If you’re here, that means you probably want to know how to drop your hot steamy submission into a Strange Birds feedback group. Each group runs in their own particular way that works for them, but most of them use our Submission Form system built on Google Apps.
Step 1. Submitting
You’ll get the link from your host about a week in advance with a deadline. All you have to do is submit your piece of work, along with a name and email address to the form. We accept .DOCX or Google Docs files. These deadlines are timed to give your peers space to read your piece and consider it properly before the session. Because of this, they’re not flexible.
Step 2. Commenting
When the clock strikes deadline o’clock and Cinderella turns into a pumpkin, you will receive your own personal copies of everyone else’s submissions in your inbox. All you have to do is open them up and use the comment function (remember to click the ‘Comment’ button) or type notes in Suggest Mode. When you’re done just close the document, it all autosaves.
NOTE: In terms of what kind of feedback you give, we have some advice in our guidelines. We recommend giving them a read-through.
Step 3. The Session
Some of our groups are in person, a bunch are on Zoom. On the night, in some random order we go through each piece. The writer reads a snippet of their submission to give us a sense of the voice and then we all chat about our feedback. This process is free-flowing and each group does this a little bit differently.
Step 4. Receiving written feedback
Soon after your session, your host will hit another button and that’ll send you everyone else’s copies of your story along with their notes. We delete content off of our server after six months so we recommend saving a copy of the document to your own filing system if you want to keep it permanently.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have a longer piece than the max word count. Can I submit it?
Of course! Most of our writers are working on longer pieces and submit extracts, some have sequentially brought whole novels. We even give preference to regular attendees so that a consistent group can form and get to know your longer piece.
I just received the submission email but my piece isn’t in the list! HELP ME NOW OR I WILL THROW THIS AT YOU!
Don’t worry about it, put down the pot plant, breathe, it’s OK. You won’t see your work in the email because it just includes the links to your personal copies of your peers’ work. Trust us, your work is in everyone else’s inboxes ready for their critical-in-a-helpful-way feedback.
Do I need a Google account?
Yes, sorry. You can always make a burner account with a pen name, but there is no escape from Google’s all-seeing eye.
The form is hard, can I just email you a submission?
The MeetUp events are always full when I check, how do I get in?
You can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – when we have enough people to form a new group and a capable host available you’ll be right up top of the list.
How do I leave notes on other people’s submissions?
There are two ways, you can either use suggest mode or you can leave comments. Here’s some info on how that works
Hey! I submitted but I can’t come anymore because my cat is giving birth and I tripped on the placenta and broke my writing wrist – what do I do?
Emergencies happen and we’re totally OK with that, we’ll still make sure you get the written feedback as well from the other members. BUTTTT make sure you only submit, or click attending, if you’re pretty definite you’re going to come. If you think you’re going to have a busy week, sit it out. Each piece you submit means seven people who will be volunteering their time to give you feedback and it’s a bummer when you don’t show up.
Can I attend a group to see how it’s run?
Yes, sure. If you don’t want to submit your work on the first night but just want to show up that’s fine. If you submit a blank doc via our submission form you will receive an email with links to all the pieces. Feel free to read in advance and comment. We would love to hear your thoughts.
The group isn’t working for me. I’m not having fun. What should I do?
Email: email@example.com and tell us about it. Perhaps we can suggest another group that will suit your writing needs better. We’re always open to suggestions on how we can do things better, and will do what we can to find the best solution.