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General Site Information | Technical Questions | Newbie Information | Features and Reviewing

Submitting, Editing, and Deleting Fics | More In-Depth Site Info | Contact Us for Help

Contacting Us for Help:

Please read this Help page and the Submission Rules before submitting a request for help. If a question is sent and the answer is already within the Submission Rules or this Help page, the Admin answering the email will direct the user to the correct area.

When sending an email all of the following information must be included:

- penname (user name);
- archive; and
- story title (if applicable)

Without this information the email cannot be answered and is subject to immediate deletion.

Any user needing help may contact us at

I. General Site Information

What is Sycophant Hex?
Sycophant Hex (also known as ‘SH’) is a site for quality fanfiction and fanart for adults. Because of new developments in laws concerning the protection of children online, our site does not allow membership of anyone under the age of 18. Therefore, children may not register, post, or read members-only stories here.

Why is this site called 'Sycophant Hex'?
Sycophant Hex was created to welcome all adult writers of quality fiction regardless of their background or connections. Therefore, we cheerfully cast esteem-raising, tongue-in-cheek hexes on any would-be sycophants of author-idols.

Do I have to register to use this archive?
You do not have to register to read any story that is rated C (which is the equivalent of the MPAA rating of G, for general audiences.) All other ratings require registered membership of people age 18 and older, who are subject to age verification upon request.

Do I have to pay to use this archive?
No. Using any archive under Sycophant Hex is always free, and we no longer accept donations.

Your story ratings don’t look familiar. What do they mean?

C - Conservative: No offensive material.

S - Suggestive: Uses moderately mature language; suggests violence or adult situations, but doesn't describe them.

B - Brazen: Uses strong, mature language; includes moderate violence or mature sexual themes, but no graphic violence or graphic sexual descriptions.

W - Wanton: Includes some graphic violence, and/or some detailed sexual encounters.

L - Lascivious: Includes explicit, lewd or deviant sexual details, or graphic violence such as torture.

The above ratings are initially assigned by the authors of stories. If after review the admins believe a rating change is required, Sycophant Hex reserves the right to change a rating without prior notice to the author.

Where can I find the Sycophant Hex Terms of Service?
There is a link to our Terms of Service on our Help page, and also at the bottom of every Sycophant Hex home page. They can also be found here.

Do I have to register separately for each archive and for the User Forums?
Yes. Each individual story archive, as well as the User Forums, are separate programs that require individual registration.


II. Technical Questions

Do I have to register to use this archive?
You do not have to register to read any story that is rated C (see ratings above.) All other ratings require registered membership of people age 18 and older, who are subject to age verification upon request. Please note that if we learn that a person under 18 has attempted to register, that person’s membership will be revoked without prior notice.

I'm new and confused and don't know what to do! Help!
We suggest that you begin by reviewing this entire Help file. Then register for all archives featuring stories that interest you; and check out each archives’ Featured Fics.

Help! I lost my password!
Don't panic! While your password cannot be retrieved, it can be reset. To do this, go to the archive’s login page and click Lost Password. Follow the instructions and you should be back online in no time. However, if you need further help, please contact

How can I change the information in my profile?
Log in, click on Your Account and then click on Edit Personal Information. From there, you can edit your profile.

I registered in the past but cannot log in now!
The most likely reasons for this are:
• you entered an incorrect username or password (if it’s still available, check the email you were sent when you first registered);
• the administrator has deleted your account for some reason. For more information, contact

Can I change my username?
If you need to change your username, please contact the SH administrators at If at all possible, we will try to accommodate your request.

How do I change my settings?
Log in, click on Your Account and then click on Edit Personal Information. From there, you can edit your settings and preferences.

Does this site use cookies?
Yes. Pages with cookies load more quickly and enable users to access their accounts with less effort. You increase the number of cookies downloaded to your computer by choosing the 'Remember Me' function when logging in, by opening art links in stories, and by using our Forums.

How do I clear my cookies?
For Internet Explorer, follow these instructions: - On the Tools menu, click on Internet Options; then in the Temporary Internet Files area, click Delete Cookies.

