instructions: submitting a story
    To send a story:
    1. Click Stories -> Submit story in the top menu
    2. Pick a queue for your story (newbie queue for your first story)
    3. Copy and paste your story in the window.
    4. Choose type of story and genre.
    5. Fill out title (working title is fine) and author's notes (optional)
    6. Choose who can read your story: all members; all who have ever critted, or only those who have critted in the last month. You'll see how many are in each group.
    7. Decide whether or not you want public discussion about your story after the crit period is over.
    8. Click Preview
    9. If everything looks okay (please check!) click send, else click edit

    That's it! Your story will appear in your story list in the "My Stories" page under "Story Queue".

    Please let us know if any of these steps are unclear.

     Does the Critique Circle accept any type of material?
    As long as the material is your own and not in violation of copyright almost everything is acceptable, with the following exceptions:

    No Fan-fiction
    No Poetry (however, you can submit poetry to the Poetry forum for discussion and feedback)
    No Pornography
    No Bestiality
    No Sex scenes involving minors
    No Over-the-top gore
    No Explicit sex (see more below)

    Our position on Erotica:

    In the public queues, Erotic Romance (racy but the heart of the story is a Romance, not Erotica) stories are fine, as long as they are always accompanied with the appropriate adult content ratings. However, even with the 18 years of age adult content marker, CC is a multicultural melding pot where ages of majorities differ, and we ask that anything stronger (Erotica, bondage, domination, etc) are only submitted to the Romance queue if the submissions falls within the guidelines or to private queues at the request of Erotica private queue owners. In this we must err on the side of caution to protect minors and other CC members who may not wish to accidentally come across Erotica in the public queues.

    To find private queues that cater to Erotica, check the classifieds (link is on the bottom of the story queue page). Note that the classifieds change and/ or some Erotic queues may not be advertized but could still have openings. To find other members who also write this genre, search the members profiles for the tag word, 'erotica' or search the forums for the tag word, 'erotica.'

    Our position on Explicit Sex:

    There is a fine line between racy sex scenes and Explicit Sex. Most content we see coming through CC that contains sex is perfectly fine, provided it comes with a adult rating. There are several things that can take a sex scene and put it into the Explicit Sex category, which we do not want to see in the public queues. These are some possible indicators of what we consider to be explicit sex:

    —When crude language is use for shock value to describe the sex act
    —Graphic & copious play-by-play of sexual positions
    —Sex where one or more parties are demeaned
    —Explicit description of anatomy that is solely written with titillation in mind, rather than to show emotional deepening/plot
    —Stuff involving feces or other non-sexual bodily fluids
    —Sex with a violence aspect (bondage, domination, etc)

    If your work falls in the Explicit Sex category, then please check the Romance queue guidelines to see if it is acceptable there or submit it to the private erotic queues only, after securing an invite by the queue owner.


    CC reserves the right to remove any stories that do not adhere to our guidelines. If stories are discovered and deemed inappropriate before they go into review, you will be refunded credits. If we discover a breach after a story goes up for review, your story will be removed from the critique process immediately and your credits will NOT be refunded.

    If you are unsure if your story is fit for the public queues, you are welcome to send the portion of your story you are concerned about to the Moderators via your message box, and they will review the content.

     Can I submit fan-fiction?
    No, you can't. Because of sensitive copyright issues no fan-fiction is allowed in the Critique Circle. Sorry!

     Can I send in a long story?
    Of course! One chapter at a time works out well.

    For your own good, try to keep each submission to 5000 words or less. People are notorously lazy at critiquing longer submissions.

    Longer stories are more expensive to submit than shorter ones. Each 5000 words beyond the first 5 cost an additional credit.

     Can I submit work that has already been published?
    No. The queues are not a place for self-promotion, and you should not post a story as a ad for your published or almost-published work. This is not fair to the critiquer, who spends time and effort on a critique that will go wasted, and it is not fair to other CC-ers, as it takes up a story slot that could be put to real use.

     Can I submit poetry?
    No. At this time, is not a venue for poetry critiques.

     How long do I have to wait until my text is critiqued?
    When you submit a story the system lets you know when it will be up for review.
    The waiting time depends on how many stories are already in the queue when you submitted yours. Usually, it's between 1 and 4 weeks.

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    Other material is ©2003-2022
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