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Contributor Guidelines **PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING**

June 17, 2008 10:10PM
Contributor Guidelines

Historically, the Contributor Guidelines have been deliberately left quite vague. This is because it is hoped that people will act responsibly if left to their own devices (and the history of this site has generally proved this correct). We'd like to keep these guidelines vague, but our community has grown quite large. So I'm going to take this opportunity to update some of our policies to ensure that our community continues to run smoothly.


Suitability or Adult-style content:

Our single guideline for what is or is not appropriate for this site remains this: we have young people (early teens or even younger) on this site, and we ask that authors and responders be considerate and not post anything that would be inappropriate for them. We recognize that people in different parts of the world and in different cultures might have different views of what is acceptable for this age group and what is not; this is where we ask the authors to judge for themselves--you know your story best and are therefore the best judge.

If you think that your story or a portion of it may be borderline and would like the opinion of an archiver, you may e-mail the piece to one of us. Please send as small a section of your story as possible, while still being representative of the possible problems in it. The archivers are busy people and do not have time to hunt through a forty-page story just to find one questionable paragraph. Please be considerate of the archivers.

If something is borderline, we often allow the story to proceed as long as it has a label on it which states that it may not be suitable for all readers on the site.


Copyrights

  • Just as you hold the copyright on your stories, others do the same. This includes published books, films, music, etc.

  • Copyright protects original literary works. It does not protect facts or ideas (including simple, underdeveloped plots), although the manner in which these things are expressed may be protected by copyright.

  • Quoting or nearly quoting another author or source is plagiarism and is unacceptable (particularly without attribution).

  • Jane Austen is out of copyright and is fair game. The recent completions of Sanditon and The Watsons are copyrighted.

  • If you believe an author is plagiarizing someone else's work, please contact an archiver. This site relies heavily on readers to help spot difficulties; however, we also don't want people to take the responsibility for policing the site onto themselves. If there is a problem, please let the archivers make the judgment and handle the situation. Almost every time there has been rancor on this site, it has been because of individuals attempting to correct the behavior of another. Please, leave it to us.

  • If an author is a frequent violator of this policy, or continues to claim their story as their own work in the face of evidence to the contrary, we can not allow that poster to continue on the site, and they will be asked to leave. With the volume of work out there in the world to swipe from, it is difficult for us to track everything down. If an author is not accommodating, we will have to assume that any work that they might write could be a copyright violation. This site is potentially liable for any copyright violations because we act as a de facto publisher. If an author is breaking the law, we can not allow that poster to continue here. Ignorance of the law is one thing, flagrantly violating it is another.

Posting stories or responses

  • Use your real name or a real nickname please--No aliases. Young people who do not feel comfortable using their real name are encouraged to choose another. We do not allow aliases because we believe that a real name leads both to greater intimacy among dwiggies as well as a greater accountability on the part of the poster. Think of it this way: you wouldn't walk into someone's living room wearing a mask, nor should you wear one here. Around the web you can find lots of sites which do not follow this rule and which seem to be deluged with flame wars and trolls. This may be one reason why we have mostly avoided this plague.

  • Please space out your posts so that other authors can have a chance for their time on the board. While we had never designated an official time span before, we are designating one now due to high board traffic: please post do not post more frequently than once every three to four days per story.

  • Please exercise restraint in replying to your comments on the story boards. While conversation threads are more than welcome in the Tea Room, the archivers would appreciate it if conversations were kept to a minimum on the story boards. This is so that posts are not pushed down so quickly (and before the archivers have the chance to notice and harvest the post for the archives). If you'd like to continue discussion on a topic started on either story board, please shift your conversation to the tea room, or e-mail.

  • We ask that people wait until they have several chapters (or a long section of text) written before they post, and to post their stories in as few posts as possible. It is much, much easier for the archivers to archive a few, long sections than it is to archive lots of little ones. The same story broken up into 10 posts is easier to archive than if it is broken up into 20 posts.

  • If you need to break up a long section into two posts, please post them right after another. Occasionally, an entry is simply too long to be posted. It appears that on this new board format, anything under 24 pages in Times New Roman, font size 12 seems to be okay. If your entry is longer, please post the rest of your entry in a separate post, make sure the second post is completely separate and not a response to the first.

  • When posting a new story please include a brief summary of your story. If you don't want to give away the story from the beginning, you can put this at the end of the first post with a note at the top that the summary is at the bottom. Or you can post it as a response to the first post with a note on the post of your story that we should look for it there (archivers often ignore responses, so we will probably miss a summary if it is posted there without a note.)

    How to write a blurb:

    • The most important hint is this one: You should figure out what makes your story different from the others and write your blurb about that. We have over 1,500 stories here (at least), so it is easy for one to get lost in the crowd. The blurb should be as informative as possible for 1-2 sentences.

      Will Darcy and Liz Bennet are always arguing while attending Meryton High School.

      Doesn't help anyone tell your story from the others. This would be better:

      Darcy and Elizabeth compete for the first chair of the trumpet section of their high school band. After Darcy hears Elizabeth is going to Homecoming with Wickham, he learns how to toot his own horn.

      That gives a more-specific setting (band people) than merely saying that it is in a high school, and sets up the points on which the rivalries in the story will turn.
    • Assume everyone already knows the basic plot of JA's work. If your story pretty much follows the original plot, then writing the following blurb is pretty pointless:

      After arguing every time they meet, Darcy and Elizabeth begin to see each other in a different light.

      That description describes probably 95% of all the P&P stories we have here, and does not follow point #1 above--tell us what makes your story different. A better example would be:

      Darcy and Elizabeth drive their friends nuts by their incessant arguing over politics. With the election finally over, they realize they have a lot more in common than just being policy wonks.

    • If your story diverges from the JA story line, then make the main point of that divergence the focus of your blurb:

      Mr. Collins is well-educated, debonair an extremely attractive. Darcy on the other hand, is wealthy but is also portly and with bad teeth and bad breath.

    • Try not to phrase the blurb in the form of a question. If you read the blurbs that I have written, far fewer than 1% are phrased that way. If you think about it, every story on the board is, in a sense, a question: What if Darcy and Elizabeth...? or Will they overcome their differences? Questions like that do not convey any information to the reader that they don't already know. For example:

      Frederick and Anne were separated for eight long years. Can they overcome their uncertainties and love each other again?

      That blurb is the equivalent of saying: A Persuasion story. It conveys no more information than the little ~Per~ tag at the end of the blurb. A better blurb:

      Both Frederick and Anne are bitter over the long years of their separation. When her boss William Elliot suggests a merger between his company and Frederick's, the former lovers find themselves focusing on the present, not the past.

    • If the story is a continuation, or a story that is meant to be read with another, please give that other story in the blurb. (The sequel information can push the blurb beyond 2 sentences). For example:

      In London with the Gardiners, Jane finds happiness again after receiving a letter proposing marriage from Charles Bingley. A companion piece to "Jane Weeps".

    • Please indicate whether you feel the story belongs on the Epilogue Abbey (Regency stories in Austen's setting) or the Fantasia Gallery (everything else).

    • In the past we've asked for suggested blurbs, but always said that they might get rewritten. That still holds.

    Technical stuff

    • You may use HTML to format your text. If you are unfamiliar with this, this tag tutorial will get you started. (When posting, you don't need to put in the top of the page tags like <html> or <title>. The board puts those in itself.)

    • Separate your paragraphs with a blank line (hit "Return/Enter" twice). This makes your paragraphing clear on the screen. I know some people will not even read a story which has the paragraphs running together. Using tabs or multiple spaces to indent the start of a paragraph does not work on the board. It is the nature of the internet that tabs and multiple spaces do not work, and not the fault of the board or the site--it is inherent in the coding of HTML itself.

    • Try to avoid long sections of italics. Remember that not everyone's eyesight is perfect. Long sections of italics can be hard for a reader. You can often use the <blockquote> tag to set off a section of text instead of using italics.

    When problems occur with stories, responses, or e-mails

    • If you receive an inappropriate or insulting e-mail, please forward it to one of the archivers. Flaming is completely unacceptable behavior on this site, and there may be steps that administrators can take against the abuser--but only if we know about it!

    • If people abuse the site, they will be asked to leave. People have been asked to leave in the past due to: plagiarism, use of an alias, use of multiple personalities, or ignoring frequent requests by the archivers.

    • Please do not take the law into your own hands. Many of the flame wars in the past on the site have been due to people taking the policing of the site onto their own shoulders. The archivers usually try to handle these things as quietly as possible, but when others take the lead, we have little control over the bad blood that is created. If you think there is a problem, please contact us about it.

    Correcting errors on posts

    Under the new format, authors are unable to delete their own posts; we will continue to check to see if the option is made available in phorum's setup, but it's just not a viable option right now. That's why we're asking people to get in the habit of double-checking, triple-checking, and previewing their posts before hitting the "Post message" button.

    Still, there are times when even after the most careful reviews and previews, mistakes will still be made. Therefore, when posting a story, an author may: 1) leave a note under the post with an eye-catching subject heading and let the moderators know what change(s) needs to be made. The first moderator who comes along and sees it can edit the post for you; or, 2) re-post directly above and leave a note under the first post requesting that it be deleted. These remedies should be for authors only who are posting stories, because the moderators don't have time to be editing everyone's responses and comments on the board. Even for authors, this should be used sparingly and as a last resort, and moderators reserve the right to decline to edit/delete a post if an author has abused this privilege. Further policies regarding this aspect of the guidelines may evolve, but this is how we shall approach the situation for now.


    Who are the archivers?

    The archivers are volunteers, so please be patient with us as we also have other responsibilities and obligations. That being said, we're relatively prompt with e-mail correspondence. These are the archivers as of February 2012.

    A - E, T - ZCrystycrysty.janeite@gmail.com
    F - SAmy I.labaja97@hotmail.com
    A Novel IdeaAmy I.labaja97@hotmail.com

    Additional Note: When an author posts a story and gives their e-mail address, that address is hidden away in the story's file in the archives. It can be seen in the source code of the file, but it does not appear when someone pulls the story up and views it in their browser. This is done for administrative purposes, in case the author needs to be contacted.

    If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at: crysty.janeite@gmail.com.

    The End



    Written by Ann, updated by Crysty 6/2008



    Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 02/28/2012 02:49AM by Amy I..
SubjectAuthorPosted

Contributor Guidelines **PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING**

CrystyJune 17, 2008 10:10PM

Note! ******PLEASE READ********

Amy I.July 20, 2011 01:25AM



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