Sunday, December 30, 2012

HASA News: Challenges

In this week’s news: Birthdays and the January Story Pledge Challenge

Birthday Cards

There is a day to go in the December Birthday Cards, so if you're very quick there's still time! Or perhaps your birthday is in January? In that case you can find the January birthday cards here... Don't forget to put in a request for a drabble!

Not sure what the birthday cards are about? Have a look at some older stories written as birthday cards.

January Story Pledge Challenge

The January Story Pledge Challenge is open! Find out more, enter the Challenge or pledge an amount to donate, and if you do, post to the Forum to tell people about it.

Don't forget: any story that you post at HASA in January and that is in some way linked to The Hobbit can be entered. All we ask is that you don't post it anywhere else until February. Enter the Challenge and help put HASA in the black for 2013.

Here are some suggestions to help you along:

Book-based - backstories, side stories, after-happily-ever-after stories:

  • Belladonna Took – what about those adventures?
  • How did Thráin end up in Dol Guldur?
  • Where does the Trolls' loot come from?
  • Was Legolas at the Battle of the Five Armies?
  • Did Bilbo and Aragorn/Estel meet in Rivendell?
  • How did Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond and Galadriel root Sauron out of Dol Guldur?
  • What did Bard do to re-establish Dale?
  • When did Balin get it into his head to try and refound Khazad-dûm?

Movie-based (SPOILERS!):

  • Write the back-story for a deviation from the book (Azog, the Elves of Mirkwood paying homage to Thrór, why is Thranduil riding a moose, ...)
  • A recipe-fic involving Rhosgobel Rabbit
  • The White Council meeting in Imladris
  • Anything to do with Radagast
  • The tunnel path to Rivendell
  • Stone giants, what makes them tick?
  • Gollum killing the goblin with a rock instead of strangling it


Authors, here are the rules for stories:

  • It must be a new story, never having appeared for the general public on any other web site
  • It must be 500 words or more in length (combining drabbles is fine, length allowances made for poetry)
  • It is posted exclusively to HASA in January while the Challenge runs


Readers, here are the rules for pledging:

  • The pledge is per completed story posted to the Challenge - you can't specify that you'll only donate for an Elf story or one with Gollum in it, for example)
  • A minimum of $1.00 per story
  • No minimum on the total amount you're willing to pledge


The challenge starts January 1, 2013 and runs through January 31.

Thank you for reading at HASA. Have fun!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

HASA How-to December 2012

How do I...

..enter a story in a Challenge?

  1. Go to Open Challenges, and find one you would like to enter.
  2. Just below the description of the Challenge, look for the "Enter this Challenge!" box. If you don't see it, check to see if you are logged in.
  3. In the box you will see a drop-down menu with all of your stories that are eligible to be entered in the Challenge, plus a Challenge Placeholder.
  4. Select the story you want to enter or else the placeholder.
  5. Click "Enter".

You are now entered in a Challenge!

If you have entered a Challenge and have a Placeholder that you want to replace with a real story, this is what to do:

  1. Be sure you are logged in.
  2. Select "My Challenges" from the Challenges main navigation menu.
  3. On the My Challenges page, locate the challenge and the placeholder.
  4. Click "Edit Entry".
  5. The page will refresh and you will see a drop-down menu with all of your eligible stories.
  6. Select the story you want to have in the Challenge.
  7. Click "Edit".
  8. Your entry is updated.

A story may be entered in as many Challenges as are appropriate for it. It may only be entered once in a particular Challenge.

Challenge stories can also be entered for review. In that case all references to the Challenge should be removed before submission as reviewers are asked to judge the story on its own. Authors should bear in mind that some entries which are excellent in the context of a Challenge may not strike readers as a complete story when disassociated from that Challenge.

When your Challenge story is submitted for review, it will temporarily disappear from the Challenge listing until it has received the requisite nine decisions from the reviewers. After the review is complete, you will need to reset the status on the story so it will reappear in the Challenge.

Story Pledge Challenge

Keen an eye out for the Story Pledge Challenge in January…

Have fun writing and reading!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

HASA Reviewed Stories December 2012

Since the previous Bulletin, no new stories passed through review while there are currently 8 stories waiting for review. Make an author's day and review a story!

Member participation is crucial for reviews. The more people are involved in reviewing, the more different opinions are represented. Having more people involved also means that stories pass through review more quickly – which is good for everyone. If you are an active reviewer, why not go and check out a story?

Or, if you are a writer, take the plunge and submit a story for review; and when you do, please remember: Put one in, take one out.

