Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Getting Started
  • Accounts and Preferences
  • The Story Queue
  • Giving Critiques
  • Receiving Critiques
  • Submitting Stories
  • Credits and Grades
  • General questions
  • About Critique Circle
  • Discussion forums
  • Premium Services
  • Features and Tools
  • Getting Started

     Introductory Letter

    We recommend you read the Critique Circle rules and the Frequently Asked Questions. Then explore the site at will — it should give you a good idea of what we are all about.

    You can always get back to this letter by reading the message in your message box. You can also use the handy checklist on the front page to learn about CC.

    During your first visit to CC you will be a Trial user which means there are restrictions on what you can do. Once a CC Moderator has reviewed your application you will be upgraded to a full registered member and these restrictions will be lifted. This usually only takes a couple of hours.

    Critique Circle runs on a credit system. You "pay" three credits to submit a story, and receive credits for writing a critique of someone else's story. The credits you receive range from 1/2 to 2 per crit, depending on the length of the crit and the length of the story.

    If you purchase a premium subscription, you have three credits from the start and can submit a story right away!

    If you're a regular member, you start with two credits — therefore you need to critique a story or two before you can submit your own work.

    Each critique period lasts one week.

    When you comment on other people's work, the first thing to keep in mind is writing a critique of the sort you'd like to receive yourself. If you have never done this before and are a bit lost, you can check the archives of previous stories and read the critiques they have received.

    When you receive a critique, you are asked to evaluate it. You should also send the writer of the critique a short note thanking them for spending their time on your story.
    The author of the critique does not receive an evaluation score for each critique, but instead an average score, updated every five critiques. This means they do not know how you grade their critique, so you are free to be honest.

    When you receive a critique, please keep in mind that it's only one person's opinion and that person is not necessarily right. However — respect that person's opinion. They are trying to help.

    Please let us know (either with a message to the Admins or Moderators, or in our Suggestions to Improve CC thread) if you find bugs, typos, errors or if you see any kind of room for improvement. We welcome all suggestions!

    A good place for you to go now is to your Member Page. Filling out the different forms there is a good way to introduce yourself to the other members of Critique Circle.

    We recommend that your next stop is the Story Queue where all the stories are kept. Submitted stories are not available for critique immediately — they have to make their way to the top of the queue first. Take a look at "Up for Review" for the stories that are currently being critiqued, "Older submissions" for those stories that have been reviewed already (you can still read and critique them) and "Upcoming" for those stories that are currently in the queue, waiting for their week in the spotlight.

    For the first month on Critique Circle you have access to the Newbie Page via our front-page. You can also send a message to the Moderator Message Box. The Newbie Page is also permanently available as a link at the bottom of every page and we cannot stress enough what a great resource it is for new members. You can get step-by-step instructions about everything from critiquing to submitting stories there.

    Our popular Video Tutorials are a great place to get up to speed on using CC quickly.

    Finally we'd like to encourage you to be an active participant in the forums! Our goal is to make them a fun and informative place for a busy writer to spend his or her coffee-break.

    All the best — and happy writing.

         The Critique Circle team.

     Where are older critiques stored? Do you have archive files?
    As soon as a story leaves the active review period you can see the critiques it received by clicking on Older Stories near the top of the Story Queue page and then on the story title in the relevant queue.

    You may need to use the numbers at the bottom right of each queue to page through the submissions for the one you want.

     How do I change or hide my full name?
    You can change your full name and email address from the setting page here.

    If you want to hide your full name so that other members cannot see it you can do so here.

     Can I change my username?
    We realize that people might on occasion end up with a username that they would rather not have, so instead of forcing you to start a new account we do allow you to change your username once.

    You cannot change your username yourself but you can contact the admins to do it for you. We will allow a one-time username change provided there's a good reason for it.

    Your new username must conform to the naming standards of CC. The restrictions are as follows:

    * The first letter is capitalized
    * There are no other capitalized letters
    * Minimum length is 3 characters
    * Maximum length is 10 characters
    * No special characters or spaces are allowed
    * No other user currently has the username (you should search for the username in the member page first)

    If you want to change your username send a message to the admins saying what you want to change your username to and why. It will take the admins up to a day or two to process your request.

    The next time you log in, if you get a message saying your password was incorrect chances are your username has been changed. Try your new username and see if you can get in.

     Can I have multiple accounts?
    No, only one account per person is allowed.

    If you sign up for an account while you already have one your new application will be rejected.

    If you want to start a new account and close your old one please contact the admins.

    If you want to change your username that is sometimes possible as well, just contact the admins.

     Where can I see how to write a critique?
    There are some pointers on critiquing on the Newbie Page, including sample critiques.

    Reading other critiques can also help. You can’t see anyone else’s critiques on a story that is currently up for review. However, once the critique period has ended, you can look in ‘Older Submissions’ and read all the other critiques a story has received. This is a good way to familiarize yourself with the site and see what kind of critiques people write.
    - Click on or mouse over ‘Stories’
    - Click on ‘Story Queue’
    - At the top of the page, click on ‘Older Submissions’
    - Click on any story you want to see
    - At the top of the page, you’ll see the list of critiques it received… click on any of these and read away!

     Tutorial Videos
    We have some great tutorial videos on most of the basic functions of Critique Circle, courtesy of our video tutorial powerhouse, Candance.

    How to submit a story
    How to submit a critique

    The Outlining Workshop
    Using the Novel System
    Creating Queues

     Where is the newbie page?
    When you are new to the site you can access the newbie page from the front page. If you are no longer a newbie you can access the page here.
    The welcome letter might also be of interest to you.

     How does the search bar work?
    At the top of the page there is magnifying glass icon . Clicking on this icon will open up the Global Search Bar.

    As soon as you start to write the bar will search CC for you. Here you can look for answers to common questions, you can look for other members, stories, forum posts and even glossary entries and stories by genre.

    Try entering your own username or your favorite genre and see what happens. You can also just ask it questions like How to earn credits? or writing crits.

     My story overlaps the righthand sidebar

     How does it all work...give me the basics
    Members submit their stories to the story queue, and pay credits to do so. Only a certain number of stories will be displayed each week (more information on this can be found here), so you may have to wait a week or two for yours to come up, depending on how much queue activity there is. When a story comes up for critique, other members can read it and submit their critiques to the author, thus earning credits.

    Stories stay in the queue for a week, which runs Wednesday to Wednesday.

    To help with queue wait times, we created a custom Newbie Queue. Your first story must be submitted here and, if you wish, you can submit up to three in total before moving to the other queues. When you join the site, you get two free credits, and you can use these towards the cost of posting your first story. While your membership is still new you are also allowed the opportunity to upgrade to a Premium membership (details in the FAQ entry linked here) for an additional credit, which will allow you to submit your first chapter to the queues immediately.

    Stories in the Newbie Queue can receive up to five full critiques, while stories in the other queues can receive an unlimited number of critiques.

    Once your story in the newbie queue has received 5 crits of more than 150 words each it will be put into older submissions.

    When posting a story, authors have some choice in who can view their story. For example, some authors will specify that only people who have been members of this site for a month can read their story. That’s why you may not be able to view all the stories in the queue.

    So, those are the basics on how the system works…for more details, please continue reading the FAQs about Story Queue, Giving Critiques, Receiving Critiques, and Submitting a Story.

     How do I edit my profile?
    You can view your profile page by clicking on your username at the top of the page and choosing View profile.

    From there you can click Edit profile to change your basic information text or click Add in each of the information sections to add a new entry.

     If I delete a story do I get my credits back?
    If your story has received no critiques you will always get the credits refunded.

    If your story is up for review you will need to first 'move to older' before you can delete the story but your credits will be refunded if it has received no crits.

     Copyright of stories sent to Critique Circle
    Critique Circle is a closed community of writers whose purpose is to allow authors to submit and receive feedback and constructive criticism on works in progress, and such submissions do not constitute publication.

    All rights remain the sole property of the author. Any use or reproduction of stories or critiques associated with stories is prohibited without the express permission of the author.

    Critiques become the property of the author insofar as they pertain to the original work, and using critiques you've given that disclose any element or part of an original work by another member is also prohibited without the author's permission.

    It is important to recognize that ideas, titles, names, and phrases cannot be copyrighted, and you have no protections or guarantees that an idea for a story you propose will not be used by another. Critique Circle recommends you only post original, developed content if you're worried about someone using an idea you've come up with.

     How safe is my story?
    We've done everything we can to make people feel secure about using the site. Technically, it is safe — people have to be logged on to see any stories, so submitting a story for critique here does not mean it's "published online".

    Your story is accessible by the members of Critique Circle. There are different levels of accessibility, which you pick when you send your story. You can have the story visible to all members, only those who have critiqued, or only those who have critiqued recently.

    After the crit week has passed, you can hide your story, so nobody else can see it, or you can delete it from the site.

    For those who would like to work in a private critique group where everybody knows each other, there is the option of supporting the CC with a small donation, and receiving premium privileges in return. The Premium privileges include the possibility of creating your own private queue and forum. That way you can be sure that nobody outside your own crit group can see your stories.

     I'm still nervous to dive in...what should I do?
    When you submit your first critique, just tell the author that you’re new. Most people are more than happy to help out newcomers.
    And, just for this purpose, we have a team of Moderators who can answer questions — you can contact them by sending a message to Moderator.

    When you submit your first critique, you can request a review of your critique from a Moderator. They’ll give you helpful pointers for areas you can improve on — and don’t worry, they won’t bite. They chose to be Moderators because they enjoy helping people.

    Don’t forget, you can refer back to the Newbie Page at any time for more information on how to critique, and how the system works.

    Also, read through the rest of FAQ… and then, if you have any additional questions, you can send them to a Moderator or post them in the Newbie Questions Thread (the most current version is stickied at the top of the forum).

    Accounts and Preferences

     How do I change my password?
    To change your password you go to Settings which you find under My Page.

    Scroll down until you find the option to change your password.

     How do I receive more/fewer emails from
    The emails you may receive are:

    Notification that your story is now at the top of the queue.

    Notification that you have received a critique.

    Newsletters and announcements.

    Reminders, for example that someone who has sent you a critique has a story in the current week's batch — in case you want to return the favor.

    You don't receive any emails you don't want. You can change the email settings by going to Settings.

     How can I change my email address?
    Click on your username at the top left of the screen and then Account Info. This will take you to your personal information page, where you can edit your Email address and other information at any time. Click the Information tab to continue.

    Your Email appears near the top of that page.

     What is a Trial account?
    When a new user joins Critique Circle they can log in straight away but their account is marked as Trial. This means that every critique must be approved by our moderators, you cannot send messages or forum posts and you can only look at a total of 10 stories (some other restrictions may also apply).

    An account is upgraded to Registered once a moderator has reviewed the application. This usually happens within a few hours of joining CC.

    Welcome aboard!

     I can't log in, what do I do?
    First, make sure you have upper cases and lower cases where they should be. Password is not the same as password.

    If you're 100% sure you are spelling things right it's possible that you don't have cookies enabled on your browser.

    Go to Tools, Internet Options. Click on Privacy and then on Advanced. Choose to enable all cookies.
    This is not the same for all browsers or versions but you should find the cookies in similar areas.

    If you still can't log in, send us an e-mail:

     Why is a user account closed?
    There are many reasons why a certain user account has been closed. The most common reason is that user accounts are automatically closed after a one year period of inactivity. In those cases the account is automatically reopened if the user logs in again.

    Other reasons include requests from the user to have the account closed or due to violations of the CC rules.

     Can you change your user name?
    No, that's not possible. So we encourage people to consider their user names very carefully when they sign up.

