It’s an exciting time here at EF, as forty-five members have signed up to take part in this year’s Secret Santa event––and that’s not including the people who didn’t officially sign up but put themselves forward as rescue writers and artists anyway.
Participants must post their fics (or artwork, if applicable) between 12:00 am site time on December 1st and 11:59 pm on December 31st. If something goes awry and you cannot meet the deadline, please contact us! We understand life happens, but we don’t want anyone to end up giftless. Letting us know if your muse abandons you/cat eats your laptop/garden gnome blows up and takes your house with it means we can avail upon our aforementioned rescue writers and artists.
REMINDER: If you fail to hand over your gift by the deadline, you will be ineligible to take part in Secret Santa next year. Or possibly face a lifetime ban if you not only do this, but also don’t reach out to the Mod Team to tell us what’s up.
Members are welcome to make and upload their own fic banners or commission another member to make a banner for them, as usual, but there is also a default gift fic banner (linked here) if you want to use it. If you use the default banner, please credit MillennialCryBaby as the banner artist. If you're including a custom banner with your fic, we request you add "Designed for the Elysian Fields 2023 Secret Santa Event" somewhere legible on it.
Reminder: only members participating by writing a fic or creating artwork will get an event award for Secret Santa. There are no shinies for betas, commenters, or banner artists.
Once it comes time to post your fic, you’ll be able to tick a box that will appear on the submission page, like so:
Please state clearly who your gift fic is for in either your story summary or story notes. You may also like to add the prompts you are meeting in your story end notes, though this is optional.
We recommend you reach out to your giftee via the EF PM system once you have posted to make sure they don’t accidentally miss it. That would be such a shame after all your hard work!
Giftees, we shouldn’t need to say this, but it is good etiquette to respond to your gifter to let them know you’ve seen and appreciate all their efforts.
Here is a screenshot of a sample fic showing the icon that will appear beside your fic, once posted, to indicate its status as part of the event:
Finally, here is the gorgeous participant award for this year:
Any issues or questions, please email EllieRose101 at firstname.lastname@example.org
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on November 30, 2023 09:07pm 2 Comments
Our Truce event is officially over and I’m here with the stats! (Apologies for the delay in this post going live.)
There were 3 artwork-only works shared, 2 works consisting of both art and words, and 48 traditional (i.e. written) stories, as made via the collaborative effort of:
- 45 Authors
- 26 Artists (including banner artists)
- 28 Beta Readers
Between them, participating authors wrote 303,667 words during the event, across 118 chapters. A total of 441 members left comments or likes throughout the month of October, of which 264 commented on or liked event stories specifically, and 48 commenters met the requirements for an award. All comments for the event totalled 1,223, and the new stories generated for this event received a total of 2,111 likes.
If you’re yet to check out any of the brand new challenge fics, you can FIND THEM ALL HERE.
Many, many thanks to everyone who took part, in whatever way you contributed. All participating authors, betas, artists, and commenters should now have the relevant awards on their profiles. If you seem to be missing one, or anything else seems not quite right, please drop us a line at email@example.com.
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on November 10, 2023 04:26pm 1 Comments
Here’s the news post you’ve been waiting for: Secret Santa sign-ups are OPEN!
There is a lot of info below, and I recommend taking your time to read it all if you wish to take part, but the short version is this: during December, members who have signed up will give and receive a fic (or artwork!).
If you’ve never taken part before, or if you need a reminder, here’s how it works:
As of this post going live, you can fill in a GOOGLE FORM HERE to sign up.
Everyone who signs up to participate will write one fic or make a piece of art and receive one fic or piece of art. (You can opt out of giving or receiving art in the Google form if you’re only interested in written fic). Each fic MUST be a “one-shot” size (or be posted as a single “chapter” in the case of art).
The chapter word limit is 15,000 words here on EF, but variations in software word counting sometimes mean that there is a discrepancy between the EF word count and what Microsoft or Google Docs will tell you. It is the author’s responsibility to make sure their story fits. If your fic is approaching the limit, we recommend leaving ample time for edits to make sure you can post correctly and before the deadline.
There is no word count minimum to this event.
Gifts DO NOT need to be holiday-related in any way (unless your giftee requests it!).
Participants will receive an award on their profile at the end of the event. There are no additional awards for betas, artists, or commenters. Both authors and artists will receive the same ‘2023 Secret Santa Participant’ award. Artists who create banners for other people’s gifts will not be eligible for a participant award.
Once you sign up, EF Event Mod EllieRose101 will make best case matches from all of the responses and then reach out to each participant with the penname and story preferences of their giftee. Please remember that this gift-giving is confidential. Don’t share who you have for a giftee until you post your fic! Revealing that information ahead of time will allow demonic Santa to start his spree of terror early, and that would just be a bad time for everyone.
Any member, whether they've previously written a fic on EF or not, is eligible to partake in this event––UNLESS you signed up for last year’s Secret Santa event and did not complete your fic or did not complete your fic by the deadline. Those members will have already been notified (at the end of last year’s event) and will not be eligible to participate this year, but may participate again in 2024.
Please note that bad behavior toward your gifter or giftee, in regards to either the gift you receive or the gift you deliver, will result in a permanent ban from this event for all future years. We wish we didn’t have to say it, but we do.
Any ineligibility will be communicated to you by a mod, if it becomes relevant. Otherwise, you may assume you are good to go.
- Today: Sign-Ups Open (See link, above.)
- 11.59pm site time on Monday 20th November: Sign-Ups close
- 22nd & 23rd November: Assignments Distributed
- 1st December: Participants can start posting
- 11:59 pm 31st December, site time: All gifts must be exchanged.
No late sign-ups or publishing will be allowed.* Leaving a participant giftless will make Spuffy deeply sad, and we can’t have that, and will result in ineligibility from participating in Secret Santa for at least one year. (A one year ban if you don’t post but at least tell us, or a lifetime ban from participating if we never hear from you.)
