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Welcome to the Writing.Com Frequently Asked Questions area. For immediate assistance, please browse through our various topics below. You will find the answers to most questions in just a few minutes. If you don't find the answer to your question, be sure to check Getting Started: Table of Contents  or visit one of our support forums: "Technical Support Forum or "Non-Technical Support Forum.

  • What is Writing.Com?
  • What web browser should I use to view Writing.Com?
  • To what email address do I send my stories?
  • How do I cancel/delete my Writing.Com account?
  • The Community and Its Members
    Paid Memberships
    WritingML and Formatting
    Portfolio Folders
    My Favorites
    Content Ratings
    Rating and Reviewing
    Orders and Payments
    ANSWERS: General
    ANSWERS: The Community and Its Members
    Q. What is the number in parenthesis next to my handle? (Community Recognition) [Top]

    A. Community Recognitions are an overall summary of a member's presence within the Writing.Com community. Recognitions are calculated by adding together the numbers of referred members, review recognitions, qualified merit badges and Bonus Recognitions.

    A member's Community Recognition is displayed as a linked number following their handle. For example: The StoryMaster

    Clicking on the number launches a window which contains the details of that member's Community Recognition. In addition, a visual summary of all Merit Badges that have been received is also provided.

    For a complete listing of members ranked by Community Recognition, visit:
             (The above page is linked on the "Authors" page.)

    Q. What are the different portfolio icons and what do they mean? [Top]

    A. There are presently seven different types of portfolio icons. Clicking on a portfolio icon next to a user's handle will open their portfolio for your viewing. The icons are as follows:

    Registered Members are denoted by grey portfolios. All Registered Members have the ability to fully participate in Writing.Com. They may post in forums, vote in polls, add to interactive stories, keep their favorite authors and items, use "Tell-A-Friend", and so on. Registered Members may create portfolio items and once they do, they become Registered Authors. They are not authors to begin with ONLY because they have an empty portfolio.

    Registered Authors are denoted by black portfolios. Registered Members become Registered Authors automatically when they create items within their portfolio. Registered Authors are different than Registered Members only because they have added items to their portfolios.

    Memorialized Authors are denoted by white portfolios. We honor the memories of Writing.Com Members who have passed away, allowing their portfolios to live on as everlasting tributes to them and their writing.

    Preferred Authors are denoted by yellow portfolios. Preferred Authors are hand selected by Writing.Com Staff. Staff may consider nominations made by other Preferred Authors and Moderators. [Top]

    Selection criteria that can be considered includes:

  • positive involvement within Writing.Com and its community
  • positive interaction with other members on Writing.Com
  • quality of items in portfolio
  • a minimum of 50 quality reviews
  • reviews must be given to a mix of other members
  • must be 13 years of age or older
  • at least 5 rateable items in portfolio
  • quantity and quality of their item ratings
  • accuracy of content ratings in authors portfolio
  • number of ratings given out to other authors
  • number of other authors who have been rated by member
  • amount of time author has been a member - at least two (2) months,
  • variety of items in portfolio
  • accuracy of personal and demographic account information
  • technical understanding of Writing.Com's site features
  • The number of Preferred Authors will be limited to no more than 10% of the total Registered Authors. That means if there are 20,000 authors, a maximum of 2,000 can become Preferred.

    Promotions are not automatic; they are given out from time to time by Writing.Com Staff members. Members are promoted as staff's time allows; there is no set schedule. Since surprises feed creativity, we do try to be unpredictable for the timing of promotions within Writing.Com.

    Please note that promotions within the community are determined on a member's past performance and on site activity. Keeping a promotion is based on a member's current performance. We do reserve the right to relocate a Preferred Author to Registered Author if that Preferred Author does not follow the simple rules and guidelines of the Writing.Com community and our Preferred Authorship.

    Please do not campaign to become a Preferred Author. Rest assured that members interacting positively within the community will be noticed in due time. We hope Preferred Authors will remain on our site for a long time, so please do not be offended if you are not quickly promoted. Likewise, please do NOT ask to become or pester Staff or Moderators to become a Preferred Author. It is not nice and not something we prefer! In order to prevent this from happening, please understand that you will be assured NOT to be promoted by contacting us regarding a possible promotion or overtly campaign for one.

    If you have been promoted to Preferred Author, please do NOT send emails to Staff asking who nominated you. Members are promoted based on their own merits, not because of any nominations. Nearly all members promoted to Preferred Author are not nominated by anyone at all! Their activity within the community stands out on its own.

