[Sticky] WABD future
let's see what you decide, your right your choice - you write the end. I understand. I just won't be among the new members of a new start. I managed to accept the idea of write and be damned as a name and I certainly have no problem as ukauthors 2 if you continue with this site as it is, no deleting no starting from scratch again. I give up after 15 years if you do. Thanks for your efforts all this time.
took me four years a website owner and fifteen as a member. *goes off muttering*...
I plead not ordinary
What a strange effect of going from a perfectly good dynamic creative writing website whose prime emphasis quite sensibly is on submitting work, poems and limited-length prose, to a dull forum-based and focused social meeting place?
Suddenly, old site members long absent resurrect themselves, and ever-active forum-only members have a 'linear' field day able to continue with their 'musical clue games', honour us with their choice of personally-loved videos, get the chance to re-introduce themselves, and tell us all about their literary talents and successes!
All this would be acceptable if they contributed it together with some submitted work!
Then we get the laughable excuse for not contributing any prose due to the fact that on visiting the site there was too much poetry submitted! Presumably, if we follow that reasoning, most of the returning prose writers experienceed the same situation and reacted in the same way! Hence, the dour shortage! Pathetic!
If you look at the statistics of prose presented since WABD started in Feb. 2016, there is quite a lot from that group, even then, from a faithful few, and unfortunately often receiving very little acknowledgement, help, and encouragement, if the comments received on their work by other prose writers are anything to go by.
The fact is the site would probably have folded up, like many other writing sites in recent years, if it hadn't been for the few, perhaps twenty-five, dedicated poets and creative writers, who have remained active since its conception. Some have regularly contributed, others intermittently, even while battling with personal problems and other commitments that encroach on their time, strengths, and resources. Look at the current contributions, or back through them, and you'll see who they are.
Some pompous, self-righteous types blame their lack of interest on the 'low quality of the work', which is rediculous when creative writing has so many facets and personal styles, likes and dislikes, and levels of expression, ability to get experiences and emotions into words, and grammatical competence. A lot are happy with their efforts, others start earnestly and improve on the way as they get encouragement and help from the well-meaning critique of their contemporaries.
If anybody is put off from becoming an active member or contributing to discussions by subject matter or content, by expressions and opinions offered in creative work that is not directly personally abusive, then the lack of backbone or objectivity must be ignored if creative and inspired writing is to have any value and meaning?
Long live WABD or UKAuthors 2.0 as it is now known! (Sneaks out stage left!)
"Suddenly, old site members long absent resurrect themselves..."
Well, speaking for myself, it's been more a case of lurking than absence and the reasons (not excuses) for not posting stories are two-fold:
1) As I pointed out in my previous post, I was told that work appearing on a publicly-accessible forum was considered to have been (self-)published and would therefore not be considered for publication elsewhere (magazines, anthologies, e-zines);
2) I was one of a number of prose writers who became somewhat disillusioned with the situation that developed several years ago on UKA, whereby prose submissions - despite having been kept to 2,500 words or fewer - were being largely ignored. I don't just mean 'not receiving comments'; they were not receiving many reads. Certainly nowhere near as many as had previously been the case. On a couple of occasions when the topic came up, the general level of response was 'Try keeping it to flash [fiction]', which is certainly a format that requires great discipline and is therefore good practice, but doesn't suit every (or most) story/idea.
None of which is to lay blame at the feet of the poets or readers of it. It simply points out that UKA was no longer meeting the needs of a significant number of prose writers. At that point you have a choice: keep on doing the same thing in the hope of change (the definition of insanity, apparently), or go on your merry way. Many chose the latter - thereby exacerbating, not creating, the core problem - and have never looked back. I was one of those who did keep looking back, mainly because for a relatively long period (October 2003 to, roughly, mid-2006) UKA worked brilliantly for me. Not only was it a showcase where my work was actually getting read, but the comments - and even the old star ratings - offered plenty of encouragement and mostly-on-point advice and it provided a creative spur to get something knocked out and into some kind of shape for the next subs date. Pretty soon, I noticed every first draft was a bit better and cleaner than the ones before, and the polishing tools became more numerous and better honed thanks to commenters passing on their experience and know-how. (So yes, I agree with the point that a lack of interest due to "the low quality of the work" is ridiculous. It treats UKA/WABD as a electronic publishing platform 'proper' rather than an online writers' workshop, which is what I always thought of it as.)
The mood of the membership changed, though: I remember the seemingly endless debate surrounding comments being made on work submitted: to crit or not to crit? That was the question. But for me, the whole point of UKA was to receive criticism as well as plaudits and use them both as a means to improve, yet there seemed to be a move towards no-critting that made me wonder what was the point?
So yes, I became inactive and much less visible on the forums. In the wake of the advice I received I even pulled all my work from the site. But none of that meant I abandoned UKA, nor does it mean I've not read submitted pieces in exactly the same way as I did in my visible/active period. Perhaps I'm not alone in that?
Thanks for supplying elucidation to some points mentioned and contributing to the general discussion. I too pulled all my work from the 2003 - 2006 years, but only due to a dispute concerning the security problems I suffered by the change of commenting on UKAuthors by the addition of the multi-social media DISQUS programme, and heated arguments that evolved from that move. The many internal rows and disputes between members, like the ones you mentioned re. critique and workshop levels, have doubtlessly caused some members to shy away, but, I think the main problem of loss of interest came from the wish to start own websites and the attraction and fashion of joining other social-interaction media like Facebook. I suppose this really defined the reasons why people want to express themselves in writing, some mainly want social interaction, and so were then easily attracted elsewhere, others wanted to share some of the things that inspire, profoundly emotionally move, awaken feelings of great common interest, or simply entertain them, and think that the literary way best serves this purpose, and were less seduced away by latest fads and fashions.
It's good to know that some of the older, original members, many very talented, may be lurking in the background, even regularly reading submissions, but, have not felt the urge to actually return and be active contributors themselves...yet!
I've got a lot going on in my life and don't have the time or (just yet) the inclination to write anything new. I've still got a novel to complete and lot of my old stories are being edited when I have the opportunity. Almost all of these originated from UKA submissions and many were bent into a correct shape by critique from fellow members. I like to think I've done my fair share of commenting on other writers' work in the past as well. Right now, I'm happy to keep my presence here on a mainly social level and don't feel the need to apologise to anyone for that. 🙂
Well don't then - no one's asking you to? Enjoy the forum site, it's right down your street and will meet all your needs. It does look like it will be the continuing successor to this intermediate site. I hope it thrives for your social activities, as you say, you've done your share of active critique and are now enjoying your own successes. Good luck with future publishing!
Hold fire folks!
WABD/UKA might not be a lost cause just yet!
We are still considering what to do. There's a lot of work been put into this version of UKA since we moved from our old system. It's still a work in progress and perhaps we need more time to iron out the problems and adjust things so we can get it running a bit closer to OLD UKA's homely, friendly little writers' community.
We are going to see how things go. I'm going to attempt to make the site like OLD UKA and Andrea is learning the admin backend so she can run things the OLD UKA way!
I think we might also return to the original ukauthors.com domain home and name.
Also, kats, I've just looked and you have two submissions in draft and you are currently editing one so I guess that means you have successfully logged in and found your work?
Note: It also says you are online on these forums so yes, you are logged in.
NOTE: It might be best to delete your cookies and history for UKA & WABD websites as they might be causing conflicts due to the domain changes (this applies to ALL users).