Required Reading

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How To Apply

Read this page first:

Guide for Newbies

When you finish reading, continue to the next tab: "Join".

(If it tells you that you can't join, it's because you're already a member.)

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So You Want To Write an SCP

You're reading How to Write an SCP 2.0. If you're reading this, you're probably a member of the SCP Foundation and want to try your hand at an article. This page is to help point you in the right direction when getting started. Read it carefully, don't skim it. After you've finished, read it again, because you're a human being (right?) and you'll have missed stuff.

Before You Start: Some Things to Consider

In general, successful SCP articles have most or all of the following components:

  • An interesting idea.
  • Reasonable containment procedures.
  • A clear description.

These are necessary for a good SCP. An SCP should immediately draw the reader in; they can't be muddled under a lot of exposition. Try to get a clear idea of what your SCP does before starting.

Many first SCP articles fail miserably for one reason or another, primarily due to the writer's lack of experience.

This is not an excuse for not even trying
This is not a curse befalling all new members
This is not just a fact of life or a universal truth

This is a challenge

Some first SCPs do wonderfully, because their authors either had an instant understanding of what and how to write (which is rare) or because they took their time getting their bearings and learning the lay of the land. To help you avoid that dreaded failed first SCP, always ask for feedback on the Drafts & Critiques forum or in our IRC rooms. Take this feedback to heart, even if it's blunt and direct. If you feel someone left insulting feedback, you can always contact a member of staff. If boundaries were crossed, we'll take action.

Low-rated pages are always deleted from the site once they are rated -10 or lower and have been on the wiki for the requisite 24 hours (see the Deletions Guide for more info), so don't get too down about it if something you wrote is deleted. If your first SCP does fail, try to learn from the experience. See if the idea is salvageable, find out what worked and what didn't in terms of writing. Sometimes your skill as a writer isn't up to the level of your idea, and keeping track of your old ones for re-writing is a good tactic. You can always keep those in your sandbox. If you find that you have a problem with the clinical tone required, but you have a good grasp of the Foundationverse and the subjects and themes it explores, you can always try your hand at writing tales. Tales are in no way less than SCP articles.

Also, please note that posting a crappy SCP to 'get the bad luck out' does nothing except clutter the site up with crap. When writing your first SCP, put your best foot forward, because it is part of the standard by which your future works will be judged. Make jokes in chat. Put actual work up on the site. It'll make people think better of you, it helps improve the site, and it sets an example for the other newbies.

Really, the best possible piece of advice that any of us can give is to be patient. Sit back and lurk; we've got all kinds of articles. Spend some time to get an idea of how the site works. See what's good and what's bad, what's highest-rated and what gets downvoted. Learn what kinds of things people look for in an article; you'll be better equipped to succeed in your writing.

What Do You Do Next?

To see what you should do next to write your own SCP, return to the top of this document and choose another tab.

We expect you to behave in a reasonably civil, mature, and non-disruptive way on the SCP wiki.

This page lists all major SCP wiki rules, and how warnings and bans work. Follow the spirit of the rules, not just the exact letter.


These actions will never result in banning:

  • Writing an article no one likes.
  • Voting on any article based solely on your own opinion of its quality or merits.
  • Respectful disagreement with users or staff decisions.

These actions can result in an immediate permanent ban:

  • Vandalism.
  • Blatant and obvious trolling.
  • Sockpuppetry.
  • Harassment of site members (see the Anti-Harassment Policy).
  • Other severe misconduct.

