If you read nothing else, please follow the format of this submission template. It makes our lives so much easier!
Here’s what you put into your submission email:
Email subject line: Fanfic: [your title here]
1.) Tags: Grimdark/Normal/Crossover/Random/Shipping/Sad/Comedy/Sci-fi/Slice-of-Life
3.) A Description of the Story
4.) Link (Docs/DA/Fanfiction.net/fimfiction)
5.) MAIN Characters in the story
6.) Incomplete or Complete
7.) 5 Words you would use to describe your story
8.) Author Name
Also to include: Your story’s cover image.
If you’re feeling a little lost, go ahead and scroll down for some explanations on what each section is, as well as an example!
Let’s go ahead and walk you through, one step at a time. You’ve got this on lockdown.
— Title of your fic, and nothing else. Easy mode! Let’s move on.
1. Always tag your story as correctly and truthfully as possible. That said, try not to pair opposing tags. A story tagged as [Grimdark] [Normal] does not work; the two genres represent opposing narrative goals (hopeless struggles against the universe versus the nifty stuff you’d see in a FiM episode).
If you are writing a multi-part [Normal] fic that will eventually dip into [Shipping], go ahead and include all of your story’s relevant tags up front so the reader knows what he or she should expect in the future. This is good manners. [Grimdark] aliens arriving to disembowel our favorite cartoon ponies in the middle of a [Comedy] birthday party will suffer a poor reception unless you alert the reader in advance.
If you are writing a [Crossover] story, we have a special request for you in Section 7: 5 Words.
2. This should be the same as what you put in your subject line. Still, you should think hard about what you put here—does your story gain anything with a title like “My Little ___”?
3. Perhaps the most important of them all, this one section hamstrings more fanfictions than we’d care to admit. A good, error-free description is the difference between someone looking at your story, and that someone actually clicking through to read it. Take a deep breath, and don’t feel bad if you’re nervous. Every writer struggles with this part! Keep it brief, and use it to highlight the “irritations” or “conflicts” that set your story into motion.
4. Don’t post the text of your story in the email itself! How will a reader get to it that way? Post it online instead. Google Docs, FimFiction, deviantArt, wherever — just ensure that an average reader can access your story. Fics requiring mature warnings should probably go up on Google Docs: not everyone is a member of dA or FimF, and may not be interested in creating an account solely for accessing your story.
5. List major characters here, and nopony else. If somepony mentions Princess Celestia in passing in just a single chapter, it’s a safe bet to leave her out even if her words set your story in motion. It is a good idea to include the protagonists and antagonists here.
If your story contains OC ponies, credit them as “OC Ponies”. The only person who knows who Strawberry Kaboodles is without reading your story is you and you alone. Readers will have plenty of time to get to know your character once they’re reading your fic.
If you wish to introduce a character later in your story, you are free to leave that character out of this section until your story reaches the appropriate point to incorporate them into the action.
Incomplete or Complete
6. Be forewarned: many readers will not touch a multi-part story until it has achieved Update: Complete!, as the author attrition rate is quite staggering — especially if a fledgling writer is at the helm. If you are submitting an Incomplete story, we highly recommend you send at least the first two or three chapters for this reason. We also suggest you give us an estimate of how many chapters you think your story will cover.
Five Words You Would Use to Describe Your Story
7. This is just as hard to measure as your story’s description. Instead of repeating the tags, however, give the reader some indication of what he or she is getting into. Is the story Short, Medium, or Long? Are you pairing Flutterdash or Appleshy? Should the reader expect History or an Alternate Universe? Use these words to answer the questions your description does not.
[Crossover] authors: this is a good place to let readers know what you’re crossing over. More than a few crossovers have languished in our queue for a week or more because we had no idea what to expect from your description and title alone.
8. Pick one that won’t get you laughed at. Other than that, pretty simple.
— We understand that cover images can be hard to come by, but the effort you put into securing one goes a long way with the blogponies. Custom, commissioned / requested images from a famous artist are but one way of several to get what you need. PM an artist for permission to use a piece of theirs if it suits your story; if it’s a commissioned piece, ensure you have the permission of the commissioner to use it, too. If that fails, screencaps from episodes work better than you might expect! If that doesn’t fly — no matter what you’ve told yourself before: try to draw it yourself. If Twilight Sparkle enjoys learning new things, you can, too!
A word of caution: Novice writers tend to use generators to design characters/images with “flashy”, “unique”, or “powerful” appearances, but often lapse in developing their personalities in-story. As a result, the pre-readers have come to equate pony generator images with fics of lesser quality. We know — this sounds unfair to us, too, but we crave your indulgence on this one point. Look somewhere else for your cover image.
Still with us? We’ll bet that pretty piece took a while to put together! But hold on for a moment. We’re not quite done. If you so wish, you may relay a few comments to the pre-readers along with the material above. Do, however, pay due diligence to how you present yourself in these comments. Respect and humility are always appreciated; arrogance, rage, and despondency are not.
Also, leave off any references to how high your story’s been rated elsewhere, or how many positive comments you’ve received on it. It’s to your advantage to realize that a good score on FimFiction — nothing more than an airy number upon reflection — does not affect your chances of publication whatsoever. The quality of your writing alone determines that.
We’re almost done! Now is the time when you go back and proofread your email for typos and other silly errors. We’re quite serious here — your submission email is the first contact a pre-reader will have with your story. If your email is all mangled up with mistakes, fair or not, the pre-reader will expect those mistakes to show up in your story as well. You do not want this to happen. We mean it when we want to see nothing but the very best from you, and that means seeing it in your email, too.
It’s been a long and strange trip, without a doubt. But, if you’ve kept with us so far, and have given your story your utmost effort to perfect, your chances of getting published are better than you might think. Send that email, and go off and relax for a bit while we take care of the rest. You’ve earned it, soldier.
Subject: Stable Wars, Midnight Strikes Back
[Your initial comments go here]
2.) Title: Stable Wars, Midnight Strikes Back
3.) Description: The evil Sith Lord, Darth Moon, has returned... can Jedi Master Obi-Clop-Celesti, and her apprentice Pink Cakewalker save the rebellion before it is too late?
4.) Link: docs.google.com/document/randomletterhadsjh94852sadfja.authkey=derp
5.) Characters: Pinkie Pie, Celestia,
6.) Incomplete (Chapter 1 of 300)
7.) Long, Star Wars, Jedi, Battle, Sci-fi
8.) Author:The Great and Powerful TRIXIE!
Here is an example of what this post will look like...
Author: The Great and Powerful Trixie!
Description: The evil Sith Lord, Darth Moon, has returned... can Jedi Master Obi-Clop-Celesti, and her apprentice Pink Cakewalker save the rebellion before it is too late?Stable Wars, Midnight Strikes Back
Additional Tags: Long, Star Wars, Jedi, Battle, Sci-fi
Anyway I am always open to more suggestions. A lot of what I do here now is just stuff people recommend in emails, so send your feedback, good or bad.
As always, email everything to [email protected].