Submissions Re-Opening… Finally. [August 15, 2015 -November 15, 2015]

August 15, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Hey everyone!

First off, I just want to thank you all for being patient and understanding while I sorted out the issue with the submission form. I know that many of you have been holding on to hopeful submissions for months now, and I’m sure it was disappointing when I wasn’t able to open submissions back in July as per my original plan. However, after testing a new submission plugin and monitoring how it affected our database while acting as the Contact Form only, I think that – knock on wood – we have a solid replacement and I now feel comfortable re-opening submissions.

Due to the extremely long ‘dead zone’ without any new submissions, this open period will be much longer than usual – three full months, as a matter of fact. It starts tonight, August 15th, 2015, and will end on November 15th, 2015.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • We currently have pastas scheduled up until September 23rd; this means that pastas submitted starting now will not be published until at LEAST late September, possibly far later depending on where you end up in the queue. We were extremely lucky that the submission form shenanigans happened to coincide with my having an unusually large amount of stories in my ‘to publish’ pile; so much so that we’ve been able to bump up to two stories a day for July, August, and September!
  • If your story is specifically tailored to be posted around Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other specific timeframe, please make sure to tag it as ‘Seasonally Spooky’ – I do try to schedule those posts when they’re thematically appropriate.
  • I’ve added a new option in the tag field called “Historical Horror” – if your story is inspired by or set in a specific time period or tied to a historic event, please select this tag!
  • There is now a field on the submission form for people with ALREADY EXISTING author tags to enter their tag. If you don’t have a tag at the time of submission, leave this field blank. I will of course be double-checking and if I can’t verify that you are the ‘owner’ of that author tag, the story will not be placed in the tag. If you fill out the author tag field with anything but a valid author tag, it will just be ignored. This means that even if you’re eligible for a new author tag, you still need to use the correct form to request yours (and yes, that form is back and functioning again, too)!
  • The new submission form has a WYSIWYG text entry option; this means you can format your pastas exactly as intended without having to know html. I will do my best to honor your formatting – but if you do anything silly like try to submit a pasta entirely in massive lime green text… not going to happen, sorry. For those of you who prefer to enter your html manually (or have no formatting needs at all), you can still enter your pasta in the ‘Text’ tag without having to mess with the visual editor at all.

As always, this post is EXPLICIT CONFIRMATION that all submissions from the prior open period have been processed. Please do check your email (including your spam filter – but of course, if you read the FAQ before submitting, you already whitelisted ‘creepypasta’ in your spam filter, right?) to make sure that you didn’t get any last-minute messages from me before you submit any edited pastas. If your story was accepted and you’ve made rewrites in the interim, please follow the steps outlined in the FAQ to make sure we get your newest version posted instead. If you’ve rewritten a story that was rejected entirely (you received no response from me whatsoever) or was placed on Crappypasta, you can resubmit it as normal.

Remember: if your submission did not receive a response, it was rejected. Please do not resubmit the exact same pasta simply because you didn’t receive a response; this is a complete waste of both your time and mine. However, if you rework your rejected story, you are more than welcome to resubmit.

That’s all for this announcement! I’m excited to see what you have all been working on for the past few months, so get to submitting!

Submissions Now Open + Author Tag Request System [Update 5/21 – Submissions CLOSED]

March 30, 2015 at 9:37 AM

Submissions Open From March 30th 2015 – May 20th 2015

As a few of you have already noticed, yes – submissions have been re-opened. I meant to make this announcement earlier, but I got pulled away from the computer suddenly. I’m sorry if anybody was confused by the submission form suddenly re-appearing without any comment!

This open period will run until May 20th, 2015.

As explicit confirmation, since otherwise I’m sure I would get lots of messages asking: yes, this means that the prior submission period has been completely processed. All pastas slated for Crappypasta have been posted there and notifications sent to their authors, and all accepted pastas have been scheduled with their authors notified as well. This means that if you have not received any contact, it’s a safe bet that your story was rejected – you may visit the FAQ for further details on why this might be, as well as additional details on when/if you are eligible to resubmit rejected pastas.

For those of you looking to rework rejected stories or submit entirely new ones, the last two discussion posts may be of particular interest: in February, the community discussed their favorite creepypasta genres and topics, and this past month saw the inverse conversation – our least favorite creepypasta genres and topics. Please feel free to chime in if you haven’t already, as I will be using the feedback received in these posts as a barometer to help select which stories to let through when I’m on the fence. Additionally, if you’re not entirely certain whether your story idea would be well-received at this particular creepypasta community, you may find the responses in each post helpful.

