Please read Critique Circle rules before you start using the site. 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. See this knowledge base article for more details.
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.
Stories are submitted into different queues depending on their genre and each queue has a critique period where each story gets their time in the sun. Each critique period lasts one week from Wednesday 00:01 until end of Tuesday 23:59 in UTC time.
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 by giving it 1-5 stars. 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 few 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 Profile Page (click on your username and choose Public profile). 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.
Our popular tutorial videos 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.
You can always get back to this letter by reading the message in your message box. You can also use the handy checklist to learn about CC.