     Can I share my account?
    No. CC requires real names so that the moderators can know who is online and who is posting. This enables us to protect the copyrights of our members. Because people are posting their intellectual property, it's important that we know who is viewing it, allowing CC to monitor activity and prevent abuses.

     How long does it take for a new member to get a password?
    When you sign up on Critique Circle your membership request should be processed the same day. If you haven't received your password after that time please send us an email.

     What if I want to leave CC?
    You can stop logging on, and if you don't want any future mails from CC, disable reminder mails in your settings. Your account will then automatically be deactivated after you haven't logged on in a year or so (note that if you have a recurring premium subscription you will need to suspend it on the paypal website).

    You can also send a message to administrator to have your account closed immediately.

    If you want to remove your stories simply delete them yourself before quitting. Critiques on deleted stories can only be viewed by the person who wrote the critique.

    The Story Queue

     How can I see an old story I submitted?
    Click on Story Queue and then on My Stories.

     How does the Newbie Queue work?
    The Newbie Queue is designed to give Critique Circle's newest members a chance to get fast experience of the CC process.

    You must submit your first story to the Newbie Queue. The only restriction is that you cannot post an Erotica story in the Newbie Queue. After that, you may submit a further two stories (maximum total of three submissions) or you may choose to submit to any of the other public queues.

    To give all stories in the Newbie Queue the best chance of receiving a fair share of critiques, stories in this queue will move into 'older submissions' once they have received five critiques.

    Anyone can critique stories in the Newbie Queue.
    Newbies can critique stories from any queue they choose.

     How do I delete a story that is in the Upcoming section?
    If your story is in 'Upcoming' and you've decided to remove it, you can choose, 'Remove from queue' under your options when you view your story. With no crits on your story, this will refund your credits.

    If it is 'In review' and you decide to retire it, you simply view the details of your story and select, 'place in older.' This will move your story out of the review period, and the crits on the story will be viewable by others (or other members of a private queue).

    Once a story is in Older Submissions, you can choose to hide or delete a story, or you are able to revise the story if there are no crits currently in progress.

    Before you move a story out of the 'In review' period into 'Older Submissions' in the public queues, consider that there may be CC members who have critiques pending or are wanting to critique your piece. As a courtesy, you may wish to offer a warning/explanation on your 'story discussions' thread to let these people know that you are pulling your story.

     Why can't I see all the previous stories?
    After the critique period is over, a story goes into the "previous stories" area. The author can choose to hide the story, which makes it invisible to other members.

     Why was my story moved to a different queue?
    We review the queue each week and move stories that seem misplaced. If you believe your story has been moved to a queue where it doesn't belong, please contact us.

     Can I change category after submitting to the queue?
    At least for now, we have to do this manually. Please let us know which changes you'd like to make and we'll do it for you. Quickest way is through the CC mail system, recipient administrator.

     Lengthy queue wait times--what can I do as a CC member?
    Unless you submit to the Newbie Queue, your wait time may stretch into several weeks for your story to rise into 'In Review.' This is because stories go up in the order that they are submitted.

    In order to minimize wait times, do your best to critique in the weeks leading up to your piece being 'In Review". This will open up more story slots in the queues, and stories will be bumped up, coming up for review faster. This is also why it is beneficial to critique in the same queue you submit to—you will be directly affecting the wait times in that queue.

    The public queues can change based on how many critiques happen in each queue each week. The more critiques a queue gets one week, the more story slots will open the following week. If there is a significant drop in critiques, less story slots will be available for the following week, creating a longer wait for some. If everyone does their part by critiquing, it benefits everyone through shorter wait times.

    Also, active critiquers always get the most critiques when their work comes up for review. So to get lots of great feedback, give a little critique karma first!

     How do I create my own queue?
    One of the benefits of a Premium membership is private queues.

    Setting up a queue sounds like a daunting process, but it's actually very user-friendly. When you're ready to open your own queue, click on the My Queues link under your Bookmarks. This should prompt a message saying that you don't currently have any queues, but it will provide a link for you to create one. Clicking that link will start the process, which involves 8 steps.

    Step 1: Type the title of your queue and any information that your members will be able to see. This may include the purpose of the queue, what kind of feedback you're hoping to get, what kind of stories will be submitted, etc.
    Step 2: Choose what kind of queue. There are two choices. A Personal Many-to-One queue is open to all CC members, but it's a queue where only the owner can submit stories; everyone else critiques. The other, a Private Many-to-Many queue allows all members to submit and critique stories. Only Premium members can join this kind of queue.
    Step 3: Choose a credit system. You can choose to have the same kind of credit system as the public queues (three credits to submit a story, credits given depending on length of story and crit, etc.). Or you can choose to use no credits; people post their stories for free and don't get credit for critiquing.
    Step 4: Choose a time period for your queue. You can choose to have your queue run on CC's Wednesday to Wednesday schedule, where there are a limited number of stories each week and they're switched out every Wednesday. Another choice is to choose no period for the queue, where stories go up as they're submitted and there is no time period. In this case, people can critique at their leisure until the owner chooses to move the stories into the archives. A third option allows you to choose your own time period for the stories in your queue.
    Step 5: Choose the members you'd like to invite. You also have the option of inviting your potential members to join your personal forum. This is a good idea if you'll be using the forum to discuss the stories in your queue.
    Step 6: Send them an email invite. Type a message inviting people to join your queue. People will have the option of joining or declining.
    The last two steps let you decide how your queue will physically look.

     How do I delete one of my older stories?
    Click on Stories -> My Stories in the top menu bar to see a list of your stories.

    Click the title of the story you want to delete. Now click on Delete story in the right-hand menu.

    We also want to point out the possibility of simply hiding your story. You do that on the same page you can delete it. This will make your story invisible to other people.

    Note: If your story is currently in review, you will need to use the Place in Older option before you can delete or hide it. (The Place in Older button takes the place of the Delete Story button for current stories.)

     Why does my upcoming story go up and down in the queue?
    The number of stories in review each week depends on several factors and the admins are constantly re-arranging the queues, right until the last moment.

    The factors that influence how many stories are reviewed are, for example: How many critiques were submitted in the previous crit-period in a particular queue, how many stories are in the Newbie queue and how many stories are upcoming. We don't want a queue to be empty so that comes into account.

    So be prepared for your story to be bumped up or down.

     Why was my story archived?
    Critique Circle only has a certain amount of space available so we are forced to remove stories that are over one year old or so.
    This is done simply to keep CC running at a minimum amount of overhead. If your story has been archived it should have been sent to you by email. If you did not receive such an email don't panic, the admins keep a copy of the archived story in a safe place and can send it to you.
    If you do not wish CC to keep a copy of your archived story just send the admins a note and they'll delete it.

    The author of a story can always upload the text file he received back up to CC and his/her story is then automatically removed from the archive for a week or so, after which time it is removed again. This way you will always be able to take a look at your story through CC, even though it's been archived.

    The text file you receive will not enable you to read your crits directly and it will not make any sense to you unless you upload it through CC's unarchive page.

    If you are not the author of the story you wish to look at and its been archived you will have to contact the story's author and request that he/she upload the story back up to CC. This is done by using the form supplied when you attempt to view an archived story or one of its critiques.

    Archived stories are not visible in the "Older Stories" list of the Story Queue, but you will be able to view them through the "Everything" list.

    We hope this isn't too much of an inconvenience to anyone, and rest assured that CC does not delete content permanently unless asked to do so by the writer.

    Giving Critiques

     How does autosave work?
    Classic crits
    Autosaving is a feature on CC which automatically saves your classic critique every 5 minutes, but only if something has been written in that time. This feature is turned on by default and should always be used unless there are some technical reasons not to.

    When autosave is on, you will see the text Autosaving is enabled above your critique window when you start a crit and the autosave icon is light blue.

    When you take a break from writing a critique you should save it manually using the icon as the last autosave might be up to 5 minutes ago.

    Inline crits
    Autosave for inline crits work a bit differently. Basically your critique is always up-to-date on the server. Every 30 seconds your text is saved and if you move to another paragraph the text is also saved. Your inline crit should always be perfectly safe.

    Saved critiques are stored in your Critiques in Progress page and are accessible any time so that you can continue writing your critique at any time.

     How do I know if the critique I submitted has been accepted?
    Almost all critiques are accepted — if it's not, you'll be told.

    Critiques are only unacceptable if they contain something offending or have zero content — often sent in by trolls.

     What if I just don’t know how to critique?
    Critiquing is not a question about talent, but practice! If you feel you don't know how to crit, read the instructions and see if they can't help you.

    You just do your best and with time you will be able to give crits that are both invaluable and useful for the author who uses them to improve his text.
    Remember to be constructive, the crits are meant to help the author, not tear him down

    It can be very helpful to read other people's crits (see here)

     Can I read critiques on other people’s texts?
    You can read other people's crits after the stories have been critiqued, i.e in the archive.

    The reason why you can't read crits on stories that are being critted, is that they might colour your own critique.

     Do I get credits for critiquing previous stories?
    Yes, unless the author has hidden or deleted the story.

    Each story has its fifteen minutes of fame — the current week.

    After that there are fewer credits for reviewing them — but there is good karma instead. This is one method to ensure that all stories receive some attention.

    You receive half a credit for a full critique of an archived story, no credit for a short critique (less than 300 words).

    If you're a day or two late with your critique then you can just contact the admins and we'll give you full credit for it.

    Please note that critiques found to be padded with unrelated content will be rejected, and the credits returned.

     Writing a critique
    You don't have to be an expert on literature or to be able to use complicated language to write a critique. All you need is the ability to read and express your opinion.

    The most important thing to keep in mind is the golden rule: Write a critique that you would like to receive yourself. A critique is meant to help, not hurt, and the difference between the two often lies simply in the choice of words.

    Start by reading the story completely through, for the global impression it has on you as a reader. Then, read it again, and this time look at the details.

    If you tell the author that you think something should be changed, tell him why. Be objective and bring examples. It doesn't hurt to stress that this is all your humble opinion.

    Don't forget to tell the author about the positive things, what he's doing well. It's just as important to know what you're doing right as what you're not doing so well, to know what works and what doesn't.

    Keep this in mind:
    • Does the story hold your interest?
    • Do you care about the characters?
    • Do you understand the text easily or do you sometimes have to read a paragraph (or more) several times before you make sense of it?
    • Are the conversations natural, do they "flow"?
    • Is the plot believable or do you get the feeling that the author "cheats"?

    We emphasize that critiques should be objective, honest, polite and constructive. That they help people improve their writings. The critiques shouldn't contain personal remarks about the author, the critique is to be aimed at the text alone.

    A destructive critique can cause the author to give up. That's not the kind of critique we want here.

    Just because we stress the importance of constructive critiques doesn't mean we don't want honesty. You can easily be honest and constructive at the same time. It's all a question of phrasing. "Your plot sucks!" or "I think your plot needs some work" — similar messages, but one is destructive, the other is constructive.

    Comments meant for the Critique Circle and its administrators have no place in critiques.

    When you're done with your critique ask yourself: Is this a critique I would like to receive myself?

    Administrators and Moderators review all critiques and if there is a problem they will discuss it with the writer.
    If you have a problem with a critique you have received, please contact us and we'll look into it.

