WritingForums.com - Site Policies

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    by Published on April 23rd, 2014 11:08 PM

    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, and messaging; these restrictions are temporary and are lifted once ten (10) valid posts have been made.

    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 without specific admin approval 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.

    Members are allowed to link to their outside work or other website in their signature once they have access to signature options. Members (with more than ten valid posts) may promote any of their online work or achievements in Beyond the Forum.

    Friends of WF, Veterans, Patrons and staff may post threads which promote their work in the Literary Emporium.

    Members who are professional publishers, writers, artists or illustrators, proofreaders or editors, may offer or discuss their services only within Admin-designated area. Anything else will be considered spam and deleted. Spammers may be banned from the site without notice.

    Q - Why was the link to my blog/website/cool site to check out removed from my Introduction post?
    Introduction posts are for introducing a new member as a person to our community; they are not platforms for promotion of anything else.

    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.

    Q - I want to post some of my writing.
    New members are welcome to share completed fiction or poetry to the respective Showcase forums. Private workshops for critique will be visible once ten valid posts have been made. 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.

    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/2013/1...ished-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*

    * 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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 members from age thirteen years and older 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Q - How do I become a Friend of WF, Veteran or 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 an active member of WF for a minimum of one year plus actively participate in either writing or publishing discussions, offering critique, volunteer as a challenge judge or served as a member of our volunteer staff.

    Patrons are retired WF owners or forum administrators.

    Q - What is a Mentor?
    Mentors have shown themselves to be knowledgeable and often go above and beyond to help others.

    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.
    by Published on June 1st, 2010 07:43 PM

    Mission Statement – Writing Forums

    The Mission Statement:

    To better foster writers and creative artists through a supportive and informative space within the broader internet community.

    Any problems with that? If so, then:

    To continue to be the best forum for writers and creative artists on the net!

    Aims and Objectives
    The main aim of Writing Forums is to provide a friendly, active literary community where you can talk to and make friends with other writers. This is a privately owned site which seeks to promote a comfortable environment for writers of all ages and levels of ability to share and get feedback on their work.

    We encourage open discussion so that members may share ideas, tips and tricks and network. While postings represent the individual opinions of forum participants, the site is monitored by the Writing Forums staff. We reserve the right to remove any postings that are considered inappropriate, profane, harassing or defamatory.

    Posts should be kept at a family friendly level, please keep the rough language in check.


    Usage Rules. We reserve the right to deny you access to any and all parts of this Site and suspend or terminate your account, with or without giving a reason. The following is a brief summary from the Site's rules and guidelines. Your agreement to these on registering should be regarded as Terms of Use.

    Unlawful Purposes. In order to create a hospitable environment for all of our users, certain types of activities and communications are prohibited. As a condition of your use of the Site, you agree that you will not use the Content for any purpose that is unlawful or prohibited by the Rules and Guidelines. You also agree that you are responsible for User Generated Content that is sent through your account to any discussion group or forum or any other part of the Site.You may not post or transmit any message which is libelous, defamatory or which discloses private or personal matters concerning any person other than yourself. You may not post or transmit any message, data, image or program which is indecent, obscene or pornographic.
    by Published on May 28th, 2010 09:47 AM

    Writing Forum members have the right to participate in an environment which is free from discrimination and harassment. Staff are committed to providing a safe and productive forum in which the diversity of individuals within the community is recognised and respected. Discrimination and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.

    What is Discrimination and Harassment?

    Deliberate or unintentional behaviour that humiliates, intimidates, or offends and is unwelcome and unsolicited. Including (but not limited to) inappropriate or belittling comments with regard to:

    · sex and sexuality;
    · relationship status and preference;
    · disability, impairment or handicap;
    · race, colour, nationality, ethnicity and immigration;
    · age and appearance;
    · religious or
    political belief and activity;
    · other forum memberships and online associations;
    · writing ability;
    · any other grounds in which staff deem unsatisfactory.

    Behaviour of this nature makes the environment unpleasant and leads to hostility.

    What if I offend someone unintentionally?

    What one person considers reasonable behaviour can be seen differently by another person. The fact that discrimination and harassment is not intended does not mean it does not contravene this policy. All cases of discrimination and harassment are decided upon at the discretion of staff

    What should I do if I am being discriminated against or harassed at Writing Forums?

    We recommend you do not ignore the behaviour outlined above, hoping it goes away. If you are comfortable, tell the person to stop and make it clear their behaviour is offensive and unwelcome. If you are not comfortable, please contact a staff member so they may provide support and act on your behalf. You may choose to use the ignore option by putting the offender onto 'Edit Ignore List' in 'My Settings'. Offending posts may be reported using the 'Report Post' option.

    We cannot stress enough the importance of reporting unwanted behaviour, so that Writing Forums remains a safe and pleasant environment for all participants.


    An accusation of discrimination and harassment may be potential cause for embarrassment, especially if confidentiality is not observed and a person’s reputation is unfairly damaged. Therefore, we ask that discussion, information and records relating to complaints of this nature remain factual and confidential.


    Victimisation as a result of reporting acts of discrimination and harassment are regarded as a serious offence and will result in immediate investigation, which if proven, will lead to disciplinary action. An infraction system composed of warnings, points and penalties is used by staff to enforce rules and guidelines.


    We are asking that our members be adults and use common sense when posting on WF. We all know how to act and speak in public, and what is and isn’t considered respectful language and actions. We aren’t going to ban you if you use profanity, but if you are simply using it in an excessive and gratuitous manner, you can expect to be called on it. What that means is this: you’ll be asked to edit your post; your post may be pulled for discussion; or your post may simply be deleted if it’s a fluff comment. Rack up enough of these and your actions will be considered as ignoring staff and you will be issued an infraction. Our moderators all give their time voluntarily to this site and they don’t need to be babysitting anyone who can’t act like an adult. The onus is on you to act responsibly. Choose the words you use on the boards carefully and deliberately before you decide to curse.

    Disclaimers on fiction and poetry in their respective boards will be considered optional. Use your head with regards to whether or not to include them. We're not going to slap your wrist if there are a few minor swear words, but if your piece contains sensitive content and you know it's likely to offend potential readers, include the disclaimer. The staff will continue to pull work containing overly gratuitous content.

    Flaming has always been unacceptable on this site and will continue to be. However, there is a big difference in disagreeing with someone and a personal attack. We are bound to have different opinions about things, so we ask you to respect that and move on if you are unable to. Never personally attack another member. On the flip side, a thick skin is required in this profession. If you are easily offended, we suggest you refrain from engaging in heated discussions.

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