Site Help |
Frequently Asked Questions |
Known Script Errors |
Contact Email |
To Register click on 'Log In' and proceed from there. To view R, NC-17 (M-rated on The Sorting Hat) stories and post stories the user must be registered, this requires a penname and providing a valid email address. Email addresses are only for administrative purposes and are not seen by users. After registering, a password will be emailed to the address provided, this is an automated email. When entering the email please make sure you enter is correctly, if it is wrong the password cannot be sent to you.
If the user has not received a password by mail within twenty-four (24) hours, please check the Email Contacts and read the information from there.
If the user has lost or forgotten their password please click on 'Lost Password' under 'Log In' and a new one will be sent to you automatically.
Change Your Password:
Log in, click on 'Edit Personal Information' and enter your new password twice then push 'Submit'.
Your Account area:
Review a story:
- Add New Story - this allows the user to submit a new story. It will give step by step instructions on submitting.
- Add New Chapter - this allows the user to submit a new chapter to an existing story.
- Edit/Delete Your Story - this allows the user to Edit or Delete a story/chapter. Within this area the user may also mark if the story is 'Completed: Yes or No'.
- Edit Personal Information - this allows the user to change their real name, email address, profile, password and skin preference.
- View Reviews - this allows the user to view all the reviews they have received in breakdown according to story. The user may choose to respond to any review by clicking on 'Respond' next to the review.
- View Unanswered Reviews - this allows the authors to see reviews they have not responded to.
- Manage Favorites - this shows all the favorite authors/stories the user has chosen. To select author or stories, the user must be logged in and click on [Add to Favorites] by the author name or the story title while viewing the story.
- Logout - this logs the user out of their account.
To review a story a user will be at the story and click on, "Would you like to submit a review?" This can be found near the top of the story or most commonly the bottom of the story. The reviewer does not need to be a registered user.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I have to register or pay to use this archive?
- Do I have to register or pay to use this archive?
- I can log into "..." one archive but not "..." another archive?
- I enter my user name and password, click Submit and the page just reloads?
- I am trying to read a R, NC-17 or M-Mature story but it is requiring me to log in, I don't have an account. How can I read the story without one?
- What if I just read a story that I think is below the quality standards of Sycophant Hex?
- Are you looking for any Staff? How can I help Sycophant Hex?
- How are stories chosen for 'Featured Stories'?
- What are the Submission Rules?
- How do I submit a story?
- What type of files do you accept?
- Can I use HTML in my story?
- How many chapters should I upload at one time?
- My story is completed how do I tell the archive that?
- I uploaded a story/chapter and it's not appearing?
- How will I know if my submission is approved or rejected?
- The 'Reads' counter on the story is showing X amount of views or I have reviews on a newly submitted chapter, but my chapter isn't appearing yet, what is going on?
- My story was rejected, why?
- I uploaded my chapter but the bottom part of my text is missing?
- My story is already posted, how do I change something within it?
- What is the 'Post to Mailing List' option in the Add New Story form and how do I use it?
- What do the ratings mean?
- How do I know what rating to choose?
- My validated story is missing? What happened?
- What is a validated author and how do I become one?
- Do you accept Affiliates? How do I become an Affiliate?
- Can I get email updates when an author updates a story or submits a new story?
You do not have to register to read any story between G and PG-13. As for paying to use the archive, no, using any archive under
Sycophant Hex is free. We do not turn away any donations of course as it can be expensive running it.
2. I can log into "..." one archive but not "..." another archive?
Each archive (Chaos, Lumos, Occlumency, Illusions, etc.) has its own database to register with. We have it set up this way to keep the databases small for each archive to ensure the speed is as fast as possible.
3. I enter my user name and password, click Submit and the page just reloads?
It is probably your browser settings. For Internet Browser (common browser for Windows) 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 Sarafi are not user friendly with our archives, try using Firefox as an alternative. http://www.mozilla.org/download.html
4. I am trying to read a R, NC-17 or M-Mature story but it is requiring me to log in, I don't have an account. How can I read the story without one?
