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In the Spotlight — June 21, 2018

Hellooo, everyone!  Pride Month is still going on (and we've dressed the header up for the occassion, as you can probably tell, to make up for the lack of rainbows last post ), which was why we decided to feature the iconic Simon Spier from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and/or Love, Simon! Anyway, without further ado, we'd like to get straight into the interviews with your fellow featured HPFTers; hopefully their interviews will make you smile a little today.    This month, the all-amazing @toomanycurls was awarded the Order of Merlin. She's just such an amazing admin and does so much for this site. We hope you enjoy reading her interview!  toomanycurls   And now here are the interviews with this month's two Head Students, @ShadowRose and @starbuck! Both of them have been amazing the past month, and so the recognition is so well-deserved.  ShadowRose starbuck   an absence of sound
by @just.a.willow.tree R E V I E W   C O L U M N Reading an absence of sound is, honestly, an honor.  The mechanics of the poem itself make it an honor to read; it showcases Eva's creativity and ingenuinity, especially with the idea to manipulate the words, slowly removing letters to depict the gradual loss of the ability to speak (in Eva's case) Mandarin. But the greater reason why I'm so honored to read an absence of sound is because of how deeply emotional and vulnerable it is. At the surface, it seems to discuss a rather specific sort of feeling: the feeling of loss associated with the gradual loss of ability to speak one's native language. This feeling may not be accessible to everyone in the HPFT community, but if you look deeper, you'll find that the poem, in truth, discusses a sort of loss that everyone can relate to. It is a raw depiction of the loss of one's connection to their ancestry, their homeland, their family, etc.—presented through the lens of the loss of the ability to speak the native language. Considering this deeper layer, now the dropping of the letters isn't simply a reflection of the inability to speak the language, but also a disconnect from one's personal history and the gradual fading away of our memories of our homeland; Eva masterfully depicts the resulting frustration with a connection that is simultaneously "there right-there" and just "translucent wisps".  Part of what amazes me about this poem is that this feeling in itself is so hard to describe; I personally have always struggled to put into words the unique grief I associate with the loss of my connection to India and have thus been silent about it. Eva describes perfectly this feeling that I've been trying to describe for years now. Also, it takes a really special sort of bravery to share such a raw and true piece, and that in itself deserves a commendation.   Also a final note: this poem is a reflection of Eva's versatility. She is able to write poems and short stories (and now multi-chaps) with such effortless grace. Honestly, I'm just amazed. If you haven't read it yet, go read it now!! It is so deserving to be SoTM. I N T E R V I E W   W I T H   T H E   A U T H OR --- That wraps up this edition of In the Spotlight, guys!  We hope you enjoyed reading these interviews and little extra pieces; they're always so much fun to compile! As always, thank you for reading, and we hope you enjoyed this!  - The Prefects review column by forever_dreaming
interviews compiled by just.a.willow.tree, Rumpelstiltskin
questions by forever_dreaming, just.a.willow.tree, and Rumpelstiltskin
graphics by just.a.willow.tree




