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These are the standards by which all stories must abide in order to be posted to The Petulant Poetess. By posting a story here, you are stating that you have read and reviewed these rules and will abide by them.

Please read them carefully. These guidelines are in place in order to provide a quality archive. We reserve the right to reject any story and/or chapter that does not follow these rules.


Please categorize your story in its proper place. Each category has sub-categories with which the author should be familiar before posting. Stories categorized in a Harry Potter Fanfiction sub-category, or an LJ Community or Challenge subcategory with an HP theme, should never have a secondary category listed from the Original Fiction subcategory list—and vice versa. To familiarize yourself with our categories please click here.


Summaries must be grammatically correct with the use of proper spelling, punctuation and grammar. Please, no net speak or odd caPItaLiZAtionS. Refrain from using html in the summary (blockquote, paragraph tags, breaks), as they sometimes create problems with our coding. Banners and pictures are forbidden within summaries as well, whether it is a story or chapter summary. Banners and/or pictures are encouraged to be placed within the text of your story. (See section on Banners and Pictures below.)

While we love that people post to many archives, we do not allow links in story summaries (or within the story itself) informing readers where they may find your story. A field may be found on your user page (Edit Personal Information within your Account Page) where you can list what other archives you post to.


If you have a banner to include with your story, whether it be an award you received or as an advertisement of sorts for your chapter or story, it should be placed at the top of the main text of your story. Graphics can either be loaded in the Images section of your Account Page or can be hotlinked from various free image hosting sites.

Pictures or illustrations are highly encouraged. The placement of these depends on where they make the most sense to you and to the content of your story. See the previous paragraph regarding where to upload your images.


Before submitting a story, it should be free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. The administrators on the Petulant Poetess do not beta stories; therefore, it is highly suggested that you acquire the service of a beta before submitting your story.

This is a moderated archive, which means that we expect the basic, widely-accepted rules of grammar and punctuation to be followed. The idea is to provide a reading atmosphere that is comfortable to readers in general. We follow standardized rules of punctuation, which can be found in several reputable writers' and editors' punctuation guides as well as several online references. All admins are trained to follow the same rules to be as consistent with all of our authors as possible. See here for a sample of the resources we use. Our Punctuation Guide is a work in process, meaning that it may not be complete but does offer a solid source of reference for our authors.


The fiction software recognizes line breaks (hard returns) and does not recognize tabs. Because of this, all stories must have a single space between each paragraph. Create this by entering/returning two times after each paragraph, taking you down two lines to begin the next paragraph. There should be absolutely no hard or soft returns used within a paragraph.

Paragraph html tags < p > and line break html tags < br > are not needed and sometimes create problems in spacing within a submission. Also, it makes your submission incredibly difficult to admin since many of us paste the text from the textbox into Word in order to keep track of corrections more efficiently. Submission including html paragraph or line breaks will be sent a Fix Letter (see below).

When pasting text in the Story Text Box or uploading a text file, you will notice that formatting features such as italics, boldface, and centering text will not carry over. These you must assign the respective html codes. (Visit the Help Page for help with html tags).


Every author who posts to the Queue will be allowed to post two submissions simultaneously, whether it is two of the same story or two separate stories. After that, the system will not allow another submission until one has finished the Queue Process.

Note: If you upload two chapters of the same story at the same time, there will be at most a four-day waiting period between validation of the first and consideration of the second. This is beneficial to you, as your story will be at the top of the 'Recently Added' list again after a few days.


There is a size limit on submissions entering our Queue of approximately 15,000 words. This is because large submissions are very time-consuming for our admins to go through.


» You may post Harry Potter fanfiction involving any pairing (ship) – or no pairing at all (no romantic liaisons); simply place it in its proper category. Categories are defined on the Categories Page.

» Original fiction and poetry are also accepted. It is a wonderful way to see what your favorite authors can do outside of the Harry Potter universe or to explore plot and character development that you cannot always do with fanfiction. The Petulant Poetess wants to encourage writers to broaden their horizons.


