Black 540 Writers Community logo. Three black circles, each with a number 5, 4, 0

540 Writers Community Guidelines

Blue-haired smiling gal (Becky Blue) points at the reader. Text: 540 Writers Community. Free, stellar education accessible to every writer. If you're reading this, WELCOME! So happy you're with us.

So excited you’re here!

We heard you’re awesome.
Can’t wait to get to know you.

Please read—or at least skim—the following community guidelines.

Becky Blue

Instead of listing a bunch of “don’ts,” we’d like to talk about what 540 members DO.

1. Keep it Clean

(PG or G). Writing within the community may not include foul language, blasphemy, or explicit descriptions of sex/violence. We reserve the right to remove content from our community spaces if necessary.

2. Always Extend Grace

Look for ways to extend assistance, patience, and grace to individuals left behind, overlooked, or underserved by society. 540 members are expected to encourage and embrace those with differing abilities, treat others the way we’d hope to be treated in a similar situation, and go out of the way for those who need a little extra help. 

3. Communicate Kindness

Healthy debate about differing opinions is fine, as long as words remain kind. Translation: if you can’t say something nice, take a break from talking/typing.

4. Respect Privacy

Finding your people engenders trust, and sometimes members share sensitive, private, or difficult information. What’s shared in 540 stays in 540. Be a trustworthy friend. And remember, snitches get stitch—oh, wait, sorry, we can’t finish that statement, as it’s outside the “kindness” guideline.

5. Stick to Writing-related/Writing-adjacent Material

Keep 540 communications writing-related or writing-adjacent (e.g., grammar, words, communication tips, things you’ve learned in the writing/publishing process, questions about hardware or software, requests for advice/assistance). Feel free to post funny or helpful writing-related memes, articles, etc.

We DO love writing buddies. Pics of your animals assisting you in the writing process are always welcome. 

Picture of Ringo the cat asleep on a pad of paper, apparently holding a pen, with "Once upon a time . . ." written on the pad.

6. Break the Rules (Sometimes)

We include “Break the Rules” posts where interested members MAY self-promote or post websites, podcasts, links, etc., because it’s fun to support each other. You may post whatever you like in THAT post/location as long as you own the material (or give adequate attribution) and as long as it fits the 540 rules/guidelines. We can’t wait to see what you create.

7. Embody Community

Be kind. Encourage others to write. Celebrate the success of other members. Be friendly. Give more than you take. Give grace and be patient when necessary. Be kind, kind, kind. (Some things bear repeating.)

Although we like to keep things positive around here, we have three no-nos.

1. No (as in ZERO) Politics

And we mean zero. We love you regardless of your political stance, but we don’t want to hear about it. Political-view sharing is best done over Thanksgiving dinner with your family (extra points if you start a food fight).

2. No Self-promotion or Spam

Not sure what this means? Check out these examples:

  • Your book is coming out and you need help. You may add a post stating you have a book release and you’re looking for volunteers to be part of your launch team, be beta readers, whatever. Ask interested parties to reach out to you directly or respond in comments. You may post an image of your cover but you may not post links to sell your book. 
  • FREE class or conference. Please reach out to an admin for permission to post about it (we’ll say yes to anything free, but if you don’t get prior approval, we’ll remove the post). 
  • NOT FREE class or conference but you’re willing to provide scholarships or a significant discount for 540 members. Please reach out to an admin to confirm it’s okay to post. Posts without approval will be removed. 
  • You’re willing to be a beta reader or can provide free editing services. Absolutely post about it. 
  • You need help with a specific issue or need writing-related/writing-adjacent advice. Absolutely post about it. 
  • You found a helpful article about writing. Absolutely share it. 
  • If you’d like to post about something and you aren’t sure it’s allowed, send a quick message to an admin. 

3. No Spam or Harassment

Unsolicited/unwanted/inappropriate contact is not okay, and harassment will not be tolerated.

In case anyone needs us to break it down, 540 Writers Community members will not: post unrelated content, be unkind, stalk/bug other members, break confidence (for instance, repeating or reposting private discussions), self-promote or spam within the group, post about paid services without permission, go on a political rant, or otherwise be a jerk. Accidents happen, but consistent or blatant disregard of guidelines may result in difficult conversations and/or expulsion. Don’t worry, though, we won’t ask you to take a hike unless it’s absolutely necessary. Bottom line: this paragraph is here to cover our collective booty. If we all treat each other the way we want to be treated, we won’t have any issues.

*We use Akismet’s spam filter, but it may not catch everything, so if you see something inappropriate, please let us know.*

“Post” and “posting” referenced above = anything shared, posted, or written on 540-sponsored digital or physical real estate (including but not limited to the website, FB group, event chats, and the 540 Studio walls).

We think that pretty much covers it, but if you have any questions, feel free to reach out. We love email.