About Trek Writer's Guild
|What is Trek Writer's Guild? A little bit of history...
1997 was a bad year for Star Trek. Many poor episodes were produced and the fan base felt a general dismay.
At the time, many fans hung out at Holodeck3.com and complained bitterly about how sour Star Trek had become. This led to frenzied discussions on writing values, and story pitching. Many great ideas were posted back and forth, each elaborating on the last. Over time a bunch of people thought "Hey, this writing is fun! We should try to pitch scripts to Paramount, and get the franchise out of this slump."
So we did. Well, we tried.
Michael Sweeney originally proposed a website devoted to posting spec scripts for submission to Paramount, and dove right into designing and setting the site up.
With the help of Mike Wright and his inspired original logo, Trek Writer's Guild was born. The Guild site soon hosted several great spec scripts from writers such as David Highlander, Mike Wright, and Chris Filippone.
As time went on the purpose of the Guild widened, and instead of simply being a forum for speculative scripts, it also grew to encompassed fan fiction, parodies, and general discussion of both TV and original series. TWG even boasted an email list of over 200 people! Unfortunatly, the software we used to run the list was unpredictable, so it was scrapped.
The Guild website had taken on a life of its own, eventually requiring the one man operation of webguru Michael Sweeney to enlist volunteer help. Einstein was chosen as Content Manager, and Trek (Who also designed the current and permenant logo.) was picked as Update Manager. Eventually, Scott Fack would join the team as the Resource Manager. During the summer of '99 Michael Sweeney decided to put his perl knowledge to the test and rebuilt the entire TWGuild.com website from scratch as a dynamic user driven search engine. (Just saying that is fun.)
With the addition of Star Trek Captions and TWG Trivia, TWGuild.com has become more then just a place to house and showcase quality Star Trek fan fiction, its a hang out spot, designed to bring people back. This is a good thing, since it makes the main purpose, promoting authors works, easier.
What is TWGuild.com all about?
When TWGuild.com is added to a new search engine or index, they ask for a brief description.
"TWGuild.com - A forum for aspiring writers in Star Trek fan fiction."
Or something like that. But truthfully, that's what this is all about. A place to hang out, ask questions and post stories. Its not a club, or a "group", but a community. A loose gathering of writers, readers and idea people.
Sure, you have to register to post at the web boards, and the Guild name implies "membership", but all that is just show.
(Note from Michael: If I could go back and change the name I probably would. The whole "Guild' thing has more of a pain in the a** then anything else. You can't imagine how many questions I've gotten about how to pay dues, complaints about playing favorites, or people who were intimidated by the idea of joining a "guild". Maybe "Trek Writer's Showcase" would have been better? Nah, go for gusto.)
The Guild website has evolved to promote and encourage all Star Trek fan fiction. Whether its posted On Site, or Off Site, we have worked to make everything equal and all chances fair. We can't guarentee that anyone will read your hard work, but people will know about it.
After all this time, we've gotten pretty good at this. But as with all things, there is room for improvement, and the Guild is a moving target.
About Ships of the Fleet
|Ships of the Fleet was originally an idea by Michael Sweeney. He thought to himself, "Hey, why can't we see other Star Fleet ships and crews and find out about their great adventures?" Intended as book series Mr. Sweeney tucked it away for future use.
Taking their cue from the pioneering work of Ross Glenn and his fantastic USS Renegade series, TWG writers such as Mike Wright (Protostar, Thunderchild), Dave Raftery (Orion) and eventually David Sheerin (Toronto) began launching their own fan fiction series onto the world wide web. This proliferation in original Star Trek fiction led Mike Wright to form the original Ships of the Fleet webring, with name suggested by Michael Sweeney
The Ships of the Fleet webring took off like a rocket, and quickly gathered over twenty, thirty and eventually forty fan fiction websites. Unfortunatly, over this time many of these websites burned out and stopped posting fiction. During the summer of '99, in the middle of a Terms Of Service dispute with Yahoo!Geocities, Michael Sweeney eliminated the webring, hoping to refocus the Guild and its mission.
Currently, the Ships of the Fleet moniker is used to discribe all original crew fan fiction posted or hosted by TWGuild.com. Perhaps some day the webring will rise again, but don't hold your breathe. We have different ideas, and the ability to make them come true.
