Submission Info & Disclaimer

X-Files starring Jonathan & Robin

Rules & Guidelines

So, you've gotten the inspiration to finally put down in paper the idea for that NIMH fanfiction you've been sitting on. Now you want to get it posted on the archive, I'll bet. Before clicking 'send' on your submission, please be sure to read through these guidelines first. It'll save me a lot of time and make me just that much more likely to post your story.

Rules

  1. I reserve the right to not post a story, poem, or piece of art if I don't want to. Why would I not want to? It violates my rating, I find it offensive, or its so horribly written that both myself and the committee can't in good faith put it on this site. Please remember that we try to make Robin's a showcase of some of the best stories and talent that NIMH-fans have to offer. It's not your personal story-hosting service.
  2. No NC-17/X-rated stories. This includes spooge, slash, yiff, yuri, yaoi, hentai, sex, porn, or whatever you want to call it. Neither my host nor I allow it.
  3. No R-rated stories. What is "R-rated"? Anything that contains violent or sexual scenes, and the language and content of story are geared toward an adult audience. If that's the kind of story you want to tell, you can likely have it hosted at Badbird's Fan Fiction Frenzy.
  4. Submissions must be in HTML or Word's .DOC format.
    • For submissions in HTML format: Do a carraige return between each paragraph, and do not indent your paragraphs, if using a WYSIWYG HTML editor. If hand-coding your HTML, enclose paragraphs in <p></p> tags. Do not use <br> tags for paragraphs. In either case try to avoid special formatting (i.e. special font sizes and styles, beyond the standard bold and italic styles). Section breaks within chapters should be delineated with a horizontal rule (<hr> tag). Images should be pre-linked and included with your submission.
    • For submissions in Word .DOC format: Do a carraige return between each paragraph. Do not indent your paragraphs. Avoid using special font styles. Use a horizontal rule to seperate sections within chapters. Images should be included with the submission with a note in the text saying where it should go, like so: [Image: my_image.jpg].
  5. Multi-part submissions must be chaptered. Try to submit each chapter as a seperate file, if possible. If a story is long enough to need multiple chapters, but has not been formatted with seperate chapters, you may be asked to split it up into chapters.
  6. If you are submitting an unfinished work in progress, you must submit at least three full chapters (or at least 20 letter-sized pages with standard margins, single-spaced) of your work. This lets us know that you're committed to finishing your story. When you start a story, remember that you owe it to your readers to update and finish it.
  7. Submissions must contain the following in the body of the email: The title of the work, the author's name (or pen name), a suggested rating (G, PG, or PG-13), and a short teaser (similar to what you find on the back cover of a paperback).
  8. Spell and Grammar check your submission before submitting it. Making sure that there aren't any red or green squiggly lines underlining your text in Word is a good start, but is often not enough. Computers are far from perfect, especially when it comes to grammar. If you are unsure of your grammar or spelling, have someone else proofread your story for you before submitting it. If the story has a gross amount of spelling and grammar errors, it will be rejected.
  9. All submissions must be hosted on the Robin site. I do this to be able to ensure the quality of the stories posted to the site. It is far too easy to submit a link to a story that would initially be approved only to find it changed out from under my feet to something unacceptable. An exeption is made for stories that are hosted elsewhere on Thornvalley.com or that are currently remotely linked, providing their authors notify me when an update is made to their story.

Guidelines

  1. Avoid NIMH 2 stories. I won't do an outright ban on your story if it is based on NIMH 2, but it will be subject to much stricter standards of quality than a regular fanfic. Frankly, it's better if you just accept that NIMH 2 sucked and doesn't deserve a place alongside the likes of the original movie The Secret of NIMH or the book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Stories that are currently on the archive based on NIMH 2 will be allowed to stay.
  2. Avoid crossovers. Unless they're very good, it's unlikely that they'll be posted.
  3. Stories should be as original as possible. If you're using another story's characters (aside from those that are in the book or the movie) without permission, or your story seems too close to one that's already posted to be a coincidence, it may be rejected.

Once you've made sure that your story is allowable under the rules and have followed the guidelines that I've outlined, email your story to robin@thornvalley.com, and I'll have a look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don't you allow yiff or R-rated stories?

Because it's not my style. I just don't feel comfortable hosting such material on my own website. If you really want to post something like that, get your own website or you can try to get it posted at Badbird's Fan Fiction Frenzy.

Why the discrimination against NIMH2 or crossover stories?

NIMH 2 was a horrible movie. Most NIMH fans, including myself, don't consider it to be a true sequel to The Secret of NIMH. As such, you'll need to do a very convincing job to make me accept a NIMH 2 plot as part of a story. As I said before, it's better if you just accept the fact that NIMH 2 was horrible and move on.

