Do you have questions? We have answers!
Who runs this place?
You do. You just may not realize it right away.
This site is managed by Susan Reid, the executive director; Anna Forsythe, publications coordinator; Shannon Ripp, YWP intern; and William Anderson, YWP mentor/administrator. Questions or comments? Contact Reid by private message on the site or email [email protected]. (Geoffrey Gevalt (gg) founded YWP in 2006; he still hangs out on this site from time to time; his work can be found at geoffreygevalt.com.)
HOWEVER, YWP depends on all users to help maintain this site as a community of respect and creativity. We depend on all of you to post work that you like and -- even if it's edgy or addresses difficult issues -- shows respect for others. And we do have this:
EDITORIAL DISCRETION POLICY: Young Writers Project strives to create a safe, respectful, positive space for young writers and artists. We encourage free expression, however as a matter of policy and common publishing practice, we exercise editorial discretion and reserve the right to remove from the website any material we deem inappropriate. Such material would include but not be limited to content that encourages, glorifies or condones intolerance, violence, self-harm and cruelty.
We also rely heavily on Community Leaders, longtime users from all over who have been given the power to help select work for publication, to create challenges and resources, to help choose work for Recommended, Daily Reads and for Publication.
So if I become a Community Leader how does it work, how can I have an impact?
You are able to edit someone else's piece in a literal sense -- you will now see the EDIT tab above their post just like you see it on your own post. We ask that you not actually edit the body of the post BUT instead, choose "Daily Read" and/or "EDITORS' ROOM" if you think a piece deserves to be chosen for special display on the front page as a Daily Read and/or published in one of YWP's publications or partners' media.
As a Community Leader, you can also create a CHALLENGE, that is an idea that sparks writing. Under the CREATE menu, you'll see that you now have the option to Create a Challenge and you'll find the form pretty much the same as the Blog create form. THE ONLY DIFFERENCES are two additional fields (there are a few other fields, too, but don't worry about them): DATE: (Click in the box to pull up calendar and choose that day's date or a date in the near future) and STATUS (Choose "LIVE"). We also encourage you to add some visual element, a photo or piece of art (or audio) in the ADD MEDIA section. When you save it, it will go in the mix as daily challenges!
How can I be chosen as a Community Leader?
YWP chooses leaders by observation of a user's consistent energy, participation, commenting and growth. We also look at your community points (see below). If you think you should be considered, and have been missed somehow, let us know! Send Reid a private message!
What are Community Points?
Community points are awarded every time you post something, comment on someone else's work, add images or audio to your posts or invite a friend to join AND if that friend joins the community. As you gain more community points, you are given more privileges on the site and if you become a Community Leader you can help select work for publication, create resources and challenges, recommend and/or choose work as Daily Reads and participate more closely in making changes on this site.
The role progression based on points is NEW WRITER >> COMMUNITY BUILDER >> SENIOR WRITER >> COMMUNITY LEADER
There is no set number of points that automatically earns you a new role. The decision is made with staff, volunteers and Community Leaders. We are looking for overall engagement with the community as the driving force.
What happens when I graduate from high school?
STAY! Or at least we hope you will stay on the site, sharing work, giving people comments, sharing your audio and images. We ask only that you contact us and we will make you a MENTOR. This will allow you to work more closely with users. Some MENTORS also work for us -- in person or virtually -- as Interns or as paid Fellows and sometimes for college credit.
How does my work get chosen to be featured or published elsewhere?
YWP staff, along with Community Leaders, mentors and volunteers -- read just about every single post on this site. That's a lot. We are looking for posts that have energy and are "fresh" -- meaning they have a new idea or perspective or approach. We don't like clichés. We are looking, too, for a strong voice, that is, that you are confident and strong in your writing, that you understand what it is you are trying to say. We are looking for clarity and power. We are looking for posts that move us, make us think, make us wonder.
For all users we highlight work here:
- Daily Read: Each day we highlight one or two new pieces on the front of this site. We also feature a new photo or piece of art at the top.
- The Voice: Our premiere digital magazine.
- Annual Anthology! A beautiful printed book of the best writing, art and photography -- every year! Get your copy of the latest here!
How can I get my work selected?
Keep trying. And if you've got something you really like, contact Susan Reid.
How do my photos or art get selected for front page or for publication?
The same process that is involved in the selection of written work for publication or Daily Read is involved in selection of photos and art for publication and feature on the front page. We feature a NEW piece of art and a NEW Daily Read on the front page of the site every weekday. NOTE: If you have a photo or a piece of scanned art you think is really good, ALSO upload a high-resolution copy via the ATTACHMENT field near the bottom of your blog form.
How do I upload photos to my post?
First a word on photos. This is a community that emphasizes words. HOWEVER, we love images. And images often can add a new dimension to your post. So by all means share a photo that you think works with your piece and you don't have to be too literal about it. Check out The Voice for examples of photos and words that pair well.
There are two ways to upload photos:
- UPLOAD via ADD MEDIA field. In your blog create form, click ADD MEDIA >> Image >> Add new file and click choose file for a single photo on your computer and click "Upload." If you have more than one photo -- which automatically creates a slideshow -- use ADVANCED UPLOAD to drag and drop multiple photos to upload. Make sure you choose the "visual" Category in your blog form. (You can actually choose three Categories by right clicking your mouse.)
