First Pages Party

Superstars Writing Seminars 2018

“First Pages Party” Peer Critique Session

7 p.m. Wednesday 1/31 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday 2/1

Antlers Hotel: Summit 1

Free to attend – all Tribe members welcome!

Back by popular demand, SSWS 2018 will host another “First Pages Party.” This is a fun, free, safe way to experience the art of critique in a verbal format, and receive feedback from new-to-you readers on those important first pages of your manuscript.

Tribe members Chris Mandeville and Todd Fahnestock have been critiquing together for more than twelve years, and will share their read-aloud critique method. This method makes it easy to focus on “big picture” elements like plot, character, pacing, voice, suspension of disbelief, and the all-important “is this confusing?” It’s great when you’re trying on a new idea for a story or are at the early stages of a draft to see if your ideas are gelling. This style of critique is meant to augment the fine-tuning “line edit” critique of a polished draft, not replace it.

Joining Chris and Todd again this year is the inimitable Lisa Mangum! In addition to being an editor with Shadow Mountain Publishing, Lisa is also an author and first-rate writing instructor. Lisa is a kind, insightful critiquer who brings a lot of experience and great ideas to the First Pages Party.

During each evening session, Chris, Todd, and Lisa will explain the critique process and guidelines, share some of their own critique experiences, and demonstrate the critique process with a submission from an attendee. The attendee is welcome to read their piece aloud (highly encouraged) but if they don’t feel comfortable, one of the critiquers will read it for them. After this demo, everyone is welcome to participate. We’ll divide into small groups and get though as many critiques as we can.

Everyone is welcome to attend the Party whether or not you volunteer to have your work critiqued.

On Wednesday, January 31, whether or not you’re attending the “Craft Day” workshops, grab a quick dinner and then gather for the First Pages Party at 7:00 p.m. There will be a second critique session at 7:30 the next night (Thursday, February 1) that will run concurrent with game/pizza night. You can attend the Party one night or both, and you can come and go throughout so you’re able to do some gaming/socializing as well. No sign up is needed for either of the First Pages Parties—just show up!

To share your work for critique:

Bring one printed copy or bring your laptop/tablet to read from. This should be the first page of your manuscript (the first 16 lines in standard manuscript format). If you have a prologue, it’s your choice to read from that or from Chapter One.

Note: you are always welcome to bring food and beverages purchased at the Antlers into the meeting space, so feel free to grab a beverage and/or munchies and join us!

Any questions about this program should be directed to Chris Mandeville at