Tuesday Serial Contributor Guidelines

#TuesdaySerial is a weekly event aimed at collecting and promoting ongoing serial stories.  It is hosted here at “TuesdaySerial” by PJ Kaiser over at “Inspired by Real Life“,  Tony Noland over at “Landless” and Larry Kollar over at “Tales from FAR Manor.”  It provides readers of serials a handy place, every Tuesday, to find the latest installments of serials they follow and discover new serials to read.

Logistics:

  • Set up a column in your Twitter client for the hashtag #TuesdaySerial so you can watch conversations and tweets.
  • Write and post an installment of your serial.  Note the specific guidelines outlined below and note also that your installment does NOT have to be posted on your blog on Tuesday.  It can be posted on any day of the week.  Your opportunity to promote your post with us comes on Tuesday.
  • Each Tuesday for 24 hours (starting at 12am EST), writers of serials can stop by and add their links to the Collector.   The writer will fill out some key information like their name, the title of the serial installment and the URL (see specific instructions on the Collector page).  Links will appear immediately on the list, but all links are subject to review.  We will attempt to contact the writer if there is a problem with a link. Spam links will be deleted.
  • You’re encouraged to tweet your story with the #TuesdaySerial hashtag and read and retweet other writers’ stories as you like.  Be sure to leave comments on those stories that you read – writers love to receive feedback!
  • After the collector closes for the week, the Tuesday Serial Report will be posted on this site (generally on Thursday, but sometimes on Wednesday or Friday) with the final list of all of the week’s episodes.

Guidelines:

  • Serial installments should generally be 1000 words or less, but don’t worry if it’s slightly over.  This is not meant to be a strict ceiling, but you will find that readers are more apt to read your stories if you stay in this range.
  • Any genre of fiction or narrative nonfiction is welcome with the exception of explicit erotica or gratuitous graphic violence.
  • Your serial installments should be set up on your blog so that it’s easy to find previous installments.  This is particularly important for attracting new readers to a serial that’s already in progress.  We recommending having a page on your blog that lists each episode with links.  It is also a good idea to have links within each episode to navigate to the previous and next installments.
  • You don’t have to post every week.  This is an informal community and you are welcome to come and go as you please.
  • You are encouraged to polish your work to put your best foot forward with your current and new readers.
  • The information entered into the collector is very basic.  We encourage you to have any additional information that readers would find useful such as your Twitter ID, an overview and/or teaser for your serial story and any other useful information available on your blog.

General tips:

Special thanks to Jon Strother for allowing us to use and adapt the tips that he composed for #fridayflash:

  • When you add your story to the Collector, use a link to the story itself, not to your blog’s front page. The lists will be archived. Direct links to stories ensure people will find what they are looking for. Many people find it annoying to follow a link and end up on a post they were not expecting. We’ve always found it best not to annoy our readers.
  • You do not have to be on Twitter to participate, but you do need a blog. Adding your story to the Collector will get you listed. Still, you may want to find a friend who will tweet your link for you.
  • Claim your work. You wrote it. Let the world know it’s yours. Give your story a title and a byline. Use your name (or a good pen name) on the byline. It also doesn’t hurt to add a general copyright notice, either on your blog as a whole, or on each story.
  • Be aware that if you post a story on your blog it may be considered “previously published” by some publishers and therefore of no interest to them. Yes, you may lose a sale if you publish your story to your blog. However, there are non-monetary benefits to participating in #TuesdaySerial. Consider the experience you will gain by writing a serial story. With experience comes skill and confidence. You will also increase exposure of your blog and your writing, and become a member of a terrific community of writers.
  • Also keep in mind that just because it was posted on your blog does not mean it is unsaleable. There are many paying markets that accept previously published works. Just be up front with them when you make your pitch. We recommend Doutrope’s Digest to help locate those enlightened publishers.

FAQ:

  • If I post my serial as a #FridayFlash, can I still post it here? Yes.  You can post your serial to both memes.
  • If I post my serial here, do I have to post it as a #FridayFlash? No.  You are free to post it wherever you like.
  • Can I post to #TuesdaySerial if I promote my serial on other sites or using other hashtags? Yes, you are free to use whatever other mechanisms besides #TuesdaySerial you like.
  • Should I post a link to my latest installment or the first installment of my serial? This is really up to you.  Our suggestion would be to link up your latest installment but once readers click over to your blog, make it easy for readers to find the first installment if they are new to the serial.
  • Can I post links to multiple episodes of my serial? No. Writers are limited to one collector entry per serial. If you have multiple installments in a week, you can choose which one to enter or enter a link to a page on your site that lists all of the week’s episodes.
  • What qualifies as a “serial”? Any sort of web fiction (or creative nonfiction) that has two or more installments.  It could be a serial novel or a short story broken into several episodes.
  • Can I post links to my completed serial? TuesdaySerial was intended for serials in progress so that readers can find fresh writing.  If you want to post links to installments of your completed serial, that’s fine, but we recommend that you begin with the first installment and each week post a link to the subsequent installment.
  • Can I link to the same episode of my serial multiple times? No.  Generally, each episode should be posted only once in the collector.  Exceptions can be made if the episodes have been rewritten and you want to share the new versions with your readers.  Even if your serial has been on a hiatus (or even an extended hiatus), we don’t allow you to link up the same episodes again.  We do advise that you make it easy for readers who may come in to your serial after it’s already started to find the first episode.
  • Do you, Tuesday Serial, have any rights to our work?  What if I sell the rights to my work down the road?  Tuesday Serial does not have any rights whatsoever to your writing.  We do not publish any fiction on our site; we only link to your work.  The writers retain copyright to their material at all times.  If writers subsequently sell the rights to their work and choose to remove their work from their website or blog, please let us know and we will happily remove the links from our “Graduates” or “Hall of Fame” pages.
  • Can I post a teaser for my published serial to the Tuesday Serial Collector? No, Tuesday Serial is not meant for posting free teasers of serials available for purchase.
  • Can I post an entry to the collector for another author? Generally the answer is no. The only people who can post a serial to the collector are the writer, publisher or a marketing person or publicist associated with the writer. This is to ensure that the writer (and their team) ultimately has control over their own serial. If you have any questions about this policy, please let us know.
  • Do I have to enter my name or pen name on my entry? Yes. If you don’t enter it, we will try to track down your name via your blog or Twitter because we want to give you credit for your writing and make sure readers know your name.  If you don’t enter your name, we will try to find it on your website. If we can’t find it, your entry will be deleted. Also be sure to make your twitter username easy to find on your blog.  Readers will want to follow you and we here at TuesdaySerial will want to know how to find you.  Widgets are available for all types of blogs to include your twitter info in your sidebar.  Just ask us if you need help.

Welcome to #TuesdaySerial.  We hope that you find #TuesdaySerial useful and enjoyable whether you are a writer or a reader (or both!)