How To Behave

  • Rule Zero: Don't be a dick. Every other rule follows from this.
  • Arguments: You may dispute the actions and opinions of anyone, including staff, as long as you do it in a calm, mature, and civil way.
  • Comments: You can comment anywhere on the site, as long as you are respectful to other users. All comments must follow the Criticism Policy. Do not troll or make personal attacks.
  • Voting: You may vote on any article on the site for any reason you like, as long as your reasoning is based solely on the content of the article.
    • Upvoting your own article: You can upvote or even downvote your article as you like.
    • Brigading: Calling for group downvoting (or group upvoting) of an article is strictly against the rules. A brigade replaces voting on quality with voting as part of a bandwagon. Being part of a downvote brigade may also lead to a ban.
      • Note: Not every call to check out an article by someone who dislikes it is brigading. Context and intent will determine whether or not an incident is considered brigading. Rule of thumb: Don't try to push a group of people to vote the same as you.
  • Forum Activity: Don't make contentless or excessively short posts (spam), don't bump threads for attention, and don't post on threads more than a few months old if you're not contributing substantially to the conversation.
    • Avoid double posting. Edit your previous posts using the "edit" function under the "options" tab to the lower right of every comment.
    • Every image posted to forum or discussion threads must be collapsed (check the "Formatting" tab of this guide for the code for collapsibles).
    • Do not make forum game threads without mod approval.
  • Posting Articles: Do not post a large number of low-quality articles. When staff tell you to slow down or stop posting, listen.
    • Plagiarism: You may not attempt to pass off another user's article as your own work. Doing so will result in the work being summarily deleted.
      • Borrowing from other works is generally fine, so long as there is not a blatant or malicious attempt to deceive the reader into believing that the work is your own. For example, consider the numerous adaptations of Sherlock Holmes: Elementary, Sherlock, The Great Mouse Detective, etc. Your works should be original in style and technique. Contact staff if you're not certain if something is plagiarism.
      • Quotes: Some quotes are fine, even if they lack attribution, so long as there is no malicious intent. Leaving references or 'Easter eggs' for careful readers to get some connection is acceptable.
    • Using images: Images included in your article must follow the rules of our Image Use Policy. You must include the source of your images on the discussion page, and this source must comply with our site policy and license. If you have any questions, contact the Licensing Team.
  • Editing:
    • Responding to edits of your articles: You may alter the text of your own articles at will. However, please do not remove technical changes to your article, such as an added rating module or a corrected page name.
    • Editing others' articles: You may correct grammar, spelling, or formatting errors on other peoples' articles. Please put a summary of changes in the 'description of changes' box. Any further edits require permission from the original author or Rewrite team.
    • Collaborative logs: You are free to add content to open collaborative logs. These pages are tagged as "collaboration". Content may be removed by the page owner or Rewrite Team. Please do not fix unauthorized or bad edits — contact the original owner or the Rewrite Team about additions that you feel are inappropriate or low-quality.
    • Updating tags: Don't add or change tags unless you know what you're doing. If you have any questions, please contact a member of the Technical Team. Do not remove Staff Process tags from any article (in-rewrite, in-deletion, _cc, or _image).

Interacting With Staff

  • Moderative Posts: If you see a "Staff Post", "Mod Post", or "Admin Post", do not reply except in the following circumstances:
    • Call for Rewrite: Only reply if you want to volunteer to rewrite the page, or to discuss the rewriting of the page.
    • Deletion Vote: Only reply if you want to ask to rewrite the page, or to request a stay of deletion.
    • Open: - Anyone may respond to this post.
  • Staff Requests: If a staff member asks you to change your behavior, whether by Private Message, Staff post, or other means, you are expected to do so.
  • Ended Discussions: Do not try to continue a conversation that has been given a Stop Order.
  • Staff Decisions/Appealing: If you disagree with a Staff decision, you may appeal to a different staff member. The decision of the other staff member is the final decision on the issue.

If you feel a user has violated any of the rules on this page, please contact a staff member.


Other things that can get you in trouble

  • Behavior that is indistinguishable from trolling: When it comes to trolling, staff take an "if it looks like a duck" approach. The end result is the same and we don't want that kind of behavior here.
  • Raiding another site: Do not use the wiki or related platforms to organize disruption of the normal operation of another site. If someone else is doing this, don't take part in it.
  • Stirring up shit: This means "a pattern of constantly toeing the line of unacceptable behavior". Negative patterns of behavior that are established and determined to be a detriment to the site or community are never tolerated for long.

The Disciplinary Process

The normal steps of punishment are as follows:

  • Warning
  • Membership Revocation
  • Short Ban (usually week-long to month-long)
  • Long Ban (month-long to year-long)
  • Permanent Ban

If a staff member warns you about your behavior, and you do not follow the instructions they give you, you will be revoked or banned.

Additional violations equal longer bans. Especially severe violations may result in skipping to more severe punishments, including being permanently banned immediately.

Appeals take place in the Site17 chatroom.

After your ban has been served, you will have to reapply for site membership. If you want to rejoin the community, you must follow the same process as all new members.


All rules are subject to interpretation by staff. Everything on this page is subject to change after review by Staff.

Introduction to #Site19

#Site19 is the general chat channel for the SCP Foundation.

  • Talking about SCPs.
  • Getting advice about your article draft.
  • Socializing with site members from around the world, both new people and site veterans.
  • Shenanigans.

Chat is open to anyone. You don't have to be a site member to join.

If you have more questions, please feel free to ask chat operators for assistance.

Remember, to join chat, you must have read and understood the guide!


If you are having issues connecting, please go to the staff chat client over here.

More questions? Feel free to join #site17 and ask staff anything.

General Questions

Is SCP real?

No. We are a creative writing website. All the SCPs are fictional. The Foundation is fictional.

How can I join the SCP Foundation?

