To ensure that everyone is treated fairly and we keep the Tavern’s good name clean and polished, please keep to the following rules, specific to the Storyteller’s Corner. In order to lessen any confusion, the rules have been separated into those for writers and those for readers.
- The Storyteller’s Corner exists to give writers a warm and friendly place to post their stories, poems and other literary works. If you have any problems or feel that someone is breaking any of these rules, please PM the moderator or use the alert button at the bottom of every post.
- Each story must be prefaced by the Storyteller’s Corner Template (found below). This is to enable readers to quickly and easily find stories they may be interested in. Fill it out and put it in the first post of your thread; don’t start the story until the second post. If the Template is not included or the first post contains part of the actual story, the thread will be removed or edited, and a warning or infraction may be issued.
- Stories must be rated appropriately (see below). No R- or X-rated content is to be posted in the Storyteller’s Corner. Posting such content will result in immediate removal of the material and an infraction.
- If you would appreciate assistance with spelling and grammar, please let us know. The moderator, or one of the members in the Spelling and Grammar Assistance thread, will be happy to help. If you don’t want spelling and grammar checks on your writing, please say so.
- Follow basic formatting principles. This includes sentence and paragraph formatting, using correct grammar and checking spelling. If the program you use has an in-built spellchecker, please use it; these days even your web browser might include one. Clear formatting is of vital importance if you want others to read what you have written – the easier your story or poem is to read, the more people you will have reading. The Fiction Fix Newsletter and the Tameri Guide for Writers are excellent online resources.
- English is the common language of the Tavern community. While we do not actually ban non-English writing, please consider whether your work would find a more appreciative audience on another site.
- That said, do not use non-standard forms of English such as ‘text speak’ or ‘lol speech’ to write your story. If it is appropriate in the context of the story to use for some passages (for instance, if you have a character writing a text message to a friend and they use text speak), this is acceptable. If your entire story (including descriptive paragraphs and characters’ speech) consists of text speak it will be removed from the forum and you will be asked to rewrite or reformat it. If you are asked to perform a rewrite for this reason and you are having trouble with it, please contact the moderator or one of the members in the Spelling and Grammar Assistance thread and they will be happy to assist you.
- Be polite. Offer only constructive criticism, and be specific. ‘I don’t like this’ isn’t helpful to a writer; please include the reason why you don’t like something. Likewise, if you do enjoy a particular story, please include reasons why. ‘I love this’ is a great comment to have, but without a reason, it doesn’t mean much.
- Limit your comments on spelling, grammar and formatting. The writer may ask for full corrections on these matters, or for no comments at all; in either case, please respect their wishes. If the writer has not expressed a preference, you may only offer comment if spelling, grammar or formatting errors cause readability issues. If this is the case:
- Limit your comments in the first instance to a request that the writer proofread their work again.
- If the issue remains, you may make one post in thread pointing out the major problems with readability and comprehension.
- Please direct any subsequent problems with a specific story to the moderator.
Poetry has some slightly different formatting requirements, and generally does not need a thread to itself. For general poetry, there is one ‘Poetry Thread’ active at any given time, in which you may post. If you want to post a large number of poems, or a very long one, feel free to create a new thread instead.
- When posting a poem to the ‘Poetry Thread’, please reply to the first post in the thread. For those not using the threaded view, you will need to click the ‘reply’ button at the bottom of the first post.
- If you are posting a response to a poem, please reply to the post the poem is contained in. This will make it easier for those using the threaded view to follow the thread.
- Please keep all criticisms kind and constructive, remembering that spelling, formatting and grammatical corrections are not to be posted unless specifically requested by the writer, and that poems are generally more relaxed about conventional English.
- Please keep to the ratings system. While the ‘Poetry Thread’ does not require every poem to be prefaced with the Storyteller’s Corner Template, it is required that all material posted within the SC conform to the specific rules of the forum. If you fear that your poem may be R-18+ or over, please do not post it.
- If you create your own thread for your epic poem, please follow the posting rules for story threads: place the Template in the first post and do not start any poem until the second post.
It is not our intent to censor anybody’s self-expression. However, the Mallorean Tavern is intended to be suitable for all audiences, so as a service to the readers, we ask all authors self-rate their stories according to the following guidelines. If your story would exceed the boundaries set here, we ask that you find another forum to share it in.
Our rating levels are based on the Australian ratings system.
- G: Suitable for general audiences.
- PG: Parental guidance recommended.
- M: Recommended for mature audiences.
- MA: Restricted to mature audiences.
There are no fixed rules for what places a story into each level; please use your best judgement. However, the following may be aspects or issues that you should consider when rating your work, and some examples of what you would be likely to find at each level.
Adult or confronting themes
Pretty much anything that falls into some other category when depicted, can land here when it exists as a theme.
- Examples: Bullying. Drugs in society. Emotional trauma. Questions of morality. War.
- G: General presentation of issues as they relate to pre-teen children.
- MA: Deep exploration of confronting themes.
Aside from questions of right and wrong (see above), and violent or sexual crimes (see below), depicting criminal behaviour and its consequences (or lack thereof) can affect the appropriateness of a story.
- Examples: Destruction of property. Drug use. Theft.
- G: Simple right-and-wrong behaviour.
- PG: Criminal acts under force or necessity. Realistic consequences of reckless behaviour.
- M: Criminal anti-heroes. Ends that justify criminal means.
- MA: Criminal activity accepted or glorified on its own.
- Examples: Swear words. Racist terms. Scatological, sexual or religious terms used outside their literal context. Descriptions likely to demean or offend.
- G: No offensive language in the text. Infrequent references to it being used.
- PG: Invented terms. Rare, low-level coarse language. Derogatory terms expected in context.
- Examples: Sexual desires and encounters, whether described or implied. Nudity except in a plainly non-sexual context.
- G: Absent.
- PG: Acknowledgement of sexuality. Puberty.
- M: Specific sexual situations that ‘fade to black’ or are implied.
- MA: Non-explicit descriptions of sexual contact and desires. Sexual violence by reference only.
Unnatural events can be disturbing or upsetting, even if not intended to be horrific. They may also conflict with a reader’s personal beliefs.
- Examples: Magic. Monsters. Spirits and ghosts, angels and demons.
- G: Non-threatening magical events in a clearly fantastic context.
- MA: Supernatural menaces intended to provoke feelings of horror and powerlessness.
- Examples: Violent or dangerous actions. Events likely to physical harm. Descriptions of injuries or gore. Use of weapons.
Reason for Rating: (e.g., sex, drugs, violence, language)
Help Desired: (e.g., none, spelling, plot, everything)
Remember: This Template must be included in the first post of any thread containing a story, poem or other literary work. Please do not put any part of your work into the same post as the Template.
(You may note that the list of examples is incomplete. The decision was made to post the rules as they stand and update them as appropriate. If you have an idea for an example, please PM Lady Moreta.)