For Firefox, follow these instructions: - Click on Tools then Options. Select the Privacy tab, then the Cookies tab; and then click the Clear Cookies Now button.

I enter my user name and password, click Submit and the page just reloads. What should I do?
This is probably caused by your browser settings. To fix this:

For Windows Internet Explorer users, go to the Tools options on the main menu, go down to Internet Options and click on it. Find the Privacy tab and click on it, set the bar to 'Low' to allow you to log in. Once logged on you can reset the Privacy bar to whatever you want (as long as you don't clear out your history/cookies.) Adding to 'allowed' websites under Privacy > Sites will also help if your system has downloaded the SP2 for IE.

Mac/Apple users: Mac IE and Safari are not user friendly with our archives. Try using Firefox as an alternative. See:


III. Newbie Information

What are "ships", “canon" and “fanon"?
Ships are established pairings or character associations that form the basis of a story idea. Some of the main ships in the HP universe are “Snarry" (Snape/Harry); SS/HG (Snape/Hermione); and H/Hr (Harry/Hermione). “Ships" may be supported to some degree (a little or a lot) in canon (such as Tonks/Lupin, Ron/Hermione, James/Lily); established to some degree in fanon ; or may be completely inventive within the imagination of fans and authors. With careful categorization, all are welcome at Sycophant Hex.

Canon is a term used to refer to fanfiction ideas that come directly from the books and/or movies, which form the basis of the fanfiction world. Canon is also sometimes believed to include extra ‘non-series’ information from the author, such as additional publications or interviews.

Fanon is a term used to refer to ideas and characters that come from fans rather than the author, but which are used often enough to have become familiar and recognizable to regular readers.

How do I write a fanfic?
We have several essays on this topic posted on our forums. We suggest that you strive for honest originality in your writing, for absolutely no plagiarism is tolerated at SH. It is important that you always proofread to ensure acceptance of your stories, and we strongly encourage the user of Beta Readers who will closely review your work before submission.

Why are submissions moderated?
Submissions are moderated to help SH maintain its reputation for serving our valued members and to encourage excellence and diversity in the world of HP fanfiction.

How can I contact an SH author?
There are several ways to contact an author. An email can be sent via the author’s information page; we simply request that all messages be positive and constructive in nature. However, if the communication involves specific praise for or critique of a particular story, we prefer that readers use the review function and leave a publicly accessible review. Please note that abuse of the emails or the review function (including flames or harassment) is grounds for immediate cancellation of SH membership.

Something's not working right. What do I do?
Contact the Help Desk. To do this, contact


IV. Member Features and Reviewing

The displayed font size is too small; how do I change it?
Use the font resizer and changer that is available on the upper right corner of all home pages of each SH archive.

I am trying to read a higher-rated story, but SH requires me to log in. I don't have an account. How can I read the story without one?
You can’t. We limit access to higher-rated stories to ensure the general audience does not have access unless they have certified during registration that they are old enough for the content shown.

How do I review a story or chapter?
Read the chapter. At the end of the chapter there will be a box available for reviews. However, if you are registered member and previously reviewed that chapter, you will not be able to review it again.

How can I search for fics?
Click on Search on the menu.

How can I find all of an author's fics?
There is no central database listing every story by an author in all archives. To see the stories by an author in a particular archive, go to the archive’s home page. Click on Members , then find and click on the author’s name. All the stories by that author on that archive will display.

Can I search the forums?
At present, the forums offer only limited search capability. We are currently working to improve this function and will provide this enhancement as soon as possible.

Can I send an e-mail to other members of the user forums?
Yes, or you can send private messages, but you must be on the forums to facilitate that feature.

How do I use the Member List?
Click on Members and then pick your preference: View Authors Only or View All Members. After that, select the letter of the alphabet you would like to view of the members list you chose.

How do I add a story or author to my Favorites?
Display the story you want to add, or the author’s profile, then click Add to Favorites.

