Thursday, 17 July 2014

Scribophile!

Often it is difficult to get an honest feedback from your work, and even when you do get feedback, it is perhaps not gained from the person you want the feedback from. (Your 10 year old cousin likes your story, but it needs more trucks in it, for example). If you are a writer, you may want a feedback from another writer- hopefully with the same amount, or, preferably more talent than you have yourself. Thinking about this conundrum, I recently decided to join the site Scribophile.

Scribophile is an online community where writers of all different levels can gather. Whilst accepting anyone who can use email and a computer keyboard, the calibre of the writing on this site is of a very high standard. Writers of all genres will find something of interest to them.


The way the site works is similar to a few other popular writers groups, inasmuch as the writers are given credits (Karma points) for each detailed review. Writers that love to write, yet have never written a review before, are catered for too, with a tutorial-style template that allows them to review the major themes of the poetry or prose, helping writers to create excellent reviews for other writers. After approximately 2- 3 reviews that are of or over 300 words, there is usually enough Karma points for the reviewer's work to be posted for critique. Each word is assigned an amount of Karma points and bigger reviews get more points.

New work is usually assessed, and within a few hours is put into the spotlight, which simply means reviewers can review your work for full points - After some time, and a few reviews the piece will disappear out of the spotlight and can be reviewed for less points (presumably so that each writer has a chance to be fairly reviewed, without one singular writer gaining all of the attention. 

I would say that the cons side of this site is that it is very 'busy', with lots of features, each with its own link, and that after joining up, there is a learning curve to climb, as with any other website in an unfamiliar theme. Knowing where to start was a little difficult, but as with most things, was quite easy once understood. The other potential downside is that the writers may not give the detailed, specific information you need. This makes it a bit of a grab- bag of sorts for writers. Once you are familiar with the site there are a great deal of interesting features: You can join separate writers groups for people of the same genre, interests, or even country or vicinity, You can 'favourite' your favourite authors, write on their public profile (Called a Scratchpad on Scribophile) or send them a private message. If you are interested in improving your craft, there are forums you can write in and articles written on many helpful aspects of writing for any and every genre. To put it succinctly, the good on this site far outweighs the bad. Users who love Scribophile can subscribe for a year for $65 (U.S.), and have access to more options around posting multiple works, access to reviewer details, statistics, further Inbox options, social media profiles and much more, an option which would be very helpful, dependant on how much work you wanted to review and how much you loved the site.

I chose the free account through Scribophile and had one of my own short stories reviewed and I found the advice to be predominantly very helpful. Other websites that I have tried have not been specific enough. This one, however, is set aside entirely for the purpose of writing and reviewing. Well worth a look if you want to improve your craft as a writer. 

Ben. 

P.S. subscribe or comment!


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