Posting Guidelines

Toasted Cheese Forums

About the Forums | Content of Posts | Critiquing | Forum Hosts


About the Forums

The GENERAL FORUMS at Toasted Cheese are open to the public. You do not have to register to post at these forums.

  • Just The Place For A Snark: General Discussion Forum. Introduce yourself here. At JTPfaS, you’ll also find the Sunday Writing Prompts, Word of the Week, and Friday FUM threads.
  • Chasms And Crags: Writing Life Forum. Talk about writing with other writers. Drop in and tell us what you’re working on in the Daily Writing Thread.
  • Candle-Ends: Reviews Forum. Talk to our reviews editor, harpspeed, about submitting or requesting a book review.
  • Damage From Hail: Tech Questions. Is something not working right? Let our tech expert, Bellman, know about it here.

The CRITIQUE FORUMS are for registered members only. To read or post at the critique forums, you must first join Toasted Cheese. (Our Privacy Policy.) If you’re having trouble registering, contact The Bellman or post at Damage from Hail.

We require membership to access the critique forums because we want the TC community to feel comfortable posting works-in-progress without the concern that anyone will view these pieces as “published.”

  • The Song of the JubJub: Writing exercises, general big-picture and gentle critiques, and exploratory draft discussions.
  • What I Tell You Three Times Is True: In-depth constructive critiques and story doctoring, focusing on finding and fixing story issues. If you receive a critique, you must give a critique.

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 a forum host.

Toasted Cheese claims no rights to anything posted on a critique forum. All rights remain with the author. Toasted Cheese will not reproduce, redistribute or otherwise use anything posted on a critique forum without the permission of the author.



Content of Posts

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, keep in mind shorter posts are more likely to get responses. 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 forum 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.



Critiquing

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.

If you receive a critique, you must give a critique. Better yet, as soon as you post something for feedback, find another piece to critique right away. Keep in mind people will be more likely to give you a critique if they see you participating, so don’t hesitate to give feedback and join (or start) a general writing discussion.

When posting a piece for critique, please assist your critiquers by noting what type of critique you’re looking for. Include one of the following codes in your subject line:

  • Discovery Draft Critique [DDC]: For responses to writing prompts/exercises and/or unfinished pieces. DDC means you want to know whether readers think the idea/concept has potential, and if so, what parts of it show the most promise.
  • Gentle Critique [GC]: For first drafts and/or beginning writers. GC means you want gentle, big-picture feedback on your piece. Does it make sense to the reader? Did it keep their attention? What did they like/dislike?
  • Stark Critique [SC]: For mid-process drafts and/or more experienced writers. SC means you want specific comments on your piece, e.g. 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]: For final drafts only. You’ve edited and polished your piece to perfection and want a second set of eyes to look it over before you start submitting it. NPC means you want a line edit on your piece, looking for any flaw, regardless how minor.

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

Forum hosts (moderators) at Toasted Cheese are there to make sure the forum is running smoothly. If you have any questions about the forum, contact the host(s). They will also participate in posting and critiquing like any other member. Forum hosts do not claim to be experts; they are only able to offer their opinion based on their own experience. Forum hosts are not expected to critique every piece of writing posted on their forum(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.

Qualifications:

  • 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 forum;
    • they should ensure that those who request feedback receive it, either by providing it themselves or encouraging others to do so.

Perks:

  • 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.

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