Below are a series of questions which outline the minimum requirements to be featured in the Literary Compass, as well as some general questions about the series:
I thought long and hard when deciding what criteria I would need for the series. Simply put, there are a lot of people who are "working on a novel", but never get far into or or it ends up in a "work-in-progress" stage forever. To help filter through, I established these minimum requirements:
Literature - Your series must be primarily literature based. There are many works which now incorporate different mediums such as lit, art, comics, music, etc. to create a rounded entertainment experience. For this article, the featured author/series must have a strong literary focus. We do not accept web-comics or other primarily visual-art works.
deviantART Hub - The author and/or work must have a deviantART base. This part is vital. Many fiction series simply have offline sites and just link to it from dA. That's well and good, but this is a dA article and many people don't want to click off-site to read, and I respect that. So, the work must have parts published on deviantART. This can be through the author's page or though a dA group. You do not need a dedicated group to qualify for a feature.
Excerpts or Other Writer Works - Again, some people want to force readers to go to their site to read. I think readers should have the option of getting a first-taste here and then deciding. Even for formally published and/or commercial works, excerpts should be available through deviantART. Other writings such as short stories, poems, or scripts are also acceptable. Basically, you should have at least 3 lit pieces available for reading which can be featured through thumbs in the article.
Art - Whether we like it or not as writers, the main allure of this site is the visual art. People are drawn-in by pictures. It makes the article look prettier and gives the reader a rounded look at the literary world. So, I felt it was important to have that inclusion in some form. Note that art may be in the form of commissions, your own art, or gift art--but it must be owned by you or you have permission to use it. Art should be uploaded to dA so that it can be featured through thumbs (not simply hosted off-site). Amateur quality work is fine. Hand-drawn art, sketches, photo-manips, etc. are perfectly okay, as long as it portrays the series. On the other hand, a couple of poorly-done scribbles just to qualify for the article will not be acceptable.
Cover Image The author should have a cover image, as if it were a book. Of course, if you have an actual cover, that's great. If not, a nicely done text cover is sufficient. Here is an example of a cover created exclusively using a dA background resource and font: here
Most of my stuff is on my own website. Can I upload some stuff to dA just to be featured?
You may upload work to the site to be considered for a feature. That said, I will be less inclined to pick a work that has 1-2 pieces here on da and 99% of their other content off-site. You do not have to host a huge amount of your work on deviantART, but I feel it's important to have a large enough sampling so that readers can make up their mind if they want to go off-site to continue reading and/or purchase the work.
Will you feature published works?
Yes. Published and non-published works will both be considered and featured through the series. Granted, I will lean towards lesser-known works to help give authors the exposure, but I am not adverse to showcasing more well-known novels, etc. Published works must still follow the above-guidelines with respect to excerpts, art, and the like.
I am looking to formally publish my novel and don't want to post my work on deviantART to limit my chances of having a publisher pick-up my book. Will you still feature me?
This has been a question and concern of many authors. Simply put, you must have something available on dA in order to qualify. Most publishers will allow excerpts or example chapters. An excerpt should include enough to get an idea of the story and your writing style (merely a couple of sentences or a single paragraph is insufficient). It is acceptable to have your deviation set for "members-only," which means only logged-in members of deviantART can view; that is often considered acceptable restriction for many publishers.
I don't have a website, only a dA page. Can I still be featured?
Yes, as long as you meet the above requirements.
Do I need to have a deviantaART group dedicated to my novel/series?
No. You may showcase your works exclusively through your dA account.
Will you feature a foreign-language work?
Initially, I wanted to keep the article series English-based, but since there are so many wonderful works here on dA from non-English speaking writers, I have decided to allow foreign language pieces. However, authors must have 2 pieces (according to the guidelines above) which have been translated into English. The third excerpt may be of the native language. This is to assure that the majority of readers get some exposure to the story. Also note that translations must be formal--it's not enough to simply run a chapter through Google translate. However, we do not expect perfection, so if the formal translation is a little choppy, that's fine.
I have a series, but I don't have a lot of formal chapters, just scenes, short stories, poems, art and other pieces. Will you consider me for a feature?
Possibly. It will depend if the author/work has a substantial amount of content and a fan-base. There are many works on the site where the author is still in the planning stages, but has numerous excerpts available, as well as art and story information. These works are clearly establish, usually having groups and a large following. However, since we want to make sure to showcase works with the most potential to actually come to fruition, we will make a final determination on a case-by-case basis. Having a group with 200 followers may be significant, but if you haven't posted something new in 6-months, then you most likely wouldn't be considered. However, if you are regularly posting new excerpts, art, and have a smaller following, you would probably be a good candidate.
