I joined Authonomy late last winter in the hope of meeting and learning from other mature writers. At first, everyone was welcoming. But I made the apparent mistake of posting a thread on the Forum about the subject of fanfiction (I've written three stories in that genre, in addition to my "original" fiction and non-fiction stories).
I just wanted others' opinions on it. I had no "agenda", as one writer claimed, nor was I being sneaky or in some way campaigning to have fanfiction included on the site, as others said. I already do very well on fanfiction.net. I'm a very straightforward person with nothing to hide, and was not some other person on the board hiding behind another name, as others ridiculously asserted. I don't play those kind of silly games.
A few writers admitted to writing fanfiction themselves at various times in their lives, and were quite supportive. But the majority were, unexpectedly, very negative, and it soon became abusive. Fanfic writers were labelled lazy, unimaginative, childish, and stupid. When I and others attempted to defend this particular avenue of writing, the bullying intensified. I was openly mocked and ridiculed. It got so bad that I finally decided to withdraw my account and leave.
After I did, my thread was completely taken over by the same band of bullies, who continued their abuse of me. I was called a thief, a cow, and a troll. One said she hoped I'd "trip over my cat and break my f--ing ankle", even though she knew that I am disabled. Another said I'd "probably go off and commit suicide now." I can't tell you how horrible it all was. I e-mailed the parent company repeatedly to have my thread deleted to stop the cruelty and the slander. After about a week, and at least four e-mails, I finally got a response, and the thread was deleted.
Authonomy will soon be closing. Some members will be going to other sites. Good riddance to them. I met with a handful of friendly fellow writers, but the majority were shockingly hateful and juvenile. I'll stick with the writer's site I'm currently on. The mods of that site do not allow such behavior, and will kick off people who break the rules (after fair warning) Authonomy had written rules, too, but people repeatedly broke them and were never brought up short by the mods. Very sad.