    If you are a Preferred Author or higher and would like to nominate a Registered Member for upgrade, please place nominations here: "Nominations for Preferred Author" Nominations are not always followed by an automatic upgrade to Preferred. Please know that they are all considered and will be added to a list for future referral if we feel they are not ready yet. Some authors just need a little more time than others to fill out the criteria.

    Writing.Com Moderators are denoted by blue portfolios. Moderators are Preferred Authors who have been chosen by Writing.Com Staff and are considered volunteer leaders within the site. Writing.Com Moderators are usually able to answer most site questions for members who need help or point them in the right direction. [Top]

    Selection criteria that can be considered includes:

  • must be at least 18 years of age (by law),
  • positive and helpful involvement within Writing.Com and its community,
  • a genuine concern for Writing.Com and its members,
  • interaction with other Writing.Com members,
  • interaction with Writing.Com Moderators and staff,
  • knowledge of Writing.Com and its tools,
  • a minimum of 250 quality reviews
  • reviews must be given to a mix of other members
  • number of ratings that author has given out to other authors,
  • amount of time author has been a member - at least twelve (12) months,
  • accuracy of content ratings in authors portfolio
  • quality of items in portfolio,
  • variety of items in portfolio.
  • technical understanding of Writing.Com's site features
  • These criteria, along with any unique attributes an individual may possess, can be examined and considered, with varied weighting, when Staff chooses new Writing.Com Moderators. Once chosen, Moderators are expected to continue their involvement and interaction beyond their promotion. Should this, or any of the other factors used in determining an individual's promotion change, Writing.Com staff, at its sole discretion may relocate the individual to a more applicable level. Additionally, all Moderators have the ability to lower their level at any time should they decide the position is no longer right for or of interest to them.

    Moderators do have some responsibility within the site. They have the ability to change the content rating of items if they notice that something is not rated correctly. Remember, we make no promises that ANY content rating is EVER accurate, but we try our best.

    The number of Moderators will be limited to no more than 10% of the total Preferred Authors. That means if there is 2,000 preferred authors, 200 of them may become Writing.Com Moderators. Moderator consist of less than 1% of the Writing.Com Author base.

    Please do NOT ask to become or pester Writing.Com Staff about becoming a Writing.Com Moderator. Please do not campaign to become a Writing.Com Moderator. In both cases, you will be assured to hinder your promotion.

    Writing.Com Senior Moderators are denoted by purple portfolios. Senior Moderators are promoted from within the ranks of Moderators by Staff. The position of Senior Moderator will be the highest position achievable at Writing.Com (besides Staff). This position is not based on the length of time of membership (18 month minimum, though), but more on the overall activity, improvements and achievements since their very first login.

    They have a genuine concern for aspiring Authors and are a great inspiration to other members of this site. They are focused on writing and helping others write well, our first and foremost goal here at Writing.Com.

    Senior Moderators will have a higher level of responsibility within the site than Moderators.

    Writing.Com Staff are denoted by red portfolios. Staff members are responsible for duties including promotions within the community, improving the website, managing day to day activities and maintaining Writing.Com policies and procedures. Staff is the highest level possible on Writing.Com.
    Q. Where can I find information about Authorized Secondary Accounts (ASAs)? [Top]

    A. Our document containing the details, information and FAQs pertaining to ASA's is: "Authorized Secondary Accounts

    Q. How do I create my own Authorized Secondary Account (ASA)? [Top]

    A. From the My Account page, click to the Authorized Secondary Account page. Follow the instructions provided and for more information, please see "Authorized Secondary Accounts.

    ANSWERS: Paid Memberships
    Q. What are the different types of paid memberships? [Top]

    A. Writing.Com offers a Free membership plus 5 levels of paid memberships: Basic, Upgraded, Premium and Professional. For complete details for each membership level, please see: Writing.Com Memberships.

    Q. What happens when my paid membership expires? [Top]

    A. For complete details about what happens when your paid membership expires, please see: "What Happens When My Upgrade Runs Out"

    Q. I was gifted an upgraded membership from someone (or anonymous). Will I have to pay when the gift runs out? [Top]

    A. No, you do not have to pay. A free membership is always available to you. For complete details about what happens when your gifted membership expires, please see: "What Happens When My Upgrade Runs Out"

    Q. What happens if I move up to higher level of paid membership? [Top]

    A. When a member increases their level of paid membership, the membership system takes the Gift Point cost of a one year of the original membership type and divides it by 365 days. The system then refunds one day's worth of GPs for each day of overlapping membership.

