An Organization of Writers with Disabilities

Writers Partyline List Guidelines

Writers’ Partyline Guidelines
Revised August 20, 2018

Note: This web version of the list guidelines has been modified to remove all Email addresses. If you are not yet a member of Behind Our Eyes, you can join by completing our membership application. Once we receive your application, you’ll receive a copy of these guidelines with all Email addresses intact. If you are currently a member and need a complete copy of the guidelines for your records, please use our contact form to request one. These guidelines are posted to the Writers Partyline mailing list on the tenth of March, June, September, and December.


Welcome to Behind Our Eyes, a nonprofit organization of writers with disabilities. All members are encouraged to participate in our organization’s Email community, the Writers’ Partyline list (WPL).

By subscribing to this list, you agree to our stipulations and decisions about list participation and about the protection of our written work and our identifying information. Saving this document in your files for future reference may be helpful. After you begin using the list, you should contact the list moderator if you have any questions about content, traffic, or frequency of posts. Please contact the moderator as soon as possible if your Email provider and our server aren’t interacting as expected.

We are proud to offer a safe and cordial environment where rude or inflammatory messages are not acceptable and where new and experienced writers enjoy working together.


The Writers’ Partyline list supports the goals of Behind Our Eyes in many ways:

  1. Networking among members hones our writing craft through the exchange of ideas, opportunities, and experiences. Confidence and creativity gain momentum through new challenges and constructive critiques.

  2. The list focuses on the encouragement, support, and promotion of writing accomplishments and current projects of individual members, as well as the publications and other projects of the Behind Our Eyes organization.

  3. The list provides announcements of upcoming meetings via conference calls, including Behind Our Eyes business, guest speakers, and critique sessions. Writing prompts are frequently offered for critique sessions.

  4. Special techniques, programs, and equipment are discussed when accessibility challenges appear regarding writing, editing, formatting, publishing, and social media platform building.



To keep list traffic reasonable, we ask that you limit your personal posts to two messages per day. If an extenuating circumstance should arise in which you feel you must post a third message in a given day, please contact the List Moderator. Forwarding one post from your blog or other social media platform is welcome once per week. Do not post a message more than once, and do not CC or forward a post to another list.

If you must send messages to this list and other recipients, please be sure that the Writers Partyline list is in the “To” field and not the “CC” or “BCC” fields. Otherwise, the server will hold your message for moderator approval. Your message will also be held if you inadvertently send it from an address other than the one from which you are subscribed to the Writers Partyline list. You can contact the List Moderator if you would like to be subscribed from more than one address.


The word count should be posted in the subject line of posts containing your own written work. 1500 is the maximum allowed. If you have a recommendation for a website or an article which is too long, summarize it as best you can within the body of the message, and offer a link to its location.

If readability is improved because of formatting, an attachment of up to 1500 words may be sent, provided you also place the text in the body of the message for those who cannot or do not read attachments. Please do not send mp3 or other large files. If you would like to share such a file that you feel is relevant to the topic of writing, you may send a link instead.


Begin your message with a subject line and/or salutation describing the content and, if appropriate, the intended purpose, for example:

A. Essay for critique, March 15 meeting

B. Handout about sonnets

If your work includes content which would be labeled offensive by sensitive readers, consider including a cautionary phrase after the title.

To send your post to the list, use the list Email address.


Examples, opportunities, and questions about writing are the subjects of most posts on the list. Messages regarding Behind Our Eyes meetings, campaigns, and elections are part of our organization’s focus on writing.

Although information about talking books and other subjects relating to blindness and other disabilities may be of interest to our members, such topics are not relevant to the goals of the WPL. Discussions and opinions about writing may arise from posts (i.e., punctuation, self-publishing options, etc.) However, almost all lengthy discussions are conducted through private messaging. If you can answer a question which has been posted, and you believe it will be of general interest and value to other writers, feel free to post it on the list.

If you question information or wish to express a contrary opinion regarding the content in a piece submitted to the list, use private Email to communicate with the author. Critiques of another member’s writing piece should be expressed in a private e-mail which strives to include a balance of positive comments and suggestions for improvement. Critiques should focus on writing style, tone, composition, word choice, etc., and avoid challenges to the writer’s or his/her characters’ opinions.

When you submit writing to the list, you will need to identify its direction. These examples may serve as guides for the subject line:

a. Poem for July 5 Critique Session/Critiques welcome

b. Poem/critiques welcome via private e-mail

c. Poem for your enjoyment

When material is being gathered for a critique session, each member is welcome to submit one piece designated for that session. After the meeting, one revision may be posted. If you request critiques via private Email, you may post one revision. Allow sufficient time for responses and for incorporation of any changes before reposting your work.

On the WPL, share your success and your experiences with self-editing, gaining accessibility, working with publishers, and marketing strategies. Post contact opportunities or calls for submissions to anthologies.


In the closing of your e-mail to the list, please include both your name and your e-mail address so another member may respond to you privately and directly.


The bulk of networking occurs between members in private messages off the list. This networking will begin soon after you join the list and continue when you offer or request your first critique. The content, frequency, and duration of messaging relationships are at the discretion of the participants. The Behind Our Eyes organization cannot be held responsible for the content of private messages. Nevertheless, list guidelines should be respected with regard to security, privacy, and courtesy.

When you find a post to which you want to respond, use the Email address from the sender’s post to be sure your message does not go to the list, but only goes to the sender. When you post to the list, your e-mail should include only your message-not a message from another member nor a string of correspondence between you and another member.


  1. The WPL is a private list for use exclusively by Behind Our Eyes members. The list address cannot be shared with others, and list posts cannot be forwarded or shared without the permission of the poster.

  2. Your published and unpublished work, as well as your work in progress shared in connection with this list, is your copyrighted property. It cannot be forwarded or used for any purpose, as a whole or in part, without your permission. If permission is obtained, appropriate attribution must be given to the author and, if applicable, the publication.

  3. No personal identification information (name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.) can be used or sold for advertising, promotion, recruitment, or any other purpose without permission from the member in question and/or the organization.

  4. Private responses sent to you from other members are considered confidential and cannot be forwarded to the list or elsewhere without permission. If you received information you want to share or if someone’s critique helped you with your work, paraphrase the important points, but do not forward the sender’s message. The best way to avoid a problem is to create a new post to the list instead of relying on the Reply function of your Email program.


We understand that some members may have limited access and that special programs, equipment, and those providing assistance may present challenges. As long as the list privacy, security, and courtesy standards are maintained, you have our support and understanding.


These guidelines are available to members at and will be posted to the list quarterly. Announcements will be made about any changes or interruptions in list service if technical issues arise with providers, spam filtering, or the server.

If you need to unsubscribe from the list, you are welcome to resubscribe when your circumstances allow.

The list moderator keeps watch with regard to improvements or violations. Suggestions, concerns, and questions about how or whether to post certain material to the list can be addressed to her. She can also refer technical questions or difficulties regarding list operation or access to our server host for possible remedies.

A violation of the list guidelines usually results in a reminder or caution, since most violations arise from simple misunderstandings. Refusal to comply with the guidelines, (such as blatant rudeness) or a compromise of list security will bring matters to the attention of the list guidelines committee and/or the board of directors. While the issue is under consideration, the member may experience an interruption in list participation. If the matter cannot be resolved, the option of voluntarily unsubscribing from the list is preferable to suspension or termination of membership. An appeal to the board of directors is available.


If you have a question about posting or replying methods or content, contact the list moderator. Suggestions for simplifying or improving these instructions are welcome. Keeping the list secure and the content useful are our goals, and we will seriously consider your constructive feedback.