NEWSLETTER Iwaku Newsletter; Summer 2023


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Iwaku Newsletter; Summer Edition

The summer season is in full swing, with most of the site on summer holidays activity is picking up and more awesome stories are shared. Iwaku invites everyone to join in some good old RP flash dating, while steamrolling the summer season with plenty of events and festivities to join in.

PSA's, Updates and Site News

In a rapidly changing world under constant review Iwaku also is a changing entity in need of a review. Isn’t that a grand way of telling you that Iwaku has refreshed its policies? If you missed out on the announcement be sure to reread the Terms and Rules of Iwaku again for we truly hate to keep anyone attached that doesn’t agree with the terms, even if they haven’t changed all that much.

That being said, there was also a minor policy update in regards to how threads in Coding Lab are treated. It was a hot mess y’all but when was coding ever not messy?

Speaking of moderating threads, while it may seem straightforward to some, some repetition can never hurt! Ever wondered how you can necromance that one beloved RP in which your partner only responds once every blue moon? Now you know.

If you haven’t gotten yourself something to drink I suggest doing so now. With rising temperatures tempers tend to flare and that sometimes means that Owlmom needs to step in and give us all a stern warning: Big Momma Is Watching Us. Which also means that we gotta behave, even in the star sections. Some fantasies are meant to be shared, some are perhaps better locked away in private.

Diana had to do an emergency site update because something broke, but it should be fine now. Should you still find the site a little buggy be sure to let us know in the Help Desk or in the Bug’s Thread. Summer heat does tend to get to the server, but sometimes we just need to yell at Diana. Be sure to yell nicely and don’t forget to add in ‘please’. If you messed up a code in your textbox and are thus finding the page crashing or not loading, head to the BBCode Help thread where specialised gremlins can help you instead.

And never forget to be gay, we are all a little gay, so don’t be afraid to share it and throw up a rainbow.

Past and Future: Events and Contests

Ongoing Challenges

Diana is challenging young and old to The Boner Challenge! Write her a steamy scene or throw her an actual bone and you can be the proud owner of the Boner Trophy!

Did you know the trophy for 30 Topics in General Chatting in 30 Days is one of the hardest trophies to win and gain? Luckily you only have to do it once, unlike the Welcome Trophy that you have to maintain, but many have started and more have quit halfway through. Will you be one of the few who will win?

The Riddle Me Frog is the trophy tied to this Newsletter, challenging all members to come forth with their wit and finesse, but mostly their confidence. Are you confident enough to say the wrong thing, or do you know yourself to be right all the time? Find out.

Past Events

Pav has returned with her free French classes! Last class was all about French music, in which we were introduced to the French Eurovision songfestival submission La Zarra and also brought back French singing giants like Stromae! Wonder what the syllabus will be next lesson? Keep an eye open and wait for the next announcement!

May and June was the month in which the Live Roleplay Readings made their return, with the submissions ranging from delightful 1x1’s, entrancing groups and a trip down Diana’s dark, dark past. With the spring season over, Tales from Iwaku has also flown over. With heavy themes the winners of the season have reached us all with lighthearted sibling banter and sensual villainous dynamics. Read the winning entries in the Hall of Fame, though all submissions are worth a read!

Current Events

Every Tuesday is still Tea Time with Diana. Join her in CBox to chat about your day, or to a set theme over a cup of tea!

Starting July 11 Manna Beast will return with her Weekly Doodle Hour on Discord. There you can join her while she arts and chats about her day and yours!

With a plethora of time on hand during the summer the Summer Book club has returned. Focussing on books representing LGBTQ+ characters the members have voted and selected three books to read. Join in the readings and the discussions and let us know what you think of the chosen pieces!

One breath away from a brainfart is PFFT; Poetry Fantastic Fanfare Talk, the place to be for sharing poetry. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran connoisseur, all are welcome to join in the readings and the discussions. Last submission date is July 16, so there is still time to join. The Live Reading dates will be announced later.

