General Site Information |
Technical Questions |
Newbie Information |
Member Features and Reviewing
Submitting, Editing, and Deleting Fics |
More In-Depth Site Info |
Submission Rules |
Contact Us for Help
Contacting Us for Help:
Please read this Help page and the Submission Rules before submitting a request for help. If a question is sent and the answer is already within the Submission Rules or this Help page, the Admin answering the email will direct the user to the correct area.
When sending an email all of the following information must be included:
- penname (user name);
- archive; and
- story title (if applicable).
Without this information the email cannot be answered and is subject to immediate deletion.
Any user needing help may contact us at the SH Help Desk.
I. General Site Information
What is Sycophant Hex?
Sycophant Hex (also known as ‘SH’) is a site for quality fanfiction and fanart for adults. Because of new developments in laws concerning the protection of children online, our site does not allow membership of anyone under the age of 18. Therefore, children may not register, post, or read members-only stories here.
Why is this site called 'Sycophant Hex'?
Sycophant Hex was created to welcome all adult writers of quality fiction regardless of their background or connections. Therefore, we cheerfully cast esteem-raising, tongue-in-cheek hexes on any would-be sycophants of author-idols.
Do I have to register to use this archive?
You do not have to register to read any story that is rated C (which is the equivalent of the MPAA rating of G, for general audiences.) All other ratings require registered membership of people age 18 and older, who are subject to age verification upon request.
Do I have to pay to use this archive?
No. Using any archive under Sycophant Hex is always free. We no longer accept donations, but there are two other ways you can help support the high cost of running Sycophant Hex. First, whenever you need to shop at Amazon.com, please do so through the Amazon search box situated on all our archive home pages. And second, we invite you to visit our Amazon-affiliated bookstore when you’re shopping for HP-related items and books about writing. By purchasing from our bookstore, you gain all of the benefits of ordering through Amazon.com, while helping to support Sycophant Hex.
How do I find the Sycophant Hex bookstore?
To enter our bookstore, please click Sycophant Hex at Amazon.com or the Amazon link situated on our archive homepages.
Your story ratings don’t look familiar. What do they mean?
C - Conservative: No offensive material.
S - Suggestive: Uses moderately mature language; suggests violence or adult situations, but doesn't describe them.
B - Brazen: Uses strong, mature language; includes moderate violence or mature sexual themes, but no graphic violence or graphic sexual descriptions.
W - Wanton: Includes some graphic violence, and/or some detailed sexual encounters.
L - Lascivious: Includes explicit, lewd or deviant sexual details, or graphic violence such as torture.
The above ratings are initially assigned by the authors of stories. If after review the admins believe a rating change is required, Sycophant Hex reserves the right to change a rating without prior notice to the author.
Where can I find the Sycophant Hex Terms of Service?
There is a link to our Terms of Service at the top of every Sycophant Hex home page.
Do I have to register separately for each archive and for the User Forums?
Yes. Each individual story archive and the User Forums are separate programs that require individual registration.
II. Technical Questions
Do I have to register to use this archive?
You do not have to register to read any story that is rated C (see ratings above.) All other ratings require registered membership of people age 18 and older, who are subject to age verification upon request. Please note that if we learn that a person under 18 has attempted to register, that person’s membership will be revoked without prior notice.
I'm new and confused and don't know what to do! Help!
We suggest that you begin by reviewing this entire Help file. Then register for all archives featuring stories that interest you; and check out each archives’ Featured Fics.
Help! I lost my password!
Don't panic! While your password cannot be retrieved, it can be reset. To do this, go to the archive’s login page and click Lost Password. Follow the instructions and you should be back online in no time. However, if you need further help, please contact us at the SH Help Desk.
How can I change the information in my profile?
Log in, click on Your Account and then click on Edit Personal Information. From there, you can edit your profile.
I registered in the past but cannot log in now!
The most likely reasons for this are:
• you entered an incorrect username or password (if it’s still available, check the email you were sent when you first registered);
• the administrator has deleted your account for some reason. For more information, please contact us at the SH Help Desk.
Can I change my username?
If you need to change your username, please contact the SH Help Desk. If at all possible, we will try to accommodate your request.
How do I change my settings?
Log in, click on Your Account and then click on Edit Personal Information. From there, you can edit your settings and preferences.