Only registered users have access to these higher rated stories, we do this to ensure the general audience does not have access unless
they agree to being old enough for the content shown.
Yes, if you use the 'Remember Me' function when logging in or using our art gallery, SH Illusions and our SH Forums.
6. What if I just read a story that I think is below the quality standards of Sycophant Hex?
We encourage all readers to be on the look out for these stories, we as the Admins are only human and do make mistakes. If you
question the quality of the story please email the link and describe what you think is wrong with the story so it may be looked into. All
emails are kept anonymous.
7. Are you looking for any Staff? How can I help Sycophant Hex?
We are open to new Admins and Mods but with that position comes trust and require certain 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 or at least has a strong sense of
the language and is always willing to learn.
8. 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'.
9. What are the Submission Rules?
The Submission Rules are listed in several places around Sycophant Hex. They can be viewed on the main page of SH, before uploading a
story an author must agree to them and can be found within the FAQ/Help on all the archives.
10. How do I submit a story?
Log in, click on 'Add New Story' from there you choose a Category appropriate for the story and fill out the information then on.
11. 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).
12. Can I use HTML in my story?
Yes, you may use HTML in your story. A list of allowed tags are next to the text area box when uploading your story.
13. How many chapters should I upload at one time?
We only allow two submissions per author, per archive.
14. My story is completed how do I tell the archive that?
Log in 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'.
15. I uploaded a story/chapter and it's not appearing?
While Sycophant Hex has numerous Admins placed around the world and in different time zones, they have real life obligations and other
online hobbies and they all volunteer their time, so please be patient. We endeavor to validate your story as soon as realistically possible.
Please allow at least forty-eight (48) to ninety-six (96) hours 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 so we may assess your story as soon as possible.
16.How will I know if my submission is approved or rejected?
If approved it will be listed on site; if rejected you will receive an email from the Admin. Make sure your email address accepts emails
otherwise it may bounce and you will never know.
17. The 'Reads' counter on the story is showing X amount of views or I have reviews on a newly submitted chapter, but my chapter isn't appearing yet, what is going on?
The 'Reads' counter is not always accurate when the story is still in Queue. If it shows twenty (20) do not panic, it does not mean the
Admins are debating whether or not to validate or reject the story. We believe the counter counts one (1) 'Read' for each time an Admin
18. My story was rejected, why?
Any story rejected will state a reason or give a list of possible reasons for rejection.
19. I uploaded my chapter but the bottom part of my text is missing?
There could be two reasons for this: one, your story may be too long and be over the word limit imposed on the archive. We generally
recommend the maximum of 11,000 to 12,000 words per chapter. The second reason could be a Mac computer usually this problem
comes from Safari. We recommend Mozilla Firefox for any viewing or uploading to any SH archive.
20. My story is already posted, how do I change something within it?
Log in 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.
21. What is the 'Post to Mailing List' option in the Add New Story form and how do I use it?
This features allows an author to post announce their new chapter or story to a mailing list. If you want to list several lists you only need
to separate them by a comma. If using this feature on Yahoo Groups you will need to make sure the archive is an allowed poster.
22. What do the ratings mean?
G - General Audience: All ages admitted. Scenes of nudity, sex, drugs, abuse and other questionable material will be minimal.
PG - Parental Guidance Suggested: Some material may not be suitable for young children.
PG-13 - Parents Strongly Cautioned: Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Some drug use and curse words may be
used, minor briefs of nudity might be mentioned.
M - Mature - Material of this rating is appropriate for ages of 17 years and up. Rating may contain non-graphic descriptions of violence,
strong language and a few sexual situations. (Used on The Sorting Hat.)
R - Restricted-Under 17 require accompanying parent or adult guardian: Story may include more descriptive curse words, sex or drug
scenes may be more detailed.
NC-17 - No One 17 and Under Admitted: This signifies that the rating board believes that most parents would feel that the fiction is
patently adult and that children age 17 and under should not be allowed to read it. Explicit sex, drug or violence may be present within
the fiction. NC-17 does not mean pornographic material though.
