As I am sure you are aware of, your announcement about the new “free writing” guidelines has sparked a backlash from many WtW members, many of whom (including me) wholeheartedly disagree with it.
WtW has limited its “free writing” to fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, where Q&As will exist as its own prompt, and other non-writing posts such as contests, updates and appreciation posts will be taken down if we try to post them. I understand that the surge in non-writing and social related posts may dilute what WtW is about at its core, but entirely taking that away from us users is unacceptable.
It is mentioned in your announcement that these changes were made to “to ensure that we remain a welcoming place where every writer can grow and explore their craft”. This is a contradiction – how can we maintain a welcoming place when you take down social posts that help us bond to the WtW community? That help newbies discover the essence of the WtW community, which is helping others grow with their writing?
WtW limited its “free writing” to the 3 essential genres “In order to encourage you to expand your writing portfolio and experiment with writing genres”. This is not a good enough reason to wipe the other posts out. What better way to experiment with writing genres than by joining in a user-hosted contest, or a user-created community challenge? By receiving interesting prompts from other like-minded teenage writers? I have definitely written things outside of my comfort zone after being inspired by prompts in user-hosted contests, and I have read so many wonderful pieces spawning from community challenges. Please acknowledge that this is our own way of writing – it is not lesser just because it doesn’t come from a singular recognisable source.
You may restate your commitment to not becoming a social media platform, but aren’t we here to interact and get to know other teenage writers? The community can’t bond without it becoming a social media platform?
We can only guess if you are being transparent about all the reasons behind this controversial move. Hopefully, there is a better reason than this. If so, please let us know respectfully, not end off your announcement with a condescending “Happy Writing!” when you’re delivering a blow.
We ask that you revoke this decision and give us our words back. If not, how about:
Similar to your solution for Q&As, include WtW prompts that allow writers to post their user-hosted contest, so it’s all in one place, and not in the “free writing”. This allows you to control the number of contests happening at once as well – set a limit to 10, or whatever floats your boat.
Allow posts like updates to stay up; they provide essential information in the case of a writer’s long-awaited return and it’s unfair to not allow them to address their friends and followers in the community.
Give writers a chance to show their appreciation for fantastic pieces by allowing monthly appreciation nominations on accounts like Writer’s of the World and their monthly Must Reads posts. And several other accounts who do variations on this, as users here wants to show appreciation in more ways than liking and commenting. This gives new and old writers a chance to learn more from the highlights of the month, as you do so with the Wednesday Words Pick.
actually coming up with solutions instead of tearing us down?
Regulate as you please, but don’t censor us for your own sake. We know it’s not for us.
this is an email i wrote to wtw earlier - figured i'd increase their chance of seeing this if i post it here. this isn't poetic or clever but i just dont have it in me today. i'm also real tired of having to write the way they want us to to get to them. if they take it down, it's whatever, already emailed it to them. i'm also a little late to this; it was election day here in my country & I had to work. so i only just saw poetri already did a community letter to wtw titled dear admins, and #giveusbackourwords, pls read and maybe write to WtW as well. the only way for them to hear us is as a collective, not individual dissent.