FictionAlley

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive
Name: FictionAlley
Date(s): 2001-present
Archivist:
Founder:
Type:
Fandom: Harry Potter
URL: http://www.fictionalley.org/
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
screenshot of the main page; the images are the entry to different parts of the site

Fiction Alley is an archive for Harry Potter fan fiction that is divided into four different so-called houses: Schnoogle for novel-length stories of all genres, TheDarkArts for stories with darker themes like angst, AstronomyTower for romance fanfic and Riddikulus for humourous stories. Each house is associated with a color of one of the houses from the book series: Schnoogle has a green theme, TheDarkArts is blue, the AstronomyTower is red, and Riddikulus is yellow.

It also has an extensive set of forums for discussion of the characters, locations and individual books and movies as they came out, called Fiction Alley Park. The Park is notable among fandom forums for content requirements: members are only allowed to make "one liner" posts in a few specified places, correct capitalization is expected and spelling and grammar must be readable. These requirements allowed the site to claim educational motivations for the forums which aided the site in gaining non-profit status.

It has a Yahoo Group: FictionAlleyWriters and Artists, which was launched July 6, 2001. It is public and can be seen and searched here.

Beginnings: Schnoogle.com and the Desire to Save $35

In the beginning of 2003, Heidi Tandy wrote:

(fandom history note: Schnoogle.com started life back in February, 2001, as a site that Cassie and I made for fanfic-ship buttons - things like Sirius/Cordelia and Ron/Pansy and Metis/Ton Riddle. When we started Schnoogle, and thought it would be a little site for novel length fics by members of HP for Grownups, we thought we'd save 35 bucks and keep using the domain name. Oh, we were *fools*.) [1]

Founders/Staff

One of its founders is Heidi Tandy [2] who registered the domain name on July 4, 2001. [3]

One early staff member was Flourish Klink; she joined FictionAlley at the age of thirteen. [4]

"Who started FA? A whole bunch of people! There were about 20 people, including Maddy, Narri Patters, Colin, AngieJ, me [Heidi8], Cassie, Simon, Alex, Carole Estes, Starling, Priscilla, Jana, Yael, Viola, etc. Amber and then Jason came on about a week later to help with technical things." [5]

Some Firsts

First Fic

"Who wrote the first fic to be posted here? Heidi! Me! We uploaded my fic, Surfeit of Curses, first, to test things. But seriously, among the first fics on FA were fics by the authors [Maddy, Narri Patters, Colin, AngieJ, me, Cassie, Simon, Alex, Carole Estes, Starling, Priscilla, Jana, Yael, Viola, etc.] When the site launched, we had about 30 authors on Schnoogle and when the other three sites went live a few weeks later, we were probably pushing 100 writers." [6]

First Members

"Who was the first member of FA? Techno Guy Paul is the first registered user here on the boards, but the first "member" of FA is probably RJ Anderson - she was the first author who wasn't also a mod. Catlady is also one of the early members, as is Penny. Gwen was originally just an author, but came on board very early on." [7]

A Moderator Post: June 2001

Maddy (aka flourish) is the main poster, and the > is me, heidi8

> So what better way to divide the fics than into *four houses*? Not that each archive will be given a house name, but we can be given house colors - in other words, schnoogle.com will be green & grey, because all our fics are "ambitious" and full of plots, just like Slytherin.

H'm... that's a good idea! Our logo should probably be green & grey, too, or at least mostly green & grey. Maybe each archive should have a "poster character" - schnoogle's would be Draco, of course, and Gryffindor's could be HogwartsHottie!Harry, Ravenclaw's Crafty!Cho, and Hufflepuff's... erm... maybe Fred&George, although that's cross-houses ^_^

> And there could be one main page at a domain name like HP-FANFICTION.ORG (yes, org. trust me) which will have a splash screen with the 4 "houses" on it, organized like they are on the school crest - mouseover tells you which types of fics are in that section - and from that, you can click on the section you want to go to.

First off... this page would definitely have links to all the archives & a blog that has announcements. However, maybe we could work up a BETA reader service like they have at Sugarquill? Perhaps a discussion board for open fanfic discussion and not just reviews.

Heidi - don't use blogger for that announcements blog! I can install a weblog that's much easier to use and allows more freedom, plus, it's run off your own servers. No significant space usage, and you don't have to deal with Blogger going down. Anyway, I can install that whenever we get hosting. I can also install a guestbook run off our own space with no ads.

I can make an image with the school badge where mouseover shows what fics are in the archive. I'm sure Rhysenn can, too. Plus... maybe we could divide up the main pages' HTML between people? Rhysenn takes the very main page & one archive, I take another archive, yael takes another, and whoever else does the third? Not only would it divide the workload, it would definetly be a good learning experience for all involved. I know we all have tricks to teach each other :) (Rhysenn, I want to talk to you about the code you use on your page... it's super cool, and it's slightly different from the mouseovers I know...)

Of course, Oh, and have you guys given thought to the cost of all this? if we have five archives - the four and then the , we're going to have to have 5 separate accounts at $10 a month each. I would suggest getting a cheap host, like Yahoo or something, for the main domain - it seems wasteful to pay $10 for main domain stuff each month, since there won't be that much there. Anyway. This means we need to do some fundraising, because we're currently at $15 for each domain we purchase (dotster.com is $15 domains, the cheapest I've found yet) and then $55 a month! Nobody

wants to pay all that! [8]

Opening Posts: Public Introductions

From July 6, 2001, the first post to the sites Yahoo Group, FictionAlleyWriters and Artists, was by Heidi8:
Welcome to all of you - you writers of novel-length fics (or fic arcs, which can count too)

We've set this list up as an informational place, where you can learn more about FictionAlley.org - which we hope will be the central Harry Potter fanfiction site. We're still in the process of setting up the backend and the site's policies, so we probably won't have answers to all your questions yet...but things are moving along among the SchnoogleMods.

