New Writers’ Workshop Guidelines

We are pleased to report our writers’ workshops are growing.

With all of our new participants we thought it would be a good idea to go over our workshop procedures and come up with some tips, explanations and new practices to pass along. There’s no punishment if you don’t follow these guidelines, but they could make your workshop experience even better if you give them a try.

Early Submissions

The earliest you can submit work is two weeks before the workshop date. We’ve found the longer we give people to submit, the more no shows and cancellations we have on the day of the workshop. If you’re an early bird who doesn’t want to wait, try posting your work on our writers’ forum. It’s open to all paid CCC members and it’s a great way to get honest, spam-free, troll-free feedback between workshops. Find more information about our writers’ forum here.

Before you Submit

The first thing to consider before sending in your submission is your word count. We’ve found that submissions with a maximum of 7,000 to 8,000 words receive the best feedback. ┬áThis length ensures we have time to provide you with a thorough critique, and workshoppers will be less likely to skip or skim over your story.

The request we hear most often from our workshop readers is page numbers. Adding page numbers to a story makes for easy reference during the critique.

Our workshoppers have also expressed interest in knowing if what they’re reading is part of a larger work. If you’re submitting a piece of a novel, let the reader know it’s not a short story. If you’re only submitting half of a short story, mention that there’s more to come. This allows the reader to tailor their critique to the writing that is present, rather than wondering about the work that isn’t there.

The Selection Process

With the growth of our workshops we often receive more stories than time will allow us to review in one meeting. When this happens, we follow a selection process to choose which stories make it in the stack.

Paid members receive precedence in the selection process. Our paid memberships are part of what allows us to host cool events and put together anthologies. In return, a paid membership comes with perks like workshop priority. Find out more about our membership levels here.

After the paid members’ submissions we fill remaining spots with the items we can most effectively critique in a workshop sitting. Non-member short stories are taken first, then poems and essays, and lastly novel chapters.

If we’re left with any decisions after following this process, we choose the story that was submitted first. (See Early Submissions.)

We encourage you to submit whatever you’re working on. There are still those workshops where we’re not at maximum capacity and your story is sure to be included.

If you think we’ve forgotten something or you have any questions, email workshops@ohiowriters.org.

See you at the next workshop!