*If you miss the deadline to post, please still send your gift, just be aware that it won’t officially count towards the event. And in either case––I cannot stress this enough––TELL US what’s happening!
Whether or not you sign-up to participate in the event itself, you can sign-up to be a Secret Santa Rescue Writer! Either choose "yes" on the event sign-up form where it asks, or email EllieRose101 at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know that you'd like to be on the volunteer Rescue Writer list. If she ends up with someone in need, she may reach out to you (by no later than Dec. 16th) to see if you can rescue a gift.
Any questions? Comment below!
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on November 08, 2023 09:02pm 2 Comments
Hi all! We've reached our daily limit again and email notifications will be down for 24 hours. As a reminder, this means no digest, story updates, comment notifications, author response replies, or PM notifications.
We have decided while we implement our longer-term fix, we will be temporarily suspending the daily digest until further notice to try to alleviate the traffic problem through the end of the event. As soon as we have our longer-term fix in place, we will resume sending the digest.
We will keep you informed of any future outages. You can post questions here or send them to email@example.com, which is not affected by the outage.
--cawthraven and the Mods on October 27, 2023 12:24pm 0 Comments
Hi all! We wanted to let you know about some email issues that are sort of growing pains with the new site host. With our new plan, we have a limit on how many daily emails we can send (unlike our old host), and we sorta exceeded that on October 23. The downside is this shuts down our email for 24 hours, so we are unable to send the digest, story updates, comment notifications, author response replies, or PM notifications until that 24-hour period lapses.
Normally, the digest and story updates are placed into a queue and would go out as normal once email is restored. Due to the busy nature of October being an event month, we anticipate a domino effect of “too many emails” if we do this. In light of that, as a short-term fix, we have decided to turn off the digest for all users for a couple of days (so the digest that would send on October 24 and October 25) and will restore it once our email volume is under the limits.
In the meantime, we are looking into longer-term fixes that would prevent this from happening. We will keep you informed of any future outages.
--Holly and the Mods on October 23, 2023 09:50pm 2 Comments
Elysian Fields Archive is now a 501(c)(7) organization.
This year, Elysian Fields Archive applied for status as a 501(c)(7) organization. We’re pleased to announce that as of October 21, we are officially registered as a not-for-profit.
In 2021, the site administrators received word that owing to changing tax codes, any donations received by Elysian Fields would be reported to the United States government as earned income by the person whose name and identifying information were associated with our PayPal account. This would put that admin at a severe disadvantage and require them to pay taxes on money that belonged to the archive as though it had gone into their personal bank account.
One of the reasons we suspended donations in 2022 was to avoid any of the administrators being taxed for donations that went to support the archive. Admittedly, it took longer than we thought it would to get our ducks in a row—if you remember, last year was one of change and challenges. Several planned behind-the-scenes initiatives were placed on hold as we settled. Earlier this year, we returned to this initiative as the most important, and officially dove into the paperwork and legalese of applying for not-for-profit status.
What is a 501(c)(7)?
A 501(c)(7) is a nonprofit social club organized for “pleasure, recreation, and other similar purposes.” We do differ from most traditional 501(c)(7) organizations in several ways, the key factor being that we do not (and will never) require annual dues by members, nor is donation to the organization in any way compulsory. Elysian Fields only began accepting donations after multiple members made it clear that they wanted to contribute to the site. We are enormously thankful for donations but do not expect them.
Are donations to Elysian Fields tax-deductible now?
Unfortunately, no. Under IRC Section 107(C)(2), any donations made to Elysian Fields do not qualify as tax deductible. We are a recreational group rather than a charitable organization.
But I can donate if I want to?
Not at this time, but if we learn something, we’ll let you know.
We would like to thank all the members who have donated over the years for your support and assistance in keeping our wonderful community going. And all of our current members for being part of the reason we love spending time here.
And while we have nothing else right now on our new not-for-profit status, we are extremely pleased to announce that for the first time in our 17-year history, Elysian Fields has an official logo. We're still exploring ways to incorporate the logo on the site itself, as well as other applications, but if you follow us on our various social media platforms, you're sure to see it. It was designed for us by the endlessly talented bewildered. These are just a few of the variations.
It's certainly been an exciting anniversary month!
--Holly and the Mods on October 22, 2023 01:53pm 8 Comments
Hey all! We wanted to update you on the site migration from our old host to our new home. As you all know, the process wasn’t as smooth as we would have liked (which would have been impossibly smooth, no hiccups at all) but it went much more smoothly than we feared it could.
We faced three main issues: many users were unable to access the site for a time and saw a lot of Fatal MySQL errors; comments weren’t always posting, again showing Fatal MySQL errors; and email notifications were down.
The first two were because we were on our old host for all 17 years the site was live and in a couple spots, the code had gotten old without our realizing it. We’ve updated the code (some of this is ongoing work, but it will help future-proof the site). The commenting issue, for instance, is because of how the emoji were stored on our back end. We’ve updated the way they are stored for comments (though we have some work still to do in some of the less critical areas—please let us know if you use an emoji anywhere and see a Fatal MySQL error after). That being said, we are still experiencing an issue where some emoji are not displaying correctly. We do not have an ETA for a fix for this issue, but we are actively investigating now.
Also, related, oddly enough, to the emoji issue, we have noticed display issues with some characters stored in the database, such as smart quotes (when single and double quotes curl in toward the word). We will be running a script on the back end later today (October 15) to address this issue, but authors should check their story titles, chapter titles, summaries, and all chapter notes. The text of your story should be fine, as chapters are not stored directly in the database in the same way.
The email notifications were mostly due to the move breaking connections between the email servers and the code; this is all resolved now and all email alerts should be going out. Please let us know if you are not receiving them. We have email alerts for password resets and private messages, and you can also opt-in to receive a Daily Digest of all story updates from the day before; new stories from your favorite authors; story updates from your favorite stories; comments on one of your stories; and author responses to one of your comments. (If you didn’t know about this before, you can turn notifications off in Account Info > Edit Preferences; if you already receive notifications and no longer wish to, you can turn them off at any time in the same place.)
