Diagon Alley

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Name: Diagon Alley
Date(s): 2000[1] – 2008 or later
Archivist: Ali Wildgoose, halogirl8, slytherkins, others
Founder: Ali Wildgoose
Type: fanfiction, fanart, message board
Fandom: Harry Potter
URL: homepages.nyu.edu/~amw243/
message boards at ezboard
diagon_alley and nudedisco at LiveJournal

Diagon Alley link banner.jpg

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Diagon Alley was a Harry Potter fanfiction and fanart archive. Its tagline was Harry Potter for Slightly Older Folk.

It had an associated message board.


Diagon Alley was originally hosted on Ali Wildgoose's NYU webpage. In February 2002, the site started using the diagon.org address to redirect to that site.[2] In early 2003, the site moved to a new server and underwent a redesign, though it remained at diagon.org.[3] Starting in late 2003, the site and the message boards moved to diagonally.org.[4]

The site was part of the Potterfic Alliance.

2004 Comments from a Mod

When some fans in 2004 discussed the pros and cons of fiction archives and their different policies on inclusion, one of the mods had this to say:

As you might know, DA came under a lot of criticism for its submission standards...basically that we had them at all...and we were labeled elitists. But, in my mind, we are not elite in the slightest. I don't have to know an author from Jack, so long as their fic meets the standards (which are basic and reasonable if you ask me) it goes in. You don't have to be a big name author. I'm not looking for authors with clout or reputation, I'm just looking for enjoyable fic. Our rejection process got a facelift (We're new after all. I only took charge of the archive Feb. 1st, the same day the site opened, and there was a mad rush to get things posted. But the state of the project was total chaos and some rash judgments were made, as our procedures hadn't been established/fine tuned. Lots of people got upset. I'm sorry. But everything is set now, and we've...for the most part...had a very positive response to the changes.) Basically, we don't just reject a fic. We have the guidelines listed in the rejection letter and if the submitted fic is lacking in any are of them, we explain why/how, and often give the author suggestions on how the problem area could be improved. In the end the rejection is really a detailed critique. I feel in this way, we let the authors know that we aren't ungrateful, and encourage them to continue writing, as well as hopefully (not to sound pretentious) make them stronger writers. We also urge them to resubmit should they act on our suggestions, or somehow alter the fic to comply with the guidelines. We aren't putting a gun to anyone's head and saying 'change this'. And I would never want an author to betray their original vision just to make us happy. If they can't bring themselves to make those changes, so be it, their fic, though not bad or wrong, simply isn't what we're looking for in our particular archive.

This may be the wrong attitude, but the way I see it, we aren't forcing anyone to submit. Apparently, if one submits something to the archive, it's (I'd hope) because they enjoy the archive and would like to be included. I don't owe any of the authors any favors. And I'm not duty bound to accept everything that comes through, perfect grammar or no. There are several other sites that have that kind of thing covered. Though I've personally been attacked for my presumption, that I alone can deem whether a fic is 'good' or not, it really has nothing to do with that. The subject matter, pairing, genre, etc. are not really considered during review. That's why we have such a large team with such diverse tastes. It's not about personal taste. It's about the degree of writing... [...] We seriously consider every single fic that comes to us. I've rejected fics from well-known authors, and I've archived authors I've never heard of...a couple of them even wrote to tell me that the submitted fic was their first, or that they were indeed fledgling writers. I'm a novice fic writer myself. I understand the frustration. But what I don't think some people understand is, the rejection/approval is in no way personal, and no one should take it that way....

Even archives that are admittedly 'elitist' do not bother me in the least. They know what they want. It's their webspace. It's their business. They should be able to reject what they want. It baffles me that authors get so upset. Surely there is someplace for their work. If it simply happens to not be that particular archive, dude, they need to get over it. It's their archive, not the author's. If the author is upset by that, there's nothing stopping them from starting their own.

Which is another thing. Running an archive is kinda exhausting. A lot of work goes into just maintaining one, not to mention newbies like us who are still just setting up house, really. Again, since we do all (or most, depending on how the submissions come to us) the work, I don't see why we shouldn't get to decide what goes in and what doesn't. We aren't the fandom's lackeys, we aren't getting paid for services rendered. We're volunteers. And not to sound crass, but we aren't here simply to stroke an author's ego and make them feel welcome and accepted.

I think the thing is, I write fic myself. And I wouldn't be bothered in the least if an archive rejected my submission. I was a writer before I joined the fandom, before I even knew the fandom existed, and that's just the way of things. You write something, you submit it to a publisher. Publishers don't accept everything sent to them. [...] But I think it's a valuable process, it makes us better writers, makes us take the initiative to want to develop our craft. There may be nothing 'wrong' with my story...but if it could be better, I want it to be. And if it takes 60 rejection letters before I turn out something worthy to be published, so be it. It's a learning experience. I frankly don't see why it should be any different simply because we're dealing with online fanfiction. [5]


  1. ^ halogirl's Newbie Guide Diagon Alley Newbie Guide: "The Diagon Alley message board was founded by Ali Wildgoose on February 29, 2000. This makes us one of the oldest communities of adult Potter fans on the net." (Archived by the Wayback Machine 04 December 2003.)
  2. ^ Ali Wildgoose at diagon_alley on LiveJournal: My geekiness knows no bounds..., posted 01 February 2002, and Triumph over evil!, posted 02 February 2002. (Accessed 08 July 2016.)
  3. ^ diagon.org home page notice: "Diagon Alley is moving to a new server, and should be up and running very soon." (Archived 17 February 2003 by the Wayback Machine.)
  4. ^ halogirl8 at the Diagon Alley message boards: What to expect here in the coming month, posted 01 December 2003, and the Important Announcements board with a "MOVING DAY!!!!!" topic, posted 28 December 2003. The diagon.org site did not go offline until 2005 (see the Wayback Machine's 11 February 2005 capture).
  5. ^ Comment by slytherkins at 'Elite' archives?: Poo. :P I'm too long winded., posted 28 March 2004. (Accessed 10 July 2016.)