"Schnooglemods? What's that?"

Well, here's the situation. FictionAlley is going to be the OverSight for the archive - and there are going to be 4 houses - one for novel-length fics (Schnoogle.com), and (most probably) one for romance, one for humor and one for darkfics (mystery, romance, etc.) - the other 3 houses will not be "novel-length fics", though.

We've looked over sites from other fandoms, like the Star Wars site at www.fanfix.com, for organizational inspiration, we're perfecting our HTML and database skills and we're putting together a menu of excellent resources and treats for the readers and writers.

Schnoogle is going to be the first of the FictionAlley sites to go up - we have an ideal soft launch date in the next week or so (: crosses fingers) and the other houses should launch shortly thereafter. If everything goes as we hope, at least a skeletal version of FictionAlley should be ready to go up on Harry's 21t Birthday.

At the moment, we're trying to keep the number of authors low, so we can get everything up & working with a limited number of fics - and we are going to have technical standards (minimum length of chapters, minimum length of completed fics, requested spell-checking and Lexicon-checking (in other words, spell the words the way they are in the book wherever possible)) since at least in the immediate future, all the fic-uploading we do will be by hand.

We're still working on the exact policies, and will post them here shortly.

FictionAlley should be at least 83% fun - yes, everyone will likely get the occasional UnFun flame, but on any given day, visiting FictionAlley should not be something that stresses you out :)

Happy to see you here!

Heidi [9]
One of the first posts to the forum was Cassandra Claire:
One: I'm Cassandra Claire, I've got a trilogy of "Draco stories" in the works, starting with Draco Dormiens, continuing on through Draco Sinister, and finishing up with Draco Veritas, in which I kill all my characters to prevent myself from writing yet another sequel and blowing the whole 'trilogy' concept.

Two: Um, "Cassandra Claire" is fine. Pen name comes from Jane Austen's "The Beautiful Cassandra." http://home.earthlink.net/~lfdean/austen/juvenilia/cassandra.html

People tend to call me Cassie or Cass, although I don't particularly like Cass. *glares pointedly at Simon.*

Nice to see you all here!

Cassie [10]

Other first posters who made introductions, along with Cassandra Claire and Heidi8:

History

FictionAlley was formed in the summer of 2001 to be a "community in which no person would be unreasonably censored or senselessly banned." [12] Many fans feel it was also a response to Cassandra Claire's deletion from FanFiction.net. [13] In 2002, Heidi explained that this was not true. [14] Other fans felt it was more complicated, but very much related. [15]

  • August 18, 2001: Cassandra Claire removes all of her fiction from the site. [17]
  • On August 2003, they uploaded their 20,000th fic/chapter. [18]
  • In 2004, FictionAlley was incorporated as a non-profit in the USA. [19]
  • In July 2006, there were 10,000+ authors and over 30,000 fics. [20]
  • In July 2010, there was an extensive downtime.

Some Historical Screenshots

Leveraged FanFiction.Net's Downtime

FictionAlley cleverly capitalized on FanFiction.Net's persistent and extensive downtime in 2001 to entice readers to its newly-opened site.

From an exchange in October 2001:
[NAPPA]: Does any one have addresses for good HP fanfiction. I am specially looking for Lily/James love/hate and Harry/Harmione stories. I have gone on the fanfiction.net but they are down for so long sometimes it makes me positively crazy. Please help me............ [Heidi]: At FictionAlley, we've set up a new page with ways to search by author, ship, lead characters and summaries - we will be adding full text searching this week. I know it's shameless promotion (but we are noncommercial, so there's that) - visit the Page O'Links (which I personally call FicAll)... [21]

Some Money History

When FictionAlley began, it cost us about $20.00 per month to keep the site online; then, it was easy for the mods to pay for everything ourselves. By early 2003, it cost about four hundred dollars a month to keep the site online, so over the holiday season that year, we started a fundraising drive to raise money to buy a new server and renew our domain names for a decade. Wonderful donors helped us cover the cost of our server expenses, and sponsored the domain name renewals.

Then, in the summer of 2004, Dragon.com donated servers to us, which have kept FA online since then. However, in May of 2010, Dragon was purchased by a larger company, and are no longer able to donate servers to FictionAlley; they are currently charging us $200 per month for the three-server configuration that we are currently using. We are looking at other options, so if you work for an ISP that might be able to donate server space to a 501(c)(3) please email us at heidi @ fictionalley.org (without the spaces).

Our staff has managed to cover the server costs through the summer of 2010, especially given the down-time situation in July of 2010, but we are currently conducting a Server Fundraiser. Please click the button below to donate, or click here for more information.

If you're giving under $10, PayPal may be your best bet, because they take a smaller cut than JustGive.org, but for donations over $10, JustGive's cut is smaller and JustGive allows anonymous donations; NetworkForGood also allows you to give to us anonymously, but they require you to donate an additional 5%, which goes directly to them. Check out this calculator to see how much of your donation goes to the facilitator, and how much goes to support FictionAlley. [22]
We've been fundraising to support FictionAlley since late 2001; in 2002, WB invited us to be an associate at their store, told us that being an associate of other shops was fine, and know about our FA-branded merchandise at Cafe Press. It's okay. Really!" [23]

FictionAlley and Warner Bros.

The website had been fundraising beginning a few months after it was created, [24] as the monthly costs soon became more than could be handled out of pocket by its owners. See Some Money History.

On May 5, 2002, the "New York Times" published Harry Potter and the Quest For the Unfinished Volume, an article which included an interview with Heidi Tandy and information about "FictionAlley."