At this point, we believe all of the major migration-related issues should be resolved, so if you or someone you know is still experiencing any bugs, major or minor, please let us know ASAP by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide as much detail as you can as to what is not working. We love screenshots!
Thanks for your patience with us throughout this process. A site this large and established has a lot of moving parts to worry about. We love the Elysian Fields community and are excited about the opportunities to grow in our new home. We have already made a couple of minor improvements thanks to recommendations by our new host that should start to speed things up and have many more planned, both in terms of optimizing and new features.
--cawthraven and the Mods on October 15, 2023 10:32am 3 Comments
Somehow, September is almost gone and our next event is right around the corner. If you missed the announcement, you can find it linked here.
Before I get too far into fine details, though, I want to acknowledge that the site has undergone some teething pains due to having switched web hosts, resulting in limited access for some folks. With the exception of email, the Mod Team believes the issues are now largely resolved. Please see the post linked here for more information, and if you still are experiencing any issues, you can report them or any error messages you have to us at email@example.com.
Now, without further ado, here are the deets for the event itself:
- Kick-off is at 12:00 am site time on the 1st. (Site time can always be found under the Shoutbox on our homepage.)
- Written submissions must meet a minimum word count of 100 and must include or address a truce in some fashion (if you’re unsure if you’ve done enough to satisfy this requirement, please ask a mod).
- Your first chapter needs to be posted during October––no earlier, no later––but that does not mean you need to have the entire thing finished and uploaded by month’s end.
- One-shot fics are of course acceptable, as are artwork-only and multimedia works.
- There is no word count minimum for artwork-only or multimedia pieces, and no upper limit on any works beyond the site limitation of one-shots being under 15k. (Anything over 15k needs to be posted as multiple chapters, therefore making it no longer a one-shot by definition.)
- You can earn the artist award for creating a banner for any work submitted for the event and/or posting a work with artwork or multimedia elements.
- To earn the commenter award, you must leave at least 17 comments containing at least 17 words (because it’s our 17th anniversary). The comments can be on any fic or artwork across the EF site (comments on news posts don’t count).
At the start of the event, you will see a tickbox appear when adding a new story. This is to indicate your story is part of the event, to make sure it appears in the official list of event fics, and so it can be featured alongside the others throughout the month. It looks like so:
Additionally, when you’ve ticked that box, a white flag icon will appear beside your story, as depicted in the example here:
Note: while sequels (or indeed prequels, or companion stories) to existing fics and artwork are eligible for this event, it’s important that submissions are new works, as in not previously shared elsewhere already.
Once you’ve written and shared your new fic to EF, you can share it on any other site you wish. We do not require exclusivity.
The dimensions for banners are the same as they’ve always been, as outlined on our FAQ page. All we ask is that you add a small line of text stating “Designed for the 2023 Elysian Fields Truce Challenge.”
Please, please (we cannot stress this enough!) credit your beta(s) and/or banner artist by listing their Elysian Fields username in the story notes. If you have made your own banner, include something along the lines of 'Banner by me' so you get credit for it. If you do not list your credits, we can’t issue awards. The mod team will not be chasing down this information.
Artwork-only and mixed media submissions should include the Artwork category, but please do not tick the ‘artwork-only’ box for event works, as site coding would prevent the work showing as part of the event. If you forget, or accidentally tick the artwork box, contact the Mod Team and we can resolve this.
The awards, lovingly designed by DeathTheKat, are as pictured at the top of this news post and there is a custom site skin for this event also designed by DeathTheKat which will be the default during the entire month of October.
Any questions, comment below!
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on September 27, 2023 09:50pm 4 Comments
So, after implementing some back-end tweaks, we are confident that the largest problems resulting from the migration (the MySQL errors and the inability to load stories) have been resolved. Of course, if you’re still having issues accessing content that you previously could access, don’t hesitate to reach out, preferably with screencaps of any error messages.
Not everything is back online yet. We know that some users are having trouble leaving comments and believe we have isolated the cause to an encoding error that occurs when non-site emojis are used, that is, iOS or Android emojis. Site emojis, being embedded in our code, are working fine. This is on our list to address, but until we get the kinks ironed out, we’re encouraging all commenters to either refrain from using emojis entirely or stick to the site emojis to make sure the comment goes through.
Also, site email remains down, so story updates, comment notifications, digests, and pretty much all other site communication have not been reinstated yet. This was expected downtime. The site email is a separate entity from the site itself, so the records need to be updated to reflect our new server home. That hasn’t happened yet, as the Mod team has been focused on getting full access to the site back for all members (especially considering our anniversary celebration event is just a few days away from kicking off). Now that the access issues seem to be addressed, restoring email is our number one priority. Keep in mind, it will likely take a couple of days for the DNS records to propagate once the email settings have been updated. Until then, we encourage readers to check the Most Recents for story updates and authors to manually check their stories for new comments or comment responses, or email us if you need to reset your password at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you encounter an issue not related to anything discussed here, again, please let us know by emailing us about it at email@example.com. Assuming all goes well, the next news post should be the final details of the Truce Challenge Event.
Thank you all so much for your patience, kindness, and support over the last few days. You make this community awesome.
--Holly and the Mods on September 27, 2023 01:10pm 2 Comments
Users receiving MySQL errors: until we can get the kinks worked out, you might try accessing the site via a proxy server, such as https://us2.proxysite.com/. Some members have found that to be a serviceable workaround that restores the ability to read and comment. This is a temporary fix, not a permanent solution.
We know that the site is still reporting MySQL errors for some users and have been in communication with our new host to discuss causes and troubleshoot solutions. While it is frustrating that so many members are having accessibility issues, we are very impressed with the level of service and care we’ve received from the new host. Once everything is working for everyone, we anticipate a much smoother EF experience.