Queer and Proud - June 7, 2018

Everyone, it's Pride Month!   This month, the prefects wanted to celebrate as many stories (written by both published authors and writers from our very own archives!) featuring queer characters as possible. These stories should really be featured all year, but we figured Pride Month was a good time to list our favorites. We also wanted to try something slightly different this month, where we asked queer members of HPFT to write their own personal stories, and we want to thank you guys so, so much for submitting them.  If you still want to write a piece for our blog post, just PM @just.a.willow.tree and we can always edit it into the post! Also, quick shoutout to HPFT, because today's HPFT's birthday!  This community has been amazing, and a huge thank you to all the staffers who make it happen. <3 Without further ado, here are our recs (featuring commentary from the prefect that rec'd them)! All stories are listed alphabetically by title.   There are so many amazing, amazing books out there about queer characters, and since we're a writing community, we thought we'd share these first.  This barely scratches the surface of LGBTQA+ stories, but it's definitely a good starting point. And these books are all amazing and meaningful, we can't recommend them enough! (All book links are to Goodreads, so the M rating isn't necessarily for the book but for the comments within the Goodreads sections.)
A Boy Worth Knowing (M) by Jennifer Cosgrove
(rec'd by Claire) This is the absolute cutest progression of a relationship I have ever read. I love that Nate’s attraction to James is never played as the reason he’s isolated himself and their relationship is built on a genuine friendship that would make anyone happy.
The Abyss Surrounds Us (M) by Emily Skrutskie
(rec'd by Claire) Sea monsters and lesbian pirates. Do I need to say much more?? (Though if I’m being honest, the queer storyline is extremely secondary to the sea monster and pirates storyline but both are still amazing).
Autoboyography (M) by Christina Lauren
(rec'd by Claire) Have you ever changed the name of a character halfway through a book and just thought “I’ll just do a find and replace later, it’ll be fine”? Reading this book might make you think twice about that And not only that, but Lauren weaves together so many different issues seamless and will have you rooting for ___ from the very beginning.
  History is All You Left Me (M) by Adam Silvera
(rec'd by Claire) Not only is this book an emotional rollercoaster, it is also a masterclass in narrative structure. The story is told non-linearly through two different time periods and will have you begging for more from the first page.
  If I Was Your Girl (M) by Meredith Russo
(rec'd by Claire) Listen, this book grabs you right in the heart and refuses to let go. I read this almost six months ago and it still hits me just as hard as it did then. All of the characters are so raw and real and I promise that you will fall in love with all of them...well, almost all (Just a heads up that this book does deal with some very serious topics and themes so be aware if you do choose to read it.)
Leah on the Offbeat (M) by Becky Albertalli
(rec'd by Claire) I say this with the utmost love and respect--this is the fanfiction sequel of your dreams. Leah is just as amazingly perfect as she is in Simon and where else can you get a mainstream book with a fat bi protagonist??? Also, no spoilers but...road trip AU of my dreams.
Let's Talk About Love (M) by Claire Kann
(rec'd by Claire) I can honestly say that I have never read a book with an ace protagonist, much less a black bi ace protagonist. While I’m not necessarily recommending this for the writing, as someone on the ace spectrum it is a breath of fresh air to read a book and be able to say “yes, I know what that feels like.”
More Happy Than Not (M) by Adam Silvera
(rec'd by Claire) Do you like sci-fi? Do you like plot twists? Do you like crying non-stop for days because Adam Silvera ripped your heart out yet again? Then this is the book for you! I can’t recommend this highly enough. Adam is a genius when it comes to building up tension and foreshadowing and you will be gasping out loud when you come to the big reveal!
Openly Straight (M) by Bill Konigsberg
(rec'd by Claire) I’ll be honest, I was hesitant about this book when I first picked it up, but I ended up loving it dearly! It’s a super interesting take on the coming out story and though I wanted to smack Rafe upside the head a few times, his story and Ben’s are ones that carry a lot of weight.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (M) by Becky Albertalli
(rec'd by Claire) I don’t know what I can say about this book that hasn’t already been said a million times before. Please please please go read it.
They Both Die at the End (M) by Adam Silvera
(rec'd by Claire) Like all of Adam’s books, this will have you ugly crying in bed at 3am because you just can’t put it down. He weaves together so many narratives that will have you gasping in awe as you realize how they all fit in.   Our very own authors are so talented, so how could we not rec as many as we could? Since a lot of you have read the more well-known fics with queer characters already, we aimed to show you our favorites that you may not have yet read.  
  Abby Freaking Suso by clairevergreen/@clevernotbrilliant [Simon]
(rec'd by Rumpels) A story about slowly progressing desire and self-realization, Abby Freaking Suso is wonderfully sarcastic and all-around charming. Leah’s characterization is handled in such a brilliant way and I love how slowly the relationship changed over time to become absolutely everything. 
Dreams of Glass (M) by @nott theodore [HP]
(rec'd by Rumpels) Like all of Sian’s work, this is beautifully written (and I mean stunning, I have no idea how to write imagery quite like this). I’ve always been a sucker for Gellert/Albus but this one had me shook. The amount of feelings evoked from this piece is incredible and I highly, highly, highly recommend this. 
Eyes Like Skies by @FireOpal [HP]
(rec'd by Eva) Dominique, in this story, speaks to her love Imogen, and everything about this just reads as a beautiful, poetic love letter. It feels so personal, and really, that’s such an amazing thing to accomplish in writing fic.