     Practical instructions: critiquing
    To crit a story:

    1. Click "Story queue" in the left-hand menu.
    2. Click on the story you'd like to critique
    3. Click "critique story".
    — You can also click "remind me to critique story" if you'd like to crit the story later.
    4. Type your critique into the text form provided.
    — you can make the input window larger or smaller by clicking the little boxes above the window to the left.
    — If you quote from the story, you can select the quote, then click "story" in the menu below the window. This will mark the text.
    — You can also use the other formatting options to make your point.
    — It's a good idea to click the save button every once in a while, to make sure you don't lose any work. If you save your work, you can also come back to the crit hours or days later.
    — You can choose to tick "send crit anonymously" — the author of the story will know who wrote it, but other members won't.
    5. Click Preview
    6. If there's something you'd like to fix, click edit. If you're happy with your crit, click send.

    That's it! Your critique has been sent. You can view it under Story Queue - My Critiques.

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

    *If for some reason you forget a piece of information after sending, you can leave a comment in the comment section regarding the new material or message the writer through our mail system. If you send in another critique, note that no credits are given.

     I'm confused about Inline Crits!
    The new inline crit system, introduced May 12th 2010 represents the largest improvement to the crit submission progress since inline crits were added, so many years ago. The entire crit system has been refactored and made easier to use and safer.

    Some of the highlights of the system are:

    Progressive Save
    Instead of saving the entire crit every few minutes to the server now the paragraph that you were working on is saved immediately when you move to another paragraph (or every 30 seconds). This will make your inline crits much safer since the saved version is basically always up to date.
    When you have pending changes the paragraph with the changes has a red vertical bar on the right side. In addition, you should see little footsteps on the top of your crit page. When the text is saved the footsteps turn into a checkmark and you're safe!

    technobabble ahead!
    This new system represents a paradigm shift from the typical web framework where you work on a form and then submit it. The submission progress now happens entirely on the server. When you hit 'Preview' you are not submitting any text to the server, you are merely navigating to another page which fetches the saved text from the database and displays it for you. Then when you click 'Submit critique' the crit is just marked in the database as 'submitted'. The text submission itself took place seconds after you wrote each word.

    You will not lose your crit if you get logged out
    Under no circumstances should you lose your crit when you get logged out. This was one of the complaints from people, that they might lose quite a lot of work because they spent a long time on a crit and got logged out (session timeout) in the meantime. Now the system will continue to save your crit even if you get logged out. If you click 'preview' and see the infamous 'please log in' screen, you should not have lost your crit. Simply log in and it should be there intact.

    Keyboard Navigation
    You can now do inline crits by just using your keyboard.
    j, k - Navigate between paragraphs (you will see the selected paragraph with dashed lines above and below) (these are the same shortcut keys as gmail uses to navigate between messages). When you navigate using these keys the webpage scrolls automatically to ensure that the selected paragraph is in view.
    Enter - Start working in the selected paragraph
    Control-Enter - Submit the text that you are currently working on (when writing in a text field)

    Try these shortcuts out, they are amazingly time saving. It takes you just a couple of tries to memorize them.

    Better visibility of credits for crit
    You can now mouse over the credits-for-crit number in the upper right corner to see how many credits you will receive for your current crit where the number of words is counted just like it is when you submit it (with story snippets removed) so you don't have to click 'preview' to see if you've made it across 300 words.

    You can now minimize Author's notes
    You can click on the "Author's notes" text to minimize it. Sometimes you want to just have the story in front of you and it's best to reduce clutter. Just click it again to show them. This setting is saved.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why have you removed the save button?
    There is no need for a save button anymore because your critique is automatically kept up to date with the server. Previously the crit existed only in your browser until it was saved or submitted. Now it exists on the server and your browser at the same time (with a few seconds difference)
    If you want to force a save of your current paragraph simply start writing into another paragraph or just click anywhere outside your text field. All paragraphs that you have previously worked on are safe on the server.

    Why do I have to click 'close' when I finish a paragraph now?
    You don't! Just click the next paragraph like you've always done and don't worry about the close button. The close button is more relevant for the Reading View since the crit text field obscures adjacent paragraphs. All it does is close the text field, it doesn't save the text. The text is saved when you click anywhere outside your text field (or every 30 seconds, whichever comes first)

    Why did you have to change something that wasn't broken?
    People requested Reading View to be available when doing inline crits and other people had encountered lost crits from time to time. The code was old and a bit buggy so it needed to be refactored to achieve the goals.
    In terms of usability if you don't want to use any of the new features it should be exactly the same as before, there are no additional hoops for you to jump through. You don't have the same warm feeling after clicking 'save' but your crit is safer.

    This doesn't work in my browser
    The feature relies heavily on advanced javascript functionality and it's possible that it will not play nice with older browsers. It has been tested on Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 3.6 and Chrome 3 and later browsers. Let us know if you have problems using this with your browser.

     Why is the word count different when I submit the critique?
    If you quote the story in your critique, this word count will be deducted from the total critique word count through a heuristic feature applied to the text which tries to dig out segments which are a part of the story rather than a part of the critique.

    For example. If the story contains the segment "Once in a blue moon I would go out and hunt mice" and your crit has the segment "sometimes during a full moon I would go out and party" the logic might infer that "moon I would go out and" is a part of the story and not the crit and would automatically deduct 6 words from the crit.

    If you are around the 150 / 300 word boundary (which is the only thing that really matters in regards to this) and find that you've been unduly penalized then send us a note and we'll fix you up.

     What if I want to delete the critiques I've written?
    Once you've sent off your critique, it can't be removed, any more than you can delete email you've already sent out.

    If you and the author that you have sent the crit to both agree to delete it you can send a message to Administrator, but you should consider your crit the joint property of you and the person that you critted once you've sent it out.

    Likewise, the person receiving the crit cannot delete or hide the crits she or he has received.

    If you want to delete a critique in progress, you click the black X next to the critique by following the 'You have a critique in progress' link in the Reminders box on your CC home page or by going to Stories in the top menu bar, clicking on My Critiques and then going to critiques in progress.

     How do Inline critiques work?
    Inline critiques offer the ability to add comments inside the story text in an easy and intuitive fashion.

    When you choose Inline critique you will see a text box for Opening comments. Here you can greet the writer and perhaps say what impression the story made on you. Below this, you will see the story. When you hold your cursor over a paragraph in the story, you will see it change color. If you have comments you want to make on that paragraph, click on it and a text box will appear. You can work through the whole story in this way, making comments next to the paragraphs they relate to.

    At the end of the story you will see another text box marked Closing comments. Here you can make any final remarks that might help the writer to make the story even better.

    Finally, you can View critique to make sure that you are happy with everything before sending it to the writer. If you want to make any changes, just click on Edit to go back to your critique.

    If a writer has formatted their story using html, the Inline critique style will not be available and you will need to choose one of the other styles for your critique.

     How do Classic critiques work?
    How do Classic critiques work?

    The Classic critique is the simplest of the critique types but offers you complete flexibility in structuring your critique as there is no framework as with the other critique types. It’s particularly useful for critiques that look at the bigger picture and comment on plot, characterization, overall use of language etc.

    When you choose Classic critique, you will see a text box above a copy of the story you are critiquing. You can decide on the structure and the content of your critique. Use the text box to tell the writer what you thought of the story. Don’t forget to be specific about why you liked or didn’t like particular things in the story and try to offer ideas for how the writer might make the story better. If you want to quote bits from the story, use the Story function to copy and paste sections of the text into your critique. The quotes will stand out in a different color text and make it easy for the writer to tell the difference between the original story and your comments.

    Once you have said everything you want to say about the story, you can preview your critique to make sure everything looks OK. If you want to make any changes, just click on Edit to go back to your critique. When you’re happy with everything, send it to the writer.

    The Classic critique is perfect if you like to prepare your critiques off-line. You can simply copy your critique from your word processor and paste it into the text box for submission.

    —Many thanks to Angelnorth for contributing this FAQ entry—

     How is my Critique Grade calculated?
    Each time you send a critique, the author is asked to rate it against seven statements. When you have completed at least five critiques, you will be able to see your overall Critique Grade on My Page. By clicking on your grade you can see your average score against each of the seven statements. You will not see how an individual author rated your critique but the average grade will help you to see whether there are areas of your critiques that you might be able to strengthen.

    Your grade will be updated each time you have five more critiques graded by authors. By default, the grade shown is calculated on the last cumulative multiple of five — for example, if you have 12 critiques graded by authors then you see a grade calculated on 10 critiques. You can see how your grade has changed over time by choosing a different number from the drop-down box — for example, the first 10 critiques or the first 25 critiques.

    The grade scale is from -2 to +2.

     What is Story function about?
    For the author: When your critiquer has used the Story formatting option in marking the excerpts from your story he or she has referred to, that text is pale. If the critiquer has given you a Classic (as opposed to Inline) critique, you can change both color and size of that text, and you can also choose to eliminate the story text altogether, leaving only the critiquer's words. This may be handy when your critiquer has referenced a lot of the original story in his or her Classic critique.

    For the critiquer: Choose what text you want to quote in your critique and use copy/paste to move it from the story to your critique. When that is done, highlight the text and click Story. You should now see tags around the text and when you preview your crit you can see that the quoted text is now pale grey.

    Receiving Critiques

     What is "Return the favour"?
    The message "Return the favour" appears in your reminder box on the front page and indicates that an author that has critiqued your story now has a story himself in the the queue.
    If you click on "Return the favour" you should be taken to his story so that you can critique it.

     I think I'm missing a critique! What are unapproved crits?
    You might see a certain number of critiques listed next to your story in the Queue or My Stories pages and fewer actual critiques when you click on the story.

    This is because a member's first critique has to be approved by the Administrators or Moderators before it becomes available. This process does not judge the quality of the crit as such but is meant to weed out padding, inflamatory and rude crits.

    The reason the actual number shows up on the Queue page is that other members have to be able to see the real number of crits a given story has received so that they can direct their efforts to stories which have actually received fewer crits than others.

    If you experience this just wait a bit and the crit will usually become visible within 24 hours.

     Accepting criticism
    You should only submit material that you have worked on as well as you can. Don't send first drafts and don't submit material that you haven't looked over with regards to spelling and language. This is for your own good — you will get better feedback if people see you are making an effort to send in "clean" material.

    Let readers know if there is anything in particular that you want them to keep in mind while reading your story.

    It can be hard to accept criticism. Don't argue with the critic, but if there is anything in your crit that you don't understand, by all means, ask him about it.

    Bear in mind that the crit is only one person's opinion. He isn't necessarily right, but his views are examples of how readers might see and interpret your story. That is useful to you, whether you agree with his opinions or not.

    Be critical about what you want to use of the critique you receive. Remember, you are the author and this is your story, your style. You decide, others suggest. Some authors get lost trying to please everyone. Don't let that happen to you

    Gradually people learn to view a critique as helpful suggestions and not as a personal attack — even if the comments are negative. Be prepared for a rough start, just keep in mind that with time you learn to accept criticism, use what you see as valid points, and throw away the rest.

     Why do some inline crits become frozen?
    Inline critiques differ from other critique types in that they are connected to the story they are written into.
    If the story is revised that connection might be broken and the critique is no longer valid in the story's context. This also happens if the story is deleted.

    To preserve the integrity of the critique the system severs the connection between the critique and the story by inserting the beginning (first 100 letters or so) of the actual critted paragraphs into the critique and so the critique becomes Frozen.

    If you take a look at a frozen inline critique you'll see that each critiqued paragraph consists of a few words followed by a "...". Each paragraph that has not been critiqued is replaced with a single ".".

    Frozen crits are generally not as useful since they do not preserve the context of the original story in the same way as normal inline crits do.

    You will generally receive a warning if you are about to perform an action that will cause one or more of your crits to become frozen.

     How do I rate a critique?
    You rate a critique so that the critic knows how he is doing; how useful his crits are to other authors. The grade shows him where he's doing well and what he can improve.