Until then, we do encourage users to continue sending us error messages. So far, all the error messages have been the same, but we want to know ALL errors to make note of any variation.
What we can tell you right now is the new DNS records haven't fully finished propagating in all regions, and we have some ideas on tweaks we can make on the back end that'll restore functionality to all users.
Please be assured we are working on it, and we won't stop working on it until it's back for everyone.
Thank you for your patience and understanding!
--Holly and the Mods on September 26, 2023 12:20pm 0 Comments
Hi guys! We know many of you have been waiting patiently for updates on the site migration. Here's where we are right now:
- Full site functionality has returned for many users; it is still in limbo for others
- This is normal as DNS records can take 48-72 hours to update
- All our conversations with the host indicate everything is on track and going well. We just need to be patient.
- Email remains spotty, but this is because we have work to do on our end to make sure the email servers are functional. It's separate from the site migration. So, readers might just check the Most Recents for fic updates and authors watching for comments might need to visit the site to see any new ones until we get this fixed. It's been a busy weekend for your Mods but the site itself was our first priority.
Please do keep us updated on issues that you continue to have (DMs or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can keep an eye on them and make sure they get resolved. Otherwise, rest assured that all signs indicate things are running smoothly for a server migration. Thank you!
--Holly and the Mods on September 24, 2023 09:53pm 1 Comments
Over the last couple of years, you’ve heard us reference issues we have with our current website host more than once. Well, we decided to do something about it. We’re in the process of changing hosts; in fact, our assets are currently being migrated to the new hosting platform. Our new host was chosen after a careful audit of available alternatives that started in July when the site was inaccessible and culminated in our decision to switch providers, well, now.
Once the migration is complete, Elysian Fields will need to update our domain information so that everything is pointed at the right place and fully functional. There might be temporary downtimes before the end of the month, but we’ll do our best to mitigate the effects by initiating these changes during times when the site is less active. That said, this is a new thing for all of your Mods, so please be patient. If all goes well, you won’t notice a thing. If you do notice something, that’s probably the reason, but don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have an issue.
You can reach us:
Please let us know if you have any questions.
--Holly and the Mods on September 19, 2023 11:05am 5 Comments
I know so many of you have been bursting at the seams to know the theme for our October event, and we’ve been bursting at the seams to tell you, so… Because EF will be turning 17, and that was the age at which Buffy had a significant milestone in her relationship with Spike, our theme is in honor of said milestone. Which is to say, the theme is TRUCE!
What kind of truce? Between who? To what end? Why? Does it go well or explode in their faces? Well, obviously, we are a Spuffy site and so all of the participating stories must be Spuffy focused overall, but your truce can be set in any season, timeline, or alternate universe, between any two (or more) characters. So, basically, go nuts with it. Here’s the rundown of how the event will work:
- Written works must be 100 words minimum and include or address the theme in some fashion.
- There is no word count limit for artwork-only pieces or mixed-media works (that consist of both words and pictures).
- If you are writing a multi-chaptered fic, the first chapter must be posted during the month of October according to site time––no earlier, no later. (As always, you can see the current site time underneath the Shoutbox on the front page.)
- You do not have to finish your fic in October; you only have to post the first chapter.
- Awards will be available for authors, artists, betas, and commenters as usual. Artist awards can be earned by creating a banner for someone (or yourself) or by posting an artwork-only or mixed-media story.
More details (including an artwork reveal of the banner, skin, and awards) to follow, but if you have any questions, please comment below.
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on August 12, 2023 10:15am 4 Comments
When the idea of an event focused around drabbles was first discussed, some members were skeptical. There was a little uncertainty about how it would work, and even more uncertainty if anyone would like it at all. So we asked you guys, and while you let us know that you didn’t want to lose Mystery Month forever, you also said you’d give this new event a shot.
Well, guys… it’s fair to say you did a bit more than that.
For this brand new event that no one was quite sure about, we had 64 writers participate who earned themselves a bronze award. 53 of those writers also earned silver awards, 23 earned gold awards, AND we had 6 super enthusiastic members who went ahead and completed a triple blackout, writing a drabble for every single prompt!
Big round of applause for those six: Amina, BewitchedXx, cawthraven, Julikobold, Jws1993, and MaggieLaFey!
In total, an incredible 513,309 words were written during this event, across 143 stories consisting of 1,593 total drabbles (yes, you read that number right).
But of course that is not all! 41 artists* and 37 beta readers took part. Meanwhile, 470 members left a combined 10,628 comments and 21,768 likes during the event, with 273 of those members leaving 8,184 comments and 15,025 likes on event-qualifying stories, and 66 of those members earning a commenter award.
(*Banner artists and participants who made artwork-only or mixed media works.)
While we’re on the topic of commenters, our very own magnus374 left a whopping total of 1,627 comments of five or more words during the 31 days of July. (He also broke 30,000 total comments on the site during the month of July!) And so, in his honor, we have made a brand new, ‘Epic Commenter’ award––pictured here:
Going forward, you can earn this award by following Magnus’s amazing example and leaving a minimum of 1,000 comments in a single month. (Anyone who would have achieved this in the past, had it existed before now, will be retroactively awarded the epic commenter badge.)
Many, many thanks to everyone who took part, in whichever way you contributed. All participating authors, betas, artists, and commenters should now have the relevant awards on their profiles. If you seem to be missing one, or anything else seems not quite right, please drop us a line at email@example.com.
If you’ve yet to check out any of the brand new drabbles, you can FIND THEM ALL HERE
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on August 08, 2023 01:49pm 10 Comments
As our Drabblemania event draws to a close, the Mod Team asks that all participants check that the prompts relating to each of their drabbles are clearly labeled in either the chapter title or the beginning chapter notes and that all betas and banner artists are credited in the summary or story notes. This information should be visible from the main page of your work, where the table of contents of the work is listed. We are not able to check chapter end notes for this information for this event. If the prompts are not in the chapter notes or chapter title, you will not receive credit for that drabble, which may impact the awards you are eligible for.
