Welcome to FW! This is an incredible site filled with amazing people who genuinely want to help others be the best writer possible and all this plus some wonderful Christian fellowship. This is like a family to me and has given me more than I could have dreamed of when I first joined three years ago.
This is a wonderful place to find people who will rejoice over your victories and want to help you meet your goals and dreams. I've been to other writing sites where it felt like they just wanted to bash my stories and bring me down. FW was an answer to my prayers. Since I have some health problems, it's hard to get out of the house. I had felt quite isolated until I came here. Now, though, I've made some wonderful friends from all over the States to Australia, Africa, England, Thailand and Latvia. These aren't just casual friendships but close friends, many of whom I talk or text each day.
The forums are a great place to get to know one another. The Water Cooler is a place to chill and talk about anything from the weather to just saying howdy. There are a couple of small groups who love and support each other. The Pacific Coast Rest Stop can be found here
or the Southern Porch can be foundthere.
You don't need to be on the Pacific Coast or from The South to pop in and make new friends. I'm from Western NY so am the oddball but the people are amazing. I'll admit the Rest Stop can be a tad wackier than the porch.The prayer Forum offers an opportunity to pray with others or ask for your own prayer requests or share some joys. The Open Forum is the best place to find writing related threads.
One of the biggest draws to FW is the weekly challenge. You do have to be a paid member to participate, but if you can afford the few dollars a month it is so worth it. I've learned to write on a regular basis. Without a deadline, I tend to procrastinate. It has also stretched my imagination with up to 100 or more people writing on the same topic, it's important to finds a way to stay on topic but be different from others. In January Silver members were given a chance to try the challenge for four times throughout the year. Often once one realizes how helpful it can be, it'll encourage more people to participate which is awesome because it allows more people to see your work. I think it's also the best place to get feedback on your work. Definitely more people tend to read the challenge stories.
We even have a kids page and for the first time ever we had a contest for 7 to 14 yo with cash prizes. The stories were amazing and we have some gifted kids here. So if you have any children in your life, encourage them to check it out the Kids Forum. They write stories and have others leave comments and there is also a message board for them to chat on. There are moderators to make sure the kids are as safe as possible. Here's the link for it, if you know anyone: http://kids.faithwriters.com/
Don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have or jump into any discussions. I look forward to getting to know you and read some of your work.