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Membership is open to adults only. Stories with a rating of M(R) and MA(NC-17), and their respective reviews, are restricted to members. All members are required to agree to an age-compliance statement (implemented on Oct 15, 2005) before being able to access the adult-rated stories.

No membership is needed to access the K(G), K+(PG), and T(PG-13) rated stories or their reviews. No membership is needed to leave a review on these stories, but please note that IP addresses are logged for anonymous reviews as a means to enforce our Terms of Use. No other identifiable form of identification is gathered on reviews, other than the pseudonym a person chooses to identify him/herself with. This is in keeping with the terms of COPPA.


To register, one must choose a unique penname. To accomodate those who wish to have more than one account, it is now possible to use the same e-mail address for two different accounts. The new registrant must also choose a password, entering it twice to ensure accuracy, and agree to the age-compliance statement. Other fields are provided as an option only, but are not necessary for registration.

You should receive an e-mail confirming your registration, even though you will be able to login immediately with the penname and password that you chose. This e-mail serves as a record of your registration and will include your username and password. Keep it in a safe place. If you do not receive this e-mail, it is not important, but you may want to visit your 'Edit Personal Information' page and check to see if you typed in your e-mail address correctly. If you happen to forget your password, please use the Lost Password function first before contacting us. The Lost Password function works instantly in most cases (see next paragraph).

Please Note: Some ISPs do not like automatically generated e-mail and treat them like spam. If you do not receive the e-mail in your inbox, check to see if it fell in your spam box. If you do not have access to your spam folder or for some other reason do not receive the temporary password, E-mail the Headmistress or the Deputy Headmistress to have your password set to a default. It is then highly recommended that you change it to something you can easily remember.

When e-mailing the staff for help, please be sure to include your penname, your e-mail address you used when registering, and the specific problem you are having. The more information you give us, the quicker we can solve your problem. We answer all requests for help as quickly as is humanly possible.


The Remember Me function on the login page will place a cookie on your computer. The Petulant Poetess gathers no information from you whatsoever with this cookie. The system simply checks for the cookie the next time you visit, and automatically logs you in. If you have your browser set not to accept cookies, this will not work for you. You can always create an exception within your browser settings to accept cookies from certain websites only. This is highly recommended.

If you choose to change your password, be sure to logout and log back in using the new password and re-checking the Remember Me box. If you do not do so, your new password will not be stored within the cookie.


The ratings are standard fiction ratings set forth by FictionRatings.com and are described as follows:


  • Text Box

    The text box is where you can paste in the text from your document file. You should be aware that when you do this, all formatting (centering, boldace, italics, etc.) will be lost. If you do not know how to do html coding, I will explain it at the end of this section. Alternatively, you can use the file upload box. Below I will explain the different file types we accept.

    Very simply, once you paste in the text, click 'Preview,' look it over and make sure all of the text is there, and then click 'Submit.' Once you do this, an e-mail will be sent to the admins alerting them to your story's presence. If you discover that you want to change something after you submit the story, please visit your user account page and click on the 'Edit or Delete Chapter' link, look for the story/chapter you wish to change, and click 'Edit.' Similarly, when an admin asks for changes, you should edit them using this link.

    • File Size
      The Petulant Poetess puts no restrictions on the size of a story or chapter. The Story Text Box, however, sort of gives up around 9,000 words. If you have a long chapter, you can use the File Upload area and upload your document there. Please see the help documentation below where it will explain the different files we accept.

    • Disappearing Text
      If you copy in your text, click on 'Preview' and discover that a whole section of text is cut off, check your document around the area where it cuts off and look for an incorrectly typed html code. Sometimes it is a simple deletion of a < or a > that can mess things up. Fix that and paste the text in again, and that will solve your problem.

    • Titles and Bylines
      The title of the story and your byline (your penname) will automatically appear at the top of every chapter. You do not need to add it in the text of your story. Doing so will make it appear twice. Please leave in the title of your chapter, however, as that will not show up automatically.

    • Attention Mac Users!
      I know probably the vast majority of you use Safari. If you choose to use the Story Text Box to paste in your story, I highly suggest using Firefox. The reason for this is that copy/pasting text into the text area using Safari causes formatting and certain characters to either disappear or convert (i.e. dashes convert to hyphens). Using Firefox will solve this problem. There is a link to follow for a free download on the Help Page. If you would prefer not to download a different browser, I suggest that you use the File Upload area to upload a plain text file. See the help section for that in the upload area.

