short story help
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quick help frequently asked questions
- To read a story, click on the story title.

- Click on an author's name to list all their stories plus further information.

- To download a story for reading later, use your browser's 'Save As' menu command.

- To print out a story, click on 'printable version' at the top left of the story page and then use your browser's 'Print' menu command.

- To download a story for reading on a handheld device, click on 'handheld version' at the top left of the story page.

- Click on - mark for later to place a story on your personal electronic bookshelf.

- Double clicking on any word in a story will bring up a dictionary definition along with an audio pronunciation of the word.
Below are the answers to some common questions asked by readers. If you are having problems using the site, you can contact us here. If you have questions concerning submissions, please click here.
- How do I access the short stories?
- How do I adjust the text for reading on screen?
- How do I print short stories?
- How do I download short stories for reading later?
- How do I download short stories for reading on a handheld device?
- How do I mark stories or collections I'm in the middle of reading?
- What do the age ratings stand for?
- How do I get a definition or an audio pronunciation of a word?
- How do I contact an author?
  How do I access the short stories?
Stories are organised into nine categories: fiction, romance, crime, sci-fi & fantasy, humour, horror, interactive, children's and non-fiction. You can search for stories over all the categories by entering the name of an author, story or a description of a story into the search text field. All stories are listed with brief summaries - clicking on the story title will take you to the page containing the story itself. Clicking on an author's name will list all that author's stories along with further information such as a biography and links. All short stories are available online and can be downloaded and printed.

For your convenience, a rough star ratings system is in effect ( is highest, the lowest). You can be part of the publishing process by giving ratings to and making comments on the stories and collections you read.
  How do I adjust the text size for reading on screen?
The short stories are broken up into 'pages' which makes reading easier and also gives some idea of the book's length. Most browsers allow you to adjust the size of the text and it is important to find the text size which you find most comfortable for reading. To achieve this in Internet Explorer, go to the 'View' menu and select the item 'text zoom'. You will be given the option of several size settings - choose the one that feels best for reading on screen. In Navigator, in the 'View' menu you are given the option of increasing or decreasing the font size.

The 'page' numbers - < 1 > - that break up the text double up as buttons. Clicking on the number in the center scrolls that section to the top of the screen - reducing the need for manual scrolling. Clicking on the < moves the previous 'page' to the top of the screen; clicking on > moves the next 'page' to the top of the screen.
  How do I print the short stories?
Before printing you can click on the 'printable version' link to the left of the story title. This will format the story so that it is easier to read when printed out. Depending on your browser and OS settings you may also like to adjust the size of the text (see 'How do I adjust the text size for reading on screen?') since a good size for printing is usually one size smaller than for reading on-screen.

To print, simply make sure the short story's window is the top one, go to your 'File' menu and select 'print...' then follow the usual dialogues. For speedier printing, make sure that, if you are given the option, you print the image in 'Black & White' rather than 'Greyscale'. Note that the number of printed pages does not correspond to the number of 'pages' (see 'Reading the Short Stories On-Screen') which will usually be greater.
  How do I download the stories for reading later?
If you are being charged for your internet connection, you may want to download the short story before printing or reading on-screen. Make sure the short story is in the top window then go to the 'File' menu, select 'Save As' and follow the usual dialogues. You can then view (and print) the page without connecting to the internet by opening the resulting file.
  How do I download the stories for reading on a handheld device?
To download a story onto a handheld device, click on the 'handheld version' link at the top left of that story page. This will download a story in standard Doc (.pdb) format which can be transferred to your palm next time you Hotsync. If you do not already have one, you can download a free Doc reader from the following site:

- CSpotRun
  How do I mark short stories or collections I'm in the middle of reading?
'Your Bookshelf' is your personal space at east of the web short stories. Use it to store links to stories or collections you like the sound of or ones you didn't finish reading. It will also keep you up to date with new stories by favorite authors. In addition, you can personalise the site by marking stories you have finished reading (which will grey out the link), favourite stories and stories by favorite authors.

To place a story on your bookshelf, press - mark for later either on the story page itself or below the story listing. A link to the story along with a summary will be placed on your bookshelf page.

To mark an author as a favorite author, press - mark author as favorite on the story page of a story by that author. All stories by the author will be marked and a link (the author's name) to a list of those stories along with further information about the author will be placed on your bookshelf. In addition, a summary of and link to any new stories by your favorite authors will automatically be placed on your bookshelf.

To mark a story as a favorite story press - mark as a favorite on the story's page. A link to the story will be placed on your desktop.

When you have finished reading a story, you can grey out links to it. This allows you to identify stories you have read when searching for new ones. To mark a story as having been read, press - mark read on the appropriate story page.

In order to see the current state of your bookshelf or the story listings after marking and author or story, it may be necessary to press refresh or reload on your browser.
  What do the age ratings stand for?
The following age ratings are used as a guide to the content of stories on the site:

U - Suitable for children of all ages.
PG - Parental Guidance. May contain some elements that parents may not want young children to read.
15 - Contains some strong language, violence or mild sexual content.
18 - Suitable only for adults.

Specific elements that may not be suitable for some readers are highlighted in red in the story description.
  How do I get a definition or an audio pronunciation of a word?
Double clicking on any word in a story will bring up a dictionary definition along with an audio pronunciation of the word.
  How do I contact an author?
To contact an author, click on that author's name. This will bring up the author's page. On this page there will be a 'contact author' link on the left. Click on this link to go to the contact form. Fill in your email address and your message, then click the 'send message' button.
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