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Review of Scribophile

Scribophile reviews

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26 reviews
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Chicago, IL 60647, US
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26 Reviews From Our Community


All Reviews

1 review
0 helpful votes
I was looking for an online critique group and stumbled on Scibophile and love it! There's stacks of active members, the website works really well, and I love the sense of community there. It's really inspired me to write again and I'm getting great feedback from experienced writers. Couldn't be happier!!
1 review
0 helpful votes
I spent a long time writing on my own and I didn't realize how nice it is to talk to other people about writing. The selling point of Scribophile is getting reviews for your novel but I've found it even more useful as a chat space to talk to other people who are all trying to write. It is so nice to find a group of people who are all going through the same struggles as you are in writing a novel. And everyone is so welcoming. The reviews are nice too but where the site really shines is as a place to talk with other writers.

Tip for consumers: Say hi in the forums and start meeting people right away!

1 review
0 helpful votes
I have been a member for a year. In that time I have made so many great friends on Scribophile. The people there give you great reviews and it is a fantastic way to get detailed feedback. I have used the free membership for a while but the paid membership is a pretty good value. Eventually I had a paid membership gifted to me by someone on the site!
1 review
0 helpful votes
I've spent a lot of time at other writing sites, like, Fanstory, Wattpad, and the other day someone recommended Scribophile. After a few weeks I knew I had found the place where I wanted to stay. I've gotten so many detailed reviews of my first few chapters and met some beta readers too. The way the app is organized means that beta readers find you and you get reviews suuuuper fast. I can't recommend it enough!!!
1 review
1 helpful vote
A friend told me about Scribophile and I signed up and love it. There is so much stuff there to read it's almost overwhelming. I've met a few people and we're swapping chapters and starting a beta read. Everyone is so nice and there is so much knowledge there.
2 reviews
4 helpful votes
I've been to so many other writing sites to look for beta readers, and none of them have been very good. I'm glad I finally found Scribophile! I've been a member for a few months and I already have a fantastic group of beta readers who are reading through my novel. You have to earn points to post your writing and that means there's always someone to read your work. At first it's a little tough, but after a while I've wound up with more points than I can use.

Everyone is so nice and it's awesome to finally find other writers who can do beta reads!
1 review
11 helpful votes
You never own the stuff you put on there. Let me explain. If the owners or those who run the site ever dislike you or you write about something controversial they will remove you from the site and all your data will be lost. No you can't retrieve your stuff. All it takes is one to two people complaining. It is not a place for creative freedom if you write horror or anything not pg-13. With the exception of romance but even then you can get reported. Art should be freeing. Like music, a cd will warn of explicit details. That cd wasn't removed from stores. Imagine working on a book and losing everything because someone didn't agree with your vision. Your not treated as an adult, your treated like children who should behave and stay silent.
1 review
6 helpful votes
My review on Scribophile is rather mixed. As a member for several years, I have enjoyed the opportunity to network with other amateur writers. In fact, networking is perhaps the greatest use of the site.

The critique system works best once you have established a cadre of reliable critiquers, otherwise, you will find yourself wasting time on sifting through critiques that often have little intrinsic value. In part it's because everybody has to learn how to write a critique (that's just part of life, inside or outside Scribophile) but also because some people take pride in having no clue what it is that they are doing.

However, once you assemble a reliable group of critiquers, you've found a pearl of great price.

The greatest downside, in my opinion, is the forums. They are moderated in a rather arbitrary manner, and both the mods and the owner can call out and shame members publicly. Even if you pay for the premium account (and paying for premium is really the only way to use the site if you write novels), your account can be closed at the owner's discretion. And his discretion has not always proved understandable over the years.

Despite rules against discussing politics and religion in the forums (and hey, once upon a time, the rules of etiquette dictated that politics, sex and religion were verboten in polite conversation for a reason, so I cannot complain), the forums have still become a toxic wasteland. New members get mocked for asking questions that seem "simple" or "common." I have seen members mocked for everything from mental illness to their chosen writing genre to their financial status. It can get brutal.

The effort taken to combat the toxicity of the forums is an arbitrary system of strikes and banning that is applied differently depending upon the person. The rules change based upon who is being reprimanded.

The TL;DR version essentially boils down to: stay out of the forums. Join small groups and get into the mix to network. If you write poetry, this site is probably not a good fit both for its format and for the attitude taken by many members towards poets. If you write novels, you will find that it's very impractical unless you buy the premium account.

It's also worth noting that many of the members who have achieved success leave the site. What this means is that it can be difficult to get mentoring or significant input from somebody who actually knows the ins and outs of writing. Most advice will be coming from amateurs. This isn't necessarily bad, but it's something to consider.