How do I report a story that has errors?
SH is known for high quality stories—and we want to keep this reputation. At the same time, we are striving to obtain a balance, remembering that SH is an archive for fanfiction, and not for professional-quality publications. Before reporting a story, please review our new standards for submission; you may find that the story falls within acceptable limits. However, if an error-ridden story has somehow slipped through our review process, please report it to


V. Submitting, Editing and Deleting Fics

How do I submit a story?
After carefully reading the Submission Rules, do the following: Log in, then click on the 'Add New Story' link. From there, choose a Category (or Categories) that are appropriate for the story; then fill out the additional required information.

What are the Submission Rules?
A link to the Submission Rules is located at the top of each archive in Sycophant Hex, and can also be found here. Before uploading a story, an author must agree to the Submission Rules.

What type of files do you accept?
We accept HTML and text files. We do not accept *.doc files or files saved in HTML from MS Word/WordPerfect (we can tell the difference and all stories will be rejected automatically). We encourage all users to cut and paste their submissions into the provided text box situated at the bottom of the story edit page. Doing this—and adding the html coding of your preference— will best ensure that the story is formatted according to your specifications.

Do you accept adult-only submissions?
Yes, our libraries include submissions that range from ‘conservative’ stories appropriate for everyone, to ‘lascivious’ stories which contain explicit sexual material. However, all stories in the libraries are intended only for adults to read. We never knowingly accept any stories from child authors—that is, authors under the age of 18. When such an author is discovered, their membership to SH is immediately revoked, even if doing so is without any prior notice.

My story is completed. How do I tell the archive that?
Log in, then click on 'Edit/Delete Stories'. You will see a list of your stories. After the title and the chapters you will see 'Completed: No'. Click on the 'No' and it will change to 'Yes'.

How many submissions may I make at a time?
Since we have limited staff, we have restrictions on how many submissions can be in the queue. We allow only two submissions per author. The following are examples of what make two submissions:

- Two chapters of the same or separate multi-chaptered stories.
- Two separate one-shot stories.
- One one-shot story and one chapter of the same or separate multi-chaptered stories.
- Any other combination that equals two submissions.

If a submission requires corrections, the subsequent chapters of the same story will be deleted from queue; if the submission is from a different story they will remain in queue.

I uploaded a story/chapter and it's not appearing. Now what?
While Sycophant Hex has several admins placed around the world in different time zones, they have real life obligations and they all volunteer their time. In other words, please be patient. We endeavor to validate your story as soon as realistically possible. Please allow at least seven (7) days for validation of a chapter. If you do not see your story validated or have not seen a rejection letter within this time, please email us at so we may assess your story as soon as possible.

How will I know if my submission is approved or rejected?
If your submission is approved, the story will be posted to the archive and we will contact you regarding any needed corrections to your submission. If your submission is rejected, you will receive an email from indicating why the story was not accepted.

My story was rejected. Why?
Any story initially rejected will give a list of errors or reasons for rejection. Please note that if a story is resubmitted without noted errors being corrected it is subject to automatic deletion with no further notice to the author.

My story is already posted. How do I change something within it?
Log in, then click on 'Edit/Delete Stories' and you can continue from there. Or, you can go view your story, and then click on Edit near the title.

How can I let people know when I've updated my fic?
Updated fics will be listed on the ‘Recently Added’ List on the home page of each individual archive. We also encourage you to post information on our forums or various LiveJournals or fan fiction sites.

What can I do to improve my chances of my fic being accepted?
Read our submission rules; proofread your fic carefully; and then have the story edited/proofread by a qualified beta reader.

Why do you keep saying I should have my fic beta’d?
Although all authors are ultimately responsible for the content of their stories, a beta reader is a second set of eyes proofreading a document and making valuable suggestions. Unfortunately, SH does not have the staff to provide beta-reading service for any submissions. SH admins provide a vetting service when screening submissions, in order to best ensure an enjoyable reading experience for our members. Thus, we evaluate the content and mechanics of all submissions and either post them to the libraries or provide specific feedback concerning why a submission is not suitable for acceptance at SH.

How do I know what rating to choose?
Use your best judgment---but if you are unsure, submit the story as is, and the Admins will do their best to help you.

