As most of you are aware, Project Team Beta has not been accepting new stories for the past few months. The Project Team Beta Moderators chose to place a pause on incoming story applications due to the increasing number of new authors and new stories at PTB and the decreasing number of active betas. As a result, we will need to make some changes in the way PTB operates.
First off, the Story Applications will open up Monday, February 14.
Second, we are instating somewhat stricter limits on stories going through transit. In the current system, an author can have as many stories as they like in transit but only one chapter at a time. Beginning February 14, authors may only have two active stories with PTB – no more than one multi-chaptered story and no more than one one-shot at any given time – and only one chapter in transit.
This does not apply to stories put on Permanent Assignment. Once your story enters into a PA, it is taken off our active in transit listing. From there, you may apply for another multi-chaptered story.
In addition to these limits, we are developing a new system for screening submitted stories. The Story Application page at www.projectteambeta.com will now include a section for a writing sample. This sample should be 1000 words or less of un-beta’d, self-edited writing. With this sample, Project Team Beta Moderators can review an author’s writing, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and decide if they will be successful at PTB. If a writing sample is very poor (i.e. multiple instances of many different mistakes, or clear evidence of a lack of self-editing), then PTB will not accept the story. We will, however, offer specialized resources that target the author’s weaknesses, and that author is welcome to reapply after a waiting period.
If you are currently an author with PTB, these changes affect you too. For authors who currently have more than one multi-chaptered story in transit, you may continue on with those stories until they are completed. However, you will be unable to submit any new stories to transit until you have reached the new limit. Once you are down to one multi-chaptered story, you may submit a one-shot into transit. For authors with one story in transit now, you may keep that story in transit, and you may submit an additional one-shot, if you wish.
In addition to the two story limit, our new quality screening will affect current authors as well. The Project Team Beta Moderators have struggled for a long time with authors that we feel do not make a significant effort to improve their work. PTB exists to help authors improve, but we are more than a glorified spell check. It is crucial that an author reads the beta feedback in depth and uses that feedback to self-edit their following chapters. It is not okay to receive the same feedback every chapter or to be corrected for the same mistake more than a couple of times. It is one thing to make mistakes from time to time – we understand that. However, if you have received extensive grammar feedback on issues such as dialogue punctuation, tense, or comma usage, and you continue to receive these comments chapter after chapter, then you need to make a change in the way you incorporate beta feedback into your writing.
We have tried very hard to create a learning environment at PTB, and we hope that our authors are making as much an effort to learn and improve as their betas are making to edit. If we feel that a chapter has been submitted without taking past beta comments into consideration, we will return the chapter to you and ask that a more thorough self-edit is done. If we feel that an author is not making an effort to improve their writing or that they have consistently ignored beta feedback in the past, we will ask you to leave PTB. It is simply not fair to authors that do wish to learn and improve, and it is not fair to the betas who work hard to edit your stories.
We understand these changes may come as a surprise and are not likely to be welcomed. However, we need to make changes if we want PTB to continue to be successful. Please remember that Project Team Beta is dependent on our betas and authors – we would not exist without you. In order to keep PTB up and running, we need as many people involved as possible. If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a beta, please encourage them to apply.
Please contact our management account at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Thank you.
Project Team Beta Moderators