    When upgrading from any level of paid membership to a higher level of paid membership, the following Gift Point refunds will take place:
    *Bullet* Basic Membership Time: 195,500 / 365 = 535 GPs Per Day refunded
    *Bullet* Upgraded Membership Time: 495,500 / 365 = 1,357 GPs Per Day refunded
    *Bullet* Premium Membership Time: 1,399,500 / 365 = 3,834 GPs Per Day refunded
    *Bullet* Professional Membership Time: 4,199,500 / 365 = 11,505 GPs Per Day refunded

    The system does provide a refund for each and every day remaining EXCEPT that it does deduct two (2) days worth of GPs as a service fee. This small deduction helps to ensure there is no fraud or abuse of the automated refund system. After a paid membership is increased to a higher level, the system will send an email with the exact number of Gift Points credited to the member's account.

    If additional time is left in the lower membership level after the refund for overlapping time is given, the additional time is kept on file. When the higher paid membership level expires, the lower paid level will take over and continue for the rest of its time. For example: If you have six (6) months of Basic Membership and move to Upgraded Membership for one (1) month, you will receive a refund in GPs for one (1) month of Basic Membership and you will have five (5) months of Basic Membership waiting for you once your one (1) month Upgrade expires.

    ANSWERS: Portfolio

    Q. What is "My Portfolio" () and what are "items"?[Top]

    A. Your portfolio is where all the work you add to Writing.Com is stored. Any items you create will be kept in your online portfolio. Your "private" portfolio is the one that you see, while your "public" portfolio is the version visitors to your account see. The "private" view contains information about your items plus quick links to tools for use with your items. Your public portfolio has less information and fewer links; it is what your friends and fans will see when they click on your portfolio icon or visit your public portfolio URL.

    Items are the online works that are stored within your Writing.Com portfolio. For complete information on each Item Type, please visit the CREATE SOMETHING page which is available from the top navigation on any page.

    Q. How do I create "My Portfolio" ()? [Top]

    A. Your portfolio is automatically created when you signup for your Writing.Com account. To get to your portfolio from anywhere within the site, you may click the "My Portfolio" button in our main navigation or from your "My Places" pulldown menu.

    Q. How do I get exposure for my portfolio and my items? [Top]

    A. Glad you asked! There are a few ways to gain exposure for your Writing.Com portfolio and items within it.

    The most popular authors on the site have become so by sharing their public portfolio URL with their friends, family and associates. Adding your portfolio URL to your email signature, instant message profile and using it in other community sites will surely help you float to the top! Your public portfolio URL is listed within your private portfolio.

    Every page contains a "Tell-A-Friend" form field on the lower left. You can use this to let your friends know about any new items you create or about your portfolio itself.

    Visit our Plug Page and plug your work!

    Being active within Writing.Com itself is another great way to gain exposure. Every time you add chapters to other people's interactive stories, a link to your public portfolio will be displayed. If readers like your writing and ideas, they are likely to visit your public portfolio to see more of your work.

    Posting in our message forums is another great way to gain exposure and promote your portfolio. You can request reviews of your work and exchange ideas with other Writing.Com members.

    Building your portfolio is also a sure way to gain traffic. Our authors listing will provide exposure to our most active and more read authors. Available via the "Authors" link on every page of the site, this page lists all publishing authors with various searching and ranking options.

    Q. Why do some portfolios have small pictures on them and how can I get one for mine? [Top]

    A. The small pictures that you see on many of the portfolios around Writing.Com are called costumicons and are automatically included with any Premium Membership level. Periodically, Writing.Com will run a special subscription period for costumicons, but to wear a costumicon continuously, a member must have a Premium Membership. To view all of the costumicons available, please visit our costumicon page.

    ANSWERS: Items

    Q. How do I create an item? [Top]

    A. Creating literary items at Writing.Com is easy!

    First, log into your Writing.Com account. If you do not yet have an account, it takes about 60 seconds to signup for one and you can do that here. Once logged in, find the "Create Something" button from the main navigation on any page of Writing.Com. Clicking this button will take you to a selection page where you will choose the type of item you want to create. You may also create an item from within your portfolio. For complete information, please read: "Creating New Items.

