Scribophile’s website is very well designed. There are the usual personal profile pages, forum, blog and FAQ, but for me the main draw is its comprehensive critiquing system, based on ‘karma’. It’s really quite neat: you earn karma for critiquing others’ works, and then spend your karma to post your own writing for others to
rip apart comment on. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. It’s not possible to game the system; you can’t avoid doing your fair share of critiquing if you want to post your own work.
Possibly best of all, there’s a free option. It’s fully functional, although limited (for instance, as a ‘basic’ — free — member you can only have a total of two pieces of writing up for critique at any one time — whereas a ‘premium’ member enjoys unlimited works). So it needn’t cost you a penny to test the waters.
In other news, I’ve also joined a writing group near where I live, but that means I have to go out into the big wide world to meet people face to face… scary!