Blog

Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry Dec 07

Critter Notices

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)

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!

Interviewed!

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 - www.cpr.org 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 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!

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 pred-ed.com.

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]

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MORE NEWS & NOTICES >>

CRITTERS STORE >>

 

FEATURED BOOK

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			Critters Format Tips

Your goal is to get a file to me that looks just like these instructions.
The simplest approach is to just upload your word .DOC/.DOCX file into the
submission form at www.critique.org/c/submit.php . That will automatically
convert the file. The info below is if you want to do it manually.

I *strongly* recommend you work on a COPY of your ms., in case anything goes
wrong and you mangle it.  (Or make a good backup, etc.)

First, here are some instructions for the most commonly used word processors
(mailer info follows):

    For Microsoft Word:

	- Again, it's much better to upload your .doc/docx file directly!
		But if not...

	- Use these settings (on a COPY of your manuscript):

		Font = Courier New (or any font that says "Courier" in it)
		Font Size = 12pt
		Left/right margins = .65"
		Justification = left
		Paragraph Indent = First Line .5"
		Paragraph Style = No spacing (This might be a Word specific thing)

	- Make sure the font is set for Courier 12pt; this is **ESSENTIAL**
	- Mark all underlined/italicized passages with underscores _like so_
		(otherwise the system has no way of knowing what's italicized)
	- If you have "smart quotes" on, you may wish to disable them.
		They should get automatically converted, though you may
		get a warning back from the system that they may not look right.
	- If you have any non-ascii characters (like multinational ones -- such
		as vowels with accents, umlauts, etc.) I'd expand them
		out like  resume' or 'ue' for German's u-with-umlaut,
		etc.; and you should use "--" instead of an "em-dash"
		character if you notice your em-dashes get lost.
	- Set your line spacing to single spaced
	- Do File/SaveAs, enter a filename ending in ".txt", select a type
		"Plain text" (possibly called "Plain text with layout", or
		"MS-DOS text with layout" in some Word versions).
	- save it on out
	- Check the whatever.TXT with Notepad to see if all paragraphs
		are now on one long line (one line per paragraph). It helps
		if the paragraphs are indented with 3-5 spaces at the start
		of each paragraph (not having this is only a problem if you
		have a lot of short paragraphs [e.g. poetry], in which
		case the system might think it can't tell where your
		paragraphs start/end).

    I don't use Microsoft Works at all, and it can't entirely do things
    right, but try something like this:

	- Mark all underlined/italicized passages with underscores _like so_
	- I don't know if Works has smart quotes, but if it does, and
		you have them turned on, you may get a warning back from me
		that they may not look right to everyone; and if you have any
		non-ascii characters (like multinational ones -- vowels with
		accents, umlauts, etc.) I'd expand them out like  resume' or
		'ue' for German's u-with-umlaut, etc.; and you should use "--"
		instead of an "em-dash" character or your dashes will be lost
	- Set your line spacing to single spaced
	- Do File/SaveAs, enter a filename ending in ".txt", select a type
		of "Text"
	- save it on out
	- Check the whatever.TXT file to see if it looks basically ok.
		Note that Works doesn't actually format the file entirely
		correctly, per Critters format rules.  What this means is that
		when you send it to me, you'll get a note back about having
		"long lines" and then your manuscript will get automatically
		reformatted into Critters standard; it will place one blank
		line between paragraphs and paragraph indents will be lost.
		Sorry, but Works just doesn't know how to save things out
		like Word and WordPerfect do.

    Wordperfect generally does a better job of saving to ascii.  I use WP6.0
    for windows, and in it, what I do is this:

	- Make sure the font is set for Courier 12pt; this is **ESSENTIAL**
	- Mark all underlined/italicized passages with underscores _like so_
	- If you have "smart quotes" on, you may get a warning back from me
		that they may not look right to everyone; and if you have any
		non-ascii characters (like multinational ones -- vowels with
		accents, umlauts, etc.) I'd expand them out like  resume' or
		'ue' for German's u-with-umlaut, etc.; and you should use "--"
		instead of an "em-dash" character or your dashes will be lost
	- Do File/SaveAs, enter a filename ending in ".txt", select
		"Save File as Type" of "ASCII (DOS) Text (*.*)"
		[The "*.*" isn't relevant"]
	- "OK" to save it on out
	- Check the whatever.TXT file to see if it looks ok -- specifically,
		check for paragraphs indented ok, lines not too long; in short,
		it should look like the mss. you get in email from me.


After you've saved it out, look at it (with a text-only reading program,
like the MS-DOS "more < whatever.txt" command or windows Notepad) --
it should look like what you're reading here (or with one paragraph
per line). You should not see any funky characters like smiley
faces, triangles, etc. You should not see any '=' signs. You should
either see nicely indented paragraphs and/or a blank line between
paragraphs. Manuscripts that arrive with no way to identify paragraph
boundaries (i.e., without either being one line per paragraph, or having
paragraph indents, or having a blank line between them) WILL BE REJECTED.

You should not see really long lines that hit the end of the screen and get broken with one or two words on some lines like 
this one in this
sentence that I'm making really long so you can see what I mean.  (The usual cause of this is having
your font set to Times Roman instead of Courier or not using 12pt for your Courier.)

You should see SOME obvious (to software) way of knowing where each
paragraph begins. This is the most important factor, and the #1 reason
for files to get rejected.

If it looks like this:

This is the start of paragraph number 1 and
it continues on this line, and now ends here.
And this is the start of paragraph number 2 which
continues on this line, and there is nothing
that clearly marks the boundary, then you're
in trouble.
Even if some paragraphs end in short lines like
the one above, that's not sufficient, since as you
can see, you can't really tell where the dividing
line above is between paragraph 1 and 2. :)
Don't submit a file like this, it will get rejected
since readers won't know where your paragraphs are.

One alternative method is to copy&paste the ms. into email: Use the mouse
to highlight the whole ms. in your word processor (or there may be a
menu option under "file" or "edit" called "select all").  Then do a "copy"
(usually control-C in the DOS world; or an option under "edit").
Move to your mail program, and do a "paste" (control-V; or under "edit").
This method may create Really Long Lines, however, so send me a test first.
(If it does, those will be auto-reformatted as described above for "Works".)

If you're unsure, send me a test message and ask if it arrived in an
acceptable format.  (However, don't assume that I'll check formats on
genuine submissions; chances are I won't.)

Mailers -- check out www.critters.org/mailers.html for info on how to
set your mailer to only send plain text, not HTML and not HTML + plain text.