Yes. Pages with cookies load more quickly and enable users to access their accounts with less effort. You increase the number of cookies downloaded to your computer by choosing the 'Remember Me' function when logging in and by using our Forums.
How do I clear my cookies?
For Internet Explorer, follow these instructions:
- On the Tools menu, click on Internet Options; then in the Temporary Internet Files area, click Delete Cookies.
For Firefox, follow these instructions:
- Click on Tools then Options. Select the Privacy tab, then the Cookies tab; and then click the Clear Cookies Now button.
I enter my user name and password, click Submit and the page just reloads. What should I do?
This is probably caused by your browser settings. To fix this:
For Windows Internet Explorer users, go to the Tools options on the main menu, go down to Internet Options and click on it. Find
the Privacy tab and click on it, set the bar to 'Low' to allow you to log in. Once logged on you can
reset the Privacy bar to whatever you want (as long as you don't clear out your history/cookies.)
Adding http://www.sycophanthex.com to 'allowed' websites under Privacy > Sites will also help if
your system has downloaded the SP2 for IE.
Mac/Apple users: Mac IE and Safari are not user friendly with our archives. Try using Firefox as an
alternative. See: http://www.mozilla.org/download.html
III. Newbie Information
What are "ships", “canon" and “fanon"?
Ships are established pairings or character associations that form the basis of a story idea. Some of the main ships in the HP universe are “Snarry" (Snape/Harry, a standard ‘slash’ pairing); SS/HG (Snape/Hermione, a standard illicit relationship pairing---think “Don’t Stand so Close to Me" by the Police); and H/Hr (Harry/Hermione, a standard, alternative ‘het’ pairing). “Ships" may be supported to some degree (a little or a lot) in canon (such as Tonks/Lupin, Ron/Hermione, James/Lilly); established to some degree in fanon ; or may be completely inventive within the imagination of fans and authors. With careful categorization, all are welcome at Sycophant Hex.
Canon is a term used to refer to fanfiction ideas that come directly from the books and/or movies, which form the basis of the fanfiction world. Canon is also sometimes believed to include extra ‘non-series’ information from the author, such as additional publications or interviews.
Fanon is a term used to refer to ideas and characters that come from fans rather than the author, but which are used often enough to have become familiar and recognizable to regular readers.
How do I write a fanfic?
We have several essays on this topic posted on our forums. We suggest that you strive for honest originality in your writing, for absolutely no plagiarism is tolerated at SH. It is important that you always proofread to ensure acceptance of your stories, and we strongly encourage the user of Beta Readers who will closely review your work before submission.
Why are submissions moderated?
Submissions are moderated to help SH maintain its reputation for serving our valued members and to encourage excellence and diversity in the world of HP fanfiction.
What do I do if I have a complaint about a Sycophant Hex administrator or moderator?
If this occurs for any reason, we wholeheartedly encourage you to first contact our site Mediator at SH Site Mediator. As this title implies, the SH Mediator exists outside of SH management, in order to be free to serve as an impartial user and author advocate in all SH concerns and disputes. .
How can I contact an SH author?
There are several ways to contact an author. An email can be sent via the author’s information page; we simply request that all messages be positive and constructive in nature. However, if the communication involves specific praise for or critique of a particular story, we prefer that readers use the review function and leave a publicly accessible review. Please note that abuse of the emails or the review function (including flames or harassment) is grounds for immediate cancellation of SH membership.
How does the rating system work?
Sycophant Hex administration has made its own unique rating system to avoid any possible problems with using a more standard rating system that belongs to a specific organization that may have copyright entitlements to the system (i.e., MPAA standards.)
Something's not working right. What do I do?
Contact us at the SH Help Desk.
IV. Member Features and Reviewing
The displayed font size is too small; how do I change it?
Use the font resizer and changer that is available on the upper right corner of all home pages of each SH archive.
I am trying to read a higher-rated story but SH requires me to log in. I don't have an account. How can I read the story without one?
You can’t. We limit access to higher-rated stories to ensure the general audience does not have access unless they have certified during registration that they are old enough for the content shown.
How do I review a story or chapter?
Read the chapter. At the end of the chapter there will be a box available for reviews. However, if you are registered member and previously reviewed that chapter, you will not be able to review it again.
How can I search for fics?
