Scribophile: Should You Join This Online Writing Critique Group?
Scribophile is an online writing critique group where you can get your stories (like flash fiction, novels, poetry, etc) critiqued. But is it a good idea to join this site? Is it worth it? Or should you look at the many other online writing critique groups instead?
Do you need a premium account on Scribophile?
Sure, if you want to. But do you really need it? Well, that depends on what you want. But if you don't want to spend money, then you don't have to.
You can still get your stories critiqued even with a free account. Furthermore, it should be noted that you will still be required to give constructive criticism to the works of others even with a paid account.
How does Scribophile work?
The way Scribophile works is very similar to the way that other online writing critique groups work. It's free to create an account on this site but it also offers some premium services.
In order to get your stories critiqued, you will first have to give constructive criticism to the works of others. So you won't get anything unless you give something in return.
It's also important to note that the critiques that you get can differ in quality and helpfulness depending on who is giving it (some might be more experienced or some might not have enough time to give you detailed reviews, etc).
Appearance, design, look of Scribophile
Looking at the Scribophile website, I thought that it seemed pretty interesting. Some of the reviews that I read said positive things about it too (though those reviews were pretty old, like years old).
After checking out all of these pages, I found that I still had some questions about Scribophile regarding things like the copyright (for example: do you still keep the copyright of the stories that you post on this site?).
Contacting Scribophile via their contact us page
So I decided to contact Scribophile by using their contact us page on their website. I sent them a message on December 5, 2014. It's already 2015, and I still have yet to receive a response from them. So, it looks like Scribophile doesn't respond to messages on their contact us page. Have you tried contacting them? Maybe your experience will be different.
Is Scribophile still active?
Send a tweet to Scribophile
When I discovered Scribophile's twitter account, I thought about sending them a quick tweet just to ask and see if they are still active. I thought maybe the site was inactive already and that's why I didn't get a response to the message I sent to them.
I sent them a tweet on December 17, 2014. Well, again, I received no response so it really looked like Scribophile was no longer active at all. Or is it that they're just ignoring their members and potential members?
Give up on Scribophile?
Since I wasn't getting anywhere with Scribophile, I thought I'd just forget it and go check out the many other online writing critique groups out there. Actually, I'd already started looking into these other groups.
I thought that maybe Scribophile really was inactive already and no longer available for use. After all, the reviews that I found were really old already and there wasn't really much new info that I could find.
However, aside from looking into other online writing critique groups, I'd also posted a tweet on Twitter asking if anyone knew anything about Scribophile. I wasn't really expecting a response but thought I'd try anyway.
To my surprise, someone responded. I said that I wanted to contact Scribophile to ask the site some questions and this person kindly let me know the email address of said website.
Sending an email message to Scribophile
With the email address that I got, I decided to send an email message to Scribophile. I thought why not, right? What did I have to lose? If they didn't reply, then, oh well, I can just forget about this site and focus on the many other online writing critique groups out there.
I sent them an email on December 30, 2014 1:50 A.M (date and time according to Gmail). I wasn't expecting to get a response so I wasn't really waiting for anything. I thought that I'd give it maybe two weeks before I bothered checking to see if I received anything.
However, much to my surprise, I actually got a response from Scribophile. According to Gmail, I got the response on December 30, 2014 3:52 A.M. To say that I was surprised is putting it mildly. It's also odd, isn't it?
They didn't respond to my tweet or to the message that I sent via their contact us page and yet they actually responded to the email message that I sent. Plus, they responded so quickly too.
That's another odd thing since the message that I sent wasn't exactly short (I decided to ask all the questions that I wanted to ask in one single message plus, on this email message, I also included an explanation of how I tried to contact them via their contact us page and how I even sent them a tweet on Twitter but got no response at all).
Problem with email message from Scribophile
So, what's up with the response that I got from Scribophile?
- Well, for starters, they didn't explain why they didn't respond to the contact message or the tweet that I sent, not even to say that they didn't get it or that there was a problem or something.
- I suspect the reason that I got the reply email so fast was because their response was so short. Seriously, their response was only a few lines compared to the paragraphs that I wrote in my query
- I also have to wonder if they really read my message? Why? Because I didn't really get a proper answer to my questions. They didn't really answer anything that I asked about.
- The tone of their email didn't seem, sound or come across as very friendly or nice either. It just seemed or sounded sort-of like they didn't really care or something
Should you join Scribophile? Is it worth it?
Well, in the end, the answer to that question is up to you. Maybe your experience with Scribophile will be different from mine.
Are you planning to join Scribophile?
Importance of customer service
One of the things that I consider very important is customer service. I like sites with excellent customer service. And that's why I even write about my experience with the customer service of these sites (for example, I also wrote about my experience with the Pinterest customer support).
If you have questions or are experiencing issues with the site or something, don't you want to be assured that you can contact the site and ask for help and that they will help you and not just send you some automated response or not bother to answer your questions at all?
Online writing critique groups
Anyway, Scribophile isn't the only online writing critique group out there. There are many more and it's up to you to find the one that is perfect for you and your needs.
You also need to take into consideration the members of the critique group that you plan to join. Because you want to be able to get along with these people, right?
Plus, don't you want those who can give you good constructive criticism so that they can help you spot all of the possible plot holes and problems with your stories and they can help you fix your work just like how you can help them with theirs?
Examples of online writing critique groups:
- Critique Circle
- Ladies Who Critique
- Review Fuse
- You Write On
- And more
With so many out there, you can surely find the best or perfect writing critique group for you, depending on your needs and wants.
How would you rate the customer service of Scribophile?
Will you join Scribophile? What's your experience with this online writing critique group?
So, if you do end up trying out Scribophile, good luck and I hope your experience is better than mine. If you've already tried Scribophile or if you're already a member of said site, then feel free to share your experiences here as well as your thoughts on the site in general and its customer service.
- First image is by CoDLia (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
© 2015 Freya Yuki