Please make special note the following things we will not accept in a submission. Contact a Head Admin (by visiting our Help Page) if you have any questions:

  • a. Canon: There are several wonderful pieces of fanfiction that follow their own path and do not follow canon. All stories, regardless of canon adherence, will be considered. However, please be sure to designate stories with odd situations, settings, or out-of-character characters as "Alternate Universe". Anything that goes beyond reason or gets too out-of-hand (such as a story that completely throws the entire premise of JKR's world out the window) we reserve the right to reject.
  • b. Obvious Mary Sues (or Stus, as the male version is called) are not acceptable. The definition of a Mary Sue according to subreality.com: "'Mary Sue' is an unkind term used to describe a certain kind of character, a style of writing. She (or he) is created to serve one purpose: wish fulfillment. When a writer invents someone through whom he/she can have fantastic adventures and meet famous people (fictional or real), this character is a Mary Sue." This does NOT mean that you cannot create an original character. Simply be very careful not to allow the OC to become an obvious reflection of your desires.
  • c. Canon characters who are taken so far out of character that he/she is no longer recognizable (Severus Snape prancing joyously through a field of pansies on his way to join his lover with nothing but sweet words and endearments falling from his lips) are discouraged. You may as well create an original character.
  • d. Absolutely NO crossovers allowed. This means stories in which you involve characters from other television shows, books or movies, magical or otherwise, as characters in your story. Stories in which Harry Potter characters mention characters from other books, movies or television are NOT considered crossovers as long as they remain fictional characters. (i.e. Hermione saying she went to see The Lord of the Rings over the summer and has a bit of a crush on Aragorn.) Also, stories that involve Harry Potter characters performing a play in which they take on the personas of fictional characters are NOT considered crossovers and are perfectly acceptable.
  • e. Submissions in which the act of rape is glorified will not be accepted, as rape is NOT a form of entertainment. It is not sex; it is violence, and writing explicit rape scenes as a PWP (where the victim ends up enjoying the act and the scene becomes titillating) glorifies the crime. All stories that address the act of rape or depict it in its proper light (where a victim is being victimized) needs to have the appropriate warning added so readers can choose to avoid the story.
  • f. Stories with explicit sexual intercourse between family members is not allowed. Mention of intercourse having happened is all right, as well as mild incestuous relations. Appropriate warnings should be included.
  • g. Graphic sexual acts involving minors under the age of consent (anyone under the age of 16 in either the US or the UK) is absolutely forbidden. Please be sure to adhere to a canonic timeline within your story. We cannot just accept that in your mind a character's age is different. However, it is okay to imply a sexual act has take place with no graphic description whatsoever, so if you are posting elsewhere, you can post a modified version here. We cannot condone pedophilia, statutory rape or underage sex. The admins will have the final word on whether a story is too graphic and unsuitable for posting.


  • Your submitted story goes into queue where it is assigned a place (click this link to see where your story is in Queue). If you post two chapters of the same story, the second submission will be placed temporarily in Admin Hold—while keeping its position in queue—until the first has been validated. There is a four-day waiting period between validation of the first and the consideration of the second submission.
  • The story will enter an admin's hands once it gets close to the top of the queue. Please, once your story enters the queue, do not edit it; an admin may be already reviewing it. Also note that your position may sometimes move up and down in the list a couple places. This happens due to stories coming out of the Admin Hold area. It does not affect the status or actual placement for consideration.
  • Once a submission has been read by an admin, a letter will be issued.
    • An Acceptance Letter will be issued for a submission that has five (5) or fewer spelling, punctuation, or grammar corrections. The admin will make the corrections (unless the author has checked the Author's Option box upon submitting) and an acceptance letter will be sent, stating what corrections were made.
    • A Pending Letter will be issued for a submission whose corrections exceed five (5) but has less than ten(10), twenty (20), or thirty (30) for stories with less than 1000 words, between 1001 and 2500 words, and between 2500 and 5000 words respectively. Submissions with a higher word count than 5000 may have up to, but no more than, 50 corrections to receive a Pending Letter.
    • A Fix Letter may be issued if we see, upon a cursory glance-over that fundamental problems exist in formatting, spelling, punctuation, or grammar. A short list of issues will be outlined, and We will ask the author to fix these before an admin has a proper look at the submission, and the submission will be placed temporarily in the Admin Hold area, again without losing its position, for three (3) to five (5) days until the issue(s) have been addressed. The number of corrections in a story has no bearing on a Fix Letter being sent.
    • A Watch List Letter may be issued if we find that the issues outlined in a Fix Letter for a previous submission still exist in the current one. The submission will be removed from queue with this letter to allow the author adequate time to address the issues. The author will also temporarily be able to post one submission at a time until we notice the issues no longer occur in subsequent submissions.
    • A Rejection Letter will be issued if a submission exceeds the number of corrections outlined above in the Pending Letter description. A brief sample of the corrections needed will be supplied to the author along with the letter, and it is mandatory to have it betaed (proofread) before re-submitting). Resubmission should occur no earlier than three (3) days from being deleted from the queue, or else the submission will be deleted and the author notified that they haven't taken the proper amount of time to address the issues.
  • Things to Remember:
    • If at any time the author has a question about any corrections or feels an admin may have misunderstood something during the read-through of the submission, we encourage the author to contact the admin by replying to the letter that was sent.
    • Once any corrections have been taken care of on-site, you need notify the admin via e-mail by replying to the letter sent to you. The story will then be checked for validation.
    • Please remember, our admins live in different time zones all over the world and may not be online when you reply to your letter. If it has been longer than twenty-four (24) hours since you replied, email your admin again and please notify a head admin (through the help page). Sometimes, due to health or real-life reasons, an admin might not be able to get online to take care of your submission; we want to expedite the process as much as you do.
    • Beta Resources: If you need to know where to find a beta, a good place to begin is the Beta Directory on this site, the forum boards, The Petulant Poetess Yahoo group, or Perfect Imagination. Betas offer their services for free. They are an impartial eye to your story and are more apt to catch errors than if you were to ask a friend to proofread.
  • A Matter of Etiquette:
    • Any private conversation, be it through email or chat, between an author and admin of this site is expected to be handled with the common courtesy all of us expect when exchanging emails or private chats. If an author has a grievance with an admin or the way a story is handled, he/she is encouraged to take the matter to the head admin rather than airing it within a public forum.
    • Any defiance of this courtesy, based on individual circumstances, will result in the story being immediately removed from the site and/or the dismissal of the author. Negative behavior such as this is detrimental to the running of the site and the morale of the admins as well as other authors.


