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NaNoWriMo Codes of Conduct

Effective date: October 1, 2012

The following Codes of Conduct have been created to help you understand what it means to be a member of the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program site. The use of this website is subject to these Codes of Conduct and our Terms and Conditions. They apply in every forum thread, topic, post or comment, every portion of profiles and all private messages (NaNoMail is also known as "PMs" - private messages) exchanged via YWP NaNoMail system.

This guide is designed to help you understand the culture of the site, what's expected of our members, and how to get the most out of the community here.

Your Writing

You’re free to write whatever you want in your novel: any subject, any characters, any rating, and any genre. You are under no obligation to show it to anyone, including us, or even talk about what you’re writing about. This includes content that may not be appropriate for sharing on the YWP website. Only excerpts that are appropriate for all ages may be shared here, but you can write anything you like in your novel.

You’re free to post excerpts of your work during November and beyond, but please remember that your postings, even on your profile page, will appear for all the other writers on the site. Posts also must observe our Terms and Conditions, which prohibit inappropriate content.


Codes of Conduct in the Forums and in NaNoMail

This is a community and relies on all participants to sustain an ideal atmosphere. If you feel that a post in our forums or a message in your inbox has crossed the line or you just want to help us out by flagging something that's in the wrong place, please use the green "Report to moderator" button at the bottom of the post to bring it to the moderator's attention. We can always use the help! You can also send a NaNoMail message to a moderator with the link to the post or NaNoMail in question.

If you are having a problem with another member, please use the contact form to send us an email with as much information as possible about the situation so we can deal with it appropriately.

Here are some guidelines to help make your Forums experience a great one!

R. E. S. P. E. C. T. This is the most important rule of all NaNo-sponsored websites, adult and YWP alike. Everyone here is entitled to your respect, even if you disagree with them or do not like them, and you are entitled to that same respect. Keep this in mind no matter what you're doing here!

Do read stickies and the site FAQs before posting in a forum

Stickies are helpful posts "stuck" at the top of most of our forums. These are sometimes guides to getting the most out of a forum, and can also serve as forum-specific FAQs. When a certain question gets asked repeatedly, we'll often post answers to that question on a sticky at the top of the forum. Not reading them isn't an excuse for not abiding by them! If you think something should be added to the FAQs, please let us know.

Do observe the forum subjects

Since there are so many participants and so many different conversations, we’ve divided the forums up into different lounges. Please pick an appropriate lounge to post in, and only post the same item in one area. Duplicate threads will be deleted. Comments that are posted in the wrong forum may be moved to a place where they'll find better conversation-mates.

Do give your post a great subject line

Try to pull in your prospective conversation-mates or question-answerers by giving your post a great subject line. Tell folks what you’re looking for, what you’re complaining about, or what you want to celebrate, and more people will be sure to read your message.

Do play nice!

We're a diverse community who hold many different beliefs and viewpoints. We may not think what you think, believe what you believe, or see what you see, but you are entitled to respect, as are the members you might disagree with. Be polite in your interactions with other members, both in the forums and in NaNoMail. Please do no attempt to proselytize or preach to other members in an attempt to convince them to agree with your personal beliefs.

If conversations in the forums get heated, take a break. Don’t feel the need to respond immediately. Personal conflicts should not be aired on the forums. The forums are a place for conversations between many different people.

Abusive, hateful, disrespectful, or threatening NaNoMail is also not tolerated.

Sexual content of any kind is never appropriate. If a post is leading in this direction, you must "fade to black" before you get any more graphic than a simple kiss. This includes through NaNoMail.

You may not post any sort of graphic violence directed towards anyone, including yourself. Threats to harm yourself or others will be treated with the utmost concern at all times. This includes any actions taken by characters in our roleplaying forum.

A little conflict is inevitable in the NaNoWriMo forums, but escalating that conflict to the level where it becomes abusive, hateful, disrespectful, or threatening is not okay. In most cases when this happens, the thread will be warned by a moderator. If the conflict continues, the thread may be locked or sequestered (moved out of sight for a while) or in rare cases the offending posts would be deleted so that the valuable conversation can be preserved.

In most circumstances, we'll send a warning to any member found in violation of these conditions. Subsequent violations can result in account termination without warning.

