So... You want to join the madness that is CWAL?

Steps to Joining CWAL

Before attempting to go through initiation and attempting to gain membership in CWAL with a story or an initiation statement there are some things you probably should do first. You can ignore this entire document if you want, but you will be missing out on loads of free information by doing so.

  1. You should spend time on whatever forum the bulk of CWAL is on. As of the time of this writing it is the Rubber Room. Interact with the people on there, making the attempt to talk to some over ICQ may prove beneficial. Some may ignore you, but others will try to help you out as best they can. Do try to use some common sense, very few people respond well to spam, and if they don't know you, the less you can get away with. As an example, even though various CWALers may have the urge to spam the forum into oblivion with random silliness from time to time, do not take that as invitation to do so yourself. If we don't know you, that will make us notice you, and leave a poor first impression behind.

  2. While watching the insanity of the forum, it would not hurt to browse through the archives and the library and see what has been written before and decide what kind of story you want to write if you choose to include a story with your Initiation Proposal. CWAL has proven it can, and will, enjoy stories of practically any type... Though it has to apply to CWAL somehow in order to earn you a *W*. The *W* basically means you are a CWAL Author. You MUST have a story in your Initiation Statement on the RR and pass initiation if you want to attain Authorial Status in CWAL. The person that tells you that must write any particular kind of story to get in probably doesn't really have any more of a clue how to get into CWAL then you do, except maybe the fact that they already are in. Write the kind of story you feel most comfortable writing, and as long as it is a solid story, you should stand a good chance of getting in.

  3. If you choose to do a Story Initiation, before posting an initiation story, it is strongly encouraged for you find a guinea p... Uhh... I mean proof-reader to go through the story for you and see if they can pick up any mistakes that need fixed in your story. There are several CWALers that love to be able to read stories before anyone else can, you just have to find and catch them when they have time to proof-read a story, even veteran CWALers have trouble doing this. Generally, the more people you can have check your story before posting, the better.

  4. When posting an Initiation Statement and/or Story it is strongly advised to mark it as one in the subject heading. Example:

    [INIT]Story Name[INIT] or (INIT) My CWAL Initiation Statement (INIT)

  5. Post a statement saying why you wish to be in CWAL, and in it include any artwork, a story, and/or anything else you think would increase your chances of getting accepted into CWAL. Many CWALers are looking for some kind of contribution which can often be as simple as a happy presence on the forum. After posting your initiation statement, all you should do is respond to any feedback you receive. Unless you have seen practically no replies and your story is two or three screens down on the forum. In which case posting a link to it, or simply reposting it becomes advisable.

  6. Right now the current Initiation Guidelines are pretty much as follows. The Initiation Statement will have no fewer than 7 total reviews that clearly say either that they accept your initiation into CWAL or they don't and no more than 4 unfavorable reviews within that number of seven reviews. This has to happen within a period of no less than 24 hours and responses must come from recognized CWALers who are either on the Cast List or on the CWAL Contact List or who are generally accepted as official CWALers. Some of them may require you to perform certain tasks or even answer CWAL trivia before they give you their "yes" vote into CWAL. What they ask you to do to earn their vote is entirely up to them.

  7. After 24 hours, you will have either gotten into CWAL's ranks of members and/or *W* writers, or will have failed your first attempt. If you failed, or even if you did succeed, it would prove beneficial to find out what the people who gave unfavorable reviews felt was wrong with your story or your proposal for membership so that you can avoid those mistakes in the future.

  8. After you've been accepted, you can then begin to harass the poor souls with their contact information on the bottom of the cast list. One of them should be able to get back to you within a day or so and let you know if you meet the most recent set of guidelines CWAL has for its writers to become writers(or some such thing). You should have a short character description handy for them to put on the cast list. If your character description is longer then a moderately sized paragraph it is likely result in grumbling on the part of certain people maintaining the cast list, or even your character description being set aside for addition to the cast list at a later date.

  9. If you have decided to give up trying to write for CWAL, you can still contribute to the CWAL story world through other means, characters belonging to non-writers have been created before, and probably will be again in the again. If you come up with an interesting enough character, you could get in that way. There are other means to contribute as well, but those will be left for you to figure out on your own. We just can't let all of our secrets out. Thought it should be said that CWAL does have an affinity for people with music composition abilities, web design experience, and artistic talent. >;-)
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