Aftermath: The Crash | The Avenue | Behind Closed Doors | City Girls | Equanox Media | High Hopes | High Peak | The Me In You | Miscarriage | Now & Forever | Red Lion Pictures | Saying It Out Loud | These Days | This Love | Unbroken Pictures | Uncertain Nights | We're All In This Together | The You In Me
AboutLit, stylised as LIT and also referred to as (The) Lit Forum, is a creative writing forum hosted by Proboards which dates back to 2nd August 2011.
The forum has been owned by long-term member and administrator Noxy since 2012. Noxy was joined on the admin team by fellow members AppleCobbler and Ross later that year, but they departed those roles in 2013. In 2015, Ross rejoined as an admin, and now Noxy and Ross make up the current admin team. However, Ross is ostensibly dormant in this role and so at present, the forum is solely managed by Noxy.
In its time, the forum has been known as Belleview, Writers Xpress, Writers eXpress and Writers Express. However, from 2013 until the 27th December 2017, only the brand Writers Express (or WX) was used. WX's visual design always tended to adopt seasonal elements throughout the year, either actively (Spring backgrounds) or passively (Spring colours, such as yellows and greens).
On 19th December 2017, it was announced that the forum was going to be gradually rebranded from 'Writers Express' to Lit. The name is a play on words, taking advantage of the modern vernacular 'lit' meaning exciting, as well as being short for literature, which is what the forum ultimately revolves around. The forum's url then quietly changed on 28th December 2017. The main process of change was expected to take some time, but in the end took only three days and was completed by 31st December 2017. On 25th February 2018, a minor refresh was implemented. This logo used a different font, with a period added to the end of the logo to complement the tittle above the i. However, the black-and-yellow colour scheme remained largely intact, as did the style and font used for the board labels, though they had a thinner outline than before. For the first time, semi-transparent backgrounds have been removed from threads, board and project labels and given something of a flat, 2D look. The 'claws' motif at the end of each label also went up from three 'scratches' to four. The simpler design allowed for a greater use of colour.
On 21st May 2018, a more significant revamp was implemented. Whilst the black-and-yellow colour scheme largely remain, the period and tittle have been removed from the logo, as the logo now uses upper case letters, and is styliesed as LIT, which is deliberately cramped looking to make the logo look taller. The yellow square now glows, a play on the theme of being 'lit' i.e. the square is lit. Added to the look is a new, semi-transparent 'wave' element at the bottom. This changes colour depending on how and where it's used. The new look also sees the return of a more seasonal design, which will change every month and reflect the time of year. However, for each background theme there will be an element of light, e.g. sunlight, in keeping with the 'lit' theme of the forum. On the board labels, black-and-yellow remain for project labels, with different colours used on other forum labels, however the font has changed and a new 'frame' look added to the label thumbnails. The 'scratches' at the end of each label have been italicised.
In an unsual turn of events, the LITFAs design, which had been implemented three weeks before, was discarded and revamped in time for the LITFAs 14 ceremony to reflect the new look.
In February 2018, a new sub-board was introduced to the Home board called 'Wordy', which deals with etymology (word origins) in an approachable but informative way. Wordy has three regularly updated components:
- Word Of The Day: Also known as WOTD, a pictoral and written example of words, initially obscure and historical but more modern and pertinent words were used from 21st May 2018. In addition, the thread was published Monday-Friday until 18th May 2018, after which it was not published on Fridays (from 25th May 2018)
- Weekly Word Watch: A forum adaptation of writer John Kelly's 'Weekly Word Watch' articles, published via Oxford Dictionaries. Usually published on Fridays but sometimes Saturdays or Sundays
- Noxy The Word Bird: Known as 'Word Bird' for short. Each weekend this blog explores the etymology of certain words, phrases or idioms, usually in a theme. Usually published on Fridays but sometimes Saturdays or Sundays
Both the title and concept of the forum were originally 'Belleview', an online soap opera idea which began life on Digital Spy in the summer of 2011. Eventually, work on Belleview transferred over from Digital Spy to a purpose-made Proboards forum. However, as work on the soap opera continued and membership grew, the forum evolved into a broader world of creative writing, such as original soap operas, fan-fic and dramas. In November 2011, the forum's first successful project, These Days - by Noxy - began publishing episodes. The project would go on to win 32 Writers Express Awards - known as WRIXAS - more than any other project to date. Other successful projects since then have included the long-running chronicle-style drama series City Girls, the forum's most successful drama series; The Avenue, which is now by default the longest-running soap on the forum; and Uncertain Nights, which is the project that has produced the most ever episodes of any forum project to date (270). Uncertain Nights unofficially ended in January 2014, though these episodes were in delay; the project officially ended on 24 October 2013, its second anniversary.
