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Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

Rules & Guidelines

DA RULES - WF Rules & Guidelines

Click on the links below for more information: New Members; Rules; Guidelines; Infraction Points System.

The Rules are strict and we enforce them without fear or favour. Guidelines give you a basic idea of how you should conduct yourself. Continued abuse of the Rules or Guidelines carries the same penalties.

The Rules and Guidelines are here to help ensure that everyone has a safe, enjoyable place to meet and share ideas and are subject to change as needed.

*The Zeroth Rule

In line with common netiquette, the interests of the forum community outweigh the interests of the individual.

The Zeroth Rule is an overarching rule that places the welfare of the forum community above that of any individual member - something which has up to now simply been taken for granted by most and ignored by the few - and the rights and expectations applying to moderators in the course of their duties, even when explicit rules are not applied.

*The Zeroth Rule is a reference to Asimov's famous 3 Laws of Robotics; he then introduced the Zeroth Law, an overarching law that took precedence over the First Law (A robot must not harm a human, or through inaction allow a human to come to harm). The Zeroth Law placed the welfare of humanity as a whole over the welfare or rights of an individual, in effect allowing a robot to harm a human if it was in the best interests of humanity to do so.

Moderation: Do not argue or question a moderator's action in-thread. Ever. At the very least, it would be hijacking or derailing the discussion; at worst, it would be attacking staff.

Moderators are not simply police to enforce the laws; their task is to ensure a safe and fair place for all members. The Rules are simply a tool, important and valuable resource, yes, but not the be-all and end-all of things - never have been. The be-all and end-all of things is the Owner or the Owner's appointed representatives.

Things can and do occur at times not covered in the Rules of the day, for whatever reason, and so unwritten practices are relied upon, or precedents are set ... and eventually, da Rules are amended.

Therefore, if a moderator PMs a member to moderate that member's actions, it doesn't matter if it's not in The Rules, it is still moderation.

If you disagree with a moderator's action in a PM, or if you have a question or concern about a moderator's post in a discussion, you can use the Report Post or Report PM function, or you can send a PM to a Supervisor or Administrator, or you can use the Feedback option (the sub-forum attached to Site News & Announcements). Do not argue directly with the moderator, or try in any way to explain to the moderator what you believe is in error.

All staff are members who have volunteered time and energy to make and keep the forum helpful and welcoming for everyone. The Owner takes attacks on any volunteer member very seriously, and regardless of the attacker's standing or reputation within the forum or elsewhere, the consequences of any inflammatory, defamatory, bullying, or sniping attack against a forum volunteer staff member range from temporary to permanent bans.

Click on the links below for more information: New Members; Rules; Guidelines; Infraction Points System.

New Member FAQs

New Member FAQs



Q - I've just joined and I can't edit my profile/add a signature/fix my avatar. What should I do?
Like all sites of this type, we suffer attacks from spammers. Therefore, it is necessary to become active on the site before some features are available. New non-subscribing members will find that there are some restrictions relating to user profiles, signatures and avatars, messaging and posting new topics; these restrictions are temporary and are lifted once ten (10) valid posts have been made. (Da Rules)


Q - I've just joined to tell you about this amazing new product/service/website. Where do I place my ad?
Advertising of any kind is prohibited on the main boards. You are allowed to link to your site in your signature once you have made the required amount of posts.

Motley Tavern members (ie, Friends of WF, Veterans, Patrons and staff) may post threads which promote their work in the Literary Emporium. Those with books for sale on Amazon may also request that they be added to the bookshop.

Motley Tavern members who are professional publishers, writers, artists or illustrators, proofreaders or editors, may offer or discuss their services only within the Motley Tavern or other Admin-designated area. Anything else will be considered spam and deleted. Spammers may be banned from the site without notice. (Da Rules)
NB – This rule may soon be modified.


Q - Why was the link to my blog/website/cool site to check out removed from my Introduction post?
One severe infraction that new members often fall foul of is spamming. Adding a link to an outside website, whether it is the member's own blog page, Amazon page, or a third party site, in an Introduction post is treated as spam. Don't do it. You can add these sorts of links to your signature as soon as you have progressed from new member to regular member. (Da Rules)


Q - I want to post some of my writing but I can't start a new thread. What's wrong?
New non-subscribing members with a post count of less than ten (10) cannot post new topics on the creative forums. Fluff (superfluous single word, or non-contributing) posts made just to build up post count may be deleted. Please be aware that posts on the Word Games forum are not added to post counts. New members who have also paid the subscriber's fee to become a Friend of WF are not subject to these restrictions. (Da Rules)


Q - What happens to my copyright if I post my work here?
Nothing. Copyright is automatic and vested the instant the original created work is set in a recordable form, and is renewed whenever the original creator of the work effects any change to that work.

An idea is not protected by copyright; copyright protects only the unique and original presentation of that idea once produced in a tangible or recordable form.

