Let's get you up to speed!

The great news about RC1 is that it’s been built by writers for writers. The less great news is, well, we aren’t all technology experts. Here are some of our best tips and tricks for navigating the community. As always, we appreciate your patience. If there are any videos you’d like to see posted here, please drop us a line at team at readychapter1 dot com. 

The Basics

Signing Up for a FREE Account

Critique / Community Guidelines

Giving Your First Critique

Posting / Formatting Tips

Contest Specific Tips

How to Enter A Contest

Those Pesky Formatting Issues

Community Norms / FAQ

Am I in the right place? Do I count as a career-minded storyteller?
If you’re here for everyone to celebrate your brilliance and skyrocket your path to a book deal, you will probably be disappointed. If you’re here to build community and to use peer critique to better understand how to revise your work in progress for a shot at success in the market, you’re in the right place. It doesn’t matter if you write for kids or grown-ups, you’re welcome here.

What does it mean to give and receive?
If you’ve ever been in a critique group, the concept is similar. Each member of the group is dedicated to the other members by reading and reviewing pages. Here we have two main differences. First, our critiques are not nearly as in-depth as a traditional critique group. We’re looking for gut level reactions on a five-question rubric plus a brief written reaction. Each critique should take you less than five minutes plus the time it takes to read the pages. Second, we’re swapping critiques with strangers. The same person who read your Chapter 1 may not read your Chapter 2, so we’ve built in room for synopsis for you to let the reader know where they’re at in your story.

Give first.
Every post in the critique forum has a survey attached at the bottom. Before you put your work out for critique, you must give critiques to others to ‘earn’ your post. Then you’ll be able to post your work.

Can I just be a reader and never post?
Sure! But we hope it makes you brave enough to post your own work in the future.

Can I just post my work and never respond to anyone else’s?
We want to make sure everyone who posts gets feedback, which means everyone has to give it as well. The system won’t let you post your work until you’ve responded to others. Our system will alert us of any spamming or Christmas treeing, which will result in immediate dismissal from the community.

What / how much should I post?
We’re still figuring this out, but a good rule of thumb is a complete scene around 1200-1500 words. If your chapter runs a little long, that’s okay. Some do. We’ve noticed however, that readers are most likely to interact with shorter scenes. And because not everyone will have read the previous scene, it’s a good idea to open with a quick scene synopsis, such as “In this scene, the main character Judy has to convince her nemesis Jillian to help her repair a robotic dog in order to save them both from a dinosaur attack.”

Is anything explicitly forbidden on the forums? 
RC1’s Peer Critique Forum is about one simple thing: community feedback on original stories. You may not post any of the following:

  • Personal contact information
  • Anything that you did not personally write
  • Anything generated by an ai language model, even if you created the prompt
  • External links
  • Pitches for your coaching product or service 
  • Offers to connect offline
  • Anything that is off-topic or unrelated to stories and/or constructive criticism of those stories

Do you have an age restriction?
This website is intended for users 16 years of age and older, and parental guidance is recommended. Content will push the boundaries of TV-14. This could include suggestive situations, coarse language, and depictions of violence. We don’t allow pervasive foul language, explicit sexual content, or excessive violence, but some content may still be unsuitable for some users under 16. Please note: Our moderation team works hard to remove content that violates our community standards. However, it’s possible that inappropriate content may be visible before it’s flagged and taken down. 

How gritty or steamy can it get?
A good rule of thumb is to keep it TV14. You can still WRITE it however you want, just be sure to take out or [synopsize] those sections so your post doesn’t get flagged. Besides, you may want to hold back the juiciest bits so your newfound fans will buy the book! Future plans for the forum include an age-restricted toggle. Our official policy is below:

As a community, we all agree to use common sense when posting. We’re not trying to limit what people write. But we are limiting what’s appropriate to post for critique. Anything that might get a TV-14 rating is acceptable. Too steamy, too bloody, or two F-bombs and it’s no longer appropriate. If you plan on pushing the envelope on language, violence, or sexual situations, you MUST use the #NSFC tag (Not Suitable For Children).

Where we all have to be judicious and look out for each other is for content that might be considered Mature Audiences Only, especially in any children’s category. This includes:

  1. Extreme descriptions of bloody violence.
  2. Explicit sexual content, descriptions of nudity, or sexual violence.
  3. Strong use of profanity or pervasive vulgar language.
  4. Depictions of drug abuse.
  5. Mature themes, including abuse, self-harm, or mental illness.
  6. Anything that could be considered child pornography.

If your work is flagged for any of the above reasons, it will be automatically removed until it can be reviewed by a moderator. We’re aiming for a balance of room for great storytelling and safety for our members. In those deliberations, safety will always come first.