Friday, June 15, 2007

Playlists Are Public!

Reading stories is fun. Sharing favorite stories is even more fun. Until today, it was not easy for HASA readers to share their favorite stories with other readers. Playlists are HASA's answer to the question "Read anything good lately?"

What's a Playlist?

A playlist is set of stories someone has put together in order to share with other readers. They take their basic concept from music playlists that you can put together and share with other listeners. Playlists are pretty simple, really. They have a title and a short explanation of why the list owner put it together. After that, there are one or more stories on the list, each with a short statement of why it was included on the list. Once a list of stories has been created, the list owner can set the stories in order.

How Do I Use a Playlist?

That will depend on whether you are a list reader or a list owner.

  • List Reader - Just go to playlists, and read over the list until you see a collection that interests you. If you are a member and logged in to the site, you can save your favorite lists in your own Playlist collection. It is a great way to quickly build a library of favorite stories! Even if you are not a HASA member, playlists are available for the general public to use.
  • List Owner -
    • If you are a reader, you can collect your favorite stories in one place and tell people why you think they are so great. Give some visibility to your favorite writers!
    • If you are an author with sets of stories (perhaps you are writing a story cycle), you can put all of your related stories into a single list and then put them in chronological order. Your readers will love you for it!
    • If you co-write stories and series with other authors, you can create a joint list. Set up a Workshop, add your stories to the Workshop, and then create a workshop playlist from them. Instant story collections!

You can have as many playlists as you like, and store as many lists in your collection as you wish. You can set up a list beforehand in My Stuff/Playlists and then add stories as you read, or you can create lists on the fly. It's all up to you!

The most recently updated lists automatically appear on the HASA home apge, so be sure to take a look and see what other people are reading. Create a list today and give other HASA visitors something good to read over the weekend.

Happy Reading!

Site Updates

Over the last week, a number of changes have been uploaded to HASA, some obvious, some under the hood.

Simplifying the site

The biggest changes from a support perspective is that the site continues to be flattened out and its directory structure simplified. Two sections of the old Members area have been migrated up to the general public level - Stories and Playlists.

In the case of Stories, this simply consolidates what had become two identical sets of pages. The public level story pages have had a complete code overhaul over the last year and are in great shape for browsing. The old Members area pages have been replaced with redirects so that old links to those pages will automatically go to the correct new pages.

For Playlists, this section was languishing in obscurity in the old Members area. It was difficult to get to, not very well promoted, and not serving its chief purpose - to bring collections of stories to the attention of readers. They have had a complete code overhaul to get it in good shape and are now part of the public level. As with Stories, redirects are in place to catch any lingering links.

New features!

Playlists are a new feature for the site. There will be a more in depth new article on them shortly, but the quick explanation is that they are like song playlists you might put together on your iPod or MP3 player, keeping all your favorites in one place and in a certain order. Best of all, others can see your lists and add them to their playlist collection. There are pods for your My Stuff page to go with the playlists.

These are all of the changes in store for the summer. Several other projects are underway and due to launch after the Labor Day holiday.

Happy Reading!

Friday, June 1, 2007

June 2007 Challenge Bulletin

NOTE: Please be sure you are logged in when clicking on the links.


Post your request at the Birthday Cards Forum

June 5 - T'iana Luthien: I just finished reading the Children of Hurin and would like a drabble about a moment between Turin and Finduilas, be sad, happy, whatever. I could also go with some Galadriel/Celeborn or Eowyn/Faramir.

Also, don't forget to create a story for the birthday card workshop. This serves the same purpose as the old HAWriters story and lets others put drabbles they write in an easily accessible location. Enter this story in the challenge for JUNE birthday drabbles, so we have all of these in one place. (There are instructions on how to do all this at the top of each thread in the Birthday Cards Forum; if you need help just ask the Workshop Manager, Gwynnyd.) Any questions, contact Gandalfs Apprentice at:


If you aren't at your usual computer, you can send GA an email through HASA, too.

New Challenges

No new challenges yet for this month. Make a suggestion about something that interests you or a question to ponder. Encourage five people to want to write a story. You have created a new challenge.

Open Challenges

Four for the farthings in the Shire (North, South, East, West)

  1. Mortality
    Closes 21 June 07
    Lúthien, Elros and Arwen all decided to become mortal. In what way would their life be changed? How would this change affect the body and mind? Would Beren and Aragorn feel guilty?

  2. Seven Deadly Sins
    Closes July 10 2007
    Write seven pieces of fiction, one for each of the Seven Deadly Sins
    • Envy
    • Wrath
    • Lust
    • Sloth
    • Gluttony
    • Pride
    • Greed
    Pick 1-3 characters or pairings of your choice, and include the same characters in all seven pieces.

  3. When Brothers Are Not So Close
    Closes September 1, 2007
    There are four options:
    1. Write the brothers as cool or distant
    2. An argument that needs to be resolved
    3. An AU with an outside force separating the brothers and how it might effect canon
    4. Explore the relationship outside of canon.
    You could include cousins or other people who share a brotherly bond.

  4. New Members 2006 - 2007
    Closes October 29, 2007
    This is a challenge for new members. By definition, a new member is any member who has been a member for fewer than four months or who, at the time of reading this, has written three (3) or fewer Tolkien fanfics.
    Choose one of the following - there are choices from any Age, from "The Hobbit," from "Lord of the Rings," from "The Silmarillion", from "Unfinished Tales", and three choices from the Peter Jackson "Lord of the Rings" - movies.

Keep a New Year's Resolution

HASA Challenges Team