You can request a free, in-depth, honest , and supportive review of your short fiction. All of our reviews are public. If you want a private review that only you can see, this isn't the place to get one.
Our reviews are free. Rather than sending us gift points, we'd prefer you use anything you learn here by helping other authors.
This is for fiction only.
Please don't send us poetry, articles, or your treatise on non-associative Lie algebras.
Have a short story? Perfect!
Have a chapter in a novel? That's ok too, but we might need context to properly review it.
We'll be honest.
If we see something we like, we'll say so.
If we see something we think you should consider doing differently, we'll say so.
Please don't send us the same item more than once.
If might help you to get a second review, but for us reviewing the same item more than once is like lapping up used kool-aid.
Please keep your submissions under 4000 words.
Please try to submit no more than one item a week.
Always remember that what you are getting is just one person's opinion.
In the end, only you know what's best for your story.
If you find something useful. good.
If you disagree, well, it didn't cost you anything, so...
Don't argue--that wastes your time and ours. Just disregard it.
You'll get our opinions on your story. We make no claims of infallibility. On the contrary. We're just a guy who's trying to do good, as the song says. Writing fiction is an art, not a science. There are no axioms, no postulates, and no theorems. Each creation is unique unto itself, and deserves to be read on its own merits.
If you think our opinions are completely off the mark, you could very well be right. There's a story about an early screen test that Fred Astaire took. The executive who evaluated him said, "Can't act. Can't sing. Can dance a little." It's entirely possible we're like that executive
That said, we've had a bit of experience dealing with editors, and we've found it's generally a good idea to listen when they tell us stuff. Almost all of the opinions you'll get from us reflect what professionals in the trade have taught us over the years. In some cases, there is even a theoretical foundation for elements of craft. Things like free indirect discourse are theoretical, but they also are to fiction what perspective is to painting.
Picasso said "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist."
Listen to Picasso. He's not wrong, even though we readily admit we could be.
We use the PRIME principles; Professional We strive to be professional in both content and manner in our reviews. Respecful.. We strive to respect the author and the creative instinct. In-depth. We strive for an in-depth discussion of the art and craft of writing. Motivating. We strive to motivate excellence in the art and craft of fiction. Encouraging. We strive to encourage writers at all levels to achieve their best.
Max Griffin is the pen name of a real-life mathematician and academic. Writing as Max Griffin, he is the author of six novels and a short story collection available on Amazon.com.. Dreamspinner Publications will release his novel, Murder on Cabot's Landing, a cross-over mystery/science fiction story, in the fall of 2023. Max writes a monthly column ,For Authors, on Wriitng.Com and is the president of Oklahoma Science Fiction Writers. More details are on Max's webpage.
When he's not writing fiction, Max is the author of a graduate textbook in real analysis and numerous research articles in nonlinear functional analysis. Max is retired from a major comprehensive university in the southwest, where he held faculty appointments in mathematics and electrical engineering, as well as various administrative and executive appointments. He is the proud parent of a daughter who is a librarian with the California Digital Library, and the grandparent to two beautiful little boys. He is blessed to be in a long-term relationship with his life partner, Mr. Gene, who is an expert knitter and Master Gardener.
Other members of Writing.Com may occasionally review items posted here, but Max is the primary reviewer.
Of course, there are rules. There are always rules.
Actually, we're pretty casual. These are more like guidelines. You'll probably be OK if you just go ahead and submit your story without reading these. They're like the "user agreements" no one ever reads, except these won't come back to bite you. The worst that'll happen is that I'll just tell you your item isn't the kind of thing I review. No biggee. Anyway, here goes:
We are seeking reviewers for poetry, non-fiction, and screenplays, but for now we review prose fiction only. Don't post your screenplay for a documentary written in non-rhyming choriambic foots. We're sure it's terrific, but we'll just say, "Duh."
You must be the author of the work. Don't request a review on behalf of someone else, who may not want an in-depth review.