"Anytime that you create a creative, copyrightable work and it is fixed on a tangible medium (ie, paper, videotape, etc...) it is copyrighted. You don't have to register the work to have copyright protection, although registration brings other benefits such as the immediate right to sue and potential statutory damages, notwithstanding actual damages. So in sum, once you create it, it is copyright protected." - FindLaw for Legal Professionals | Law & Legal Information (http://lp.findlaw.com/)


Q - If I post my artwork, story or poem here, does that mean I'm "published"?
Good question.

We suggest that if you plan to submit your work to an agent or publisher, then you should consider posting in the Members' Only Workshops. If your work is a novel, then only post excerpts rather than entire chapters.

The advice from the author’s submission service, Writer’s Relief is -
Is work considered previously published if I post it on a blog, Web site, large social-networking site, or online literary journal?
If you’ve posted your writing on any of the above sites, it is generally considered previously published.

Is my work considered previously published if I post it in a writing forum or Web board?
If the forum or Web board is private and intended for the purposes of encouraging feedback or community support, then most editors and literary agents will consider the work unpublished. But just in case, you may want to take it down once you’ve received feedback so it doesn’t appear online.

If the forum in question is public (that is, if nonmembers can see what you’ve written), then your work will likely be considered previously published...

Generally speaking, it’s okay to publish excerpts online, as long as they are on the short side (relative to the work in question). - Writer’s Relief (http://writersrelief.com/blog/2013/11/what-is-considered-previously-published-writing/)

The situation for artworks, according to AIGSF* –
Unfortunately, there is no consensus yet on whether posting a work online qualifies as a legal “publication.” The Copyright Office has refused to offer an opinion. Some people think posting online qualifies as publication because it allows multiple people in multiple locations to view the work at the same time, which is analogous to print publication. Also, in fact your computer technically makes a “copy” of the work when it displays the web page…

However, the law is clear that unauthorized copying does not count as a legal publication. Therefore, if you post your work with a copyright notice (and, for good measure, a clear statement that it may not be copied without your permission), there’s a good argument that you have not made copies of your work available to the public, and thus your posting is not a legal “publication.”

An illustration that’s been posted online for the purposes of peer review and critique doesn’t affect the marketplace for printed books. You have not given anyone a license to print the illustration in a commercial way, and there will be nothing out there in the marketplace to compete with the publisher’s book. Thus I don’t understand why publishers would consider such online postings to be a problem, especially if it is a relatively private forum, as opposed to on your website where the entire public can view it. In my practice, I have not personally encountered such an objection from a publisher. - AIGSF*
(http://aigasf.org/community/legalities/legalities_22_does_posting_your_artwork_online_count_as_publication)
* The San Francisco chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, is one of the largest and most active in the country, representing over 1,600 designers in graphics, interaction, experience, motion, and affiliated fields in the Greater Bay Area.


Q - How do I paste my work from Word without messing up the formatting?
When pasting from Word, the best way is to use the [Go Advanced] option - bottom right of the dialog box.

Above the Advanced version of the dialog box, you'll find extra options, including the clipboard with W (paste from Word) which tries to incorporate as close as possible the font and formatting of the original Word piece. The standard paste (text only) will miss some format codes as it pastes - lost spaces between words are most likely from text code word wraps to fit the window, which are not carried into the final paste-up.

Below the advanced dialog box, you'll find more options, including [Disable smilies in text] which is very handy if your work includes brackets. (Cran)


Q - Can I post my work/thread in more than one board? How do I decide which is the best board for my post/thread?
In almost all situations, duplicate posts are not allowed. Pick the most appropriate forum and post your item there. No cross posting, spamming or any kind of multiple posts will be allowed. We will delete all but one of any duplicate posts. As is true with plagiarism, paraphrasing is not a valid loophole; paraphrased posts are still copies and will be treated as such. An exception to this rule relates to challenge entries which may be pre-posted or re-posted in an appropriate creative forum for individual critique and comment. (Da Rules)


Q - No one has replied to my post. Can I "bump" it?
It is our policy to discourage members from posting just to bring their thread back to the top of the front page. If a thread is bumped without a valid reason then it, or the offending post, may be deleted. (Da Rules)

If you are unsure whether your reason to bump is valid, ask a Mentor or Moderator.


Q - I just found a great thread in the back pages, and want to revive it. Is that OK?
Yes. Just because society now runs on a 24 hour news cycle and last week is ancient history, the stories, poems, essays, discussions and artworks need not be treated like the magazines in your doctor’s waiting room.

However, if you intend to revive a thread then you are obliged to make a real contribution to the thread; otherwise it would be better to just click Like or LOL and move on. The practice of “thread necromancy” with “fluff” posts is universally frowned upon. (Cran)


Q - How do I stop getting an email notification every time someone posts a reply where I've posted something?
Click on Settings (top of page, between profile and log out), left sidebar, scroll down to General Settings (under email and password) - scroll down to Messaging & Notification, Default Thread Subscription Mode: and click on the dropdown arrow, select "through my control panel only" or "do not subscribe" (your choice).