Half Dead by @facingthenorthwind [HP]
(rec'd by Rumpels) This is the sequel to two certainties, which if you haven’t read that emotional rollercoaster, you definitely should, (see also: My poor, poor heart, the Sequel.) It’s a wonderful continuation of two certainties and I can’t imagine a way to possibly make this writing better. On top of being extremely well-written, it’s so much fun to read and I absolutely ADORED it. Careful though, it’ll continue to break your heart in the best way.
in the dawn, we shall enter the splendid cities. (M) by @Aphoride [Les Mis]
(rec'd by Eva) As we all know, Laura is a complete goddess at descriptions. The beauty with which she paints each individual scene, and the development of the relationship between Grantaire and Enjolras, is just absolutely breathtaking. This is not a romance in the typical sense, but it is well, well, well worth a read.
Life Reflected in Death (M) by M C Crocker/@scooterbug8515 [HP]
(rec'd by Rumpels) Insta-headcanon material. This does some wonderful character exploration on Regulus Black in the most brutally devastating way. It reveals much more about Regulus than I typically see explored and shows how much things like his sexuality have impacted him in his life.
Lingering by @banshee [Simon]
(rec'd by Eva) So I’m not including a summary here because if you haven’t yet read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, you’re going to get spoiled. So, go and read Simon, and then come back to this fic, because it’s like Julie pulled these characters straight from the book. They’re adorable and so relatable, and their dialogue is everything.
Peppermint (M) by @sapphicsunrise [HP]
(rec'd by Eva) This Ginny/Luna one-shot is short and adorable. Every second is filled with something that can warm your heart (including a hilarious appearance from the most canon non-canon duo, Seamus and Dean), and just watching Ginny and Luna drifting closer together will make your day.
Something (M) by @Chelts-rhj [HP]
(rec'd by Rumpels) Let’s be honest, when am I not impressed by this author’s writing? Something is a beautifully written piece about Dominique Weasley and a woman she positively adores. It tackles the heavy topic of eating disorders and the struggle Dominique faces while watching that woman struggle. Everything about this is handled so well and I cannot get over how deeply this piece moved me. 
Stolen Away (M) by @MegGonagall [HP]
(rec'd by Eva) What I absolutely adore about this fic is how it’s told from fugitive Sirius Black’s perspective. He remembers the joy and emotion from his past with Remus, and it’s that longing that really makes this fic so good. Meg did an amazing job with this!
Unstoppable by @sihaya [HP]
(rec'd by Eva) Short and sweet, this one-shot shows a short moment in the lives of Albus and Scorpius as they deliberate coming out to their families, and there’s just so much hope and honesty in these 740 words that you can’t help but feel touched.
Until the End of the World by @Stella Blue [Legend of Korra]
(rec'd by Eva) Fans of Legend of Korra, this is just for you. (However, I read this even though I’ve never watched the series, and I still loved it.) Every moment of this fic is pure fluff and happy, magical goodness, and you will be rewarded with depictions of a gorgeous world and a gorgeous couple.
  Your Way of Living (M) by @Dojh167 [HP]
(rec'd by Eva) If you’ve ever read Sam’s beautiful When I Go Out With You, you will love this short one-shot that details Susan’s moments where she first embraces herself as a poly person. (It features Luna, too!) And even if you haven’t read WIGOWY, you should read this one-shot anyway. It’s such a beautiful, eye-opening look at polyamory.   And of course there are other stories that we want to recommend that may not fall under books or fics! Check, Please! (M for language) [comic]
(rec'd by Eva) Eric Bittle is guaranteed to brighten up your day, with his abundant usage of Southern colloquialisms and his adorable obsession with baking, as he navigates being on a men’s hockey team (despite being scared to death of…bumping into other people). This story, while not perfect, is heartwarming and honest and true, with bright and beautiful graphics, and you will not regret reading this! (I binged this all at 3 a.m., if that accounts for anything. )
Fallout Series [video games]
(rec'd by Rumpels) Many video games have been increasingly adding LGBTQA+ characters and integrating player-led romances. Games in the Fallout series, a series of post-apocalyptic action role-playing games, have always been leading the way with this inclusivity.  Fallout (1997) was one of the first major releases to feature same-sex marriage in a video game. As far as player-led romances go, the Fallout series have always left sexuality choices open to the players preference. And while there are a lot of stories to be told as there are many different character outcomes based on player interaction, let me just tell you one of my most recent. In Fallout 4, one of the companions available to your character (to travel with you) is a spunky, stubborn, and fabulous NPC character named Piper. NPCs nerby will either like or dislike your decisions based on the decisions you make throughout the game, and you build a rapport with these characters. Long-story-short, my [female] game character winds up in some sort of relationship with this character. The only problem is that if I choose a different companion at this point, Piper extremely dislikes that which puts me in a predicament when it comes to finishing side-quests that require other companions.    We wanted to end this blog post with your personal stories.  Thank you so, so much to everyone who sent one in, it means a lot to us! And quick reminder that if you still want to write a piece, you can. <3
@scooterbug8515 --- That's it for today's post! We hope you enjoyed reading through it, and that perhaps you'll even pick up one of the rec'd stories or two.  We just want you guys to know that you are loved, and that you are safe here, and that you're all amazing. Keep being you, guys. We're going to sign off for now! Thank you for reading. <3 - The Prefects recs by clevernotbrilliant, just.a.willow.tree, Rumpelstiltskin
personal stories by just.a.willow.tree, MalfoysAngel, MuggleMaybe, scooterbug8515
graphics by just.a.willow.tree

