The Silmarillion Writers' Guild--An Online Community for Silmarillion Study and Fan Fiction

TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

SWG Story Rating Guide

Authors on the SWG are presented with the choice to utilize ratings and warnings on their stories. Including ratings and warnings is a long-standing convention in the fanfiction community, and some readers choose what to read in part based on the story's rating or content. Some authors, however, prefer not to rate their stories or use warnings. In an effort to balance the needs of the many users of our site, SWG authors are required to either

  1. select an appropriate rating and appropriate warnings according to our ratings and warnings policy below or
  2. select Author Chooses Not to Rate and/or Author Chooses Not to Warn if electing not to include ratings and/or warnings on the story.

Our rating system is as follows:

In addition to ratings, authors can include warnings on their material as to what content a reader can expect to encounter. In other words, why have you rated your story as you have? All stories rated Teens or Adult must include warnings explaining why you have rated the story as you have. If you do not want to select a warning from our list, you must include the label Author Chooses Not to Warn. On the archive, you will select the warnings from a list when you submit your story and can make clarifications in the story notes and summaries, if you feel that you need to. On Yahoo! and LJ, the warnings should be visible before the reader clicks on the story content itself, either outside the LJ-cut (on LJ) or in the title of the post (on LJ and Yahoo!). The list of warnings currently available on the SWG archive is available here.

Inevitably, choosing both ratings and warnings for a story is subjective and, therefore, never an absolute. We ask our authors to be conservative in choosing their warnings. If you're not sure whether a story is better rated as Teens or Adult, choose the higher rating. It is better to lose a few readers unwilling to read an Adult-rated story than to have readers surprised by the content that they encounter. Using warnings and providing clarifications in your story's summary and notes is also encouraged.

In the event that the SWG moderators feel that a story is inappropriately rated or needs additional warnings, then we reserve the right to make these changes. If a story is rated Teens or Adult and does not contain warnings, then we will add the label Author Chooses Not to Warn. We will do our best to contact you and to work with you to find a solution agreeable to both parties, but authors should understand that our priority is ensuring that readers on our sites receive accurate information about the stories posted there.

Tips for Choosing Ratings and Warnings

Last updated 3 May 2014.