Codes of Conduct

We want everyone who uses NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program website to have a safe, fun experience. Our goal is to nurture a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community of young people who care about and trust each other, are curious about the world around them, and are dedicated to growing as writers. Below are some guidelines we have in place in order to do that.

By agreeing to our Terms & Conditions, you also agree to these guidelines. They apply specifically to forum posts, classroom posts, and profile information.

Be kind.

Help others. Be encouraging and supportive. Remember that there are real people on the other side of the usernames, and strive to treat them the way you’d like to be treated.

Any interaction or conflict that becomes abusive, mean-spirited, or threatening is unacceptable and will result in immediate moderator action.

Be inclusive.

We celebrate and welcome diversity of all races, genders, sexualities, abilities, religions, and countries of origin.

Hate speech is not allowed. If any post contributes to the marginalization of another writer, whether through racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, ageist, fatphobic, classist, or other bigoted language, we will remove that post and/or poster. Purposeful and/or violent hate speech will result in an immediate ban from our website and forums.

Please remain open to education. If you accidentally say something hurtful, fighting the instinct to be defensive often helps others respond with constructive feedback.

Consider adding your pronouns to your user profile. This will help others know how to correctly address you, and will also make sharing pronouns feel easier for everybody! (Another option, suggested by a YWP forums member: add your pronouns flower.)

The YWP website is the perfect place to get to know all kinds of people. Whether you're involved in a role-play or a brainstorming session, don’t exclude anyone who is acting in line with these guidelines.

You can view NaNoWriMo's values and action on diversity, equity, and inclusion here.

Be generous and engage in good faith when you can. 

And if you can't, ask for others (including moderators) to step in so you can step back. 

This is a big, diverse community. We have different ideas and different lives. Don’t do things with the intent of hurting other people. That said, disagreement is sometimes necessary to learn and grow as a community. When disagreeing with others you believe are acting in good faith, focus on addressing ideas instead of people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling

  • Attacking a person (or something they said in the past) instead of the content of their current argument

  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content

  • Knee-jerk contradiction

If you suspect that another person in our community is engaging in bad faith (by trolling, sea-lioning, or otherwise engaging without consideration of other people's humanity and without the intention to grow themselves or our community), please flag their posts and/or call in moderators or other staff as needed.

Take a break when you need to. If conversations get heated, please take a break before making your next response. Don’t feel the need to respond immediately.

Ignore trolls. If you see a forums post that you suspect is a troll (i.e. someone posting something deliberately mean just to get a rise out of people), please flag it and ignore them.

Keep it clean.

Don’t post things that you wouldn’t want your parents or teachers to see, including offensive language, adult content, or criminal topics. This includes links to other websites that feature stuff like this.

Avoid discussions of violence, including graphic descriptions of self-harm and imaginary violence to others.

You can write whatever you like in your novels, since you are the only one who can see them (in addition to your teacher if you're in a virtual classroom). But, if you decide to share them in any way, you'll probably have to edit them so they're appropriate for your audience. 

Keep it legal.

Only post something if you know you have the right to do so. If it’s not yours, don’t post it! This includes pictures, writing, songs, etc. Only share your own writing and content. If you do have permission, make sure you include credit.

No discussion of illegal activity, including drugs and/or alcohol, will be allowed, even jokingly. Don’t encourage anyone to do anything that’s illegal.

Stay safe.

Don’t share specific, personal information. This includes your exact location, addresses, phone numbers, full names, etc. In general, it's best not to get more specific than states or provinces.

Never give your password to anyone. Account sharing is not allowed. Accounts are free, so if a friend wants to use the YWP site, they’ll need to use their own account to do so!

Not everything people share online with be truthful. Keep your brain engaged, and be smart about what you read.

How to Report

Forum Posts

To report a forum post that you believe is in violation of our Codes of Conduct, click the flag icon in the bottom right of the post container. This will allow you to report it, plus tell us why you think it’s problematic. Our moderators look at flagged posts several times a day and will quickly address the issue.

Classroom Posts

To report a classroom post that you believe is in violation of our Codes of Conduct, alert your classroom’s educator via direct message. Click their avatar in the “Direct Messages” panel, and copy and paste the entire post so they can see it.

Educators take responsibility for the posts in their classrooms, but can also ask moderators for help.


To report a profile that you believe is in violation of the codes of our Codes of Conduct, email a moderator or message them using the Message a Mod feature on the Dashboard. Include the username associated with the profile, and copy and paste the text so we can review it.

Moderators will edit or remove any post or profile that violates the guidelines above. Continued violation will result in a block from forums and/or a deletion of your YWP website account.

We welcome questions about these guidelines, questions about how we moderate, questions about specific moderation actions, and suggestions for the group itself (including possible policies and suggestions about how we respond to problematic posts). Please email moderators at or use the Message a Moderator feature on your Dashboard to talk to us! We’re here to help.