New entry May 06
Critters is 25!
This November, Critters is 25 years old! Wow! Thanks so much to all of you, who've made it such a resounding success!
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
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)
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!
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]
A Critter member suggested that, to increase participation in the new workshops, it would be helpful if some of the credit counted from one workshop to another.
Now, bear in mind that my goal with the credit system is to get people to do critiques, since that's a large part of what helps you improve your craft. So I'm a bit hesitant to allow credit sharing, on general principle. For example, if someone does a bunch of Mystery writing critiques, that doesn't help them improve the singing in the Music workshop. But I see the point, that when the workshops are new, it would help get submissions in the Music workshop if Mystery writing critiques were allowed, and it might thus encourage members to try — and thus do critiques in — other workshops they're interested in. So, I'll give this a try.
This is an idea on a one year trial basis, until the end of 2011.
Here's how Extra Credits work:
If you are above par in one workshop (i.e. > 75% ratio or 25% for pros), then a fraction of the critique credits above your requirement may be counted as credit in other workshops.
Credits between writing workshops count as 2/3 of a credit. Credits where one or both workshops are not writing related, the extra credits count as 1/2 of a credit. (Not a full credit, to encourage you to critique in the workshop, not borrow credits, since critiques from other workshops aren't teaching you as much about the topic at hand. And 1/2 for non-writing workshops since writing-related credits are even less useful, craft-wise — which is to say, there's more benefit to your writing from other writing-related critiques than from, say, photography critiques; and vice versa).
These extra credits only count in another workshop if you've done at least one critique within six weeks in the workshop you're submitting to; unless you have 10 or more extra credits, in which there's no such requirement. (Though it's still a good idea... if you want to improve your music, you should want to do critiques in the Music workshop. Just sayin'...) :)
Extra credits are calculated when you check your ratio. (Note that if you're above par already in that workshop it won't bother checking for extras.)
They get added into your credit count to compute your effective ratio for that workshop.
Example... Suppose you've been a member of the Mystery writing workshop for 12 weeks, and you have 15 critique credits in it. (So you have a respectable 125% ratio in the Mystery workshop.) Suppose you want to submit a song you wrote to the Music workshop, but you've only done one critique there, and been a member for four weeks. (A 25% ratio — not high enough to have your submission sent out.)
So, the system checks for extra credit: It finds your minimum threshold in Mystery would be 9 credits (9 credits / 12 weeks = 75%), so you have (15-9) six extra credits. Those are worth 1/2 value in the Music workshop, or three credits. (Though they'd be worth 2/3, or four credits, in another writing workshop.) So the system says, you've earned one credit in Music, plus 3 EC, that's four credits, divided by four weeks of Music workshop membership = 100% ratio, and your song can go out.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Let me know here.
Enjoy! (And: Critique!)