In the Spotlight - May 21, 2018

Hello, HPFTers! Welcome to another edition of In the Spotlight, a monthly post in the Prefect Blog that features interviews with the winners of special awards and a review column for the Story of the Month.  This month, in addition to the interviews with the Order of Merlin winners, the prefects are happy to present interviews with the two Head Students winners and the author of May's Story of the Month! (Because this month's post is rather long, definitely feel free to minimize each quote box once you're done reading. ) We hope you enjoy!     Today we're featuring @RoxiMalfoy, the winner of the Order of Merlin last month, and @Ineke, who is this month's winner! Both are extremely well-deserving of their awards, and so hopefully you'll get to know them a little better through these interviews. RoxiMalfoy Ineke   These interviews with the Head Students are a new feature!  We gave the two Head Students, @facingthenorthwind and @Nix, different sets of questions (though there are two questions that are the same in both), and without further ado, here they are! facingthenorthwind Nix   Stand Tall
by @Chelts-rhj R E V I E W   C O L U M N Finding a story that features a character with a disability is a rare occurrence for me but I most generally find them to be both insightfully and engagingly rewarding. Stand Tall does not dissatisfy this preconception as we follow the quirky, sassy main character, Alba Williamson, through her journey at Hogwarts as she faces her typical life alongside a daily struggle with Cerebral Palsy. To add to the fantastic work creating the loveable, witty Alba whose sense of humor has consistently knocked me out of my chair [and other on-point characterization as well, because let’s not forget the absolute stunning job Chelts did with characters like James Sirius Potter, Chandra and Ben Honeypucker], the interactions between the characters make them shine so much brighter. Some cleverly crafted dialogue and brassy narrative makes the interplay between the already fascinating characters of this piece especially noteworthy. That’s not to say that this WIP is all fun and games. Beneath the surface of all the hilarity remains the hardships Alba must face, only agitated further by her struggle with her disability. There are downright disheartening moments where the Cerebral Palsy seems to be getting the better of her and, with bated breath, we wait to see how she’ll fight to pull herself up again. Anxiously, we read on, hoping that Alba will pull through as she always has.  To top it off, her disability isn’t the only thing she has to look out for. Being a teenage witch comes with some heavy baggage of its own, especially in the wake of the return of the Triwizard Tournament.  Stand Tall was simple to become swept up in and carried away from one chapter to the next. If you’re looking for a story to instantly fall in love with, this is definitely the story for you. I N T E R V I E W   W I T H   T H E   A U T H O R --- This wraps up the new edition of In the Spotlight! Please comment below and let us know what you think of the new additions, and if there's anything you might like to see from this blog. If you have questions you might like to ask future Order of Merlin, Head Student, or Story of the Month winners, feel free to post them below!  We really hope you enjoyed this issue, and we'll see you in a couple weeks for our special Pride Month post.   - The Prefects interviews compiled by dreamgazer220, forever_dreaming, just.a.willow.tree, Rumpelstiltskin, Slytherinchica08
review column by Rumpelstiltskin
graphics by just.a.willow.tree

