Hi Robin welcome to FW! This is an awesome site full of people who love God and truly want to help others become the best writers possible. I'd been to other sites where it felt like they wanted to knock me down. God answered my prayers when I found FW! I'd almost given up. I've learned so much since I first submitted my story almost 4 years ago. I was sure it would be a winner. All of my family and friends had always told me how great I was. Now I look back on those early pieces and cringe! FW has taught me tons!
Congratulations on your book. This must be an exciting time for you. We have several people who have published many books. There are a lot of perks in the platinum membership for those who would like to promote their books on the site. You should definitely check them out. Also the Open Forum
is a great place to ask questions about writing and publishing. The people here are awesome and are willing to share tips about the publishing process with others. I also bet you are probably able to answer questions for others as well. I found a person through FW who is illustrating one of my kids' books and I'm going to self-publish it hopefully in time for Christmas. I never would have dared do that if not for FW. I also have gotten some editing jobs thanks to FW. I do editing for a subsidy press as well as some freelance jobs that have come through my connections here.
The weekly challenge is one of the most popular spots here for sure. I mentioned the platinum membership before and it includes unlimited submissions (well one a week, but unlimited throughout the year) They offer Silver members four free chances to try it. If you can afford the few dollars a month it is so totally worth it. Each week a new topic is given. We just finished the quarter on the theme of EX words, but a new quarter starts in October again. There is a word count limit which 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. There is a page called Brick throwing
where after the judges are done, Deb gives the all clear and you can leave a link to your challenge story and ask for feedback.
You also can find a wealth of info on the boards. It's also a great way to make friends. I've become close to people from all over the world. A great place for writing tips can be found at Jan's Writing Basics.
Jan is a long time member and is quite gifted. She has new topics each week and even offers "homework"> Though it can be a bit scary to post at first, you'll find the people quite kind. Jan makes a point to comment and give advice on everyone who posts on her thread. It's one of the most helpful spots on FW!
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. 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!
The Critique Circle 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. You may only get one or two critiques, but don't ever hesitate to leave a link to your stories and ask for feedback. Also if you attach your profile page to your signature like I've done, that makes it easier for people to find your work and leave feedback.
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.