To make it useful, I won't limit it to workshop participants. Anyone can join in, and welcome!
To help make sense of the terminology and make sure everyone is on the same page, here are some brief definitions:
Alpha Reads: Quick assessments of a whole manuscript. Evaluate for structure, pacing, characterization, story, theme--strictly big picture. Likely occur after a first or second draft, or perhaps even after an outline. Turned around in one to two weeks.
Critiques: In-depth assessments of individual chapters or an entire manuscript. Assess everything, from structure to syntax, including line edits. Turned around according to agreed on timeframe.
Beta reads: For finished stories that should really need little more than polishing. Point out anything and everything that pulls a reader out of the story world, from simple typos, spelling and grammar, to characterization, plot, or pacing issues. Generally do not include line edits, and they don't usually point out solutions. Turned around as quickly as possible.
If you would like to participate in a manuscript exchange or are looking for a critique partner, please post the following information:
- Your genre, length, and status of your manuscript
- What you want to exchange, i.e. -- alpha, beta, or critique
- Timeframe and what you are looking for in terms of page count
- If you've participated in the one of the First Five Pages Workshops
- Any other information you'd like to share
- Please make sure you can be reached through your blogger profile, or make sure people can reach you in some other way