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Writer’s Ark FAQ and Rules

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  • Writer’s Ark FAQ and Rules

    Q: What is the purpose of Writer’s Ark?
    A: The mission of Writer’s Ark is to be a premier discussion forum for authors and readers of speculative fiction.

    Q: What genres does Writer’s Ark focus on?
    A: The forum is dedicated to most genres of speculative fiction, including, but not necessarily limited to, science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and, to a certain extent, horror, supernatural fiction, and the like.

    Q: What are the rules of conduct on Writer's Ark?
    A: Scroll to the bottom of this message for the forum rules.

    Q: Why are you operating this site?
    A: The reason behind this site is to support a community of writers and readers of speculative fiction, to help authors and readers find each other, to provide mutual support system in literary endeavors, and (last, but definitely not least) to help writers (including this site's administration) promote their works.

    Q: Is there any cost associated with being a member?
    A: No. Writer's Ark is, and will always remain, free.

    Q: I provide a literary service (proofreading, editing, cover art, literary agency, or other), and would like to connect with the authors on Writer's Ark. How do I go about it? Is there a cost for advertising my services? Will this site provide an endorsement to my post?
    A: Please use the Literary Services and Open Calls for Submissions forum to post about it. There is no cost to advertise, however, we would expect that any advertisements are posted in good faith, and accurately represent the services being provided. The site does not endorse any services, however, individual members are free to endorse any services based on their experience with them. As such, if your past satisfied clients include members of Writer's Ark, we suggest asking such members for endorsements, as it may help your post to stand out.

    Q: What are the rules on providing negative feedback on publishers, agents, or providers of other services?
    A: Writer's Ark is intended to be a community that encourages and supports writers and literary professionals, however, we recognize that there are sometimes individuals and businesses who fall short of the mark. If you want to provide negative feedback or reviews of literary businesses and services, we ask that you do it in a civil, professional manner, keep it short and factual, and keep any personal attacks out of it. In addition, we recognize that there is a lot of potential for abuse here; as such, we would consider malicious attacks on other members to be a serious issue requiring administrator's interference (however, legitimate unresolved complaints about poor quality of services or dishonest dealings are fair game, as long as they are relayed in a professional manner). There are sites dedicated to that kind of discussions, such as Preditors & Editors, where it may be more fitting with the general tone of the site.
    Q: What is the purpose of each sub-forum?
    A: The sub-forums are intended as follows:

    Story Ideas Forum – have you ever had a rough idea that you had difficulty developing? Do you have a concept that you may never follow through on, but potentially of use to other authors? Are you looking for feedback on what story to work on next, or for inspiration on future projects? This is a good starting point. Please note that the member who posts the idea has the first right to use it; please ask for the original poster's permission if you are contemplating using their ideas. This is a members-only forum.

    The Art of Writing - talk about writing techniques, getting organized, any methods that help you write, or similar topics. This is a place where writers can share some of their techniques with others, get advice, or ask for public or private feedback. This is a members-only forum.

    The Business of Writing – now that the story is finished, what do you do with it? How do you go about finding a publisher or an agent? What steps should you take before the story goes to prospective publishers? What about self-publishing via Kindle, CreateSpace, or other media? How do you promote yourself and your works? This sub-forum is dedicated to these questions, and many more that may arise from the business of getting your works out there.

    Writing Resources – there are many web sites, articles, books, software, agents, and businesses that might be of use to an aspiring writer (or to a reader looking for interesting and captivating stories). This sub-forum is designated as a repository of such resources, and a place where the members can share and discuss them.

    Writer’s Ark Exclusives – the place where the members can post their fiction for all the world to see (and hopefully read).

    Worlds of Speculative Fiction – fiction can be made by captivating and well thought-out worlds which may often take spotlight from characters. These may be original settings created by members for their stories, popular fictional settings such as Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, or factual or even counterfactual histories. The idea behind this forum is to discuss these worlds, talk about what-ifs, contemplate building or filling out such settings, and perhaps even collaborate on original creative projects.

    Literary Services and Open Calls for Submissions – this is the place where members may post about any open calls for story or novel submissions, or advertise their services as proofreaders, editors, agents, publishers, or similar. We hope that this forum may help writers find out about places where they may currently submit their works, and aid in connecting with other literary professionals. Note that Writer’s Ark typically does not make endorsements or recommendations for any service or publisher, though our individual members may (and are encouraged to) endorse people or businesses they had good experience with in the past.

