Submission Rules

Note: These rules are currently being revised because of the recent changes. Regardless of what the rules may currently say, we do allow Miranda Foster (Three Rivers) stories in the archive as well as Shane/Jenny stories.

ATWWNS is a moderated archive. This means all submitted stories by new authors must be approved by an administrator before they are displayed on the site and in order to have your story validated, you must first make sure it follows our submission rules. These are not up for discussion and yes, they apply to all authors, including you. Ignoring our rules will more than likely lead to your story being rejected.

While some sites let you post directly to their archives, we at ATWWNS think quality is more important than quantity and if you don't agree we suggest you post your stories elsewhere. Use google.

We may fix small errors you might have missed, but we are NOT your proof readers/editors. You are expected to read through our rules and fix your story yourself before you submit it. If you don't have a proof/beta reader we strongly suggest you find one to help you.

If you have any questions about story submission or these rules, please read our FAQ before you contact us.

The Rules

What is required?

  1. Make sure that you've entered a valid e-mail address in your profile. If we can't contact you, we won't approve your story.
  2. Your first published story must be a Shenny story. After it has been approved you're allowed to submit stories where Shane or Jenny is paired with someone else.
  3. Your story must be written properly and meet our standards, meaning the following:
    • No spelling/grammar/spacing/punctuation/capitalization errors.
    • The story should have double line breaks between paragraphs to increase readability. If you don't know what this looks like, check any of DarknessDescends' or MutedTempest's stories.
    • If the characters are extremely out of character (OOC), the story must have an OOC warning.
    • The story can't be written in slang or text message language, it can't have characters like "&" instead of the word "and". Write your stories in proper English, this is not a chat room or your cell phone.
    • No Mary-Sues, keep those to yourself.
    • No script-format fics.
    • No major continuity errors unless the story has been specifically categorized as AU (Alternate Universe).
    • No frequent switching between past and present tense. Pick one and stick to it.
    • If the story is immature and/or inconsistent or just looks like you haven't put any effort behind it at all, we won't approve it.
    • Your story must be readable and easy to understand. If we have to struggle for half an hour to figure out what's going on, who says what and does what, we won't bother with it. If there are only minor errors in your story, we might fix them and approve it, but if we can't even figure out what's going on in the story there's not much we can do.
  4. Stories with multiple chapters should be archived as such and NEVER as separate stories. Upload the first chapter of your story, then go to Manage Stories in your account to add additional chapters.
  5. All stories must contain a complete disclaimer. This is best placed in the Story Notes, that way you don't have to repeat it for each chapter. If a validated author posts stories without a disclaimer, they may lose their validated status and repeat offenders might have their accounts suspended. The disclaimer can look something like this:
    Sample Disclaimer
    Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
  6. All content for your story, such as descriptions, notes and the story itself must be placed in the appropriate places. If you're not sure how to do this, take a look at some of the stories already in the archive and see what other authors have done.
  7. Story/chapter titles and descriptions must be kid friendly and spoiler free. No exceptions.
  8. You must include spoiler warnings where necessary, especially for the latest/current season. We have readers from all over the world and not everyone has a chance to watch the episodes when they air in the US. We have a setting especially for this where you can choose what seasons your story contains spoilers for and we expect you to use it. If you want to be extra careful you can specify in your Chapter Notes if a certain chapter has spoilers for a particular episode.
  9. Index your story correctly so that people can find it:
    • Place your story in the appropriate category or categories. Do not submit your story multiple times just to add it to several categories! The submission form allows you to put your story in more than one category so if you find that there are several categories that fit your story, please place it in each one you find appropriate. Some of the category names might be a bit cryptic, but you can view descriptions for all of them by clicking on our categories page.
    • Add the characters used in your story. (You can select more than one by pressing Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) while clicking them.) Please don't list characters in your story before they've actually appeared. If you plan having Tina Kennard appear in chapter 5 of your story and you've only posted up to chapter 2, don't add her to the list just yet. You can easily go back and edit this later on. This way if anyone is looking specifically for stories with Tina in them, it won't be as hard for them to find what they want. If you know a certain character will only make small appearences in your story, there is no need to list them.
    • Add the appropriate genres and warnings, you can select more than one as described above. Please be careful when adding warnings and make sure you cover everything. Some people just don't want to read certain things and they shouldn't have to.
    • Add the appropriate rating for your story:
      • G – For general audiences. There is no strong language such as curse words. There may be some mild violence but not of a graphic nature, and there can be no sex or drug use.
      • PG – Parental Guidance Suggested. This is just a little bit stronger than G, language can be a bit more colorful but nothing overt. There can be a limited use of profanity. No sex or gore or drugs.
      • PG-13 – Can contain references to sex but nothing detailed, can use profanity but not an excessive amount. Violence is permitted but graphic sexual scenes aren’t.
      • R – This is pretty strong and can have profanity and sex scenes, although these can’t be in graphic detail. References to sex are fine, though.
      • NC-17 – This is for any story that has graphic detail of sex or violence, detailed explanations of drug use, adult themes, etc.
    • If you've completed a story, don't forget to change the story settings! To do this, go to your Manage stories page in your Account info, and click on the corresponding link after "Completed:" for the story in question. To post a completed fic (one-shot), click the tick box next to "Completed" in the story submission form.
  10. Before you submit your story, use the PREVIEW function to make sure that all your HTML-tags are working properly and that you haven't messed up the formatting. We allow the use of HTML-tags when formatting your stories at the site, so please make sure you do it correctly. The most common problem seems to be that posters forget to close a tag once they've opened it. If you feel like maybe you don't know what you're doing, please check out a tutorial on the subject or ask someone to help you in the forum. NOTE: It's important that you use the preview function before posting, instead of posting a chapter only to delete it and repost it when you find errors. Doing this may cause the database to delete your whole story and that's most likely not the desired effect.

