Community Guidelines

Writing the City is a community of people who write. To keep it a safe, creative space, we respect some simple guidelines:

  • We post our own work and ideas and always respect copyright. You can read our copyright policy here
  • We support each other by reading each other’s work and sharing our thoughts and comments
  • In commenting, we’re constructive, but never hurtful. Please start by joining our discussion on feedback
  • We’re generally friendly. If you’re new, please introduce yourself by adding to your profile. Seasoned members, please say hello to newcomers
  • We’re respectful of others. This is a space for free speech but not for any content which attacks or demeans others based on race, ethnic origin, gender, sexuality, religion, disability or age. Likewise, pornographic or extremely violent content is not accepted. Please report anything you feel is offensive by clicking the report button – a moderator will view it promptly
  • We recognise that members may hold a wide variety of opinions and values, and that opinions expressed in fiction are not necessarily those of the author. Please bear this in mind when reading and use your discretion if something offends you
  • Everyone hates spam – please don’t post any and report it if you see it. We’ll remove anything we deem as spam immediately
  • Obviously, things like stalking, invading privacy and other unfriendly actions which violate our terms of use are taken very seriously. Anyone found to be acting inappropriately may be permanently banned

And finally…

  • Writing the City is a community shaped by its members. The more involved you are, the more you’ll get out of it. Enjoy.

Posting Guidelines

Writing the City is for writers who are committed to sharing work and responding to the work of others. It is open to anyone who is or would like to become a published writer and it doesn’t matter which country you live in. Please ensure you follow these simple guidelines when posting your work or entering our competitions:

  • Entries must be in English
  • Participants must be over 16 years of age
  • Prose entries should not be more than 1000 words. There is no minimum requirement
  • Poetry entries should not be more than 40 lines. There is no minimum requirement
  • The title is NOT included in the word count or line count
  • Materials must be entirely the work of the writer
  • Materials can be edited and deleted by the writer at any time
  • Materials must not contain anything that Writing the City considers offensive or explicit. Hate speech, pornography and extremely violent content is not accepted. For more info, please see our Community Guidelines
  • If you opt to include your location, your work will be featured on the City Unwritten Map, an interactive creative writing map available to Writing the City members. All work included on the map will be automatically entered to the City Unwritten Competition. Stay tuned to the Competitions page for details!

User Guide: How to use this site

This guide takes you through the menu along the top of the Writing the City homepage from left to right. If you still need help, join our Help discussion or send a message to the Writing the City.


This is where you can read, watch or listen to creative works by Writing the City members. Each post contains a piece of work by a Writing the City member. These can be seen all the way down the page.

  • Click on READ in the top menu
  • To read a post, click on its title. You will then be taken to a new page where you can see that post in full
  • To leave a comment, scroll to the bottom of the page and write in the reply box. Then click publish
  • You can choose the genre you wish to readby clicking on one of the ‘categories’ at the top of the READ page. The categories are FictionPoetryDramaFilmReviews and Others. Alternatively, you can browse through all posts by scrolling down the page. You can read older pages by clicking on one of the numbers at the very bottom of the page
  • You can filter posts by Newest, Oldest or Most Commented using the drop down menu under All Posts. This can be found below the Featured Posts section
  • To create your own post, read the guide for WRITE below


This is where you can post your own work to be read by Writing the City members. You can include text, images, audio, video and links.

  • Click on WRITE in the top menu
  • You will be taken to a new page with a large text box
  • At the top of the page it says Write / Start Discussion. This is because WRITE and new discussions in DISCUSS both use this screen. For posting your own work in WRITE, follow these instructions. Instructions for starting new discussions are in the DISCUSS section below

How to post your work 1. Choose your title

  • Write the titleof your piece of work in the title box under Write / Start Discussion

2. Click in the text box

  • Make sure the text box is set to visual at the top right hand side (unless you are familiar with html)
  • If you are posting poetry and pasting text from a Word document, keep the text box set to html and paste in your work to maintain the correct formatting. You may then wish to set the text box back to visual to add bold, italics etc. as below

3. Add your text

  • Text can be cut and pasted from a document or written directly into the box

4. Format your text

  • To add bold, italics or other formatting to your text, highlight a word, sentence or paragraph and click the appropriate button in the formatting palette above the text box
  • The most commonly used are B for bold and for italics
  • To see what the different buttons do, hover over each one with your mouse
  • For more formatting options,click the furthest button to the right (three rows of dots). This shows you ‘the kitchen sink’ – all the formatting options available

5. Add something ‘About this Piece’

  • About this Piece is a box located underneath the main text box, where you can add info about the piece you are posting (e.g. your inspiration, what you might like feedback on, whether it’s a first or final draft etc.)
  • If you prefer, you can leave this blank

