Welcome to FTHRW!
Thank you for joining us! Please review this message completely. It is your official welcome and it lines out what to expect when, contains all the plain language information you need to get started, and explains how to locate and acquire access to our various programs.
Where We Operate
Everything our chapter has to offer is located on www.fthrw.com, or is directly linked to the site. The only exceptions being the chapter social media platforms on their prospective home sites. For those, you can request to be added to the various chapter platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest) from our Members Only page. We do not operate on any other platforms (Yahoo, Google, Groups i.o., etc.). You won’t receive unsolicited invitations from any other sites on our behalf or for our programs. All items mentioned below can be found on the site. However we urge you to read this message thoroughly as it summarizes all the different programs in a way that is a little easier to follow.
The official chapter website is www.fthrw.com for bookmarking or adding to your favorites. We are our own freestanding site, we do not operate within the RWA microsite framework.
The First Few Days
One of the first things that will happen after you receive this message is you will be sent your personalized credentials (username and password) for www.fthrw.com. Your credentials email will either come from WordPress, Merien Grey, Marie Benesh, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Whichever account our webteam can generate your credentials from the quickest will be where they will come from, normally within a few hours. Marie Benesh and Merien Grey make up our webteam and answer all “service calls”.
Your credentials will look like this:
The underscore is required between the names, there are no spaces in the username or password, and the user and password are case sensitive. If you copy and paste them into the log in screen, be careful not to pick up the space in front of the user or password behind the colon. The credentials won’t work if you accidentally grab that space when you highlight and copy/paste either item. Once you have your credentials, you may change your password on your first successful log in. If you have not received credentials after twenty-four hours post payment, please email email@example.com. You will receive an apology and your credentials post haste.
Please ensure your credentials work as soon as possible. We have one RWA required item that members must complete ASAP, after that feel free explore at your leisure. Once you can enter the site there are two main areas our members typically start with, the Workshops area and the Members Only area. Both menus can be found along the menu line on all our pages along the top of each page.
RWA Required Item: RWA requires all members in the chapter be subscribed to our main chapter form. In an effort to keep control of what hits our members inboxes firmly in our members hands, all our forums are built in such a way that you can’t be subscribed to anything by anyone else, even the webteam J, so we have to ask you to do this to keep us in compliance. Please go to the Members Only area. Hover over the words Members Only on the menu bar and a drop down will appear. You will see the Main Chapter Forum. Click on Main Chapter Forum and it will open. You will see a large red button at the top that says “Participants MUST click Here to Receive Forum Messages Via Email”, click it. If it says “Unsubscribe” after you click it, you are good. That fulfils our RWA requirement to have members on our main forum. Thanks in advance. After that, it’s completely up to you what you do, or do not, take advantage of.
You will want to be on the main forum as soon as possible anyway. Our Vice President of Communications will welcome you to the chapter on that forum within 24-48 hours of your credentials being sent going out. You will want to be on there to receive all those warm welcomes from our other members.
The procedure you completed to join the main forum is the same procedure you will use to join all the forums and any workshops you wish to attend. We highly encourage you to review the FTHRW and/or workshop forums tutorials. They are short and have lots of illustrations. Our forums are not complex or difficult for most, but they are quite different from RWA forums, Yahoo, and Groups i.o.
As a member, you will have automatic access to nearly all areas and forums on the site (to include all those amazing workshops). The only exceptions are a few of our private forums, like our critique forum. For those, you are welcome to join, but have to go through the group moderator first. This is because there are conduct and privacy requirements for those areas that incoming members must agree to follow. Plus, the webteam needs to give you specific forum access to those forums once the moderator has your agreement. These areas contain highly sensitive material from our members and we take protecting our members work very seriously.
If you have any questions or issue with any of the forums, at any time, please contact Merien via firstname.lastname@example.org, she’s always happy to help, seriously…she is 😀
The Basics and Benefits
- The Main Chapter Forum – It is exactly what it sounds like. This forum is where our main chapter discussions and daily back and forth happen. Also, being an online chapter, it is where our monthly chapter meetings occur.
- Welcomes – You will have a pin on the way via USPS from our membership coordinator if you asked for one on your application. Our VP-Comm will welcome you on the Main Chapter Forum and you may get questions from members. Feel free to post a little bit about yourself when you see the thread. We are a friendly, informal bunch. If you would like to join our closed FB group, send us a friend request through our private Facebook page. If interested, please follow us on our Twitter. There is detailed information on our Members Only page on how to find and be a part of our Pinterest page.
- Members Only Page – All items our members might need to access besides workshop forums and material are located on our Members Only page. Go to our Members Only menu item along the top bar menu and click it. Don’t select anything on the dropdown, just click the “Members Only” item on the menu bar. Then scroll down the page and click on any area to learn more. Here you can access our NANOWRIMO forum and team, perseverance fund, and all our chapter governance, to name a few. You can also request to join a private forum from this page. The slides along the top of this page show any major announcements as well as the next two to three months’ worth of upcoming workshops in the workshop forum and any relevant announcements.Back to what is on that dropdown menu we skipped over. If you hover your mouse over the Members Only item on the menu bar you will see the drop down menu for quick access and frequently sought information. The drop down menu for this page has a member log in option, direct forum access, the chapter meeting schedule, forums tutorial, and more.
- Pages From the Heart Contest – Each year the chapter holds a well-known and respected contest. You will see announcements on the main chapter forum and the contest menu if you wish to volunteer or enter or both.
- Workshops – The biggest benefit to this chapter is our fabulous workshop program. We run twelve to eighteen online workshops a year and two to four special event webinars for our members. You can find the full schedules for both under our workshops menu. To “sign up” for any workshop simply open any forum under the Upcoming and Current Forums option and click the big red subscribe button at the top. The aforementioned tutorial will walk you through how to interact in the forums. The workshops menu will contain the current and upcoming two to three workshops and the previous three at any given time. Near the end of the year, there will be fewer workshops showing, as we prepare and build the upcoming year’s annual schedule and forums. The schedule for the upcoming year is typically posted every Fall between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- General Descriptions of “Private” Forums – For the following, please fill out the request to join a private forum located on the Members Only page.
FTHRW Critique Forum – For members who need partial or full critiques. This is a moderated like-kind trade group, critique for critique.
FTHRW Productivity Forum – A group designed to meet individual writing goals through accountability and group support and encouragement.
FTHRW Storm Plotters Forum – A group dedicated to helping members plot and brainstorm difficult areas in their projects.
- Governance – All written guidance and governance can be found on the Members Only page under the governance block at the bottom of the page.
- Contact and Questions – The chapter board and all committee contact information can be found in the footer at the very bottom of any page. You can direct any questions to our individual board members, committee chairs, or email@example.com.
- Meetings – All meetings are listed on the Chapter Meeting Schedule page on the Members Only menu. Upcoming meetings are posted on the slider at the top of the Members Only page as well.
Bi-monthly chapter meetings are convened in the Main Chapter Forum. All members are encouraged to participate or at least follow along.
Board meetings are held via video conference. Should a member wish to attend a board meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for addition to the contact list for the meeting at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. One of the chapter webmasters will email you prior to the meeting about how to “attend” the meeting and what to expect. The meetings are normally open to all members in their entirety, in the event there is something that requires part of the session to be considered executive (or closed), members are still welcome to attend those meetings but the board will move executive items to the end and request visitors to leave the meeting before any sensitive discussions.