Click on Search on the menu.
How can I find all of an author's fics?
There is no central database listing every story by an author in all archives. To see the stories by an author in a particular archive, go to the archive’s home page. Click on Members, then find and click on the author’s name. All the stories by that author on that archive will display.
Can I search the forums?
At present the forums offer only limited search capability. We are currently working to improve this function and will provide this enhancement as soon as possible.
Can I send e-mail to other members of the user forums?
Yes, or you can send private messages, but you must be on the forums to facilitate that feature.
How do I use the Member List?
Click on Members and then pick your preference: View Authors Only or View All Members. After that, select the letter of the alphabet you would like to view of the members list you chose.
How do I add a story or author to my Favorites?
Display the story you want to add, or the author’s profile, then click Add to Favorites.
How do I report a story that has errors?
SH is known for high quality stories---and we want to keep this reputation. At the same time, we are striving to obtain a balance, remembering that SH is an archive for fanfiction, and not for professional-quality publications. Before reporting a story, please review our new standards for submission; you may find that the story falls within acceptable limits. However, if an error-ridden story has somehow slipped through our review process, please report it to the SH Help Desk.
V. Submitting, Editing and Deleting Fics
How do I submit a story?
After carefully reading the ‘Submission Rules’, do the following: Log in, then click on the 'Add New Story' link. From there, choose a Category (or Categories) that are appropriate for the story; then fill out the additional required information.
What are the Submission Rules?
A link to the Submission Rules is located at the top of each archive in Sycophant Hex. Before uploading a story, an author must agree to the Submission Rules.
What type of files do you accept?
We accept HTML and text files. We do not accept *.doc files or files saved in HTML from MS Word/WordPerfect (we can tell the difference and all stories will be rejected automatically). We encourage all users to cut and paste their submissions into the provided text box situated at the bottom of the story edit page. Doing this—and adding the html coding of your preference— will best ensure that the story is formatted according to your specifications.
Do you accept adult-only submissions?
Yes, our libraries include submissions that range from ‘conservative’ stories appropriate for everyone, to ‘lascivious’ stories which contain explicit sexual material. However, all stories in the libraries are intended only for adults to read. We never knowingly accept any stories from child authors, that is, authors under the age of 18. When such an author is discovered, their membership to SH is immediately revoked, even if doing so is without any prior notice.
How many chapters should I upload at once ?
In the traditional SH archives, we only allow two submissions per author at any time per archive. Please note that if one chapter is rejected, any subsequent chapter present in the queue at the same time is subject to immediate deletion without prior notice.
My story is completed. How do I tell the archive that?
Log in, then click on 'Edit/Delete Stories'. You will see a list of your stories. After the title and the chapters you will see 'Completed: No'. Click on the 'No' and it will change to 'Yes'.
How many submissions may I make at a time?
Since we have limited staff, we have restrictions on how many submissions can be in the queue. We allow only two submissions per author per queue. The following are examples of what make two submissions:
- Two chapters of the same or separate multi-chaptered stories.
- Two separate one-shot stories.
- One one-shot story and one chapter of the same or separate multi-chaptered stories.
- Or any other combination that equals two submissions.
If a submission requires corrections, the subsequent chapters of the same story will be deleted from queue; if the submission is from a different story they will remain in queue.
I uploaded a story/chapter and it's not appearing. Now what?
While Sycophant Hex has several admins placed around the world in different time zones, they have real life obligations and they all volunteer their time. In other words, please be patient. We endeavor to validate your story as soon as realistically possible. Please allow at least seven (7) days for validation of a chapter. If you do not see your story validated or have not seen a rejection letter within this time, please email us at the SH Help Desk so we may assess your story as soon as possible.
How will I know if my submission is approved or rejected?
If your submission is approved, the story will be posted to the archive and we will contact you regarding any needed corrections to your submission. If your submission is rejected, you will receive an email from indicating why the story was not accepted.
My story was rejected. Why?
Any story initially rejected will give a list of errors or reasons for rejection. Please note that if a story is resubmitted without noted errors being corrected it is subject to automatic deletion with no further notice to the author.
My story is already posted. How do I change something within it?
Log in, then click on 'Edit/Delete Stories' and you can continue from there. Or, you can go view your story, and then click on Edit near the title.
How can I let people know when I've updated my fic?
