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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, and you can also try using our critique templates.
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.