    Q. How do I edit an item? [Top]

    A. You can edit your item at anytime. Only YOU, the owner of your item, may edit your item (unless you have your item set for Group editing, then members of that Group may also edit your item). While logged in, you will see the "Edit" or "Edit Item" options in most places where you find your item, including your private portfolio, public listings, and while viewing the item itself. The "Edit" option is not provided to any other users. (You can validate this by logging out of your account and trying to edit your item. *Smile*

    To begin editing one of your items, click the "Edit" or "Edit Item" link that is found on, around, or by your item. Once you click the link, a screen allowing you to edit your item will load for you. Make any changes you need to and click "Complete Edit" at the bottom of the page.

    Q. How do I upload a piece of writing from my computer or a disk? [Top]

    A. For a number of reasons, you can not upload a file with your work directly to Writing.Com. Instead, you need to Copy and Paste pre-typed writing onto the site.

  • First, open the existing file on your computer into your word processing program. It is suggested that you convert your file to a .txt first, as it takes care of the problems with text wrapping and symbol's that occur when you copy and paste directly from Word or Word Perfect. Some members using PCs suggest copying the document into "Notepad" first.
  • Then select all of the text. Some programs will have a "Select All" tool under the "Edit" pull down and most will automatically select all of the text when you click in the document area and press Ctrl-A.
  • Once you have selected all of the text, Copy it. Most programs will copy the selected area when you press Ctrl-C. If not, check in the "Edit" pull down for a copy tool or consult your program's help documentation.
  • After the document has been copied, you can create a new Static Item on Writing.Com. Fill in all the appropriate information in the top sections of the form, such as the item's title, content rating, brief description, etc.
  • When you get to the Item Body area, click in the textbox and Paste what you had previously copied. Most web browsers will treat Ctrl-V as paste. You can also check the program's "Edit" pull down menu or consult your program's help documentation.
  • Q. What do each of the Static Subtypes mean?[Top]

    A. The following is a listing of the Static Subtypes that Writing.Com offers along with the definition from Webster's Dictionary:

  • appendix - supplementary material usually attached at the end of a piece of writing
  • article - a non fictional prose composition usually forming an independent part of a publication (as a magazine)
  • bulletin - a brief public notice issuing information
  • chapter - a main division of a book
  • column - one in a usually regular series of newspaper or magazine articles
  • critique - an act of criticizing; especially : a critical estimate or discussion
  • documentary - a factual and objective presentation
  • draft - a preliminary version of the item; choose another subtype for the final version
  • editorial - a newspaper or magazine article that gives the opinions of the editors or publishers; also : an expression of opinion that resembles such an article
  • essay - an analytic or interpretative literary composition usually dealing with its subject from a limited or personal point of view
  • fiction - generic term for something invented by the imagination
  • interview - a report containing information obtained (as by a reporter, television commentator, or pollster) from a person
  • letter/memo - a direct or personal written or printed message addressed to a person or organization
  • lyrics - the words of a song
  • monologue - a literary composition written in the form of a soliloquy (the act of talking to oneself)
  • nonfiction - literature that is not fictional
  • novel - an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events
  • novella - a work of fiction intermediate in length and complexity between a short story and a novel
  • outline - a condensed treatment of a particular subject or a summary of a written work
  • poetry - metrical writing arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm
  • preface - the introductory remarks of a speaker or author
  • prose - writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer correspondence to the patterns of everyday speech
  • sample - a representative part or a single item from a larger whole or group especially when presented for inspection or shown as evidence of quality
  • script/play - the written text of a stage play, screenplay, or broadcast
  • serial - a publication issued as one of a consecutively numbered and indefinitely continued series
  • short story - an invented prose narrative shorter than a novel usually dealing with a few characters and often concentrating on the creation of mood rather than plot
  • thesis - a dissertation embodying results of original research and especially substantiating a specific view; especially : one written by a candidate for an academic degree
  • other - not included
  • Q. I want to add chapters to my new interactive story item. How do I add chapters? [Top]

    A. To add chapters to your new interactive story, click on the "View" tool in your portfolio below the interactive story. On the following page, click "Click Here To Enter This Story". This will bring you to the first page of your new story; you will be asked to add a new chapter; this will be the first chapter. Fill it in, submit it and you are on your way!

    Q. My story IS interactive, but it doesn't show up in the interactive listings. Why? [Top]

    A. Your story must have at least 3 chapters in order to be listed within the public rankings and listings. Also, Writing.Com reserves the right to remove from public listing any story that is sexual or profane in nature. While we do not monitor all content, we will try to keep public portions of the interactive story are of the site clean. Owners of interactive stories should keep their item rating current to the content being added.

