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Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry May 28

Critter Notices

Books from Critters!

Check out Books by Critters for books by your fellow Critterfolk, as well as my list of recommended books for writers.

The Sigil Trilogy

If you're looking for an amazing, WOW! science fiction story, check out THE SIGIL TRILOGY. This is — literally — one of the best science fiction novels I've ever read.

New Book from a Critter Member

**NOW IN PRINT EDITION TOO!** Awesome new book, HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SPECULATIVE FICTION OPENINGS, from a Critter member who's unearthed a shard of The Secret to becoming a pro writer. Really good piece of work. "...if you're at all concerned about story openings, you'd be nuts not to read what Qualkinbush has to say." —Wil McCarthy, author of BLOOM and THE COLLAPSIUM


I was interviewed live on public radio for Critters' birthday, for those who want to listen.

Free Web Sites

Free web sites for authors (and others) are available at www.nyx.net.

ReAnimus Acquires Advent!

ReAnimus Press is pleased to announce the acquisition of the legendary Advent Publishers! Advent is now a subsidiary of ReAnimus Press, and we will continue to publish Advent's titles under the Advent name. Advent was founded in 1956 by Earl Kemp and others, and has published the likes of James Blish, Hal Clement, Robert Heinlein, Damon Knight, E.E. "Doc" Smith, and many others. Advent's high quality titles have won and been finalists for several Hugo Awards, such as The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy and Heinlein's Children. Watch this space for ebook and print editions of all of Advent's current titles!

Book Recommendation

THE SIGIL TRILOGY: The universe is dying from within... "Great stuff... Really enjoyed it." — SFWA Grandmaster Michael Moorcock

Announcing ReAnimus Press

If you're looking for great stuff to read from bestselling and award-winning authors—look no further! ReAnimus Press was founded by your very own Critter Captain. (And with a 12% Affiliate program.) [More]








Submitting Manuscripts by Email

In ye olden days, when Critters first started, and web pages didn't even know about forms yet(!), folks sent manuscripts in via email. This approach still works, but be warned, it's pretty tedious. You're far better off using the web form.

Anyway, if you must submit by email, here's how to do it:

Email submissions need to follow a strict format, including specific "header" information so the software minions can process it.

If you use email, send manuscripts as plain text, just as you would a critique; not encoded using binhex, base64 or such, just... straight text. Please keep the margins to 70 chars per line (but wrapping words, not truncating them). Single space. Indent paragraphs five spaces or double space between paragraphs. No "Rich Text Format" -- just ordinary, boring "plain text (aka "ASCII" or "DOS" text). No HTML. Certainly no word processor files (MSWord, WordPerfect, etc.). Proofread for typos/grammos as if submitting to Asimov's. Make sure you identify the genre (SF/F/H/M/T/...) or the software minions will get confused... :) There's a list of codes at http://www.critters.org/c/mastergenrelist.php

You may test out your manuscript for conformance to the format rules by visiting the http://www.critters.org/c/mscheck.ht web page.

If you must submit by email, you'll need to supply certain information in a format the software can process, so please submit your stories with the following simple items of information at the top of your submission text. This is called the "header block". (Failing to do so will result in your manuscripts getting bounced back to you.)

[I really recommend using the web page to submit your ms., as it will send me the right stuff based on a form you fill out.]

Okay, so, if you need to submit by email instead of the web site, here's the scoop:

The four main "header" items are (illustrated with a properly formatted example):


title: The Return of the King, Chapters 1-5
author: John R. R. Tolkien
genre: F
words: 15000
format: N


Devilish details (do exactly like above, but if your really must know...):

Please put the keywords (title/author/genre/words)

  • At the margin (no leading spaces, ">"s or anything).
  • In all lower case ("title", not "Title" or "TITLE").
  • Followed by a colon ("title:" not "title=" or "title...").
  • With no space between keyword and colon ("title:" not "title :").

And follow these simple rules for each keyword (doing it EXACTLY like the example should make these obvious):

    title: The title of your story

  • Caps for first letters of words ONLY (ahem, "Only").
  • Don't capitalize unimportant words ("the", "an"...) unless they're the first word of the title.
  • For novels, list which chapters after a comma, as in, "The Stuff, Chapters 3-6"; number Prologue as 0.
  • No quotes around the title
  • Just the title, no comments about it being a rewrite, or part of a series, etc.
  • No funky, non-ASCII characters in the title
  • No comments like "rewrite", "RFDR", or anything but the title, except:
  • For media tie in fiction, include the name of the franchise, e.g., "Star Trek: Operation Foo"
  • It MUST all fit on one line.

    author: Your real name

  • First letter caps only.
  • No pen names

    genre: Story type

  • MUST be one of the codes listed on http://www.critters.org/c/mastergenrelist.php
  • Do NOT spell out, use exactly the 1-2 letter code
  • No combinations: F/H is NOT allowed!
  • If you leave it blank, it will cause an error
  • Please spell "genre" correctly: G, E, N, R, E.

    words: Word count (or length in minutes for audio/video, # pages for web sites)

  • Just a number, no text.
  • Approximate to the nearest 100 (or 500) for word counts.
  • No commas.

    format: What kind of thing this is, e.g. short story, novel, script, song...

  • See the list at http://www.critters.org/c/masterformlist.ht

There are two additional header items for special purposes:

dr: Yes

Tells me this is a Request for Dedicated Readers, and will be marked as such. Failure to include this header -- nobody will know the thing is meant for dedicated readers. :-)

resub: Yes

Tells me this is a resubmission of an existing manuscript (one ALREADY in the queue but not yet sent out). Lack of this header will cause the manuscript to get ADDED to the queue. Note that for a resub to work, the title: header must be 100% identical. (If you're changing the title, send me a note and we'll work it out.)

Note that resubmissions must arrive NO LATER than 10 calendar days before the piece is scheduled to be sent out. I make no guarantees about anything received after that. (If you want to live on the edge, 7 of those 10 days are in case I move the ms. up a week, e.g., to fill a hole left by someone with sub-par participation. The other 3 days are to give me time to get the ms. into place. Anything tighter than that and chances get close to zero that I'll get it replaced in time. If it's already gone out to reviewers, it's too late to use this method.)

So if you had all six header items, you'd have:


title: The Return of the King, Chapters 1-5
author: John R. R. Tolkien
genre: F
words: 15000
format: N
dr: Yes
resub: Yes


Finally, folks may wonder what to put in the Subject: line of submission emails. The word "submission" somewhere in it is helpful. :-)


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