2012 is probably the most significant year for WX to date, as this is when it's biggest phase of evolution occurred. The forum's orignal owner, Rob and another admin, Jark, both left the forum in quick succession, leaving third admin Noxy the sole administrator. Noxy later acquired ownership of the forum from Rob, and the forum was renamed from Belleview to Writers Xpress. This name was interchangable with both Writers eXpress and Writers Express. Long-term forum members AppleCobbler and Ross later joined Noxy as Admin. 2012 saw the arrival of many new projects, amongst the most successful of which were the dramas Alone and Back To The Start, and the short-lived rural soap opera High Peak, which was launched and cancelled twice in 2012, despite winning five Writers Express Awards. However the most successful project from this period other than the popular soap These Days was romantic drama series City Girls, which remains on the forum to this day, and is the longest-running and most successful drama series in the forum's history.
2013 saw the success of City Girls and These Days continue, as well as the establishment of new projects garnering success - in particular the crime dramas Cold Blood and Cross My Heart, Hope To Die. Also notable is the growing success of one soap, The Avenue, and the somewhat fading success of another, Uncertain Nights. But perhaps the most notable project of the year was January's High Hopes, a coastal soap opera. HH saw two series begin in 2013. Despite winning two WRIXAS, the first series received a somewhat mixed reception. However, the second series gradually received wider critical acclaim, particularly towards the end.
2014 saw the seventh WRIXAS ceremony take place in February, in which Uncertain Nights - which had had a difficult and award-free 2013 - picked up a record number of accolades for its series swansong. In April, a new forum event known as the Megamash took place. The MM was a 'mash-up' of forum projects, new projects, test projects and plays. One of the MM's most notable projects were the ostentatiously-titled These Days City Girls Have Many High Hopes As They Stroll Along The Avenue Under The Bright City Lights On Cold Uncertain Nights, an ambitous but successful mash-up of no less than six forum projects! Another significant MM project was a fan-fic version of The Avenue by Noxy. This fan-fic was very well received and would prove to be prophetic - just weeks later, the authors of the real The Avenue asked Noxy to join them on the project, and the rest is history! The domestic abuse play Hit And Miss was also a notable Megamash entrant, as it was used by its writer Ross in real life as a submission to the National Theatre.
Elsewhere, City Girls ended its fourth season in March, before taking a four-month hiatus - by far the longest in the show's history to date (usually CG has a hiatus of around a month between series since it began in 2012). However, this was deliberate as well as symbolic; the four-month hiatus ran parallel to the four-year time jump the series took when Season 5 finally began in June. A new soap opera, Beyond Borders, also began in June, whilst another one - We're All In This Together - was announced. It will be begin in late July/early August. Also announced in June was The Shorties, a creative writing event due to take place in September involving short plays, dramas and stories.
At the end of August, the eighth WRIXAS ceremony - known as WRIXAS 8 - took place. After modest success in February, long-running soap opera These Days returned to glory, breaking records by winning eight awards, more than any other project at one ceremony in WX history. It also hit a landmark by winning a total of 40 WRIXAS, 14 more than its nearest rival, City Girls, which again dominated the Drama sub-category by winning every possible award in that cateogry (six). A new award, Best Project, was also introduced, which These Days also won.
In September 2014, the forum received a major design revamp, with a new logo affectionately known as 'the fish'. As part of the revamp, 'WX Lab' reverted to its old name 'The Lab', and the 'WX Corner' was rebranded as simply 'The Corner.' Previously the 'Forum Corner', this board has always used red as its primary colour. However as part of the revamp, The Corner now sports a yellow theme, with red redesignated to the 'Hiatus Projects' board, a colour indicator that the projects on that board have 'stopped'.
