I found Sugarquill back in the late winter/early spring of 2001, when I was searching for a beta reader. The woman who had edited my first story had been excellent, but also very busy, and I really didn't want to advertise on the HP_Fanfiction group every single time I wanted to get feedback on a story. I very much wanted a full-time beta reader who wasn't going to disappear on me.
I first saw Sugarquill mentioned in the author's note of a story on Fanfiction.net, and came to visit. I looked for the FAQ (which at the time didn't exist), and spent several days lurking and reading posts and generally getting a feel for the site. I then sent a note asking about the FAQ and the policy for beta reading. I was answered by no less a person than Zsenya herself, who assured me that the beta-reading service was on-going and that I could archive my stories without posting on the message boards if I chose.
The Best Things about Sugarquill:
Sugarquill is one of the friendliest, most supportive places on the 'Net. The people who post here are almost without exception decent, thoughtful people who geniunely try to make the visit a positive experience. We have an international cast, which is one of the best characteristics of Harry Potter fandom in general -- I love being able to "meet" and discuss HP with people from all over the world. Even someone like me (I'm a confirmed non-shipper) can find discussions of interest here.
As an adjunct faculty member, I'm also privileged to work with a splendid group of authors, all of whom are busily exploring the Potterverse in ways that entertain and delight their readers. I'm continually amazed at the ideas these writers generate and humbled by the immense time and effort they put into their stories. These people could only be volunteers -- there's no amount of money on Earth that could buy this kind of creativity and dedication.
Sugarquill is an example of how wonderful things can be accomplished by a group of people with common interests and goals, from the faculty members who maintain and improve the site, to the readers/writers who take time to answer other members' questions about culture, plot points, extracurricular activities, and just how those owls know where to deliver the post. It's a kind of community that's united, not by nationality or religious beliefs or race, but by shared interest and enthusiasm.
Return to Why I Stayed