Author Tag System

Tags for frequent authors have been requested enough that we’re finally going to do this thing!

As you can see on the sidebar, I’ve introduced a new way to browse tags – you can now use the sidebar widget to further narrow down your tag selection by clicking hierarchies and then seeing tags specific only to that selection. So, for example, clicking the “series” heading will display only tags for the various pasta series that we’ve featured.

For those of you who prefer the old-school all-tags drop-down menu, never fear: it will remain accessible on the sidebar as well.

The author part of the tag system will be opt-in, so any authors wishing to have a tag of their own must fill out the Author Tag Request form. This form will be permanently available under the ‘Write Your Own Pasta’ heading on the top navigation bar. I’ve placed a more in-depth explanation on the form’s page, but the most important things to know before rushing over to fill out the form are as follows:

  • You are only eligible for an author tag if you have AT LEAST TWO stories ACCEPTED AND PUBLISHED on this website, creepypasta.com
    • If your stories are all at Crappypasta, this means that you are not eligible. The two sites do not share a tagging system.
    • This should be obvious, but if you have stories published on other sites (the wiki, .net, .org, etc) but do NOT have at least two stories accepted and posted on THIS WEBSITE, you are not eligible. We cannot tag stories not hosted here, so there would be no point in your having an author tag! To further clarify, since I anticipate some people finding this confusing: having your pastas posted elsewhere does not preclude having a tag here, but in order to have an author tag at THIS WEBSITE, you must have two or more stories accepted and posted at THIS WEBSITE. If you send a request for an author tag and enter pastas located at websites that are not creepypasta.com, it’s not going to happen.
  • Since this is opt-in only, do not try to “help” by submitting author tag requests for other people. If they want a tag, they will submit a request themselves. I’m doing this as an opt-in so that authors can more precisely control their tags, what pastas they want tagged, and what name specifically they want on their tag. Having strangers submit tag requests for them would steal this layer of control from them, so while your intentions may be pure, please don’t do this.
  • Obviously, all tag requests will be double-checked and verified. Don’t waste time by requesting an author tag for stories that you didn’t write. If I can’t confirm that the person requesting the tag wrote the stories that they’re claiming, the tag will not be created. If you are flagrantly and obviously attempting to claim work that isn’t your own, I’ll ban you from future submissions (and possibly even the site itself, if I’m in a particularly grumpy mood) – so please, guys, don’t be that jerk.

If there is anything that I’ve missed that you feel needs to be explained or clarified on the form’s page, please let me know. Sometimes things can seem obvious to me, since I’m the one creating the system, but in reality it’s not quite so clear. Sometimes I make announcement posts when I haven’t finished my coffee and I’m still feeling a little zombie-esque. Things happen.

Here’s hoping that I haven’t confused everyone, and thanks for your time – I look forward to reading everyone’s new submissions!

 

 

Recent Site & Theme Issues

November 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

UPDATE: So, it’s pretty clear now that the bugs were caused by the theme change AND the age gate plugin. I expect that the age gate plugin was responsible for some of the lag and inability to completely load a page, as I was starting to get similar complaints about Crappypasta – which hasn’t had a theme change in well over a year. I disabled the age gate there and the people reporting the issue told me that the site now loads normally, so that seems like a smoking gun to me. The rest of the issues seem to be unique to the red-and-black theme, which is a bummer because I really liked how it looked!

I’d like to get the age gate activated again eventually, both for my peace of mind (it does make me uncomfortable when someone talks about being 10 and reading a site that is so obviously meant for adults) and because we’ve had a massive uptick in spammy and low-effort submissions since it was disabled. While I’m sure that I’ll ruffle some feathers by making this connection, on the surface it does seem that there is a link between disabling the age gate and an upswing in things like Jeff fanfics and copycat pastas, troll submissions, one or two line pastas, vague “this is my character idea, please make her a creepypasta” ideas that belong on the Prompts page rather than the submission form, and stories that are just massive run-on sentences without any punctuation or capitalization. The obvious assumption would be that these submissions are sourced to younger people who were previously obeying the age gate’s guideline. This absolute tsunami of low-quality submissions has made it really hard for me to get ahead with finding postable stories – I’m frequently having to schedule a day’s pasta only a few hours before it goes live, simply because I’m having to wade through 300+ submissions before I can find anything workable. It’s pretty stressful having to constantly be worried that I won’t have a new story to post in time for each new day, so if re-enabling the age gate can spare me that anxiety, it’s clearly the most appealing option. However, I don’t want to re-enable a plugin that’s obviously bugged, so it may take me some time to get this sorted.

