This is a big one, but I’ll make it fairly quick.
We’ve made some updates to our rules. Among other things, we’ve had to disallow all fan-fiction, specify that there is only one permissible way to format your titles/author name, and disallow art.
We’re not very happy to be making these changes, but as the writing group grows, it becomes harder to handle. We need to make sure our approach to checking for eligibility between posts is swift and sustainable, and leaves as little margin for error as humanly possible. Fan fiction was rapidly demonstrating it’s potential to become extremely insular and referential, to the point of being totally incomprehensible to anyone not “in the know” about the intellectual properties involved. Titles are just a matter of automation—we need those to be consistent so that the bot we use to check for basic eligibility can tell the difference between what is your submission text, and what’s not. Art is just beyond our reasonable ability to streamline at the moment. Maybe in the future we can find a lean, useful model for automating the addition of art to submissions. For now, regrettably, we’ll have to go without.
As with any project, the writing group is an ongoing learning experience. This isn’t the first time we’ll have to do an overhaul on the rules, and it won’t be the last. Whatever changes we have to make, thank you for bearing with them. Ultimately, we just want this to be as fun, safe, and sustainable as it can possibly be.
Now, on to the new rule set. You’ll see this in every prompt post as usual, but have a look right now to prepare yourself:
Rules and Guidelines
We read at least six stories during each stream, three of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!
Text and Formatting
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
- No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
What to Submit
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Write something brand new (no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes).
- No fan fiction whatsoever. We obviously can’t check to make sure all content is original, but by submitting you agree that your creations are your own intellectual property and nobody else’s.
- Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
- One submission per participant.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
- You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
- Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
- You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
- Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.
Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.