6. Select a category

  • For each post, you need to select a categoryin the box marked Categories to the right hand side of the text box, underneath the Publish box
  • Select one category under the Genre heading. You can choose from FictionPoetryDramaFilmReviews and Others
  • If you are entering your work in a competition, you should also select the appropriate category under the Competitions heading
  • If your work is in response to one of the Writing the City films, you should also select the appropriate category under Inspiration Films
  • NOTE: Only choose the category Discuss if you are starting a new discussion in DISCUSS (see next section)

7. Add your location to be part of the City Unwritten Map

  • The City Unwritten Map is an interactive map that allows you to ‘geo-tag’ your work to a particular location. This might be the place where your story or poem is set, the place that inspired it, or simply where you wrote it
  • To select a location, scroll down to the Location box (where you can see the map)
  • Search for your location in the search box marked find a new location
  • To make your search accurate, you may wish to include the country of the location you are searching, e.g. Tiong Bahru, Singapore
  • Press Enter on your keyboard
  • After you have published your piece (see below), it should appear on the City Unwritten Map on the homepage, tagged to your chosen location
  • To save a location, follow the steps above and then give a Saved Name to your locationunder the map. Click Save on the right hand side
  • This location will now appear in the Saved Locations drop down list when you create a new post

8. Preview your post

  • Click Preview on the top right hand side of the Publish box
  • This will take you to a new window which shows you what your post will look like
  • You can then close that window and make any further changes you wish to your post

9. Publish your post

  • Click the blue button marked Publish
  • To view your newly published post, click View Post at the top of the page
  • Your published post can now be viewed and commented on by Writing the City members in READ

10. To edit your post

  • Click Edit this Entry under the published post itself
  • When you’ve finished editing, click the blue Update button on the right hand side and your published post will be updated

11. To delete a post

  • Click Edit this Entry under the published post itself
  • Click Move to Trash in the Publish box on the right hand side
  • Your post will be permanently removed from Writing the City

How to add links, images, audio or video to your post 12. To add a link

  • Highlight the word or sentence you wish to make into a link
  • Click on the chain icon in the formatting palette at the top of the text box
  • Insert the link URL in the top box
  • Click Insert
  • The live link will now appear in your post

13. To add an image

  • Go to the upload/insert options above the text box
  • Click on the rectangle icon (when you hover your mouse over it, it says Add an Image)
  • A new box will appear on your screen
  • At the top of the box, select how you would like to upload your image

a) To upload an image from your computer

  • select From Computer
  • Click Select Files and choose a file from your computer
  • The maximum upload size is 5 MB
  • Wait for the file to upload
  • If you wish, you can then add a title, caption, choose where you would like the image to appear in your post and choose its size. You do not need to fill in every box, only the things you would like to show up in your post
  • When you are ready, click Insert into Post
  • The image should then appear in the text box
  • If you wish to save the file instead of posting it, click Save All Changes at the bottom of the page
  • If you click Save All Changes by mistake, you can still insert the image into your post by clicking Show next to the image and then clicking Insert into Post as above
  • To edit an image in your post, click on it and select the picture icon. To delete it, click the delete icon

b) To insert an image using a link

  • Select From URL
  • Add the URL and title in the appropriate boxes
  • You can add a caption and choose how you would like your image aligned
  • Click Insert Into Post

c) To insert an image from your Media Library (this means an image you have previously saved)

  • Select Media Library
  • Click Show next to the file you wish to select
  • Fill in the boxes as you wish
  • Click Insert into Post

14. To add a video

  • The simplest way to add a video is to use a link from YouTube, Vimeo or another popular online video sharing service (for a list of the ones you can use on WTC, click here
  • On YouTube, Vimeo etc, copy the link in your browser.
  • Paste the link into the text box
  • Click Preview to check it has worked. The video should be embedded in your new post
  • To upload video files from your computer, click the video icon (a negative) next to Upload/Insert and follow the instructions for uploading images from your computer above

15. To add audio

The easiest way to add audio to a post is to make and upload a recording via an audio sharing website like or For recordings longer than 5 minutes, use Here, we’ve included instructions for audioboo:

• Go to
• You will need a computer with a microphone OR an iphone or android

To record from a phone
• Click on your phone type and follow the instructions

To record from a computer
• Click ‘Start recording/upload file’ and follow the prompts. If you need more help, keep reading…
• A new window will open
• Click ‘Got your mic ready’
• Click ‘Start recording’
• Record your piece
• Press pause when you’re done
• Click ‘Happy? Add a title’
• Add your title
• Click ‘Publish’
• After the pink bar loads, click the link marked ‘here’ underneath
• You will be taken to a new page with your recording

To add your recording on Writing the City
• Click ‘embed’ under your recording
• Copy the code
• Go to your post on Writing the City (in WRITE)
• Make sure the text box is set to html
• Paste the code into the box above your text
• Preview your post. You should see a link marked ‘Listen!’
• Click on it to hear your recording
• Any problems, join our help discussion


This is where you can discuss anything related to writing with other members. You can also start your own discussions.