Once the age gate is live again, I’ll create a new post where people can leave any bugs or errors that may arise. Stay tuned, and please – if you think that you may be responsible for some of the types of problematic submissions that I’ve detailed here, please consider working on them a bit more before you try to send them in. I will say flat-out that when you send in a story without any punctuation, every other word misspelled, all lowercase and one big run-on sentence, I won’t even read it past the first few lines before rejecting it. You are literally wasting my time and your own if you can’t bother to put even a smidgen of effort into editing your story. For those of you sending in nebulous ideas with the misconception that I’ll write a story for you based on your character outline, please familiarize yourself with how this site works by reading the FAQ. You may find the Creepypasta Prompts page more useful than the submission page.

Thanks, everyone.

Hey, everyone.

As I’m sure that you’ve all noticed, we’ve reverted to our older theme and a few plugins (most obviously, the age gate) are temporarily disabled. Since many of the same issues were reported across both the Halloween and the recent Red/Black themes, I’m trying to figure out if said glitches were solely married to those themes or if there’s another underlying cause.

Last month, I upgraded to a more powerful server plan, which in theory should have vastly improved website performance. This also required a server move, and during the process a few things got corrupted and some settings were changed that caused other site functions to break (most were back-end issues that you guys would never have seen, but a front-end example would be how the rating pumpkins did not work properly after the move). While issues are being fixed and adjusted as they crop up, this does mean that it’s entirely possible that some of the issues you guys have been experiencing are the result of some bug or new setting that I personally haven’t found yet.

Since most of the issues people have reported to me aren’t anything that I’ve been able to personally replicate on my devices, I need to rely on the community at large to help me know if this theme switch has solved them. The red/black theme worked perfectly for me on my desktop, phone, and tablet, but the complaints that I received were as follows:

  • Pages were taking forever to load, or simply never did.
  • Disqus/Comments block was not reliably rendering; this seemed to only affect specific people, but it was constant for them
  • Something that I’m not entirely clear on (need screenshots/more details) in regards to the drop-down navigation blocking the screen
  • The age gate refusing to go away or blocking people despite filling it out with the required data
  • General lag and a feeling that the site was “always loading”
  • Something vague about scrolling being weird (not enough details given here)

If you experienced these issues, please pay careful attention and comment on this post (or, if you’d prefer to submit bug reports via private correspondence, use the contact form) to let me know if these bugs have been fixed or not for you after the theme retcon.

To make things easier for me and my webhost, if you do experience the above issues or any new ones, PLEASE do the following when you report them to me:

  • If relevant/possible, take a screenshot. In cases like the aforementioned drop-down issue, it’s really much easier for me to figure out the problem if I can see it.
  • Tell me the user agent that you were utilizing when the error or glitch happened. You can find that out here if you don’t know already. I need the user agent string, but your IP isn’t necessary.
  • Make sure that you are not using any extensions or script-blockers that may cause sites to behave erratically. It’s already known, for example, that AdBlock breaks the submission form. Similarly, I’ve heard reports that Avast will block Disqus comments from loading unless you manually whitelist the Disqus domains. Try disabling extensions and scripts, clear your cache, and see if the issue persists. If doing so does fix the issue, please let me know what extension/script was causing the problem.
  • Be polite. This should be obvious, but several of you have been extremely rude and obscene when messaging me about site issues. While I will still look in to your report for the sake of anyone else experiencing the same issue, if you are abusive, I will block you from the site as clearly you’re not grown enough to be here. And no, the first amendment does not mean that I have to listen to your garbage. Please crack a textbook sometime if you’re honestly tempted to use that as an reason why I’m obligated to allow people to call me slurs or threaten my life because the site doesn’t load fast enough. Come on.

If the theme switch does manage to solve the issues, we’ll retain this theme and I’ll slowly begin reintroducing some of the disabled plugins. This way, if a glitch returns, we can have a better idea of what change prompted its return.