    There are seven questions and you rate each on a five point scale, from strongly agree to strongly disagree.

    The critique was worded in a constructive manner
    Did you feel the critic was respectful of your work and tried to word his crit both helpfully and politely?

    The critic had helpful ideas
    Do you think you can use the critic's suggestions and ideas?

    The critic could have explained himself better
    Do you have difficulties in understanding what exactly the critic meant? Was something unclear?

    The critic pointed out many things I hadn't noticed myself

    The critique could have been more detailed
    Do you feel that the crit could have been more detailed than it is?

    I find the critique useful
    Did the critiqe have some good ideas and suggestions that you will use when re-writing you story?

    On the whole, I'm satisfied with the critique.
    Do you feel the critic put considerable work into pointing out to you what you could improve and what he liked in your story? Is this a good crit?

    Remember that the point of the crit is to help you improve yoru story and point out both its strong and weak points. The point of the rating-system is to help the critic improve his crits; tell him what he's doing well and what he isn't doing so well.

    At the bottom of the rating-box is another box, meant for a message to the critic, where you thank him for his time and effort. It is considered common courtesy to thank the critic for this, he could just as well have critted another story but he chose yours.

    This message has nothing to do with rating.

    The critic doesn't know the how a specific crit was rated. He only sees his average grade and that is calculate on a five rated critique basis. It is therefore quite impossible for him to know how you rated his critique, something that should help you to be completely honest when rating the crit.

    Crits under 150 words cannot be rated.

     What if I'm offended by a critique I received?
    You may want to take a moment to think about why you are offended. It can be painful to hear criticism of something you have written, but does it seem that the critiquer is trying to point out something to improve upon, even if a bit bluntly? Most critiquers' intentions are to help the writer by pointing out the flaws, not to hurt your feelings. This learning process can sometimes bruise your ego, but usually improves your writing skills by pointing out weak spots. One other thing to remember- a critique is nothing more than an opinion- sometimes this is based on knowledge, such as spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and sometimes it is based on the type of writing that critiquer likes to read.
    Is it because the critiquer seemed intentionally cruel or hurtful? The Critique Circle does not condone this behavior, and you should contact the administrators for us to assess the situation.

    If you receive a story where a user 'pads' the critique with unrelated story material, nonsense words or rambles about personal details that have nothing to do with the story, please let us know. Padding to gain credits for critiques is not acceptible here at CC.

    Submitting Stories

     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.

     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.

     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.

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

     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.

     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.

    Credits and Grades

     How do you calculate activity rank?
    The activity rank is a measure of how much each member contributes to Critique Circle through stories, critiques and forum posts. This is a very simple indication of a member's overall activity. Someone with rank 1 is the most active member on CC, plain and simple

    Each type of activity contributes differently to your rank calculation. For example, you will get much more activity points by sending in a full-credit crit than you will by starting a new thread. The exact ratio has been determined through heuristics and is a well kept secret.

    As the activity rank is calculated in relation to other members you can see at a glance how you compare to others. This information is accessible from My Page. You can also view the activity rank of other members from their member pages or by hovering over their name elsewhere on CC.

    The activity rank takes into account activity for the last 30 days. Anything that is posted before that time will not contribute to the current activity rank. Therefore this is a very good indication of just how active a member is right now.

    You can see your all-time activity rank in My Page as well, but that is not visible to other members.

    If you do not want others to see your activity rank or other indications of activity (such as number of stories posted or crits given) you can check "Hide Activity Information" in your account settings page.

     How do credits work?
    Credits are the currency that you use to submit stories. You earn credits by critiquing stories from other people.

    You usually pay 3 credits for submitting a story, and usually receive 1 credit for giving a critique. Therefore you will need to submit 3 crits for each story that you submit.

    Sometimes a story will cost more to submit and sometimes you will get a different number of credits from your crit. A story that is longer than 5000 words will cost 1 additional credit.

    If the crit is under 300 words you always receive 1/2 credits, no matter how long the story is.

    If your crit is more than 300 words you most often get 1 credit. However, if the story you are critting is more than 3000 words, you receive 1.5 credit for a crit over 300 words. If the story is 4000 words or longer you get 2 credits for a crit over 300 words. 2 credits is the maximum number that you can receive for a crit unless the story author decides to donate an extra credit from his or her own credit pool for an extra good crit.

    Please note that no credits are given for critiques under 150 words.

    You can have more than one story in the system at a time, but the more stories you have, the more expensive they become.
    Your second concurrent story (with the first one being either 'up for review' or in the 'upcoming' section) will cost 7 credits, your third one 11 credits, etc. This is a necessary so that the queue doesn't become unduly long. As soon as you have nothing in the queue, it will again cost just 3 credits to submit a story.
    This applies to the public Queues and not to the private ones. It doesn't matter how many public Queues you submit your stories to; the rule applies across Queues.

    PLEASE NOTE that paying extra credits (7, 11, etc.) for subsequent stories or chapters does not guarantee that your stories will be up for review back-to-back. Stories are chosen to be 'up for review' in the order that they are subbed into the queue. For the best chance of having chapters reviewed back-to-back, we advise that you sub early to try and secure a slot for the following week.

     Where do I see my critique rating?
    You can see your overall critique grade on My Page. From there you can see how your grade has changed over time.

    You cannot, however, see how each of your critiques was rated.

     Do I need a certain amount of credits to submit a story?
    Yes, the basic cost of submitting a story into a public queue is 3 credits. If you have more than one story in the queue at a time it costs an additional 4 credits (3 credits for premium members) for each of your stories that is in the queue or up for review. Long stories also cost extra.

    Story submitted of normal length to private queues (for premium members) cost 3 credits if the queue is 'for credit' no matter how many are place int review at once. Longer stories follow the same extra credit rule as public queues.

    You can see your current credit status by clicking on your username at the top of the page.

    Please see:
    More than one story in the queue
    Stories over 5,000 words

     Can you donate credits to people?
    You cannot share credits between accounts.

    Credits are not transferable directly but premium members can give out some of their own credits as a special bonus for their critters. You'll see a menu item on crits you've received giving you the option to "Give extra credit". This is still in the experimental stages and is subject to change/removal but the basic idea is that those with a lot of credits can give those less fortunate a little something extra for great crits. Please note you can only donate 1 extra credit per crit.

     Can we change the credit system?
    Can we change the credit system to allow for more credits per critique or to make weekly submissions cheaper?

    The credit system is the main backbone of the site. It was developed after extensive research, and has been tested and refined on our Big Sister site in Iceland. The balance between credits received and the cost to submit is designed to assure members a maximum number of critiques per submission.

    Please note that there are no plans to alter the credit system in any way. We believe the system works as it is.

    Before starting a new thread with your ideas please do a search through the forums for the word "credits" or the words “critiques” or “crits” and see if your idea has been discussed. New threads on this topic will be removed and/or merged with the older ones.

    —Thanks to HeyJude, Momzilla and Maddog for assisting with this FAQ entry

     Do you lose your credits if you don't use them regularly?
    No, the credits do not expire.

    General questions

     What happens if I mark a story as a favorite
    It means that other people can see on your member page which stories you particularly liked . When viewing a story, other people will also be able to see if it's someone's favorite.

     What are the different statuses of stories?
    A story goes through several phases on its way through CC. We have a queue system so your story will go to the back of the queue when you submit it and it will eventually go into review.

    When you first submit your story it will be put into the upcoming section of the queue. You will be told on the submit story receipt page when it is scheduled to come up for review. Typically this will be 2 weeks or so (for the newbie queue it is different; your story always goes up for review the next Wednesday)

    During the time that the story is in the upcoming section (sometimes referred to as being "in the queue") normal members cannot revise their stories. Premium and premium gold members can, however, change their their story as much as they want.

    Finally the story moves from the upcoming section and goes up for review. You will receive an email when that happens and it will also be highlighted in the notification center at the top of the page as well as in your Reminders box on the front page.

    Your story will be up for review for a period of seven days, Wednesday to Wednesday.

    During this time regular and premium members cannot touch their stories. Premium Gold members are able to revise their stories during this period with a few restrictions (they cannot change the story layout but fix individual paragraphs).

    When the review period ends your story will be moved over to Older submissions. At this point you will be able to revise the story. Other members can now also read all crits on the story. You should not expect any more crits on your story after it has been put into older submissions.

    When your story becomes really old CC might archive it which will not make it behave any differently than other stories in the older submissions category and you can always bring it back from the archive.

    If a story has inappropriate content or there is some other problem with it the administrators can reject it. It will still show up in your story list but your credits have been refunded and no one else will be able to see the story.

    Once your story has reached Older submissions you can delete the story. This will remove all the story text but the story 'container' will still be on CC with the crits you have received attached to it. No one but the author can look up a deleted story.

     What is padding?
    Padding is when the critter adds extended unrelated commentary, nonsensical words/phrases, cut and pasted material from other sources that has no bearing on the story or pontificates excessive flattery with the sole purpose of 'adding' to word count in order to gain credits.

    A short greeting or explanation of a critting style is not padding. However, a standard, 'cut and paste' extended greeting or breakdown of critique style in the opening notes will be consider padding if it does not accompany standard helpful feedback that is of an expected critique length.

    Padding is not allowed at CC, and critiques will be rejected (and credits removed) in all cases.

     What is the Hook Queue?
    The Hook queue runs once a month during the first weekend of the month from Saturday 00:01 GMT through to end of Sunday and accepts stories for the next Hook weekend during the rest of the month.

    This queue is unique in that, here, the critter is playing the role of an unpaid slush editor - searching for that special perfect snowflake of a manuscript among a pile of hopefuls.

    Anyone can post into this queue, but you must have extremely thick skin. The queue is meant to give you an indication of how good your hook is and where editors might stop reading and, more importantly, why.

    Submission guidelines
    * You should submit the start of your story and it should be less than 1000 words long.
    * Only one submission per person is accepted at a time. You can submit your next piece into the next hook crit cycle once the current one completes.
    * Submitting a story costs 3 credits but those 3 credits are refunded if you crit 10 other pieces in this queue in the same period.
    * Story submission is completely anonymous. No one knows who posted what story.
    * Story submission into this queue should not affect your statistics.
    * You are welcome to fill out author's notes.

    Critique guidelines
    * There is a special "Hook" crit mode for stories. You click on the paragraph where you stopped reading and fill out the form telling the author a little bit about why you quit where you did.
    * Remember, this isn't a full crit; a paragraph or two is usually enough.
    * If you read to the end there is a special link for that for you to click on as well.
    * The time which it took you to read the story until you click that paragraph is saved with the crit, giving the author an indication of how much time people spent on the story.
    * You gain no credits for critting stories in The Hook but if you have a story up as well you can get those credits refunded.
    * Crits in this queue should not affect your CC statistics.
    * Do not be nasty! Purposely hurtful comments will be rejected.

    Remember, story submissions and crit submissions are entirely anonymous. Your critters will not know that you submitted the story and you will not be able to see who said what (if you can, please tell the admins!). You are welcome to post story beginnings that you have already posted on CC but keep in mind that this will let certain people recognize you (which is fine if you're okay with it).

    If you submit a story into this queue you should crit as many of the other stories as you can. Expect to spend only a couple of minutes on each one. When you're done with one crit the system will give you the option to jump directly to the next one. If you finish 10 of these you'll get the credits you spent on your own submission refunded.

    You should only post into this queue if you have very thick skin!

    However, crits should not be be rude or just plain mean. Keep it constructive! Critters, you are not here to vent but to provide helpful guidance to the authors. Please report crits that you feel are stepping over the line.