23. How do I know what rating to choose?
Use your best judgment but if you are unsure submit the story and you are welcome to ask the administrators.
24. My validated story is missing? What happened?
There are two valid reasons a story could be missing.
Validation Withdrawal: When a story is validated it is subject to removal if the quality is questioned by any other Admin. Only an
Owner, Admin Mistress or Senior Admin (with consent from an Owner or Admin Mistress), will be allowed to pull the story. An email will
always be sent to the author informing of this action. This policy is used for stories after July 2004.
Quality Review Panel: The Quality Review Panel exists to review works that are referred by the public as being below standard. There are five (5) members to this review panel, which will make an independent decision as to the future of a story on site. If anyone notices a story that is questionable please submit an email to us, so we can start the process of having it reviewed. An email will always be sent to the author.
If your story is disappeared and you have not received an email from an Admin please contact the Webmistress or User Help to have the
matter looked into.
25. What is a validated author and how do I become one?
This means the author is validated to upload stories automatically without having them screened. To become a validated author you
have to earn the trust of the Admins that your stories will follow the submission rules at all times.
If a validated author allows their story standards to fall, we will remove them from that status and screen the stories while requiring the
author to fix the stories that are below the standard. In time the author can earn their validated status back.
26. Do you accept Affiliates? How do I become an Affiliate?
We do accept Affiliates based on certain qualifications. We hope all Affiliates have some type of quality control and not a 'free-for-all'
and has something to do with Harry Potter or related stories we host.
27. Can I get email updates when an author updates a story or submits a new story?
No, not at this time. We hope to have this feature in the future but until then use the Favorite Authors/Stories option to keep watch of them.
Known Script Errors
AOL users have a hard time receiving email from us because we have an automated email system and AOL considers it SPAM. To allow for our emails please put 'firstname.lastname@example.org' when customizing your AOL settings.
MS Word/WordPerfect Documents:
Microsoft Word/WordPerfect documents are not accepted by the site. They will show programming lines when trying to upload, sometime in the future, we hope to have this problem solved.
When trying to upload on a Mac computer, the text will either appear in one big paragraph or the story will be cut in half. The browser Safari is believed to be the problem, use Netscape when trying to upload to solve the problem.
Please read the Submission Rules, Site Help, Frequently Asked Questions and Known Script Errors before submitting an email. If a question is sent and the answer is already within the FAQ/Help page, the Admin answering the email will direct the user to the correct area.
When sending an email all information must be included: penname (user name), archive, and story (if applicable), without all this information the email cannot be answered and will be deleted.
Any user needing help may contact an Admin through this email. email@example.com
Each chapter from an unvalidated author is individually read and screened for quality by the Admin staff.
- Content: All submitted stories will be checked to ensure they have been placed in the correct archive. If they have not, a 'No Letter' will be sent asking the author to resubmit the story to the appropriate archive. 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 primary readers are adults (young adults for The Sorting Hat); 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 readersí attention. The website http://www.thesaurus.com is a good resource for expanding your vocabulary. We also encourage authors to use a broad range of sentence structures.
- 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 before validation. Stories with frequent or significant problems in these areas will not be accepted.
- Grammar: Each chapter is checked for grammar. Infrequent or minor errors will be noted and a letter sent to the writer asking for changes before validation. However, chapters containing frequent or major errors that in our judgment 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.
- Dialogue: Dialogue grammar and punctuation 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 in quotation marks (double inverted commas). The attribute ( explanation of how the dialogue is spoken) is generally linked to the rest of the sentence thus:
- "Itís a very hot day," panted Hermione. (Note the comma within the quotation marks.)
- "What did you say?" asked Hermione. (Note the question mark within the quotation marks and the lower case beginning of the attribute.)
- 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. Here is an example:
- "I hate you!" She glared furiously at him. (Glaring has nothing to do with the act of speaking.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- "What?" he shouted. "You are pregnant? How the hell did that happen?" (The speech attribution separates two complete sentences here.)