The next day, the moderators of FictionAlley announced that they were accepting a proposition from Warner Bros. that the website become an affiliate with the giant entertainment company. [25]

Dear Friends of Fiction Alley,

We are delighted to announce that Fiction Alley has been invited to join the Warner Brothers WBShop.com Affiliate Program. We are now able to provide our site visitors and users with direct links to a wide assortment of Harry Potter merchandise from the official online Warner Brothers Studio Store. While the affiliate program is open for anyone to join, we were thrilled to be invited by Warner Brothers to join the program.

This program will pay Fiction Alley 10% of sales generated from WBShop.com links on our site. Therefore, if you follow links to the WBStore from Fiction Alley (including Schnoogle, The Dark Arts, Astronomy Tower, Riddikulus, FictionAlley Park and Artistic Alley) and purchase any of the Harry Potter products for sale, WBShop.com will award 10% of your payment to us, which we will use to cover the operating costs of Fiction Alley.

We are especially pleased and proud to announce this association with WBShops.com as we represent one of the biggest Harry Potter fanfiction archives on the internet. We are overwhelmed with excitement to be recognised by Warner Brothers and WBShops.com as a legitimate fansite for Harry Potter, and as a site hosting HP fanfiction in particular.

We would like to thank every founder, moderator and administrator who has put countless hours and dollars into creating, developing, and maintaining the Fiction Alley group of websites since its launch in Summer, 2001. We also want to thank each and every one of our authors, artists, and forum visitors - without you, Fiction Alley would have no reason to exist. Thank you all so much for helping us to build and grow into what we are today - one of the best sites in the world for Harry Potter fanfiction, fun, and friendship.

With best regards, The Moderators and Admins of Fiction Alley [26]

In 2013, Heidi Tandy explained:

The day after the article ran, when posts were popping up on Usenet, in Yahoo groups, and on FictionAlley about the havoc Warner Brothers and J.K. Rowling were surely going to wreak on the Potter fandom and all other fandoms besides, I got an email from the new manager of the recently relaunched WBShop.com site, asking if FictionAlley wanted to be an affiliate of their store.

They didn't want to shut us down. We could stay online, we could go on having and sharing fanfic and fanart, discussions, debates and all sorts of creativity, regardless of the ships/romances they included - and we didn't have to worry that they'd Expelliarmus our stories or pictures. That kind of contact from The Powers That Be - supportive, interested and curious - would start to occur more and more frequently as time went on, until an invitation to the Warner Brothers studio was, if not a common occurrence, at least a logical step. But that's the moment when everything changed. [27]

Shortly after, the FictionAlley mods agreed to let Warner Bros. put links to their for-profit sites for fan to buy merchandise, with "FictionAlley" getting some of the commissions.

This sparked much conversation around the issues of fandom and profit, Warner Bros.' often adversarial history with fandom, the possibility of a large, for-profit company dictating content (example: no slash, levels of explicitness), getting too cozy with TPTB in terms of visibility, and others.

Some responses at FictionAlley:

your not seriously going to do this are you???? I mean.... look at hat theyve done to other sites. I can't believe this.... [28]

what do you mean "they" and what do you mean by other sites?

We've actually done a lot of research into this matter and we think this is a good decision but if you have concerns please ask! [29]

What have they done to other sites? Personally, now that WB has learned of our existence from the NYT articles, I'm very glad that they chose to try to make money off us rather than to try to shut

us down. [30]
I understand what you are saying, and i understand the financial ramifications of this, But what I mean is the WB has a chip on its shoulder against pro-slash sites. Im not saying they would try and shut down the site or anything, im just asking if it could be in the best interest of ALL types of stories hosted. [31]

I must say, you do have a point. Furthermore, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that, legally, fanfiction writers do not have intellectual copyrights on their work. Isn't there a risk of the WB using the better stories for their own profit without the writer's permission? I also fear that the WB may start problems over slash fics. This is a potentially serious problem. Do we really want a corporation to have such a large leverage over whether or not a certain kind of fic can be posted? Is this in the best interests of the fandom? Perhaps I'm paranoid but this reminds me of the incident that occured directly before FictionAlley's creation, when FF.net booted Cassandra Claire without prior warning. How unfortunate it would be if the same set of circumstances led to both the birth and demise of FictionAlley. Perhaps these worries are unfounded, in which case I readily apologize, but perhaps they are not, and I think that the Fanfiction community has the right to hear these concerns, and

any others that may arise, addressed. [32]

How would AOL TimeWarner have control over which fics can be posted? They are affiliates of FictionAlley, not the owners/moderators/admins of FictionAlley. They have no say in what goes onto the site beyond asking that it be kid friendly. The only thing they can do is as not to be affiliated with the site.

The slash community has nothing to fear. As a predominately slash writer I fear nothing of this affiliation and am happy that such has occurred so that FictionAlley can get the monies it needs to keep going. None of the slash that resides on FictionAlley is of a terrible and, or pornographic nature and they would have nothing to say about it. Warner Brothers by the way, does NOT have a chip on it's shoulder against pro-slash sites. It's the image of slash it is against. For other fandoms under Warner Brother's control I have heard of no fights against them in the slash community, it is just the image of "Harry Potter Porn" they wish to end.

Warner Brothers (AOL TimeWarner) has taken an amazing step by coming forward and embracing the fanfiction world instead of condemning it. I have been through many fandom Vs Warner Brothers fights and am actually shocked that they embraced us rather then fought us. This is a step in the right direction regarding the treatment of fans and I would applaud them if I didn't feel that I would look like a fool.

To get back to my point though (yes I realized I lost it somewhere), an affiliation just means that we (the site) is joined to Warner Brother in a professional, monetary relationship. FictionAlley directs customers to their stores and in return, FictionAlley receives a bit of the profit. Warner Brothers has no input on what is done to the site and if they do not like what is on it, the extent of their control is to ask to no longer be affiliated with FictionAlley. The addition/removal of fics still only resides with the owners/moderators/admins of FictionAlley.