Do you dare to take the plunge and get yourself a blind roleplay match? You can still join the Mystery RP Palooza, it is running until July 31, so be quick and be swift and perhaps you will find your match made in heaven!

Future Events

There are more events coming up during the summer season! Did you know that ‘Dog Days of Summer’ is named after the constellation Sirius that is visible during drumroll the hottest season of the year? Truly one hell of a dog. Keep your eyes open to see what the plans are to keep our heads cool!

Summer also comes with plenty of romance between star crossed lovers. Vega and Altair will meet again, provided it won’t rain. But if it does there is no need to panic, there is us to write them all a better ending. Though, if you feel a little sick of all the romance and fluff you can also choose violence. Curious to see how we merge that? Eyes open and fingers ready, July has started and August is coming! This isn’t just hot girl summer, we are heading for the colosseum!

But wait, what about summer ending? Don’t fret, even if we all want the summer nights to last autumn comes with yet another round of TFI accompanied with the spooky season. More about that in the next edition of the Newsletter which will be in October and until then keep your eyes open in Events!

Want to organise an event? Hit us up!

Iwaku Sparkles

Site-wide Sparkles

Have you ever wondered where all of the event submissions go? Look no further, for there is Showcasing where you can re-sample the talented works of our members once more. It is also a great place to store away work that doesn’t fit anywhere else and generally to stalk. Want to find the winners of TFI? Go Ham. Want to read some poetry? All bundled up for you!, rather see some horror or romance? We. Got. Your. Back.

Did you know that one of the hardest trophies to get is the 30 days trophy? All you gotta do is post 30 topics within the span of a month within General Chatting. It makes the forum look great, but man, thinking of thirty topics that haven’t been re-used is hard. What better time to get the trophy than summertime?

Oh, have you noticed a spike in activity in our profile posts? Yes, you may consider wishing a stranger happy birthday your good deed for the day. Just make sure to do it every day. Though, you are also more than welcome to instead convince all of your friends from summercamp and what not to join Iwaku. Just be sure to give your friends your referral link or else you won’t make the list, and what an empty list it is.

Roleplay Help & Writing Guides Spotlight

I once again ask for your attention for the Roleplay Help and Writing Guides Subforum, a small forum with lots of character! During May there were mermaid themed writing workshops, and during June it was all about the LGBTQ+ characters having a gay time! Poetry, Flag creating, Coming Out, we have it all.

Oh, and don’t you ever let anyone tell you who you or your characters are.

Of course we cannot forget about consent, because everything is more fun when there is consent, and boi, is that a sizable topic. 1, 2, and 3 coming up!

Roleplay Sparkles

What helps hyping you up for your favourite roleplays? My new favourite things are boogs. Short character questions that force you to think about your character(s) outside of the confines of their role and the setting of the roleplay. Testing morality, forcing them to debate ethics, or perhaps it is something as banal as their favourite colour. Who doesn’t love prodding at their characters to see what surprises may roll out? (Interested? Peep an example of @rissa's Infamous Boogaloo below!)



  • What's something your character would kill for with little to no hesitation?
  • What's one thing that your character regrets doing? Do they still carry around that regret?
  • How would you boil down your character's moral code into one sentence?
  • Your character has a deep, dark, terrible secret. What is it? How long have they lived with it? What's the worst thing that could happen if someone found out?
  • What's something your character would die for with little to no hesitation?
  • A small child asks you to help them fulfill a menial task, how do you respond?

GM Interviews

Another edition of the Iwaku Newsletter means another edition of GM Interviews. Here, Gamemasters are interviewed and pressed for their hottest tips on how to engage players, worldbuild with purpose, and how to keep roleplay(s) alive! This month, @Red Thunder GM of The Diner and @PavellumPendulum, GM of The Call of the Abyss are interviewed for a peek into their experience and how it can benefit current and future GMs.

