SIYE Time:23:56 on 26th May 2020

Tips on writing a story that will pass Archivists' inspection...
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 - . 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.

Thank you,
Professor Scroll – Head Administrator
on 2007.08.03 - 08:23PM ()


Spenser Hemmingway came out of the woodwork on 2007.08.03 - 10:13PM to say:

Valerie… that is why I e-mail you as often as I do. Andrew and I have been discussing a similar posting to this. We at SIYE want nothing more than to see a good story posted. We really like to work with new writers as well; we were there once ourselves, and I for one loved the help I received. The word there is help. We all really do have to concentrate on readable stories, but there are a lot of us out there that want to help you to reach that point. Work hard, but work well and remember that we are all a big family here. Eric B.

Professor Scroll came out of the woodwork on 2007.08.04 - 03:05AM to say:

I would like to thank J for betaing my news article. : ) A second or even a third pair of eyes are always helpful to find those pesky errors.

Treck came out of the woodwork on 2007.08.07 - 10:36AM to say:

Is it the Archivists that are keeping the great stories from showing up in the recent updates list? (like FakeASmile's Taking Control)

Professor Scroll came out of the woodwork on 2007.08.07 - 05:04PM to say:

Treck To answer your question. No, it is not the archivists. There are only 2 stories in the validation queue at this time and neither of them are Taking Control. The archivists don't keep 'great stories' from showing up, they are there to help authors maintain the quality expected of stories on SIYE. I would like to add that authors of the caliber of fake a smile are Validated Authors, which means that their work does not go through the queue, when they update, it goes directly to the recently added list.

fake a smile came out of the woodwork on 2007.08.07 - 06:12PM to say:

My absence from the Recently Updated list is due to an error that occurred while submitting the chapter. I alerted the technical staff and have confidence that they will get the matter sorted out.

Old guy came out of the woodwork on 2007.08.09 - 09:10PM to say:

Can Canon birthdays be added to the required list? It seems to me that too many writers are ignorant of just when the main characters' birthdays are, even though this has been official for some time.

JadeSeraph came out of the woodwork on 2007.08.12 - 08:12AM to say:

I've actually found that the archivists are pretty good about getting stories off the queue - I don't think I've had a chapter on it for more than 36 hours since I started posting on SIYE. But then again, I don't recall ever having a chapter changed by an archivist, so maybe having a clean story to begin with helps.

RSP came out of the woodwork on 2007.08.12 - 03:41PM to say:

Old guy: Would you consider AUs exempt from this rule? (Some of us change birthdays intentionally....) If so, probably a decent idea, but do be kind on the older stories that were written, or plotted, before we ever found out Ginny's birthday.

enchantedsleeper came out of the woodwork on 2007.09.02 - 02:55PM to say:

How do people know about birthdays anyway? Is it through interviews with JKR? Because I've never read or heard one of those, I don't know where they're published or aired, so I've got no way of knowing about birthdays or any other details like that except when they're mentioned in fanfics. If you do add birthdays to the required list, can you make some sort of calendar that says what they are? Also, is that quote from an story in this archive? It's cool =D

Jim McGuffin came out of the woodwork on 2007.09.02 - 08:01PM to say:

Actually, at there is a calendar on which each birthday appears on its particular date. There's no birthday there today, but here are the birthdays that have appeared: July 30 = Neville Longbottom July 31= Harry Potter August 11 = Ginny Weasley August 22 = Percy Weasley September 19 = Hermione Granger October 4 = Minerva McGonagall October 17 = Filius Flitwick October 30 = Molly Weasley November 29 = Bill Weasley December 6 = Hagrid December 12 = Charlie Weasley January 9 = Severus Snape February 6 = Arthur Weasley March 1 = Ron Weasley March 10 = Remus Lupin April 1 = Fred and George Weasley May 15 = Pomona Sprout June 5 = Draco Malfoy June 28 = Dobby

enchantedsleeper came out of the woodwork on 2007.09.03 - 12:36PM to say:

Cool, thanks for that!! I never even knew there was a website with the address xD

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