    To find the queue click here.

     How many queues can I have as a premium member?
    You can have up to three active queues.

     What if I don't want people to see my activity?
    There is a checkbox in your settings that you can check if you do not want other people to see what you've been up to.

    The option is available in your Account Settings tab and is called Hide Activity information.

    By ticking this option other members won't see any information about your activities on Critique Circle.

    The activity information displays an activity level, a list of your stories and critiques, approximately the last time you visited the site and some other information (You can hover over the username of other people to see some of this information)

    Note that you might see this information yourself for your account but rest assured, other people will not.

     What is a Free Pass?
    Free Passes are rewards for prolific and good critiquers. A Free Pass allows you to submit a story and have it critiqued in the next crit-period of your chosen Queue, no matter how long the Queue is.

    There are two ways to get a Free Pass:

    1. After each crit-period has passed, the admins examine it and reward the critiquer that has critted the most (minimum approx 2000 words) and has received a good grade for those crits. So it's both quality and quantity. The receiver of the Free-Pass of the week is announced on a special thread and receives 'Star Critiquer' status for one month (see also What is a Star Critiquer?).

    With this type of Free Pass, you will have to pay for the submission as normal when sending in the story but you will be offered the option of using your Pass to bump the story to the top of the "upcoming" section for the Queue. If you choose to use your Pass, the credits are then returned to you. You can use the Free Pass whenever you want and it never expires. You can have multiple free passes at once.

    2. Premium Members may purchase a Free Pass at a cost of 15 credits when they submit a story to bump the story to the top of the "upcoming" section of their chosen Queue. This is an additional cost so that a story that would normally cost 3 credits to submit would cost a total of 18 credits if they wish to purchase a pass to ensure that it will be reviewed in the next crit period. If they have enough credits and they wish to purchase a Free Pass when they submit a story, they just click on the appropriate check box when they reach the 'Options' stage of the submission process.

     What is the thick skin club?
    The thick skin club is an unofficial club here on CC that some members came up with. You just put in your profile or in your author's notes "Member of the thick skin club" and you can count on your critters being ruthless. There's nothing more to it.

    Keep in mind however that just because someone has this tag in their profile it doesn't mean you can be unduly harsh in your crits.

     Why is the sky blue?
    The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering. As light moves through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. Little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected by the air.

    However, much of the shorter wavelength light is absorbed by the gas molecules. The absorbed blue light is then radiated in different directions. It gets scattered all around the sky. Whichever direction you look, some of this scattered blue light reaches you. Since you see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue.

    As you look closer to the horizon, the sky appears much paler in color. To reach you, the scattered blue light must pass through more air. Some of it gets scattered away again in other directions. Less blue light reaches your eyes. The color of the sky near the horizon appears paler or white.

     What is a Star Critiquer?
    A Star Critiquer is someone who makes an outstanding contribution to CC through their critiquing activity. You will see them marked in their member page and in the Story Queue with a star:

    There are two ways to achieve Star Critiquer status.

    1. Anyone awarded a 'Free Pass of the week' receives a star for a period of one month after the award of the pass. See What is a Free Pass? for more details.

    2. A member can achieve Star Critiquer status if the quality of their critiques maintains an average grade of Perfect for his last few dozen critiques. When a critique is graded tipping the user's grade over the "near perfect" line the user is marked as a Star Critiquer for one month. If the user doesn't critique in the next month (more to the point, if his crits aren't graded in a month), the status is removed. This is done so that people can't have the Star Critiquer designation forever without continuing to contribute. However, if the user continues to critique and to maintain the quality of those critiques, he will continue to be a Star Critiquer.
    You cannot see yourself if your average grade is high enough to warrant a Star Critter designation, but if you give good high quality crits and have an average rating of "Perfect" you could be eligible.
    Note: You have to have submitted at least 50 graded critiques in order to qualify for a Star based on grade.

    There are very few people with this status at any given time.

    You do not have to be a premium member in order to get a star critter status. Simply give the best critiques you can

    —Many thanks to Angelnorth for contributing this FAQ entry—

     How do I create a dedicated reader system?
    Critique Circle has in place a unique, extremely elaborate system for managing dedicated readers.

    Premium subscribers can use the personalized queue to create a dedicated reader system. Simply go to Story Queue — My Queues and create a one-to-many queue. Then invite your dedicated readers to your queue.

    You can decide if the Queue is connected to the Critique Circle's credit system where you have to pay for each submission and the critiquer gets paid for reviewing your work, or if no credits change hands when you submit your work and it is reviewed.

    Premium subscribers are able to create any number of dedicated reader Queues and invite any registered member into them. The invitees do not have to have a Premium Subscription.

    The only restrictions that apply are that you can only have three Queues active at any one time and each Queue cannot have more than eight invitees.

     Add a picture to your profile
    Go to your profile page by clicking on your username in the upper right corner and then go to Public profile. On that page you can click Edit Profile and upload a picture of yourself and add some information if you like.

     Does 'Hide My Activity' make it so no one can read my crit?
    No, it doesn't.
    It's not possible to hide critiques but we point out the possibillity of making your critiques anonymous except to the author of the story. He/she will always have to know who wrote each critique.

     Someone I know has vanished from the members list. Why?
    Only participating members are listed. If a new member does not participate within a week, he or she vanishes from the member's list.

    As you can see on the About... page the number of "Active members" is only a small percentage of registered members. You only see the active members on the members list.

     Why did my private messages disappear?
    Private messanges in your message box will only remain there for 30 days. There is also a 30 message limit, counting inbox and outbox. When your box is full, the oldest messages will be deleted.

    We do this to keep the database fast and manageable.

    You should store your messages elsewhere, for example by sending them to your own email regularly. The best way is to go to All messages, select all messages and press "Send messages". You'll receive a single email with all the selected messages.

    When you've made sure you have received all your messages in your email, you can delete all the messages in your on-site mailbox, leaving plenty of room for new messages.

    Premium Members have a limit of 200 messages and no expiration. Premium Gold members have an unlimited message box.

     What if someone plagiarizes my story?
    The risk of plagiarism is minimal since plagarists rarely get away with such theft.

    If you are concerned, these are several steps you can take to minimize the risk of someone stealing your material:

    1) Allow only those who critique to view your story. This is an option you can tick when you send in your story and will lessen the number of people who read your story. However, you may receive fewer crits since new members won't be able to look at your material.

    2) Hide your story once the critique period is over — that way nobody else will be able to look at it. View your story under "My Page" and click "hide story". Again, this means people won't be able to critique your story after the one week period has passed, and you may therefore receive fewer crits.

    3) Delete your story.

    IP numbers are registered, as is who reads which story, and in case of actual cases of plagiarism this information may be used in an attempt to track down the culprit.

    About Critique Circle

     How do I report a bug?
    CC isn't perfect and there might be a few bugs strewn about here and there.

    We would appreciate it if you would report any issues that you find by using the Report Bug link at the bottom of the page.

    Thank you!

     How do I contact an administrator?
    Using CC's message system is the best way. Open your message box (you'll find it by clicking on the message icon at the top of the page), click on Write a message and put Administrator in the recipient box. You should get an answer from one of the admins very soon.

    You can also go to the About... page. On the bottom of that page you'll find two possibilities of contacting us, either by using our message system or by sending us an email at:

     Can I write a blog for CC?
    Yes you can! The CC blog is a community effort and most of the blogs are written by members just like you.

    If you want to write a blog for us just send a message to the administrators [link here] and tell us what you want to write about. We will add an empty blog entry for you and you write your blog in there.

    Your finished blog will go into our queue and you will be sent a message when it gets published. The waiting time is typically a couple of weeks.

     Who are the CC moderators?
    Our brave team of moderator volunteers:










     Who is the Critique Circle for?
    The Critique Circle is for everyone who wants to write, be it novels, short stories or articles.

    The Critique Circle doesn't have an age-limit and everyone is welcome to join as long as they agree to our rules and policies, and are interested in actively participating.

     How can I help the Critique Circle?
    An excellent question!

    You can help by critting frequently and well, submitting stories and being active on the forums.

    You can tell your friends about the Critique Circle, mention us on your mailinglists, or any forums you frequent.

    You also help the Critique Circle to develop and grow by becoming a Premium user. You'll have access to a lot of extra features, as well as the pleasure of knowing you're helping the Critique Circle to stay alive.

     Can I print out pages from Critique Circle?
    Some pages such as stories and critiques have a "Printer-Friendly Version" button which allows you to print out a page that has a specific layout for printers, but even if the page you are on does not have such a button you can still print it out in a pretty nice way without any menus or other extra elements.

    Simply print the page as you would normally do (through File->Print or the Print button on your browser's toolbar) and the layout in your copy will be tailored for the printer. You can also select "Print Preview" in your browser beforehand to see what the printout will look like.

    It is recommended that you enable "Print Background color and images" for best effect, whether you are printing in colour or black&white. This is enabled through Internet Explorer's "Options" page or Firefox's "Page setup" page.
    This step is not crucial but your printouts will look nicer

     Taking Screenshots
    Taking a screenshot in Windows

    * With the CC page displayed on your screen, press one of the following on your keyboard:
    ** Alt + Print Screen to capture the active window
    ** Print Screen to capture your full computer screen (recommended)

    * Select Start > Programs > Accessories > Paint. The Paint application opens.

    * Press Ctrl + V to paste the screenshot into Paint. If you receive a message that says: "The image in the clipboard is larger than the bitmap. Would you like the bitmap enlarged?" click Yes.

    * Select File > Save As. The Save As dialog opens.
    * In the Save in field, select a location to save the file, such as your Desktop.
    * In the File name field, type in a name for the bitmap.
    * In the Save as type field, select .jpg.
    * Click Save.

    Taking a screenshot in MacOS X

    * With the CC page displayed on your screen, press the following on your keyboard:
    ** Shift-Apple key-3 to capture the full screen, and place screenshot files on the desktop.

    Here is more information on taking screenshots

     How does the Critique Circle work?
    This is how the Critique Circle works: You start here with 2 credits. You therefore need to criticise at least one story before you can submit a story of your own, as the cost of submitting a story is 3 credits.

    You earn credits by critting stories. If your crit reaches 150 words you earn 0.5 credits, and if it reaches 300 words you earn 1 credit.

    You can earn more credits by critting long stories. A 150 word crit always gives you 0.5 credit but if you give a 300 word crit you earn 1.5 credits if the story reaches 2.000 words and 2 credits if the story reaches 4.000 words.

    There are no credits for crits under the 150 word limit.

    Besides stories, you can find a variety of other things here, on the Critique Circle. For example articles, writing exercises, forums, links and an output-chart (only available for Premium users).

    To start go to the story queue page and pick a story to crit!

    Discussion forums

     What exactly is a thread?
    Each topic on the forums is a thread. Click on "forums" and choose a forum, for example "General Discussion". Then you'll see a list of subjects being discussed — a list of "threads".

     Can I post content outside of CC in the forums?
    If it is used with the permission of who it belongs to and is accompanied with a proper source (link), then a few lines to help illustrate a point being made is permitted. Longer information should simply be offered as a link for readers to go and see for themselves.

     How can I tell if a subject has been discussed before?
    Before starting a new thread on a specific subject it's a good idea to check whether someone has discussed it before.

    You can use the global search function at the top of the page to search for thread titles. You can then use the forum search by going into the Forums menu at the top and clicking Search Forums in order to do a full search.

     Is there any way to view archived threads?
    Yes. Click on "archive" at the bottom of each forum, then on the relevant thread.

