The Rules Multiple Accounts: Multiple accounts (sock puppets) are not permitted. Only sign up for one account. If you share a computer or internet connection with a room mate or partner, please inform us or we may suspect you of having duplicate accounts and all will be deleted or permanently banned.
Forum Handles/Usernames, Avatars & Signatures: Forum handles (user names), avatars and signatures must be G rated, meaning they may not contain any language, images or links to anything that breaches this rating. Handles which use web site (name.domain) or e-mail addresses (name@mailserver) will be regarded as spam and the account deleted. Signatures must be limited to six (6) lines. Users need to make at least ten posts before they can use the signature feature. Subscribing members may post images (up to 60x400 pixels) as or with their signatures.
Advertising: Third party advertising or promotion without prior approval by an Administrator, is prohibited on the main boards.
Members are allowed to link to their outside work or other website in their signature once they have access to signature options.
Members with books for sale on Amazon may also request that they be added to the BookStore.
Motley Tavern members (ie, Paying subscribers, Veterans, Patrons and staff) may post threads which promote their work in the Literary Emporium or, if appropriate, in Writers' Resources or other main forum board as provided and seems fitting. Motley Tavern members may also PM Admins or Supervisors to request notices to be posted in Site News and Announcements.
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 and the Outside Resources boards, or other Admin-designated area. Anything else will be considered spam and deleted. Spammers may be banned from the site without notice.
The forum: Outside Resources, containing Writers' Resources, Outside Invitations and Calls for Submissions, and CLASSIFIED - ADVERTISEMENTS, exists for the benefit of WF members. VIP Guest Promoters who advertise their goods and/or services will either be invited guests to the forum, or persons or companies who have subscribed to WF for the purpose of advertising.
Members who have made at least 100 valid posts in forum discussions may advertise their goods and/or services in either the Writers' Resources or the CLASSIFIED - ADVERTISEMENTS, or if appropriate, in Outside Invitations and Calls for Submissions.
PLEASE NOTE: All advertisements or offers are placed on the understanding that members avail themselves AT THEIR OWN RISK. The forum accepts no responsibility for any tangible or intangible damage arising from any advertisement found here.
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 defense in matters involving defamation. Any such posts found will be edited or deleted without prior notice.
Personal Information: Do not post personal real life information such as names, phone numbers, or home addresses of any other member.
Plagiarism: All work posted in the creative forums (Poetry, Prose, Workshops, Visual Arts, Music) must be your own. Specific threads and boards exist for the posting of other people's works with due citations or references to source, and these are the only places where such works may be placed. Anyone found to have deliberately plagiarised the work of another person will be instantly and permanently banned and blacklisted.
Post Titles: Post titles must be G rated, which means strong language or descriptions of violence or sexual activities are not permitted.
Obscene Material and Gratuitous Violence: Such material is not allowed. What is considered overtly pornographic or otherwise obscene is decided by the staff and is not open to debate. It will be removed immediately. Any description or depiction of child sexual abuse is not only considered obscene, it is a reportable crime in many jurisdictions. Repeat offenders will be permanently banned.
Strong or explicit language, Mature themes Disclaimers: Within the creative (eg, Poetry or Prose) areas, infrequent and context-appropriate strong language and mature themes are allowed. Disclaimers on fiction and poetry in their respective boards will be applied if your piece contains sensitive content and is likely to offend potential readers.
Restrictions on the use of coarse language outside of the creative areas were again relaxed at the beginning of 2014, after some years of zero tolerance. For more about this, see our Guidelines. Moderators will continue to pull work containing overly gratuitous content. You will be notified if any staff are required to remove one of your posts in line with this Rule. Repeat offenses will draw infractions.
Content Which Encourages Illegal Activity: Except within the creative boards and with the proper disclaimer, posts which encourage illegal activity will be edited or removed. Again this is at staff discretion and is not open to debate.