    The chronic misspelling of canon words (not including improper capitalization), improper dialogue punctuation, improper formatting of the text, and any story that does not follow the Submission Rules implicitly (see "What is Allowed and Not Allowed" above) are all cause for immediate rejection.

    Any story that is outright plagiarized or paraphrased from another author's story will be deleted immediately from the site and notes will be posted throughout the fandom including the plagiarist's username and any other identifying information we might have in order to protect the author of the original story. Please note: An offense such as this will result in the deletion of all submitted and posted stories by the offending author because one plagiarized story usually means many. We do not condone or encourage plagiarism in any form.


    An author who has proven that they can follow the submission rules and submit relatively correction-free stories on a consistent basis (an occasional typo or two is understandable and forgiven), will become Validated Author after submitting a fair amount of their work so that their status can be adequately determined. If you feel that you may have been overlooked, please contact a Head Admin to ask if you may be considered.


    If a letter sent requesting corrections to a submission and we receive no reply, we will send out a follow-up letter in five (5) days. If that e-mail is not answered within two (2) days, we will delete the unvalidated chapter(s) from the queue. (If you uploaded two submissions, both will be deleted.)


    The admins receive an e-mail every time a story is edited. If an administrator notices an author reverses a correction that has been requested and made before validation, the chapter will be unvalidated and returned to the admin 'holding area' until the matter has been taken care of. The admins on The Petulant Poetess want to communicate with authors and take into consideration any concerns they may have. Communication regarding requested corrections is respected and welcomed. It is better to communicate with us prior to validation than cause hard feelings by changing your submission after validation.


    If an author cannot finish the story they have begun, it should be marked as abandoned. This is a courtesy for the readers here at The Petulant Poetess. If the admin notices that a story has not been updated in over a year, she will mark the story as abandoned for the author. If an author posts only a few chapters here and decides to post no more, for whatever reason, leaving it incomplete, that story is to be marked as abandoned. The author is given the option to remove the story from the site instead of abandoning it. Any story that has been marked as abandoned can be changed to reflect active status if the author decides to begin updating again.

    This in no way means that the story is available to be "finished" by another author. If anyone wishes to do so, the author must be contacted and give their explicit permission. If any story "continuations" are posted here, we ask that the original author be given proper credit in an Author Note at the beginning of each chapter, just as one would (and should) give credit to J.K. Rowling. A copy of the original author's permission will be requested by our admins for any story "continuation" that shows up in our queue.

    Disclaimer: This site puts all submitted stories (by unvalidated authors) through the same process, and each story will be treated equally regardless of a writer's ability.

    ~ Edited by NSS 22Feb2011 08:34PST

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