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.

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 whose 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

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]








Set Your Email Preferences

Since some folks want emailed manuscripts ("mss."), and some don't, and some want emailed critiques, and some don't, and some want a certain mix of genres... there is this page.

There's no need to feel inundated by email from Critters! Set the values below to 0 mss. and no emailed critiques, and you'll get only one small message on Wednesday and one on Saturday, letting you know what's up. Beyond that, you can elect to receive literally dozens of large emails; or somewhere in between.

First, we need your exact email address that this refers to. If you're even one character off, or give the one that Critters is not using, this won't work. Email will be sent to this address confirming that your preferences have been changed, so if you do not receive this email within a short time (give it an hour, say) then this attempt to change your preferences failed.

Your (old) email address:

Now, your Critters workshop password, so we know this is really you :)

Critters Password:

IF you want to change your email address so you receive workshop mail at a different address than you do now, enter your new email address (leave blank if not changing email address; but if you want to add an additional email address that you can send / have sent critiques from, then use the register an alias form instead of this one):

Note that if you change your email address then you must set your preferences below, since your old ones will not carry over to your new email address!

You must also resubmit any stories you have in the queue or else the critiques for those stories will go to your old address!

Here, enter the maximum number of mss. you want BY EMAIL. Enter 0 if you want none emailed (you'll get them off the web page; and you'll still get the weekly note listing what mss. are up for the week). Enter * if you want ALL of them, dozens and dozens of them, and ever increasing as the number of mss. grows each week (30, 40, 50...). Or enter a number; 3 would mean you get three randomly chosen mss. from the current week's batch (unless there aren't three; but you'll get exactly three otherwise).

Max emailed mss. [Enter 0, *, or a number]:

Do you want the critiques emailed to you when the week is over? (I.e., all the critiques of all the stories; you will get critiques for your own stories regardless.) If you select Yes you get them all. If No, you can get them from the web page. Note that "yes" will get you literally DOZENS of large emails each Saturday (one large message for each manuscript up the previous week). This has nothing to do with receiving critiques for your own manuscripts; this is whether you want to receive all the critiques for all the manuscripts every single week, one email message per manuscript. (Note, to reduce mail load, these are only sent if your ratio is above 20%.)

Email all crits on all mss. at end of week [select Y or N]: Yes No

If you have a preference for what kind of stories you like to read, for example science fiction vs. fantasy vs. horror, enter numbers that add up to 100 in the boxes below. There is no guarantee you'll get exactly this breakdown; it's only a hint to the random mss. picking program (in particular, if you set "max" above to, say, 7, and choose 100% SF, then you will get seven emailed mss., which the program will try to appportion as 100% SF -- but you may still get some F or H, especially if there aren't seven SF stories available). Using 0/0/0 or nothing at all gives a completely random distribution of stories.

Enter a number between 0 and 100 for each genre:

% Science Fiction
% Fantasy
% Horror

We have two modes for selecting your emailed manuscripts (doesn't apply if you set Max=0 above):

  1. "Exact" or "Classic Critter" mode is to send you exactly as many manuscripts as you selected above for "Max". Thus if you said "*" for "all", you get them all, even if you said you wanted 90% SF, 10% F, and 0% F. (That is, you'd get all the F and H too, ignoring the %'s in other words.) Likewise if you chose Max=10, and 90/10/0 SF/F/H, but there are only 5 SF mss. and 1 F available, you'll still get 10 mss. mailed, of which 4 or more will surely be H.
  2. "Approximate" or "What people thought it meant all along" mode is to send you approximately, but no more than, the number of manuscripts you selected above for "Max". Thus, for example, if you said "*" for "all" and chose 90%/10%/0% SF/F/H, you will get approximately all of the SF, a 1-in-10 shot at each F, and almost no H (the randomizer still may sneak some in to encourage breadth of reading). If you chose Max=10, but there are only 5 SF and 1 F available, you'll get (approximately) 6 mss., not 10. (Note that as a special case, you can talk the randomizer into sending you "all" of a certain type by setting Max=*, then selecting 100% for each type you want all of, e.g., 100/0/100 SF/F/H would get you all the SF and H but (almost) no F. This is the only case where having your total exceed 100% for the sum of the three has any meaning.)

    Get notified of new Captain's Blog entries by email?

Also! If you changed your email address, you need to send me a new Bio form!


[via ►PayPal or: Square]
Very Happy minion   Very Happy minion — last donation was yesterday. 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!



Manuscripts / Submissions
       (Forgot yer login/password?)
Member Woohoo!s
Member Bios
Discussion Forums
Black Holes response times

(Critters gets a pittance of support via advertising; Critters does not endorse any advertiser nor have control over ad content.)


Bookmark and Share

follow critters on twitterFollow critters on twitter


(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.


Visit the Critter Captain on Facebook:
Andrew Burt

Create Your Badge