- NOTE: When you use this option, the photo is scaled to a 4:3 ratio (horizontal/vertical) so if you are uploading a vertical photo, it will be cropped. You can offset this by editing the photo and expanding the "canvas" around the photo to re-proportion the image to a 4/3 ratio. The image will be smaller but it will not be cropped.
- NOTE: Again, when you use this option and upload multiple photos, they will automatically be turned into a SLIDE SHOW.
- UPLOAD IN BODY. In your blog "body" box, put your cursor where you'd like the photo to appear; click the
- NOTE: This method will scale your photo to fit the webframe, regardless of device used, but the photo will not be cropped. This is the best method for vertical photos.
- NOTE: This is also a good method for including a photo within a text. To further edit your photo so it appears the way you want, RIGHT CLICK the photo after it has been placed in the body of your post and click "IMAGE PROPERTIES" ... There you can alter the size, add a border (usually "1), give it Hspace ("10" is best) or Vspace (leave blank is best) and Alignment (usually "left)).
Why are my photos cropped at the top and bottom?
The photos that you upload are set to automatically scale or crop to 1170 (pixels) x 768 which is, approximately, a 4:3 ratio which is the customary ratio for horizontal photos. If your camera's ratio is different, say you take a square photo, then your photo will be cropped accordingly. And if your photo is vertical it will crop the top and bottom. SUGGESTION ON VERTICAL PHOTOS: As we mentioned above, If you have a single vertical photo that you want to include with your piece at the top or bottom, we suggest that you use the method above to UPLOAD IN BODY.
- There is also a converse situation where you may have a cropped photo that has a wide horizontal dimension but a very narrow vertical dimension, say something with a 4:1 ratio, almost like a banner photo. If you upload via the UPLOAD IN BODY method, this ratio also will be honored.
How do I embed video on my post?
Your video has to be published on a video sharing site such as vimeo.com or youtube.com. Go to the video and in the "Share" section, select embed, and copy the code.
Return to your post and in the ADD MEDIA section, scoll down to MEDIA EMBED and past your code in there. Put some text in the "Body" of your post so people know something about the video.
How do I embed a Facebook video to my post?
First, go to the video you want to show. You can do this with LIVE video, too. Copy the url of the actual video.
Then go here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/embedded-video-player#confi...
Follow the instructions and paste your url into the proper spot.
You will see TWO blocks of code. Copy the first, return to your post and go to ADD MEDIA>> MEDIA EMBED and paste in the code.
Return to the Facebook page above. Now copy the second block of code.
Return to your post, to the Media Embed block and paste the additional code immediately below the other code
Put text in the body to explain.
How do I add audio to my post?
Again, we feel compelled to encourage you to add audio to your post. Even if it is simply you narrating your post, that is giving it a somewhat dramatic reading to the point that it doesn't sound like your reading, that greatly enhances the reader/listener's expeirence with your creation. Yes, we know that a lot of you don't like the sound of your recorded voice. HINT: A recording of your voice ALWAYS sounds different than what you hear when you speak because, well, physics. But don't worry. Adapt. Embrace. BECAUSE, if you add sound to your audio you not only enhance the reader's experience BUT YOU ALSO enhance your chances of having your piece selected for external publication. A lot of our partners LOVE audio. So do we.
There are two ways to add audio to your post:
- UPLOAD a .mp3, .m4a, .wav, .webm file directly to your post in your "Create Blog" form: Click ADD MEDIA >> Audio Upload field. You can upload more than one file if you wish and you can use "Advanded Upload" to drop and drag your files (after you move them, click "start upload." MAKE SURE YOU HAVE CHOSEN the "audio" Category just below the title. And make sure to SAVE at the bottom. This method produces a small, circular player that will appear at the top of your post below the Title.
- RECORD directly onto your post. Now this takes some nerve, BUT it's an easy way to do it. Just go to ADD MEDIA >> Audio Record and you will see a black box with a green "Start" button. You will then be asked (only once) to grant access to your computer's mic and camera. SAY YES. You will then see a multicolor sound indicator that moves as you make a sound. IF YOU DO NOT SEE THIS, check your mic and audio settings until you do. IF YOU DO SEE THIS then click the red "Record" button, speak normally (narrate your post, tell a story, whatever) and when you are done, click the STOP button. Wait a moment for the player to appear and DO NOT PLAY, just make sure you've chosen the "audio" Category and scroll down to the bottom and SAVE.
- NOTE: If you don't like the recording you did, simply click EDIT, go back to Audio Record and do it again; your second recording will erase the first. IF YOU DO NOT like any of what you've done, there is a little quirk that we're trying to fix but just go back and repeat the steps, but only turn the "record" on for a second and immediately stop and then SAVE. You will have a nice recording of 1-second of nothing. (We are trying to find a fix, as I said.)
- NOTE: Please do NOT upload audio within the body of your post. We have discovered that this causes a conflict which is too complicated to explain, but the net effect is that sometimes it hides the audio of the post that follows when you, say, click the "audio" category sort.
SPROUTS: You may have noticed SPROUT at the bottom of each post (if you're logged in). This is to help you respond to a piece, when you read something and you are compelled to react with your own story or poem or essay or photo... This is the highest form of complement you can make to a post (even more than sharing it on social media) because you have engaged so deeply, you want to express something yourself. How does it work?
Simply click the "SPROUT" button and you will see a "Create a Blog Post" form pop up. Write away and save. The site has magically tied your story with the one you sprouted from -- there will be a link in your story to the piece you sprouted from and a short summary and link of your story will be shown at the bottom of the original. Cool. Do it. It's fun.