TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

How do I post a story or a series to the SWG archive? What should I enter into the various fields?


Posting a Story

In order to post to the SWG archive, you must first be a member of the SWG website. You can read our Site Etiquette and Terms of Service and join the group here. We also have an FAQ entry on posting requirements and how we define "Silmfic", which new authors often find useful.

Once you have an account with us, stop by our archive and take a look around. Once you are logged in, the next-to-last link at the top of the page will lead you to Account Info. This is the page from which you will add new stories and series and edit existing stories and series.

The second link on your account page allows you to add a new story. Clicking this will open the story submission form. Following is a step-by-step guide to each field in the form. Fields that are required are listed in red; leaving one of these fields blank will return an error and require you to correct the missing field before the story is posted.

Some of the fields include lists of items from which you must click to select. In order to select more than one item from the list, hold down the CTRL key while clicking on all items that you wish to add.

Authors using screen readers will encounter the fields in the order listed here. We do recognize that selecting multiple items is not possible using a keyboard only and are researching options for making the story form more accessible for members using screen readers. In the meantime, we encourage authors who are unable to select multiple items from the lists to contact us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org; we are always glad to help.

Title (required). Enter the title of your story here.

Co-Authors. If your story was co-authored with another SWG member or members, you can click names on the list to add them as co-authors here. A complete list of SWG members is available in this field. Co-authors gain equal control over a story as the author who initially posts the story. Please remember that a person must have an account with us in order to be listed as a co-author on the archive.

Summary (required). Include a brief summary of your story here. Please remember that we do not allow images (including awards banners) to be shared in the summary. For more information about where images are allowed on the archive, please see our FAQ on image use.

Story Notes. Story Notes are one of three fields where you as an author can include notes to accompany your story. The Story Notes will appear in two places: on the story's Table of Contents before the chapter listing and at the top of the first chapter. Story Notes are an excellent place to include information that you'd like the reader to have before beginning the story but that might not be appropriate for the summary. For example, the Story Notes are often used to clarify the rating or warnings, to include pairing information or information about original characters, to list beta-readers, to provide information on any challenges the story was written for, and to share announcements and banners concerning awards for which the story has been nominated.

Characters. This field includes a listing of characters and functions primarily to aid readers in finding stories about a particular character. If you select a character for your story from this listing, a search for stories about that character will return your story as part of the results. Authors are encouraged to choose the main characters involved in their stories so that readers can easily find their stories. Authors are left to their own discretion in determining whether a character is featured prominently enough in their stories to choose that character from the listing. Authors may select as many characters from the listing as they would like.

All characters listed in the Index of The Silmarillion are included on this listing, as are many other characters from Tolkien's other books. Characters with multiple names are listed only once under their most commonly used name. Maedhros, for example, is listed only once as Maedhros, not as Maitimo, Nelyafinwë, Nelyo, or Russandol. If you cannot find a character, check other names by which that character may be identified.

If a character in your story is not on the list and needs to be added, please choose Admin: New Character Needed! You will be contacted by an SWG moderator to determine which character needs to be added. Please remember that we add only characters from the books of J.R.R. Tolkien; original characters and characters from other fandoms--even if they feature prominently in your story--will not be added. If you think this information is necessary, please provide it in the Summary or Story Notes.

Challenges. This field includes a list of all SWG challenges. If your story fits one of the challenges--either current or past--and you would like readers to be able to find your story when searching for stories submitted for that challenge, select the challenge from the list. You may select as many challenges as fit your story. Please visit our challenges page for a complete listing of challenges and a description of each.

Genres. This listing includes common genres and types of story. If you choose one or more genres from this list, readers searching for stories of that genre will find your story in the results.

If the genre of your story is not on the list, you may contact us and we will consider adding it. We do not generally add genres to the list unless there is no existing genre on the list into which your story fits. For example, the author of a parody should choose Humor as a genre; a sonnet would fit under Poetry. You may choose as many genres as fit your story, and your choice of genre(s) is based on your own discretion.

Warnings. All stories rated Teen or Adult need to clarify that rating by choosing relevant warnings from this list. For more information on our warnings and advice on how to choose warnings for your story, please see our Ratings Guide.

Rating (required). The SWG uses a three-tiered rating system to aid readers in choosing content they are comfortable reading. The three ratings available are General, Teens, and Adult. Please see our Ratings Guide for more information on our rating system.

Complete. If you do not plan on adding content or making major edits to your story, checking this box will show readers that the story has been completed.

Round robin. Checking this box sets up your story as a round-robin story. Any registered member of the archive can contribute to a round-robin story. For more information on how round robins work, please see our FAQ on round robins.