Poetry Over Prose - May 7, 2018

"Everyone sees, feels, responds to the poetry of the world every day. In a sunrise over rooftops, a dogwood in bloom, a child's bike leaning against a fence, a pair of tennis shoes hanging by their laces from a telephone wire, a moth's wing spread on the screen door, the sound of a train in the distance, the smell of fresh bread. Everyone falls in love with the world daily and we have no words for what spellbinds us. Poems need to be made to recognize that sense of wordless awe.”
 —Dorianne Laux Welcome, HPFT-ers, to the first installment of the Prefect Blog’s special posts! On the 7th of every month, we’ll select a relevant theme and create a post about it. As April was National Poetry Month, the prefects wanted to take an opportunity to feature our favorite aspects of poetry and share them with you. We hope you enjoy this special issue!   One of the most enlightening aspects about reading poetry is the process of analyzing and understanding the piece, and though your interpretation may differ from someone else’s, that’s the beauty of it all! Our very own @Rumpelstiltskin (with help from @forever_dreaming and @just.a.willow.tree) put together a detailed post about this in the Writing Resources section of the forums here+. In addition, we’ve also written a guide to poetic meter here+ (which is essentially an explanation of the thing that makes Dr. Seuss’s poems so much fun to read aloud ). Check it out if you have time, and perhaps you can apply it when you read poetry from the wonderful authors on our archives!   In these next two sections, we wanted to feature poems by authors on our archive, as well as poems from published anthologies! We’ve divided them up into two categories: poems that use form and poems that use sound. We definitely encourage you to look through the poems that we’ve linked to on the archives and leave them thoughtful reviews, because writing poetry is difficult and our authors do it beautifully.  (All poems are linked; click on them to read the full piece.) This first section highlights a few fascinating poetic forms that you may not have known about! SESTINA Both @forever_dreaming and @just.a.willow.tree happened to write sestinas for their English class, so we thought it appropriate to talk a little more about what sestinas are. (They are very, very cool. You should check them out afterwards! Here+ is a much more in-depth explanation of the form, if you’re curious. ) Essentially, sestinas are a very repetitive type of poem, except oftentimes poets use creativity and ingenuity to work around the repetition. In each stanza (except for the last) there are six lines, and at the end of each line is a designated word. These six “last words” are then reordered throughout the other stanzas, though they will always be the last words of the line. This might sound confusing, but here is a visual representation, with each letter representing a “last word” in a line: 1. ABCDEF
7. (envoi) ECA or ACE It’s easier to understand with an example poem. Take a look at W.H. Auden’s “Paysage Moralisé”: Hearing of harvests rotting in the valleys,
Seeing at end of street the barren mountains,
Round corners coming suddenly on water,
Knowing them shipwrecked who were launched for islands,
We honour founders of these starving cities
Whose honour is the image of our sorrow, Which cannot see its likeness in their sorrow
That brought them desperate to the brink of valleys;
Dreaming of evening walks through learned cities
They reined their violent horses on the mountains,
Those fields like ships to castaways on islands,
Visions of green to them who craved for water. They built by rivers and at night the water
Running past windows comforted their sorrow;
Each in his little bed conceived of islands
Where every day was dancing in the valleys
And all the green trees blossomed on the mountains,
Where love was innocent, being far from cities. But dawn came back and they were still in cities;
No marvellous creature rose up from the water;
There was still gold and silver in the mountains
But hunger was a more immediate sorrow,
Although to moping villagers in valleys
Some waving pilgrims were describing islands… 'The gods,' they promised, 'visit us from islands,
Are stalking, head-up, lovely, through our cities;
Now is the time to leave your wretched valleys
And sail with them across the lime-green water,
Sitting at their white sides, forget your sorrow,
The shadow cast across your lives by mountains.’ So many, doubtful, perished in the mountains,
Climbing up crags to get a view of islands,
So many, fearful, took with them their sorrow
Which stayed them when they reached unhappy cities,
So many, careless, dived and drowned in water,
So many, wretched, would not leave their valleys. It is our sorrow. Shall it melt? Then water
Would gush, flush, green these mountains and these valleys,
And we rebuild our cities, not dream of islands. Notice how the last words of every line are reused over and over again in each stanza, except in a different order every time. Sestinas are beautiful poems this way. In this instance, Auden uses the repetition to paint different images with the same words, and it works beautifully. In “weary”, @just.a.willow.tree uses a similar technique as Auden: embracing the elements of repetition built-into the form of a sestina to emphasize the weariness of the main characters and the tragic perpetuity of the pain and injustice they feel. However, the repetition of the end words can be twisted to enhance the poem in a different way too. For example, in “Passing Time”, @forever_dreaming manipulates the words themselves, altering their spelling or using homophones in order to convey the paradoxical nature of time passing both quickly and at a snail’s speed. If you’re curious about another fascinating sestina, check out Carole Oles’ “The Magician Suspends Her Children”. It is so creative and clever, you will almost definitely have a lot of fun deciphering the meaning of the poem while also paying attention how amazing it is, the way she wields her words. VILLANELLE Another interesting form is a villanelle! This is a 19-line poem, typically composed of five tercets (a three-line stanza) that follow the rhyming pattern aba, with a final quatrain (a four-line stanza) that follow the rhyming pattern abaa. The first and third lines of the initial tercet are alternately repeated as the third lines of the following tercets (and then are presented as the ending couplet of the quatrain). A visual example of the rhyming scheme of a standard six stanza villanelle might be helpful. 1. AbA