In your experience, what's the most difficult thing about being a GM?
Managing the ideas/notes. Depending on where I'm at in the process of running the RP, I could have forgotten specific plot points leading to the general plot points I do recall. It can be- annoying. 🤣

Have you learned any tips or tricks to help you mitigate these troublesome difficulties?
Pro-tip: keep copious notes for yourself as GM. Your memory isn't as reliable as you think it is, and you can always improve upon recorded ideas. Bit harder to improve on ideas you've forgotten.

Are there any tools (docs, trello, etc.) that you use to help your GMing process or do you prefer to keep it au naturale?
I use Google Docs to write my posts. For ideas on people, places, etc, I figure out key terms for Pinterest and hit that up.

What's the best thing a player can do in a roleplay? (IC, OOC, etc.)
Communication. This is, uh, a bit hypocritical perhaps, but it is important. There's a significant amount of patience that can be had if you simply ask for a bit of patience.

What keeps you motivated to continue GMing?
First, to tell fun stories and explore imaginative ideas. Second, to see where people go with them; nothing is more interesting than to see what others will do with the building blocks they're given. Third, because the team writing/creative process is just loads of fun.

In your experience, what's the most difficult thing about being a GM? Have you learned any tips or tricks to help you mitigate these troublesome difficulties?
Finding that balance between collaboration with your players and telling the story that you meant to tell. Roleplay is meant to be a collaboration, it’s the whole reason we write with others anyway, to build something together, but as GMs, we plan out a story/world for these players to play in, right? There will be times when someone wants to toe that line or cross it outright, asking to make characters outside of the confines of your story or wanting to mayhaps move the story somewhere that you, as the GM, don’t feel comfortable taking it.

My advice is as follows: think ahead when making your rules, do not be afraid to put your foot down BUT make sure that you are not taking it as a personal attack/attack on your story. Our stories are our babies, but you open yourself up to more conflict by getting hurt by enthusiastic players who usually don’t mean to offend anyway.

Are there any tools (docs, trello, etc.) that you use to help your GMing process or do you prefer to keep it au naturale?
I always have a Google Doc to outline the main ideas that I have for my roleplays are going, but I never make it set in stone. As a GM, you can never fully predict how your players will react. I like to think of multiple scenarios and possible reactions/responses on the environment’s part to be well-prepped. Sometimes when I’m writing though, inspiration strikes and something new gets thrown into the picture just because I’m really feeling it at the time LOL

What's the best thing a player can do in a roleplay? (IC, OOC, etc.)
Make an effort to talk to the other players. Not kidding, there’s nothing that I think kills an rp prematurely more than players being too shy to collaborate/plot with each other. It doesn’t matter how good your story is, if no one reaches out to one another, the investment in the story just doesn’t happen and you end up with a bunch of awkward people wondering why they even bothered in the first place. I can guarantee you that dming your fellow players to scream about character connections or even throwing a silly meme in the ooc once in a while can increase the longevity of any story.

What keeps you motivated to continue GMing?
Group roleplay is what got me into roleplay in the first place. I love the friendships and friend groups that come from these, as well as seeing players react strongly (love, fear, awe, disgust, shock, a reaction’s a reward to me) to the story that we’re making together. Even if you end up GMing for a single person (which I often do!!!), it can be so immensely satisfying, which makes it all worth it in the end :D

A season late but with no less excellence in their GM Tips, have a gander at @LuckycoolHawk9's GM's Interview!

With two under your belt, what's the key to a successful and long-lived roleplay?

There is no one key to a successful and long-lived roleplay . That being said, here are two that I live by.

One is to never give up on your roleplays. There are going to be times where players are going to ghost you and not even tell you. There are going to be times where a player has to be removed because they are toxic to the group or are godmodding/derailing the story. There will also be times where people just can’t post . All of these are very easy to deter you from continuing the roleplay, don’t let it.

The other important key is open communication with your players Both Starlight and Cruise Ship have been around for so long because I’ve had dedicated players. People who have communicated ideas that have worked ito the narrative along with others who have suggested plot lines. Even if it seems like someone is done, one of the many keys is to check on them. Sometimes people need more time to reply and that’s okay. It helps to know these things and adjust accordingly.

