The Getting Started Guide
What’s Scribophile all about?
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:
Post your writing to get detailed, insightful feedback from other writers on how to improve it;
Chat and discuss with other writers from around the world in our busy writing forums;
Network with like-minded writers in our special-purpose writing groups;
Enter free writing contests to win great prizes;
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!
First stop: your homepage
Your Scribophile homepage is your jumping-off point for getting around Scribophile. All the tools you need to see what’s happening with you and people you’re following are here.
Your homepage can change over time as you update your fans, write critiques, and add reading reminders.
Your feeds list shows you the events that are happening at Scribophile. “All” shows you everything that’s happening on the Scribophile right now. “Info” shows you activity directly related to you: when your work enters a spotlight, when it’s critiqued, when someone adds you to their favorites, and so on. “Favorites” shows you only the activity of people you’ve added to your favorites, and “Groups” shows you the activity in groups you’re a member of.
If you save a critique draft to finish later, you can continue it from this section of your Scribophile homepage.
Get quick access to your reading reminders from your Scribophile homepage. You can add or remove a reading reminder by clicking the ribbon at the upper-right of a work.
Next up: your Account menu
Your Account menu is how you control your account—things like posting work for critique, viewing and managing your groups, editing your profile, and changing options are in your Account menu.
Go ahead, click it!
See a summary of your account, including how many karma and reputation points you have.
Post and manage your writing. You can post new work for feedback using your Account menu, and you can manage and edit the work you’ve already posted.
View your groups and read messages you’ve received from other members. You also create a new group or send messages to others using these links.
Edit your profile and settings, change your profile picture, view your karma history, or log out entirely. (But why would you ever do that?!)
Set up your personal profile
Now that you know where your Account menu is, you can set up your personal profile so your readers know a little about you.
After you’ve written a little about yourself, you can view your profile by clicking your picture at the upper-right of the site.
See your fans, favorites, and groups in the left-hand column of your profile page.
Your Scratchpad is here too, and you can reply to others by visting their profile page and writing on their own Scratchpad.
Your gifts, works, critiques, and events are listed on your profile page too.
Karma points: what’s the deal?
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”, “enlightening”, 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. Each post should be no longer than about 3,000 words; longer work can be posted in parts and linked together during the posting process. Usually members post chapter by chapter, or a single short story or flash fiction per post.
It’s time to earn some karma points...
Before you can post some writing, you have to earn enough karma points to post. To start earning points, go to the Main Spotlight and select a work that looks interesting.
The yellow circle means you’ll earn the most karma points for critiques of this work, because it’s currently in a spotlight. The Main Spotlight is the easiest way to find works that award the most karma points for critiques.
After you open a work, you can review the critiques it’s already received.
Let the critiquer know what you thought of the critique, and they’ll earn more karma points each time you click. You can earn more points for your own critiques in the same way.
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.
Once you’ve finished reviewing the critiques, scroll to the very bottom to write your own critique and earn karma points!
Post your first work for critique
Once you’ve earned enough karma points, you can post your first work for critique!
Post a work using this link. The posting process is fairly straightforward, but make sure to respect our 3,000 word limit for individual posts.
Manage your posted writing with this link. You can edit, delete, lock, or unlock your writing from here.
Finally, 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!
Join writer’s groups to make friends with like-minded writers, or start your own!
The Forums are where our members meet to discuss all things writing, ask for and give help, or to talk about life in general.
Send private messages to other members to have a more personal chat.
Read the profiles of other members and create your own to start getting some fans.
Leave notes on members’ Scratchpads to say thanks after getting a critique, or just to say hi!
See what members have been up to in the “Latest Activity” list in their personal profiles. You can change privacy settings of your own Activity list from the Settings option in your Account menu.