2. abA
3. abA
4. abA
5. abA
6. abAA What might be even more helpful is seeing this in an actual poem. Take a look at "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas, as an example [emphases added]: Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night. Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night. Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. There are two beautiful examples of villanelles on our archives, both by the lovely @abhorsen.! In “And when the wind whistles through me, I am free” and “And still there’s the wind to batter and moan”, the perfectly-crafted repeated phrases set the tone of the poem. Yet with each new stanza, these phrases gradually shift and grow in meaning as more of the poem is unveiled. We cannot recommend these two poems enough! HAIKU A haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that consists of 17 syllables that are arranged in three lines of five, seven, and five. A fun aspect of a haiku is that the short pieces are meant to encapsulate a single impression on something, in a particular season. This creates a sense of simplicity and intense expression.  To assist in the visualization, take a look at a haiku from Basho Matsuo, and notice the syllables in each line: An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again. And we have a number of elegant haikus on the archives as well! One example is from M C Crocker (or @scooterbug8515 on the forums), with her collection of season-inspired haikus: “One Love One Year”. Each poem perfectly captures the essence of the season within such a small number of syllables. Definitely go check out this piece if you have time!   One of the main differences between poetry and prose is the manipulation of how words sound. Poets choose words whose sound reflects the meaning they are trying to convey, creating a more immersive experience and enhancing their meaning further; sound makes poetry more vivid and sensory than prose. One of the classic sound devices is onomatopoeia, or, simply, when a word sounds like what it means.  English is a cool language in that lots of words are onomatopoeic to some degree. The obvious examples are words like “crash”, “clang”, “smash”, etc. But other words have a subtler onomatopoeic effect. For example, consider Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach”. We’ve only put an excerpt below, but do check out the entire poem if you have time. (We recommend reading the poem out aloud to yourself, to get the full effect!): The sea is calm tonight. 
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light 
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, 
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay; 
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! 
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sun meets the moon-blanched land, 
Listen! You hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, 
At their return, up the high strand, 
Begin, and cease, and then again begin, 
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.  In the first stanza, Arnold uses heavy sound-focused imagery. The long “ea” sound in “gleams” mimics the word, just as the long “a” in “vast” stretches out the word to further emphasize the image of the vast ocean. Similarly, the quick “imm” sound in “glimmering” mimics the action. Arnold does this purposely; he practically tells us this, with a command for the audience to “Listen!” and other sound-related diction, like “cadence” and “note”. In this first stanza, Arnold is building a sound-based image of the cliffs of Dover, which he then contrasts with a more sight-based image of the cliffs of Dover, to illustrate the difference between expectation and reality—a central theme in the poem.  Alliteration is the repetition of the first letter or consonant. In “Dover Beach”, Arnold alliterates “gl” in “glimmer” and “gleam”, to emphasize these two words; this alliteration brings focus to the inherently contradictory picture Arnold is trying to present, of something that is both ephemeral (that glimmers for a short amount of time) and enduring (that gleams forever). Alliteration helps poets draw attention to specific words and forces the reader to connect the images these words present.  @Alexis Black’s “The Wind Chimes are Calling to Me” is a great example of a poem that is enhanced by manipulations of sound. The use of words that sound like the term they are describing, such as “whisper”, “sigh”, and “murmur”, truly enhances the poem and brings it to life, and it’s this vibrancy that adds a tinge of nostalgia to the piece.   The main purpose of this post was to celebrate National Poetry month while highlighting a few of our talented authors. So here are a few more poems that we would like to recommend to you from the archives: “What is life” - @Felpata_Lupin “When Spring Doesn’t Return” - @Rumpelstiltskin “Poetry Collection” (M) - @MalfoysAngel “Truths and Lies” - @TreacleTart “an absence of sound” - @just.a.willow.tree “Love Is a Whisper In Your Soul” - @abhorsen. “Supernova” - @TreacleTart “The place where planes take off and land” - @Felpata_Lupin “Dreamwalker” - @Alexis Black “Pillars of Smoke” (M) - @abhorsen. "From" - @Stella Blue (not exactly a poem but beautiful nonetheless) --- This has been our special blog post for May! We understand that poetry isn’t something that everyone enjoys, but hopefully after reading this, you’ve taken away a few things. (And, who knows, maybe this’ll help you out in the next reviewing event when you stumble across a poem!) Let us know what you think of the post, if you like/dislike poetry, or if there’s anything you’d like to see in the future! - The Prefects written by forever_dreaming, just.a.willow.tree, and Rumpelstiltskin
graphics by just.a.willow.tree