This is a gigantic help for us as we issue awards. Speaking of which––this event has been more successful than we could have ever imagined. As such, the Mod Team has a lot of things to double- and triple-check before we can issue awards, so please bear with us, as it will likely take longer than usual.
Lastly, the official site time has changed back to its original East Coast setting. Because of the temporary site outages and for the sake of simplicity, the event will run up until midnight tonight, July 31st, according to the new/current site time (Eastern Daylight Time)––four hours later than the previous site time (Greenwich Mean Time). As always, the current site time can be viewed under the Shoutbox on our homepage.
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on July 31, 2023 04:36am 7 Comments
Finally, some news that is not related to the site acting wonky but rather to inform you that the Mods have listened to concerns from the membership and decided to add a couple of fic warnings that, effective immediately, will be mandatory on new content published on the site.
These warnings are as follows:
- Depictions of Bigotry: contains characters making prejudicial statements and/or offensive slurs regarding race, gender, ability, orientation, religion, or class, including incidentally. (Not to be confused with authors making such remarks.) Authors are asked to use their discretion here as to what qualifies as bigotry, as a full explanation on where we're drawing lines could quickly become a six-page essay. If you have any questions on a specific fic, you can contact the mods— we are happy to consult. Please be aware that if you do not use the warning and it comes to Mod attention, we reserve the right to reach out and address the situation.
- Incest: contains depictions of a romantic and/or sexual relationship between family members, whether related by blood or marriage. If the latter, situations in which the characters in question were raised as and/or regarded each other as family prior to their romantic and/or sexual involvement.
Now, on the Depictions of Bigotry, we spent a lot of time (really, a LOT of time) trying to come up with the appropriate definition only to realize, well, there isn’t one. We’re a fandom for an old show, and as such, problematic themes, characterizations, ideas, and beliefs were depicted and/or supported in the source material. The same can be said for a good amount of fic, where social and cultural norms of the day it was written have since been identified and recognized as Not Cool. Speaking personally, I’ve had several people let me know of things I wrote in old fics that I would never write today and intend to address when I edit those works.
Point is, it's now 2023, and we are so proud to have cultivated a wonderfully diverse community that we have been told, numerous times, helps individuals in otherwise targeted communities feel heard and (hopefully) safe. The addition of this warning is a continued part of that outreach, as well as in line with our goal of empowering readers so they may confidently and safely engage with content published here.
That said, we also hope the membership understands that we do not have the resources to retroactively review all the fics published on this site to see what stories qualify for our new warnings, or ANY of the warnings that have been added since we launched in 2006, of which there are many. If you are already aware of such fics, we encourage you to let us know so we can reach out to the authors or apply the warning ourselves, if necessary. If in the future you encounter an older fic that isn’t tagged, again, let us know and we will handle it.
Just to reiterate to all EF authors, use your own discretion and reach out to us with questions. We understand that this is a very daunting, nebulous tag, which is why it took us so long to decide how to approach it, but we do think it’s essential to continue supporting the health and safety of community members. As always, if you include any warning in a fic that you would like to explain, you are encouraged to elaborate in the story notes. And rest assured, unless authors refuse to use the warnings or act with malicious intent, no one will be in trouble for neglecting to add a warning. The most you can expect from us is a private message requesting that the warning be added if we think it is warranted.
Likewise, under no circumstance should a member reach out to an author directly and confront them about depictions of bigotry (or any other warning) in their work. If there’s an issue or concern, let the Mod team know. That’s one of the things we’re here for.
I’m sure this is going to open the floor to a lot of questions, but we truly are going to rely heavily on the definition we drafted for this tag. Really, just use your best judgment, and if you aren’t sure, ask.
You can find all information regarding rating, category, genre, and warning definitions here.
--Holly and the Mods on July 26, 2023 04:14am 7 Comments
In waiting for the host to get back to us over the most recent outage, the Mods started digging into analytics to pinpoint the source of the disruption. In that, we discovered that EF was being repeatedly hit by the same IP address every few seconds. We took immediate action and banned that IP and service was restored within minutes.
Then we started looking at some of the symptoms of a DDOS/DOS attack, something we have never seriously considered before, and many symptoms do align with the outages we’ve experienced over the last few weeks. So it’s possible that the outages have been deliberate rather than just your enthusiasm for the event (which would both make more sense and less sense).
More sense: Not the members’ fault. Drabblemania definitely exceeds even our most optimistic expectations, but EF’s events have always been popular and this has never happened before.
Less sense: We have no idea why we would’ve been targeted for such an attack. Even with some similarities, this isn’t on the same scale as what was happening to AO3. For one thing, no one has claimed responsibility. For another, it looks less like a DDOS attack (which is what AO3 went through, with multiple actors working in tandem to overload the server) and more like a DOS attack (with a single actor working to overload the server).
Anyway, I’d like to believe it’s random (despite it happening multiple times now) and that it’ll now stop entirely, but we don’t know. In the interim, thank you for your patience and understanding. Should this happen again, we’ll at least know immediately where to look and what actions to take without waiting on the host.
--Holly and the Mods on July 19, 2023 11:26am 10 Comments
UPDATE: This issue appears to be resolved. Let the Mods know if you still experience trouble logging in, staying logged in, or accessing certain fics.
Today has been a mixed technical bag for the archive, and while most systems seem to be normal at the moment, there is one thing we’re still working on. And that is the rather inexplicable error that redirects users reading NC-17 material back to the first chapter rather than the subsequent one.
All users experiencing this issue: please note that you can bypass the pop-up entirely by editing your site preferences and confirming at the bottom of the page that you are old enough to read NC-17 material. Those pop-ups will go away forever.