  • Click on DISCUSS in the top menu
  • You will see a list of topics
  • To join a discussion, or simply read it in full, click Join Discussion to the right of the discussion you wish to join
  • You will now be able to read the full discussion and all comments
  • To add a comment, scroll to the bottom of the page and write in the Reply box. Then click Publish
  • To start a new discussion:
  • Click DISCUSS in the top menu
  • Click Start discussion above the discussion topics
  • You will then be taken to a new screen that looks exactly like the screen for WRITE
  • To start your discussion, write in the text box following steps 1-10 in WRITE above
  • Make sure you select the Discuss category on the right hand side (Step 6 in WRITE). Do not select any other categories
  • Once you have clicked Publish, your discussion will appear on the main DISCUSS page at the top of the list where other members can join and have their say


This is where you can view the six Writing the City films (one film to be released every month from March 2011), read top writing tips from our Writers’ Panel and browse articles and interviews with writers.

  • Click on INSPIRATION in the top menu
  • You will see the trailer for Writing the City and above it, several options: Films, Top Tips and Interviews
  • Click on your desired option
  • Click on the name of the film or article you wish to view


Upcoming events at the British Council and other arts venues and organisations in Singapore and South East Asia.

  • Click EVENTS in the top menu
  • Scroll down to read about upcoming or past events


Writing the City competitions you can enter!

  • Click COMPETITIONS in the top menu
  • Scroll down to read about our competitions


This is where you can add or edit info about yourself or change your log in details.

  • Click on PROFILE in the top menu
  • To change details in the Name or Contact Info sections, just add the new info in the boxes provided and click Update Profile at the bottom of the page
  • You can tell other members something about yourself in the About Yourself section
  • You can change your password (make sure you choose a strong one using the strength indicator)
  • To upload a Profile Picture:
  • Visit GRAVATAR to get your personal profile picture by clicking the GRAVATAR link at the top of the page
  • Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog
  • On the Gravatar homepage, click Get your Gravatar today
  • Enter your email address in the email box. Make sure you enter the email address that you use for Writing the City
  • Click Sign Up
  • An email confirmation will be sent to that email address
  • Sign into your email and click on the link provided
  • You will be asked to choose a username and password
  • You will then see your email displayed on a new screen
  • To add your image, click Add one by Clicking Here below
  • Select an image from your desired location
  • Click Next
  • Crop the image as desired and click Crop and Finish
  • Choose a rating for your Gravatar
  • The process is now complete
  • Go back to Writing the City and click View Profile to view your new profile picture
  • We will not display your email address to other users


  • Click LOG OUT in the top menu to log out


I’m having trouble using the site, what can I do?

  • Read our User Guide
  • Post your question in our Help discussion
  • Send us a message

What is the City Unwritten Map and how do I contribute?

  • The City Unwritten map is an interactive, online map showing creative writing from around Singapore and beyond
  • To add your work to the map, select a location when publishing a new post. This could be the place where your writing is set, a location that inspired it, or simply where you are currently writing
  • For help with using the City Unwritten Map, click here
  • Stay tuned to our Competitions page for info about the forthcoming City Unwritten Competition

Can I change my personal details, e.g. email address? Yes. Just click on PROFILE in the top menu and change your details there. Make sure you click Update Profile at the bottom of the page to save your changes. How long will my work stay on Writing the City?

  • You can delete your own posts from the site anytime, but we recommend keeping them online to build the community and receive comments
  • By submitting your work to the City Unwritten map, you agree to allow us to feature it on the Writing the City website and/or our associated blog until such time as this website and/or blog is closed

Will you ask my permission before you use my work? If we would like to use your work for media publication or any commercial purpose, including marketing, we will always contact you in advance to obtain your written permission. By submitting your work to one of our competitions, you are agreeing to your work being broadcast via our marketing channels. What if I read something offensive on Writing the City?

  • Writing the City is a space for different views and opinions. You may not agree with everything you read, but we ask members to keep this a safe space for diverse material, provided it respects our Community Guidelines
  • ‘Hate speech’ – speech which attacks or demeans others based on race, ethnic origin, gender, sexuality, religion, disability or age will not be tolerated, neither will pornography or extremely violent content. Please report anything you feel is offensive by clicking the report button

Will you pass my personal details on to anyone else? We will not share any of your personal details with anyone else. If you want more information about the British Council’s Data Protection Act please contact your local British Council office or email the British Council Data Protection Team Does copyright remain with me? Yes, entirely. For more info, please read our Copyright PolicyWhat will happen if I provide false information? We reserve the right to disqualify any submission if incorrect, false or incomplete information has been given by the user. This is particularly relevant in submitting to competitions. You haven’t answered my question, what can I do? Click here to send us a message. We will respond to you as soon as we can.