     Are there any forum rules?
    Yes there are:

    - Please be nice, polite and considerate!

    - We encourage a lively debate, but The Critique Circle is not responsible for individual messages. The Critique Circle reserves the right to delete, move or edit any messages that are harmful, hurtful, indecent or generally unacceptable.

    -Please respect other people's opinions. If you disagree, you may of course express that, but do so politely. If a discussion has turned into a flame war, we may lock the thread and close the discussion.

    - Advertising and self-promotion is not permitted on the forums, although authors can list their published books and website in their signature. Contact the administrators if you think an exception should be made regarding other advertising.

    - Personal attacks and personal comments do not belong on Critique Circle. Trolls trying to incite flame wars will not be tolerated.

    - Discussion about individual stories or critiques is not allowed on the forums without the author's express consent. Discussion about other people's critiques should only refer to content, not to quality.

    - Administrators may move discussion or individual posts between threads to keep the forums organized. They are not obliged to move or delete posts at members's request.

    - Please respect other people's privacy. If you know personal information about someone, you may not disclose this without their permission. This includes citing a personal message or critique comments that will lead to the CC member being identified.

    - If you have a problem with the administrator's individual decisions, please contact us directly through the message system or email, not through the forums.

    -Do not post portions of critiques or personal messages in the public forums under any circumstance.

    - The Critique Circle is a private password-protected site. What happens on CC stays on CC. CC submissions, crits and forum chatter is not to be used for blog fodder, and publicly ridiculing a CC member's viewpoint or opinion will not be tolerated. The poster's membership may be revoked to prevent a re-occurrence and to protect our members.

    - Individuals breaking the rules may receive a warning, temporarily lose the right to participate in the forums, indefinitely lose the right to participate in the forums, or be expelled from the CritiqueCircle altogether. Consequences are at the discretion of the administrators and will depend on the severity of the violation. CC administration reserves the right to deny or revoke membership at their own discretion.

     Can I remove all my forum posts from this site?
    No, once you post something on the forums it's there to stay. While CC claims no copyright on the forum posts we cannot mass-delete them upon request since this would damage the threads in which they belong and could derail an ongoing discussion completely.

    However, if you post something like a short story or a poem in the forums and want that sort of material removed please send us a request with the url of specific threads and it's certainly something that we will look into.

    Keep in mind that we will not do this for people willy-nilly. We will only do this if you intend to close your account and stop using CC.

    Premium members can delete posts from the forum that they own.

     How do I keep a thread on-topic?
    When you start a thread, you can tick "On-topic conversation only". That will mark the thread as such, and administrators will move or remove off-topic posts.

    Contact the administrators if you feel the conversation has gone off-topic and should be pruned.

    When you participate in a conversation someone else has marked "On-topic conversation only", you're of course expected to keep to the topic at hand.

    Admins will be merciless in deleting off-topic posts from a thread which is marked "Please keep posts on topic in this thread.". Don't take it personally if your post gets deleted because it was deemed off-topic, it happens.

    Premium Services

     Do I need new queues when I go from Premium to Premium Gold?
    All your existing queues will be automatically bumped up to 24 users when your Gold membership is processed.

     Novels: Adding chapters to your novel
    Once your novel is created you are presented with a rather bleak looking screen which has your novel name and notes but not much else.
    What you should do now is add the chapters into the novel skeleton. This is not the same as adding submissions, which we will do later. For now we add the chapters which are placeholders where you will add your submissions (what are usually called 'stories').
    The hierarchy of the novel is the following: Novel -> Chapter -> Submission

    Click 'Add Chapter' to insert your first chapter.

    Here you can (optionally) enter a chapter name, but you must enter a number for your chapter that has not been used before in this novel. Since this is your first chapter you can leave the '1' there.

    Some novels have short chapters so you might want to submit two chapters into the queue at once to conserve credits etc. If you plan to add submissions which contain more than one chapter you can pick the number of chapters here as well. That will inform the system that submissions into this chapter entry are actually meant for the chapter number that you put in and the next chapters as well.

    Chapter Synopsis is optional but a very good idea to fill in. Here you should write a short description of the chapter and explain (briefly) what happens, who is involved etc.
    When people are reading your novel they will have the option of viewing the combined synopsis of all chapters preceding the one they are currently reading. This will give you a great way to get more readers. If you are submitting chapter 5 in a public queue you are much more likely to get people critting it if they don't have to read your other 4 chapters in order to crit this one. By then they'll love your novel so much you can't keep them away

    So we recommend putting in a chapter synopsis. Not only are you making your novel more accessible to people but you're making yourself write up text that you will have to write when you're submitting your novel to a publisher. A win-win situation.

    If this chapter is a prologue or an epilogue that you are going to add submissions to (if you want these to be critted) check that option. There can be only one of those special-purpose prologue and epilogue chapters per novel.

    Everything about the chapter can be changed later, so you can fill in what you want when you want it.

    You can add all your chapters now, or the first ten or whatever, using the same method as above. You can also do that later, or just when you add your submissions.

    Now your novel skeleton is set up. Let's add some meat. There are two ways to add submissions to a novel: You can either arrange stories you have already submitted into the novel or you can submit directly into the novel.

     Novels: Adding existing submissions to a novel
    If you have already submitted some chapters of your novel without using the novel system and you then want to start using it it's easy. click 'Link an existing submission to this chapter' in the empty chapter.

    You can now select any one of your submissions to Critique Circle, no matter into what Queue it was posted. However, you cannot select deleted submissions or submissions to a deleted Queue. Other than that, select at will and click 'Add to chapter' to continue.

    You should take special note of the warning message on this page. The Title, Type, Genre and Sub Genre of the submission will be automatically changed to match the novel. If you pick the wrong story you can always disconnect it from the novel though.

    Once you click 'Add to chapter' you find yourself back on the novel details page with the submission visible in the list of submissions for your first chapter.

    You can add more submissions to your first chapter if you want by clicking "Submit part XXX" or "Attach existing story as Part XXX". This is especially useful if your chapters are long and in several parts. Typically you will have a single submission per chapter but if your chapters are too long to be critted at once you might want to split them up.

     Novels: Submitting stories into a novel
    Once your novel is up and running you will most likely be posting directly into the novel. This is done through the Submit Story page.

    In step 2 (Story), you can now either select 'Individual Submission' or 'Chapter in a novel'. If you select the latter you will not be able to put in a title, type or genre, but you can select either to submit to an existing chapter of your novel or create a new chapter. Select either and finish submitting your story as normal.

    You are free to enter author's notes for this submission if you wish, but once again it's a good idea to use novel-global author's notes instead.

    Note the story title on the confirmation step. It should reflect the novel name and the chapter that you are submitting to.

    Once you submit the story you can view it and see that it has the title of the novel with the chapter number, name and part as a subtitle.
    If you have submitted other parts into the chapter or other chapters you will see the navigation links to the previous or next submissions.
    You can click 'View all chapters' to go to the novel page.

    Note that submitting into a novel costs the same as normal submissions. If you submit into a private queue however, each submission will always cost 3 credits, regardless of how many submissions you have in the queue.

     Novels: Using Outlines
    You can add characters, places or whatever structured information you wish to the novel from the Novel detail page. Click 'Add Outline' to start.

    Here you can either add an existing entry from The Workshop, create a new Workshop entry or simply just write a name and a description for a quick-and-dirty entry.
    You can also optionally add a chapter number which introduces the character so that this entry will not be shown for chapters preceding that one.

    Let's select 'Create new workshop entry' from the drop-down to create our protagonist. Now click 'Send' to be taken to the Workshop where you can edit this entry.

    You should not check 'Hide this entry' as it will then be useless to your novel. Just enter a name and choose a template.

    Once you finish putting in some details (you should especially put some text into the entry's description because that will always be directly visible to your readers), you can go back to your novel and see the entry connected to the novel. You can always edit the entry in the workshop later.

    It can also be a great idea not to only put your characters in here, but places, planets, cities or whatever you want to flesh out. You can create your own templates in the workshop to put your data in.

    If you open up one of the submissions in your novel you will now see ' Outlines (Characters/Places)' link at the top of the story. If you click this you will see some information about the character that you just put in. This is always accessible to your readers along with the chapter synopsis from before.

     Can I pick a new user icon?
    A user icon is something that Premium members get to choose when they first sign up for a premium subscription.

    Please choose your icon carefully, as it's meant to be uniquely yours for the duration of your time as a CC Premium member.

    If there is a compelling reason why you need a new one, please contact the administrators.

     Can I buy credits?
    No, the only way to earn credits is to critique other people's stories.

    However, the first time you you sign up for a premium subscription you get one extra credit as a thank you.

     Novels: Reading a Novel
    On the 'Story Queue' page you can see at a glance which submissions are a part of a novel by the blue book icon next to the story name.
    You can also see that even if the story name is clipped because it is too long, the chapter and part are always shown.
    When you read a submission that is a part of a novel you will see a few differences from other types of submissions.
    1) You are able to navigate between submissions by clicking on the gray links pointing back and forward next to the novel title. The name of the novel and the name of the chapter are also seperated
    2) You can view the novel by clicking 'view all chapters' below the story title.
    3) A 'Novel Information' box is right above the Author's notes. This box will contain Synopsis for previous chapters, synopsis for the current chapter and information about characters and places that the author has filled in. Clicking the links will expand the requested information in the Novel Info box.
    If the information is not available the box does not contain the links.
    4) Author's notes is novel-global, that is it is identical for all the submissions in the novel except for the information below "Submission notes"

    You can freely navigate between the chapters of the novel as long as you are a member of the Queue in which the submission lies. If you are not a member of a Queue you will be instructed on how to become a member. This might be the case when you're reading a novel in the public Queues and the author continues the novel in his private Queue.

    If the next submission is still in the 'upcoming' list you can request to be notified when it comes up for review.

    You can see all the chapters a member has submitted in his novel from looking at the "Stories" page accessible from his member profile. If you select "Novel Chapters" you will see a list of all submissions that are a part of a novel, whether you are subscribed to the relevant Queue or not (providing the novel itself is not hidden).

     Novels: What is the Novel System?
    The Critique Circle Novel System allows you to string together your submissions into a single cohesive whole, giving your readers a very intuitive way to critique your entire novel.

    The Novel System is available for our Premium Members.

    You can submit chapters or parts of chapters into whatever Queue you wish without risking a loss-of-continuity for your readers. They will be able to follow the novel wherever it goes, because the Novel System transcends Queues. You might for example put 2-3 chapters in the public Queues and the rest in your private Queue and people will be able to follow it seamlessly (providing they have access to your Queue).
    If people follow your novel submissions to a Queue they don't have access to they can request access to the Queue in question with a single click. Irresistible!

    Or the boring short version: People can browse directly to the previous and next chapters of the submission they are currently viewing.

    There are also a lot of bells and whistles with this system:
    * You are able to connect your novel to the Outlining Workshop to give your readers insight into your characters.
    * You can write up a per-chapter synopsis to get people quickly up to speed who are jumping in late.
    * You can combine all discussion on the different novel submissions into a single thread.
    * You can have novel-wide author's notes so that you're not always writing the same stuff over and over
    * Readers are 'dragged along' to view subsequent chapters when they are critting, even between Queues. Also, if the next chapter is 'upcoming' they are invited to get a notification.
    * You can add all sorts of different types of information about your novel for your readers.
    * You can add revisions and submit the same chapter part into multiple queues

    The interface for creating and maintaining your novel might seem a little daunting at first but we hope that these FAQ entries (labeled "Novels:") will help with the learning curve. And once you've mastered using this system we're convinced it will provide you with a more consistent stream of high-quality crits and dedicated readers who are tuned into your every word.

