The Sugar Quill

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Name: The Sugar Quill (SugarQuill, SQ)
Date(s): January 5, 2001 - present
Archivist: (closed to submissions)
Founder: Arabella and Zsenya
Type: canon-compliant fanfiction and fanart
Fandom: Harry Potter
Sugar quill.gif
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The Sugar Quill is a Harry Potter archive that hosts canon-compliant fanfiction and fanart (i.e. Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione, or OBHWF). As of August 13, 2009, the archive officially stopped accepting new submissions but remains online as read-only.



The Sugar Quill was founded on January 5, 2001 by Arabella and Zsenya (best known for their post-Hogwarts fanfiction novel After the End) along with a "like-minded" group of fans from the Yahoo! group Harry Potter for Grown-Ups (HP4GU). [1] [2]

Some Press Articles

Website Culture

The Sugar Quill is notable for its fairly strict rules of submission/content as well as the extent to which its moderators enforced them. Unlike or Archive of Our Own, it was not possible for users to submit and upload their own fanworks without the help of a moderator. Instead site members had to use the "Ask Madam Pince" function to submit fanworks, which then had to await moderator approval before being posted.[3] Fanfiction/fanart with anything higher than a mild 'R' rating

The site had very strict rules about what kind of fanworks were and were not appropriate:

During its heyday the site had a very active forum that featured discussions about the books themselves as well as fannish content; one of the main tasks for moderators was to "monitor [the site's] discussion boards for material we consider inappropriate". As reported by a 2013 academic paper, the slow demise of the forum after the last book came out was due to a combination of technical issues and the site owner's desire to close the forum.[4] After significant periods of downtime in 2008-2009, the forums were made available in readonly mode:

Due to a number of database-related problems, and a number of life-commitments, The Sugar Quill Forums have been inactive since August 2008. The Sugar Quill Administration continues to host the Sugar Quill and to make all of the previous threads and stories available in "Read Only" mode, meaning that visitors will be able to read past discussions but not actively post new messages. Our Flourish and Blotts Fan Fiction Archive will not be updated, but we leave the Sugar Quill Archives online so that people can continue to read and enjoy these wonderful stories.[5]

Owners and Operators

Who operates and makes decisions at the Sugar Quill?

Zsenya and Arabella started the Sugar Quill, which officially opened on January 5, 2001. Zsenya is responsible for design and technical issues, as well as monitoring the Sugar Quill email. Arabella and Zsenya make the final decisions on content together, along with assistance from Deputy Headmistress Moey, Goodwill Ambassador B Bennett, Elanor Gamgee (also known as "Cap'n Kathy), and Jedi Boadicea.

The Sugar Quill has grown so rapidly that we've had to enlist our friends to help. There is now a team of ten to fifteen official beta-readers at any given time, as well as numerous Sugar Quill volunteers who come together to help new members find their way, and to help with technical aspects of the website. For more information about the "Headmistresses," "Professors," and "Forum Ghosts," please visit the Staff Room. In July, 2002, with the wonderful help of Instorn and James of PCHost4U, the Sugar Quill was able to move to a new server and content management system, to help accomodate the growing story archive. We decided to move away from our original gold background layout, although anyone wishing to take a trip down memory lane may view it here. During the summer of July 2002, a host of volunteers helped to categorize and archive important old posts and theories to help create the SQ Gringotts reference section.

Please remember that the Sugar Quill is run by volunteers. As much as we love this place, we have to pay our bills in other ways. We try to be as attentive as possible, but if you contact us and don't hear back right away, don't be concerned - we'll catch up with you as soon as we can! [6]

Curated and By Invitation

What kinds of stories do you accept?

As the Sugar Quill is a selective archive, we have provided a series of guidelines to help authors determine whether or not their story fits into the Sugar Quill community.

The Sugar Quill will no longer be accepting unsolicited submissions from new authors....

The Sugar Quill's Flourish and Blotts Fan Fiction Archive is a selective story archive. Although part of our mission is to help writers improve, we also look for stories that fit within our story submission criteria, written by authors eager for feedback, both negative and positive, and always honest and well-intentioned.

At present, the Sugar Quill has a team of beta-readers who will be actively soliciting and inviting new authors to our website. [7]

See Also


  1. ^ Zsenya, Gryfny, et al. The Sugar Quill at HP4GU, Or: Can You Guess Why We Started Our Own Site?. Revised January 15, 2005. Accessed August 8, 2010.
  2. ^ Magoo, et al. Sugar Quill, A History. Accessed August 8, 2010 via the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Ask Madam Pince
  4. ^ N. Whiteman & J. Metivier (2013) “From Post-Object to ‘Zombie’ Fandoms: The ‘deaths’ of online fan communities and what they say about us,” Participations: International Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 10 (1): 270-298.
  5. ^ Latest News, August 13, 2009 (The Sugar Quill: 100% Right About Everything 87% of the Time), Archived version
  6. ^ Welcome to The Sugar Quill, Archived version
  7. ^ Welcome to The Sugar Quill, Archived version