Hi all. This is HtBlack, writing on behalf of theWrittenRevolution, its admins, and probably a whole lot of other people from the whole of deviantART.
(if you wish to share this article with the community, I definitely suggest you to do so. The more people see it the better, as this not only applies to our group I'm sure)
Just to explain for those who don't know this, or come upon this journal by chance, our group is a critique group that has a few essential rules:
- Prose and Poetry gallery have a 1500 word limit, Longer Works folder 3000
- To submit, you must write some feedback questions in the Artist's Comments of the deviation you want to submit
- You must show us that you critiqued one other work in our gallery in the last week
- We unfortunately only accept deviations in English, but never any with excessively mature content.
- We don't accept chapters of stories, or fanfiction. Only your original work, only standalone pieces.
As a side note, we are generally less likely to accept deviations featured in tons of groups already.
Doesn't sound too complicated, right? Standalone, original pieces in English, that don't exceed 1500 or 3000 words, to have them accepted you only need to specify what you need help with and help someone else with a critique.
Please take the time to click on this LINK and on the right, below the About Us widget, I inserted the widget of our Weekly Statistics.
You can see that of 9 gallery items, only one has been accepted and eight denied.
Let me get you a series of word-for-word quotes of people who have been rejected because they didn't fit one or more of our said rules:
"In other words, you don't like the content. All you have to do is say so. No need to sugar-coat."
"If you wanna reject my piece that's fine, but if that's the best reason you can give for doing so if rather not be given a reason at all."
"Like I said, I don't care if you reject my stuff or not. But it'd that's the reason you're gonna give me turn don't give me one. I don't check whether or not my stuff gets accepted to grips so I won't notice either way."
"I do realize this and was contacted yesterday about this. (note from me: this deviant was only contacted with one message, not multiple ones. We don't harass people.) I don't have what you are requesting so I guess you will just have to decline my piece. Sorry for the inconvenience."
"Dang it! I'm not even sure what you are declining. But alright, maybe some other time with a different Deviant.(note from me: in our declining message we specify the reason why the pieces are declined. Also interesting hint at how "maybe some other admin will vote it through next time")"
"Oh. well seeing as this is likely to happen to me again and again i think im fine with not submitting anything.
I mean no disrespect but this isn't the first time i read something like this."
Now... all these messages are a small portion of all the submissions we get. For most of the submissions that get declined, the deviants don't even reply to our message explaining what is wrong with their submission and why it's being declined. They just either withdraw, or let it be declined. There is also a lovely portion of people who either reply saying that they understand and the group just isn't for them, and others who reply saying they will comply with the rules and so, we can accept their submission after a few hours when they have fixed it.
(Oh, and let me take a moment here to bow down until my nose crashes on the floor to those members of ours who do know our rules and comply with them. I adore all of you.)
Don't you think all those mistakes, all those messages, all the wasted time would have been avoided if all these people had simply cared to READ OUR RULES?
They might have, truthfully. If deviants knew what the group is about, when they join, and we send to every new member a profile comment with a link to our rules so they SHOULD, they simply wouldn't join it if they didn't like it.
Deviants in general need to learn to respect groups and their admins more.
As I said to one of those deviants that I quoted above, Groups are not a public toy, they are a private society that you CHOOSE to be a part of when you decide to join.When you attend a course at school you follow their rules, right? As when you practice a sport you learn and play by their rules.
So why is it okay to behave any differently on deviantART? Why do so many people disrespect those that volunteer their time here by saying their rules are lame, when they implicitly agreed to those rules when they joined a community that abides by said rules?
Well, there's a lot of reasons. One of those is that they didn't even care to spend the five minutes necessary to read the Group Rules before asking to join, nor did they care to read them after we linked those rules to them.
There is one big problem around all this.
Lots of deviants aren't on deviantART to improve their art, not exactly. As they define it, they are here to "get exposure" and "share their art".
Don't get me wrong: that's totally okay. In a way, it's what I do with my photography. I submit it because I want to share it, but I don't actively go around looking for critique on my shooting or post-processing techniques (at least not yet).
But it's not okay to assume every group works like you think it does and then be rude when you find out that it's not and people are instructing you on it. Trying to be in the right when you're in the wrong is, undeniably, WRONG.
And that's why we're changing our rules
We'll start doing things backwards.
And it's not (only) for us admins, it's for members too. Lots of people join without knowing what our group is about (and even though having more members is nice, we don't care about numbers), and if they knew what the group is about BEFORE joining, lots of them wouldn't join to begin with!
So this is what will happen from now on:
When every new deviant requests to join, we will send them this message:
Hi, and thank you for requesting to join theWrittenRevolution! Before accepting your request to join our group, please take the time to read our rules and understand our mission.
As a group focusing on critique, we know that we are not the right fit for every dA writer's individual goals, and would not be at all insulted if - upon reading our rules - you realize that the group is not right for you. Please comment and we will remove your request and wish you the best of luck in achieving your literary goals.
However, if this still seems like the group for you, please comment to inform us and we'll gladly accept your join request and be the most excited to have you with us as part of the revolution!
We will not decline the join request until a reply is received, or until the deviant has come online numerous times, has been active on dA, but hasn't replied to us. We will equate that with a lack of interest in the group, and so the request will then either be declined or expire.
theWrittenRevolution is an amazing group. Our members are great. But, to put it simply, we don't want people who don't want us to begin with. It's as simple as it is.
So for all who want to improve their writing and are ready to follow a few rules (mainly helping someone else before yourself), welcome to the revolution! To those of you who only wish to share your art - maybe look into our affiliates, our Lit News article might help you; I'm sure somewhere there's the right group waiting for you. (: