|Over the past weeks, I have received several emails all asking the same thing, “Why is my story being rejected over and over?"|
SIYE looks at each story on an individual basis, but for many it is at least one of the following that may cause the archivist to return a story to the author.
• Canon words: You must spell everything from the Harry Potter universe correctly. An easy way around this is to bookmark the HP Lexicon at - www.hp-lexicon.org . This site has made your job so much easier. You no longer have to thumb through the books to find names, spells, lessons, etc. - The lexicon has already researched and compiled them for you.
• Spelling and Punctuation: Use proper punctuation. Read the tutorial on commas. End your sentences with a period, question mark or exclamation mark. Use quotation marks at the beginning and end of the spoken word.
Most writing programs will help you with these and your spelling, but it won’t find them all. If you meant to write ‘knee’ and wrote ‘kneel’, a spell check program won’t catch it. That is why we suggest that you find a beta or have someone else read your story before you post it. One of my college professors suggested reading your work aloud, another one said to read it backwards.
If your story has more than three (3) generic spelling errors then it will automatically be returned to you. This includes homonyms, which are words that have different spelling but sound alike. For example:
too / to / two
there / their / they're
alter / altar.
• Formatting: Your story must have breaks between paragraphs. A paragraph is a group of related sentences unified by a single idea or purpose. It can be as short as one word, or multiple sentences, as long as you stick with the one topic. Remember, every time a new character speaks, that is a new paragraph. For example:
Ginny found Harry standing at the window, his emerald eyes glazed from lack of sleep. She watched as he scrubbed his fingers through his jet-black hair leaving it adorably tousled. He looked like their two year old son, Sirius, after his naps. “Harry, what’s the matter?”
Harry jerked, only now aware that Ginny had awakened and entered the room. “Nothing.”
Grimacing, he turned to look at her and shrugged. One arm gathered Ginny close as he pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Just keeping watch. Old habits die hard.”
• Content: We are a Harry/Ginny site. That doesn’t mean that they have to be together all the time, but by the end of the story, they have to be a couple. In stories where they are younger, of course, they won’t be together and each will have other relationships, however, they should be prominent throughout the story.
We also will return a story which has any of the main characters doing illegal drugs, or topics that are NC-17 or PWP. You can find these listed under topics not allowed and we will adhere to these rules.
Most returned stories fall into at least one of these categories, but of course are not limited to them. Each time we decline a story, the author receives an email detailing why we cannot post the story in its current form and how to make it ready for publication on SIYE. If you don’t understand what is required to bring your story up to SIYE standards, email the archivists and ask. It doesn’t matter if you post your work on other sites as each one has their own standards and rules. What matters to SIYE is that you follow our posted rules and standards.
The SIYE staff discusses many of the stories prior to them being returned to the author for a rewrite, so please don’t just resubmit the story, as we will recognize the story and return it summarily. Don’t take offense at the comments; use them as a learning tool and rewrite your story.
Professor Scroll – Head Administrator