Fan-Creations: Fan-fiction and Fan-art are treated equally under the law as fan-creations; they are potential breaches of copyright and/or trademark provisions, therefore not allowed on the open forum boards, and will be removed immediately upon discovery. Provision has been made for fan-creations within The Motley Tavern, where adequate visibility limits and disclaimers are included.
Fan-creations posted by non-Tavern members anywhere in the open forum or members only Workshops may be moved to The Motley Tavern at a moderator's discretion. Members may still post fan-creations in their own Blog pages or in Groups which allow them but do so at their own risk with respect to any third party legal actions.
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.
Concurrent Duplicate Posts: In almost all situations, duplicate posts are not allowed. Pick the most appropriate discussion or critique forum and post your item there. Cross posting, spamming or any kind of concurrent duplicate posting are potential abuses of community tolerance and usually serve to take unfair advantage. We will delete all but one of any concurrent duplicate posts. As is true with plagiarism, paraphrasing is not a valid loophole; paraphrased posts are still copies and will be treated as such.
NB: Challenge entries should not be concurrently posted for any discussion anywhere within the forum during the active phase of the relevant challenge; this includes the forum Blogs and Groups. Challenge entries may be pre-posted or re-posted outside of the challenge cycle (ie, before the challenge prompt or theme is announced, or after the winners are announced) in an appropriate creative forum for individual critique and comment.
Creative Writing Posts for Critiques or Advice
Since the forum's inception, and that borrowed from earlier models dating back to pre-internet times, there has been a sometimes written sometimes unwritten guideline that in essence says, "don't be greedy or selfish", but which is more often couched in terms like "please limit the size and/or number of your posts for feedback".
At times, actual word counts have been suggested, although rarely strictly enforced; there was little need if a consecutive posts or thread-bumping rule existed along with the other common if often unwritten understanding that work for critique be posted in-thread.
The system does not work by word count in posts, but by character count, including those we call hidden characters (formatting codes, etc). After our move to Wired Tree, I was able to increase the character count per post to 250k, which allows for larger individual posts - how large depends upon how fancy the poster needs to be or how many quotes, etc, are included in the post.
Without applying a strict word count limit, the long-standing considerations have always been towards reciprocity or better and a reasonable expectation about how much material is needed for comment or advice as distinct from misusing the forum as a test publishing platform to attract beta readers.
Do Not Post Creative Writing Posts for Critiques or Advice as PDF Attachments or External Links
The issue arises because a member can post attachments - smilies, images, sound, video, etc - and the key permission in the system is whether a member can post and/or see attachments without distinguishing between attachment file types.
One of those file types is pdf - a rather useful tool for staff - which for a long time had been inaccessible due to the system's set-up of file type total limits, which for pdf files had been reached. These limits remained regardless of whether individual files were deleted from the boards, and so pdf files were only again made accessible (for things like the newsletter) after our move to Wired Tree and a new limit set at the host server, a limit which would serve our needs for the foreseeable, but which would quickly be filled if members decided to follow the attempted precedent to ignore the fundamental forum practice, and post their works as pdf attachments.
For visual arts, video and sound files, the use of external links has not only been allowed but actively encouraged because of the file sizes. It has never been allowed or encouraged for written word pieces; the advice and understanding has always been to post these in-thread.
There have been rare occasions where pieces have been allowed as Word document attachments, but these tended to be in addition to rather than instead of, to illustrate how a piece would look without the formatting limitations or glitches inherent in-forum.
From a respondent's perspective, the main issues against critting out-of-thread material relates to defining context in quotes, especially if there are a lot of individual comments to make about details within the work. In other words, it would then fall to the critter to copy the work into thread so that everyone else can see what the critter is referring to.
Quite separately, posting a multi-chapter piece for detailed response goes way beyond the purpose of the forum. In-depth reading of larger works is for beta readers, and is the reason that the Beta Readers Group was encouraged to form.
Posting of PMís: Posting of PMís received from another member is a breach of privacy laws and therefore not allowed. They will be removed immediately.