Updated fics will be listed on the ‘Recently Added’ List on the home page of each individual archive. We also encourage you to post information on our forums or various LiveJournals or fan fiction sites.
What can I do to improve my chances of my fic being accepted?
Read our submission rules; proofread your fic carefully; and then have the story edited/proofread by a qualified beta reader.
Why do you keep saying I should have my fic beta’d?
Although all authors are ultimately responsible for the content of their stories, a beta reader is a second set of eyes proofreading a document and making valuable suggestions. Unfortunately, SH does not have the staff to provide beta-reading service for any submissions. SH admins provide a vetting service when screening submissions, in order to best ensure an enjoyable reading experience for our members. Thus, we evaluate the content and mechanics of all submissions and either post them to the libraries or provide specific feedback concerning why a submission is not suitable for acceptance at SH.
How do I know what rating to choose?
Use your best judgment---but if you are unsure, submit the story as is, and the Admins will do their best to help you.
My validated story is missing? What happened?
When a story is validated, it is subject to removal if the quality is questioned by the Admin staff. Several Admins will determine if the story does not meet SH quality; but only with the permission of CareCrystal (Webmistress) and RaeWhit(Admin Mistress) may a story be pulled from the archive. An email will always be sent to the author informing of this action. This policy is used for stories after July 2004.
If your story has disappeared and you have not received an email from an Admin, please contact us at the SH Help Desk to have the matter looked into.
Can I have an image in my story?
No, at this time, images are not permitted in stories. Any images that were placed in stories before March 1, 2010, can remain there, however.
What is a Validated Author? How do I become one?
The core base of our Validated Authors are well known, long-term writers of fan fiction with established fan bases, who over the years have brought many readers to SH in order to enjoy their stories. We grant these authors validated status because our readers want to see their stories posted, and enjoy them exactly as they have been written.
But if you are not a well-known, long-time author, you can still become validated. How? By established a consistent pattern of clean work, with few errors, over a period of six months or four consecutive submissions. Keep in mind that the point of being validated is to bypass the queue process, either by proven reader acceptance of as-is material or by observable quality. For our core validated authors, reader acceptance already exists, and our vetting process becomes less applicable. For newer authors who consistently present quality work, the queue process is simply not necessary.
If you are selected to become a Validated Author, please remember that it is a privilege. We ask that you work in partnership with Sycophant Hex to maintain our library of high quality, non-professional fan fiction, so that Sycophant Hex can remain a site of which we are all proud. And as with all of our writers, Validated Authors are subject to our complete Terms of Service.
What are the rules about spoilers?
Rules regarding to spoilers for newly released books are announced at the time of release. Currently, as there are not new books, all stories must be labeled correctly by Canon Compliancy.
VI. More In-depth Site Info
What if I just read a newly-posted story that I think is below the quality standards of Sycophant Hex?
Please contact us at the SH Help Desk to inform us of the story. An Admin will look over the story and if needed will refer it to the Admin staff for review.
How are stories chosen for 'Featured Stories'?
Stories are chosen by the Admins when a particular story has caught their attention. We certainly encourage readers to submit stories for the 'Featured Stories'. We try to make a conscious effort to not only recognize excellent writing, but to spread out the recognition beyond the most familiar fanfiction authors and also to recognize excellent stories whose authors have significantly improved during their time with SH and whose contact at the same time with our staff is pleasant on a regular basis. Please realize that some of these ‘significantly improved’ stories may have initial chapters which aren’t quite as ‘polished’ as the later ones. To suggest a Featured Story, please Submit a Helpdesk Ticket with “Featured Story Recommendation" in the subject line.
Do you accept affiliates?
Yes, but we have a very limited need to have affiliates and are very selective in who we choose to affiliate with. We look for Affiliates with some type of quality control. We also wish for the Affiliate to have something to do with the types of stories/art we host.
What exactly are SH moderators and administrators?
Moderators oversee specific functions at SH. They generally have the ability to edit posts and delete posts on forums. They can also answer questions, post ideas and moderate discussions in the forums. Administrators are volunteers who screen stories for quality and grammar.
Can I link to a story that is hosted by you?
Yes, we encourage people to spread knowledge around of the stories we host.
Are you looking for any Staff? How can I help Sycophant Hex?