What is allowed?

  1. If you want to, you can add a banner to your story. It can be uploaded at Account Info > Manage Images but the generated HTML code must be added to your story manually. Paste the code into the Summary of your story. Please note that your image cannot be bigger than 100 pixels high and 500 pixels wide and it may not contain nude or topless pictures of Kate, Mia or anyone else. You can of course upload the image to an image hosting service such as Photobucket, should you prefer that.
  2. In the same manner as mentioned above, you can choose to add fanart that's made specifically for your story to illustrate your chapters. However, please try to keep these images to a minimum - they should not take up more space than the story itself and they should be somehow relevant to the story.
  3. The L Word has a lot of mature content so of course we allow stories rated NC-17. Just make sure you add that rating to your story and you're good to go.

What is encouraged?

  1. Get a proof/beta reader. Even if you think your story is flawless, a beta reader may find errors you've missed. It not only increases your chances of getting approved, but it should also be in your own interest to make sure your story is as good as it can possibly be. It might be a good idea to show your beta reader the rules so they know what to look for.
  2. If you're a new writer at the site and haven't yet been validated, it might be a good idea to read the first section of our FAQ that among other things contains a list of suggestions for how you can increase your chances of getting approved.

What is discouraged?

  1. Using your Story and/or Chapter Notes to beg people to read and/or comment. It's just tacky and you might get the opposite effect, especially since there's already a "Please review this story" encouragement at the end of each chapter in the archive. If you're looking for feedback on a specific thing though, that's a different question.

What is not allowed?

  1. Placing story notes/chapter notes in the middle of your story. We have separate boxes for that for a reason.
  2. Writing your own personal bio in your story notes and/or in your story. Things like that belong in your profile.
  3. Submitting a message, a recap, anything that resembles a blog post, fan art, or any other content that is not a story. We have both a forum and a fanart gallery at ATWWNS, don't clutter the fanfic archive with things that don't belong there!
  4. Posting the same story/chapter more than once.
  5. Deleting and resubmitting your old stories simply to get them at the top of the Most Recent list, even if you haven't added any new content.
  6. Writing your story in script format. The only exception when this might be allowed is if it's one of the characters, for example Jenny, that's writing a script in your story.
  7. Naming your story something like "Please read" or "Untitled", or writing a summary that says "I couldn't come up with a summary" or "Read and find out!". If you could come up with a story, you can come up with a suitable summary and title for it as well.
  8. Posting Shane/Carmen (Sharmen) stories. We don't allow this at ATWWNS since Carmen used both Jenny and Shane to get what she wanted and we don't support the Sharmen relationship. If you disagree with our point of view, that's fine, but that's how we do things around here. However, it's fine to post Shenny stories that start at the point where Shane was still with Carmen, as long as the focus is on Shenny.

What is strictly forbidden?

  1. "Real Person" fics. Stories about the actresses instead of the characters are not allowed, not even if the story is set in an alternate universe. We respect Kate and Mia and expect you to do the same.
  2. Quoting lyrics without specifying the source and adding it to your disclaimer. If you do this, your whole story might simply be deleted. We're not looking to get sued just because you can't give proper credit where necessary.
  3. Stories containing adults having sex with minors are strictly forbidden and submitting one will lead to an immediate ban.
  4. Plagiarism. No story will be approved if it's too similar to another story for it to be a coincidence. Since we all use the same characters and settings, there's bound to be some similarities, but if we find out you copied or immitated someone elses work, your story will be deleted and you will be banned from the site. We don't take this lightly.
  5. Writing a story set in another writer's universe without their permission. You can't for example write a sequel to someone elses story and base yours on their work unless they specifically approve.

So how long do I have to wait to get approved?

If your story is rejected, you will receive an email from us telling you why. You must have a valid email address or we will not be able to contact you. We have noticed that some hotmail and comcast users have problems receiving emails from this site. If you have one of them, be extra careful and make sure it works for you.

If you submitted a story to the archive that never showed up in the archive, and you never received any emails explaining why, please contact us using the contact form. Make sure you include an alternative email address so we can contact you if there's a problem with the one you entered in your profile.

How long it takes for your story to get approved/rejected depends entirely on how busy we are and whether or not your story follows the submission rules. A well written story without anything that needs to be fixed will in most cases be up within a day.

Keep in mind:

  • Validated authors that repeatedly post stories/chapters that are badly written and/or haven't been corrected by a beta-reader will be warned. Repeated violations will cause you to lose your validated status. Being validated still means you must follow the submission rules, you're no exception. If you're asked to change, add or remove something, you must do this. If you don't, the admininstrators reserve the right to do it for you.
  • Please keep copies of your stories saved on your computer! Rejected submissions are deleted from the server and once this is done, there's no way for you to get your story back.
  • If you don't think your story is worth spending a little extra time on to make sure it follows our rules, don't expect us to find it worth approving. We won't waste our time on your story if you can't even bother to respect how things are done around here.
  • Submissions found to be in violation of these rules may be removed and the author's account suspended at the discretion of the site administrators and/or moderators. The site administrators reserve the right to modify these rules as needed.

Last updated: 2009-02-07
by DarknessDescends and MutedTempest