From Our Heart To Yours

So Let’s Talk.

We host a lot of contests here at The Writers’ Block. We believe they’re great for community and we often discover fresh and exciting talent in the entries.

More often than not, the winner is someone from our own writing group on Discord. Recently someone asked if only TWB members are eligible to win contests. The answer is a resounding “no.” However, there is a very good reason that our folks win so regularly. Our folks workshop. They get feedback and offer feedback to other writers. They edit according to professional standards. And we’re not going to penalize them by disallowing them to win our contests just because other entrants haven’t taken advantage of the same opportunities.

Our contests aren’t rigged. They aren’t biased. They aren’t unfair. They’re tough, because writing/publishing is a tough industry. Here’s the thing: every single entrant in every single contest has exactly the same opportunities to get feedback and editing help. That’s what The Writers’ Block is here for. That’s why we exist.

We’re not the only writing community on the Steem blockchain. There are others. All have a slightly different focus. Being part of one doesn’t preclude you from being part of others. The important thing is to find a community that offers skilled, thorough feedback. Because that’s the key—no one writes well in a bubble. We all need editors.

The Gauntlet

@freedomtowrite [posted just today](https://steemit.com/writing/@freedomtowrite/the-writer-s-block-i-used-to-be-intimidated) about her experiences with TWB, how she was initially met with an unwelcoming attitude. Turns out, a lot of people feel intimidated by our group. Our administration feels terrible about that and we hope that doesn’t continue to be the case. We’re hardcore when it comes to writing quality (which isn’t nearly as subjective as some think,) but for people who are serious about writing publishable fiction, learning to take honest, straightforward critique is essential. You’ll never make it in this industry if you resist feedback. We never outgrow editing. In fact, the more seasoned we become, the more we learn to appreciate it.

Here’s what you should know about The Writers’ Block: when you first join the server, you land in Welcome Center. Welcome Center is a quarantine area where we hold people until we’ve had a chance to speak with them personally. This keeps us safe from spammers, most plagiarizers, and outright hack takeovers. Yes. Those happen on Discord. If someone isn’t there in Welcome Center to greet you immediately, sooner or later you’ll get a ping when our folks come back online. We’re a friendly community and we want to get to know you. Don’t be afraid to drop in, unless you’re a spammer or plagiarizer. If you’re a reader or writer, you’re in the right place.

In Welcome Center, you aren’t able to interact with other channels. This is for the reasons stated above. Once our hosts determine that you’re a real person with genuine intentions, we give you honorary member role so you can then see more channels and interact with them. Sometimes our Discord is quiet for hours. Sometimes chat moves so fast you’ll see three or four simultaneous conversations happening all at once. Whatever the case, check out the writers workshop you’ll see in our channel list. That’s where the work gets done. You won’t find a lot of shop talk in general chat, although occasionally it happens. General chat is where we goof off. And we goof off a lot. LOL

Please note that we are an English-speaking group, though many of our members are ESL. English-Second-Language is fine. We just don’t have the resources to help with grammar and other skills for non-English speakers who need a translator tool to communicate. Maybe someday. Right now, it’s best if you’re at least mostly fluent in English. We also don’t allow post promotion except for our members, who have been active in the community and don’t spam. Audiences are gained by networking, not link-dropping, so we don’t encourage that anywhere.

A Complete Package

Also important to note is that The Writers’Block is home to @noblewitness, a witness team consisting of @anarcho-andrei, @gmuxx, @rhondak, and @sircork (alphabetical order.) Each of these individuals brings a unique skillset to the partnership. These four are friends in real life and are in constant communication. What this does for The Writers’ Block is gives our content creators a very prominent voice in blockchain affairs, as well as a direct and immediate technical contact for our members. For example, when the blockchain experienced issues earlier this week, active TWB members were among the first to know why, and what was being done about it. TWB members were also among the first to receive information about a new wave of phishing attacks, how to recognize them, and what to do to avoid getting hacked. @sircork was instrumental in spreading the news of this and in helping @surfermarley take the right steps to recover her account.

Also, if  you don’t already know, TWB is getting ready to launch a new front-end interface and publishing house. Learn more about that [HERE](https://steemit.com/en/@thewritersblock/6jtxxy3pk) The future is looking very bright!

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