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Columns were a feature that began on in February 2000 shortly after Xing Li and Steven Savage asked Laura Hale and her Writers University to leave the archive.

Steven Savage was the lead editor.

The columns ran from February 2000 to roughly sometime in mid-2004.


In early February 2000, Steven Savage explained the editing process:

Hey folks,

It's Steve Savage, the guy in charge of the CEC (Column Editorial Committee). I figured I'd let you know what my plans are. Also, if you're concerned that I may not be appropriate to head the CEC, I have my qualifications listed at the bottom to put your mind at ease (or to point out that I may lack some skills and may want to make sure other CEC members make up for that).

CEC is currently composed of 2 other members excluding myself: Meridian, and Cairnsy.

1) First of all, they WONT be edited. If you end up doing a column for, you should be credited with being able to write, edit, and/or get help on your columns. Posting won't be affected - when you get approved to post, you can pretty much do it on your own.
[Savage omits #2]
3) Columns can be removed on a unanimous vote by CEC members. Note, however, if you are a columnist AND a CEC member, you can have your column removed by a 3/3 vote. In short, if you're a CEC member, your column better be good.
4) The CEC can make various decisions and take actions and make policy otherwise not described by 2/3 vote.
5) The CEC members can remove and replace a member by a 2/3 vote once the 2/3 voting have chosen a successor.
6) CEC members will have a listserv and will discuss any changes, policies, etc. on it.
7) CEC members MUST read every new column and bring up any relevant concerns on the list.

And what now?

1) First, there's a freeze on adding new columns while the CEC members get chosen and makes some modifications. Don't send me OR anyone else ANYTHING for a new column.
2) If you have columns, keep posting! Keep it up! That's what we're here to help with!
3) Secondly, once the CEC members are chosen, we will review all current columns. There's been controversy recently over quality, nature, etc. of columns. Yes, we may decide to remove some.
4) I'd like to TRY and get the StaffWriter listserv back and active - does anyone think we need it?
5) I'd also like to, perhaps, appoint a Guest Columnist Editor (not a CEC member), who would review one-shots and guest columns and add a new one weekly. That way folks who weren't up for a regular column or could do what they wanted to do in 1-2 columns coulMy oved do so.

My overall goal is to make the CEC an aid to getting columns running, and occasionally take action when needed. Otherwise, with careful initial review and some trust, I expect columns will go fine.

If you have any ideas, questions, etc., please, feel free to write me.

Its my hope to make the columns an important utility at fanfiction net - to review, to provide advice, to connect people, to make folks think, and to keep us in touch. Whether you're the next Dave Barry or the next JR Tolkein, if you have something to say about writing and about, and can say it well, I hope you know you'll have a place in the columns. [1]

Some Sample Columns

Some of the columns were one-shots, but most had several, if not many, issues.

The names of the individual essays were under the umbrella column title [2].

"Cairnsys Courner" by Cairnsy contained Religion in fan fiction - essential or sacrilege?, as well as seven others between November 7, 1999 and March 8, 2000.

"The Journey" by SL Watson contained Older Authors vs. Younger Authors, as well twelve others between April 12, 2002 and March 2003.

"The Society for the Promotion of Issue Welfare Under-represented issues in Harry Potter Fanfiction (S.P.I.W.) by JK contained Under-represented issues in Harry Potter Fanfiction: Saint or Sinner? Characterisation Issues, as well as six others between June 15, 2001 and March 14, 2003.

The Soundtrack by Laura appear to have the same title. There were two, one on September 9, 2001 and one on December 7, 2001.

Some of the Column Names and Authors

  • Ars Poetica by Amy
  • Artistic License by syrupjunkie
  • As the Pan Thwaps by Rb
  • Beta Reader's Inbox by AllyKat D.
  • Beyond the Emerald Dawn by Kal
  • Corporate Bandwagon by Jekkal
  • Cranky Old Lady by Alara Rogers
  • A Fine Balance by Be S.A.D
  • A Fine Balance by Firey A
  • Homework - v_voltaire
  • In The Spotlight by Ninamazing
  • The Journey by SLWatson
  • Lights Out by Becker
  • Love Knows No Gender by kkscatnip
  • Mette Gazette by Mette
  • Musings by Jenavira
  • North Star by KateLorraine
  • Off the Cuff! by Katie
  • Omnipotent Authors by Meridian
  • Once upon a time by Tara LJC O'Shea
  • Playing with Semantics by ashlle
  • Poetry In Motion by litebrite
  • Pudding, Cake and Tea by Bob
  • Rantings & Ramblings by Veravine
  • Reality Check by K'Arthur
  • S.P.I.W. by JK
  • Secret of Success by Gilraen
  • Shining Armor by Khaydarin9
  • The Slush Pile by AllyKat
  • The Soundtrack by Laura
  • Starr Words by Craig
  • Tools of the Trade by Islandwalker
  • Trials and Tribulations by Meimi
  • The Voice by CEC
  • A Way With Worlds by Steven Savage
  • Word Of Mouth by Sullen_Siren
  • Write On! By Chris
  • Writer's Attic by Autumndark
  • Writer's Toolkit by FernWithy


  1. ^ note that the date on this post is incorrect -- it is 2000, not 1999, something that was Xing Li's error: Old Posts
  2. ^ Not unlike fans naming their regular contributions to a print apa.
  3. ^ Flourish remembers it as "Five Snitches" and that it ran briefly during 2000. -- About Me. See also Flourish's 5 Snitches Archive (2001).