    Q. I created a user poll, but it doesn't show up in the poll listings. Why? [Top]

    A. Your poll must have at least one vote to show up in the listings. Also, don't forget that content that is not correctly rated (E thru XGC) may be removed from public listings. If your poll does have at least one vote and has properly rated content, then it is there, we promise; you're just not looking hard enough.

    Q. I created a message forum, but it doesn't show up in the forum listings. Why? [Top]

    A. Your forum must have at least one message to show up in the listings. Also, don't forget that content that is not correctly rated (E thru XGC) may be removed from public listings. If your forum does have at least one message and has properly rated content, then it is there, we promise; you're just not looking hard enough.

    Q. I've tried to find my items on the site, but can not. What's wrong? [Top]

    A. Here is the biggest, most common reason why items do not show up in public listings: Be sure you have correctly selected a content rating for your item. The default content rating that is set when you create an item is "-----"; If you do not set another rating, your story's content rating is considered to be higher than a content rating of XGC. Therefore, unless you or another user has set their ratings filter to allow ALL content ratings, your item will not show up in public listings.

    If your content rating is GC or XGC, you will need to set your ratings filter to allow ALL content ratings, you will not be able to see your item in the public listings.

    If you are searching for your item, be sure you are searching in the correct place. It is best to use the site wide search to look for your item.

    Q. What are "access restrictions" and how do they work? [Top]

    A. On the item creation (and editing) form, you'll find an "Access Restrictions" selection area. The default setting is "Make Public, Allow EVERYONE". Based on your portfolio status, you will have other options including the following:

    1. Keep Private, For My Eyes Only!
    2. Make Public, Allow EVERYONE!
    3. Registered Users And Higher Only.
    4. Registered Authors And Higher Only.
    5. Preferred Authors And Higher Only.
    6. Writing.Com Moderators And Higher Only.
    7. Writing.Com Senior Moderators And Higher Only.
    8. Writing.Com Staff And Higher Only.

    The levels available to you will be limited to your level and below. For example; a Registered Author would have options 1 through 4 available, while a Writing.Com Staff member would have options 1 through 8 available, etc.

    Access to your item will be restricted by whatever setting you select. "Keep Private, For My Eyes Only!" means only YOU (and high level Writing.Com staff members) can access or even see your item. This is the appropriate setting for any items "in works" that are not for the public eye. "Make Public, Allow EVERYONE!" means that everyone visiting Writing.Com from unregistered users on up are able to view you work. This is the correct setting for works that are mostly completed and you wish to let everyone read.

    Restricting access on a folder will remove that folder from display within your public portfolio. It will also disallow the viewing of that folders contents. It will NOT, however, restrict access on the individual items within it. They would all still show up on the public listings. If you do not want these items to show, each individual item's access level will need to be set.

    For your convenience, and sanity, it may be in your best interest to create a folder entitled "Private", which is restricted as private and where you keep all of your other private works. This is only a suggestion and not a requirement.

    Q. How does the copyright policy work? Who owns my work? [Top]

    A. When you post your work on Writing.Com, you maintain complete rights to your own material. We highly recommend only posting material that you are sure is your own. Using someone else's material as your own can get you in a lot of trouble. Posting email jokes and messages that you know are not your own also falls into this category.

    For your convenience, Writing.Com automatically includes a personal Copyright notice at the end of each item you create. You are free, and encouraged, to sell your work to others, publish it with others or do whatever you wish!

    By posting to Writing.Com, you grant us non-exclusive rights to display and store your work on our site. Obviously, we require these rights to show your work to other people who may visit our site. Non-exclusive means that you may give these same rights to anyone else as well; for money or for free.

    For complete details and instructions on how to submit a claim of infringement, please see "Our Copyright Policy".

    Q. When I submit an item, post or entry, the site logs me out! Help? [Top]

    A. Your browser is probably not accepting our "cookie". A cookie is a small bit of text that our server sends to your browser when you first login to your account. The cookie, if accepted by your browser, allows our server to track you and your browser as you move throughout the Writing.Com web site. With a cookie, you will stay logged into the site for 24 hours, or until you log out.

