Peer Review

For many of us, Peer Review is an important part of the writing process.  Allowing others to read and comment on our work helps us to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a new piece of writing and to discover possibilities for development we may not have otherwise found.

Forum Members are invited to submit material for peer review.  This can include complete short stories, stories in progress, or critical work.  As considered feedback takes time, submissions should not exceed 4000 words.  Work submitted will remain available for review for a period of one month (less, if the author wants the work removed).

The Peer Review facility is a closed forum and material submitted will not be viewable by members of the public.  Material made available for Peer Review, in this closed format, will not be considered as published; the author remains free to submit the material elsewhere as ‘unpublished work’.

All material submitted remains under the author’s copyright and is protected by international copyright laws.  Breeches of copyright, however, remain the author’s responsibilty and authors are advised to take all necessary arrangements to protect their work against copyright theft.

Thresholds, the University of Chichester, and the administrators of the forum cannot be deemed liable in the event of copyright infringement by other members of the Forum community.

Guidelines for Peer Review

Peer Review is a valuable tool for all writers, at every stage of the writing process. They not only provide the writer with an audience on which to test his/her material, but also provide a forum for critical feedback, discussion of ideas for development and encouragement to keep trying when something hasn’t worked as well as hoped.  Providing Peer Review to others helps us to be more critical when looking at our own work and helps to hone our analytical skills.

For Peer Review to be successful, it is important that honest feedback is tempered by encouragement and support.  Therefore, when reading material submitted for review:

  1. consider those areas that you think work well – descriptions you feel are particularly successful, dialogue that sounds authentic, characters that are well-drawn and so forth;
  2. look also at areas that might be improved upon or developed further;
  3. consider all the elements of the story: viewpoint, character, language, structure, etc.

Feedback should be specific, directing the author to relevant passages within the text. It should include the reviewer’s perception of both the strengths and weaknesses of the work in question and should be presented in an honest manner.  It is important, however, that this be done in a sensitive fashion so as not to discourage the writer in question.

The writer should carefully consider all feedback received, especially where similar comments have been made by multiple reviewers.  Ultimately, though, it is up to the writer to decide whether these comments are valid.

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