1. Introduction

Welcome to the TheLitForum.com Writers Workshop!

Our purpose is to provide an environment for members to have their works in progress critiqued and to critique the work of others.

2. Workshop Organisation

The workshop is divided into two sections: a private library folder for your files, and a public message folder for posting your critiques. When you have posted the required critique, you can upload a new file to the private workshop library.

The private library folder ensures your work is not available to anyone beyond the current workshop membership, in particular, to all and sundry via the web. Members who download files must not distribute them to anyone who is not a workshop member.

The public message folder allows everyone to see your critiques, raising awareness of the workshop amongst the general membership, and hopefully encouraging new members to join! However, to maintain privacy of the work being critiqued, some guidelines are necessary relating to how much of the work can be quoted back in public.

3. Workshop Membership

To become a member of the workshop, you need to request access to the Writers Workshop group. See the workshop access request thread in the Writers Workshop folder for more details.

Before you can upload a file, you must first post a critique of another file. There is no time limit for doing the critique, but keep a note of which files you have critiqued, as you will need to provide that information when uploading your own files.

4. Files For Critique

Files uploaded for critique can be anything from a few paragraphs to a whole chapter of a work in progress. Unless the chapters are very short though, a single file shouldn't contain more than one chapter. Files should generally be uploaded in either DOCX or RTF format to ensure maximum compatibility, or PDF format if they contain graphics (note though that copying text from PDF files when critiquing can lose formatting, so avoid PDF format if possible).

To upload a file, follow these steps:

If you're not sure how to attach files to messages, or how to create links to other threads, see the Forum User's Manual.

Note: If you wish to provide extra information, for example, some background or context for the piece, or some of the lead-up or following story for those who might be interested, you can include it directly in the Writers Workshop Library message if it's short, or attach it to the same message as a file if it's longer. Do not create a new thread for it. However, only the first attached file will be considered the file for critique, worth a critique credit. Everything else will just be optional extra information that critiquers can choose to either read or not read as they wish.

4.1 Naming Conventions

You can give the file itself any name you like.

When creating the two threads, the thread title should have the following form:

<Name> <File Number> <Revision Letter>

The name is whatever you are calling your work in progress, eg. "Flash in the Pan".

The file number need not be a chapter number, which may not even be known at this stage, but just a sequential number incremented every time a new file from that same work is uploaded. The first file uploaded would be "1", the next one "2", and so on. Different works in progress would each have their own sequence of file numbers. If you wish to use chapter numbers, but want to break a chapter into multiple upload segments, append the segment number in Roman numerals, eg. "Flash in the Pan 1-I", "Flash in the Pan 1-II", "Flash in the Pan 1-III", etc.

The revision letter is a single alphabetic character starting at 'a' for each new revision of a file previously uploaded. Alternatively, it could be of the form "Rev A". The very first version of a file has no revision letter, the first revision has 'a', the second revision 'b', etc. So if the second revision (ie. third version) of file number three was uploaded, the title would indicate "3b" or "3 Rev B". And the sequence of revisions for a file "Baby's Back 7" would be "Baby's Back 7", "Baby's Back 7a" ("Baby's Back 7 Rev A"), "Baby's Back 7b" ("Baby's Back 7 Rev B"), "Baby's Back 7c" ("Baby's Back 7 Rev C"), etc. For "Baby's Back 8-II", the sequence of revisions would be "Baby's Back 8-IIa" ("Baby's Back 8-II Rev A"), "Baby's Back 8-IIb" ("Baby's Back 8-II Rev B"), etc.

Some examples of complete thread titles:

You may also optionally append your name to the title, like this:

Flash in the Pan 2b - Jonathon Livingston

4.2 Example Messages

An example of a message posted in the public Writers Workshop folder:

And an example of the corresponding message posted in the private Writers Workshop Library folder:

How you indicate the link to the public thread doesn't matter, as long as the link is there.

4.3 Requesting File Deletion

When you no longer desire more feedback on a file, post a message in the public Writers Workshop thread asking for the file to be deleted. Staff will then delete the thread containing the file in the private Writers Workshop Library folder, and append "(Done)" to the title of the thread in the public Writers Workshop folder.

Staff may also delete files that have been there for an excessive length of time, or if the member has not been active on the forum for some time.

5. Critiques

To critique a file, pick any thread in the private Writers Workshop Library and download or open the first or only attached file. Write your critique in any style you prefer, and post it as a reply to the author in the corresponding thread in the public Writers Workshop folder.

Be sure to keep note of which files you critique, as you will need to post that information when later uploading your own files for critique.

To maintain the privacy of the file being critiqued, these guidelines should be observed:

6. File Revisions

Files uploaded for critique may be revisions of the same files uploaded earlier. These have the same qualifying-critique requirement as new files, though exceptions may be granted if the revision is soon after the original and because the original was messed up in some way - check with Margaret first.

Generally you should allow plenty of time for feedback before uploading a revision. In this case, when posting the new revision, also post a delete request for the previous revision in that revision's thread in the public Writers Workshop folder.

For example, when creating the public thread "All The Way With LBJ 3c", also post a delete request in the public thread "All The Way With LBJ 3b". Only one revision of a file should be available for critique at any time.

7. Adult Material

Files containing adult-only material (think 'R' rated) may be uploaded for critique, but the file itself must be uploaded to the Erotic Lit. folder, since that's the only section with an age restriction. This then requires both the uploader and anyone who wishes to critique the file to be members of the Erotic Lit. section. Critiques of the file, which are still posted in the public Writers Workshop folder, must comply with what may be posted in public. In general, the more adult content your file has, the more difficult it will be to critique in public.

When uploading a file with adult content, three threads need to be created: the thread in the Erotic Lit. folder containing the file, the thread in the public Writers Workshop folder as for any other file, and the thread in the private Writers Workshop Library folder with links to both the public Workshop thread and the Erotic Lit. thread.

Note that files uploaded to the Erotic Lit. folder will be visible to any member of the Erotic Lit. section, many of whom may not be members of the Writers Workshop. However, it will likely still be a relatively small percentage of the total forum membership.

8. Finale

That's pretty much it! Feel free to talk to your fellow workshop members in the public Writers Workshop folder about your work in progress, frustrations, road blocks, and joys, and to ask for help with specific problems.

And most important of all - have fun!