I have works that are considered "mid-length." They aren't quite short stories, but not as long as a novel. Will you consider me?
This has been a frequent question and request. Our primary goal is to feature long-form and serialized works. However, we understand and appreciate that longer-than-normal works can also use some love. We are planning periodic feature articles that will showcase 3-4 works of mid-length. If you are interested, please send a note for more details.
How does one get considered for a feature?
We encourage community member to recommend authors, novels, and series that they feel fit the above-criteria. You can send a Note to the group or mirz-alt for consideration. Self-suggestions are also taken and there will be no penalty if an author wants to have their own work featured. Again, this article-series is to help long-form fiction writers get their works seen.
How does the whole process work?
A work is suggested and reviewed. If accepted as a candidate for a feature, inquiry notes will be sent. The whole article process will be conducted through a Stash interview in order to utilize thumbs and to allow comments viewed through your message center. Sorry, no email.
I didn't ask to be featured, but I got a note saying someone recommended me. Now what?
Read over the guidelines for the article above and see if you are interested. If you would like to be featured, write back and say so. Keep in mind that there are many authors who would like to be featured, so it's important that you respond in a timely manner. One follow-up Note will be sent. After that, we will remove you from the "to be considered" list.
I have an adult-themed work? Can it be featured in the Compass?
As the series is still in its infancy, I am focusing on works that are "PG-13" in nature. However, as time goes on and the series becomes more established, I will consider mature and adult-natured pieces, with the strict criteria that they do not violate any of the dA terms for mature works.
As a writer of long-form fiction, I found it challenging and frustrating to be seen on deviantART. The nature of the site is more accommodating to short stories, poetry, and micro-fiction. It can be very difficult for a novelist to have their works featured and seen. I wanted to provide a showcase for works that were chapter-based and/or serialized, and I felt an article-series would do that best.
How often is the series published?
Currently, we are running on a once-every-three-week publish schedule.
I love the journal skin for the article? Can I use it? Or could you make me one?
Thank you. I'm sorry, but the journal skin was created exclusively for this series. As for getting something similar for yourself, the skin was commissioned by the amazing GillianIvy. I highly recommend her work and you should totally check her out if you would like a skin for yourself.
If you mean the skin for this FAQ, that was created by Ravenswd, again exclusively for this series. If you are interested in something similar, feel free to note him.
Where can I find past articles of the series?
Literary Compass has a folder over at dA-Article-Database and all past and current editions can be found here.
Who is the one that decides who gets featured?
Ultimately is it my final decision (Mirz123/mirz-alt). However, we do have a lovely group of story-scouts and volunteers who recommend work and help with the selection process. My hope is to be objective and fair, and feature a wide range of different stories and genres. However, I reserve the right to accept or reject a work for any reason. All decisions are final.
Why can't I join the group as a member?
This is a series showcase group, not a general art-collection group. Membership is limited to admins and featured authors. However, everyone is welcome to watch the group for news on the series, as well as to have future editions of the Literary Compass article sent to their in-box.
What else does the group do, aside from regular feature articles?
Our main objective is publication of our once-every-three-week feature article. However, we also post "recap" articles featuring works which have previously been published. IN addition, we are planning a special "News" feature which will showcase news and events from the series/novels that have been showcased in the series.
I don't have anything to qualify for a feature, but I would love the help out with the group. Need a hand?
Thank you. We appreciate any help we can get. Spreading word about the series and pimping-out articles are two ways to get involved right away. If you would like a more formal, we are always looking for story scouts to help us locate works to be featured. If you're interested, please send us a note for more details.
Can I submit art to the Literary Compass group?
At this time, we are only allowing artists previously featured in the series to submit art. We may eventually open the doors to other artists at a later date, but there are no immediate plans to do so.
As I have had many requests for information on the requirements for being featured in the Literary Compass, I've created this detailed FAQ. Hope this helps.
Hey - I don't qualify for membership as I primarily host off site, but I'm very interested in talking to you or one of your members for a blog I run about web novels at online-novel.com. The blog I'd like to solicit from your or an author would talk about this group, the general response/traffic to your stories, and long-term plans. (I'm curious also if most of your authors are crossposting elsewhere like at Wattpad, Fictionpress, AO3, or their own sites.)
Basically I've been a long-time member of DA and thought it would be awfully hard to get traction here because DA like Tumblr is a highly picture-oriented site BUT I would love to know how DA stacks up against the possible choices.
Also readers -- love to hear from you too! Trying to understand the reading dynamic at DA. Thanks!
If you're still interested, I'd be happy to talk to you.
I am in the middle of some computer problems ATM so I'm behind. YOu need to be patient.