Yes, we are always open to qualified new Admins and Mods---but with that position comes demonstrated, observable trust, and certain mandatory qualifications from our Staff. In working as an Admin we strongly feel a background in English grammar (be it American or British English) is required. At minimum, a strong sense of the language is required, along with the attitude of being always willing to learn. If you are interested, please visit this page for the Admin Exam: http://www.sycophanthex.com/exams/adminapplication.html
Sycophant Hex Submission Rules
Last Updated: April 5, 2007
To post with Sycophant Hex (SH), all authors must be registered users abiding by our Terms of Service.
To write a story, you will need a word processing program on your computer. Once it is finished, we suggest having it beta read by a qualified beta reader. A beta reader is someone who checks for plot holes, grammar, and canon facts; all around, a person who can help you polish and improve your story.
Some possible places to search for a beta are:
We do not expect perfection from authors (everyone makes mistakes, including Admins), but we do need to get the idea that as an author, you have taken the time and care in editing. J.K. Rowling has taken liberty with her writing; as fanfic authors, we are allowed to do the same. Grammar rules are there to help the reader depict the story in their heads; if the story works well as it is written, it could be considered technically correct even if it is not grammatically correct.
We have limited staff, therefore, please allow up to seven (7) days for validation of any fic unless there is a delay in the validation process.
All chapters from unvalidated authors are individually read and screened for quality by the Admin staff.
The information below is needed when filling out the form to submit a fic to SH.
All stories being submitted to SH should comply with the submission rules below, or contain a note to the Admins explaining why you have deviated for stylistic purposes. Requests for exceptions from the submission rules below are subject to Admin review and approval.
Archive: The submission should be submitted to the proper archive. While many archives allow for cross-posting, some are very specific: for example, all SS/HG belongs in Ashwinder.
Category: The submission should be placed within the correct category or categories.
Descriptive fields: When filling out the descriptive fields (title, chapter title and summary), use proper English, including correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Summaries must be completed for each submission. As our readers are rather sophisticated, we will return stories to the authors if they have "Erm...I'm really no good at this..." in the summary, or something similar. We strongly recommend writing summaries for each chapter. The summaries should be between one and four sentences and something that teases and attracts the readers to your work.
Classification fields (i.e. Ratings, Warnings, Genres, Canon Compliancy, etc.): Submissions should be marked appropriately for their content. The Admins reserve the right to change these items as necessary.
About Ratings: A rating that is appropriate to the material in the story should be selected from the following list:
If after review the admins believe a ratings change is required, Sycophant Hex reserves the right to change a rating without prior notice to the author.
- C - Conservative: No offensive material.
- S - Suggestive: Uses moderately mature language; suggests violence or adult situations, but doesn't describe them.
- B - Brazen: Uses strong, mature language; includes moderate violence or mature sexual themes, but no graphic violence or graphic sexual descriptions.
- W - Wanton: Includes some graphic violence, and/or some detailed sexual encounters.
- L - Lascivious: Includes explicit, lewd or deviant sexual details, or graphic violence such as torture.
Alternate Universe: We expect that stories will be canon compliant, that authors are educated about the universe in which they have chosen to write. However, we do understand that to make a story work, some things need to be changed or amended. Therefore we expect authors to follow these two simple guidelines that will make it easier for all.
i. It is assumed that stories will be compliant with existing canon at the time of posting, unless noted otherwise by the author.
ii. Sometimes, for a story to work, details that were never canon are added; if this is the case, please use the Alternate Universe option.
Characterization: Stories will be rejected if the canon characters are so OOC (Out Of Character) that they cannot be recognized.
Plot/Story Development: Each chapter will be read to make sure that, at a minimum, it is internally consistent. Readers expect stories to make sense and develop in a steady and coherent fashion. Beta readers are strongly recommended for any problems in plot development and will help any author keep on track.
Language: Our readers are adults; therefore, the language of all submissions must be at an appropriate level. Our readership expects fully developed works of prose or poetry whose style is reasonably sophisticated. Stories using Netspeak, computer chat abbreviations, or (except in dialogue) colloquial language will not be accepted. Also, when writing, it is important to stretch beyond a primary or grammar school level. A variety of words describing scenes or objects makes for a more exciting story and is more likely to grip readers' attention. We also encourage authors to use a broad range of sentence structures.
