Effective August 2016

One of the outstanding benefits to being an OCWW member is the opportunity to have your work critiqued by some of our highly qualified speakers. To check if a speaker is accepting manuscripts please scroll down to the list below. 

Critique Prerequisites, Directions, and Mandatory Fees for Submission

1.  Membership and Membership Fees:

Critiquing privileges are afforded solely to current OCWW members. Prior to submitting a manuscript for critique, the OCWW member must be current with membership fees for the current scheduling year.

2.  Send Manuscript to:

Susan Levi (2012susanlevi@gmail.com)... ------------------->

...unless otherwise indicated. Manuscripts should be sent as attachments to email or handed in person to Susan. Manuscripts should be in Word, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font with one inch margins, pages numbered, and name on the front or in the header.  They should be received and paid for no later than 1 week before the workshop. Once manuscripts are received, you will receive an invoice. Manuscripts cannot be sent to the speaker without advance payment.  PLEASE NOTE: Different speakers may have additional requirements or guidelines for manuscript submission. Many request submissions two weeks in advance. See the event description below for complete details.

3.  Mandatory $10 Speaker Session Fees:

In addition to the manuscript fee, a single $10 session fee is required to submit a manuscript for an OCWW speaker’s critique. This $10 fee pays for the attendance of one session; this fee is due even if the member does not attend any of the speaker’s sessions.

4.  Speaker’s Critique Fee:

 $3 per page, with a 20 page maximum. *Please note there is a $15 (5 page) minimum*

5.  How to Pay for Your Critique:

  • You will receive an invoice by email once the manuscript is received. Payment must be received at least one week before the workshop or by the speaker's submission deadline, whichever is first. Please pay online,  bring cash or check payable to OCWW to a meeting, or mail to OCWW, c/o Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, IL  60093. Please contact Susan Levi if you haven't received your invoice. 
Upcoming Critique Opportunities for OCWW Members:

April 27, 2017 

Ellen T McKnight

Best of Both: Depth and Artistry with Plot

Ellen T. McKnight is a fiction writer and poet whose publications appear in literary journals and anthologies. Her novel, The Ex-Mom, made the Finalist Short List in the Faulkner Writing Competition as a novel-in-progress. She teaches writing workshops to independent writers' groups and hosts a blog about writing – Connecting through Story – at ellentmcknight.com. Her blog has been featured on She Writes. Follow her @EllenTMcKnight on Twitter. 

Ellen will accept four manuscripts for critique in order of submission.  Please submit manuscript and payment by 9:30 AM April 20th, 2017.

Registration and Socializing 9:00AM-9:30PM

Program 9:30AM-12:00PM

May 4, 2017

Christine Sneed

Breaking into the Literary Fiction Market

Christine Sneed is the author of the novels Paris, He Said and Little Known Facts, as well as the story collections Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry and The Virginity of Famous Men.

    She has been published in The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, New Stories from the Midwest, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, New England Review, and a number of other periodicals. Her books have received AWP’s Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, Ploughshares' Zacharis prize, the Society of Midland Authors Award, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, Book of the Year from the Chicago Writers Association. 

    Sneed is the director of MA/MFA creative writing program at Northwestern University and she’s on the fiction faculty of the Regis University low-residency MFA program. *Christine will accept up to four manuscripts for critique, in order of submission and payment.  Please submit manuscript and payment by April 19th, 2017.


Winnetka Community House

May 11, 2017 Special Evening Event

Lori Rader Day:

Using Mystery Tools for Any Story

Lori Rader-Day is the author of The Black Hour, which won the 2015 Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the Lovey Award for Best First Novel, the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion for Best First Novel/Mystery & Thriller, and the Illinois Woman's Press Association Mate E. Palmer Award for Fiction. It was a finalist in four other awards competitions. Her second novel, Little Pretty Things, won the 2016 Mary Higgins Clark Award and is nominated for the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Good Housekeeping, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches mystery writing at StoryStudio Chicago and is the president of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter.

Manuscript submission and payment date: No later than 9:30am April 27, 2017


Evanston Public Library 1703 Orrington Ave. (corner of Church and Orrington)

May 18, 2017

Abby Geni

Setting & Description

Abby Geni is the author of The Lightkeepers, winner of the 2016 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award for Fiction, and the inaugural Chicago Review of Books Award for Best Fiction, and a Chicago Magazine 2016 Breakout Novel, and The Last Animal (2013), a finalist for the Orion Book Award and a winner of the Friends of American Writers Literary Award. Her stories have won first place in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open and the Chautauqua Contest and have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Geni is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Iowa Fellowship. Her website is www.abbygeni.com.

 Manuscript submission and payment date: No later than 9:30am May 4, 2017


Winnetka Community House

OCWW Manuscript Non-disclosure Policy:

OCWW does not disclose manuscripts submitted by its Members for critique by any OCWW workshop instructor/presenters to any source other than the instructor/presenter to whom the manuscript has been directed at the request of our OCWW Member. The organization serves only as the convenience conduit for transmittal of the manuscript to the person chosen by the author to perform the critique, nothing more. It is at the sole discretion of the manuscript writer as to whether they wish their name to be disclosed in any open forum reading or critique of the manuscript at any OCWW workshop. All instructions in that regard are between the author and the person designated to perform the manuscript critique.



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