    • Creating En-Dashes and Em-Dashes
      This works both on the site (in the text box) and in your own word processing program. Try it out – you'll love it! This was taken from About .com:

      En dashes:
      • Mac: Option-hyphen
      • Windows: ALT 0150 (Hold down the ALT key and type 0150 on the numeric keypad.)

      Em dashes:
      • Mac: Shift-Option-hyphen
      • Windows: ALT 0151 (Hold down the ALT key and type 0151 on the numeric keypad.)

    • HTML Tags
      These are the html tags that we accept: < b > < strong > < i > < em > < u > < center > < sup > < sub > < a > < img > < hr >. (Please note that I added spaces within the brackets for demonstration purposes only. There should be no spaces within the brackets if you want your tag to be functional.)

      The first set (< b > < strong > < i > < em > < u > < center > < sup > < sub > < a >) are paired tags, which means that you must place the chosen tag in front of what you want to format and then another slightly different but matching tag directly after (< /b > < /strong > < /i > < /em > < /u > < /center > < /sup > < /sub > < /a >). Here is what each of them mean: < b > - boldface, < strong > - boldface, < i > - italics, < em > - italics, < u > - underline, < center > - center, < sup > - superscript, < sub > - subscript, < a > - active link. < a > is used to post a link to another page on this site or off this site like so: < a href="viewstory.php?sid=1" >Bewitching Her Mind< /a > What you will see is only the title of the story, and when you click on it, you will be directed there. You can also have it open in a new window (which I prefer if you are taking people off-site) by altering it like so: < a target="_blank" href="viewstory.php?sid=1" >

      The second set (< img > < hr >) are single tags, which means they are used alone. Here is what each of them do: < img > is used to post an image like so < img src="http://www.sitename.com/filename.jpg" >, and < hr > is used to draw a divider line within your story. The divider line can be used alone, which will draw a line the entire width of the page. Alternately, you can draw a line the size you would like; this would draw a line half the size, for example: < hr width="50%" >

  • File Upload

    • .TXT FILE: When uploading a file, your best bet is to upload a .txt file. You should make sure your document already has all the html tags added in before saving this file because saving it as a .txt file will strip your document of all formatting (centering, boldface, italics, etc.). If you use Word, choose 'Save As' and choose .txt as the file type. Then simply click Browse in the site window, choose your file and click 'Preview.' There is no size limit when using File Upload. Once you hit Preview, you can edit the story just like you would if you had copy/pasted the text in.

    • .DOC FILE: It is also possible to upload a Word file. Two things will happen, however, that you need to be aware of: One is that odd binary characters will be tacked on to the beginning and end of the chapter, which will stretch out the Preview page. (This can be corrected easily, so don't worry.) Two is that you must use html tags because it will not bring over your formatting (centering, boldface, italics, etc.). You can use Find/Replace within Word to find all your boldface (strong) and italic (emphasis) areas. See below for a brief explanation if you do not know how to do this. Again, there is no size limit when using File Upload. To delete the odd characters at the beginning and end of your document: Once you hit Preview, the window will be stretched horizontally. Simply, page down to the bottom, scroll to the right until you see the editing window and delete the characters. Page a little back to the left to find the Preview button and click Preview again. This will fix your document and resize your window.

    • .HTML FILE: It is possible to upload an Html file. Saving your file as an html file will save your formatting (centering, boldface, italics, etc.); however, if you type your document with double returns between paragraphs (like we display it on the site), everything will be doubly spaced. This is because every return gets a paragraph tag, which automatically double-spaces for you. If you like this way of uploading, since it does save your formatting, type your document by simply returning to the next line between paragraphs.

      Many programs can take a file and save it as an .html file. The worst one probably is Word, but the newest version of Word has an option to save the type as 'Web Page, Filtered.' You will need to delete some extra information at the beginning once you hit Preview, but it is minimal. If you choose 'Web Page' as the type, there will be a lot more to delete, and will probably be a little more troublesome. Microsoft Works also allows you to save as a web page. You will not have to delete any odd characters if you use this approach.

  • Find/Replace Formatting in Word
    Open the Find and Replace window in Word (CTRL-H in Windows) and click 'More' to see all the options. Make sure your cursor is in the 'Find what' field and click on Format at the bottom. Using boldface as an example, click on Font, choose Bold in the Font Style window, and then click OK. (Follow the same for italics, except click on Italic; for centering, click on Paragraph instead of Font and choose Center in the Alignment window.) Once that is done, click on 'Find Next' and it will bring you to every boldfaced section. Leaving the Find and Replace window open, click inside the Word window to add the html tag around the bold area that was found. Repeat as necessary to convert other formatted areas. If you wish to remove the format from beneath the 'Find What' field, click on 'No Formatting' at the bottom of the Find and Replace window.