Go to our Join Page. Remember to follow all the instructions.

Can the memetic hazards hurt me? Will I die if I ignore a security warning? Will anything happen to me in real life from reading these pages?

No. The "memetic hazards" are just random pictures. The security warnings are just to tell the reader how much the Foundation thinks these things are important and scary. They're not real.

I saw an SCP! / I think I am an SCP! What do I do?

No, you didn't. SCPs are fiction that we wrote. Also, we are not a roleplaying site!

Do you all write this stuff, or did someone else?

We wrote all this stuff. We are a community of writers.

I want to create a project based on the SCP Foundation. Can I do that?

Yes! See our Licensing Guide for more information. The short version:

  • Yes, you can make money off of anything — except the image of SCP-173. But you must follow the license.
  • The Creative Commons license means anyone else can copy and profit off of anything you make if they wish.
  • You do have to credit us and link our site.
  • No, we can't take off the Creative Commons license. Not "won't" — "can't".
  • Yes, we will help you sort out licensing confusion if you ask.

I have a question about Containment Breach.

We are not the official site for Containment Breach, because we didn't create Containment Breach. Check out its official site here: http://www.scpcbgame.com/

I have a question about TheVolgun's voiceover work.

We are not the official site for TheVolgun's (awesome) work. Check out their Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheVolgun

Why is the age limit 15?

Because fifteen is the age when most people are mature enough to be part of our community.

I'm mature enough, but I'm not 15. Can you make an exception?

No, sorry. Even if it's true, everyone says that. Plus, it wouldn't be fair to everyone else who follows the rules. If you tell us you're under fifteen, or if we figure it out, we have to ban you.

However, unless you're a jerk about it, we'll be happy to let you in as soon as you turn fifteen.

Can I draw or make artwork about an SCP? Can I show you?

Absolutely! Post away in our Fan Work forum. You can also post on Visual Records — anyone can join, even if they're not a member here.

In order to maintain our standards of quality, pages found to be substandard by the community through the voting system (e.g. the Rating Box) are removed by Staff. There are exceptions for submissions that are found to be in violation of site policy. No matter the reason for deletion, deletions are always announced on the forum in the most recent Deletions thread, with reasons clearly given.

Grace Period

Pages are typically afforded a grace period of 24 hours after the posting of a deletion vote, during which time they are not eligible for removal from the site, regardless of rating. If a page is one hour or one year old, it doesn't matter. Everything gets a 24-hour period.

Standard Process

If a page’s rating falls to -10 or lower, that page becomes eligible for deletion. A member of Senior Staff (Operational Staff or higher) will make a post in its discussion thread, titled Staff Post, suggesting deletion. This post will have a timer on it, noting how long the deletion vote has been in place. When a page reaches three Staff votes for deletion and the deletion timer has passed 24 hours, it is removed from the site.

If a page’s rating rises above -10, all Staff votes for deletion prior to this are voided. Should it fall again, voting for deletion must begin anew.

If an author requests a stay of deletion to make edits or rewrite a page, these may be granted. Consideration of these requests is on a case-by-case basis, as oftentimes, the best thing is to start again from a clean slate. Supplementary pages will be automatically deleted when their parent page is. Authors may repost supplements as standalone works to be judged separately as they see fit.

Reasons for Summary Deletion

There are instances when Staff will waive the standard deletions process and delete the article (with one other staff member needed as a witness). These situations are:

  • Articles with malicious intent such as, but not limited to: links to viruses, sexually explicit material, spam, advertising, trolling, and illegal content.
  • Pages that are clearly unfinished. (e.g. articles with blank sections or [insert text here] notes)
  • Attempts to "game" site procedure, such as re-posting a non-rewritten article in an attempt to get around downvotes.
  • Blatantly plagiarized3 material.
  • An article posted outside of the current range4. Authors may repost their articles within the acceptable range as they see fit.

Self-Deletion

If an author should request their material be removed, and be able to prove authorship beyond a reasonable doubt, these requests are granted.

Authors have the ability to delete their own work at any time. This is accomplished by:

  1. Clicking “Options” at the bottom of the page,
  2. Clicking “Delete”,
  3. Selecting checkbox for, “Delete Completely.”

Be sure to select “Delete Completely,” as a failure to do this does not remove the page, it simply renames it. After doing so, announce your choice to delete in the most recent Deletions thread.

If an author attempts to self-delete their work and fails to do so properly, either by blanking the page or renaming it, it will be deleted fully by Staff.

More Information

Staff have a more detailed and thorough version of the deletions guide which specifies exactly how these processes take place and the policies they follow. If you're interested, take a look at the Staff Deletions Guide on the administrative site.

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