Frequently Asked Questions

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The Voice of WriterShelf
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Pen Names

How many pen names can I have?

You can have as many pen names as you like.  Just one if you want.  WriterShelf does not have a set limit on the number of pen names you create.

Are there pen names I can’t use?

Pen names are pretty flexible.  They must be at least 2 characters but they can include special characters, symbols and emojis 👍😁.  We do not encourage the use of profanity, offensive language or trademarks held by others and not in line with our Community Guidelines.  WriterShelf has the right to ban pen names found to violate those guidelines.

That said, each pen name must be unique and pen names are claimed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Can I use my real name?

Yes.  In some cases, you may want to use your real name to publish on WriterShelf.  For example, to help people with professional advice.  In that case, while you use your real name, the people with whom you interact can still use pen names to bring up personal or sensitive issues.

But because pen names are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, it may be that someone else has already claimed your name.  Adding an initial or title may be a way to find a unique pen name.

Can I change my pen names?

Yes.  Any time you want.  All articles written under that pen name will update automatically.

Can I delete a pen name?

Yes. You must delete all articles published under that pen name before you can delete the pen name.

Can I use more than one pen name in a conversation?

No.  WriterShelf maintains a one-pen-name-per-conversation policy which means that when you publish an article any comments you make must be made using that pen name.  Likewise, when you first comment or like an article, any additional comments you make must use the same pen name.

Publishing and Managing Articles & Comments

Can I edit an article after I’ve published it?

Yes. You can edit an article after it is published.

Can I delete articles I’ve published?

Yes. You can unpublish articles (remove from public view) or delete articles entirely.  Once deleted, articles cannot be recovered.  Articles you unpublish can be re-published to make them publicly available again.

How do I use tags?

Tags are free form labels you add to articles to assist others to find them.  You can add as many tags as you like to articles and edit them at a later date. The number in the tag label shows the number of times that tag has been used.

How do I publish an article to a category?

When you publish an article, you can assign it to up to three (3) categories to make it easier for more people to find. Topic categories have a maximum of three (3) levels.  Where second or third level sub-topics are not available, they are shown as ellipses (...).  Articles not published to a category do not automatically appear on WriterShelf but may be searched via tags.

How do I share articles?

Icons to share to a range of social media sites are located the header of each article when you view the full article.

Can I publish articles to different language editions?

Yes. Individual pen names can be associated with different language editions.  You change the pen name’s association in Pen Name settings.

For comments there are no restrictions. You can use any pen name to comment on articles in any language edition.

What do the Account Summary statistics tell me?

The Account Summary page for your account gives global information about all your pen names as well as stats for individual pen names.

Information is presented in two categories: how other WriterShelf users interact with your articles and how you have interacted with articles by others.  The categories of info include Editors’ Choice Picks, Views, Bookmarks, Likes, Dislikes and Flags.

You can also see stats for other writers’ pen names by clicking on a pen name in the header of an article. By providing this type of Transparent Feedback, you can understand how a pen name has contributed to the community and the feedback it has received.

Can I delete comments I find offensive?

Yes. You can delete comments from articles that you’ve posted.  When you delete a comment, all comments from that pen name are removed from that article and the pen name is blocked from making further comments.

The WriterShelf Community

Is WriterShelf a blog or a forum?

It’s both.  WriterShelf is flexible.  It is designed to for publishing articles like a blog but also allows comments and interaction like a forum.

Why should I use WriterShelf?

WriterShelf is a unique privacy-oriented platform to share your ideas. Whether you want to establish a community, argue for what you believe, or simply give vent to something you need to say, WriterShelf gives you the freedom to be yourself.

What are WriterShelf’s community guidelines?

We ask that you use respect and treat others like you would want to be treated. The rules we operate under are found in our Community Guidelines.

What about trolls?

WriterShelf discourages negative and abusive behavior in several ways.  First, as a writer you can block commenters you find offensive.  WriterShelf moderators also have the right to block articles and comments.  Secondly, you are always able to Dislike and Flag comments or articles that you personally consider offensive.  Finally, Transparent Feedback shows how a pen name participates across all WriterShelf content.  That makes it easier to identify pen names that are out to troll rather than contribute in a meaningful way.

What are Editors’ Picks?

WriterShelf editors and moderators can pick significant articles to promote to the top of topics.  These articles also gain a spot in our Editors’ Picks category that you see on the home page.  Editors’ Picks awards are listed in Account/Pen Name summary information.

Can I customize the format of my articles?

WriterShelf has a set group fonts, sizes and formats for the text in your articles.  You can also include photos and video. We want to provide enough flexibility for you to present your content effectively while maintaining a consistent experience for readers.  


If you have If you have questions or feedback, let us know. Leave a comment or email us at


WriterShelf™ is a unique multiple pen name blogging and forum platform. Protect relationships and your privacy. Take your writing in new directions. ** Join WriterShelf**
WriterShelf™ is an open writing platform. The views, information and opinions in this article are those of the author.

Article info

Published: 2017/05/11 - Updated: 2020/05/28
Total: 1055 words

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WriterShelf is a privacy-oriented platform that lets you write using pen names.
Everyone has a story to tell. WriterShelf gives you the freedom to be yourself.

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