Please send us only completed items, not drafts or segments of stories. Chapters are okay, but see the length guidelines below.
Please proofread your item before you submit. We'll comment on typos or grammar if we see problems, but we are not a proofreading service. We're here to help with craft.
Keep your submissions short: less than 4,000 words, please.
If your story is flash fiction--anything less than 1000 words--don't expect a detailed review. It's not that I've got anything against flash fiction, but like poetry it's a different art form than short stories. I'm not confident my advice on flash fiction is helpful.
This is mostly for short stories, but we'll read the first chapter to your novel if it's less than 4000 words. This is not the place to get your novel critiqued. If that's what you're after, we suggest you apply to join a novel critique group.
Please don't post more than one item in any seven day period; we want to be fair to everyone.
This is a place to post fiction. Don't send us your life story or your paper on non-associative Lie algebras. We might be interested in those (probably not), but this isn't the place to send them. We'll read any fictional genre, but we're probably not very good at works aimed at children or young adults.
Do not ask us to review the same thing more than once, even if you've revised it. It might help you to get a second review, but that's not the purpose of this page. We are volunteers, with families, jobs, and our own writing projects. We must apportion our effort here in ways that benefit the most visitors to this site and still permit us to meet our many other obligations. Please cooperate with this rule.
Be sure that your works are properly rated according to WDC standards--see "Content Rating System (CRS)" . We'll read anything that fits the above guidelines, and we're not the ratings police, but this is a public forum and simple courtesy will alert readers as to your content.
All reviews from this page are public and will appear on the public review pages. If you don't want a public review, don't post here.
Fan Fiction is acceptable in principle, but only if I'm a fan, too. If you've got Star Trek Voyager fan fiction, we'll read it. If you've got Buffy fan fiction, we'll pass, having never watched a single episode. We're not criticizing Buffy--we're sure it's awesome--we just never watched it.
We no longer permit posts to this forum by the general readership. Anyone may request a review by using the form, but only writers affliated with the Crosstimbers Author Consortium may post directly to this forum. If you are interested in becoming an affiliate of this group, please consult the "Crossroads Author Consortium Application" .
I shall not easily forget the mortal toil, and the vexations of flesh and spirit, that we underwent occasionally, in our wanderings through the Cross Timber. It was like struggling through forests of cast iron.
— A Tour on the Prairies, Washington Irving.
The Crosstimbers is the name of a forest starting in southeastern Kansas, stretching across Oklhoma and beyond, into north Texas. It's also a metaphor for our community, for our fiction, and for ourselves.
In 1832, Washington Irving joined a party of mounted rangers on an expedition to Indian Territory. They found a prairie bounded by dense, forbidding forests. This dark mosaic of gnarled, blackjack and post oaks hunkered close to the rocky ground. Prickly underbrush snagged all who entered and blocked progress. These forests, these Crosstimbers, stood as a barrier and a boundary between the civilized East and the wild West.
Today, these forests endure, stretching from southeastern Kansas, coiling around Tulsa, and snaking along I-44 to Oklahoma City and beyond. These trees are small in stature, usually less than thirty feet tall, but they are survivors. They can live for centuries. Many of the ones Irving wrote about are still around. They survived droughts and downpours, dust storms and blizzards, fires and farming. They even survived human intrusion. The forests are mostly oak, but they are diverse. They include hickory, pine, redbud, and hackberry trees. Vines, briars, and sumac tangle about their rough bark.
Like our namesake, we are survivors. We're diverse. The path we take to good craft can be prickly, but we'll push through. We're in this for the long term. We're not flashy, but we've got all the basic elements down. We won't let a few crowd out everyone else--every author contributes to the ecology of our group.
Our Roundtables are fourms where authors can exchange reviews of works-in-progress.
We're currently seeking leaders for the roundtables listed below.
If you're interested, write one of the Crosstimbers managers listed on this page.
If there's a roundtable you'd like us to create, let one of the managers know.