On another note, AOL TimeWarner does own the intellectual and trademark rights to Harry Potter (er, I think, I know they own the trademark rights) and none of our work IS copyrighted beyond other writers stealing our work, but I do not think that their is a flunky cruising every affiliated site just to steal our ideals and toss them into something. This has always been a problem no mater where our work was hosted. But really, I don't see Warner Brothers stealing our fics for their own purposes...what would they do with them? [33]

Nobody has copyrights on anything they did not create (or purchase the rights to). This is common sense. As I understand it (am not a lawyer, folks) a created character (like my Kensington de Plume) who is completely unaffiliated with/related to any HP character (unlike Cassie's Rhysenn Malfoy) is, however, copyrighted to the creator.

WB screen "Buffy". There is slash in TV Buffy. It's safe to say that WB are slash-friendly.

WB have no leverage at all over FA. It's simply a "buy something from WB and FA get 10%" arrangement. Nothing more. If it becomes so, FA will discontinue the arrangement.

Insofar as WB *know* that we host fanfic and want to associate with us nonetheless? Of course it's in the fandom's interest!

In what way? WB do not own FA. They have no connection to us apart from the fact that we send shoppers their way and we get a cut. I am totally at a loss to see the similarity.

FA was not created in response to FFN's removal of Cassie's fics. The timing was coincidental, but "Cassiegate" was not our reason for existence.

I feel that they are unfounded, but it's good that you're thinking about the issues concerned. I'd recommend that you read some of the arguments at Slytherlynx's LiveJournal, which can be found at http://www.livejournal.com/~slytherlynx

None of the issues that you raise are any more or less valid now that FA has a purely commercial relationship with WB. WB knew about the fandom before the NYT article (remember the Chris Noxon article "Harry Potter Porn"?). They know about us now. Nothing has changed, apart from the fact that they are now appearing to support us. I cannot see that this will change.

As a slasher myself, I have no problem with my writing being accessible to anyone. That's what the Internet *is* -- accessible to anyone.

WB have, to my knowledge, taken *no* action against any slash site -- the only sites they went after during their "PotterWar crackdown" were ones with "harrypotter" in the domain name. HPforGrownups was not affected, nor was hpslash or any other fic archive.

The stories that FA hosts are *not* NC-17. I can't see that WB would have any problems with non-NC-17 fics, or they would not have affiliated with us. Before agreeing to the affiliation, we asked them to confirm that they knew

what we were and what we hosted -- and they did so. [34]

exactly. First off... to the extent of my knowlage we as fanfic writers HAVE NO RIGHTS.

But as you say, i dont think giving them so much leverage is a good idea. Perhaps im looking at this all wrong.

Acually.... i think this is a completly different situation then what happened to Cassie Claire, but based on the same underlying issue. Copyrights.

Also... what will WB do with our stories? Heidi... do they no have permission to use our stories for they own benifit? Yes, thay probably could all along... but is it moreso now?

Yes, it would be a honor for a story to be reconized by the WB as supiror i suppose.... but would they tell you if they did?

-- Honeyduke, sorry for causing so much trouble. [35]

Five days later, the mods gave some details, and also announced they would also have links to Amazon.com on the site. This announcement met with almost complete silence.

Hi! As many of you know, so far, FA has been completely funded by the mods and admins, with a small amount of donations by our users.

But last week, as we've been discussing here, we got the say-so from Warner Brothers to set up affiliation programs with them, as well as with Amazon (US and UK (we're looking into other countries too)).

What does this mean for you? It means that if you want to purchase products from Amazon or from the WB site (not just HP stuff, anything they sell counts) we *BEG* you to get to their site by clicking on our "Affiliation Urls" which are listed here: [link redacted]

If you live in the US, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE order the video from us by following those links. If you want to send copies of the books to friends and family, please follow those links. If you order anything from Amazon (especially really expensive stuff (even though there's a limit on the $$ we get from things like computers)) please follow those links.

If you've already ordered the video from Amazon, *cancel your order* and reorder it using our links.

Why are we begging like this? Because we get between 5% and 15% of what Amazon collects from any product you buy by clicking on one of those links, and we get a flat 10% from any purchase you make on the WB's site (and they're introducing new products for teens and adults, so stay tuned!)

In other words, by buying things you'd get anyway (like the LOTR movie, or the HP dvd, or HP action figures) you're supporting FictionAlley. And the more support we get, the happier and less stressed we are; we're certainly prepared to keep paying for FA things out of our own pockets, it's just that we'd rather not have to :D

I've added the link in the Bookmarks section here, and it'll be a bit more obvious from FA's main page, and on the reviewboards too by the end of the week. But you can start using it now! Please, do!

-- Heidi for FAMods [36]


Who's Who

Extremely limited and incomplete list/descriptions are below.

From 2007

Who's Who at FictionAlley:

FictionAlley is operated by FAWC, a Minnesota nonprofit corporation and 501(c)(3).

As of September 1, 2006, the members of the board are Heidi Tandy (President), Paul Kippes, Jason Fraser, Sara Goetz and Robert Standring. Paul Kippes serves as Interim Treasurer and Merin Bears serves as Secretary.

The day-to-day operations on FictionAlley are handled by a wonderful team of devoted volunteers who read, code and upload stories and moderate the boards in the Park. The Park moderators are listed here; if you have any questions about an individual board or forum, please contact one of the mods for that forum.

Fics submitted to FictionAlley are processed by the fic intake team; once an author has submitted ten fics without having any returned as because of NC-17 content or significant spelling and/or grammar issues can apply for queue bypass status. If you're interested in being a part of FA's Fic Intake Team, this quiz is for you.