- Spelling: Each chapter must be spell checked even if a beta has read it - beta readers make mistakes too. Depending on the severity and frequency of misspellings, a writer will either receive a letter asking for corrections before validation, or a letter explaining that the chapter could not be accepted.
- Canon spellings: Correct spellings of canon names, places, and object are crucial for acceptance! Consistent misspelling of canon names will result in immediate rejection. 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.
The proper names and incantations of all spells, curses, and hexes must be capitalized. If a potion is not a JK Rowling potion, it can be spelled in lower case only if it is a type of potion, not the actual name. It is best when making up potions to use the title as the name of the potion and capitalize it. (For example, burn-healing paste and boil cure potion aren't capitalized, but Aging Potion and Blood-Replenishing Potion are capitalized.)
- Length: Chapter length must be at least five hundred (500 words) if it is a chaptered story. Short one-shot stories and drabbles are allowed to be less but must be at least one hundred (100) words.
- 100 Word Challenge Rules: If an author has several entries to the same challenge it is asked that they be combined into one entry, as this will be easier on the Admin staff and less frustrating for readers so they do not have to weed through links on an authors page to find them all. Entries must have the challenge they are responding to within the story.
- Poetry: Poetry must contain recognizable parts of the characters if posting at one of the character focused archives. If it is vague the Admins have the right to refer you to Chaos, original works archive, for posting it there.
- Epilogues: Epilogues are 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 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 the requirement they are to be rejected without consideration until the author reformats it correctly and resubmits. Taking out the tags within the text box area and deleting the spaces to move the line up will solve this error. Using < p > tags will result in rejection because they change the settings set up by the Webmistress on the script, and result in your story being posted incorrectly and quite possibly illegibly.
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 views. Admins use their own discretion to validate, or send a letter requesting these changes and asking for resubmission.
- Author's notes/Scene changes: Author's notes may be included only at the top or bottom of a story and must be separated from the story text in some fashion. Lines across the page ( < hr > HTML tag) or dots/dashes should be used to indicate the difference between the story and notes from the author. When creating the lines to separate the author notes or scene changes we request it does not take more than 90% of a 800x600 screen resolution or fifty (50) character spaces across the page, if you do it may force the browser to have a horizontal scroll bar (on the bottom of the window) to enable the reader to view the complete story. You can check this by doing preview of your story when uploading. A story may be rejected for offensive or inappropriate author's notes, if author's notes are used within the text of the story itself, or if the Admin feel the separation of author's notes, and story text, is not defined. If need be, footnotes are acceptable within the story.
- Informational fields about stories: When filling out the information for the story/chapter, proper English is required or the submission will be rejected. This includes proper capitalization and punctuation marks. Badly spelled and grammatically incorrect summaries often discourage readers from even opening a story. Please use spell check to verify these parts as well.
- Uploading: Only two submissions per author will be accepted, this includes different chapters from different stories. Authors who upload more than two submissions per archive will have all submissions rejected from that archive. (Uploading two submissions at two different archives is acceptable.)
Each completed story must be submitted individually. There is one exception to this rule: if the stories are short one-shots that are clearly linked, they can be posted in the same submission.
Chapters that are too short to be posted individually can be combined, Prologue with Chapter 1 is the most common instance.
We ask that 100-word challenges be combined into one posting if they are being submitted within a couple of days.
- Ratings: All ratings must be appropriately marked. When Admins read a story and feel the rating is not correct, they reserve the right to change it as needed. Underage authors are not allowed to post stories beyond the rating appropriate for their age. Please do not submit adult rated stories if this rule applies to you.
- Warnings: All warnings must be acknowledged accordingly. Admins reserve the right to add any if the need arises.
- Categories: When uploading stories authors are given the choice of a category they feel will best suit their chapter, but when an Admin validates it, they reserve the right to place it in the correct category if mistakenly placed wrong.
- Rejection Letters: If a story was previously rejected in the past with corrections requested by an Admin, the next Admin will automatically delete the story from the queue, with no rejection letter sent to the author, if the previous requested corrections have not been completed. Our queues are receiving too many submissions without authors taking the advice and correcting the mistakes needed before we can accept the submission.