Songwriting Group | Participation Policy

Giving feedback

The fundamental philosophy of the Songwriting Groups is one of respect and inclusivity. When giving feedback to others, a great framework is to make it Kind, Specific, and Actionable.

Here’s an example:

I loved the lyrical hook in the Chorus! It was such a simple but effective phrase. I wonder if there might be another melodic choice, or some way to create a melodic moment that really highlights that lyric? For example, you could try introducing a higher note on the word “blue”.
Lovely to listen to your work 🙂

When feedback is not so good…

If you keep “kind, specific, and actionable” in mind, there will *almost* never be a problem. But it’s important (even if a bit difficult) to talk about when feedback goes wrong, especially when it’s not really constructive feedback.

Here are a few things that will never be tolerated in this group; any feedback or comments that are:

  • racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic
  • put-downs, intimidation, or bullying of any kind

If you ever feel that someone has crossed a line, please do not hesitate to email me (

The above captures the essence, but here is the full list of Community Guidelines in more detail:

Purpose of the Community
The purpose of this community is to provide a safe, welcoming, and nurturing environment for songwriters of all levels to practice and learn the craft of songwriting, and to share their original work for the purposes of receiving feedback in the relevant contexts.

Songwriting by nature involves the creative expression of a variety of topics, outlooks, beliefs, and opinions. For the purposes of our community interactions, the following Community Guidelines lay out the expected code of conduct for members of our community, to ensure an environment of safety and inclusion.

Community Guidelines
1 Respect and celebrate diversity: We value and embrace diversity in our community. Any form of discrimination, prejudice, or hate speech will not be tolerated. Be respectful and inclusive of all members regardless of their race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, or any other personal characteristic.

2 Keep language and behavior appropriate: Use language and behavior that is appropriate for all ages and cultures. Avoid any use of derogatory or offensive terms, slurs, or language that is hurtful or demeaning to any group of people, including references to violence, threats, idealization or glorification of violence.

3 Stay on-topic: Keep discussions relevant and related to the community’s purpose and topics. Do not introduce any unrelated or divisive topics that could cause conflict or offend others.

4 Be mindful of your impact: Your actions and words can have a significant impact on others. Consider the potential impact of your comments and behavior on others in the community. Refrain from making assumptions or generalizations about groups of people.

5 Listen and be open-minded: Listen actively and respectfully to others in the community. Be open to hearing diverse perspectives and ideas. Avoid making assumptions about others’ beliefs or experiences.

6 Report any violations: If you see any behavior that violates these guidelines, please report it to the moderators or administrators immediately. Do not engage in any retaliatory behavior.

7 Avoid trolling: Trolling or purposely inciting arguments or conflicts in the community is not acceptable. Constructive criticism and feedback are welcome, but do so in a respectful and constructive manner.

8 Use appropriate humor: Humor can be an effective way to communicate and build relationships. However, humor that is offensive, insensitive, or discriminatory is not acceptable in our community.

9 Keep private information private: Do not share any private or sensitive information about others in the community without their permission. Respect others’ privacy and personal boundaries.

10 Be accountable: Take responsibility for your words and actions. If you make a mistake, apologize and make an effort to learn and do better in the future. Each community participant has a responsibility to familiarize themselves with and be aware of the historical context of patterns of prejudice and discrimination including but not limited to racism, antisemitism, misogyny, homophobia, & ableism.

11 By joining this community, you have agreed to follow these rules and that Keppie Coutts and Ben Romalis may determine compliance or breech in their absolute discretion and while they may choose to provide feedback or warnings for minor violations, they have no obligation to do so and may remove a person temporarily or permanently unilaterally and without prior notice.

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