All new members of FictionAlley are welcomed to the site by our E-Mentors; we have a team of about 45 E-Mentors from almost a dozen countries.

Since the summer of 2002, a revolving board of Nifflers has recommended fanfics that are particularly interesting, well written, and/or creatively characterized. [37]

An Undated List of Staff

Elves: Who to blame for FictionAlley: (FictionAlley has various "team-members". The profiles below belong to the coders (who get fics ready to go online), uploaders (who actually put the stories up for public consumption) and park mods (who keep everything in FictionAlley Park running smoothly). We also have a slew of E-Mentors, who post their profiles here - their job on FA is to meet & greet the site's newbies and give them an introduction to FA and the fandom."

Mods and Other Staff: Other Staff

2002

In late August 2002, Stacey (Phat Phat Kitty, phatgirlfics) resigned from Fiction Alley. [38]

2004 Comments About Submissions, and Adult Content

Heidi8, FictionAlley's founder, commented at 'Elite' archives?, a post discussing fiction archives and their policies:

Actually, we also check for "originality" [as well decent grammar and spelling] and need a fic to have 75% original content before we host it and that's mostly to prevent things like what happened last week, when someone submitted the script from Beauty & the Beast with only character name changes. Now, I'm not saying that putting HP characters into other universes is inherently bad - I did it myself with Pride & Prejudice, and I've included a lot of lines from Emma in my fic Guileless, for the CCC challenge, but if we allowed people to upload things without having that "original to the submitter" marker, we'd end up hosting a lot of those "search & replace" scripts. As it is, we allow people to use the plot and a lot of dialogue, as long as they change enough to hit that 3/4 mark.

We have been criticized over the years for being too harsh, for not being harsh enough, for allowing Mary Sues, for not banning silly romances and "uncanonical" things like "Remy" and "Siri" and snogs between Harry and Draco and the like, so we're used to not being able to please everyone, but we were the *first* archive in the fandom to have any minimum standards for grammar & spelling, while not placing restrictions on plot. When we started FA, the only archives in the fandom were ffn (which was down for most of the summer of 2001 (which is one of the reasons why FA was founded in the first place)) and Sugarquill, which placed restrictions of plot and characterization on the authors they hosted - I think that given their current structure, they probably qualify as an invitation-only site, which is very different from the structure on FA, and possibly closer to the way DA is now (and I notice I'm no longer hosted there; should probably pop over and ask the mods why).

Also, when we started, we were closer to Skyehawke in that when an author's fic was submitted and had reasonably good grammar & spelling, we'd upload the rest of that fic regardless of the SPaG. But that grew into an untenable situation, as people had one chapter beta read, and then gave up, which is why you'll see a lot of the fics from 2001 and early 2002 with dialogue punctuation, use of "Hermoine" and other misspellings, etc. We don't do that any more, and haven't in almost two years, but we got a lot of grief when we changed to require reasonable SPaG in all chapters.

When it comes to canon coherence, if you slap an AU label on something, we'll let you get away with anything, But the original inspiration for the requirement came from me seeing a fic where James, Sirius, Remus, Severus, Lucius and Tom Riddle were all the same year.

Basically, we needed a way to try and cause authors to be familiar with the text of the books, either by reading or listening to them, themselves, or using the Lexicon or another resource as a guide. It's not hard, and it helps to weed out the I WROTE THIS FIC IN 4 MINUTES IN MATH CLASSSS WHILE HIGH ON MOUNTAIN DEW WHEEEEEEEEEE submissions.

The original plan had been to have the NC17 stories archived separately from the rest of FA. FA was technically planned in June/early-July 2001, launched in mid-July with Schnoogle, and the rest of the fic houses at the end of July. We had *always* planned to take ArtisticAlley live in the Spring, and also launch an NC17 archive then. And yes, FFN was hosting NC17 fics, so there didn't seem to be a real rush to create the NC17 section.

The reason for keeping them separate was that a number of our mods, including Flourish, Colin, Rex, Starling, Priscilie, Mack, Phil, etc., were under 18, and we thought it would be too difficult to keep them from being exposed to the NC17 stories, and still host them on the site, in part because Flourish and Colin were so active in the (then entirely manual) uploading process that summer and fall. When Stacey (Phatgirlfics, now Phatphatkitty) came on in the early fall, it was with the expectation that she and Gwendolyn Grace would work to create the NC17 version of FA - "Arrowtick Alley" was the original name plan.

But in the Spring, various Veelas talked with Stacey about the archive, and there were some machinations there which I didn't know about until after the fact, and Stacey asked us to bring Kissaki (machiavelian) on to FA so she could learn the ropes, with an expectation of starting an NC17 archive in 2002 that would be a sister site to FA. Stacey had a falling-out with FA in August of 2002 and quit working with FA then, but Kissaki was still part of FA, and that September, when FFN went down in their lie-filled "commemoration of 9/11" gesture, which was really done so they could tuck away the NC17 stories [39], Kissaki, along with a number of FA staffers (including some people who are still on staff for both sites) started work on RS.org.

So basically, RS.org was created as an FA sistersite, and we still do think of it that way. It was founded on similar principles, by many of the same people, and with a similar structure. And given the way domain names and passwords work on the internet, and the way the sites are hosted, it's sort of working well this way. At least, I hope to think so...

A 2007 Recap of FictionAlley's History

What is FictionAlley?

