One of the websites I maintain for fandom is the Wild Hare Project. In the scope of things, it flies under the radar quite a bit, which I prefer as it is a writer-focused archive, and that’s straight-up unicorn circumstances in fandom where every single other archive is geared explicitly toward the fanfiction reader.
Writers on the Wild Hare Project are encouraged to experiment and explore their craft as it is a safe environment to do so. They have as much or as little interaction with readers as they would like. They’re not required to respond to comments or even, for that matter, allow comments on their work.
All comments are moderated, and we allow no trolling, negative comments, or unsolicited beta. This particular policy is one I maintain on my own site and on Rough Trade for different reasons. When it comes to my personal website—that’s my space, and I decide who gets houseroom there. I don’t have to tolerate or find value in anyone’s opinion. That position is not well received by some in fandom, especially those whose only contribution to fandom is their opinion. But, it’s my not job to validate strangers on the Internet.
Someone asked me recently why I don’t have an open membership on the Wild Hare Project and if I thought the application process was exclusionary. We don’t have an open membership to keep the database clean for the site. Only authors can be members, and an open membership would lead to a bunch of readers joining who don’t need to be members of the site to read or comment. Is it exclusionary? I can’t see how—we’ve never rejected a single writer application. I can’t say that it won’t happen in the future because the site won’t be a fit for everyone. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
I was also asked what my main goal was for the Wild Hare Project, and I guess it boils down to the fact that Jilly James and I built a blanket fort and invited other authors to come live in it. Fandom can be overwhelming and cruel. We’ve seen so many authors driven away from it because of reader entitlement and mob behavior that it is unreal. We wanted to offer sanctuary.
As an author, if you need a refuge from fandom, then you’re welcome to crawl into our blanket fort. You can create a new pen name, have a fun brownie, and post without having to worry about getting some abusive asshole in your comment section. It’s not going to happen on the Wild Hare Project. I have a ban hammer, and I will use it.