Thanks for all your patience!

Quick Note About Post/Link Bug – SQUASHED

November 17, 2014 at 5:36 PM

UPDATE: With the help of Nitro Themes, this bug has been fixed. Thank you!

Hi, everyone. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that yes, I am aware of the weird bug that’s preventing direct-clicks to posts from loading properly all the time.

If you haven’t experienced it yet: for some people, attempting to click the post title directly will end up with the post either loading infinitely or redirecting to the main page. So as an example, clicking this link will either take you to the post but not ever load any content, or it will redirect and just dump you right back at the site index:

weird glitch one

However, if you use direct links (for example, clicking an individual post link from Google, Twitter, etc), click the comment link at the top of each post, or use the right-click-open-new-window, the pages and posts will load completely fine.

weird glitch workaround one

workaround 2

This bug showed up with another back-end glitch early this morning. While the back-end issue has been fixed, we are still attempting to figure out what’s causing the redirect for certain links. Hopefully, it will be fixed within a day, but even if not, please don’t panic! Just know that it is being worked on and there are multiple workarounds so that you can still read and comment on individual pasta pages.

Feedback on the new look is welcome, but be aware that if this issue is traced to the new theme and I can’t figure out how to squash this bug, this look won’t be sticking around.

Thanks for your patience, everyone.

Submissions Are Open… Now! +Please Vote On Theme

November 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM

OPEN SUBMISSION PERIOD

First of all, I want to thank everyone for being patient. I’ve mentioned this to a lot of authors privately, but after the site upgrades and server move, a number of back-end functions managed to break themselves. Obviously, for security reasons, I didn’t want to announce this while it was still ongoing, but suffice to say that there was a period of time where I really couldn’t perform many important functions, much less feel comfortable re-opening submissions (honestly, the submission page probably wouldn’t even have worked properly even if I had enabled the form).

I think that everything is in working order now, though, so I don’t foresee any huge catastrophes if I turn on the submission form. Uh, knocking on wood, of course…

Since this period is opening almost half a month after I initially wanted to see it open, I’m going to also extend it further than originally intended.

SUBMISSIONS WILL BE OPEN FROM TODAY UNTIL JANUARY 15TH, 2015.

This should mean that submissions are open during the entire winter break for the college students in the crowd, so I hope that those of you who were planning on giving us some Creepypasta during your holiday will find this sufficient.

Also, this is implied, but I’m going to say it outright as well: this means that all previous submissions from the Summer 2014 open period have been read and processed. If you did not get an email response, this means that your story in its current state was rejected. Please visit the FAQ for a detailed explanation on why I do not send out individual rejection emails – and please know that if you still insist on messaging me asking about your story even after this announcement, I will not reply. This is all covered in the FAQ and submission page details, so I’m not going to repeat myself here.

If your story was rejected, please do a rewrite before re-submitting. We have a large list of volunteer beta readers here, please consider contacting one (or more) of them to help you refine your pasta! Remember, there is no rush. This submission period may be two months long, but even if you miss the January 15th deadline, there will be more opportunities to submit your stories. Please make sure that you are 100% satisfied with your pasta before sending it in!

THEME OPINION POLL

Secondly, opinions on the Halloween theme were very divided – a lot of you seemed to really like it, while many others absolutely hated it. Since there wasn’t a huge (voiced) trend either way, I’d like to have an anonymous poll where you guys can tell me where you’d like to go from here in regards to the theme. There are three options, and I think they’re all pretty self-explanatory, so without further ado…

[POLL HAS BEEN CLOSED. RESULTS WERE OVERWHELMINGLY FOR A NEW THEME THAT ISN’T THE HALLOWEEN THEME!]

Seasonal Layout + Our Halloween Giveaway!

October 20, 2014 at 1:00 AM

NEW HALLOWEEN THEME

First, the obvious. Yes, we have a new layout going for Halloween! Consider it Creepypasta.com’s Halloween costume, if you will. I hope that everyone enjoys the look – it will definitely be up for a few weeks at least, and if the community likes it enough, we can easily keep it and just switch out the Halloween-themed banner for something less seasonal.