    Without accepting cookies, there is no truely unique identification with which we can keep track of you. Because of this we can only track a "session" for about 15 minutes of inactivity (sometimes shorter). So if you sit on the create item, forum posting, or other entry page for more than 10 to 15 minutes without an action on the site and without a cookie, the server will lose track of you and will not remember that you logged in.

    Check your web browser's help documentation for information on how to be sure that your browser is accepting cookies. Additionally, it is suggested that you "copy" any work in the textarea that you type in before you submit it. That way, should the page crash or log you out, then you will be able to paste your writing back in without loosing.

    If the problem continues or if you are unable to support cookies in your browser, you should submit your entry every 10 minutes or so and then edit it and add other additions; saving every 10 minutes or so. You can also create your items in a text editor or word processor on your computer and then "copy and paste" your work into the site.

    Additionally, the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.5 or higher (MSIE 5.5) is the best way to surf Writing.Com and does support cookies. For more information on MSIE and Writing.Com click here.

  • Head to your My Account page.
  • Click Edit Preferences.
  • Find Textarea Wrapping and set it to Off.
  • Click the Submit Changes button at the bottom of the page.
  • Note that you may need to log out and then back into your Writing.Com account for the change to take effect.

    ANSWERS: WritingML and Formatting

    Q. What is WritingML (output codes) and how do I use it? [Top]

    A. The WritingML documentation has moved to its own area. Click here to open it. Please note this will open a new window and you should have your pop-up blocker disabled for it to open correctly. Once you open it, click the Working Examples section to see how WritingML works.

    Q. I've read the WritingML documentation, but I still don't get it! [Top]

    A. WritingML documentation has been moved to its own pop-up. Click here to open it. Please note this will open a new window and you should have your pop-up blocker disabled for it to open correctly. Once you open it, click the Further Help section for a detailed explanation.

    Q. I need to post my item and I don't know what bitem, citem and the other tags mean.[Top]

    A. The WritingML documentation has moved to its own area. Click here to open it. Please note this will open a new window and you should have your pop-up blocker disabled for it to open correctly. Once you open it, click the Item Tags section for the details on using bitem, citem and our other item tags.

    ANSWERS: Portfolio Folders

    Q. What are portfolio folders ()?[Top]

    A. In order to help keep your portfolio in order, portfolio folders () have been created to allow you to store items that are related in one collection. You can only create these folders from within your portfolio; just look for the "Add New Folder" to the right of the Navigation Path drop down list, which is right above your Items list. You can also go to the Create Something tab at the top of the page and create a folder there.

    Once you create a folder, you can create items directly within it. You can also move existing items into it by using the item "edit" tool for each item you wish to move. Go to the item that you would like to move and click Edit. In the Edit form, choose the correct folder to move it to and click to complete your edit. Your item will be moved automatically and will not lose any views or ratings.

    Q. Do I have to use folders ()?[Top]

    A. No! There is no requirement in using folders; they just are an additional tool that we provide to help keep your Writing.Com portfolio organized. Readers have the ability to search by folders, though, so if you have a "collection" of some sort, we recommend keeping it in a folder so that more readers will find your work.

    Q. How do I add items to my folders () that are in my portfolio?[Top]

    A. NEW ITEMS: When you create a new item, simply select the folder you want to add it to where asked to do so on the item creation form. Note that you must have already created your folder first.

    EXISTING ITEMS: If you already have an item created and wish to move it into a folder (or from one folder to another folder), use the "Edit" tool under the specified item in your portfolio. Once in the edit item form, choose the folder you wish to move it into from the folder selection, then complete your edit. Your item will be moved automatically and will not lose any views or ratings.

    ANSWERS: My Favorites

    Q. What are "My Favorites" () and "My Authors" ()? [Top]

    A. "My Favorites" () make it easy for you to keep track of the items you like best or read most frequently at Writing.Com. Once you are logged into your account, you can access this feature from the "My Places" pulldown menu or click My Favorites in the main pagetop banner.

    "My Authors" make it easy for you to keep track of the authors that you like the best or check on most frequently. Once you are logged into your account, you can access this feature from the "My Favorites" area.

    Q. How do I add or remove an item from "My Favorites" () or an Author to "My Authors" ()? [Top]

    A. My Favorites: At the top of each individual item page, you will see Add Item to My Favorites. Click this and that item will automatically be added to your Favorites list, in the Main folder. If you have created other folders in your Favorites list, use the drop-down list to choose your folder in the small pop-up that appears when you save a Favorite. The ten most recently modified items will show on your My Item Favorites on my your My Account page.

