Manuscript Critique Submission

Manuscript Critique Submission

Registered participants at the conference may submit work for a critique session with one of the conference faculty or Graduate Creative Writing Program faculty members. The fee for this consultation is $150, payable at the time of registration. There are a limited number of such opportunities -- we encourage anyone who wants a critique session to apply early.

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Submission Guidelines

Submitters must be registered for the conference. On the conference registration page, select "Manuscript Review" and sign up with the reviewer of your choice. Once you have registered, make your submission according to the following guidelines:

Prose (fiction or nonfiction): Submit up to 30 pages from a single work, or key passages from a longer work. If you want comments on a novel, include a 2-3 page synopsis of the plot in addition to the submitted pages.

Poetry: Submit up to ten poems, totaling no more than 20 pages.

Screenwriting: Submit up to four scenes, totaling no more than 30 pages. Include either a plot synopsis or a treatment of up to 2-3 pages for your complete screenplay, in addition to the submitted pages.

Feel free to include a cover page explaining your work. This sheet does not count towards your page count.

Format: We prefer electronic submissions in MS Word. If you use another word-processing program, please save the file as an "rtf" document ("rich text format"). Be sure to indicate your name and the genre of your submission in the file name.

Please send your submission as a single file attached to an email to Dr. Mark Todd, Conference Coordinator. In the email's subject heading, please write, "WtR ms. Submission."

Deadline: July 1, 2016 (to give readers enough time to read and comment on submitted work).

Your reviewer will be in touch before the conference to set up a time and place for your meeting. Most critique sessions will occur on Friday or Saturday afternoon, though writers and instructors should feel free to choose another time if that one is inconvenient (see Conference Schedule).

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Each reviewer is listed with a separate enrollment tab on the conference registration page.


Russell Davis
Russell Davis is Director of Western’s Genre Fiction concentration. He has written and sold numerous novels and short stories in virtually every genre of fiction, under at least a half-dozen pseudonyms. His writing has encompassed media tie-in work in the Transformers universe to action adventure in The Executioner series to original novels and short fiction in anthology titles like Under Cover of Darkness, Law of the Gun, and In the Shadow of Evil. He has also worked as an editor and book packager, and created original anthology titles ranging from westerns like Lost Trails to fantasy like Courts of the Fey. He is a regular speaker at conferences and schools, where he teaches writing, editing and the fundamentals of the publishing industry. He is a past president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and his newest work, The End of All Seasons, is a collection of short fiction and poetry that came out in 2013.

 Michaela Roessner-Herman
Michaela Roessner is visiting professor of Genre Fiction in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing. She holds an MFA in Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine. She has published four novels, as well as assorted short fiction and nonfiction in publications that include Asimov’s Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, OMNI Magazine, Canada’s Room Magazine and anthologies that include Full Spectrum 2 and Intersections. Her first novel, Walkabout Woman, won the Crawford and John W. Campbell awards. She has also had work short-listed for the Calvino Prize, the Tiptree Award, and the Millennium Publishing short fiction contest. Her current major projects include a number of short fiction pieces, finishing up her novel The Waters of Babylon, completing the last of her trio of novels that center around the early life of Catherine de Medici, and participating in several group ekphrastic commissions.​


J S Mayank Screen
J S Mayank is Director of Western’s Screenwriting Concentration. He is a British-Indian filmmaker, represented by ICM Partners and Ensemble Entertainment. He has several TV projects and features in development at the moment. His first sci-fi feature script, Slate, earned him a spot on the 2009 BLOODLIST (the Horror/Sci-fi/ Thriller Blacklist). He was invited by Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Festival to the prestigious 2010 Tribeca All Access Program for his feature script Marathon. For his directorial debut, Mayank was granted an opportunity by the band Radiohead to create a concept music video for their song Weird Fishes / Arpeggi. He worked alongside visual artist extraordinaire John Langdon (Angels & Demons) to design special ambigrams for the video. Most recently, Mayank’s script for EMIT won a Grand Prize at the Table Read My Screenplay contest, beating out over 1200 other scripts, and winning him a trip to Sundance (2012) where a table-read of it was performed. Since then, he’s directed Emit starring Jack Coleman (Heroes, The Office, Scandal), and the short has played at over 30 festivals all over the world, including NBC|Universal Shortcuts festival and the Philip K. Dick fest in New York, Fantasia, SCI-FI London, Sci-fi Fantasy – Athens, Edinburgh, Newport Beach, New York, Las Vegas, Brazil, garnering several awards, stellar reviews and high praise for its inventiveness and creative vision. Mayank has an MFA in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University and an MA in Communication & Film from Wake Forest University. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

Bob Shayne
Bob Shayne is Visiting Professor of Screenwriting in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing. He has been an active and successful screenwriter for years, both in New York and Los Angeles. He’s sold 18 prime-time pilots and written 16 of them for the major TV networks in all genres, six of which were shot, two of which went to series, and most of which he produced. He’s worked on staff of both sitcoms and one-hour dramas; been a show-runner on sitcom, drama, MOW and pilots; written well over 100 episodes; written and produced TV movies; written two four-hour miniseries, written features both live-action and animated, and adapted four novels into screenplays (not counting his own). He’s won or been nominated for awards including Best TV Movie of the Year from the Writers Guild of America, Edgar for Best TV Movie of the Year from the Mystery Writers of America, Edgar for Best TV Episode of the Year from the Mystery Writers of America, two Emmys from the TV Academy (for Best Talk Show and Best Documentary), and a Grammy for Best Comedy Album.


Ernest Hilbert
Ernest Hilbert received his doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University, where he edited the Oxford Quarterly and studied with Jon Stallworthy, editor of the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, and James Fenton, then Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Hilbert is the author of two collections of poetry, Sixty Sonnets (2009), described by critic X.J. Kennedy as “maybe the most arresting sequence we have had since John Berryman checked out of America,” and All of You on the Good Earth (2013), which has been hailed as a “wonder of a book,” “original and essential,” an example of “sheer mastery of poetic form,” containing “some of the most elegant poems in American literature since the loss of Anthony Hecht.” His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Yale Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Parnassus, Boston Review, Verse, New Criterion, American Scholar, and the London Review as well as a number of anthologies, including the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets (2009) and two Penguin classroom anthologies, Poetry and Literature (both 2011). He also supplies opera libretti for contemporary composers Stella Sung, Daniel Felsenfeld, and Christopher LaRosa. Hilbert is a senior specialist at Bauman Rare Books in Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife, Lynn Makowsky.

David Rothman
David J. Rothman serves as the Director of Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, along with also directing Writing the Rockies. He is the editor of Western's national journal of poetry and criticism, THINK. His most recent volumes of poetry, both of which appeared in 2013, are The Book of Catapults (White Violet Press) and Part of the Darkness (Entasis Press). A book of creative nonfiction about mountains and mountain towns, Living the Life (Conundrum Press), also appeared in 2013. His poems, essays and scholarly work have appeared widely, in journals including Appalachia, Atlantic Monthly, Gettysburg Review, Hudson Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry, Threepenny Review and scores of other newspapers, journals and periodicals. He co-founded and served as first Executive Director of the Crested Butte Music Festival, was the founding Publisher and Editor of Conundrum Press (now owned by the Samizdat Group of Denver), and currently serves as Poet-in-Residence of Colorado Public Radio. He has served as Executive Director, President, and a Board Member of the Robinson Jeffers Association, and currently represents the southwest states on the oogverning board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and serves on the Advisory Board of the West Chester University Poetry Center. He lives in Crested Butte, Colorado.

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Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Application Information