We are a community for fantasy writers at all stages in their writing journey. Our community centers primarily around the forums for discussion of the fantasy writing we all enjoy, our Library for members to share their fiction, member-generated writing resources, and our Discord server for faster paced discussion of writing (and of life in general). If you enjoy writing fantasy, please consider making us an online home!
Worldsmyths Million Writing Challenge
So last year, we held a writing challenge from March to the end of August called the Worldsmyths Million challenge. It was basically a six month long version of NaNoWriMo, where members signed up to commit to reaching a specific word goal through those six months, and our overall goal as a site was to reach one million words. One of our members, @JayLee, has her own editing business and sponsored prizes for it through that. Like NaNoWriMo, only words written for fictional projects are counted towards your word count goal, and this is the only time where counting words written for role playing, fan fiction and non-fantasy is allowed. You can include world building information, role play posts, outlines, etc, as long as it's written between March 1st and August 31st.
Unfortunately, we had a lot of members who signed up for the challenge but went MIA within a few months or less and never fully committed to the challenge. I was talking with my co-coordinator for the challenge, @Manu, and she suggested that instead of having one goal that members have to sign up for to reach throughout the six months, we would allow members to sign up and pledge a smaller goal each month, and at the end of August we would tally everyone's word counts together to see if we reached 1 million words again. So basically, it would be a six month long version of Camp NaNo, where you get to choose the word count goal you want to aim for each month, instead of like last year where you had to pledge a goal and could only decrease it for the entire six months instead of increase it for each individual month.
We decided that it would be good to see what kind of interest there is in this challenge again, and see if doing it this way is something that people would be interested in. Once we know how much interest there is, we'll go from there with modifying the challenge information from last year to work for this set up.
Last year, we had the following goals that people could sign up for:
15k: This should give you 82 words a day
20k: This should give you 110 words a day
30k: This should give you 165 words a day
40k: This should give you 220 words a day
50k: This should give you 275 words a day
60k: This should give you 330 words a day
75k: This should give you 410 words a day
100k: This should give you 550 words a day
125k: This should give you 685 words a day
150k: This should give you 820 words a day
175k: This should give you 955 words a day
200k: This should give you 1100 words a day
So, here are the questions we have that we need answers for:
1. How many of you are interested in this challenge? Do you like the idea of this new set up?
2. Do you think we should stick with these same goals that members can sign up for each month? (We could probably add in 5k and 10k to the list, but I just copy and pasted from last year's Google doc for this post.)
Please reply to this post with your thoughts and whether or not you'd be interested in participating. Once we have an idea of how many people are interested, we'll work on getting you more information about the challenge!
Right now the beta reading section is mostly underused, and has no guidelines/rules, which has unfortunately led to a lot of members who've registered, posted in that section asking for a beta reader, and then never returned to the forum. We want to avoid this happening as much as we can in the future, so we want to discuss potential rules/guidelines and would appreciate any suggestions you may have!
Some things we're already discussing implementing are:
Having those who are looking for an alpha/beta reader post the first chapter of whatever they need read in the library so that any potential long-term alpha/beta readers can read a sample of it. This would either be one chapter or 1-3 chapters.
Making it so that there's a minimum amount of posts you have to make throughout the rest of the forum before being able to utilize the beta reader section. This would be so that we don't have members who join, post asking/offering to be a alpha/beta reader, and then never return to the forum.
Limiting whether Newbies can read stories in the library, too, if members feel that makes more of a buffer between their work and just anyone reading it. To read it you have to participate in the community and earn your Member promotion first.
What rules/guidelines would you like to see for the beta reader section, going forward? What do you think of the ones listed above (particularly the third one)?
Please reply to this post with any/all suggestions you may have, even if they seem like ones that we'd already be including. I'd like to be able to get a draft written soon so that by January (aka next week) they can officially be implemented and hopefully we can encourage more members to use the beta reader section from now on.
We're very excited to have you here! We know that the site is different now and it might take some time to get used to, but we're happy to help along the way!
We're excited to have a library for submitting work (one in which you can copy/paste with formatting from Word!) and a section for submitting writing resources, and we hope you'll help us fill them with fun submissions.
We're also looking for your feedback on what you like, so we've made a post here for you to give us your feedback in. Any feedback you can think of would be super helpful and greatly appreciated!
Also, we'll be posting something soon about potential member donations for getting extra features members may be interested in, or for helping with the cost to run the site, so be on the look out for that!
Partly based on recent member suggestions and partly because it's something that has been floating in the back of my mind for a while, I shuffled the member groups around a bit today, creating a Newbies group for members who have contributed fewer than 15 items of content (topics, comments, stories, articles, etc) that automatically promotes to Member once you hit 15 content. I also had the site shuffle members into two inactive groups if they haven't been around.
Members who haven't logged in for 60+ days and haven't posted content for 100+ days were put in the Inactive member group.
Members who haven't logged in for 100+ days and haven't posted content for 200+ days were put in the Prune member group.
We'll be discussing what to do with these differentiated groups as Staff. There's the potential that those in the Prune member group might be deleted permanently, but we haven't had time to discuss that and decide yet, so we'll see. If you have any input on the matter, please let us know in a comment!
Anyway, the shuffling led to some permissions gaps for a little bit, so if you couldn't access part of the forum temporarily, my bad! Should be fixed, but let me know if you run into any problems.
Additionally, I added new guidelines and forms in the Feedback / Beta Reading forum (originally the Find a Beta forum) and archived the Submissions & Review forum.
So here are some questions up for discussion that we could use input on.
Do you think it would be good to delete the accounts of people who haven't logged in for over 100 days/posted for over 200 days?