(Note from Michael: I always felt that the SotF webring was wrong somehow. I loved the idea, but not the implementation. It just never "fit in" with my overall vision for this website. Admittedly, this made it easier when I decided to ditch the idea, and the TOS dispute was a good cover story. I know that this made many people angry, and may have set the whole Guild back a bit momentum-wise, but I still feel it was for the best. I know that some people balk at the idea that a webring could actually be a bad thing, but I have monitored and experienced its negative effects. Its a very weird position to be in when dozens of people email you to complain about websites that you have affiliated yourself with, but have absolutely no control over. There are still websites out there with the defunct logo, testement to just how up to date they were being kept.)
Link to TWG
|Trek Writer's Guild has several very nice link logos for interested parties to use. You can choose from the following.
Please include a text description with your link stating 'Star Trek fan fiction at TWGuild.com'. This helps tremendously with Google and other search engines.
(Note from Michael: These are the best link logos for you to use. Please do not use any other graphics from TWGuild.com or TrekFiction.com)
XML/RSS Feed and Headlines
TrekFiction.com is pleased to offer an XML/RSS news feed for the latest 10 Ships of the Fleet adventures.
You can also put the latest Star Trek fan fiction on your website, updated everyday by TrekFiction.com and Trek Writer's Guild.
You can choose from the following options:
The latest 3 stories with synposis:
The latest 5 stories without synposis:
The latest 10 stories with synposis:
Examples in current use include:
(Note from Michael: Several web browsers now offer support for RSS/XML, consult your browsers help pages to get this working. Otherwise, there are many RSS readers out there.)
Frequently Answered Questions
Have most of these questions already been answered in the previous sections?
Yeah, mostly, but its been our experience that you just can't repeat yourself often enough.
Have you guys ever really submitted anything to Paramount?
Uh, no. However, our fearless webmaster once submitted a short story to Asimov's Science Fiction. It was rejected! But very nicely!
Do I have to "join" the Guild?
Nope. Trek Writer's Guild is not a club, or even really a guild. You have to register to use various features around the site, such as posting to the webboards and using the archive tools, but thats just a formality. We once had a web board that you didn't have to register for, but it broke.
As TWGuild.com has grown we have also found it useful to have a Terms of Service Agreement. You must agree to the TWG ToS when you register with the site, and this helps to protect us from liabilty and lower our blood pressure. You can read the TWG Terms of Service here.
What is the TWG Terms of Service Agreement? Do I have to agree to use the site?
Trek Writer's Guild or TWGuild.com has grown to become quite the portal for Star Trek fan fiction. We are constantly adding new and more powerful tools that allow better and more successful promotion of quality Star Trek fan fiction. With this growth and success it has become necessary to limit our liabilty and protect ourselves as best we can.
Beginning with the introduction of TWG4.0 we are requiring that anyone wishing to register with the site and use the new system must read, understand, and agree to our Terms of Service Agreement.
Essentially, the Terms of Service Agreement outlines what TWGuild.com expects from the user and what the user should expect from TWGuild.com.
So, yes, a new user must read, understand and agree to the TWG Yerms of Service Agreement in order to register with the site and use any active features.
It is our ful intention to randomly quiz users on the different aspects of TWG's ToS and other important information, so be warned.
You can read the TWG Terms of Service here.
(Note from Michael: The TWG ToS is based on the Yahoo.com ToS and we are pretty pleased with it.)
Can you email me updates, instead of my having to come and actually visit the website all the time?
The answer is no. But this might change. So keep dropping by to find out more. (heh heh)
(Note from Michael: We used to have a mailing list, but the software I used kept breaking. Stupid demo. Plus, it was more effort then it was worth, and just never seemed to increase our hits.)
Are you accepting submissions?
YES! Trek Writer's Guild lives, breathes and loves all Star Trek fan fiction! Original series, TV series based, parodies, on and on! We won't accept poetry for reasons beyond explanation, but everything else qualifies!
(Note from Michael: Honestly, do you really want to read Star Trek poetry? Neither do I.)
How do I submit stories?
Please take the time to read our Submission Instructions.
What if I already have my own website?
That's fine! Please take the time to read our Submission Instructions.
Can you link to my home page, instead of the the story itself?
No! ;-) While we realize that you -really- want to promote all your other works, we have found through experience that nothing is more frustrating then having to search around for something that was promised to be quick and easy. We have plans for a fan fiction links index, eventually, but don't hold your breathe.