Give it a try using the free option for a few months and then make a decision for yourself.
1 review
12 helpful votes
I joined Scrib years ago when it was starting out. There was a great community of writers there, nearly all of them gone now. I came back last year, because a friend encouraged me to return to writing. It is almost exactly as it was then, a great writing community. Here's the problem, my friends. The owner. Alex Cabal. He runs the place through terror tactics. Say anything on the forum or in a group or in a private group that he doesn't like and you will get your message deleted, you will get a strike, and you will be stalked, and you will be banned. it doesn't matter if you paid for the premium membership, you will be permanently banned and your writing deleted and your access to your writing community will be gone. The people who remain are silenced through fear of being banned. So prepare yourself: if you want to join a site where anything you say can be held against you, where the owner can ban you even if you paid in full, if you can't appeal any decision, if you can't speak out on behalf of any friends who were unjustly banned, if you want to get your heart broken by losing all your work in the blink of an eye, if you can't respectfully protest anything, then you have been warned. Oh, and Alex favorite words for people who dare to speak out: Jerks. $#*!s. He proudly comes onto the forums (another intimidation tactic) and brags about the jerks and $#*!s he's banned from the site. He lies and makes up reasons when he bans people. He is a bully who has created a reign of terror on the site. The forums are dull and dead because everyone fears him. Look for another community of writers, this one will break your writing spirit, and your heart.
1 review
10 helpful votes
This is a bad site, bad team who banned me because I was writing a novel related to a Christian-Muslim war in Lebanon.... Nobody has the right to shut my mouth, and I will find my way to spread the novel, not because I care what happened during any of the wars, but because there are readers out there who like to read about crime... am so sad :(
3 reviews
7 helpful votes
I signed up for Scribophile earlier this year. It's helped my writing so much! The system makes you write critiques for other people before you can post your own novel. At first I was a little hesitant but let me tell you, sitting down and thinking hard about what other people can improve in their writing goes a long way to helping me objectively look at my own work.

So far I've made a lot of friends and critique partners, and I'm getting ready to do a complete beta read swap with another member. I would never have gotten this chance without Scribophile.

Besides critiquing, the forums are usually pretty busy and while the moderators can sometimes be a little zealous I think they're usually pretty fair.

In short I can't recommend Scribophile enough. Love it!
1 review
2 helpful votes
Joining Scribophile (Scrib) was one of the best decisions I ever made as a writer.
Other reviews here note the membership cost--$65 a year is very reasonable, especially since you can store as many works as you want with that price.
The karma system makes perfect sense, as with most writing groups one would need to read and critique 3-5 other people's works as part of the exchange to get their own critiqued. I personally found that karma didn't really matter, as I am a novel writer, so I would seek out other novels and critique them. Usually by the time I had read and critiqued 2-3 novels, I had plenty of karma to post my own work.
The beta spotlight makes things even easier, since if you create or join a group you can exchange without using karma towards the posting fee. You DO have to pay for premium for this advantage, but again, it's rather affordable, and there are a lot of philanthropic members who gift premium to people who are hard up.
The community as a whole is pretty great--the main forums can get a little intense, but on a site with writers I think that's to be expected. Groups are a great way to socialize with like minded people and avoid the general area if that's more your speed.
Also, there are policies in place to handle people who give poor critiques and don't follow the "pay it forward" mindset of the site. Some other reviews here criticize it, but in my experience, the moderators and owner do their best to be fair. It may seem a little harsh, but usually if you try to follow the rules you shouldn't have any problems.
The site is a lot to take in at first, and I think it could be improved with some site ambassadors who reach out to newcomers and help them learn the ropes of the site, maybe assist with or review their first couple of critiques.
Other than that, it's fantastic, and I highly recommend it.
1 review
3 helpful votes
I have been a member of Scribophile for several years. I received both great critiques and poor critiques (usually a new member). Still, I have made several friends on this site. I use both Scribophile to get a critique and then present the same information to my in-person critique group. It works out great.

Since I moved to a smaller town, I do not have an in person critique group, this is a great site. Critiquing others works is not drudgery and it helps me improve my own writing. Other writers, particularly some newbies enjoy my insights. Others have given me great insights into my own work.

The site can use some more prefessionality in it's critiquers. Checking spelling and grammar is good, but in rewrites, that is often thrown out. Sentence structures and information is changed. Reading previous chapters is helpful to understand what you are criticquing. I appreciate those that take the time to check my histoical references or adjectives.