In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and understanding. We’d also like to remind you to please send technical questions to firstname.lastname@example.org as you encounter them. The Shoutbox can move quickly and isn’t the most reliable place for technical questions. Likewise, fic comments are not an appropriate place to report these issues and will be deleted.
--Holly and the Mods on July 10, 2023 02:16pm 3 Comments
When writing out the rules for our Drabblemania event, I asked participants to label which drabble related to which prompt in their chapter notes. This is so that the Mod Team can see which prompts have been ticked off at a glance, from the table of contents page. But what I totally forgot about was the fact that EF has both a 'chapter notes' and a 'chapter end notes' section.
So, to clarify, I meant the first one.
Also, I want to reiterate: one prompt per drabble, and one drabble per chapter!
--EllieRose101 and The Mods on July 08, 2023 03:40am 4 Comments
Hey, gang! The Mod Team is so thrilled at how enthusiastic you’ve already responded to the prompts. You’ve come up with ideas and questions beyond what we could have imagined, and we want to answer a few of those questions here.
The main thing we need to clarify is the prompts themselves:
There was a little debate about this (and individual Mods may have given differing answers at different times, so apologies) but we all came together to agree that it’s the spirit of a prompt that matters, more so than semantics and technicalities.
What this boils down to is, if a prompt sparks your imagination, we’re now allowing more wiggle room on being liberal in execution.
Example: The Faith and Oz squares were intended as character prompts, BUT if you instead want to go for the other definition of faith and have a character exploring a belief structure? That works. If you want to send your characters to the Land of Oz rather than throw in a randomly appearing Daniel Osbourne? That’s fine too!
And if you do decide to go for the character definition, said character does not technically need to be in the drabble, so long as they are intrinsic to it. In other words, someone could be dreaming about that character, or recalling a memory of them. If someone is just talking about them, it needs to be a smidgen more than a two-second reference. Make the mention of them significant.
What exactly does it mean to be intrinsic or significant? If you were to take out your reference to the character, and the rest of the drabble no longer makes sense, congrats, you’ve made that character significant enough to be intrinsic to the fic working!
For the diary prompt, you could write a diary entry. It does not need to include the word diary.
In the case of the prompt about Buffy complimenting “Spike’s blue shirt,” you could take this as a reference to the blue shirt he wore that one time in Season Seven, or you could have him wear a blue shirt––any blue shirt––at any time or place, and have Buffy compliment it to count.
For the prompts that consist of a dialogue line, there is now also some wiggle room. E.g. you could have “Oh, bugger,” said Buffy. Or “Oh,” said Buffy. “Bugger!”
Your fic does not need to be marked as complete by the end of the event (on July 31st). Whatever award you get will depend on whichever level (bronze, silver, or gold) you’d hit by that deadline, but you are free to carry on posting after the event end.
If you're writing a story that has multiple parts/chapters, it needs to follow site rules regarding Spuffy prominence––i.e. it doesn't need to be in each individual chapter, just the fic overall. But if each drabble is self-contained, they must individually follow the Spuffy prominence rule.
If you want your drabbles to form a narrative, and you’ve picked out five prompts to go for silver, but need to add more chapters to make everything work, you can include “filler drabbles” that follow your own, self-selected prompts, in between drabbles that match event prompts. Just clearly label which is which!
Similarly, when using Wild Card prompts, please label them as such.
Are your drabbles self-contained and not part of a narrative, but you want to post them as “chapters” of a single fic anyway? That’s fine. (Doing so actually makes it easier for us to track, as a Mod Team.)
A couple of people have asked if you can share copies of the drabble board literally showing which squares you’ve ticked off, and yes, you can. Either do this in your story notes or include the screenshot as part of your banner––but do not make it your entire banner, and keep to the recommended banner dimensions.
That’s all of the questions we can think to answer right now, but if (when) you have more, we’ll likely come back and update this post.
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on July 01, 2023 01:48pm 12 Comments
Here they are! What you’ve all been waiting for! Prompt Board One:
You can click any of the captions above to see larger versions of the images that you can zoom in on, and if you’d find a written list easier to look at/deal with, for any reason, you can find one here
Edited to Add: We've had lots of questions, which we've now answered in a follow-up post linked here.
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on June 30, 2023 01:00pm 19 Comments
We know so many of you are excited for our first-ever drabble event, since you voted for it a year ago, so here are some things you’ll need to know. (Or if this is the first time you’re hearing about our drabble event, please see our announcement post here.)
Firstly, I will draw your attention to the gorgeous banner above and the beautiful awards below, all designed by scratchmeout.
The event skin, conveniently titled “Drabblemania,” is now live. You can preview it from the homepage, like so:
To select it as your default skin, (rather than just using it temporarily) visit member preferences, set “Drabblemania” as your default and hit “Submit” at the bottom of the screen.
(Also, big hand to cawthraven who designed her very first site skin; it’s beautiful)
Awards, Drabbles, and Awards for Drabbles
As promised, there are Bronze, Silver, and Gold participant awards alongside our standard Beta, Commenter, and Artist achievements.
To win the bronze award, you must complete a single prompt––any prompt––from the official event boards, and post your work to the site during the month of July, ticking the box to indicate it’s part of the event. (More on this in a minute.)
EF defines a drabble as a work of 1,000 words or under. If you’re submitting artwork with no words, obviously don’t worry about this. If you’re submitting something with both words and pictures, the word cap applies.
Minimum word count: 50 words. (Because if a prompt is, for example, “Spuffy get ice cream” you will need to do a little bit more than writing, “Spike and Buffy went for ice cream,” to qualify.)
And yes, we know that sometimes the site word count will not exactly match that of Microsoft Word and/or Google Docs, so there will be a little wiggle room to account for this.
To win silver, cross off five prompts from a single board in a line, going any direction i.e. horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. If your line goes through the ‘wild card’ square (previously called ‘free space’), you can write a drabble on a prompt of your choice or use another prompt from any of the boards to count for that square.
