Saturday, June 21, 2008

Group FAQ / Guidelines

Compiled by Gerald So, SMFS President (2008-2010)

What is the Short Mystery Fiction Society?

A group for anyone who writes, edits, publishes, or just enjoys short mystery/crime stories. Join us via the Shortmystery Yahoo! Group.


Boundaries of Discussion

We aim for a discussion open to any aspect of short mystery fiction, equally worthwhile to authors, editors, publishers, and fans.


Reading, Posting, and Replying to Shortmystery

You must subscribe to receive messages by e-mail and to post your own. You must sign in to Yahoo! Groups to read our messages via the Web.

Yahoo! Groups and most e-mail programs automatically quote entire messages when you hit "Reply". In order to keep our messages and digests quickly downloadable for members with varying Internet access speeds, please quote only the specific points to which you are replying. Delete any extraneous text and and keep signature lines short.

Do not post works of fiction, whole or excerpted, to the list. Posting is a form of publishing and may cost you rights as author or violate another author's copyright.

For the same reasons, do not post entire nonfiction articles or interviews to the list. Instead, please quote with attribution. Comment, paraphrase, and provide URLs to the full text stored elsewhere.

Automated invitations (such as those sent by various social networking sites to a member's entire address book) should not be posted to Shortmystery. If an invitation is unintentionally sent to the list, the sending member's account will be placed on moderated status to prevent further invitations from reaching the list until the member addresses the problem independently.

Regarding the tone of discussion, the SMFS officers cannot police every phrase that may possibly offend a member. They would be injecting their sensibilities where they may not be correct or welcome. Members bear personal responsibility for the content of their posts. You are encouraged to use individual judgment regarding whom to heed or ignore, to what degree, and when to send a message offlist if at all.

However, if a member's posts devolve from reasoned argument to impulsive reaction, that is cause to be placed on moderated status, whereupon the member's posts must be approved by an SMFS officer before reaching the list. Moderated members will be returned to normal posting status when a sufficient number of their posts show reasoned argument.

If anyone wants an officer's opinion on the tone of posts, feel free to ask offlist.

The privacy of this discussion group is strictly enforced. Any member found to have forwarded or published messages offlist without the author's permission will be banned.


BSP (Blatant Self-Promotion)

Though it has come to refer to almost any self-announcement, BSP's negative connotation—tacky advertising—is still discouraged on most forums, including Shortmystery. The best way to avoid this tone in your posts is to become genuinely involved in the group.

ACCEPTABLE: "Read my story X in the latest issue of Y Magazine."



Congratulations and Thanks

As a community of writers, it's natural to want to congratulate each other's successes or send thanks in turn; however, doing so onlist can grow to disrupt or even overwhelm other topics. Consider sending congratulations and thanks offlist for that personal touch.


The Derringer Awards

The Derringer Awards are presented by the SMFS every May to recognize the best published stories of the previous year.

To be eligible to vote for the Derringers in a given year, you must have joined Shortmystery before February 1st of that year.


Service Advisories

I will post notices of Yahoo! Groups downtime to the list if possible. If I am unable to use the list to keep members informed, I will post advisories to this blog.

You can also check the official Yahoo! Groups blog.

If the list seems operational but you aren't receiving our messages or are having difficulty with any Yahoo! Groups features, feel free to contact me and I'll look into it.