Posting critiques is easy. Answering a few questions then copy and paste. I like Scribophile and hope critiquers take their suggestions more seriously since they are given karma points whitch are easy to accumulate. Karma points are a great way to get works read. I've had no problem acumulating points nor using them.

Hope to see more professional writers on here.
1 review
26 helpful votes
I went to scribophile to learn and grow as a writer. While the site is fairly well structured and encourages writers to support one another, their critique system could use improvement. As could the overall attitude from members and moderators alike.

Commenting on other's work in regards of grammar, etc. can earn you flags. Not to mention they discourage lengthy critiques. They also don't like you posting chapters or pieces over 3,000 words. Which can be quite a pain as a number of writers end up having to divide their work into even smaller parts just to comply with the rules.

Also, unless you're a paying member... which its $9 dollars a month just to message freely and not have a limitation on the amount of work you post, it can slow you down to a snail's pace. Not to mention actually present your work in a decent format. If you're not a paying member, it is even harder to earn karma points. Even if you do a lot of reading and critiquing the limitations they set makes all those stacked up karma points seem wasted. Not to mention, it slows a number of writers down that might have deadlines or be looking for some serious feedback on their work.

Though I'll say this much... I ended up being a paying member so that way I could fully utilize everything, it still felt overpriced as there were times I would take out a lengthy time to read and critique another's works to get flagged and would end up get half-assed critiques that were pointless to even acknowledge imo. But as I did not want to cause trouble, I let it slide. Not to mention I didn't want to have to deal with the moderators which came off as rather pushy, snooty, and condescending.
Annabelle A.
3 reviews
17 helpful votes
I signed up for Scribophile recently and have critiqued others works and posted two of my own works. The community really helped me improve my work, and I appreciate it. However, earning enough karma points to post them, and esp. Premium is really a problem.

It takes forever to earn karma points (you have to critique over 125 words to get 1 or 0.50 points). And Premium can make things unfair. What esp. bothers me is that non-paying writers have to delete past works just to post more.

So to conclude, if you are willing to pay and very professional, then this site is for you. But if you are a college student like me, you might find some issues.
1 review
13 helpful votes
I've enjoyed my time at Scribophile, but was surprised to find out two things as a non-paying member:

1. You cannot italicize anything in your submitted stories. I use italics a lot, so I was disappointed to find this out. Granted, they do say that "premium members" will enjoy certain format enhancements that will make your writing shine. Too bad I didn't read the fine print.

2. I somehow missed that at a certain point, you must pay up to continue membership. Nothing is free in this world after all. Trouble is, I'd already critiqued enough stories to earn 5 credits, enough to submit my next story. Ok, after reading more fine print, they do let you delete past stories and critiques to keep submitting stories for free. I guess you just have to be really on it . They have subtle ways of urging you to become a "premium member." Perhaps marketing is marketing, and I just need to deal with it!
6 reviews
8 helpful votes
I've been using Scribophile on and off over the past few years. The community is very friendly, and the critiquing features are top-notch. I've gotten lots of great feedback over time. The karma system makes it a little time-consuming to earn points but ultimately it's more than worth it.
3 reviews
34 helpful votes
I've tried them all and Scribophile is without a doubt the best writing site I've encountered.

I've been with them as a member for many years and don't see myself as ever leaving. The site itself is easily navigable with its large and colorful prompts, all laid out in a logical and eye-appealing format.

I've met hundreds of dedicated and talented writers, editors, publishers, and agents there, many of them published, and just about all more than willing to help you along in your writing endeavors.

The monthly membership fee is more than reasonable and is even discounted for those comfortable with a longer term membership.

As for submitting your writing for review and analysis and reviewing the works of others, the process is a straightforward and simple one via the "Karma" point system. I've grown to like it and can always see my efforts on my profile page.

Highly recommended for both novice and experienced novel, short story, and flash fiction writers. There are also categories for those who prefer nonfiction and poetry.

In short, I've learned more on Scribophile than I ever did in any college writing class.
1 review
9 helpful votes
I've tried both Critique Circle Pro and Scribophile Pro.
Heres a few comments about the service for anyone interested in signing up.

1)Scribophile is free
2)Pro is worth it if you don't mind the critiquing.

You can post a piece of crap writing and they will tell you everything thats wrong with it. I got more feedback from Scribophile than from taking a $400.00 writing course from a community college. I'll say this much, the Professor was not engaged and the students sugarcoated the feedback. If I'am paying for a writing course and putting my work out there I want people to rip my content to shreds. They are all very nice on Scribophile minus a troll or two. Some of the reviews are harsh but I prefer harsh over sugarcoating.

