On several other sites, the moderators have begun adding a reference catagory for essays, 'textbooks', as well as other things.
Since MNFF seems to possess the greatest collection of intellgent, skilled, and informed authors (yes, I do start out on a flatery note.). If we were to add a reference catagory, I have every confidence we would be able to be gather a great collection of informative texts that could serve a great use to our fiction writers.
A means of building up the catagory, we could even add the occasional Great Hall Challange.
I was just about to suggest this, until I remembered that I'd read this thread some time ago. With the date in mind, I understand that I'm late to the game but since it's open, I thought I'd just add that I wholly agree. Having a sub-forum for essays would not only open a brand new portal to knowledge, but also, a new opportunity for challenges, ergo new ways to get authors writing. Essays are an entirely different beast from fiction, and I think having a well-rounded understanding of all forms of writing ultimately betters us in every aspect of our writing.
So, to open the opportunity to get members writing informative text wouldn't just benefit in the obvious way, of providing knowledge, but the authors would be learning themselves.
Sorry if this is rambly, or far too late. :o
..I'd also like to add that I really like this idea, for all the reasons mentioned above. I think one of those most fun things about HP fanfic is that we can theorize about things in JK's world, and being able to put it in writing and publish it on the site would be nice. =)
We have discussed this suggestion, and the general view is that there is not enough evidence in terms of actual fics to justify this category at the moment. We have validated similar book-type stories to the General category in the past and if we were to see a sudden upsurge in these types of stories, then we would certainly consider giving them their own category.
Thanks for the suggestion :)