With the message boards, the long pencil will come the more you post here. In other words, the chatterboxes here in the forums all have long pencils. The size of your pencil has nothing to do with the number of articles you've written at FaithWriters.
With the 500 next to your name, it's definitely there. Here's your member profile page at FaithWriters:http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=55557
The 500 will show whenever you comment on anyone's article/entry, and it will also show next to any regular article you post at FaithWriters. However, it doesn't show next to anyone's name in the Challenge. Originally, this was done so there could be no suggestion that Platinum 500 members received any favouritism from the judges. The system has changed a lot since those early days, but the same thing is in place--no 500 next to author names on Challenge entries.
But like I said, if you leave feedback for someone or write a general article at FaithWriters, the 500 will definitely appear.