Resources to thesauruses, which are an excellent way to expand your vocabulary, are listed below.
Grammar: Each chapter is checked for grammar. Infrequent or minor errors will be pointed out to the author during the validation process. However, chapters containing frequent or major errors that we feel would distract a reader will not be accepted. Major errors include problems with noun-verb agreement, verb tense, syntax (word order), or usage. In those cases, the writer will receive a letter explaining why the chapter was rejected and advising the use of a beta reader.
Resources providing help with grammar are listed below.
i. Punctuation: Correct punctuation--particularly commas, quotation marks, and apostrophes--is a must for acceptance. Infrequent or minor errors will be noted and a letter sent to the writer asking for changes with a probationary validation. Stories with frequent or significant problems in these areas will not be accepted.
- SH Grammar Guide
Resources providing help with punctuation are listed below.
ii. Dialogue: Dialogue, grammar, and punctuation, i.e. the way the dialogue is formatted within the text, must be correct for acceptance. Frequent or consistent errors will result in rejection, possibly without the chapter even being read in its entirety. There are very specific rules about the correct formatting of speech. They are as follows:
All spoken dialogue is placed within quotation marks (single quotation marks for British and double quotation marks for American). The attribute (explanation of how the dialogue is spoken) is generally linked to the rest of the sentence thus:
a. "It's a very hot day," panted Hermione. (Note the comma within the quotation marks.)
b. "What did you say?" asked Hermione. (Note the question mark within the quotation marks and the lower case beginning of the attribute.)
c. Severus said, "We did not expect to see you here, Miss Granger." (Note the comma after the attribute and the capital letter introducing the spoken sentence.)
There is only a comma within the dialogue when it is linked to direct speech attribution. If the speech is followed by action, or other descriptor, then there is no comma.
d. Here is an example:
"I hate you!" She glared furiously at him. (Glaring has nothing to do with the act of speaking.)
e. And another example:
"That is all I have to say." She turned away and walked to the door without another word. (Full stop here because there is no speech attribution.)
f. Split dialogue:
"What did you say? Are you telling me," he gasped, "that you are pregnant?" (The second speech fragment begins lower case because the sentence is split.)
g. "What?" he shouted. "You are pregnant? How the hell did that happen?" (The speech attribution separates two complete sentences here.)
h. "Didn't you just hear her; she said 'I'm pregnant'. What is so hard to understand about that?" Harry asked. (The apostrophe around what some one said indicates dialogue from another character being repeated.)
Spelling: Each chapter must be spell checked even if a beta reader has read it. Authors will be notified of corrections needed to only two misspelled words per two thousand words. If the story contains more than this limit, the submission will be rejected and returned to the author. If the spelling mistake is on purpose (journal entry, speech patterns, and etc), please let us know. We will understand. Spell checkers are standard on most computers, and if by chance your computer does not have one, spell checkers are available online for free. Variations of British, American, Canadian, and Australian English spelling will be taken into account.
A free online spell checker can be found at: http://www.spellcheck.net/
i. Canon spellings: Correct spellings of canon names, places, and objects are crucial for acceptance! Please take the time to read through your chapter before uploading to ensure canon spellings are correct. Names of characters, spells, magical items, and fictional places can be verified in the books, at the Harry Potter Lexicon or the List of Canon Words by SH Staff and added to your spell check program.
ii. Spells: The proper names and incantations of all spells, curses, and hexes should be capitalized. To be consistent with canon, if a potion is not a JK Rowling potion, it should be capitalized if it a specific potion name. It has the option to be in lower case only if it is a type of potion, not a specific potion name. (For example, burn-healing paste and boil cure potion aren't capitalized, but Aging Potion and Blood-Replenishing Potion are capitalized.)
iii. Canon capitalization: Correct capitalization of canon names, places, and objects is important for consistency and easy readability.
