The Getting Started Guide

What can you do at Scribophile?

Scribophile is an online writing group for writers who are serious about improving their craft.

We’re one of the largest and most active writing groups online.

Here you can:

We’re all here to learn, and we welcome writers of all skill levels and walks of life. Don’t be shy — Scribophile will be the best thing that ever happened to your writing!

Your dashboard

Your Scribophile dashboard is your jumping-off point for getting around Scribophile. Your dashboard has all the tools you need to see what’s happening with you and people you’re following.

Your Scribophile dashboard.
  1. Item A

    The top of your dashboard shows your account information. It includes your unread alerts, like new gifts, scratchpad notes, thank you reminders, and reading reminders. Check here to track your karma points, reputation score, and more.

  2. Item B

    Your event feed shows you what’s happening at Scribophile. You’ll get updates here when there's activity in your groups or members you follow, and when things happen that directly relate to you — like when one of your works receives a critique.

  3. Item C

    See what’s new in the forums. Click on the header to go to the full forums index.

Set up your personal profile

Now that you know how to get around Scribophile, you can set up your personal profile so your readers know a little about you.

The Edit Profile navigation item.

After you’ve written a little about yourself, you can view your profile by clicking your picture at the top of the navigation sidebar.

Your personal profile page.
  1. Item A

    See your followers, who you’re following, and groups in the left-hand column of your profile page.

  2. Item B

    Your scratchpad is here too, and you can reply to others by visting their profile page and writing on their own scratchpad.

  3. Item C

    Your gifts, works, critiques, and events are listed on your profile page too.

What are karma points?

Karma points are the currency of Scribophile — and the best part is they’re free!

You earn karma points by writing critiques for the writing of others, and by having other members react positively to your critiques by marking them as constructive, thorough, and so on.

You earn more karma points for critiquing work in one of the spotlights versus critiquing work that’s not in one of the spotlights. The longer the critique, the more points you’ll earn.

You spend karma points on posting your writing for critique, giving virtual gifts to other members, and for a few other things around the site.

It costs 5 karma points to post a new work for critique. A “work” is a single unit of writing, like a single poem, short story, or novel chapter. Each work should be no longer than about 3,000 words; longer work can be posted in parts and linked together during the posting process.

Start earning karma points

Before you can post some writing, you have to earn enough karma points to post. To start earning points, click Critique now in the site navigation sidebar to view the Main Spotlight.

The Main Spotlight is a list of work that is currently up for critique. You can pick any work in this list to critique right away!

A list of writing at Scribophile.
  1. Item A

    The yellow circle means the work is in a spotlight, and that you’ll earn the most karma points for critiques of this work. The Main Spotlight is the easiest way to find works that award the most karma points for critiques, but there are other spotlights that may award points based on certain conditions.

  2. Item B

    After you’ve critique a work, you’ll see a green check and the Main Spotlight entry will appear dimmer.

After you open a work, you can start a critique by clicking the “Write a critique” button near the top. Writing critiques is how you earn karma points. It’s fun and easy, but if you need more guidance, check out our article on How to Write Great Critiques in our Academy.

The button for writing a critique for a work.

You can also read the critiques a work has received by scrolling to the bottom of the work. Reading other peoples’ critiques can be great insight into how to write effective critiques.

The bottom of a critique box at Scribophile.
  1. Item A

    Let the critiquer know what you thought of the critique by clicking one of the various reaction buttons — like Thorough or Encouraging — and they’ll earn more karma points each time you click. You can earn more points for your own critiques in the same way.

  2. Item B

    Alert site moderators to poor critiques, where the bulk of a critique isn’t actionable ways for the author to improve, or it breaks other rules. The Bad critique button anonymously alerts a site moderator. All such alerts are personally reviewed, and they’re critical to maintaining the standard of quality we expect at Scribophile.

Post your first story for critique

Once you’ve earned enough karma points, you can post your first work for critique!

The “Your writing” page.
  1. Item A

    Manage your posted writing with this link on the navigation sidebar. You can post new writing, and edit, delete, lock, or unlock your writing, from this page.

  2. Item B

    Post a new work using this button. The posting process is fairly straightforward, but make sure to respect our 3,000 word limit for individual posts.

Participate in our awesome community!

You’re just about finished with the basics of Scribophile, but there’s much more to Scribophile than just great feedback!

And that’s about it for the Getting Started Guide! If you have any questions, don’t be shy — get in touch with us, check out the Help Center, or ask in our forums. Have fun!