(Note from Michael: When I started posting Off Site fiction again I just threw up the story info and the home page link. Then one day I actually went to read the story and COULDN"T FIND IT.)
We've heard that this Michael Sweeney charecter is a real jerk and that he plays favorites, is this true?
YES! Michael Sweeney is a gigantic jerk, and he does play favorites. He has a tendency to favor people who are helpful and productive, while ignoring annoying complainers with too much free time.
If you think that your are being ignored or insulted, GET OVER IT! This website is a hobby, and all the people who work on it have busy, busy lives in the real world. We LOVE doing this, and working hard at it, but we don't love people who complain.They are evil.
(Note from Michael: I have been working on this website since March 1997, and have had every accusation thrown at me imaginable, by people I greatly respected. So if you think you have a 'special' problem or issue, you're probebly wrong.)
Do you do banner exchanges?
YES! We have a very nice TWG Banner Exchange system that you are welcome to learn more about here
What is a Username?
A Username is a "nickname" you select. It identifies you at TWGuild.com
and allows you to access your TWGuild Account and use TWGuild.com
What if I forget my password?
Fill out the simple Forgot my Username or Password form
and both will be emailed to you.
Can I choose my own Usernames?
Yes! Here's your chance to choose your own unique nickname. Here are
some ideas if you're stuck:
* Use a word or words identifying your favorite hobby, business
* Or you could refer to your hometown or state and call yourself something
like "College_Boy" or "Georgia_Peach".
* Maybe you'd like to refer to your own sense of style and use an ID like
"StraightA" or "DeansList."
Just remember that Usernames:
* May contain letters (a-z), numbers (0-9), underscores '_' and dashes.
* Must be at least two (2) characters long.
* Are case sensitive.
* Can't be obscene, profane or hateful.
Things you can't use include:
* The word, "twguild" or "twg". Only TWGuild.com Staff may use "twguild" or "twg"
in their Usernames. This is to prevent non-employees from masquerading
Can I change my Username?
Yes. You may change your Username whenever you want, and it will instantly update everywhere that you have posted.
Can anyone else have the same Username?
No. A Username must be unique. In the real world, there can be thousands
of people named "Robert." At TWGuild, only one person can have "Robert"
as a Username.
How do I find the email address of someone with a Username?
This is easy. Simply click on that person's Username wherever it appears
as a link. This will automatically generate a details report with contact
information that they have chosen to supply.
Can TWGuild Staff change my User ID?
TWGuild reserves the right to modify, alter or suspend any Username
at any time (at our sole discretion and without notice) for any reason
Does TWGuild keep track of all my Account Information changes?
No. If you choose to change the contact information that you use in
your TWGuild Account then that is your business. However, abuse of
the system will not be tolerated and can lead to suspension of priviledges.
Can I change my registered email address?
Yes. You may change your email address anytime you need, and it will be updated everywhere it appears.
What if I am offended by someone else's Username?
Feel free to contact TWGuild Staff with your complaint.
TWGuild does not allow obscenities, profanity or hateful language in
I've got an idea! I'm going to register additional Username addresses
to reserve Usernames! I'll even sell them!
TWGuild does not allow this. That would be bad. Please don't register additional Username
addresses in order to sell them later.
Q. What is the TWGuild eNewsletter?
Periodically TWGuild will publish news articles and resources to
the website, and this information can be emailed to you in the form of
an email newsletter. The eNewsletter will be published no more then once
a week and is a service to keep you informed of developments here at the
site, new features or partnerships. The TWGuild eNewsletter is totally
different from the Series Email Lists that are sent at your request
by your TWGuild Account.
Will you be adding more FAQ Questions in the future?
YES! We used to have this loooong FAQ list that we had collected over a really long time but it got thrown out, which was pretty stupid! So expect to see more wit and cynicism here, not to mention questionable spelling.
(Note from Michael: Yes, its true. I was cleaning out my computer for possible sale, and it got junked. But look at it this way, now that I have to rewrite this stuff, you'll get the chance to read these Notes from me. In the past I have always been conservative in expressing my true thoughts in order to avoid upsetting people. The truth of the matter is that I really am a jerk, a real person, but I have learned that the patient and understanding win. The spelling will get fixed soon, I have to reinstall my universal spellchecker.)