Welcome to FW! I'm so sorry that I didn't see this sooner. As Graham mentioned, I tend to be the unofficial tour guide here at FW. It's an awesome site but can be big and overwhelming. I recommend exploring as much as possible. I still come across hidden jewels. We do have quite a few poets here. I've attempted to dabble in poetry myself, but am tone deaf and struggle with the flow.
My favorite genre is children's stories (both to read and to write). I even published my first picture book. It only took me like 15 years to tweak it and to get the courage to share.
People here are of all ages and have experience ranging from virtually none to having published some books. I think it's amazing how the people with more experience are so willing to help those with less. I'll forever be grateful for all the things people here have taught me.
The biggest draw to FW would be the writing challenge. There are four quarters each year with ten topics in each one that are related. One thing the challenge does is encourage me to think outside of the box. There is a new topic coming out on Thursday.
The word count limit has helped me learn to tighten my writing up quite a bit. The deadline has also helped me on my procrastination. I still wait to the last minute, but am writing on a more regular basis. There is also some excellent reading material there. I try to read and comment on every piece, though lately I haven't been able to do that as often as I would like.
Another great perk is the Critique Circle. It is a great place for paid members to receive a detailed critique on their work. Just recently, they have allowed members to pay so much a page for detailed feedback. This is for silver members or members who want a critique but don't have the time to critique someone else's work. That's how the circle works. Each time you leave feedback, you receive a credit to allow you to post a piece and to get a constructive critique. I've found that by leaving feedback for others, I also learn a great deal about what works or doesn't work in my own writing.
There is testimony contest this year where the top 50 testimonies will be selected for a book. I was part of the first book and it was a wonderful experience. It is available in the free reads for review section in the site's bookstore. http://ebooks.faithwriters.com/readsfor ... tbooks.php
There are lots of wonderful books that the authors will share in exchange for a review on Amazon or the bookstore.
FW is a great place to meet other Christians and writers. I also think it's awesome because there is people with all kinds of experience here from having published books to having never really written much at all. People here are great encouragers and willing to share their knowledge with others. The Open Forum
is a great place to ask questions about writing and publishing.
You also can find a wealth of info and a variety of people on the boards. It's also a great way to make friends. A great place for writing tips can be found at Jan's Writing Basics.
It might be a bit overwhelming to post at first, but I'd urge you to bite the bullet and jump in. Jan is wonderful at giving invaluable feedback to everyone who tries her thread and posts their "homework." Last month, she had a lesson on poetry, and I believe she plans to go back to more lessons about poetry in a week or two. You should check it out. I have a feeling you'd be able to share some of your wisdom as well as enjoying what others say.
Also The Water Cooler
is a great place to meet people. They have topics that range from regional areas to just popping in to say hi. In the Water Cooler section they have a regional sections you might want to check out to see if there are people from your area.
Another great place to go is Prayer Requests.
It's wonderful to be able to request prayer and to lift others up in need.
Fw is much like a family. There is something for everyone. The people encourage, support, and love each other. Welcome to the family!
I hope I gave you some places to start. The site is huge and there are so many wonderful things here. You may want to check out the FAQ
thread as that may answer many of your questions.
Have fun exploring, jump into conversations and don't be afraid to ask any questions.