The three prompt boards will go live at midnight on 1st July, site time (currently GMT). You can always check what the site time is under the Shoutbox on EF’s homepage.
To get a gold award, you must cross off all of the twenty-five prompts on a single board. Completing twenty-five prompts across all three boards is cool, and totally allowed if that’s where your muse takes you, but it won’t equal gold.
On that note: this is supposed to be fun, so if you get inspired to write three drabbles or thirty-three, go for it. If the added challenge of trying to hit award targets reminds you too much of assignments and stresses you out, just ignore that part and enjoy whatever shinies you get when the time comes.
You can post any time from 0:00 on July 1st to 23:59 on July 31st, during which a tick box will appear on the ‘add a new work’ page, as demonstrated in the screenshot below:
Note: if you’re submitting an artwork-only piece that is also for the event, just click the event box and not the artwork box. The way the site is set up, you can only have one ticked. If you’ve accidentally ticked the wrong one and need the Mod Team to change it, reach out and we can do that for you.
Works that are part of the event will all appear together on the page linked here, and they will also get a little quill icon appearing beside the title, as shown in the example here:
Also, we have gotten a few questions about whether event-specific content can be posted in other spaces over the duration of the event. At Elysian Fields, the answer is always YES. It's your work and your decision about what you want to do with it. You will not be penalized for sharing far and wide.
Finally, for the sake of the Mods issuing awards, please state which prompt you’re answering in your chapter notes. And please, please, please credit your betas and/or banner artists in your story notes so they get credit for the event.
If you have any questions, let us know!
Edited to Add: For previous events, you had to write fifteen comments of at least fifteen words each to win the commenter award, but for this event––because the focus is on having smaller things in greater amounts––the requirement is twenty-five comments of at least five words.
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on June 27, 2023 06:21am 6 Comments
Over the past year, many of you have asked about site donations, which we ceased taking at the start of 2022. There were several reasons for this, primarily the changing tax code in the United States and then, in March, the departure of the Mod who had previously overseen EF’s finances. Getting things untangled took time, but we’re pleased to announce that, as of today, anyone who wishes to contribute to the site is once again able to do so.
As always, donations to Elysian Fields are enormously appreciated but will never be expected or solicited. The site is in good financial condition even after 18 months of suspended donations. That said, the Mods did promise to let the membership know when donations could resume, and that time is now. Currently just through PayPal and Venmo, but we will be exploring additional options over the coming months.
Please let us know if you have any questions!
--Holly and the Mods on June 10, 2023 05:24am 3 Comments
What’s five-by-five and lots of fun? That’s right, our next event!
Way back at the end of July last year, when we were wrapping up Mystery Month 2022, we asked you all to vote on whether to keep Mystery Month as an annual thing or switch it out for a drabble event. What the majority of you did instead was pick a third option, in which we’d alternate between a drabble event and Mystery Month each year.
So, Mystery Month will be returning for July 2024, but for July 2023 we are so excited to bring Drabblemania to life! We’ve workshopped the specifics a little since the first announcement, and can now reveal the plan as such:
The Mod team is going to take unused story prompts that the membership submitted for Mystery Month last year, and create three prompt boards. Imagine Bingo boards with five squares across the top and five down, making twenty-five squares in total (where the middle one is a free space).
To take part, you must write a fic (or create some Spuffy fan art) based on at least one of the prompts. Drabbles are usually defined as stories of 100 words or less, but here at Elysian Fields, they need to be under 1,000 words to qualify.
If you write one drabble, you get a bronze award. If you’re able to mark off a line of five prompts (in any direction), you get a silver award, and if you’re able to blackout an entire prompt board, you win gold. We’re not planning a platinum award for completing all three prompt boards, but if someone actually manages to do it, we’ll make sure you get the recognition you deserve.
Drabbles can be entirely self-contained, or interconnected. As such, you can post the drabbles written for this event as one shots or as a multi-chaptered fic, so long as those “chapters” are individual drabbles that are under the 1,000 word limit.
There will of course also be awards for commenters, artists, and betas.
Any questions, let us know!
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on June 05, 2023 04:13am 9 Comments
As we must from time to time, we have expanded the list of warnings to include Gun Violence. Firearms in Buffyverse are seldom used. Add to the fact that there has been an alarming increase in shootings and other gun-related incidents, particularly in the US, we thought it appropriate to add this so readers can continue to curate the experience they wish based on all available information.
This warning comes with the following definition: contains depictions of firearms being aimed and fired at individuals, often (but not always) resulting in injury or death
Authors are encouraged to update past works as needed to accommodate this warning, especially if it applies to a story still in progress. All future works for which this warning is applicable must be tagged with the warning with no exceptions.
As a reminder to the membership, the warning tags are the only tags that must be included with each story, and all warnings must be added at the time of first posting OR as soon as the author knows their story will contain applicable content. As our warning list is never considered finished, it's highly likely there are stories on the archive that were posted before certain warnings were added to the existing list. Members are always encouraged to reach out to us if they stumble across older stories that need warnings they don't currently have. The Mods will review and add applicable warnings as needed.
--Holly and the Mods on June 04, 2023 08:36am 2 Comments
We have been working on a number of site updates and improvements behind the scenes, but the one I’m most excited about is that when you download an ePub of a story that has images in it, the images are now included in the ePub. This means you can download artwork submissions, comics, and mixed media stories and not lose any of the gorgeous images our artists create and share with us. For authors/artists, please note that art must be in the body of the chapter; anything in the summary, story notes, chapter notes, or end notes will not be pulled into the file.
To ensure ePubs with images work correctly, we also added a default cover image that will be included with each ePub download. HappyWhenItRains was kind enough to create a cover for us that we hope you will enjoy as much as we do! Here is a preview.