In October 2014, forum founder Noxy launched her first non-soap opera project: the teen chiller mini-series 'The You In Me'. TYIM received a positive response from forum members, and Noxy Productions (now Impossible Princess Productions) promised at the time that more drama projects will be produced in the future as a result.
In December 2014, one of the most significant events of the year occurred on the first of the month, when Noxy announced that 'These Days' - the longest-running and most successful project ever published on Writers Express - was to end 'in its current form.' New forum member Alex - known as 'E20' on Walford Web, and a friend of WX stalwart Ross - joined us on 13 December. Also joining were Danny, on 20 December, and Root on 24 December.
The Christmas period was certainly a busy one, with new episodes of The Avenue, Beyond The Light and City Girls all posted during this time, with two new projects - Forensics and Woodchurch - both starting shortly before the New Year. The latter half of December 2014 was probably the busiest in the forum's history to date!
WRIXAS 9 - the 9th bi-annual Writers Express Awards - was announced on 1 January, with the process for it beginning on 1 February. Also on 1 February, a new version of forum favourite 'These Days' began, having previously been announced on 5 January. This again became a hit. Also beginning in February was fan:fic Root's Point Pleasant, based on a one-season US supernatural thriller series from 2005, and realising the concept of a second season. The project was later dropped.
It was announced on 2 March that WRIXAS 9 will take place on Sunday 8 March. The 2 March also saw the launch of Liam's virgin drama project, The Web, which went on to become critically acclaimed, and led to a spin-off soap opera called Square One on 3 April, also a hit. 'Square One' was later rebooted and began again in July, still critically acclaimed. Unfortunately, the project was dropped when Liam decided to leave the forum to focus on his studies. He hoped to return in 2016.
25-29 May saw a successful five-night run of WX's longest continuous soap, The Avenue. This was the first project to conduct a five-night run for nearly two years, the last one being a spin-off of The Avenue.
WRIXAS 10 - the tenth annual Writers Express Awards - was announced on 1 July, with the process for it beginning on 1 August. The awards themselves took place on 30 August at 17:55 (BST). On the same day, a second EastEnders fan fiction, Alex EastEnders, began airing. In September, Diamonds In The Rough was dropped and replaced with a new version, helmed by Danny and Jaay. joshclark also published his own adaptation of the Willy Russell musical Blood Brothers - his first project in three years.
On 4 November 2015, 'WX Today' - a daily features summary - was launched.
The year began as ever with the announcement of the latest Wrtiers Express Awards. Nominations for WRIXAS 11 began on 1 February, ending on the 10 as the process moved on to Longlist voting. Shortlist voting commenced on 21 February, with the ceremony itself being held live at 17:55 (GMT) on Sunday 28 February. Several records were broken at this event: Noxy won an unprecedented 17 consecutive awards out of 19 (four tiebreakers), and her drama sequel, The Me In You, became the most successful drama ever and joint-most successful project ever, when it scooped 9 WRIXAS including Best Drama, Best New Project and Best Project.
Immediately after the event, the forum's Spring look was launched. To mark the leap year, the WX Today thread was rebranded as Todaily, with added features in comparison to its predecessor. On 2 August, the forum turned five-years-old. On 17 September, new forum member Ben joined. Although he would not publish a project for another six months, he spent his early days feedbacking. All in all, 2016 was the forum's quietest ever year, but it is hoped this can be turned around next year (see below).
The year began with a new episode of 'These Days', which went on to be published every Friday all year round from 13th January. The only exception will be if a month has five Fridays, in which case there will be no episode on either the first or last Friday of that month. Also kicking the year off was a new soap, 'High Tides', which is a reinvention of 2015's successful but now defunct 'Diamonds In The Rough'. Also in January, Noxy and Ross announced that the forum's longest-running continuous project, The Avenue, would be taking an extended break. News about the project's continuation will be announced in the summer. A new thread called Sudsy began early in the year, featuring daily spoilers from many British and Irish continuing dramas. The Spring look launched on 1 March and saw the popular 'Soaps' board of the U*Zone area rebranded as 'Soap Dish' and promoted to the front page.
