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The Great Critique Guidelines

Coming January 27th, 10:30am – 1pm The Great Critique – Winter 2024! This is a Hybrid event — In Person at ~Friendly House, 1737 NW 26th Ave, Portland, OR~ and Virtually via Zoom

Writers, In-Person

How it will work for Writers, In-Person: 

1. Choose your published critiquer. You’ll be in a group of up to 6 peers and the published author. Choose only one critiquer–make sure you read their bios to see what genre they are critiquing. You must choose a critiquer when you register.

2. Send a maximum of five double-spaced pages or 1200 words. DO NOT send more. Use standard manuscript format; see the link below if you are not familiar with that. For picture books, please send the entire manuscript, up to 1200 words.

3. Email your manuscript to coordinator Michelle Garcia Andersen no later than Saturday, January 6th. Be sure to include your last name in the file name (e.g., Smith-FantasticStory.doc or .docx to michellegarciaandersen@gmail.com).

4. You will also need to bring 7 copies of your manuscript for everyone at your table. During the critique session, each participant will read aloud from their work while others make notes on the manuscript. They’ll write down what they like, mark errors they see, and indicate where they are confused or have questions.

5. The professional author will verbally critique your work. If there’s time, other participants may comment.

6. You’ll receive your copies with written comments from everyone in your group. Take them home and let the ideas simmer.

Writers, Virtual

How it will work for Writers, Virtual:

1.  Choose your published author critiquer. You’ll be in a group of up to 6 peers and the published author. Choose only one critiquer–make sure you read their bios to see what genre they are critiquing. You must choose a critiquer when you register.

2. Send a maximum of five double-spaced pages or 1200 words. DO NOT send more. Use standard manuscript format; see the link above if you are not familiar with that. For picture books, please send the entire manuscript, up to 1200 words.

3. Email your manuscript to coordinator Michelle Garcia Andersen no later than Saturday, January 6th. Be sure to include your last name in the file name (e.g., Smith-FantasticStory.doc or .docx to michellegarciaandersen@gmail.com).

4. A day or two before the event you will be emailed a Zoom link along with some basic critique group guidelines. We recommend a high speed internet connection and a quiet space or headphones. We’ll meet as a large group for faculty introductions, and then go to breakout rooms for small group critiques. 

5. During the critique session, each participant will read aloud from their work. Please print a copy of your manuscript to read from. Your faculty member will screen share your pages, so others can follow along, but it is best if you read from your own copy. 

6. The professional writer will verbally critique your work. If there’s time, other participants may comment. Take notes, as you will not receive written comments. Let the ideas simmer.

Illustrators, In-Person

How it will work for Illustrators, Virtual: 

1. You will be in a group of up to 6 peers and a published illustrator. Make sure you choose the illustration critiquer when you register. Read the faculty bios to see who is critiquing illustrations.

2. Send up to 5 of your best portfolio pieces or the first 5 images from a dummy.

— Each image should be approximately 500 KB.

— Dummy excerpts NO larger than 3 MB. (*Tip: Prep individual images before assembling as a PDF to keep size below 3 MB. Saving images as JPGs will maintain image quality but use less memory. If your file is still too large, either reduce the physical page size of your images or, if your version of Adobe Acrobat allows, use the File-Reduce File Size option. If you still have problems, contact Robin at chilstromrobin@gmail.com)

— Please include your last name in each file name (e.g. Jones-print1.jpg or .jpeg). 

— Email to coordinator Michelle Garcia Andersen no later than Saturday, January 6th at michellegarciaandersen@gmail.com.

3. Bring 7 copies of your work for the other participants (grayscale and small size is fine). One of these could be full color and size to best showcase your work.

4. During the session, each participant will introduce their portfolio pieces. Others will take notes, jotting down what they like, what doesn’t work for them, and any questions they have.

5. The professional illustrator will verbally critique your work. If there’s time, other participants may comment. You will receive written comments from the other participants. Let the ideas simmer.