HELP! I'M NEW AND LOST!! (aka commonly asked questions and their answers)
Hello, Newbie and welcome to the Pigpen! Big Grin   

Here is a quick reference for some commonly asked Newbie questions:

Q: I wrote my first critique, why can't I see it?

A:  All newbie comments must wait to be approved by a moderator.  Once you pass three mod-approved critiques, all subsequent posts will appear immediately.  

We check the moderation board regularly (you will find soon enough how addictive this site is Big Grin ).  It is safe to assume that if your post does not appear within 24 hours then it was not approved.  Don't lose heart!  Simply read the rules and try again. We like new members, so we prefer to approve posts whenever possible.  

1. The main reason a critique or comment will not pass approval is if it is not appropriate for that specific forum (ex. a one line comment in the intensive forum).  

2. The other main reason a critique will not pass moderation is if it does not contain any actual critique of the poem.  (ex. "This is a lovely poem about cats.  I had a cat when I was a child, his name was Fred.  What is your cat's name?")  While they could be pleasant to hear, comments like that say nothing constructive about the actual poem.  They are not acceptable in the three workshop forums and will not pass.  

For tips on writing a critique look here:  
and here:
and here:
and here:
To understand what kind of critique is required in each forum, look here:  
and also here:   

Q:  I wrote three comments and they were all approved, why didn't the magic portal open?  

A: In order to gain access to the site, all new members must first offer three mod-approved critiques in the workshop forums.  Comments on poems in the other forums might be approved, but they don't count toward your "three required."  The workshop forums are the ones labled Basic, Mild, and Intensive.  

Q: I posted a comment, but now it's gone ... where did it go?

A:  Each forum has different rules, so pay attention to where you are before posting your reply. Moderators are required to delete any and all comments that do not conform to forum rules.  A comment that would be fine in Basic might be deleted for insufficient effort in the Intensive workshop.  Please read the forum rules, familiarizing yourself with these rules will save you the grief of losing your posts.  If your post has been deleted, please do not re-post the exact same thing.  

Q:  Where is the button to post a new thread?  Why can't I see it? 

A: In order to gain access to the site, all new members must first offer three mod-approved critiques in the workshop forums.  The button to post a new thread will not be available to you until you have done this.  

Q:  How do I move my poem to a different forum?

A:  Easy!  Just pm a moderator saying "I'd like my poem (poem's name) to be moved to the (forum's name) forum."  and we will happily move it for you. Thumbsup 

(Please do not "move" it yourself by posting a new thread with the same poem.  This creates clutter and causes previous readers to lose track of the poem's progress.  Duplicate threads will be deleted or merged into the original.)

Q:  I posted a poem and no one has commented.  Why?

A:   Give it time.    Also read this:
Also, this is not a paid service, everyone is here in their spare time and for their own reasons. There is no rule that says every poem must and shall receive feedback.  Sometimes a poem will receive few or no comments.  

Ways to encourage people to comment on your poem:
1. Comment on other people's poems!!!!!  Give to receive.   
2. Write a good poem.  Make sure it reflects your best work.  
3. Be aware of what you are asking.  If your poem is super long or full of complicated historical references, that's ok, but be aware that your readers will require extra time to process it before they will be able to comment.  If you post your poem in the Intensive workshop, your readers will require more time to get to know your poem in order to write a detailed critique in response.
4. Have patience! Remember that your readers live all over the world in different time zones and also that they have day jobs and real lives that come first. It can take days or weeks for some people to get around to your poem. Give them time.   Wink  

Ways to discourage people from commenting on your poem: 
1.  Posting lots of your own poetry but leaving few or no comments on other's.
2.  Leaving unnecessarily harsh comments on other people's poems.  (You don't have to sugar coat the truth, but there is a difference between being frank and being mean and calling it "honesty.") 
3.  Arguing with anyone who suggests changes to your poem.  (If you think your poem is perfect as is, then post it in one of the other forums, not a workshop.  You don't have to use every piece of advice, but defending your poem is bad form.  Just say "thank you, I will consider what you have said" and move on.)  
4.  Writing a lazy poem.  If it is obvious that you put little thought or effort into to your poem, your readers will not feel like putting much thought or effort into it either.

But most of all, be patient and give lots of critique to others. Thumbsup  

Q:  How do I make one of those awesome little boxes for hiding away words?

A: So glad you asked! Big Grin  Here is the link for that:

But be careful, the little boxes are fun and addictive and if you get carried away about it you might fall into the sewer.  (long story, don't ask) Confused 

Q:   No one understands my poem.  Where should I put the explanation?  

A: Nowhere.  Please do not explain your poem.  If you absolutely cannot resist the urge to explain, then at least hide it inside a "spoiler" box (see above for how).  If the poem cannot stand on it's own without the explanation, then you need to fix the poem.

Please read:  

To avoid common mistakes, please familiarize yourself with the information found in these links: 


Giving Critique:

Where to post your poem:

More on forums:

FAQ page:
"I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else."  -- Neil Gaiman

"Ditto." -- Quix
and also. when you join the site, you have to verify your membership via an email that is sent out to you.

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