For the first time in several years, there was no WRIXAS ceremony in February, as not enough forum material had been published since the last event in August 2016. Instead, WRIXAS 13 is slated to be held on Saturday 2 September.
On 1 May, the long-running 'Todaily' thread was axed and replaced by two new threads, 'Forum News' and 'Poetry Corner'. The forum also sported a brand new look, with the 'seasonal' aspect more of a background aspect to the design than previous forum themes. On 13 August, it was announced that the long-running 'Sudsy' thread - which began on 4 January - would be discontinued immediately, in favour of more original content in the autumn. On 15 August, to mark her birthday, Noxy revealed that after a five-year absence, rural serial drama High Peak was to return in September for a five-night test run.
On 1 September, Danny and Jaay announced that a brand-new version of their soap Diamonds In The Rough would be coming to the forum. The project subsequently commenced on 23 September. On 2 September, WRIXAS 13 took place, and so 19 awards handed out to just two forum members - 13 to Hannah (7 for City Girls, 6 for Behind Closed Doors) and 6 to Noxy (all for These Days). All six people who voted also attended the ceremony, either intermittently or throughout. Straight after the WRIXAS, Ross announced that, after a test run, a new version of his soap We're All In This Together would begin in October. Ben also announced news of his first serial drama, Now & Forever, which began that same day. Danny also launched his first ever solo soap on 4 September, Forever Young. Having announced it earlier in the year, Hannah relaunched Saying It Out Loud (a successful but discontinued drama project from 2015) on 30 September.
The forum also underwent a significant efficiency overhaul in September, including a brand-new design which quickly replaced the intended and short-lived Autumn theme. "It just wasn't working in my opinion" explained Noxy. "It worked brilliantly as a summer theme but just looked dull as an autumn one. So I set to work on a new, long-term theme which would work between seasons, and be tweaked rather than changed. Hopefully this is it!" The new look included a multi-coloured background, which will change with the seasons. On 1 October, this look was updated with a semi-transparent rainbow coloured theme, and the 2D blue bar became orange and bevelled. The font also changed from Ubuntu to Nirmala UI. This theme had a slightly orange emphasis, to reflect the autumn period.
On 15th November, the Christmas theme was introduced, along with a brand-new 'red' look, with other Christmassy colours like gold and green included as well. The new look focuses more on the font Open Sans Condensed, though Nirmala UI remains in usage inter-forumlly and in the main logo itself. The new logo appears in the bottom-right corner of a glowing red square. The square itself appears in the bottom-right corner of a larger, different red background.
On the 28th December, the forum was rebranded Lit with an entirely new lemon and black colour scheme.
The Facebook page for Lit came to life in January, but was dropped by 2nd April due to lack of interest. Serial dramas Behind Closed Doors, High Peak and These Days continued with regular output (the latter of which also began the year with a visual revamp), but High Peak was shelved at the end of March. The emotional, semi-autobiographical tragi-drama Saying It Out Loud concluded in February. Also that month, the Wordy sub-board joined the Home board, including the daily Word Of The Day, and the weekly Noxy The Word Bird and Weekly Word Watch features. Wordy and all its features were quietly discontinued in the week of LITFAs 14, due to lack of interest. The final articles were published on 20th May, with the final 'Word Of The Day' post on 24th May. In March, Noxy announced her first drama project in three years would be published on 30th, entitled Aftermath: The Crash, and it duly was, to largely positive reviews. In spite of this, it walked away empty-handed from the LITFAs two months later, the first Noxy drama project ever to do so. On 14th April, LITFAs 14 was officially announced. On 15th April, the first episode of Waffles' rural serial drama Ridgewater was published. On 26th April, the LITFAs 14 ceremony was held at 17:55. For full details please read the relevant article. Also that day, Red Lion Picturers announced that a new version of The Avenue, one of the three oldest projects on the forum, will return in late summer/early autumn, helmed solely by creator Ross.