My validated story is missing? What happened?
When a story is validated, it is subject to removal if the quality is questioned by the Admin staff. Several Admins will determine if the story does not meet SH quality; but only with the permission of JackieJLH (Webmistress) and RaeWhit (Admin Mistress) may a story be pulled from the archive. An email will always be sent to the author informing of this action. This policy is used for stories after July 2004.

If your story has disappeared and you have not received an email from an Admin, please write to to have the matter looked into.

Can I have an image in my story?
At this time, we ask that authors not include images in their submissions. Links to images are permissible. However, please keep in mind that live hotlinks are not permitted; only the URL should be provided.

What is a Validated Author? How do I become one?
The core base of our Validated Authors are well known, long-term writers of fanfiction with established fan bases, who over the years have brought many readers to SH in order to enjoy their stories. We grant these authors validated status because our readers want to see their stories posted, and enjoy them exactly as they have been written. But if you are not a well-known, long-time author, you can still become validated. How? By established a consistent pattern of clean work, with few errors, over a period of six months or four consecutive submissions. Keep in mind that the point of being validated is to bypass the queue process, either by proven reader acceptance of as-is material or by observable quality. For our core validated authors, reader acceptance already exists, and our vetting process becomes less applicable. For newer authors who consistently present quality work, the queue process is simply not necessary.

If you are selected to become a Validated Author, please remember that it is a privilege. We ask that you work in partnership with Sycophant Hex to maintain our library of high quality, non-professional fan fiction, so that Sycophant Hex can remain a site of which we are all proud. And as with all of our writers, Validated Authors are subject to our complete Terms of Service.

What are the rules about spoilers?
Currently, as there aren't any new books being released, all stories must be labeled correctly by Canon Compliancy. If further books are released in the future, rules regarding spoilers will be posted in the News section of each archive.


VI. More In-depth Site Info

What if I just read a newly-posted story that I think is below the quality standards of Sycophant Hex?
Please contact us at to inform us of the issue. An Admin will look over the story and if needed will refer it to the Admin staff for review.

How are stories chosen for 'Featured Stories'?
Stories are chosen by the Admins when a particular story has caught their attention. We certainly encourage readers to submit stories for the 'Featured Stories'. We try to make a conscious effort to not only recognize excellent writing, but to spread out the recognition beyond the most familiar fanfiction authors, and also to recognize excellent stories whose authors have significantly improved during their time with SH and whose contact at the same time with our staff is pleasant on a regular basis. Please realize that some of these ‘significantly improved’ stories may have initial chapters which aren’t quite as ‘polished’ as the later ones. To suggest a Featured Story, please Submit a Helpdesk Ticket with “Featured Story Recommendation" in the subject line.

What's your privacy policy?
SH does not exchange or sell any personal information of yours, except as provided under our Terms of Use and Submission Rules. We will use your e-mail address internally, but only for purposes of managing the SH story archive. However, please keep in mind that if you make your personal information public in your account on the SH site, anyone can access it and use it for any purposes.

Do you accept affiliates?
Yes, but we have a very limited need to have affiliates and are very selective in whom we choose to affiliate with. We look for Affiliates with some type of quality control. We also wish for the Affiliate to have something to do with the types of stories/art we host.

What exactly are SH moderators and administrators?
Moderators oversee specific functions at SH. They generally have the ability to edit posts and delete posts on forums. They can also answer questions, post ideas and moderate discussions in the forums. Administrators are volunteers who screen stories for quality and grammar.

Can I link to a story that is hosted by you?
Yes, we encourage people to spread knowledge around of the stories we host.

Are you looking for any Staff? How can I help Sycophant Hex?
Yes, we are always open to qualified new Admins and Mods—but with that position comes demonstrated, observable trust, and certain mandatory qualifications from our Staff. In working as an Admin we strongly feel a background in English grammar (be it American or British English) is required. At minimum, a strong sense of the language is required, along with the attitude of being always willing to learn. If you are interested, please visit this page for the Admin Exam.


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