Jump to: What Is a Podfic? | Instructions for Adding Podfic to the SWG Archive | Podfic Guidelines | Featured Podfics | Featured Podfic Author Expectations | Featured Podfic Readers | Podfic Resources | Podfic Archive
For five years now, the SWG has served as one of the best places online to read stories based on The Silmarillion. Our site is home to hundreds of stories by some of our community's most talented authors. In order to make Silmarillion-based stories further available for enjoyment by readers, the SWG now accepts podfics and, shortly, will begin featuring a new podfic each month as part of our newsletter.
What Is a Podfic?
A podfic is a recording of a story, usually in MP3 form. Think MP3 audiobooks or books on tape: You can listen to a podfic while sitting in traffic, enjoying a walk through the park, or while working on your computer. You can play podfics directly on your computer, or you can download them to your MP3 player.
Our hope is that, by archiving podfics on our site, we will make our authors' stories available in different settings and, thus, expand their potential audience.
Instructions for Adding Podfic to the SWG Archive
Any SWG member can archive a podfic. First, please carefully read our podfic guidelines below. Podfics that do not conform to our site's guidelines will be removed. Next, your podfic must be available somewhere on the web. If you don't already store your podfics on another site, we are happy to host the file for you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will make arrangements to upload your file for you.
Once you have a link to your podfic, visit the SWG archive and click the Account Info link. Click the link to Manage Podfics and select Add a Podfic. You will be prompted to enter a link to your podfic, the title, author, summary, and any comments you wish to make. You will have the option of adding information about details like genre and characters; we encourage you to include this information to make it easier for potential listeners to find your podfic! Click SUBMIT to add your podfic to the archive.
Our Site Etiquette and Terms of Service apply to podfics as well as text-based pieces. Please familiarize yourself with this document if you have not already.
- Permission to post podfics. If you wish to post a podfic of a story written by another author, you must have that author's permission first. Members who violate this will have this archive privilege suspended.
- Music, sound effects, and other intellectual property. Readers are welcome to add music and other sound effects to their podfics if they have permission from the creator to use their music or effects. You should either have explicit written permission from the rights holder, the song/effect should be clearly labeled as available for non-profit use, or the song/effect should be available in the public domain. If the rights holder requires credit, you may give credit at the end of the podfic or in the Reader's Comments section on the Add a Podfic form. Podfics that utilize material illegally will be removed, and repeat violators will have posting privileges suspended.
- Reading style. If you are serving as a reader for the Featured Podfic program, any requests the author would like to make of the reader of her or his story will be made clear when the assignment is posted. Otherwise, you are welcome and encouraged to use your own style as a reader.
Each month, as part of our newsletter, we will make available a new podfic of a story on our archive. We encourage our members to get involved in this project, either by suggesting stories or serving as a podfic reader!
We will select stories two different ways. First, we encourage our members to suggest stories that they'd like to hear as podfics. Suggest a story for podficcing using the form here. If we are out of member recommendations, we will use the Random Story box on the archive to randomly select a story.
The SWG moderators will add all member suggestions to the list of stories to be podficced. However, the mods do reserve the right to determine the order in which these stories will be presented and delay the presentation of some podfics in order to achieve diversity in author, subject, rating, and genre. For example, if we receive three suggestions for stories by the same author, we will spread out the presentation of those stories, likely working with the author to determine the order in which she would prefer them to be presented. If we receive three suggestions for stories about Fingon's rescue of Maedhros, we will likely also space out the presentation of those podfics in order to ensure a better variety.
While we accept suggestions for stories of all lengths, we generally give preference to stories under 2,000 words in length. If you suggest a longer story, please understand that it will be more difficult to find a reader and will take longer to produce.
We welcome self-recommendations, so if you have a story you'd love to hear recorded, feel free to suggest it!
If you have a story you'd like to be available right away, remember that you can record and add your own podfics to the archive. See Instructions for Adding Podfic to the SWG Archive above for more information on how to add your own podfics.
Featured Podfic Author Expectations
If a story is suggested to us for podficcing, we will make a recording only after receiving written permission from the author. If we have contacted you, seeking permission to record a podfic of your story, please read the following guidelines carefully before agreeing to participate in the project.
If you do not wish to participate in the Featured Podfic program, you may decline by replying to the email we send you or simply ignore the email; we will not bother you with multiple requests and respect that our authors may have many good reasons for not being interested in this particular project at this time. If you don't wish us to contact you at all about the Featured Podfic program, you can use the Author Opt-Out form. You can remove your name from this list at any time by contacting us.
- Readers. You are welcome to find your own reader for your podfic or even record it yourself. However, we must receive a file for your podfic before we will add it to our posting schedule for the newsletter.
If you do not have a reader in mind, we will provide a reader for your podfic. You are welcome to be as involved or uninvolved in the recording process as you want. If you want to work with the reader on your podfic, you must let us know when granting your permission. We will assign you a reader who is willing to collaborate with you on the recording. Otherwise, you should assume that the reader will exercise full creative control over the podfic, including the use of sound effects, music, reading style, etc.
