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, 2015 (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 Saturday afternoon, July 25, 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.

Robert McBrearty
Robert Garner McBrearty is the winner of the 2007 Sherwood Anderson Writer’s Grant. A native of San Antonio, Texas, he is a 1981 MFA graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a contributing editor of The Pushcart Prize anthology, and a consulting editor for Narrative magazine. McBrearty’s most recent collection of short stories, Let the Birds Drink in Peace, was published in October 2011 by Conundrum Press. His previous works, Episode and A Night at the Y, were met with rave reviews.

 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.


David Mason
David Mason’s books of poems include The Buried Houses (winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize), The Country I Remember (winner of the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award), and Arrivals. His verse novel, Ludlow, was published in 2007, and named best poetry book of the year by the Contemporary Poetry Review and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. It was also featured on the PBS News Hour. Author of a collection of essays, The Poetry of Life and the Life of Poetry, his memoir, News from the Village, appeared in 2010. A new collection of essays, Two Minds of a Western Poet, followed in 2011. Mason has also co-edited several textbooks and anthologies, including Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry, Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New Formalism, Twentieth Century American Poetry, and Twentieth Century American Poetics: Poets on the Art of Poetry. His poetry, prose and translations have appeared in such periodicals as The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times Literary Supplement, Poetry, Agenda, Modern Poetry in Translation, The New Criterion, The Yale Review, The Hudson Review, The American Scholar, The Irish Times, and The Southern Review. Anthologies include Best American Poetry and others. He has also written the libretti for composer Lori Laitman’s opera of The Scarlet Letter and her oratorio, Vedem. He recently won the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Creativity in Motion Prize for the development of a new libretto based upon Ludlow. His one-act opera with composer Tom Cipullo, After Life, will premiere in Seattle in 2015. A former Fulbright Fellow to Greece, he served as Poet Laureate of Colorado from 2010 to 2014, and teaches at Colorado College. In 2014-15 Mason will publish two new poetry collections: Sea Salt: Poems of a Decade and Davey McGravy: A Story in Verse to Be Read Aloud to Children and Adult Children. He is a member of the Poetry Concentration Advisory Board of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Western.

David Rothman
David J. Rothman serves as the Director of Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, along with also directing the Poetry Concentration and 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