Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Frequently asked questions

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 profile banners, signatures and and messaging; these restrictions are temporary and are lifted once ten (10) valid posts* have been made. 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. Friend of WF, Financial Supporters or Financial Patrons. can bypass this restriction by subscribing to WF.
(* Valid posts: Access normally requires 10 valid posts made to Writing Related, Publishing, Poetry, Prose-Fiction and Non Fiction.)
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.

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.

**Please contact Admin for further details**
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 or upgrade your account to a Friend of WF, Financial supporter or Financial Patron to bypass these restrictions.
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. You may request entry into the workshops once you have read and understood the requirements expected of a workshop participant and when granted, there will be a one-month trial period.
(* Valid posts: Access normally requires 10 valid posts made to Writing Related, Publishing, Poetry, Prose-Fiction and Non Fiction.)

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, Supporter or Financial Patron are granted access immediately but are still expected to read and maintain the requirements of all workshop participants.
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/)
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.
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.
I write Erotica how do I access the Red Light Room?
This is a private forum only visible to 'Red Light' members. You must contact rcallaci or PiP for further details.
What is Dante's Inferno and how do I gain access?
Access will only be granted to members who have made an excess of 100 posts. Dante's follows a policy of 'respect', if you abuse this private discussion space, your access will be withdrawn. Please contact an administrator to request access.
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.
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.
How do I stop getting an email notification every time someone posts a reply where I've posted something?
Go to your account setting in your profile and click on 'preferences'. That will allow you to choose the way your notifications are set.
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 to request a password to be sent to your account’s nominated email address.
If I decide I don't like it here, can I delete my account?
Yes. You can delete your account by going to your Profile > Account Details. Scroll down the menu to the bottom, and there click ‘Delete account' on the left side, right above "Log Out".
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.
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 defense in matters involving defamation. Any such posts found will be edited or deleted without prior notice.
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.
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 defense against breaches.
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.
How do I become a Friend of WF, Financial Supporter, Financial Patron, Veteran or Patron?
To become a Friend of WF (FoWF),(FS) or (FP), Full Details Here.

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 Host or served as a member of our volunteer staff.

Patrons are retired WF owners or forum administrators.
What is a Mentor?
Mentors have shown themselves to be knowledgeable and often go above and beyond to help other
I want to join the staff. Who do I apply to?
Staff members are selected by The Board-- consisting of administrators, supervisors, chief media managers and chief mentors. The heads of each hierarchy-- Supervisors for moderators, Chief Media Manager for media managers 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.