Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry Dec 07

Critter Notices

Critters is 23!

Yes, 23 years ago Critters was born. Wow! Thanks so much to all of you, who've made it such a resounding success!

Critters no longer accepting European Union members :(

It's with a heavy heart that I have to announce Critters can no longer accept people in the European Union as members. This is a result of the "GDPR" privacy laws going into effect. I'm a big fan of privacy, and applaud the general idea behind the GDPR, but the way it's implemented forces me to close the door to EU writers. [read more why...]

Books from Critters!

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

How to Write SF

The Craft of Writing Science Fiction that Sells by Ben Bova, best-selling author and six-time Hugo Award winner for Best Editor. (This is one of the books your ol' Critter Captain learned from himself, and I highly recommend it.) (Also via Amazon)

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.

P&E Has a New Caretaker!

I'm very happy to announce that P&E has been handed off to a new caretaker! Check out the site for news and such. Hurrah!


I'm being interviewed live on public radio for Critters 20th birthday. For those who want to listen, it's on the 10am (Mountain time) show on Thursday, 11/19/16, on Colorado Public Radio - has streaming on the site or it's 90.1 FM in the Denver area. [Interview is done, you can listen on the site]

Free Web Sites

Free web sites for authors (and others) are available at

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!

Network speeding up

I'm switching the connection over to a new, shiny 10X faster network because of all the load. There might be bits of downtime as your boxes learn new addresses and things. Should be brief. Let me know of any prolonged outages you see.

Preditors & Editors Changeover

With the very sad passing of Dave Kuzminski, who ran P&E, I've taken over the P&E duties. Lots of what I hope are improvements; check it out at

Critters Server is Dying has been Replaced

See important details here in my blog. Let me know if you find anything that isn't working right. (Manuscripts are now available for this week, FYI.)

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 need help making ebooks from manuscripts or print copies—or finding great stuff to read—look no further! An ebook publisher started by your very own Critter Captain. (And with a 12% Affiliate program.) [More]








Submit an Entry to the Critters Workshop

This page is for submitting an entry to the queue.

Note for text-based files: Before you go to all the trouble of filling in the form here, for text manuscripts, you might want to check the format of your document before you submit it, to make sure it conforms to Standard Format.

Workshop: Critters - Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror
(If this is the wrong workshop, Click here to switch)

Your E-mail address (If this is wrong, you won't get any critiques!):

Your Name (Mixed caps & lower case, please, as in "John R. R. Tolkien"):

(Real Life name please, no pseudonyms)

Submission Title (Mixed caps, as in "The Return of the King, Chapters 1-5"):

Genre: Science Fiction    Fantasy    Horror   

Form: What you want critiqued is a ...
Short Story/Novelette (self-contained prose fiction under 20,000 words)
Novel/Novella (chapters or RFDR -- prose fiction over 20,000 words or part thereof)
Query letter/pitch/synopsis

Length (approx.):
(use minutes for audio/video submissions, word count for text, or number of pages for a web site; for a novel "RFDR", put the length of the section you're submitting here, and include the total length of the book inside your submission as part of comments for readers)

Is this a REsubmission (revision) of something CURRENTLY in the queue (but not already sent out in this week's batch to reviewers):

Yes (it's a resubmission)-- This is a new file for an item already in the queue (or already submitted to Aburt to be added to the queue but for which you haven't yet received a confirmation from Aburt; i.e., no additional entry in the queue needs to be added, just use this file instead -- note that the submission title above must be exactly the same as it is currently in the queue (or as already submitted) or you will incur the wrath of Aburt.)

No (it's a new submission)--
This is a brand new submission neither currently in the queue nor recently sent in to be added to the queue; a new entry in the queue definitely needs to be added for it

NOTE: If the work has already been sent out for review in the current batch there's no way to replace it. (Can't pull email back, etc. If it has massively urgent problems that absolutely require fixing, you can email Aburt a plain text edition with a request to replace, but no guarantees.)

Is this a large work that you want marked as a Request For Dedicated Reviewers:

Yes-- This is for a large sized work I want marked as a Request For Dedicated Reviewers
No-- This is an ordinary short story, article, chapters of a book, short audio/video or small web site for which I don't want dedicated reviewers

If you're a pro member and want to use the jump-to-the-head-of-the-queue pro benefit, check here:
(Only works if Aburt has you in the database as a pro; otherwise the minions will come and taunt you. Also note that it may not happen right away if Aburt is out of town, as pro jumps are still done manually.)

Text submission (Plain text!) filename to send:
MSWord file - (try to) convert to text for me, please.

For text documents, this is your manuscript itself. For photo/comics/audio/video/etc., this should be a short text description of what you've got, to entice reviewers to check it out.

We use plain text files since they're 100% universal.

If you check the MSWord box it will try to make a plain text file out of your Word file — HOWEVER the software I have only works for MS Word "version 8" files (Word97 or later). And not always at that. Try it and see how it goes. :)

If you have trouble with .docx files from Word2007 or later, or other software, you can do a save-as into Word97 format and try it. Or see this Word2007 conversion site.)

For RFDRs only - and optional at that - URL to your whole manuscript:

For books you can use this URL as a purely optional part of an RFDR as a means to share your complete manuscript. (Note that you can't get a whole book critiqued in one week — people simply won't read that much. Don't even try, it won't work. It's even against the rules. Max of about 20k words in one weekly submission.) The RFDR program was designed for whole books. Only use this URL box for a book if you've marked this submission as an RFDR above. But you don't have to use this URL box, it's just for convenience. You can have people contact you via email to get the manuscript, which is the traditional way RFDRs work. You can do that and/or use this url idea. Your choice.

Creator notes to reviewers (will go at end of manuscript; this is where most notes belong):

URGENT reviewer notes (placed at top of manuscript; use to indicate e.g. mature content, British spellings, synopsis of prior chapters, or other URGENT things reviewers need to know before reviewing -- 99% of notes should go at the end, though, and not here [trust me!]. FYI, assume that reviewers understand things like _underlines mean italic_ or *stars means emphasis* etc. and don't bother mentioning those. Beware, I will relocate comments to the end that I don't feel are urgent!):

Any important comments to aburt (these will not be in the manuscript file):

(FYI, if you won an MPC and want to use it, go here after you submit your piece.)


[via ►PayPal or: Square]
Very Happy minion   Very Happy minion — last donation was today. About $1200 to go. A big Thank You! to Deborah Ross, Mark Kress, Bret Lynn, and lots of other Critterfolk for their contributions!

Critters is entirely funded by donations from Critterfolk like you, so yours is most appreciated. Click here to make the minions happy. Every dollar helps. Thanks for your support!



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(Or want to collect money for other people reading your stories?) Check out Aburt's ReAnimus Press.


Fundamental to Critters' success is how people deliver criticisms. Start by reading Critiquing the Wild Writer: It's Not What You Say, But How You Say It. and The Diplomatic Critiquer.


Critters has a special program to get whole novels critiqued. Read about it here.


Please follow these guidelines for formatting and submitting manuscripts to Critters.


Critters keeps a queue of manuscripts out or to be sent. See the Queue.


Want to jump to the head of the Critters queue? The Most Productive Critter or MPC is Awarded weekly to encourage mo' better critting. How to win...


Critters has an extensive FAQ to answer your every question.


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