The Critiquer’s Code of Conduct

Writing a good critique is knowing how to balance criticism with kindness. Nobody likes to hear that their work isn’t perfect, but as a critiquer, it’s your job to let the author know how they can make their writing better in a way that doesn’t break their hearts.

Scribophile is a respectful community, and we take this code to heart.

  1. Respect The Author’s Feelings

    Authors are emotionally invested in what they’ve written. As a critiquer, you have enormous power over the emotions of the author. Don’t break that trust with thoughtless or mean-spirited critiques.

  2. Don’t Make It Personal

    Your critique should be objective, impersonal, and unbiased. Don’t make it personal by insulting or degrading the author or other critiquers. The author is a person that deserves to be treated with respect, no matter what you think of their writing.

  3. Watch Your Tone

    It’s hard to convey things like sarcasm on the internet. While you may have intended to innocently poke fun, remember that the author doesn’t know who you are — your tone could easily be perceived as a personal attack or insult. Keep a clear, respectful tone at all times.

  4. Be Inspirational

    You’re writing a critique because a piece needs further revision, but even the most delicate critique can tempt an author to give up on a piece. Try to encourage the author with your critique — every best-selling author had to start somewhere!

  5. No Matter What, Be Polite

    Some authors just aren’t ready to accept criticism, regardless of how great your critique is. If they respond rudely or inappropriately, stay polite. Keep your cool, don’t stoop to their level, and you’ll be the better person. There’s no need to start a fight; instead, report inappropriate behavior to us and we’ll take action.