Black Writers Collective

BlackWriters.net User Guide

Your Reference Guide to Using Our Member Platform

Welcome! We are delighted to have you become part of our community and to engage with you in our online network. To that end, we’ve created this guide for new members as an orientation to the features our network has to offer.

The Dash is a tribe of Finishers focused on getting the words down and achieving daily goals. We post up each day for thirty-minute writing sprints on any type of project you’re needing to make progress on–essays, articles, stories, novels, and other works. Win prizes, recognition, and get your project written. For more info, visit The Dash.

All interest groups and the following critique tribes are open to all members with annual memberships.

View All Tribes

If at any time while you’re familiarizing yourself with our network you find there’s a tribe you don’t see but would like to join, speak up! Tribes are created solely in response to members’ requests, so if you don’t see one it’s either because no one has yet requested it OR there wasn’t previously enough demand for it. As we grow, that may change, and we can always recheck the pulse to gauge new interest.

Monthly members do not have access due to the ongoing reciprocal critiquing requirement and commitment to the Tribe that is critical to the Tribe’s success.

ALL other MEMBERS may join any group you wish. Members of critique groups must attend meetings and critique others’ works to be critiqued. One cannot join and not participate in the critiquing and have his/her work critiqued. If a member does not offer critiques for two meetings, barring extenuating circumstances, they will be removed from the group and their spot made available to someone on the waiting list. Removed members may reapply for any available spots when they’re ready and able to participate but will be required to critique others prior to submitting any of their own work.

We have three dedicated fiction critique groups, each with its own schedule and guidelines. Follow the links below (or click About within the tribe) for detailed information on how either group works.

Sherian Brown is the moderator for The Novelists’ Spot; Shaundale Rena is moderator of The Novelists’ Spot II. Denise Matthews and Darlene Burnett co-moderate the short story tribe.

Additionally, we are forming new groups (launching November 2021) to support members throughout each phase of their book development process. These include:

Group 1: Works-in-Progress – for members do not yet have a completed manuscript and are actively writing each week or month

Group 2: First Drafts – for members with finished or nearly completed first drafts

Group 3: Rewriting & Revising – for members in the rewriting/revising phase

Group 4: Editing & Publishing – for members in the editing/publication phase

If you have any questions about the tribes, direct your question(s) to the appropriate moderator.

The Book Review Group offers resources for authors seeking reviewers. You may also use this group to exchange book reviews with fellow members or to make it known that you have a book for which you are seeking reviews. 

BWC hosts an online bookstore for members’ books. To post your book, download and follow these instructions.

We also offer members the opportunity to share book releases with our Facebook and Instagram followers. To share your book on FB, simply go to our FB page and post your cover along with a synopsis and a link to an excerpt or website where the book can be purchased. You won’t be able to see it immediately as it has to be approved. But once we approve it we will also share it to our feed so that it’s more visible to all page visitors. Please do not post just the cover and a link or it will not be approved.

To share to IG, email us an eye-catching, appropriately sized graphic along with the caption you would like posted to support [at] blackwriters.org.

All critique and other meetings are posted to the event calendar along with other events that may be of interest to members. Members are also encouraged to share your own virtual and in-person events to the calendar. You never know who from BWC might show up to support you if we know what you have going on. You can create local events, live chats, live video events, and online meetings using FB Live, Crowdcast or Zoom.

We host various discussions each month that offer members a chance to get to know each other a little better. Themed meetings are hosted via Zoom by J.C. Moore, Darlene Burnett, and Kim Bibbs. The Dash hosts a monthly live writing session on Saturdays. Jess Murphy hosts our quarterly Telegram podcasts. Check the event calendar for announcements about upcoming meetings.

Our Digital Downloads section offers audio and ebook downloads that may be useful to you in your writing. Be sure to check it out.

In the main dashboard as well as in each tribe, there is an all-member chat feature offering members one big chat room for all members on the web/desktop version of the platform. The chat room is not available in native mobile apps. This is also for scheduling Live Chat Events, where members can come together in real-time for a Q&A event or virtual session. You can share text, images, video links and emojis in the All Member Chat area.
Got a burning question you need to ask fellow members? Need input for a writing project and want to post a survey? You have the option to create percentage polls, multiple choice polls, hot cold polls, and to post questions.

When you’re posting an article, you can add multiple file attachments directly within the post. When you’re adding material to be critiqued by your tribe, you can only add one attachment per post.

To add multiple attachments to articles:
Press enter to start a new line of text, and use the + button along the left to open up the options to add a photo, embed a video, embed a media file hosted elsewhere, add a file attachment like a PDF, or include a section divider.

To add single attachments to posts:
Select the paper clip icon and it will give you the option to add a file attachment to your post. Once you save and publish it, other members can just click to download your attachment. If you need to add multiple attachments to a post, add them to the post using the Reply function.

Interested in receiving calls for submissions or job postings for freelance and other writing jobs/gigs? Subscribe to our announcement list at https://groups.io/g/BlackWriters-A or email BlackWriters-A+subscribe@groups.io. Be sure to include your name in your profile when applying for approval. You will not be approved if we cannot identify you. Once your membership is verified, you’ll be approved for access to the list.

Post in the Beta Readers tribe to find a beta reader or list your services for beta reading. If you have difficulty finding a beta reader, email support {at} blackwriters.org a link to your post in the network and request inclusion in the next newsletter. 

Interested in volunteering in a leadership capacity on our team? Visit Get Involved to learn how you can help us to serve our community and find one that matches your personality, skills, and interests.

What to Post/What to Avoid Posting

Post questions, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, needs, wants, experiences, goals, and dreams related to any and all aspects of writing and publishing.

Post your new book releases; book covers; book trailers; links to your published articles, essays, or other works; links to your website or blog; and anything related to your writing that you want to share.

Post your virtual or in-person book signings and live interviews on the event calendar with sharing to the feed.

Post your stories, excerpts, chapters, poems, synopses, query letters, pitches, or the like for feedback in the appropriate tribes (or advise us if a new tribe is needed). You may also share your writings on the main feed if solely for our reading enjoyment.

Do not post advertisements for anything other than your books. Book postings are fully approved. If you’re considering sharing something other than your book with a cost attached, it is considered an ad and is subject to immediate removal.

Do not post in all caps. This is considered shouting in internet etiquette and is, therefore, deemed rude behavior.

Do not post anything that may be construed as a personal attack on anyone else’s character, intelligence, sense of humor, writing skill, knowledge, level of experience or anything else to which they or others reading it may take offense.

Do not post fee-based events or services advertisements for external organizations. If they wish to advertise in our platform, they would need to contact us to submit their ad for pre-approval and purchase ad space.

Posts or comments that violate these guidelines will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Posts may be subject to deletion with or without notice to the poster.

It is of extreme importance to those of us who value this space that this network remain a safe place for any and everyone to feel comfortable sharing his/her writing, challenges, dreams, goals, and successes. It is also critical for those of us here to support others to be allowed to do so freely. Personal attacks will absolutely not be tolerated and are considered grounds for removal from this platform.

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