As for crossovers, to me, it seems like people use it as a substitute for genuine creativity. Not to say that it can't be carried off creatively (The Secret of Sherwood Forest and Out of Range are two creative crossovers that come to mind), but it still requires effort to do it; perhaps even more so, since you have to reconcile the differences between two different sets of settings, characters and plots. For anyone who needs a reminder to what happens when crossovers go bad, I refer you to the infamously bad Rangers of NIMH crossovers (link goes to MiSTed versions, as it is the only way to experience these 'classic' pieces of... work). As Robin said, NIMH and Harry Potter are two great tastes that don't go great together, but some people can't seem to realize that. You haven't seen the rejected stories bin. :)

Again, if you don't like the way we run things here, feel free to get a website of your own and post it there.

Can I send illustrations for my story?

Include the actual image files with your submission along with some indication of where they should go within the story and that's fine. If you're submitting the story in HTML format, link to the images with an <img> tag (or embed them, if using a WYSIWYG editor). In Word .DOC format, indicate where the images should go with the following text: [Image: filename.jpg]. If I am unable to figure out where the images go, then they may not be included at all.

Can I revise my story after it's been posted?

Yes, but I'd rather you didn't. Revisions can take a lot of time to post, and can potentially confuse readers. Make sure it's ready to be posted before you submit it, and we'll all be much happier.

Why do you rate the stories on your site?

The stories I have been receiving vary greatly in their content; some are appropriate for all ages, and some contain material that may offend some readers. Rather than rate the entire site (like yerf.com, for instance which has a strict PG rating) I decided to rate the individual stories. I chose to use the movie rating system because it is pretty much universally recognized.

How do you rate the stories, then?

First, the rating I give the story is not to determine how well written it is. Great stories come in all ratings. A PG-13 rating does not necessarily mean it is porn, smut, or something along those lines, just that the subject matter may be a little strong for a child.

The rating system is similar to the MPAA-style movie ratings:

  • G - These stories contain no offensive material and are suitable for all readers of any age. Think along the lines of the movie, here.
  • PG - Contains some slightly offensive material; may have vague sexual references, including those to breeding and child-birth. May have some slightly harsh language; nothing sexual or derogatory in nature.
  • PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Contains some offensive material; may have sexual references, somewhat graphic violence. Language may be sexual in nature.

Remember, these aren't totally objective, but I'd rather be safe than sorry! Some people are easily offended, and that is why the ratings exist. If you are one of these people, please don't read the story; I'd rather not get the hate email.

Will you accept stories in something other than English?

Sure thing! We might even be able to find someone to translate it, too.

Do you get paid for this site?

No. It is a fan-operated site.

Should I get my story copyrighted before I submit it?

You technically can't, as it is a derivitive of someone else's copyrighted work, using their copyrighted characters, setting, etc. In any case, stories that are original (i.e. not fan-fiction) are automatically under copyright protection, although you can register your original story to gain some additional legal advantages. For fan-fiction, however, it's not only not possible, but likely a bad idea even to try.

I have a story or piece of art that is on paper, so I can't email it. Can I snail-mail it to you?

Sorry, but as far as stories go, I don't have the time to sit down and type someone else's story. Type it up at your library or on a friend's computer or something. I may make an exception for art, though again, I'd prefer that you go to Kinko's or find a friend with a scanner first.

Can you help me proofread or edit my story?

Usually I don't have the time to take on proofreading or editing jobs. However, more likely than not, if you ask for help on the Forum, you'll find someone that's willing to help out by proofreading or editing.

Can I just get a link to my story from the Archive?

No. You're more than welcome to submit the story to be hosted here as well, though. There are some stories that were linked offsite before the change in policy that have been 'grandfathered' in, but I am no longer allowing it for new stories.

Where's the next installment of [insert favorite unfinished story here]??

Patience, grasshopper. The authors and artists whose work appear on this site are regular, ordinary people. They have jobs, go to school, and have other commitments; the time they spend on their fan-fiction or fan-art is often limited by the time they can spare on it. They (and I) appreciate your fandom of their work, and sending them an email telling them this is cool, but please do not pressure them. I will do my best to get the stories I have up as soon as possible to feed your NIMHfan hunger :)

How often do you update?

When I have time and when I have material to post. Do not send me emails bugging me about it, or you will awaken the fiery gods of anger within me. Or at least irritate me enough that I might postpone an update just to spite you. :)

Why are there so many rules about stories that get posted? Isn't that censorship?

There are rules because I'm providing the hosting for the site, therefore I get to decide what gets posted and what doesn't. Instead of leaving my standards a complete mystery, I have given some rules and guidelines that will help you on your way to getting a story posted here, so really, the rules are a service to both you (the writer) and the readers (as I believe the rules help to maintain a more enjoyable site for them as well).

As for censorship, I am not legally or morally required to provide you my resources or an audience for your story. Again, you are more than welcome to set up your own website and host your 'censored' story elsewhere if that bothers you.

Disclaimer

This site was created for fan appreciation and entertainment only. The creator of this page, and the authors whose work is held within this site do not benefit financially (or otherwise) from this site or the aforementioned works.

The Secret of N.I.M.H. is © 1982 Mrs. Brisby, Ltd. and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is © 1971 Robert C. O'Brien. The information here is being used as per Fair Use laws. Any copyright infringement is purely unintentional.

Thank you.


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