FictionAlley was founded in the summer of 2001 by a dozen Harry Potter fans - mostly fanfic writers and artists. FictionAlley was created to archive all Harry Potter fanfic, regardless of the SHIP, as long as the story met a reasonable standard for grammar and spelling, and did not merit an "adults only" rating. All of the founding mods desired a community in which no person would be unreasonably censored or senselessly banned - a place where people could state their ideas and engage in spirited and thought-provoking debates, discussions, and analysis. FictionAlley also created a beta reader exchange and writing discussion boards, which rapidly grew into FictionAlley Park. The Park hosts over one million discussion posts and over a million reviews from nearly 60,000 registered users on topics ranging from analysis of individual characters and scenes from the Harry Potter books and films to the development of original writing.

[snipped]

In 2003, FictionAlley launched a new chat room for its users, expanded the educational mission of the site, and supported Nimbus - 2003: A Harry Potter Symposium, that was held July 17 - 20, 2003 in Orlando, Florida. In 2004, FA introduced The Knight Bus, a section for the posting of "real life" events for fandomers, and began a revamp of the fic hosting system. In April 2004, FictionAlley was nominated for a WEBBY Award and in the fall of 2004, FictionAlley was granted 501(c)(3) status by the US IRS as an educational entity. In the spring of 2005, FictionAlley was nominated for a Prix Ars Electronica award; the Prix Ars is considered the Nobel Prize of web awards. During July, 2005, in connection with the release of Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, FA joined with other sites in organizing line parties at bookstores around the world. In 2006, FictionAlley launched HarryPotterWiki, the first wiki to blend information about the Harry Potter book series' characters, places, magic and things, with fan theories, stories, art, vids and music. FA has also launched SpellCast a podcast that focuses on fan-events and fan creativity. To let us know about a particularly creative fan or group of fans, email us at SpellCast@fictionalley.org. FictionAlley has also been a regular sponsor of events at Harry Potter conferences, conventions and symposia around the world. In October, 2005, FA sponsored art and story booths at The Witching Hour, as well as a "trial" of Severus Snape at Accio in the United Kingdom; in November, 2005, FA worked with other sites to organize showings of Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire at IMAX theaters around the world. In 2006, FA sponsored the Common Room and an art/fic booth at Lumos, the first Harry Potter symposium on the West Coast

2007 will find FictionAlley virtually traveling the world, as the host and sponsor of Artists & Authors Night at Phoenix Rising , May 17-21 in New Orleans, then as a sponsor of Sectus in London in July, 2007, and of Prophecy 2007 in Toronto, Canada, August 2-5, 2007. [40]

A 2011 Description FictionAlley

In 2011, one of FictionAlley's founders gave an extensive interview at Slashcast. Some excerpts are below:

Heidi: Well, I was one of the dozen or so people who founded it. Back in, oh god, February or March of 2001, Harry Potter for Grownups decided to stop allowing discussion of fanfic on the main list, and split off into three lists. Before that you could discuss pretty much any Harry Potter-relate topic on the main list. So, at that point, fanfiction was splintered off into another list. There were a lot of Yahoo groups for fanfic at that point. At that point, Yahoo Groups were a place to archive your fic...

Because it was free, and if you wanted webspace that wasn't anywhere that was completely ad-riddled, like GeoCities, then you needed to basically use a Yahoo group. And Fanfiction.net was fine, and a lot of people put their stuff there, but they had some massive amounts of downtime in the spring of 2001. And there were server issues and things like that, and people just couldn't upload their stories when they wanted to, or edit it when they wanted to, so like being on a Yahoo group, you had a little bit more control. But even a Yahoo group, because even of the limitation of the size- of the number of files and the size of the files, and the way it was moderated and things like that, nobody really felt like that was a permanent solution. So there was talk all through the spring about setting up a website that would host fanfiction. So we took control of our own place, and we started uploading stories all through the month of July, launched it with the novels-focus section, Schnoogle, almost exactly ten years ago this week. And about two or three weeks later, the other – once that had basically been tested and it was working, we set up another three sites to host – Riddikulus, for humorous fics, Astronomy Tower for anything that was romantic, because the trope at that point was that every character went up to the Astronomy Tower to snog somebody else... And The Dark Arts for anything that was dramatic or angsty or mysterious – basically it was the catch-all category. And then we went live with FictionAlley Park, also in August of 2001, and it was getting a lot of traffic basically from the very start...

Well, one of the unique things FictionAlley was doing was we would host fics no matter what the ship, or no matter who the character. All it had to do was take place in the Wizarding world, or in an AU of the Wizarding world. And that was something that no site other than fanfiction.net was doing

Emma: Oh, that's right, because the Sugar Quill was around at that time as well, wasn't it?

Heidi: Yeah, they had gone live February or March, maybe January, possibly earlier, and there were other sites. There was a girl named Eliza Dyonus Snape [?], and she would archive stories that were Snape-centric as long as they were het or gen and PG rated. And there were other people who would put together lists or even host stories on their own webspace, that were ship-specific or character-specific. But like I said, we didn't really have a fantastic Google search engine back then, I mean, Google existed, but it wasn't that great, so it was hard to find things unless everything was in the same place. And you know, that was also the early days of LiveJournal. That really wasn't thought of at that point as a place to archive your stories, although it was certainly a place to talk about them

Emma: Right, and I also remember the importance of it – I was in a different fandom at that time, but I remember the importance of archives then, and just being able to find things. And if you had something that you were looking for, that was even remotely, let's say, controversial, and if you were looking - the fandom I was in, chan was a big thing, um or RPF was just almost unallowed at the time, and so at the time there were mailing lists where people would say, you know, "you can't have this; you can't have that," and it's very different from the culture we have today, which I would say is mostly livejournal based, and really everything goes. And we've almost gone completely in the other direction, where before, you know, there were these archives and lists that were very specific about what was allowed and what was not, and now you're [not even really allowed to] criticize somebody else's ideas about what should be in fic. It's fascinating, what's happened in the last couple of years.