     Novels: Deleting from a novel
    You can delete your novel, individual chapters from the novel or individual submissions from each chapter.
    What this does is it disconnects each contained submission from the novel, but you never actually delete the submission itself from the novel page.

    Here is an example:
    I have a novel with three chapters, each one with two submissions (part 1 and part 2).
    I have rewritten part 2 of chapter 3 and decide to switch the old submission out for the new one, so that people reading the novel will get the newest version.
    I click the 'x' next to the submission in the novel detail page.
    The old submission is now 'disconnected' from the novel. It still has the same name as it did before, but if you go into the submission you will see that it has none of the novel features and is no longer present on the novel page.

    I now rename this old submission to something like My novel name ch 3 (old draft) and submit my new draft into a Queue of my choosing.
    When I submit the story I select the novel and the chapter as the place I want to submit to. The submission now becomes Part 2 of the Chapter 3.

    You can delete whole chapters or even the entire novel in the same way. This will disconnect all the submissions so they'll become just regular submissions without any of the bells and whistles of the novel system. You can disconnect and reconnect submissions from your novel at will.

    Please note: Deleting stories is not the same as deleting submissions in a novel. If you delete your story (so that all its text is gone) it is not disconnected from the novel.

     Can I edit stories while they are up for review?
    Yes, but only if you are a Premium Gold Member.

    Access your story, and click on "view story in detail". Then select "edit story."

    If you are a regular Premium Member you will only be able to edit as long as their are no crits in progress, and your story is in a private queue. If there are pending critiques, you will have to wait for the critters to submit them. You will not be able to do this when your story is up for review in the public queues.

    Please note that "placeholders" are not allowed.

     How do I choose an icon?
    After you have subscribed to the Premium Membership a message telling you to choose an icon will appear in the Reminders list on the frontpage.

    Remember, you can only choose your icon once, so pick carefully.

     Do members lose their stories if I delete my private queue?
    Members will always have access to their stories, critiques of their stories, and critiques they've given on other peoples' work, even if the stories were located in a private queue that has been deleted or closed. The same is true if you choose to remove a member from your private queue.
    If you have a story in a private queue tat has been closed or deleted other people will not be able to see or crit the story.

     How do I add to my Buddy List?
    The Buddy list is a part of Premium Services.

    To add a buddy, go to My Buddy List and click on Add a buddy, which you see on the blue bar in the middle of the page.

    You can also add a buddy by clicking "add buddy" on someones profile page or on the window that pops up when you hover over their name. You can remove someone from your buddy list in the same way.

     How do I invite a member to my queue?
    When you want to invite members to your private queue you choose the queue you want to work on.
    After you have done that you click on the Edit option. On the top bar for the queue you see several option, one of which is Members. Click on that button.

    Now you will see Invite a new member to this queue. If you click on that you will be able to pick members from the memberlist.

    Keep in mind that if you have a many-to-many queue where everyone can submit stories only premium members are eligible and only those will show up in your search results.

    If you have a personal queue (for a full novel crit for example) you can invite anyone, up to a maximum of 8 members (for premium subscribers) or 24 members (for premium gold subscribers)

     I've signed up for Premium but nothing happens! Why?
    Some time may pass from the moment when you sign up for Premium Membership til your Premium account is activated.

    If more than 24 hours pass and your membership hasn't been activated, please drop a note to us through the message box.

    Most of the time, new memberships are activated within a few hours.

     What happens to my queues if I stop being a Premium member?
    If, for some reason, you have to give up your Premium Subscription we will keep your queues in archive for at least one year — unless you ask for them to be deleted So if you decide to join the Premium system again you can do so within a year and find your queues intact.

     When will my Premium account expire?
    Please check your account info under My page, and you'll find this information. You'll also receive notification around a week before your account expires.

    If you have a recurring subscription you will also get a notification on the front page a week before the renewal takes place, but you do not need to do anything, unless you do not intend to renew your subscription for another term.

    You will still have access to the Critique Circle after your Premium subscription expires but your personal forum and Queues will be closed.

    No information is lost when your account expires and you are free to continue using CC as a regular member. You are of rouce always welcome back into premium services at which point you can reopen your queues and forum.

     Is my private forum free from tampering from the admins?
    The admins reserve the right to do periodic checks on private forums and queues. Please note that CC's rules and rules of conduct still apply, and will be enforced if necessary.

     Can I submit any type of material to my private Queues?
    Any material that complies with CC's global rules. That is, the material you submit has to be your own, and pornography and fan-fiction is not allowed.

     What does Branch/Lock/Continue/Archive thread do?
    Branch splits up the thread, so if a discussion has gone off-topic, you can move the off-topic posts to another thread.

    Lock locks the thread so it's not possible to post more. This closes the discussion.

    Continue creates a new thread on the same topic, and is used when the old thread has become very long.

    Archive moves the thread into the archives.

     Can I remove members from my Queue/forum?
    Yes. Enter the queue and pick users. Tick the username of the member you want to remove and click remove.

    Please remember to send the user a message to explain why you removed him or her from the queue.

     How do I delete a private queue?
    Every so often you might want to delete a Queue that you've created. To do this you click "edit" on the queue on the Story Queue page and then "delete".

    If there are any stories anywhere in the Queue then you will not be able to delete it. You will have to "reject" all submitted stories, making the Queue effectively empty before deleting it.

    A deleted queue is not removed from the database so the stories in the queue will still be accessible to you but to no one else.

     How do I create a private critique group?
    Premium subscribers can create their own private critique group. One of the members creates a queue (Story Queue — My Queues), and invites the other members to participate. Before creating the queue, members have to decide on issues such as how long each critique period lasts, if it runs on the CC credit system or not, etc.

    All premium subscribers can create their own queues, but it's simpler for a crit group to use one queue for their shared work. If they prefer, they can instead each submit their stories to their own personal queue, and invite their group members to that queue.

    This use of the Custom Queue system only allows for Premium Subscribers to be members of the Queue and you can invite a maximum of eight members into each many 2 many Queue. If you wish to have more than 8 members, you must become a Gold Premium member.

     What does it mean to make a forum post sticky?
    As a forum owner, you can choose to make your messages "Sticky". This means they stick to the top of the forum, and is useful for important messages.

     What happens when my premium subscription expires?
    You can see on "My page" when your subscription expires. Two weeks before your subscription lapses you'll get a message.

    When you choose not to renew, your private queues and forums will no longer be available to you. They are kept for some time, unless you request otherwise, so that everything is where you left it if you choose to return.

    If you downgrade from premium gold to premium, your queues go from 24 member to 8 members, and the gold-only features will not be available anymore.

     What is a Premium member?
    Premium members are users who have chosen to pay a small annual fee to support the Critique Circle. They have access to more tools and services than other users.

    Click here for more information and pricing.

     How do I cancel an automatically recurring subscription?
    You can cancel your recurring subscription at any time from My Page. On that page you can see if you have an automatically recurring subscription profile and on what date you will next be charged.

    Simply click on the Unsubscribe button which takes you to your Paypal page where you can cancel the recurring payment profile to Critique Circle.

     Novels: Creating your first Novel
    Open Up Stories->My Novels

    Click on "Add New Novel"

    Here you can write your novel title and a short description of it. You must select a Type and Genre.

    Writing the author's notes is optional but it is highly recommended that you give your readers information on what you're expecting from crits and fill in gaps they might be having. These notes appear before and after all submissions in the novel.
    The advantage of using these 'novel-global' author's notes is that you can change them here at any time and all your chapters are updated immediately.

    Having author's notes here does not preclude having submission-specific author's notes as well. In fact, the two work very well together.

    Once you're done click "Send"

    Hide Novel
    When you put your submissions into a novel, they become inherently more visible than they would be otherwise. For example, if you have a chapter in a public Queue and then chapters in a private Queue, readers are able to see that you have submitted the chapters in your private Queue (even if they can't access it). Sometimes you might not want the novel to be visible at all. For example, if you are done and don't want any more crits.

    You can then choose this option which will make the novel hidden to everyone but you. No one will be able to see the novel navigation on the submissions or the novel information bar.

    Optional Information for your readers

    These are a set of fields which you can fill out if you want to give your readers some additional information about your novel. It is totally optional to add information here.

     Would you like your own showcase of your work?
    Trying to promote your books or other work? Premium Gold membership allows a writer's showcase to be linked to search engines outside of CC!

    Start by clicking 'Showcase' on your toolbar.

    Fill in the title of your book, upload an image of the cover, add in a blurb in the text window as well as links to your website, Amazon, etc. where people can purchase your work.


    Remember to select the fields below the textbox to tailor your showcase!

     How do I invite someone to my personal forum?
    Scroll to the bottom of your Personal Forum page and click on the Invite User link then choose the member you want to invite from the Users list and click the Invite selected users button

     What is Premium Gold Membership?
    Premium Gold Membership adds another layer to the benefits of Premium Membership by expanding the benefits.

    In addition to premium benefits, these extras are also included:

    Unlimited message box CC won't delete any of your messages!

    Unlimited number of people in your personal forum You are no longer restricted by the 20-member maximum.

    24 member Queues! You can have up to 3x24 member private queues on your account!

    Up-for-review editing Unlike normal Premium Membership, which only allows for editing prior to a story being up for review, Premium Gold Membership allows users to make minor edits their stories while they are in live in public queues. Note that you cannot replace the whole story while it is up for review but you can edit individual paragraphs to fix small issues.

    No archive of stories Normally stories are archived after a certain period of time to conserve space. As a Gold Member, your stories don't get archived unless you want them to!

    If you currently have a premium account and want to upgrade to Gold just send a message to administrator and we will give you a quote for the upgrade.

    For more information on Premium Membership: click here

     How can I renew my premium membership?
    You should receive a message before your membership expires, with a link to a renewal page.

    If you don't receive this message, or want to renew ahead of time (your new subscription period will be calculated from the day your older one expires), you can use this link:

    You can check the current status of your premium subscription on your My Page. From there you can also view your subscription history.

     How do I buy a premium subscription?
    Since basic membership is free our Premium members run this site with their donation.

    If you would like to become a premium members you can go here. If you would like to see what benefits you get from a premium subscription click here.

    If you are already a subscriber, you can check the current status of your premium subscription on your My Page. From there you can also view your subscription history.

     How do I use the classifieds?
    Premium queues can be advertized in the classifieds to attract new members. This is a great way to fill up your queue and meet new critters who want to see your work!

    Go to 'Classifieds' in the story queue (at the bottom). You will see an option to 'add my queue to the classifieds'. Select this, and it will show a list of all the queues you currently have. Select the one you wish to place in the classifieds, and hit, 'Create advertizement'.

    Fill in the fields required and then post your ad. It will now be part of the classifieds for 4 months maximum. You can remove your queue at any time from the classifieds.

    If after 4 months you don't have a full queue and want to continue using the classifieds, you will need to add your queue again to the classifieds, using the above steps.

     How does the Buddy system work?
    When you add people to your buddy list, you'll be notified when your buddies submit a story, a crit, write on the boards, etc.

    This is useful, for example, if you primarily work within a private crit group and don't have much time to participate in other parts of the Critique Circle, but want to keep up with what your buddies are doing on the site.

     I invited a member to my queue, but it says registration.
    If that is the case the user you invited hasn't accepted your invitation yet.
    He/she does that by clickin on a link, embedded in the invitation you sent. He/she can also decline the invitation by clicking on the link.

    Features and Tools

     How do I use Manuscript Progress?
    First, hit 'new manuscript' to start your chart.