If you want to totally unsubscribe from a lot of threads you've posted in, scroll back up the left sidebar to Subscriptions, tick the threads you don't want to be subscribed to, scroll down to below the list, click the [selected threads] button and select [delete subscription] - there are also options here for altering notification modes for individual subscribed threads (so that if you want instant email notification of your own threads but not other people's, you can make that distinction via this option).

For future individual thread choices of notification that differ from your chosen default, before posting a reply, Go Advanced, and scroll down to the options below the dialog box. In Subscription, you'll see your default setting; change it to your preferred option. (Cran)


Q - I've forgotten my password. Can I just start a new account? How many accounts can I have?
Multiple accounts (sock puppets) are not permitted. Only sign up for one account. If you share a computer or internet connection with a roommate or partner, please inform us or we may suspect you of having duplicate accounts and all but one will be deleted. (Da Rules)

If you have forgotten your password, use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page to request a password to be sent to your account’s nominated email address.


Q - If I decide I don't like it here, can I delete my account?
No. You can edit your posts, and your profile page. Don’t bother asking for your account to be deleted; the answer will be “No”.


Q - I don't like the replies I'm getting. Can I report them?
You are encouraged to report posts which breach the Rules, especially those which fall under -
Flaming: Flaming will not be tolerated. When critiquing, keep observations about the work, do not make inflammatory personal judgments of or attacks on the writer. In any discussion, keep it about the topic and not the poster. Violations will be deleted. Repeated offenses or ignoring staff warnings will result in an infraction.

Trolling or Baiting: Unnecessarily contentious posts, or posts intended to incite flaming, will not be tolerated. Offending posts will be removed, and the poster warned in the first instance. Repeated offenses will result in the poster being temporarily or permanently banned. Posts which attack, demean, or breach the international standards against unfair discrimination of any person or group of people will be treated as baits.

Hijacking or Derailing: If you want to discuss something other than the topic posted without the Opening Poster's (OP's) express permission, start your own discussion thread. Hijacking or derailing a discussion is a form of online bullying, and is not tolerated. This does not apply to asides, quips, or humorous interjections. (Da Rules)


Q - I'm being harassed by another member. What should I do?
If you feel you have been contacted inappropriately please report it to a staff member immediately. We are a site catering to all ages and we ask that everyone behave accordingly. All complaints will be taken seriously and will be investigated with appropriate action taken. We will not tolerate false claims any more than we will tolerate inappropriate behavior.

To handle these issues, please keep copies of any alleged complaints and forward them to a moderator or administrator. Do not post about this publicly as these are private issues. All public posts regarding these issues will be deleted.

Defamation: Do not post or transmit any message which may be considered slanderous, libelous, or in any other way defamatory, or which discloses private or personal matters concerning any person other than yourself. Understand that, in law, truth is not necessarily a defence in matters involving defamation. Any such posts found will be edited or deleted without prior notice. (Da Rules)


Q - How do I change my username?
Usernames will not be changed unless there is a legitimate reason for them to be (simply not liking it any longer doesn't qualify), so choose them carefully. (Da Rules)


Q - I live in a free society. Why do I have to know and follow the Rules?
There is no society so free that it doesn’t have rules or laws to maintain it. Again, as in all societies, ignorance – “I didn’t know” – is not a valid defence against breaches. (Cran)


Q - This is a public forum. Where's the democracy, and what about my rights?
Actually, it’s a privately owned forum, and your individual rights are no lesser or greater than the rights of every other individual who chooses to be here. (Cran)


Q - How do I become a Friend or a Veteran or a Patron?
To become a Friend of WF (FoWF), you only need to subscribe via PayPal; if you don’t have or don’t want to use a PayPal account, you can use the Donate option but you will also need to contact the Owner or an Administrator to confirm the payment and initiate your subscription.

To become a Veteran, you will need to be nominated and seconded by at least three Motley Tavern members; ie, other Veterans, Friends, Patrons or staff members. Bribes of chocolate chip cookies, foot rubs, and the like have been attempted in the past, but there is no record of success.

To become a Patron, you have to either buy the forum and/or become a bored member, err, board member (retired) but opt to visit now and then for the perks, glory, or the chance outbreak of psychotic kittens. (Cran)


Q - What is a Mentor?
Mentors, as the name suggests, are friendly helpful guides of WF. Think of a hotel concierge, ready to give directions and help out hotel guests with finding the best of everything. Mentors have shown themselves to be knowledgeable and often go above and beyond to help others. (J Anfinson)

Mentors are, to quote the Batman, “the best of us”. Mentors are members who have “been there”, who understand many of the real life and online issues that members, especially new members, have to deal with. A Mentor might not have all the answers, but will know how to find them. A Mentor is not a cop, but something of a role model. (Cran)


Q - I want to join the staff. Who do I apply to?
Staff members are selected by The Board-- consisting of administrators, supervisors, and chief mentors. The heads of each hierarchy-- Supervisors for moderators and Chief Mentors for mentors -- are actively searching the membership pool on a daily basis for those with the right qualities. If you consistently demonstrate the qualities they are looking for, then a board member will contact you at the appropriate time. (J Anfinson)

Board FAQ

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