    My Authors: Anytime you find an author that you want to add to your list, click the icon next to their portfolio and email icon and they will be automatically added to the Main Folder in your Favorites list. If you have created other folders in your Favorites list, use the drop-down list to choose your folder in the small pop-up that appears when you save a Favorite. The ten most recently modified authors will show on your My Author Favorites list on your My Account page.

    Saved Favorite: When you save a favorite, a icon will replace the icon on that item title or author name. To remove a favorite item or author from your list, open your Favorites list and click the [X] next to the item you want removed.

    ANSWERS: Content Ratings

    Q. How does the Writing.Com Content Rating System (CRS) work? [Top]

    A. For more information on Writing.Com Content Ratings, please see:
    "Writing.Com Content Rating System (CRS)"

    Q. Can I filter the items I see in public listings by content ratings? [Top]

    A. Yes, but note that our filtering system only excludes items based on Content Rating from our public listing pages. It does not affect other areas of the site and will not block any items or pages from being viewed. The rating filter will only remove inappropriate items from being listed on our public listing pages. You can set your content rating filter setting by visiting: http://www.writing.com/main/session_options.php

    By default, items with Non-E intro ratings or GC and higher content ratings are filtered from our public listing pages for both visitors and registed members.

    Q. Why do I not see any work rated GC or XGC in the public listings? [Top]

    A. To help shield our younger users from content not appropriate to them, by default we do not include items with Non-E intro ratings or GC and higher content ratings within our public listings. If you wish to have this content included in the public listings on our site, you must edit your content rating filter setting by visiting: http://www.writing.com/main/session_options.php

    The above link can be used by both members and non members. Non members will need to reset their content filter each time they visit the site. Any changes to the filter made by a member will only need to be made one time and will be stored to their account profile for later use.

    ANSWERS: Rating and Reviewing

    Q. How does the star () rating system work? [Top]

    A. The star rating system allows registered users to quickly and easily provide authors with feedback on their items. Item ratings range from one star (), needs work, to five stars (), perfect. Ratings increase in half star () increments.

    The rating area for items is at the bottom of the item. If you would like to leave an anonymous review or comment with your rating, there is a text box at the bottom of the item for that. Rate an item by selecting your desired rating and then clicking "Rate Now!". To send a review with your rating, fill in the text box at the bottom and click "Rate & Review!".

    You must be logged in to your Writing.Com account to rate an item and you may only rate each item one time. Ratings already given may be cleared and regiven if you feel the need. Sometimes authors rework their items as reviews/comments come in and readers have the ability to clear their initial rating and give them a higher one.

    Each item's average rating is at the top right corner of that item. To find the correct half star rating, we round an item's rating average if it does not end in .0 (ie; 1.0, 3.0 or 5.0) or .5 (ie; 1.5, 2.5 or 4.5). To find the rounded average, Writing.Com uses the following system:
    .75 and higher round up to the next full number,
    .25 through .74 round to .5 and
    .24 and lower round down to the full number.
    Some examples of the system:
    - An item with a 4.80 average rating rounds to 5.0.
    - An item with a 4.75 average rating rounds to 5.0.
    - An item with a 4.74 average rounds to a 4.5.
    - An item with a 4.25 average rounds to a 4.5.
    - An item with a 4.24 average rounds to 4.0.
    - An item with 3.75 averages rounds to a 4.0.
    - An item with 3.74 averages rounds to a 3.5.

    Please remember; if you READ it, RATE it! Ratings are very important to Writing.Com and its authors; plus it takes a literal second to contribute your opinion.

    To have a better understanding of the rating system:

     How Should I Rate Items on Writing.Com?  [E]
    Wondering how to approach the rating system on Writing.Com?
    by The StoryMistress

    To see an example of the criteria for choosing a rating for an item:

     Comment-In-A-Box  [E]
    My view on and methods of rating items on Writing.Com.
    by The StoryMistress

    Members can opt out of the rating system, for more information see:

     Rating/Reviewing Preferences  [E]
    Choose the best option for any particular item in your portfolio!
    by The StoryMistress

    Q. I don't like a review I recieved. Can I delete it? [Top]

    A. No it cannot be completely deleted. Acknowledging that reviews are the writing of one author to another, Writing.com does not delete reviews. Instead, the reviews are hidden from author's feedback list and, if the review is public, it is removed from the public review listings. The review itself, however, remains in the sender's "Sent" feedback and still counts towards their overall review numbers. To hide a review, click Hide Review in the details section of the review in your My Feedback - |Received| area.