This area will grow as I hear from and help guide members. If you would like me to post a problem/solution of yours that is specific to this site, let me know. It makes me feel really good to help people solve their computer problems. Also, if you believe you have come across an error somewhere on the site, please notify the Headmistress. This could be anything from a broken link to code errors appearing at the top of a page. No matter how small or how big, I do want to hear from you, so don't be shy.

ERROR: Warning: session start() appears a few times at the top of your page, possibly not allowing you access to parts of the site.
SOLUTION: This is not a site problem. This is telling you that your Temporary Internet Files folder is full. Logout, if you are logged in. Delete your cookies (or only The Petulant Poetess Cookie) and empty your Temporary Internet Files folder. You can adjust the amount of space allotted to this folder, if you find this happening often with this site and others. Then log back in.

ERROR: These particular Warnings show up at the top of the page (some multiple times):
Warning: mysql_connect(): Too many connections in /home/....
Warning: mysql_select_db(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL-Link resource in /home/....
Warning: mysql_query(): Access denied for user: 'root@localhost' (Using password: NO) in /home/....

SOLUTION: Don't worry – the site is NOT down. All this means is that there are so many people accessing the database at this particular time. Sit back and wait for anywhere from one to five minutes (go grab a snack) and refresh the page. Everything will be back to normal. I love that this site has so many visitors, but this is what happens occasionally when our visitor count gets a little high.

ERROR: AOL user not able to login.
SOLUTION: AOL uses a browser from within its own application. Depending on your computer, it borrows either Internet Explorer or Netscape. Internet Explorer exists on Microsoft-based PCs outside of AOL. Sometimes, due to the craziness of AOL (yes, I have been there) it simply will not allow you to login to certain sites using its browser. All you need to do is minimize AOL and open IE and browse from outside the AOL software but while still logged on. You should now be able to login. If you dislike IE, why not try Firefox? It is a quick download and a very versatile browser that I highly recommend. Click Here for a Free Firefox Download Remember: just because you logged in with AOL does not mean you must browse the Internet using their software.

ERROR: You are permanently logged in (using "Remember Me" feature) but occasionally you get the sign-in page when trying to access your account page.
SOLUTION: No need to log in again! Instead, click on the "Your Account" link. This happens because even though the system recognizes your permanent cookie, it still sets session cookies. Those time out after a couple hours. So if you leave your browser open but walk away for a while, when you come back, this might happen. But don't worry. You are still logged in. You just need to remind the system by clicking on the "Your Account" link to refresh that session cookie.

ERROR: You try to add an author or a story to your favorites, but all you get is a page saying you aren't logged in.
SOLUTION: Log out. Clear your cache, delete your temporary internet files, and then delete all your Petulant Poetess cookies (or delete them all if you wish, but that's not necessary). Then log back in. Go ahead and add that author or story as a favorite, and it will work.

ERROR: You have changed the skin in your preferences, but it keeps reverting back to the one you had before.
SOLUTION: Logout, delete your cookies (or just your petulantpoetess.com cookie, if you know how to delete just one), and log back in using the 'Remember Me' function. This error happens because your cookie needs to be updated. It is still remembering the skin you used to have.

ERROR: You are using the Opera 9.02 browser and are unable to leave comments or reviews to stories due to a javascript error.
SOLUTION: Please note that this is a workaround since the new Opera browser doesn't seem to want to recognize the javascript file on the site. 1)In your Opera browser, save the TPP webpage you are having trouble with by clicking on File > Save As and save it to your desktop. 2) Look for the file folder with all the files in it and look for the tiny_mce.js file. 3) Save that file to a folder on your computer that you know will not be deleted. 4) In your Opera browser, click on Tools > Preferences and go to the Advanced tab. 5) Click on the JavaScript options button. 6) At the bottom of the window, click on the Choose button to find the tiny_mce.js file on your system. 7) Click OK to save everything. You should now be able to leave a comment or a review without a problem.

ERROR: You are attempting to submit a story but cannot get your cursor to appear in the Story Text Box to paste in the text.
SOLUTION: This happens because somehow, your cursor passed through the File Upload window, usually by tabbing down on your way to the text box. Once your cursor is placed in the File Upload box—or the Story Text Box—Javascript will disable the other option. To correct this, you will need to start your submission over by clicking on Your Account in the menu. To avoid this in the future, please do not tab past the File Upload box. Instead, use your mouse to place your cursor where you want it.

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