Do help us fight cyberbullying

If you know of someone who is being cyberbullied, are being cyberbullied yourself, or see cyberbullying on our forums, please don't stand by and let it happen! Tell a moderator immediately! We don't want anyone to suffer at the hands of a cyberbully, and no one should have to. We need you to help us with this!

Do read & respond

The best part of the community is the interaction. For every post that you make, you should be reading ten times as many. When we say read, we mean read other responses, not just the initial post. If you regularly find that your threads are ignored, try engaging with others first. People are more likely to engage with you if you step up and talk to them first!

Do ignore cheaters and trolls

Every year, we get dozens of posts accusing others of cheating at NaNoWriMo. Please—don't worry about cheaters. NaNoWriMo is an honor-system challenge; no one is cheating anyone but themselves if they don't write the novel they said they wrote.

If you see a post that you suspect is a troll (i.e. someone posting something deliberately mean just to get a rise out of people), please do not engage them. Just let it go, they'll move along without any feedback.

Do include everyone

Every Wrimo can participate in any thread on these websites unless otherwise directed by moderators or staff of the YWP and National Novel Writing Month. For example: You may not create a thread "For Girls Only" nor for "HP Fans Only." Remember that the best part of a site like this is the interaction you get from many different people, so don't try to exclude certain people from responding, and don't try to tell others to "go away" or stop responding.

Do be aware that these are all-ages forums

Be aware that all YWP forums are all-ages, so we do ask that you maintain a family-friendly tone (no foul language) in all forums. This means no profanity, no graphic violence, sexually explicit, or hateful content. If you have questions about what is and isn’t permitted, just ask a moderator, or use the help forums for trickier questions. Please avoid the use of censored or masked profanity. You may use substitute words like "Oh nuggets!" or whatever nifty saying you can create. You may also say "she cursed" or "he swore" as long as you do not post or imply the actual word.

Do link back when you can

NaNoWriMo has grown mostly through word of mouth. We love it when folks blog about their process or spread the word about the challenge to their friends on other forums. We have participant icons in the Resources section; feel free to use them and even riff on them to create something that fits your own style.

Do keep your signatures and forum images within guidelines.

Signature files in your forums posts may be 500 pixels wide by 100 pixels high, and 30kb or smaller. All the images in your signature combined may not exceed this limit. It's kinder on the eyes of your readers if you avoid flashy moving images or distracting color combinations, and kinder on our webserver bills for you to keep your signatures small.

When posting images in the forum, please keep them to no more than 500 x 300 in size, and please no animated images. 

Do help us in our battle with spam and scams

Because we're such a huge community and operate 24 hours a day, spammers really want to get in and get your eyeballs. If you ever spot a message in the forums that you believe is spam, do not reply to it. Immediately use the "Report to Moderator" button under the post. If you reply to it, the post is bumped to the top of the list in the forums making it more likely that other participants will also click on it. Instead, when enough participants flag it as spam, it will disappear from the forums without a Moderator needing to look at it. Similarly, if you get a message through the NaNoMail system that you regard as spam, do not reply to it but instead alert the site moderator though the contact page form with the name of the user.

Also, please be aware that scammers and other nefarious creatures see writers as juicy prey. Be extremely cautious if you get a private message or email from someone who references seeing some of your work on NaNoWriMo and would like to publish you. Please check out any agent or publishing company completely before entering into any sort of agreement. Remember that money always flows towards the writer. You're the one with the valuable commodity, so be cautious about publishing schemes that involve an outlay of cash from you or obligate you to purchase a certain number of volumes.


Things to Avoid

Don't post anything that violates copyright

Content that violates copyright may be removed at any time. If you have found material on our site that violates your copyright, please contact us immediately with the information and we will give it our full attention.

Don't use inappropriate imagery in user pictures or signatures

Only images considered "safe for all ages" is appropriate for your author picture and signatures. If you upload a picture that contains inappropriate content, we'll remove the picture and send you a warning. If we find you doing it again, we'll terminate your account. This includes hyperlinks to graphic images.

Don't use our site for commercial purposes

Joining with the sole purpose of promoting yourself or business will result in immediate account termination without notice (and a loss of goodwill towards your product or company.)