Chapter Title. If you wish to title your chapters, you can enter that title here. Otherwise, the site defaults to labeling chapters as Chapter 1, Chapter 2, et cetera. For single-chapter stories, some readers prefer to replace this with the story's title. Your chapter titles will show up in the chapter listing visible on the story's Table of Contents.

Chapter Notes. Chapter Notes appear at the top of the chapter to which they are added and alongside the Chapter Title in the Table of Contents. Chapter Notes are a good place to add information that you'd like a reader to have before reading a particular chapter. Translations, acknowledgments, and other notes specific to a particular chapter are often included here.

Story Text (required). You can type or paste the text of your story into this field. Story text may be entered in HTML or in rich-text formats.

Rich-text format allows the archive to recognize formatting, such as bold and italics, that is used by your word-processing program. It also allows you to add special formatting by clicking a button rather than using HTML codes. To enable rich-text formatting, log in and click the Account Info link at the top of the site. Choose Edit Preferences from the list of options and check the box marked Use tinyMCE WYSWYG editor. If you prefer to enter story text in HTML, make sure that this box is not checked.

There is also a means to download a story from your computer to the site. Skip the story text field, click the Browse button, and locate and select the story from the list of files on your computer. Please note that the archive can accept only plain text and HTML files in this field.

End Notes. These notes appear only at the bottom of the chapter to which they are applied. Authors often use them for expressing or explaining information that might spoil the story if put at the top or that they do not want cluttering the Table of Contents.

You then have the option of previewing your story with the Preview button or clicking Add Story to add it directly to the archive.

You may notice that most of the fields on the story submission form are not required. However, we encourage authors to take the extra time to consider and choose correctly for these fields. It is our experience that it increases the likelihood that your story will be found when a reader using the search option on our site. This information is also used by readers perusing the archive and deciding whether they want to read a particular story or not.


Posting a Series

A series is a collection of stories by one or more authors. All SWG archive members have the ability to create series. For more information on the difference between stories and series, please see our FAQ: What is the difference between a story and a series?

In order to create a series, you will again begin on the same Account Info page that you used to add a new story. Choose the fourth option, Add New Series. Following is a step-by-step guide to each field in the form.

Title (required). Choose a title for your series.

Summary (required). Include a brief summary of the series here.

Characters. As with the Characters field when adding a new story, this field includes a listing of characters. It functions primarily to aid readers in finding stories about a particular character. A reader who searches for stories involving a particular character will also find series where that character is listed. Authors are encouraged to choose the characters that feature prominently throughout their series. Again, this choice is always left to the author's discretion.

If a character in your series is not on the list and needs to be added, please choose Admin: New Character Needed! You will be contacted by an SWG moderator to determine which character needs to be added. Please remember that we add only characters from the books of J.R.R. Tolkien; original characters and characters from other fandoms--even if they feature prominently in your story--will not be added.

Challenges. This field includes a list of all SWG challenges. If your series fits one of the challenges--either current or past--and you would like readers to be able to find your series when searching for submissions for that challenge, select the challenge from the list. You may select as many challenges as you wish. Please visit our challenges page for a complete listing of challenges and a description of each.

Genres. This listing includes common genres and types of story. If you feel that your series, generally, fits one or more genres listed, you are encouraged to select them. You may select as many genres as you would like. Readers searching for any genre(s) that you select will find your series in the results.

If the genre of your series is not on the list, you may contact us and we will consider adding it. We do not generally add genres to the list unless there is no existing genre on the list into which your series fits. For example, a collection of haiku would fit under Poetry; a series of Angst stories could also be classified as Drama.

Warnings. If you feel that any particular warnings apply to your series, you are welcome to select them. Since the stories contained within a series require ratings and warnings, and series are not given ratings, choosing warnings for your series is not required, though we certainly encourage authors to consider adding them in order to aid readers who are searching for something in particular. For more information on our warnings and advice on how to choose warnings, please see our Ratings Guide.

Series Type. The series type determines which members are allowed to add to the series.

Once you have selected the appropriate information for your series, click the Submit button. You will be taken next to a screen that will allow you to select stories you'd like to add to the series from a list of all stories you've uploaded to the SWG site. A link at the top will allow you to choose another author, if you wish. Once you're happy with your selections, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page. The final screen will allow you to reorder the stories you've selected using the up- and down-arrows beside each story's title to change its location in the sequence. If you wish to add more stories or stories by another author, click the Add to Series link at the bottom of the listing.


Editing Existing Stories and Series

You can edit or add to a story or series that you've already created at any time by logging in and choosing Account Info from the menu at the top of the page. The list of options includes links to Manage Stories and Manage Series. Clicking on the relevant link will bring up a list of your stories or series with options to edit or add to them.




Last updated 22 September 2009.

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