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Too Many Emails?
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Critiquing Lists:
Child/Young adult

Discussion Lists:

The IWW Blog Writing Advice

Other Topics:
Our administrators
Other writing lists
Books on writing
IWW History
Showcase of Successes

How the IWW works

In joining, you will select the lists (groups) you want. After sending in your application, you will soon begin receiving emails. You may see so many emails that they seem like a blizzard.

We have several solutions. The first is to understand what the emails are about, and to delete the ones you don't want.

What Workshop Emails are about:

Emails from the Critiquing lists:
You will find the words CRIT: (for critiques) and SUB: (for submissions) as the first in the email's Subject Title.

     CRITs are intended solely for the writers of the SUBs. You may look the CRITs over to see how they're done, or just delete them.

     You can also look over the SUBs, consider critiquing one or more, or just delete ones you don't want.

     You may be anxious to post your first SUB, but it's a good idea to wait. Critique some SUBs first and become known by the list members. They will be more likely to critique your SUBs when you post them. (We call it Instant Karma.)

Emails from the Discussion lists:
     No SUBs or CRITs are allowed in Discussion lists. You may ignore, reply to, or delete discussion posts, as you choose.

Emails from the List Administrators:
     New members receive Welcome messages from the lists. Please read them for important instructions.

Monitor your lists for a few days to familiarize yourself.

List Addresses for sending to:


You'll only be able to send emails to lists you have applied to and been added to.

For help, find your admins' addresses at http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/contact.shtml

Taming the Blizzard

You can also receive emails in the digest format, or use "Mailbox Folders and Filters."
For instructions, see: Too Many Emails? 

Set All List Mail to Plain Text (not HTML).

Please see our Formatting page for instructions. 

Participation for Critiquing List Members

 Each critiquing list email with SUB: or CRIT: in its subject title counts for 1 participation point. Members not meeting minimum participation requirements can be removed from those lists.

Participation credit is not required for Discussion lists.

Changing "Re: SUB:" to "CRIT in the Subject Title."

When you click "Reply" on a submission, the word SUB: automatically changes to
Re: SUB:. You must manually change Re: SUB: to CRIT: to get  participation credit.
Re: SUB: does not work.

Quoting critiques and formatting your comments.

> This is an example of  how your email program should show
> words "quoted" from the SUB: you're critiquing. Quoted text
> either has the ">" mark at the left, or a vertical line that means
> means the same thing. Make sure your email program is set to
> quote emails you reply to.

This is an example of how to show your critiquing comments,
one blank space above and two blank spaces below. It makes
your reply ease to locate.

For email brevity, please delete portions of quoted text that are not relevant to the critique.

Critiquing suggestions.

When critiquing, say specifically what you liked and didn't like, with reasons and examples. Avoid generic evaluations that just say, "I liked it," or, " I didn't like it."

You don't have to critique every submission.

It's okay to ask the critic privately (not on the list) for clarifications. Be friendly. It's never okay to argue a critique, either publicly or privately.

Think of CRITs as gifts. Use what is valuable, ignore what's not valuable, and save the rest for later. You don't have to tell anyone what you've changed.

Pasting submissions.

Most submissions are prepared in a word processing program. Select and Copy from the word processor, and Paste into your email. If that results in the recipient's getting some unreadable characters, you may have to convert into Plain Text format (see Formatting). 

Once the text is in your email's sending screen, be sure to put SUB: in the subject title line, and address the message to the correct address as shown at the top of this page.

Please don't post several submissions at once upon first joining the list. 

Return Addresses.

When you reply to a post, the default address in the To: line automatically displays the list's address.

To send a private email to a list member, manually type his/her address in the To: line.

The Writing discussion is an exception. It puts in the originator's address instead of the list's. To send to the Writing list, manually type in writing@lists.psu.edu.

Thank-you notes.

Thank-you notes are optional, but good etiquette that encourages critiques. (Of course, critiquing the work of others is the best form of thank-you.) Send your "Thank you" messages directly to the person, not the list. Check the To: address before sending.

OFFER:, the orphan submission.

If want critique on a work that doesn't fit in with your critiquing lists, you can offer it on the Writing list. In some cases, critiquing list administrators will allow Offers there. Participation credits are not given for submissions or critiques of Offers.

Offer rules:

  • Your submission's subject title should start with OFFER: instead of SUB:.
  • The contents of your email will give a brief description of what your work is about, but not the work itself.
  • Tell interested parties to contact you directly, off list.
  • When they request it, you can send them the body of the work itself.

In conclusion...

All these rules may sound a bit scary, and they can take a bit of getting used to. Your admins are here to help.