What's one GM hot take that you can share with us right now- something that others may think works but really doesn't?

This is going to be a very controversial take- but here it is. Keeping toxic players in your roleplay. If there is someone who is derailing the story and most of your player base doesn’t like, let them go. I will say that you should ask them to change their style, but if they can’t or won’t, let them go. It isn’t helping if nobody is enjoying the RP, even if they are your most frequent. There will be other new players and it’s good to raise them.

How do you keep players invested for so long? How much of it is a combined effort between players and GMs?

Honestly, I don’t have a definite answer to this question. I think a bit of it is plotting and knowing your players and a bit of it is adaptability. I can say that the way Cruise Ship and Starlight started is no where near the same as they began and that is in part to the fantastic players that I have. I would say that a great deal of it is a combined player and GM effort.If it wasn’t for both parties being invested, I don’t think either of my games would last as long as they did. I just got incredibly lucky in that regard though.

What's your favorite thing about being a GM? Do you have any tips for newbie or veteran gamemasters that you'd like to pass on?

Honestly, my favorite thing about being a GM is seeing my stories come to life. There is something nice seeing your locations and characters exist outside of your own head space. It is fun to have them interact and see them change. There is just something great about them and I don’t really have the words to describe it. I also do love seeing others characters and seeing what other people can create.
I said this before, but I would like to repeat it. Being adaptable and have open communication with your players is a very important thing for both newbie and veteran GMs. Sometimes plans are going to need to change and that’s okay. It’s your ability to adjust to your player base and see what makes them happy as much as what makes you happy. It makes for a better story every time.

What kind of players are you most excited to work with as a GM? Why?

I love working with new players and old players a like. There’s something beautiful about both of them. The reason for both of them is actually two fold. One is that working old players gives me a good baseline for what type of characters they are going to bring and what plot lines, it makes for a familiar feeling that is nice to have as a GM. That being said, if I only play with previous players, they also know most of the type of surprises I do, so there is less as a GM I can do to surprise. That’s the reason I like to work with new players. They offer fresh characters and ideas into the RP that I probably haven’t seen before. Having this mix can bring up some new type of stories, something that you can’t say would come back as old ones. ( All of my roleplays are open always so after you read this, you can hop over and check them out)

Have you ever had to "shake up" the narrative of your roleplay to keep things fresh? Any tips for GMs who might need to do the same?

Oh, absolutely, I had to shake up the narrative to keep things fresh. Starlight City had an entire reset to clean up old characters and Cruise Ship has had purges where plot lines had to change because players had to disappear and their characters had to be moved.

My personal tip for GM and it’s something that I have succeeded and failed at. Let your players know that you are going to do a reset before you do. One of my RPs died because I did a reset without telling anyone and that was a mistake. That being said, if the players are aware of the change, it also gives them a chance to tweak their own characters, changing their backstory and how they interact. It can be one of the best things to do or one of the worst.

My personal advice for GMs who need to do the same, check with your player base, find out what they want and see if you can adjust for them without too much of a change to a narrative . Also, give them some time to respond and only go about it if everyone is on board. That’s all I got.

Know a roleplay or gamemaster that deserves a spot in the next Iwaku Newsletter? Message @Nemopedia to nominate them!

Feed the Bunny

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Don't have money but still want to help out somehow? Hell yeah, a simple vote for Iwaku on TopRP goes a long way in keeping us visible to future members.

Riddle Me!

Uhoh, what's this? I got some lyrics of a summer classic but all the words are replaced with emojis?! Can you tell me what song this is?


it has 'summer' in its title and was a musical number in a 70/80's movie classic

Be one of the first ten people to send the correct answer to @Nemopedia to receive the shiny Riddle Me frog!
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So far I got three answers (with lyrics) in! Seven more spots to win this trophy!
Magaia?? What is this mystery? Very curious for the future!