In the future, we’re hoping to incorporate the ability to add your own cover image to your story, so watch out for more improvements! Please let us know if you’re having any issues with downloading ePubs at email@example.com
Also, we do have a known issue that we are working on resolving related to certain characters that our site considers to be “special characters,” though some of them seem bog-standard to us. Until we are able to implement a fix, if your story title, summary, or chapter titles include these special characters, then ePub files may not open after a reader downloads them. The main culprits seem to be “smart quotation marks”, which are when Word or Google Docs see you typed a single or double quotation mark and make it curl in toward the words. We are attempting to write code that will automate this, but in the meantime, you will need to either re-type the quotation mark in the field (on desktop) or copy/paste in a straight single or double quotation mark from elsewhere (on mobile). As I mentioned, we are working to correct this but do not yet have an estimate on when the fix will be available. If you download an ePub and it won’t open (especially if you get an error message about a formatting issue), please reach out to the mods and we can work with the author or make the edit ourselves. We are also available to help authors troubleshoot their own fics should they need help.
--cawthraven and the Mods on May 26, 2023 11:50am 12 Comments
It’s possible that you might have already noticed some site improvements that have been made over the past couple of months. If you haven’t, don’t worry—we haven’t formally announced them, though we are compiling a list to be shared at a later date. The only reason I’m mentioning it here is that these improvements were largely aided by cawthraven, working directly with me and DarkVoid116 (mostly Dark, if I’m being completely honest) to iron out kinks, improve functionality, and just overall enhance the EF experience.
In fact, cawthraven has been so instrumental in helping us improve the site that we all, independent of one another, started thinking the same thing. When we eventually shared our thoughts with each other and realized we were riding identical wavelengths, well, the only logical step was to see if cawthraven was interested.
We’re delighted to announce that the amazing cawthraven has joined the Elysian Fields Administrative Team. In addition to general Mod responsibilities, cawthraven will be assisting Kathleen (pfeifferpack) with story validation, monitoring stories in general, and providing any updates to tags. She’ll also be around on the EF Discord keeping an eye on things with DarkVoid116, EllieRose101, and myself. She will also continue to help with back-end stuff, which is great news for everyone because the overall site operations are now a shared venture. Essentially, should one of us be hit by a bus, that person will have time to recover knowing that others can help keep the site running.
Seriously, guys, she’s already done so much and given so much time to EF, it’s crazy it took the rest of us this long to add her to the team.
Many of you may already know cawthraven, but for anyone stumbling across the site just today and wondering what all the fuss is about, here she is in her own words:
"I’m Christine but you probably know me as Stiney or maybe as "oh no it's the one with all the puns and cat gifs again." I had given up on the show after S1 when it was airing because it was so different from the movie, but thankfully a friend insisted I had to watch more of it. She showed me Once More With Feelings when I was in my 20s so that I would watch it (and so I'd be a Spuffy fan, she was smart and had good taste!) Anyway I did watch and was of course a Spuffy fan. But it wasn't until I rewatched in the pandemic that I became consumed with the need for Justice for Spuffy. I started mainlining fic in April 2021 and haven't stopped since. And then I wrote "just one" fic in February of 2022. 15 months later...I haven't stopped. I'll read most anything Spuffy but my favorites are HEA because I want them to get the happy ending they were robbed of in canon. I live in Boston where I stare out the window at Other People's Dogs and wish my lease allowed dogs, and also work in edtech from my couch."
Please join us in welcoming cawthraven to the team!
--Holly and the Mods on May 11, 2023 05:59am 23 Comments
Folks, we did it again!
April Challenge Month is over for another year, and I’m pleased to say y’all brought your A-game.
During the event, the site saw the addition of 56 challenge fics, made up of 140 chapters, consisting of 384,594 words, and written by 48 authors.
28 artists and 28 betas got an award, while 54 members completed the commenter challenge, with 1,591 comments left on event stories during April, not to mention 2,679 likes!
Many thanks to everyone who took part, as always.
All awards are now issued, but if you seem to be missing one, or anything else seems not quite right, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have yet to check out any of the brand new challenge fics, you can FIND THEM ALL HERE.
Until next time, happy reading!
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on May 06, 2023 10:18am 4 Comments
Well, folks, Elysian Fields’ first ever ‘Finishing Months’ event has ended, and we are pleased to say that many of you stepped up to the challenge.
Specifically, twenty-one of our members earned a commenter award, nine members earned a bronze award, and three earned silver. (Note: silver award winners have had both bronze and silver shinies added to their profiles.)
In total, fifteen longstanding works-in-progress got marked as complete, the oldest dating back to January 2007!
For my fellow stat nerds out there, and to be even more specific, what the above boils down to is a total of 83 new chapters, containing 235,982 words, which received 812 comments and 1,757 likes combined.
Members left a total of 3,590 comments (containing at least 15 words) across not just those stories, but all eligible works, 2,454 of which were left by the aforementioned commenters who earned the award.
The Mod Team would like to thank everyone who took part. Writers, artists, and commenters, we hope you feel accomplished, and readers, we hope you have found satisfaction in newly completed stories.
As we’ve stated previously, we will not be running this event again in 2024, but if you would like to see it possibly return in 2025 or beyond, please let us know!
--EllieRose101 and the Mods on April 03, 2023 11:12am 5 Comments
We have changed the event icon set for April Challenge Month from a puzzle piece to an umbrella, following member feedback. To the Mods’ collective embarrassment, we overlooked the unfortunate fact that puzzle pieces have a historically problematic relationship/association with autism.
As administrators of the site, we are committed to ensuring that our space here is safe and welcoming to all individuals. Discomfort of any kind should not be a part of the EF experience. We are very grateful to the member who stepped forward as well as the members who seconded these concerns for helping us correct our oversight.
Your April Challenge Event fics will be marked with this icon:
And a reminder to authors and artists: Please make sure that ‘Written for the Elysian Fields April Challenge’ is on your fic banner! This was added to our news post in an edit earlier this week but not included in the original publication.
--Holly and the Mods on April 01, 2023 10:45am 1 Comments