    Writer’s Club – as a sub-forum viewable only by registered members of Writer’s Ark, this area is intended for writers hoping to work on their craft in relative privacy (as much as it is possible on the web). This is a members-only forum.

    Off-topic – above all, Writer’s Ark strives to be a community, and this means getting to know your fellow site members, talking about things outside of fiction, discussing current events, or simply socializing. This is the place to do all of those things, and more. This is a members-only forum.

    Q: What is the difference between “Writer’s Ark Exclusives” and “Writer’s Club” forums?
    A: The “Exclusives” forum is intended as a place for the writers to showcase their sample work not intended for publication, like fan-fiction, free stories intended to grow interest in the writer’s other works, or similar. Non-members should be able to view it, which means it will be harder to sell your fiction in that forum to prospective publishers, or to protect it from potential plagiarism. As such, if you post something in that forum, you will probably expose your works to largest possible audience, but at the cost of making your works much more difficult (if not impossible) to sell or protect from plagiarism.

    The “Writer’s Club” forum is intended as a more exclusive place where members work on pieces they intend to publish, or would like to keep private while they are being polished up. Only members can see the “Writer’s Club” forum, and as such any allegations of plagiarism will be easier to prove and protect from. The end result is that anything posted in “Writer’s Club” forum will be only exposed to limited or highly selective audience, but such works may be easier to eventually publish, and to defend against malicious plagiarism.

    Q: I am a writer and would like to use the forum to share my works in progress with only a few select beta readers. How do I go about it?
    A: The forum software allows you to establish Groups using the Groups tab on the main page. As the group originator, you will be able to make it invisible to the rest of the forum, to invite members who can see/post in the group, and to treat it as a private sub-forum where only your beta readers can see it. Please note that you will need to set up these parameters when creating the group. You can invite members at any time, so we suggest creating the group first, and inviting members after the group has been created, and after it is set up the way you want to. Please note that groups are still expected to adhere to the standards/rules of the forum.

    Q: I saw a service offered in the Literary Services forum, and would like to know more. How do I go about it, and does Writer's Ark recommend the use of any services over others?
    A: We would expect that the poster of announcement should provide details on how to get in touch with them, or, if it is a third-party service (i.e. a writer may post about an agency he or she dealt with in the past, or is aware of but may not be affiliated with), there should be a link to that site. Writer's Ark typically attempts to maintain a neutral stance towards services offered in this manner, however, individual members might be able to provide recommendations based on their experience, both in public or privately.

    Q: I have a question that has not been answered here.
    A: Feel free to reply to this thread, or to privately message one of the moderators or the administrator if you would rather do that.

    Forum Rules

    Writer’s Ark endeavors to be a safe and civil place for both writers and readers. We are all (presumably) adults, and as such can hopefully maintain a civilized level of discourse here without resorting to excessive levels of moderation. As a result, there is not going to be an extensive list of Dos and Do Nots, but the members are encouraged to use common sense when interacting with others. This means that harassment of others, malicious trolling, personal insults, cyber-bullying, and similar activities will not be tolerated.

    The moderators and the administrator will use their own discretion when using their powers, but will generally only interfere when discussions turn less than civil, or when someone is blatantly breaking the forum rules. While all of us have personal opinions and beliefs, there is a small set of beliefs the majority of people find objectionable – racism, ethnic or religious supremacist beliefs, and the like. These things are not welcome at Writer’s Ark.

    As writers and readers of fiction, we should understand the difference between fictional and real worlds, and not blame authors for what the characters say and do. That said, we ask the writers to use common sense in what is being posted; if something is clearly unsuitable for casual audiences, or clearly not safe to read at work, we ask the writers to label the work in question as such. This is not censorship; the purpose of this rule is to make it easier for readers to recognize things they should not be opening while at work, or in other similar circumstances.

    Finally, any criminal, illegal, or similarly objectionable activity (plagiarism, threatening or plotting real-life harm, hacking, spamming, posting content considered illegal in the United States of America, and so on) will not be tolerated, and will result in an immediate ban. The administration reserves the right to involve appropriate authorities or agencies if it believes such action is warranted.

    Still with us? Good. Welcome to Writer’s Ark, and enjoy!