In the Spotlight - April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018 Welcome to the debut of the revamped, bimonthly Prefect Blog! Aspiring to further add some creative material to our already amazing and ever-growing site, your Prefects are proud to present this collaboration of fun, facts, and frivolity. In addition to expanding upon the preexisting monthly site awards (the Order of Merlin and the Story of the Month), we have planned some exciting content to present. We're hoping to provide not only entertainment, but some meaningful, relevant, and informative material as well. Without further ado, here are some interviews with previous Order of Merlin winners as well as a review of April's Story of the Month! Enjoy!   Our wonderful staffers bring an indescribable light and life to the HPFT community, from the detailed and fun events that they plan to their presence on the site in general! The Order of Merlin is awarded each month to a staffer who has gone above and beyond in their duties, and the Prefects wanted to feature interviews with each staffer who wins this award. To make up for lost time, we’re going to compile a set of interviews from all of the previous winners from 2018, and from this month forward, we will continue to feature interviews with future Order of Merlin staffers! This month, we will be featuring the Order of Merlin winners from February and March: @Alopex and @abhorsen.. Next month, we will feature April's winner, @RoxiMalfoy as well as the May Order of Merlin winner (to be announced, so keep an eye out). And now, here are the interviews: Alopex abhorsen.   Letter to the Lost
by @Crimson Quill Everyone, if you have not yet read Abbi’s beautiful story yet, head over there immediately (and leave her a review while you’re at it)! This story has that distinctive writing style that we have all come to love and expect from Abbi, and with the added bonus of being from the wonderful "Sirius Black is Gay Challenge." The pairing is perhaps one of the rarest pairs I have seen yet (Sirius Black/Caradoc Dearborn), yet Abbi manages to highlight how these two bring out the best in each other in a single short section. This is a story about love and loss in the midst of a cruel war, and you will read it and love it. I can’t say more without giving away the crux of Sirius’s amazing development, but just know that this story is more than worth your time, and definitely deserves to be April’s Story of the Month. --- This wraps up the debut of our revamped Prefect Blog! We hope you enjoyed this issue, and if you did, make sure to keep an eye out for the next one on May 7. If you have any questions you would like to ask future Order of Merlin winners, feel free to post below, or just leave a comment! Any and all feedback would be appreciated. Thank you for reading! - The Prefects graphics by just.a.willow.tree

