Forum Ideas

So, I'm happy at the way the new Buried in the Slush Pile Forum is working.  The layout is clear (if unexciting), and it's easy to find all of the different people who want feedback on their various summaries.  Best of all, the ones I haven't viewed yet are marked as new, so I don't miss anyone.  I also can't argue with the free price tag.  Supposedly there should be ads running around somewhere, but I haven't seen any.

A few people have started posting their summaries, and the feedback they've been getting has been great.  No one has said anything I wouldn't, and some of my comments have just seemed superfluous.  We're going to keep working on these through Sunday, so if you haven't posted anything yet, there's still plenty of time.  On Monday, though, we'll be moving on.

But as great as the forum has been for critiquing, I've been wondering, what else could we use the forum for?

One idea I had was to have a board on there dedicated to submissions.  We could have a thread on that board that could deal with who/where is accepting submissions and a link to the place's submission guidelines.  As you run across someone accepting (or no longer accepting) submissions, you could add it to this thread.  We could also have a thread profiling editors and agents so that when you go to figure out where to submit, you would have some names and editorial preferences to see if your work would fit that person's tastes.  I'm actually working on a (free) manuscript submissions workbook that I'll be debuting in the next few weeks that has a worksheet like that.

What ideas do you have for the forum?  I am open to any and all suggestions.


Carole Anne Carr said...

That was a great opportunity to attempt a summary. I usually write my books and spend very little attention until the books are about to be published and I think oops, what shall I put as the blurb. I'm just about to publish Thin Time, so I'd better do some serious thinking.

The Storylady said...

About a board on submissions - I'm having trouble finding information on what exactly particular publishers are looking for so I can target the first paragraph of my cover letter. "I'm submitting this ms. to you because you're looking for _____." So if we could help each other out like that, it would be great.

LadyJai said...

I really like all your ideas so far. I can't seem to think about anything more to add. Thanks for giving us this opportunity as well!

Gwen said...

Sometimes in my critique group the leader will "assign" a book because it is particularly strong in a certain area (beginning hook, use of subplots, amazing voice, etc.). If the Buried Editor has a book like this in mind for a certain topic, maybe consistent followers could read it and then use the board to discuss on a given date.

I'm not sure if this is even in the ballpark of what you're considering for the forum, but I would enjoy learning more in this way. I also like the ideas you offer in your post. And how about, at some point, using the forum as a place to post first pages and get feedback?

I really appreciate your accessibility. Thanks for all the opportunities you've provided.

The Buried Editor said...


I love the Buried Editor Book Club idea! I used to recommend books that I thought would be interesting to writers, but I had never thought about discussing them.

I will have to look into that, but it's a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Love the idea of the submissions board. I do have a question. Can I post a summary of a PB that was submitted to CBAY since I haven't heard feedback yet, or should I wait?

I also will submit my MG summary when I get home(in Colorado)and have access to my computer.

I love all your ideas and if I think of anything else for your forums, I will add.

The Buried Editor said...

People have been getting stuff that's on submission critiqued. Since this is all free (and participation on the board does not influence my decision at all), I don't see a problem with that.

Now, if this was a paid thing, I could see some real ethical conflicts of interest with that, but it's not, so we're good.

B.N.Lippy said...

I've really enjoyed the exercises and appreciate the insightful and encouraging words. I'm always delightfully amazed at the willingness of other writers to help one another improve. Thanks to Madeline for starting this and thanks to everyone who offers critique.

kangaroobee said...

This is a wonderful opportunity for us all, thank you so much!