Don't engage in any kind of contentious debates

This site primarily exists to support writers and their writing needs. As debates in the past have devolved consistently into disrespectful arguments, they are no longer allowed here. We do not allow any YWP participant to debate the validity (or non-validity) of another user's ideals. You are not required to like, agree or support what someone says here. If you are offended by something someone has posted, ignore their post, or use the green "Report to Moderator" if you feel it's a violation of the rules and we'll review it.

Don't share information that can reveal your location


No participant should post their city, town, school, or any other personally identifiable location information on our website. You may post what state, country, or province you live in, but please do not share any detail that reveals where in that state, country, or province you reside. This is for your safety! Only educators may start threads specific to your class or school, so ask your teacher if one is needed.

We have a very large community here, and while we would like to think that all people here are trustworthy and kind, the fact of the matter is that we can’t verify they are who they say they are. Sharing too much personal information can be dangerous! For this reason, sharing personal histories or information about where you live, even through private messages, isn’t safe. You would be surprised at how much you can find out about a person based on the things they say. If you share a town and a school mascot, for example, someone can discover what school you go to!

Be extremely cautious about attempts to contact you outside of this website. Even if you have known someone for a long time, it’s not safe to contact them without your parents’ permission. If someone asks you to contact them off of the NaNoWriMo website, please talk to your parent or guardian and notify a site moderator.

Don't encourage others to engage in illegal activities

This includes "how to get kicked out of -location-" threads, or anything that may result in the encouragement of illegal activities, even in jest. We understand it's fun, but we can't permit folks to suggest ideas on how to break the law!

Don't be disruptive

Any kind of behavior that is just intended to disrupt a conversation, a thread, or a part of our website will be removed. Remember that we're here for you; when you disrupt other people's discussions, you make the experience negative for everyone.

Don't create threads to discuss the actions of the moderators or others

Calling out another participant by creating a thread that points to their wrongdoings is hurtful and disrespectful. Gossip is considered cyberbullying, and will not be tolerated. Please don't ask others to ask you privately by NaNoMail. Gossip hurts others, so don't do it! If you have an issue with a moderator action, then please contact the moderators... your fellow Wrimos can't answer your questions about account actions, and we can't discuss administrative action in public, nor can we discuss actions taken regarding other accounts. It's a privacy matter!  Send us a NaNoMail, or an email, and we'll glad talk about it. But you have to actually talk to us about it! 


In cases of death or sickness

We often feel like the Wrimo family really is our family. However, to protect the privacy of participants, it isn’t safe to talk about these things in the forum. Because of this, we ask that only moderators share when a participant has died or has an illness that needs support. If you would like the community to know about an illness or a death, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss the matter. For the protection of our community, we will need to speak to a parent and receive verifiable information about the situation.

Once we have verified that there is indeed a situation that the community needs to know about, we will create a thread dedicated to that discussion where others may talk about and share information as is appropriate and safe to do so. Any unverified threads created to share this information will be removed.

If you find content that is a violation of any of these rules, or the Terms and Conditions


To report forum content: To report any forum post, topic, or comment, click the green "Report to Moderator" link at the bottom of the post, thread or comment you believe needs attention. Do not reply to any post or comment that offends you or to trolls who are out to cause trouble on the forums.

To report NaNoMails: If you receive a NaNoMail you have received that violates our standards, do not reply or delete it. Send a NaNoMail to any forums moderator or use our contact form and tell us about the NaNoMail issue. You can forward a copy of the NaNoMail by clicking REPLY, deleting the original sender's name, and replacing it with a moderator's username.

To report a profile or novel excerpt: Copy the link address of the profile and send an email using our contact form.


In Conclusion

We do not ever discuss who reported something, nor can we explain the actions we may or may not have taken regarding a given issue. When we receive a report, we investigate it and if need be, take action. The moderators will never share any information about you, your reports, NanoMails, or any other personal data with other participants here.

We have a unique and amazing community at that's unlike any other on the web. The humor, compassion, and kindness on the site are what make it such a great place to be every year.

Maintaining that convivial atmosphere depends on the behavior and attitude of our members. If you cannot abide by the above guidelines, this is not the right site for you.

If you ever have any questions or comments on how we can improve our forums, we'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to drop us a line through our contact forms.

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