Length: A chapter must be at least 500 words if it is a chaptered story. Drabbles and poems are allowed to be less, but must be at least 100 words. You can combine drabbles or poems in one submission in order to meet the length requirements.
i. 100 word Challenge Rules: Authors must seek prior approval before submitting 100 word challenge responses. When a challenge is hosted, one person is to gather them, beta read them, and submit them all into one submission so they are combined together. This will allow the queue to move faster and give the reader more stories to read on one page instead of having to search for other 100 word responses from the same challenge.
ii. Poetry:Poetry must contain recognizable parts of the characters if posting in one of the character-focused categories. If it is vague, the Admins may ask for revision to make the poem more character specific, or you can submit it to our original works archive, Chaos.
iii. Epilogues: An epilogue is to be at least 300 words and can be a chapter within itself. The epilogues will need to be clearly marked so the Admins can appropriately assess the submission. (This does not include prologues; they still must be 500 words or more.)
Formatting: Proper formatting lets the reader view the story comfortably. Stories must fill the entire width of the page before going to the next line in a paragraph. If stories do not fulfill this requirement, they will be rejected without consideration until the author reformats it correctly and resubmits.
Double spacing between paragraphs and each new line of dialogue is required in order to make stories easier to read. A new line must also be in place when changing character point of view.
i. Author's Notes:The following rules are applied to all author's notes:
a. Author's notes belong before or after the story. Author's notes are not to be placed in the story content area.
b. A story may be rejected for offensive or inappropriate author's notes.
c. Author's notes should not be used for private communication to a small group of readers, unless specifically thanking someone for contributions made to the story. They should never be used to reply to reviews. The program has a feature to cover review replies. Discussion groups and review responses are the place for conversations.
d. Author's notes may be used for thanking betas/contributors/readers; flushing out plot bunnies and such; as well as for disclaimers; footnotes/explanations that enhance the story, but detract if done in text.
e. Although we always encourage authors to make their notes as short and concise as possible, author's notes may stretch to a maximum length of half of the chapter/story length. This allows for lengthier notes, but does not allow for shorter stories/chapters with notes longer than they are. Final chapters/epilogues are excluded from the rule and are allowed to stretch to longer than half the length of the chapter/epilogue as they may be used to make final notes about the story.
ii. Scene changes: When changing scenes it is strongly recommended to provide a clear line, preferably a horizontal line a < hr > (an html tag). If using a different method, the lines must not be more than 80% of an 800x600 screen resolution or fifty (50) character spaces across the page; if it exceeds this length, the browser may be forced to provide a horizontal scroll bar (on the bottom of the window) to enable the reader to view the complete story. If this happens, the story will be rejected and the author will be advised to upload correctly.
iii. Footnotes: Footnotes are acceptable and may be placed in the Author's notes at the bottom of the story in the provided area.
Bad Email Address: If a letter is sent to an author for story (chapter) corrections and the letter is returned with a bad email address, the chapter will be taken immediately out of queue/deleted from archive even if already validated, and the author will have to correct the email address. Note that Hotmail users are particularly prone to having their emails from SH bounce; please do NOT keep a Hotmail email on file with us if you submit stories to our queue. We recommend the free, alternative email program Gmail (mail.google.com) instead. Please contact our Help Desk if you have any questions.
Number of Submissions:
Since we have limited staff, we have restrictions on how many submissions can be in the queues at any given time. Currently, we allow two submissions per author per archive at one time. For example, you can submit two chapters to Occlumency and a short story to Chaos at the same time, but not two chapters and a short story to Occlumency at the same time. However, once one of the chapters at Occlumency has been processed by our Admins, you could then submit another chapter there.
If a submission receives a conditional validation--posted but with a letter citing errors that need to be corrected--any subsequent chapter of the same story will be deleted from queue; if the submission is from a different story, it will remain in queue.
Plagiarism: At Sycophant Hex, we take plagiarism seriously. If it is brought to our attention that a submission posted in our archive has plagiarized another published work, and the original dates of both publications can be proven, the author who has plagiarized is subject to an immediate and permanent ban from Sycophant Hex without prior notification and accordingly all of the author's posted stories at Sycophant Hex will be automatically deleted.
Links and URLs: Active links are not allowed within submissions unless they lead to another SH hosted site. URLs may be listed in the appropriate places (Author's notes) if providing reference material directly related to the story. Any other URLs should be listed on the Author Information page.
Underage Sex: No submissions depicting explicit sexual acts for characters below the age of 17 will be allowed, but submissions may reference to sexual acts of those under 17 years of age. Reference to physical or sexual abuse of children under the age of 17 may be included within the story only as required for background information. No graphic details may be included.
Images: We currently do not allow any images in submissions.