Heidi: It is, and if you go back through some of the posts on fictionalley from, um, I think 2004, we had a couple of the long time FictionAlley users who decided that we shouldn't be hosting any fics that contained bestiality, intergenerational ships, or underaged ships. Basically we got into a debate with some of the users who wanted us to bad all of these things because they felt it was unbecoming for their stories to be hosted on a site that hosted such illicit and atrocious topics. Obviously we took the American Library Association position that, as long as a story had an accurate summery, you know, the same way that books should have their content summarized on a flyleaf or on the back so that people know what a story is about in vague terms, that we weren't going to ban any topics or any discussions as concepts from FictionAlley, you know, we were going to continue our position of hosting everything, you know, as long as the grammar and spelling was reasonably okay. There's probably 250 posts on that thread, just it's a really interesting sort of slice of discussion within fandom circa that time. [41]

"Houses"

  • Schnoogle - hosts all novel length fanfiction
  • The Dark Arts -
  • Astronomy Tower
  • Riddikulus
  • Artistic Alley
  • Fiction Alley Park - the message board community
  • HP Ink Pot - hosts essays written on the fandom
  • Harry Potter Wiki

e-Mentors

From a March 2003 post:
Dear Park Denizens:

Last spring, FictionAlley implemented an innovative program to help newbies grow accustomed to life in and around the Park. Almost a year and thirteen thousand newly registered members later, the FictionAlley eMentors program has grown to include thirty happy bouncy-schnoogly eMentors, showering lots of loff and care on all who register on our site.

Some of our eMentors' RL situations have changed... and although we'll hate to see them go, we must look towards the future (towards Nimbus - 2003 and the release of OotP!) It is time to replenish our supply of eMentors!

If you're an oldbie (in other words, if you've been a registered user for over three months from the time the application is due) and would like to be an eMentor, take a look at the application at the bottom of this post. Then, cut & paste the answers into an email, put your User Name and the word "EMENTOR" in the subject, and send the email to Ementor@fictionalley.org

Note: If you've accrued more than one point for ToU violations in the past four months, you'll have to wait for the next round of eMentor selections.

You don't have to answer every question correctly - but at least 75% have to be correct. Remember - all the answers are on FA (including the Point Me! page, FAQ and Newbie's Guide), and if you're really an oldbie, you should know them, or at least know where to go for the answers. If you don't know the answers, you're probably still a newbie and we loff you and you should wait a few more months before

you apply to be an eMentor. [42]

Controversies

It has come to the attention of the officers and directors of FictionAlley that allegations as to improper citation of sources have been made against fics posted by Heidi, Cassandra Claire and Ebony.

Such allegations have to be taken seriously, and, accordingly, the authors and the mods have been given time to consider the allegations, and for the authors to edit the fics concerned. As Cassandra Claire had already decided to delete her fics for unrelated reasons they will not be restored; the other authors are or are in the process of editing, and revised versions either have been or will be posted in due course.

FictionAlley's TOS provide for a formal complaints procedure to be made to the ombudsbeing at ombudsbeing@fictionalley.org for any concerns which Parkies have about site administration. Please make use of this channel in the event of any concerns which you may have about the site and its adminstration. [43]

General Fan Comments

[fuck]: Sorry about the subject line, but just wanted to make sure my post was not Fiction Alley-approved as soon as possible.

How do I put this? I love the folks who run FA. Haven't even the mildest quibble with any one of them. But I have a lot of problems with the site. Ranging from it being impossible to find slash fics to not being able to link to stories from the summary pages to, yes, the NC-17 restriction. I'm sure there is a reason for this, but I'm curious as what it is exactly.

I guess the question is what is its intended audience? [44]

