Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few frequently asked questions, and some helpful advice regarding using this website and posting submissions. If you have a question not answered here, please contact us and we'll be happy to help.

Account and Submissions

I posted something years back and can no longer access my account

We've been through a transition of a few backends to our website. During the process the database structure has changed considerably, making older versions of the website slightly incompatible with newer ones. Your account still exists, but "legacy" accounts that were imported from older versions of the website were deactivated, as we no longer have a tool to recover your old account as we did on the last version of this website. Contact support with your details and links to submissions that are yours and we'll get you access to your account.

How do I delete my submission?

There's 2 possible scenarios here.

The first is that you've posted submissions but no longer have access to your account. We can do one of 2 things for you here. If you wish to retain your account to post new submissions in the future, we can organize access to your account as outlined above. Or, if you no longer wish to use your account here, contact support and we'll delete your account, and all submissions associated with it, at the same time.

The second is if you have access to your account, you can login to your member's area. Navigate to "My Submissions" and click the trash can icon next to the submission(s) you wish to delete. This will remove them immediately from the website.

Note: this site is heavily indexed by Google and other search engines. Your submissions may still appear in search results for a period of time after they have been deleted. There's nothing we can actively do to remove these results, but they will drop off Google's search results in due course. The length of time is undetemined for this unfortunately.

I'm concerned about copyright for my work. Where do I stand?

We understand that intellectual property is important, especially in the writing world. That's why we do not claim ownership or copyright to any of your submissions. Everything submitted on this website remains in the ownership and copyright of the author that posted it. We do not put lengthy delays or restrictions on what you can post or delete. Everything is at your control within your member's area.

Someone posted one of my pieces on the website, the author it's linked to is not me!

We take copyright claims very seriously. If someone has stolen your work and posted it on this website as theirs, please contact support and we'll get the issue resolved as soon as we can. We'll obviously need to verify that the claim is genuine, that you are not the person that submitted the infringing piece onto the website, and that ownership of the piece in question can be linked back to you elsewhere, then we will act accordingly and remove the infringing piece from the website. We may also suspend the posting user's account at our discretion.

Using the website

Where do I leave a comment?

At the bottom of each submission is a comment widget powered by Disqus. You can leave a comment anonymously, sign in with your Disqus account, or (and this is the preferred method) sign in to Short-Story.Net. If you are already signed into your Short-Story.Net account, you will be automatically logged into Disqus so all comments that you make will get displayed under your profile. If you aren't signed in, but are signed into your own Disqus account (or commenting anonymously), then your comment will only show in 2 places - the story itself, in the same widget you're posting in, and in the author's "Received comments" section within their profile. If you're signed into Short-Story.Net, then your comment will also be shown in your "Reviews" tab in your profile.

What is a favourite?

The Favourites part of the website serves as each individual member's own library of content. Much as you like a book so you go to the bookstore, buy it and take it home, this serves a similar purpose - allowing you to essentially bookmark the submissions that you really like on the website. However, we can go further than a bookstore can! If you bookmark an author or a genre, we can (subject to your profile's notification settings) send you an email whenever something new is posted by any of your favourite authors or genres. This happens within minutes of the submission being made live, so you can get to be one of the first to read it!

Adding an individual submission as a favourite serves a different purpose. It supports the author by telling them that you truly loved to read. This statistic shows up in their list of submissions, and on the submission itself, right next to a little heart symbol. Authors are unable to see a list of who favourited their work, but each member of this website gets to show off the pieces they thought were truly amazing - a little show of support for all of our fantastic authors on Short-Story.Net.

Member's Area

Why do my own comments appear under "My received comments"?

This website doesn't actually use its own commenting engine, but one provided by Disqus instead. Disqus is a very powerful comment-enabler tool for publishers and websites such as this, as they handle most of the work for us, leaving us with more time to make this website better for all our readers and writers. Disqus has its own userbase, and it's possible to login to the Disqus widget on our website using a "general" account that you may have and use on other websites. We do offer the ability to login to Disqus using your Short-Story.Net account, and this is the preferred way of commenting on this website. However, if you choose to sign in using your own Disqus account (that is, one that's not associated or connected to Short-Story.Net in any way) then we have no way to connect your comments to your profile in the same way we can if you used your Short-Story.Net account instead. While we will not prevent you from using your own Disqus account, you will notice a few little "quirks" here and there due to our inability to connect your Disqus account to your Short-Story.Net account.

How do I edit my bio?

Click on your name in the navigation bar at the top of the site, and click "Profile". Then click in the box where your biography is displayed. It will turn into a text box where you can write as much or as little as you wish. Click anywhere else on the page to save your changes. Your biography is updated immediately.

Why can't I change my username?

Technically, you can. However we disallow our members from doing this themselves for SEO reasons. We still want you to be found, so if you wish to change your username (the part that appears in the URL for your profile), contact us to let us know what you wish to change it to, and we'll be happy to help. We'll also install a redirect from your old username to your new one so you can still be found via old links on Google, until they refresh their indexes and grab the new one.


Who's behind this website?

Let me introduce myself. My name is Dan, and I build websites, including this one. I've been building and maintaining this site since 2004, and it's still one of my favourite pet projects.

I love this website! How can I help?

You can support the ongoing development and hosting of Short-Story.Net by donating to us. This website is a product of one guy's free time tinkering with web technologies and bringing you the best website possible for authors to showcase their work to the world. If you have any ideas on how I can make this site better, let me know! Much like our authors, I also love comments and feedback. And if you've got a great idea that I ultimately build, I'll find somewhere to credit you personally!

We're also looking for volunteers to help with promoting the website on social media, email newsletters to our subscribers (eventually) and maybe a few other odds and ends. If you're interested, get in touch!

What powers the site?

This site is written in Python and powered by the very powerful Django framework. Django was originally built for a newspaper publisher, the Lawrence Journal-World from Lawrence, Kansas in 2005. Since then, it's become a very popular system used by hundreds of thousands of websites around the globe. Notably Disqus (our commenting widget), Instagram, PBS, The Washington Times, and many others. It's hosted by DigitalOcean, in one of their New York datacenters.