    Type in the info you need—title, description, and charting by WC, keystrokes, etc. Hit send.

    This brings you to progress graph, and you'll see the name of your work and the chart.

    Go to progress goals. Set a goal, hit 'add point.'

    Go to numeric table. Write in what you accomplished each day (keystrokes, WC, etc). Hit add point.

    This will take you back to Progress Graph and you should see a red line for your goal, and a blue line for your progress.

    You can now add more daily WC on Numeric table (it will automatically fill in the acumulated amounts in the second box for added entries) and hit 'add point', or you can add another goal in addition to the first one under Goals (make sure you change the date for the second goal).

    **Please note that non premium members can only have one manuscript tracked for progress at once. To have full access to this feature with multiple novels tracked, please consider Premium or Premium Gold membership.

     How do story bookmarks work?
    When reading a story, you will notice a little bookmark icon on the left margin text.

    This icon will show you how far you've progressed in the text in percentage and if you click it a story bookmark will be added in this spot.

    The next time you go into this story it will automatically scroll there for you to continue.

    This works across sessions and devices so you can start to read a story on your ipad and then easily continue on your desktop.

    These story bookmarks show up on a special Bookmarked Stories box on the front page giving you easy access to the story.

    You can also bookmark a story for later reading by clicking on the Bookmark story or Add bookmark links in the story pages or in the popup that appears when you hover over a story title. These links will typically have this icon:

     How does the Outlining Workshop work?
    The Outlining Workshop in the Toolchest can be an extremely powerful tool for helping you to create characters for your stories.

    It can be a daunting task to build characters and maintain consistency throughout the story. The Outlining Workshop can help you in both areas.
    Each character is set forth as a series of facts such as "height", "hair length", "religion", etc. and after going through the workshop with your character it is inevitable that you have gotten to know him or her better.
    The data is kept here on Critique Circle for you to look up and edit at any time. You can also print it out for quick reference.

    To Add a new character (any any type of outline) to the Workshop Click "Add Outline" From the toolbar. You are now presented with the "Outline Creation" screen. If this is a character then you can insert a name for your character, specify which story he is in and add a short comment for you to better identify him later.
    You do not have to fill out the fields and this information can be changed at any time.

    What you will have to do, however, is specify a template upon which to base this outline on. There are several public templates available, both from the Administrators and Premium Members. You can click on the associated "view" link to view details regarding each template.
    Once you click "Create Outline" your character is created and you can start to add information about him.

    Premium Members are able to add an unlimited number of outlines while normal users have a maximum of two concurrent characters (if you delete an outline you will be able to start a new one).
    Premium Members can also create their own templates and adopt existing templates to their needs through the "Outline Templates" page. To better understand how that works we recommend that you try to create a template from scratch and follow the simple instructions outlined at the bottom of the page.

    Have fun with the Outlining Workshop and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

     The Notebook
    Here is some general information on how to use the notebook. If you have a problem, or if you think this FAQ is incomplete, please drop us a note and we will try to improve it.

    The basic interface:

    Dragging and dropping: To move notes around, simply point to the header of the note (the part in a different color) and hold down your left mouse button and move the note to where you want to put it. You can also resize each note by dragging it by its sides or the bottom right corner, just like a window on your desktop!

    Dragging between folders: To put a note in a folder, drag the note over that folder, until you see the folder icon change. Then release the note.

    Changing note colours: You can change the colour of the note by clicking one of the many colored rectangles at the bottom of the editing box.

    Adding and removing folders: To add a new folder, click "Add Folder" in the main Notebook menu.
    To delete a folder, open that folder (by clicking on it) and then click "Delete Folder". Note that your folder must be empty before you can delete it.

    Autoarrange : If you click "autoarrange" your notes will line up in an alphabetical order.

    Changing the size of your storyboard: You can use the browser's zoom functions to make the storyboard bigger or smaller. You can press control and - to make the storyboard bigger and room for more notes on your screen, and control and + to make the storyboard smaller. Control+0 will return you to the standard size. You can also use control and the mousewheel.

    Number of notes: Regular members can write up to six notes, premium members have unlimited number of notes.

    Html: You can use html in all your notes.

    Length of notes: Notes can be up to 10.000 characters. That's about 2000 words.

     How can I see who is logged in?
    This can be found by clicking into that little "flag" icon (also known as the 'Notification Center') located in the upper-right portion of the page - just above the menu bar.

    Once you prompt that drop-down menu you'll find that the last list item shows the number of members currently online.

    From there, if you're curious to know exactly who those people are, you can select the button for 'view members' and you'll be provided with a list of names.

    If you see a list of members, they can also see your name. If all you see is "Sign in to view list", nobody can see your name - though you can change this instantly by clicking that sign-in link and then clicking the 'submit changes' button at the bottom of the settings page (which you will be automatically redirected to). The system should already have checked the "Allow others to see when I'm logged-in" option for you.

    If you wish to remain anonymous while logged in you will need to select 'change settings' from the drop-down menu spawned under you user name, navigate into the 'account settings' tab, and uncheck the box that says, "Allow others to see when I'm logged-in".

    The status for online members is updated every 10 minutes. A member may therefore appear online although they left during the last nine minutes. It's also possible for someone to have been using the same page for ten minutes and thus appear to be offline. To that extent, this is not always a completely reliable list.

     If my prompt is accepted, how long until it comes up?
    We have quite a lot of writing prompts coming in, so it could be several weeks or even months.

     How do I use Personal Info?
    You can use Personal Info to tell other members about yourself and tell them what you're up to, what books you are reading, what progress you are making on your manuscript or anything else you'd like.

    This is easy to do. You start by going to your own member page by clicking on your username in the top-right corner of the screen.

    Then you can click Add in whichever category you want to add something to. This will add a form onto the page where you can add your information. Click 'Submit Changes' to add the information to your page.

    If you want to keep this information to yourself, you can click 'This is a hidden entry'. That way only you can see it.

    Premium members can also create your own categories. You click Add category and fill out the form. There are several options you can experiment with.

    You can change your entries at any time by clicking edit, delete them by clicking delete and move them by dragging on the little icon on the far right.

    Have fun!

     Is there any way to make the font size bigger?
    Yes. Just use your browser's zoom functionality.

     How to arrange your queues
    If you're a premium member, you can arrange your Queues however you want to. This is done here.

    You will see your queues listed in a seemingly random order with a 'section' called (Automatically Arranged) at the top. This means that all the Queues under that bar are managed by the system into the following categories: Public Queues, Private Queues, My Queues and Closed Queues. You must drag any queues you wish to reorder so that they are above the Automatically Arranged bar.

    You might want to have names for your own sections. Try inserting a new section by clicking Add Section. You can give your section a name and click 'ok'. Your new section appears on top of the default section. You can now drag your Queues out from the default section and into your new section.

    Note that everything beneath the (Automatically Arranged) section will not be ordered and any new sections under it will be deleted once you click "Save" so make sure you place any new section headers above the (Automatically Arranged) bar.

    You can always reset your arrangement by dragging the (Automatically Arranged) section to the top. Dragging your Queues around under the (Automatically Arranged) section will have no effect.

    You can drag Queues to the top without any section above them. This will just put them onto the top of your Queue page. You can even just drag the (Automatically Arranged) section to the bottom and leave it at that to have all your Queues lined up the way you want to.

    Quick questions:
    Q: How do I delete a section I created?
    A: Drag it below the (Automatically Arranged) section and it will be deleted when you click Save

    Q: I arranged my Queues and it doesn't work when I click Save
    A: You were probably arranging Queues underneath the (Automatically Arranged) section. Those Queues cannot be arranged. Try dragging them above the (Automatically Arranged) section.

    Q: My new section vanished when I clicked Save.
    A: Your section was beneath the (Automatically Arranged) section and was deleted.

    Q: Can I arrange Queues in the (Automatically Arranged) section?
    A: No, you must create a new section above the (Automatically Arranged) section and drag your Queues into it in order to arrange them.

    Note: If you don't understand something, ask the moderators and we'll explain it and include in the FAQ.

     How do I claim authorship for a book I've written?
    Navigate to the 'Bookshelf' under the 'Community' dropdown menu. From there, type in keywords such as the book's title and the name you published it under. Unless your title is outrageously unique it'll save you time to include both the full title and author of the book into the search field.

    The bookshelf is linked to Amazon, which means a) You won't have to worry about adding your book to the bookshelf. If it can be found on Amazon you'll be able to find it here. b) Whatever Amazon shows as the information for 'Title' and 'Author' is the same information you'll want to use in your keyword search.

    Once you've located your book via the library search you'll need to click on the hyperlink for the book title so you are taken to the physical page for your book (if you see '=search' up in the address bar you are not on the physical page for the book). At the bottom of your book's permanent home on CC you will find a 'click here' link following the question, "Are you the author of this book?" Clicking this link will position your book in the "Books written by CC members" category on the Bookshelf's main page and link you as the author.

     Using the notebook for plotting
    You can use the notebook for plotting, or story-boarding.

    You could, for example, write a note for each chapter or for each scene. Then you can play around with the notes on your screen, dragging them back and forth as you organize and re-organize your story, adding scenes here, and taking them away there, until your story line looks the way you want it to.

    Story-boarding often helps you get a better overview of your story.

    Please let us know if you think of ways we can improve this tool.

     How do page bookmarks work?
    By using the bookmarks you can create shortcuts to the pages you use most frequently. You access the bookmarks from the top bar bookmark icon,

    If you put your cursor there a menu will open up that allows you to edit your page bookmarks, go to a page bookmark you have already saved or bookmark the current page.

    When you start out you already have a few bookmarks added. You can then add frequently viewed pages yourself.

    These page bookmarks are different from the bookmarks you can add to stories.

    You can have up to 10 page bookmarks if you are a regular member, 20 if you have a premium subscription and 40 if you have a premium gold subscription.

     How does the Spell Checker work?
    CCSpell is the name of Critique Circle's spell checker. It is very simple to use and available for all large (multi-row) text boxes on the site.

    To use it, first write your text into the box (critique, forum message, note, etc) and then click the spellcheck link on your textbox toolbar.

    The textbox will now become yellow and after a few seconds (after the "Working") box has disappeared from the upper left corner) found spelling errors are highlighted in red.

    To change a misspelled word click on it. You are presented with a drop-down menu where you can edit the word directly by clicking on it in the topmost row and writing it in, or you can select a word suggested by CCSpell.

    Each word has a icon next to it. Clicking on these will bring up a new page with the dictionary and thesaurus definitions for the word (from

    You can also ignore all instances of a word in your text (just this once) or you can add the word to your personal dictionary. Don't worry about adding names or special-purpose words, you can always edit your dictionary later by clicking on "CCSpell" in the bottom of this drop-down menu.

    CCSpell is not available for story submissions. You should spell-check your stories in your word editor of choice before submitting to CC. There is also a limitation of 3000 words per text area. This is because spell checking adds an extra load on the server and we want to minimize that.

    Please notify the admins of any errors you find with CCSpell so we can continue to make it better and more usable.

    Profile Settings

     How do I add a book I am reading/have read/etc.?
    1. Navigate into the 'Community' dropdown menu.
    2. Select 'Bookshelf'.
    3. Type in a keyword for the author/title of the book you want to make changes to, or select a book from one of the categories below.
    4. You should get to a page that looks like this. You'll notice that below the synopsis/review for the book are four blue links. At this point you should click whichever link corresponds to the action you wanted to take with regards to that book.
    5. Navigate back to your member page and, voilà! The book has made its way into the proper category! The process is complete.

    Member submitted content is © individual members.
    Other material is ©2003-2022
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