The GENERAL FORUMS at Toasted Cheese are open to the public. To get to the General Forums, or to register as a member, enter here. The General Forums are:
- Just The Place For A Snark: general forum (meet & greet, writing prompts)
- Chasms And Crags: the writing life (share your writing successes & failures, grammar & technique discussions)
- Damage From Hail: suggestions, comments & tech questions
Once you've registered, you can read and post at the Critique Forums. The Critique Forums are:
- The Song of the JubJub: poetry & flash fiction
- What I Tell You Three Times Is True: non-fiction
- Maxim Tremendous: genre fiction
- Ink in Unfailing Supply: mainstream & literary fiction; writing for children
- Dreamy Delirious Delight: book doctor forum (discuss the overarching issues of writing books)
Critique forum threads that have been idle for one year will be cleared. Posts are not retrievable after this, so please make a copy of anything you want to save for future reference. If you would like a thread locked to further posting (e.g. if you have a revised a piece and don't require any further feedback on the posted version), please contact your forum host.
Toasted Cheese claims no rights to anything posted on Toasted Cheese message boards. All rights remain with the author. Toasted Cheese will not reproduce, redistribute or otherwise use anything posted on a Toasted Cheese message board without the permission of the author.
Please polish your work to the best of your ability before posting at Toasted Cheese. We recommend a round with your word processor's spell and/or grammar check at the very least. Also, please ensure your stories have appropriate paragraph breaks, i.e. your whole story should not be one giant paragraph.
Toasted Cheese respects your judgment as to length of posts, however, as a guideline, 3,000 - 4,000 words is a good maximum length for a single post. We also ask that you not post several long pieces simultaneously.
Due to the nature of our audience, and our service provider's terms of service, we ask that posts not exceed what in movie terms would be considered an "R" rating in either sex, violence, or language. If you have something more explicit you'd like critiqued, please feel free to post on the appropriate board explaining what it is, and ask for feedback by e-mail.
Spam and nonsense posts will be deleted. Remember, we're a writing site. Posts should have some coherent connection to writing and/or reading.
Please don't cross-post, i.e. post the same item in multiple threads / at multiple forums. If you're not sure where to post, ask at Just the Place for a Snark. If you post in the "wrong" place, an editor or forum host can move your post for you.
Toasted Cheese welcomes writers at all levels from beginner to pro. We expect, however, that whatever level you're at, you take writing seriously, and give and receive feedback with that in mind. Show your respect of your fellow writers and critiquers by avoiding "Great story! n/t" type critiques or "Boo! Hiss! Your feedback sucks!" type responses.
Please take the time to read our Critiquing Guidelines.
For every story (essay/poem/etc.) you post for feedback at Toasted Cheese, please take the time to critique at least two others. Critiques don't have to be on the board you posted at; feel free to critique something on another board.
Discovery Draft Critique [DDC]: NEW! If you've written a response to a writing prompt or are exploring a new idea but haven't quite worked it into a fully-fledged piece yet, this is the right type of criticism for you. It means you want to know if readers think the idea/concept has potential, and if so, what parts of it show the most promise.
General Critique [GC]: Best type of critique for first drafts and/or beginning writers. It means you want general comments on the piece. Does it make sense to the reader? Did it keep their attention? What did they like/dislike?
Stark Critique [SC]: Best type of critique for second/third drafts and/or more experienced writers. Means you want specific comments on your piece. Some things a critiquer might point out when doing a Stark Critique are: telling rather than showing; "as you know, Bob" dialogue; overuse of character names; shifting PoV; clichés, continuity errors, shifting tense, too much background or description, overuse of passive voice, etc.
Nit-Picky Critique [NPC]: Best type of critique for a final draft. Means you want a line-by-line edit on your piece, looking for any flaw, regardless how minor. Please don't ask for NPC on first drafts.
Posting Revisions/Re-Writes: If you are posting a new version of a piece after receiving feedback, post the new version at the end of the original thread. Please do not edit your original post or start a new thread. Leaving your original post intact and keeping revisions in the same thread allows members who come late to the discussion to follow the evolution of the piece and both comment cogently and benefit from the discussion themselves. In addition, replies show up as new posts, alerting readers that a thread has been updated; edits to posts do not.
Posting Chapters: Separate threads can be started for chapters. Please keep each chapter's revisions to its own thread. Please don't repost the whole story every time you post a new chapter. Readers can refer to the earlier threads if they need a refresher when reading the new chapter. You can include links to earlier chapters at the top of the new chapter to facilitate this.
Forum hosts (moderators) at Toasted Cheese are there to make sure the board is running smoothly. If you have any questions about the board, contact the host(s). They will also participate in posting and critiquing like any other member. Board hosts do not claim to be experts; they are only able to offer their opinion based on their own experience. Board hosts are not expected to critique every piece of writing posted on their board(s).
If you're a regular poster at Toasted Cheese, and have been a member for at least one month, consider volunteering as a host/co-host at your favorite forum. Contact the editors for more details.
- You write and read the pertinent genre, e.g. if you would like to host the poetry forum, you should both write and read poetry.
- You're willing to take on the responsibility of guiding by example, e.g. posing/answering questions, participating in discussions, sharing your work, posting exercises, etc. You should be comfortable giving feedback.
- You're able to post a minimum of once per week. Basically, it should look like the hosts check in on a regular basis. If no one's posted anything for feedback, you can always post an interesting link, a question, an exercise, or even some of your own work.
- We don't expect hosts to respond to every post, however:
- they should respond the first time a member posts on their board;
- they should ensure that those who request feedback receive it (In other words, if no one else has provided feedback, step up! you're the host!).
- your picture and/or bio on the masthead page;
- a TC e-mail address (yourname[at]toasted-cheese.com);
- access to hosts-only forum;
- a line for the volunteer/service section of your c.v.;
- the undying gratitude of the TC editors; and of course,
- that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you do something nice :-)
Important Note: As Forum Hosts are not involved with the editing of the Literary Journal, they remain eligible to enter TC contests.
You can use an IRC program (or client) on your computer to connect to the chat.
To connect to the chat using your own IRC client:
- Download and install an IRC client, if you do not already have one.
The SlashNET page linked above lists some popular clients. Some instant messaging programs such as Pidgin or Trillian also support IRC. If you have never used IRC before, you can find information and advice at ircbeginner.com.
- Connect to one of the SlashNET servers. On most clients the command looks like this:
- Join the writing channel. On most clients the command looks like this:
- If you want to change your chat name, use the /nick command followed by the name you want to use. For example, typing /nick tc-writer will change your chat name to "tc-writer".
- To log out at the end of the chat, type /quit.
If you do not want to install a special program to participate in the chat, there are some Web sites that have built-in clients.
To connect to the chat over the Web:
- Open up www.web-irc.org in your browser.
- Fill in the form as follows:
Nickname the name you want to use for the chat Server irc.slashnet.org Port 6667 Channel #writing Password leave blank
- Click Login. The chat opens in a new window (it may take a few moments).
- To log out at the end of the chat, type /quit then close the window.
Another client can be found here. You can connect to the chat without downloading the program by scrolling down to the section called "Applet Version." Enter irc.slashnet.org for the server and #writing for the channel, then click Connect. It will open up some new windows. When the chatroom window comes up, type /nick name-you-want-to-use and you should be good to go.
If you need assistance, contact Ana.