The online writing groups I joined before were through Hatrack, Orson Scott Card’s online community. Those were email based, but they now have a forum for the same thing:

The method is you post the first 13 lines of your story, which (when formatted correctly) is exactly the first page an editor would read before deciding to



/continue reading

Obviously, to grip people who read+reject repeatedly all day every day, your story has to be really gripping.

Which means the first 13 lines have to be really gripping. And really well-written.

So in this online community of would-be writers, you critique everyone else’s work, which helps you learn more about writing. And you ask, “Do these thirteen lines make you want to read the story?” And if they do, some people (complete strangers) will volunteer to read and critique the whole work.

If they don’t, well it’s obvious the story won’t grip an editor either.


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