The Write Practice Pro is a diverse community of authors. The goal of Pro's leadership is to encourage nearly limitless creative freedom; however, since our membership includes minors, we must impose a series of reasonable restrictions in order to not require a person to be over 18 in order to join our community.
By making small sacrifices, we can all make it safe for younger people to write, read, and critique here.
Following the Law
We realize that other cultures and countries might consider different things to be suitable for minors, but since this is a US-based company, we have to abide by US laws. The specific law we’re worried about is this:
Federal law U.S.C. § 1470- prohibits “Transfer of obscene material to minors.” Of course, the definition of “obscene material” is vague:
The standard of what is harmful to minors may differ from the standard applied to adults. Harmful materials for minors include any communication consisting of nudity, sex or excretion that (i) appeals to the prurient interest of minors, (ii) is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable material for minors, (iii) and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.
The official policy of the The Write Practice Pro is that no post, critique, or Cafe comment shall contain pornographic material, hate speech (other than historic depictions), and excessive depictions of violent acts.
As with all art, this is somewhat vague, and requires individual discretion. However, Pro's team of Moderator/Mentors will police this policy for the good of the community.
As a guiding principle, keep these two ideas in mind:
- Don't post inappopriate content; this way we can keep the community in good legal standing
- Post a Content Advisory for appropriate mature content in order to keep the community in good emotional standing
We fully support every author's right to write the material he or she chooses. However, due to our lack of a age limit for users, we cannot allow graphic sexual content to be distributed on any of our platforms. We encourage writers who wish to publish in these genres to share their work privately by soliciting beta readers in The Cafe.
- Definition: "Sexual Content" is defined as any writing that describes physical intimacy with reproductive and/or sexual organs; this includes thoughts and actions by narrators, characters, and any other element in a post, and does not require nudity to qualify as graphic sexual content. Acts that do not qualify as sexual content include hand-holding, hugging, kissing, and simple acts of affection like touching a character's arm or leg.
- Content Policy: If your scene contains sexual content, it must be brief and worded in such as way as to avoid numerous references to specific body parts and/or using pervasive sexual language.
- Graphic Sexual Content: Sexual situations in mainstream genres tend to focus on the characters' emotions and inner goals; sexual situations in erotica/pornography focus on the physical sensations and the explicit details of the act, and are much more graphic. Know which type of scene you are writing, and whether it belongs on The Write Practice Pro or not.
- Sexual Assault (Rape): If your story must describe or show a scene of sexual assault, it must be done in such a way that follows the guidelines above. It should be as brief as possible and must be accompanied by a content warning that specifically advises the reader about the description of sexual assault.
- Requirement: All posts with sexual content of any kind must include a content warning, otherwise they may be removed by Admin.
Sample Content Warnings:
- Content Advisory: Sexual Content (Sex Scene with Brief Nudity)
- Content Advisory: Sexual Content (Description of an Assault)
What to Do With Your Pro-Inappropriate Content
Even if you want to write content that doesn't fall within our guidelines here at The Write Practice Pro, we still want you to be able to get the feedback you need.
That's why we urge you to solicit private beta readers in The Cafe. By informing readers up front about the nature of your story, they are opting in to the content you've created. This also keeps the material off our platforms and away from the eyes of underage users who shouldn't be reading and critiquing it.
Content Advisories and Matched Critiques
In the Short Stories Workshop, Pro members are assigned 3 critiques for each post. It is very possible that you will come across a piece with a Content Advisory that you choose to heed. If you are matched to a piece of writing with a Content Advisory describing material that you are uncomfortable reading, please take the following steps:
- Scroll to the bottom where you would normally enter your critique.
- In the "Leave Feedback" box, type the following message: "I was eager to read your story; however, since it contains [MATURE CONTENT DESCRIPTION], I am not comfortable reading this story. Is there another piece of writing you have posted that doesn't have this mature content? If so, please share in a reply and I will gladly critique it!"
- Click "Submit Critique"
- Following the Honor system, find another piece in the Short Stories Workshop and critique it with a thorough OREO critique. (Don't know what an OREO Critique is? Check this out to learn more!)
Hopefully this enables all members to participate in matched critiques while avoiding content that may be psychologically or emotionally damaging.
Keep Pro Appropriate and Advised
We are all eager to explore creative frontiers. That will often have us exploring topics that aren't appropriate or acceptable to everyone, and that's perfectly fine.
The important thing is to know if your most daring creative explorations are a good fit for this community. Many of them are, so long as you post a helpful advisory to keep your neighbors in the know. If you ever have a question about the appropriateness of a piece of content, just reach out to your Mentor or to David Safford (email@example.com) to get a clear answer.
Thank you for your creativity and kindness to others as we enjoy this journey together!
Happy writing, and happy advising!