    ANSWERS: Orders and Payments

    Q. What type of payments does Writing.Com accept? [Top]

    A. For the fastest response, Writing.Com accepts online payments through PayPal; PayPal can process credit card and eCheck payments. Countries that do not allow use of Paypal must mail their payment by check or international money order in US currency.

    Writing.Com accepts mailed payments of checks and money orders. Please remember all payments MUST be made in US currency. Complete instructions for facilitating either online or mailed payments are included in our store's order form.

    Q. Once completed, how long does it take to process my order? [Top]

    A. All orders for Paid Memberships and Gift Points paid through PayPal should be completed instantly after submitting your payment. PayPal's servers will confirm the payment to our servers and your order will be processed right away. On rare occasion, PayPal's system does have a problem that results in a delay for order processing. In these cases, we try to correct the problem within 24 hours.

    Please note that if you mailed a payment to Writing.Com, we will process your order once we have received and processed your payment. The time for us to receive an order is wholly dependent on the US Postal Service, but processing your payment once received takes only a few hours. Members should expect a 4 to 7 business day wait from the time their payment is mailed to us.

    Q. I ordered a Writing.Com product; when will it be shipped? [Top]

    A. All orders for Writing.Com products such as t-shirts, pens, clipboards and mugs will be processed and shipped within 2 to 4 weeks. We strive to ship all orders sooner, but can not guarantee a faster time. Orders for locations within the US are sent via US Priority Mail and are generally received within 1 week of being shipped. Orders to overseas locations can take much longer; they are dependent on the postal service in that location.

    Please note that if you mailed a payment to Writing.Com, we will process your order and ship your product within 2 to 4 weeks of having received and processed your payment. The time for us to receive an order is wholly dependent on the US Postal Service.

    Q. I have not received my order; what should I do?[Top]

    A. If you have ordered a product or service from Writing.Com and have not received it within the time specifications listed above, please fill out our support form located at:

     Submit A Request For General Support  [E]
    Use this form to request support from Writing.Com!
    by Writing.Com Support

    When submitting the form, please be sure to include specific information include: The date you made your order, information on what you ordered and how you payed for the order.

    ANSWERS: Miscellaneous

    Q. Where are my interactive stories listed for people to read? [Top]

    A. If your story is interactive, it will be listed on the interactive story listing pages. Every page contains a "Tell-A-Friend" form field on the lower left. You can use this to let your friends know about any new items you create or about your portfolio itself.

    In addition, any time you add a chapter to an interactive story, a link to your public portfolio will be placed next to your name on the by-line. If readers like your writing, they are likely to look at more of your work. Consider every chapter addition advertising for your other work!

    Q. How do stories get listed on the front page? Can mine be listed on the front page? [Top]

    A. The stories listed under "Interactive Stories" are the most recently modified interactive stories with content ratings of E, ASR, or 13 and more than 3 chapters. To the right of them, the newest static items are listed under the same criteria. As newly modified interactive stories and newly created static items are added to the site, one interactive story and one static item will fall off the bottom and new ones are added at the top. To conserve some database stress, these items are updated every two minutes.

    Q. How do I know if people are reading my work? [Top]

    A. You can find statistics within your portfolio on the specified item or folder line. Here you can see how many times this item or folder has been viewed and how many ratings it has received. You can also see how many times your portfolio has been viewed by looking in your portfolio header under "My Public Portfolio has been viewed..."

    Q. If someone reading my work wishes to email me, what address is listed? [Top]

    A. Your Writing.Com account has email service included with it. Anywhere your email address is listed on the site, it will be listed as your username@Writing.Com and will be directed to your Writing.Com mail account. In the future, we will provide you the ability to have Writing.Com mail your non-Writing.Com email address when you receive new mail at your Writing.Com address.

    Q. I have a question that wasn't answered here. What do I do?[Top]

    A. No problem! Please visit one of our two support forums:

    Technical Support Forum  [13+]
    Members help other members with technical questions and problems using Writing.Com!
    by Writing.Com Support

    Non-Technical Support Forum  [13+]
    Members help other members with non-technical questions and problems using Writing.Com!
    by Writing.Com Support

    Maintained by Writing.Com Support   
    Created: 04-18-04 @ 12:20pm | Modified: 08-06-10 @ 10:36am      

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