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looking for a writing pen pal? (Super old school, I know…)


Hi everyone :)

I came to these forums because I was looking for a group of other writers, to share ideas, learn some tips, develop some skills, and have some company during a very heartfelt and lonely project.

Instead I have found a community of bullies, who appear to offer zero support or encouragement, but instead revel in tearing apart, nit-picking, and personally attacking other writers for their hard work.

Before I leave the site, I was wondering if any was interested in doing some one on one support? I would be more than happy to have conversations about your work, read your stuff, make professional and constructive critiques as best I can, if you are willing to do the same for me.

I'm looking for a writing partner, without the drama of this ridiculous site.

I have a masters degree in English lit, and have written an number of short fiction, as well as literary reviews and essays. This is my first long piece of fiction.

If anyone is interested than please PM me :)

Good luck to the rest of you. I'm amazed than any of you have hung on this long in this toxic atmosphere.




I have found a community of bullies, who appear to offer zero support or encouragement, but instead revel in tearing apart, nit-picking, and personally attacking other writers for their hard work.

May I just say that in my 2 years on this site I have never found it to be even remotely unpleasant, aside from rare instances caused by a few individuals. If you came to have opinions offered on your work, here you will get honesty 99% of the time. My guess is that you are not ready to have true critique done on your work. The intention here is to help each other improve and I hope you'll stay so that we can prove it to you. Criticism, or even just negative opinions, can be hard to stomach but the beauty of it is that you can ignore anything that you think is wrong. The support this site offers is in helping you get better through peer review and the encouragement it offers comes in many forms - whether directly from an individual or just in the simple fact that people took the time to read your work and comment on it. Clearly, whatever work of yours was critiqued warranted response and that is a good thing!

I hope you are able to see past the pain of critique and opposing opinions and appreciate it for the strength it builds in you as a writer.
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I've read through all the posts you started to ensure you were being treated as our members deserve. I did not notice anyone being negative, or toxic, as you put it. If anything, they seemed to offer a great deal of constructive advice and in a nice, polite, & reasoned manner. So, I'm not really sure what or who could have offended.

Perhaps Trick is right & you're not prepared for criticism. We see that a lot with writers submitting for critique for the first time (and this is not a critique site primarily). It's natural to defend your work. It's natural to get upset if someone points out the flaws in your baby, but it's necessary to improve. We simply can't see things others see. We're blinded by our intention. It also takes some time to learn that honesty is a gift.

I'd also like to point out that you wrote this:
20 views and no comments? Be harsh people.... Not scary enough? Something missing? Decent start?
But, here it seems you'd rather be coddled with kid gloves. If you're ever to be successful, your skin must thicken. You must approach your own work with ruthlessness.
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Did anyone else have an issue clicking through to this topic when it was first posted? It kept redirecting me to the main forum, which has happened before for posts with special characters in the title, so I thought it was the parentheses. But anyway, I was pretty surprised to read the contents of the post, at last...

I've read the thread where you posted your writing, and there's some critique and a remarkably cordial discussion of religious terms, but no apparent bullying (?). To be entirely honest, I had read your piece and was going to reply to it, but when I saw your reaction to the posted critique, I realized that the kind of feedback that I give would not be welcome.

I have received some very kind and supportive comments on my work here, and seen many others given, made an effort to give them myself. And I have also gotten some sharp and thorough critique, which is excellent. By God, give me nitpicking and opinions and brutal honesty, because it's much more difficult to get that from readers face-to-face! I'd squeeze more criticism from people if I could, but, you know, I'm happy with what I get. Because this is a community of writers, not editors or reviewers or even readers, and no one is obligated to read your writing instead of working on their own, or obligated to give you only the kind of feedback that you expect, unless you've asked specifically for it. Because asking for any and all criticism, and then turning around and reproaching someone for willingly giving it because their reaction didn't match what you hoped for isn't going to get you anywhere.

You can call honest critique toxic if you want to, but I'll call it stimulating, encouraging in its own right (look at these issues I can fix!), and very helpful.

Ayaka Di'rutia

I've read some of your posts on this site (I know, I'm such a stalker), and I can understand some of your hard feelings. I once replied on a thread that had turned controversial, and I simply didn't go back to look at any replies, because I knew it would probably make me angry or hurt my feelings (this was due to one person, and not the nature of the thread). However, I've found these forums very helpful for both my writing and art in getting critique. It's hard to build a "thick skin;" it takes time and humility, but it's very worth it.

Good luck in your writing, wherever it takes you.