Just a few things of note about this current theme:

  • The mobile theme is unchanged – if you’re on a recognized mobile device, you should still see the mobile theme unless you click the “show desktop” link at the bottom of the page. The Halloween theme is a tad more responsive than our current theme, so please do give it a shot via mobile if you’re curious!
  • This should be obvious, but just in case: on the main page, you will only see the first 100 words of any post. Click the read more to view the full pasta and its comments section. I’ve been receiving a lot of requests for this kind of pruning on the main page, so I hope that this satisfies those of you who wanted a cleaner main page without sacrificing the ability to get at least some preliminary feel for the story before loading its individual page.
  • The movable cards (you should be able to easily drag them around in order to get a clearer view of each card’s content) should only display on the main page, and if you’re using a mobile device with a small enough screen, they won’t appear at all as they would make things a bit clunky-looking. I’m interested to hear what everyone thinks about the cards as a sort of “additional sticky” section – sometimes we end up with three or more sticky posts for whatever reason, and that always seems to confuse people who think having a few static posts means that there are no new posts below the stickies. This method will allow me to spotlight important posts (or featured pastas, another thing that’s been requested) without eating too much post real estate.
    • The “most recent video” card has to be manually updated, so please don’t be alarmed if it’s not immediately reflecting a new video post. I’m often sleeping when new posts go live, so I won’t be able to make that edit until I wake up and/or get home later that day.
    • Please also note that the recent video embed function only works with YouTube codes; that means that if you want your video pasta to end up on the card, it needs to be hosted on YouTube.
    • If you have ideas for other ways that we can use the cards, please let me know!
  • It’s my hope that the lighter post background + the dark scheme surrounding the post section will be a decent compromise between the two color-scheme camps. I get a few messages each month saying that the light grey on dark grey in the main theme is too hard on the eyes, but previous attempts to lighten things up were met with considerable resistance. Let me know what you think!

HALLOWEEN GIVEAWAY

This year’s Halloween giveaway doesn’t have the cohesive theme of last year’s “Dead Skull” raffle – rather, it’s just a collection of fun, Halloween-related items that I thought you guys might enjoy.

ONE winner will receive all of the following items:

  • One complete set of deadspiderhands’ Halloween Postcard Set. This set is now sold out, so here’s a chance to get your hands on what I think is an absolutely fantastic set of creepy artwork. This set is being raffled with deadspiderhands’ permission, though I did purchase the item myself.
  • One bag of World Market Brand Halloween Pasta – yes, it’s literally creepy pasta. Of course this is included in the prize package!
  • One Necco Zombie Food Candy Bar. Described as “a mix of creepy hand, feet and brain shaped chocolate pieces filled with blood red caramel”, this sounds really… appetizing.
  • One pair of Bleeding Drip Taper Candles. As these black candles burn, they will drip a dark-red wax that looks like blood! Last year I included a skull-shaped candle with the same blood-dripping wax and it was very popular in the comments. I wanted to give away another candle like this because it’s such a cool idea, but I didn’t want to beat a dead skull horse by giving out the exact same item.
  • One Bloody “BEWARE” Wall Art Decal.
  • …and some other small tricks and treats! Nothing big, but I wanted to include some surprise items in this prize package as well to simulate a Halloween goody bag!

HOW TO ENTER

Please use the widget at the bottom of this post. Note that the raffle widget may not display properly on mobile – if that is the case, you may enter at this link.

This contest is only open to people 18 years of age or older, and I will only ship to a mailing address in the USA or Canada. This is non-negotiable.

All entries WILL be checked over. This means that if you enter and say that you tweeted but didn’t send the required tweet, that entry will be void. If you enter and say you commented and I can’t confirm it, that entry will be void. DON’T BOTHER CHEATING BECAUSE THE WINNING ENTRY WILL BE CHECKED AND CONFIRMED MANUALLY. If you fake an entry or don’t follow the instructions, all you’ve done is waste your time.

I will choose a winner and contact them within 48 hours of the raffle’s end. If I don’t receive a response within 48 hours of my email, that person will have forfeited their prize and I will select a new winner. So if you enter, please make sure you give a correct email address and whitelist “Creepypasta” in your spam filter.

Good luck!

*There is one referral link present in this post. If you purchase anything through our referral links, thanks – the small kickbacks I get from referrals add up eventually and allow me to cover the expenses of things like this giveaway, so everyone who uses such links to buy things has my appreciation!

a Rafflecopter giveaway