References

  1. 1606Re: Please help me!, post by Heidi, January 4, 2003
  2. from fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World
  3. Who Is
  4. The Radical Idea that Children are People (June 10, 2009)
  5. Heidi8: *Since someone asked..., February 27, 2004
  6. Heidi8: *Since someone asked..., February 27, 2004
  7. Heidi8: *Since someone asked..., February 27, 2004
  8. Posted on FictionAlley's moderator list, June, 2001, reposted by Heidi8 on August 30, 2002 at Fandom History
  9. "A new era in Harry Potter fanfiction has arrived," Heidi said egomaniacally, at FictionAlley Writers and Artists Yahoo Groups}}
  10. Re: FictionAlleyWriters Re: Intro / "Pen Name" question : Cassandra Calire, July 6, 2001
  11. Re: FictionAlleyWriters Re: Intro / "Pen Name" question : Cassandra Calire, July 6, 2001
  12. A Bit About FictionAlley. (Accessed 08 May 2011.)
  13. "The Cassie Claire plagiarism debacle went down on June 23, 2001. Her account was deleted late in the evening on June 22, 2001, but the wank hit the fandom on June 23, 2001. I would know. FA opened July 22, 2001. To the best of my knowledge, there were no existing plans for FA to be accelerated. Now, proof thereof is hard to come by, but idlerat was told FA was founded because of Cassie Claire, and Flourish, who did a large portion of the coding, was on staff at ff.net until a bit after Cassie's account was deleted, when she left in a huff." -- comment by white serpent at The Msscribe Story, Preface and Chapter One, 2006-06-16, Archived version. See Draco Sinister. See The Cassandra Claire Plagiarism Debacle.
  14. "[visservoldemort]: Perhaps I'm paranoid but this reminds me of the incident that occured directly before FictionAlley's creation, when FF.net booted Cassandra Claire without prior warning. [Heidi]: Why? There are no similarities whatsoever. None. What do you see? [visservoldemort]: How unfortunate it would be if the same set of circumstances led to both the birth and demise of FictionAlley. [Heidi]: Apart from the fact that they're not the same set of circumstances at all, FA wasn't born because Cassie was blacklisted from ffn. We registered Schnoogle, with plans to use it in connection with an archive of novel length fics, last *March* - and our original EZBoard for the Park was registered last *February*. We did decide to host non-novel-length fics because many authors were disapointed with FFN's management and the incredible amount of downtime they suffered last year, but to say that it was born because of what happened to Cassie is inaccurate." -- FAWA Re: Fiction Alley Announces New Affiliation, discussion, May 8, 2002
  15. "The common story that the release of the archive was "accelerated" due to the deletion of Cassandra Claire's fanfiction isn't quite correct. It appears that, prior to her account deletion, individual fans had plans to develop their own fansites to host fanfiction. However, after her account was deleted, they decided to work together and create an archive with a much wider scope. Thus, the existence of Fiction Alley as a large collaborative archive resulted from the deletion of Cassandra Claire's account from FanFiction.Net. To my mind, this is not the same thing as the archive "being in the works" and its release being accelerated." -- The Cassandra Claire Plagiarism Debacle -- Part IX through Part XI, Avocado, August 8, 2006
  16. The Yahoo Group's first message was: "I've decided to post the very first message on this group because... well, because I can. Wow, I recognize everybody on this list. How long is *that* likely to last? In any case, I think a central archive for HP fanfic is a great idea and I hope that it turns out to be more of a pleasure than a burden for those involved. (I don't think there's any way to avoid it feeling like a burden sometimes.) Dare I ask a couple of questions? 1. What's the ETA on having FictionAlley.org up and running? I'm not trying to rush anyone, I'm just curious. 2. What's the policy on the fics being archived at FictionAlley? Is it going to be wide open like FF.net, or is it going to be a more discriminating archive where only fics of a certain quality will appear? Cute name for the site/group, by the way. Took me a while to get it... duh. After Diagon and Knockturn, you'd think I'd know better by now... Thanks to everybody involved in this project, and I wish you all the best, -- Rebecca J. Bohner (a.k.a. R.J. Anderson)' -- Hail and Well Met, July 6, 2001
  17. "She's put them up on the web in a pdf file for people to download before they go (address below) She sent this message out to her Yahoo group. "Hi guys, I've removed all my fanfiction from Fiction Alley, because I am leaving the Harry Potter fandom. There was a time I thought I might continue writing fanfiction, but I've realized that my original fiction doesn't allow time for that, and that my paying fiction career has to come first. I'm grateful to all my readers for their support over the years. Because I don't want anyone to be caught short by this (I announced it several weeks ago, but I do realize not everyone reads my blog!) I have created a page that houses PDF versions of all three parts of the DV series here: www.heidi8.com/dt Feel free to download them so you can have them for the future if you so desire." -- 27171Re: PoU: Draco Series, August 18, 2001
  18. untitled post, August 6, 2003
  19. Yay! We're a 501(c)(3); WebCite, October 27, 2004
  20. FictionAlley is turning Five!
  21. goog fanfiction sites other than FanFiction.net
  22. FictionAlley Frequently Asked Questions—Page 4: Fundraising, the Kiosk, and Volunteering,
  23. FictionAlley Frequently Asked Questions—Page 4: Fundraising, the Kiosk, and Volunteering,
  24. "We've been fundraising to support FictionAlley since late 2001..." -- FictionAlley Frequently Asked Questions—Page 4: Fundraising, the Kiosk, and Volunteering,
  25. They would also become an affiliate with Amazon.com.
  26. stacey: 760: Fiction Alley Announces New Affiliation, May 6, 2002
  27. from fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World (2013), also posted at Wattpad: How Harry Potter Fanfiction Changed the World - Heidi Tandy (Heidi8)
  28. hermonieswand: 760: Fiction Alley Announces New Affiliation, May 6, 2002
  29. Heidi: 760: Fiction Alley Announces New Affiliation, May 6, 2002
  30. catlady_de_los_angeles: 760: Fiction Alley Announces New Affiliation, May 6, 2002
  31. hermonieswand: 760: Fiction Alley Announces New Affiliation, May 6, 2002
  32. VisserVoldemort: 760: Fiction Alley Announces New Affiliation, May 6, 2002
  33. Saitaina: 760: Fiction Alley Announces New Affiliation, May 6, 2002
  34. John Walton: 760: Fiction Alley Announces New Affiliation, May 6, 2002
  35. hermonieswand: 760: Fiction Alley Announces New Affiliation, May 6, 2002
  36. 776Pretty much a blatent help request from the FA mods & admins, May 13, 2002
  37. A Bit About FictionAlley; WebCite
  38. Stacey was a BNF, and supposedly a member of [[The Inner Circle (Harry Potter fans)|Inner Circle. In June 2002, Cassie Claire dedicated an installment of The Very Secret Diaries to Stacey on Stacey's birthday, two months before Stacey resigned from FictionAlley. A fan in 2003 recounts Stacey's departure from FictionAlley: "Hmmm, basically Stacey walked out of the fandom without warning, and all the mods at FA.org scrambled a bit to get used to not having her around. Most people resent her for not being responsible and such, and some unpleasant words were exchanged. Aja is calling Stacey a stalker, and all the fandom big-people are now a bit paranoid about each other, and calling each other psychos. *shrug* I tend to keep myself out of it after Sinead left. -- Hydy: Really Long Fandom History, comments from July 31, and October 19, 2003
  39. see Fanfiction.net's NC-17 purge
  40. A Bit About FictionAlley; WebCite
  41. Slashcast Insider Interview with Heidi8
  42. So you want to be an eMentor?, March 11, 2003
  43. Statement from the Administrators; [ WebCite]; FictionAlleyPark, August 19, 2006
  44. [much snipped] comment by slytherlynx at Ivy Blossom's journal: Pr0n, Erotica, lemon, smut...what is this stuff?, April 6, 2002