There's no member list on this software; would you be curious to see our active Members vs Newbies vs Inactive and Purge members now that they've been sorted based on activity? (I ask because I'd be curious lol)
Currently Newbies cannot see inside the Brainstorming subforum and can't post their own topics (but can reply to topics) in the Feedback subforum until they're auto-promoted at 15 content items posted. Currently they can see anything posted in the Library, but we could change that. This is to provide a little buffer where new members have to participate in the community a little before they can access members' personal story ideas and before they can request specific feedback on their work.
What do you think about these limitations? Would you suggest keeping them in a sort of "Guest View" of the Library until they promote to full membership?
Alternatively we could add a Newbie Friendly Library category, but that might be overkill...?
@Penguinball suggested that in addition to the 15 content minimum requirement, Newbies need to review something in the Library in order to gain full membership. Something like this is doable, but has downsides too; if there's no admin online for a few hours around the time a member fulfills that requirement, they'll have to wait until an admin notices to receive their promotion.
What do we think? Worth it? Should there be some other requirement(s) or alternative options, such as posting a writing resource, posting an introduction, etc?
If we limit Newbie access to the Library, how would this be impacted?
How do the new Feedback / Beta Reading forms and guidelines look? Anything you would recommend changing or adding?
@Penguinball also suggested a sort of purge of the Feedback forum at the first of the year, archiving old threads and essentially re-surveying members to see who's actively willing to be a beta reader/provide feedback. This is what we have at the moment as our best means of determining our beta reader population.
What do you think? Any suggestions? As a note I'm going to try to find a way to make a page that essentially shows those search results plus a snippet of the member's Beta Reading tab on their profile, but I'm not sure yet whether I'll be able to.
Any other thoughts or feedback you have are more than welcome! I was more long-winded than I intended to be; apologies!
It seems I got a little over excited last night and gave the go ahead to put the forum online without making sure all the permissions were good to go! My mistake, and sorry about that. Thank you to all the members who have been keeping us updated on what's working, what's glitchy, and what can be improved! Here are some highlights of some changes and features we have going on after the software switch.
Some of you have already begun exploring the Library! It was the main reason for our switch. You're able to copy and paste formatted text (which seems to work best from Word and only sketchily from Google Docs at the moment), and you can divide your work into chapters with the pagination feature. There are fields for author's notes, content warnings, genre, and more.
And members can react to, comment on, and review your work! You can react and respond to their reviews, as well. There are a ton of great features.
We have a new feature called Clubs on this software, and I'm giving it a trial run as the Restricted Section instead of having it be a forum. That way members can apply for membership in the club, and if they're 18 or older, we can accept them. I sent invites out to a couple people I noticed who were participating in the Restricted Chatter board before, but I know I didn't catch everyone.
Additionally, members can apply to start their own clubs, and they come in a variety of access levels. You can allow all members to view club content, or members can see that the club exists but must join to read content, or even make the club completely invite only. This could be great for a book club or for a small critique circle.
We have an opportunity to build our own catalogue of writing resources here on Worldsmyths! We're looking for members to create their own guides, resource lists, and references, as well as reviewing various writing resources and sharing reflections on writing craft. For some information on what to submit, check out our Contribution Guide.
Worldsmyths isn't a costly endeavor, really, but it's not free, and if you're interested in helping the site keep going or in adding new and improved features, we'd certainly appreciate donations!
Here's a breakdown of the costs of running the site, keeping it up to date, and some new features that could be added. If you do choose to donate, please tell us what you want your money to go toward so we can use it appropriately!
Minimum Operating Costs
Hosting (Hawkhost): $3/month
Domain renewal cost (namecheap): ~$10/year
That's all it takes to keep us running, and we don't depend on donations for these minimum costs, but if you want to help out we appreciate it! You're also welcome to help us recoup the costs of the site upgrade if you like, but we upgraded without expecting anything like that.
Software Support Renewals (per 6 months)
Core software: $50/6 months
Theme: $10/6 months
Installed modifications: $9/6 months
Discord widget: $5/6 months
Member of the Month: $4/6 months
We don't need to renew the software to use it, just to get updates when they come out and support if we run into issues.
Potential Modifications to Add
iAwards: $25, $7/6 months, members can earn awards and achievements that show up on posts
Member Away: $12, if you're going to be on hiatus you can put an Away message
Threadstarter: $14.95, $4.95/6 months renewal; pull Goodreads info about a book into a thread
Moods: $10, allows you to show a mood (with a mood icon by your avatar)
Add Items to Mobile Navbar: $9, if you want to change the main nav buttons on mobile
You're also welcome to browse through modifications yourself and see if there's something you want to see added to the site, but we ask that you discuss it with us before donating if you choose something that isn't already on this list so we can make sure it'll work out. This is the main site for modifications and themes.
01 January 2019, 05:00 AM 31 January 2019, 05:00 AM Prompts: beginnings/resolutions. You can interpret this pretty much any way you can - i.e. the beginning of a family, of a story, of a war, etc. For resolutions, it could be more of a promise/oath thing.
Think about where this tree is, why it's there, who the person sitting below it is, etc, and use it as inspiration for your story! You can combine it with the first prompt or focus specifically on this image as a source of inspiration.
Word Limit: No minimum; max of 5000 words Deadline: Thursday, January 31st, 11:59 pm GMT-5
If you're planning on entering, we'd really appreciate you RSVPing so we get an idea of what turnout will be! There's a maybe option if you aren't sure 🙂
How do I submit? Easy! Just add it as a story to the Library and tag it with "jan 19 challenge." You can comment here or on the challenge topic if you want to make sure we don't miss your submission, but as long as you tag it correctly and submit on time we should see it!
Voting will go up sometime the evening of the 31st or the following day.