Writing Guidelines

Who Can Join

Write the World is an online community created exclusively for young writers ages 13–18 years and their teachers. Write the World is solely for use by this community.


Writing Guidelines

The power of our writing goes hand in hand with responsibility. Make sure that you’re supporting other people through your writing rather than pulling them down.

The types of content that will be removed from the site include, but are not limited to:

  • Anything that may be deemed hurtful, defamatory or discriminatory in nature.
  • Anything deemed explicit or gratuitously violent.
  • Anything referencing self-harm.
  • Any commercial posts and/or spam.
  • Plagiarism (see more below).
  • Personal contact information—including usernames on social media or other platforms. This is to protect the privacy of our members.
  • Links to any external websites, with the exception of links to citations as part of an essay, or including links to illustrations or audio as part of a Write the World competition or prompt.
  • Writing in response to WtW’s free writing prompt that does not fall into the fiction, nonfiction, or poetry categories, or, more generally, writing that doesn’t respond to the specific WtW prompt in question.

Please keep in mind that the mission of Write the World is to give young writers a platform for expression through writing. WtW is a place for members to express their thoughts and views within some form of crafted writing (example: poem, op-ed, story, aphorism), rather than the type of posts you find on social media (example: Q&As, general addresses to the community).

If a writer posts content that violates our terms or goes against our guidelines, we will remove the post and contact the writer when necessary. If a writer continues to violate our terms, they will lose their site membership. Please refer to the site’s terms for further information.


What To Do If You See a Post that Concerns You or Violates Our Guidelines

If you’re worried about another writer based on the troubling nature of topics they’re writing about, or if you notice disconcerting or offensive content in comments or peer reviews, please click the red "flag" button to the upper right of the piece and list your reason for the flag in the text box that appears. When necessary, we'll respond to the writer directly. We appreciate you taking the time to share your concern. Alternatively, you can send a private email listing the student's username and a link to the page on which it appears to hello@writetheworld.com.


What happens When I turn 19?

You will graduate from the site when you turn 19.5. We look forward to keeping in touch with you and staying updated on your future writing projects through our alumni community! In the weeks before you turn 19.5, you will receive an email at the address associated with your Write the World account that gives you information on:

  • Saving your work
  • Resources to help you launch your writing talents into the wider writing world
  • Responding to a goodbye prompt before you leave
  • Joining our alumni group

Plagiarism

Plagiarism, the copying and/or reproducing of someone else's writing and/or ideas without attribution, violates the purpose of Write the World. If you publish work that is plagiarized, it will be removed from the site. If you continue to publish plagiarized work, you will lose your membership to Write the World.


How to Avoid Plagiarism

By taking another person's idea and claiming it as your own, you are stealing something valuable from them. You are also denying yourself an opportunity to develop your own unique identity through thoughtful writing. Of course, all ideas are the product of other ideas, but it's very important to differentiate between your own original thinking and the thinking of others.

Here are some tips for avoiding plagiarism:

  • Remember that changing a few words in a sentence or paraphrasing (writing out something in your own words) does not transform another person's idea into your own.
  • When you use someone else's idea in your work, you must cite the original source. You can use one of the methods outlined at Purdue Owl or another particular citation method (such as APA or Chicago) that you are familiar with. What’s most important is that you acknowledge where your ideas come from.
  • If you are in doubt as to whether to cite something or not, it's best to err on the side of caution and cite your source.
  • Reach out. We know that the differentiation between original ideas and plagiarism might seem confusing when you are learning to write, and we are here to help. We are also so happy to help you navigate the world of citations—please contact us at hello@writetheworld.com if you have any questions.

Please refer to the site’s terms for further information.