Please remember that the more particular you are about your podfic, the more difficulty we will have in finding a reader who can meet your expectations. If you're very particular about the presentation of your podfic, we encourage you to find your own reader or record the podfic yourself.
Please also remember that the SWG is an international organization. We welcome members from all over the world and celebrate our diversity. Readers will also bring accents from all over the globe. Again, if you're particular about accent or reading style, you might do best to find your own reader or record your podfic yourself.
- Deleting podfics. You will have the ability to delete the link to your podfic in the archive. If you want the podfic deleted entirely from our site, you will need to contact a moderator to do so.
Making a podfic requires hours of volunteer efforts. Your reader will have put a lot of thought and creativity into presenting your story in the best possible manner with the expectation that the podfic would remain available on the Web to showcase her or his efforts. While we will honor requests for deletion without question, authors who request the deletion of podfics featured in our newsletter will not be eligible to have future podfics recorded as part of the Featured Podfic program. These authors can continue to add their own podfics to the archive. Do not give consent to have a podfic recorded as part of our Featured Podfic program unless you are absolutely certain that you will be comfortable having the podfic available indefinitely on our site. Please respect the time, energy, and effort that goes into recording a podfic by withholding consent for stories that you may not be completely happy with.
- Editing podfics. Likewise, if you edit the text copy of your story, we will not update the podfic to the edited version. If you have recorded and posted your own podfic, of course, you are welcome to undertake the edits yourself. If your podfic is available through our Featured Podfic program, we will not undertake any efforts to edit your podfic. Again, please respect the time, energy, and effort that goes into recording a podfic by withholding consent for stories that you may not be completely happy with.
- Rights acquired. For the Featured Podfic program, the Silmarillion Writers' Guild will obtain one-time rights to produce an audio reading of your story. This reading will be made indefinitely available for download on the Silmarillion Writers' Guild website. We may also utilize a third-party host for audio files in the future; the file would also be available indefinitely for download through the third-party host.
If you have been contacted as part of the Featured Podfic program and you have read and agree to the terms above, please copy the statement below, paste it into an email, and send it to email@example.com.
I am granting permission for the Silmarillion Writers' Guild to produce an audio recording (podfic) of my story for their Featured Podfic program. I understand that, unless I provide my own reader, the SWG will provide a reader for me, and I agree to accept the reader's efforts in recording my story. Any requests that I have for the reader, or requests to work directly with the reader must be made now. I understand that I cannot delete or edit my podfic myself and that I must contact the SWG moderators if I want my podfic removed from the site. I understand that requesting a deletion of a Featured Podfic will make me ineligible for future participation in this program.
I am granting one-time rights to the SWG to post a downloadable copy of my podfic on their website. I understand that the SWG, in the future, may also wish to use a third-party audio host and will make my podfic available for download there as well. I understand that my podfic will be available indefinitely, and I affirm that I am happy with the story in its current state to be available indefinitely in audio form.
Featured Podfic Readers
We will maintain a list of readers interested in possibly assisting with the Featured Podfic program. You can add your name to the list by filling in the podfic reader form. You can remove your name from the list at any time by contacting us.
Once your name is on the list, you will receive notification whenever a new podfic recording assignment is available. You will be provided with a link to the story and any requests that the author has for the reader. We highly recommend that you read the story before accepting the assignment.
If you're interested in recording the story, reply to the email to claim the assignment. Assignments will be given on a first-come-first-served basis. Do not begin recording the story until you receive an assignment confirmation from a moderator; if you do not hear from us within a day, you are welcome to query.
You will generally have one month to record the podfic and email it to the moderation team. We will allow a longer deadline for longer stories. We will send a confirmation email when we receive your podfic; if you do not hear from a moderator within one day, confirming receipt of your podfic, please query. If we do not receive a podfic from you before the deadline, the assignment will be sent out again and assigned to another reader. Please do not claim assignments unless you are reasonably certain that you will be able to complete the assignment by the deadline. If circumstances arise where you know you will not be able to complete the assignment, we appreciate you letting us know as soon as possible so that we can reassign the story.
Once we have received your podfic, we will add it to the posting schedule. We aim to work six months ahead of schedule, so it may take a few months before your podfic is posted to the newsletter. We will let you know when we have your podfic scheduled to be posted.
Think you might want to read podfics but not sure where to begin? Recording podfic is surprisingly easy and does not require expensive investment in equipment and software! Check out our Podfic Resources below and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions.
General Podfic Opt-Out
If you never want us to contact you for permission to record one of your stories as a podfic, please use the podfic opt-out form. You may opt back in at any time by emailing the moderators at email@example.com.
What do you need to record a podfic? You need a microphone on your computer--many computers come with microphones installed by default--and you need audio editing software. Free versions of adio-editing software are available.
The following sites may be useful in getting started with podfic. Have suggestions for more resources? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. As a reminder, please remember that, although we link to resources for our members, we are not endorsing or affiliated with any of the below third-party groups or sites, and you should use caution when doing things like downloading files or sharing your information or creative work on the Web.