FROGS 2018 Reading List!

Hey everyone! Voting threads for the FROGS categories will be open soon, in the meantime here is a full reading list for your perusal! Best Humor (Fan)fiction Nominations Hormones (M) by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap @Deeds Immortal Misconceptions (M) by @AbraxanUnicorn When Dahlias Bloom (M) by @dirigibleplums In Which Ron and Harry Discuss Everything But Quidditch by @Veritaserum27   Best Romance (Fan)fiction Nominations A Candle (M) by @abhorsen./Beeezie Nights Like This (M) by @banshee When I Go Out with You (M) by @Dojh167 Skewed Toward Truth (M) by @MuggleMaybe Thrill (M) by @nott theodore When Spring Doesn't Return (M) by @Rumpelstiltskin   Best Minor HP Character Nominations Peter Pettigrew in Liar (M) by @Felpata_Lupin Crookshanks in Hermione's Betrayal by @forever_dreaming Anthony Goldstein from First Lit, Last Burning by @MuggleMaybe Roxanne Weasley in Jigsaw (M) by @nott theodore Olive Hornby in Dear Myrtle by @Stella Blue Lysander Scamander from Lightning Love (M) by @toomanycurls   Best Angst (Fan)fiction Nominations Beyond Repair by @MuggleMaybe Gods Without Grace (M) by @dirigibleplums Haunting Shadows (M) by @dreamgazer220 silence.death. (M) by @poppunkpadfoot This Misery Will Suffice (M) by @BellaLestrange87   Best Family/Friendship Nominations Fred II & Victoire Weasley in Shenanigans, Capers, and Hi-Jinks (M) by @abhorsen./Beeezie Lavender Brown/Parvati Patil in to the end of time (M) by @clevernotbrilliant Dumbledore family in Prisoner by @Crimson Quill Chloe & her family in red luck by justawillowtree/ @just.a.willow.tree Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black in Secret Keeper by @poppunkpadfoot   Best LGBTQIA+ Character Nominations Hannah Abbott in When I Go Out With You (M) by @Dojh167 Albus Severus Potter from And the World Went On by @manno-malfoy Albus Severus Potter in the 'Before the Sun Sets' Series by @toomanycurls   Best Major HP Character Nominations Albus Severus Potter from And the World Goes On by @manno-malfoy Hermione Granger from After Life (M) by @MegGonagall Lily Luna Potter from Icarus (M) by @Stella Blue Petunia Evans/Dursley from Beyond Repair by @MuggleMaybe   Best Dark/Horror (Fan)fiction Nominations Erasure (M) by @AbraxanUnicorn Muggle Studies (M) by @esmeraude The Skull Beneath the Skin (M) by @esmeraude Spiral (M) by @Rumpelstiltskin Got You (M) by @sihaya Bruises (M) by @TreacleTart   Best Original Fiction Nominations a garden of weeds (M) by @ailhsa23 The Wind Chimes Are Calling To Me by @Alexis Black Fall in Love with a Writer by @manno-malfoy I Am by @Rumpelstiltskin From by @Stella Blue   Best Original Character Nominations Brendon Greengrass from Sidenote: Greengrass dys/function by @abhorsen./Beeezie Dahlia Darzi from When Dahlias Bloom (M) by @dirigibleplums Hero Blishwick from Hero (M) by @victoria_anne Piper Stone from House of Stone (M) by @WindingArrow Roxi Zarooni from Love, Not War (M) by @RoxiMalfoy   Best Depiction of Mental Illness/Disability Nominations Words and Silences (M) by @Shadowkat678 The Department (M) by @poppunkpadfoot keyframe by @forever_dreaming Dead Eyes and Red Eyes (M) by @abhorsen./Beeezie   Best HP Rare Pair Nominations Cormac McLaggen/Eloise Midgeon in Logarithmic (M) by @val Dorcas Meadowes/Marlene McKinnon in war and mint by @sihaya Lavender Brown/Parvati Patil in Parisian Scars (M) by @Crimson Quill   Best Non-HP Fandom Nominations Silence Cuts Loudest Through the Chaos (M) by @1917farmgirl Hero (M) by @banshee Age of Change by M C Crocker/ @scooterbug8515   Most Versatile Author Nominations @abhorsen./Beeezie @BlackPixie @melian @nott theodore @PaulaTheProkaryote @pookha   Best Reviewer Nominations @Felpata_Lupin @forever_dreaming @just.a.willow.tree @PaulaTheProkaryote @Rumpelstiltskin @Stella Blue @victoria_anne




Branwen Appreciation Post!

I'm here to post a gift on behalf of a Pass It Along participant.  To: abhorsen. From: Keeper of the North - - - For my last gift in the Pass It Along Challenge, I thought it was appropriate to share an appreciation post for everything my giftee has done for HPFT.  She’s known around this corner of the internet as abhorsen., but you might also know her as Beeezie or Branwen.   Here’s just a few of the many things we love about her: She’s one of our fearless leaders. If you have any questions or concerns about the forums or archives, she’s always available to help those in need. She’s brilliant.  Have you taken a look at her AP? Her stories are amazing and all written so well -- and not to mention she finds time to be an awesome graphic artist on TDA as well! She’s open-minded.  She might have helped create the forums or the archives, but she’s also open to suggestions, feedback, and tag requests! She’s passionate about subjects she cares about. She’s dedicated.  She’s constantly working with other members of the staff behind the scenes to make sure things continue to run smoothly for us. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the happiest corner of the internet.  HPFT wouldn’t be the same without you.  --Keeper of the North Have something you love about Branwen?  Sound off in the comments below!




June Prefect Challenge Results

Now that we have blogs, it seemed worth reposting these results here
The Coming Out Challenge Results (Again) Back in June, as a celebration of Pride Month, the first ever Bi-Monthly Prefect Writing Challenge used the following prompt: Write a story under 10,000 words about someone coming out as queer.   WINNERS Third place: A Sudden Bi-alisation by FireOpal
  Second place: What lies beneath by melian
  First place: And Again (M) by nott theodore
  All three entries are amazing - we definitely recommend checking them out! And thank you so much to those who entered! Winners, you are responsible for messaging a MuggleMaybe, Diogenissa, or clevernotbrilliant to let us know which stories you'd like reviewed and if you have a preferred theme for your pic spam. Please credit abhorsen. for the graphics.  You can check out the August Prefect Writing Challenge +here.



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