By submitting a story for review, you are asking nine other members to read and evaluate it. So why not do for the other authors who have a story in review what you'd like other reviewers to do for you: check out one of the stories already in review and give it a read.

Becoming a reviewer

If you're not an active reviewer, but think you can spare a bit of time... – even if you just review one or two stories in a month, every review is welcome. If you are logged in, you can sign up here if you've been a member of HASA for thirty days or more.

Daunted by the idea of reviewing? Don't be, reviewing at its simplest comes down to asking yourself: "Would I recommend this story to someone?" Then, whether the answer is 'yes' or 'no', you can make a choice from the capsule reasons to clarify your decision. If you want to, you can add a few more words to convey what you (dis)liked about the story, but just the capsule reason is perfectly fine as well.

And remember: even if you think you're too critical or not critical enough: your review is only one of nine, and all points of view are welcome. Not every reviewer has to review every story and in the end it does all level out to a balanced judgement.


Make an author's day, review a story or post a comment.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Year-end Donation Note

Thanks to everyone’s participation and support this year we know that HASA will start 2013 with a positive balance. That will be a great place to start for the January Story Challenge. (Watch announcements and in forums for updates.)

HASA is in its tenth year of providing ad-free, fee-free JRRT fanfiction that is owned and operated by the fandom, not corporate interests. Your contact information is not for sale to marketeers. There are no tests to take to join, all genres, characters, ratings and story lengths are welcome, and we get hundreds of readers a day.

Our PayPal account has three ways to donate:

  • Monthly subscriptions - set up a monthly recurring donation in amounts from $5 to $25 dollars.
  • Yearly subscriptions - set up a recurring annual donation in amounts from $15 to $50 dollars.
  • "Just because" donations of any amount.

If you're a little short on spare change at the moment, donations of time are always appreciated. There's an archive full of stories just waiting for comments, authors who would dearly love an email complimenting them on their work, challenges that need entries, playlists that need to be created, and forums begging for discussions. If you are a reviewer, check out a story today. If you aren't a reviewer, no better time than now to sign up. If you are an author, please consider donating a new story.

Thanks for enjoying HASA!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

HASA News - Birthdays, Challenges, Stories

HASA news - Birthdays, Challenges, Stories

December birthdays and links to the stories written or updated in November

December Birthdays

Is your birthday in December, and would you like a drabble about your favourite character or topic? You can request it here.

Not sure what the birthday cards are about? Have a look at stories written for previous requests.


Just as Challenges come from Prospective Challenges, Prospective Challenges come from Nuzgûl, and Nuzgûl need attention to grow from tiny ideas into big stories. Step into the Nuzgûl hutch. The bunnies don't bite (much). And who knows what ideas you may come out with?

Story Pledge Challenge

In January we will run another Story Pledge Challenge as a site fundraiser. No details on the theme for now, except that the Challenge will focus on The Hobbit.

A reminder of how the Pledge Challenge works:

Authors write original works, enter them in the Challenge, and promise to not post the stories anywhere except HASA for the month of January. For each story entered, readers pledge to donate a certain dollar amount, anything from $1 per story to however generous they are feeling, to HASA at the end of January. They can put a cap on the total donations they will give so they don't break the bank.  

If you'd like to give a total of $100, you can say "However many stories there are, I will donate $100 and divide that amount evenly," or you can say, "I'll give $1/$5/$10/etc. per story, up to a maximum of $100."

You can even put in very specific pledges, for instance, you can say you'll donate $10 for each story that focuses on Bombur, or very general ones such as giving $100 if there are 10 or more entries in the challenge, or something like that.

We will post more information about the Challenge in the next few weeks. Watch this space... (and the forums...)

The Nuzgûl of the Month!

The December Nuzgûl, Rivendell: Hidden Valley or Bulwark Against Orcs? can be found here, and will run until the end of the month.

Come on over to the Nuzgûl of the Month Workshop and join in the fun. If you've written a story for any of the previous months, don't forget to add it to the Playlist!

November Stories

All writers love feedback. It is the lembas and miruvor that sustains us as we write our story, and leaving a few words about a story you read is always a nice thing to do, whether the story is new or old.

Every fifteen minutes HASA highlights a story chosen at random from the Reviewed and General stories in the archive. Read the currently featured story on our front page.

Many talented writers are publishing every day. In November:

--- 1 Reviewed Story was published or updated.

--- 26 General Stories were published or updated.

--- No Beta Stories were updated.

(Please note, you need to be logged in to view beta stories.)

Thank you for reading at HASA. Enjoy!