Critique Circle Vs. Scribophile
If I picked between Scribophile and Critique Circle I would pick Scribophile. I've seen some professional editors give feedback on the site. This site won't promise you published work, it enhances the work and tells a writer where they need to improve. It's up to the writer after that point.


I like the Karma point system. It makes me think twice before posting something impulsively. I also improved my own writing style be critiquing other peoples work. It's like a writing course without the Prof and it's cheaper. The people who have been complaining need to take a writing course with a mediocre Prof.

I see some areas where it could improve, it's a good service that makes even the Pro Members work hard. The critiques can range from poor to excellent, harsh to constructive. Go to the site with a thick skin. You won't be getting feedback from friends tip toeing around major plot holes. If you don't want to spend as much time critiquing this site might not be for you.
7 reviews
16 helpful votes
I've been using Scribophile for a while and unlike other writing sites this one is focused on getting feedback on your writing. If you want to just post your writing for the world to read, like in a blog, then this is the wrong place... it's for getting reviews and critiques. And they're really good quality. It's a little hard to earn karma points but for me writing critiques has been a good way to train myself to look at my own writing differently. Great site!
1 review
15 helpful votes
Feels a bit like slave labour for what you actually pay to get out of it. You need to write hundreds of words to collect karma points and if you dare to submit a work for critique that is a bit on the long side you will get a snotty email from the moderator. CC is much better.
5 reviews
7 helpful votes
I signed up for Scribophile last year and have been loving it ever since. Everyone there is smart and helpful, I've gotten great feedback on my novel, and it's just about ready for publication! The owners are always improving the site and making sure it runs smoothly. Scribophile is one of the best communities I've ever been a part of.
1 review
4 helpful votes
Scribophile is a GREAT place to meet new Writer friends, show off your work, and also get more potential readers. The only reason I'm cutting a star is, because I wish they would ease up on the requirement to critique so you can post your own work. Otherwise, I'm very thankful for this site!
2 reviews
27 helpful votes
I joined Scribophile about five years ago and have watched it evolve over the years. I have benefited from the critique format, but it has it's limitations. Written works are posted through an economy system earning "karma" for critiques given and spent when posting works for critique. The mods try to make earning karma a carrot dangled over members' noses and are miserly with how they dish out and even tax the effort of giving away karma to fellow members. There are also hidden karma fees for non-paying members that aren't always clearly stated. The main moderator who runs the site can be vindictive and childish in running the forums. He does not like to be challenged and can be downright abusive when crossed. Last year he shut down one active member's site for speaking out about the abuses she suffered at the hands of other members. Any attempts to return and open a new account were countered. It's not a good place to be and has many punitive rules to follow. Writers aren't allowed to discuss anything close to politics or religion even when it pertains to fictional writing or the the craft of writing. Members are "shamed" when speaking their minds in forums and some members have been threatened with banning from the forums for speaking out for their rights.

It's not the serious writer site it proposes to be. It's an alright place for beginners to get a start on critiquing their work, so long as one slavishly follows all the rules and agrees with every condition the mods put in place.It would seem that's what the site aims to be in keeping writers at a low level of writing and discussions and never aspire to anything higher. It keeps them paying the expensive Premium fee of $65 which is really not worth it. Most of the benefits can be achieved for free and the hassles with paying are simply not worth the price. The main benefit of Premium membership is posting an entire novel rather than the limited 2-chapter postings for free. However, there's no guarantee you'll get equitable critiques for your entire work which could take literally years to get enough members on board to critique the entire thing, let alone the time it would take you to earn the karma to post an entire novel. And then there's the karma tax for anyone who tries to help their fellow members by sharing karma between them. Most just use it to network and beta read offsite which can be gotten for free.
1 review
25 helpful votes
First off set up is pretty good I like the critique features but this site takes a ton of work to post anything. It's like I critique five other works just to get one chapter of my work up. Leadership is terrible the mods do keep things moving but they are bias and for some reason volunteers. The head guy is unprofessional and plays favorites. People are leaving this place left and right save your money and go for something else.

Tip for consumers: Make a free membership and connect with individuals who are writers I met plenty of good people on the site.


Customer Questions & Answers

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Sure!!! All Poetry lets you post as much as you want but IMHO not many people read what you post. Scribophile makes you earn points and that guarantees other people review your post.

By Lisa D.
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It's totally legit! It's a great site, sign up and see for yourself!

By Rajit K.
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People generally dog on new writers there. Try going on Facebook and finding other new writers to test your work on and get feedback.

By Janet K.
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