A Bit About FictionAlley

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Title: A Bit About FictionAlley
Creator: Heidi Tandy?
Date(s): 2006
Medium: online
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: A Bit About FictionAlley; WebCite; Wayback
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A Bit About FictionAlley is a 2006 article that explains the origins and history of the Harry Potter website FictionAlley. The author is not credited, but may be Heidi Tandy.

The article lists articles in mainstream press which talk about the site, explains who runs the site, and explains all the things the site provides.

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 [1] - 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.

To provide readers with an easy way to find stories that they might enjoy, FictionAlley is divided into four houses: Schnoogle hosts novel length fics (at least 60 pages long) from all genres; TheDarkArts includes mysteries, dramas, angsty stories and anything serious; AstronomyTower features romance stories of all lengths; and Riddikulus is the home for funny fics. As of August 1, 2004, FictionAlley had almost 60,000 chapters and stories from over 6,000 authors. Each day, FictionAlley emails to subscribers a list of all the fics uploaded that day; the list is also available via an RSS feed.

Message Boards, Chat Room, Conferences, Wiki, Parties

ArtisticAlley links to almost twenty thousand fan- and fantasy-art works from hundreds of artists, as well as half a dozen message boards where artists discuss technique and creative issues.

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.

Who's Who

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.

Mentioned in the Mainstream Press: 2002-2006 (plus an academic paper)

Harry Potter and the Quest for the Unfinished Volume, May 5, 2002 in The New York Times
Fan fiction - Michelle Pauli has some advice for fans desperate for new adventures from the wizards at Hogwarts or cult series such as the X-Files, December 4, 2002 in The Guardian
When local teen met Harry, a hot Web site brewed, June 7, 2002 in The Sacramento Bee
Behind the Great Firewall of China, in FreshAngles
The Plot Thickens in FanFiction, May 13, 2003 in Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Antidotes for kids in 'Harry' withdrawal, June 10, 2003 in North Jersey Media Group
'Harry Potter' Fans Wait Online and Sites for List Lovers, June 19, 2003 in The New York Times
Potter world lives online, June 20, 2003 in BBC News Online
Harry Potter comes of age, and other stories, August 29, 2003 in BBC News Online
Educated Fandom, February 6, 2004
Harry Potter and the Curse of Disability, April, 2004 on the BBCi section Ouch!
Fan Fiction, Fandom & Fanfare: What's All The Fuss? by Meredith McCardle (this article quotes some writers who are hosted on FictionAlley) [2]
NPR on Wizard People, Dear Reader, April 9, 2005
All Shapes of Hunger, Teenagers and Fanfiction by Rebecca C. Moore, April 2005
Finding fan fiction on the Internet is not difficult, but here are some sites to peruse, September 17, 2006 in the Lexington Herald-Leader

Money and Fundraising

Our Wish List:

Support for FictionAlley doesn't have to come in the form of cash donations. We're always looking for volunteers, especially for the Fic Processing Team; techies with experience with VB3, database creation and management and PHP are also always needed.

As of the spring of 2005, it costs about $1000 per year to keep FictionAlley online. Our webspace is donated by Dragon.com, but we do have bandwidth costs, as well as expenses for things like the software we use to run the boards, Gallery and our Chat Room, domain name renewal costs, and related expenses. While we allocate all money that comes in from sales of items at our Cafe Press store, as well as from purchases via our affiliate relationships, we also rely on donations to pay for these items as well.

FictionAlley is committed to involvement in the greater Harry Potter community. We support conferences and conventions, including Nimbus - 2003, The Witching Hour and Lumos. We are also organizing events surrounding the release of Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, and IMAX showings of Goblet of Fire in November and December at movie theaters around the world.

In the Spring of 2005, Katie O'Brien, who co-wrote Anna Grayson & the Order of Merlin with her father Dave, passed away from leukemia. In 2005, FictionAlley started a scholarship fund that, as of the 2006-2007 school year, grants three scholarships of five hundred dollars each to an exceptional artist, an exceptional writer, and a person who is devoted to community service.

You can support the Katie O'Brien Scholarship Fund by purchasing a wristband for $5.00 plus shipping.

You can also donate to FictionAlley's general fund via PayPal, credit card, check, or money order. We really appreciate it (and if you donate over $10.00 US, we'll send you a FictionAlley magnet!


  1. ^ This is a reference to incidents involving Cassandra Claire and Fanfiction.net: See History.
  2. ^ This is a 2003 academic paper. It never mentions FictionAlley by name.