The Beta Reader Index (BRI) List

I can highly recommend Darrel's list of beta readers--wonderful people who have earned themselves flowers, chocolate, diamonds, and a big sloppy kiss from their favorite Star Trek character... I came away from the process with lots of ideas as to how to address the problems identified, as well as with lots of enthusiasm for getting back to work....
- Marlissa Campbell

Hello and welcome to the Beta Reader Index List.  Writers of Star Trek fan fiction looking for someone to edit their material now have a web site they can visit.  Help is literally a mouse click away!


This site consists of the following sections: Check out some other writing resources.

Return to The Writers' Corner

What exactly is a Beta Reader?

It wasn't that long ago that someone had asked, 'Why are they called beta readers?'  I'd like to take a few moments and give my explanation to this non-trivial question.

We can thank the Information Age for lending to the etymology of this description for who is essentially an editor of fan fiction.  I don't know where or how the terms originated, but many technology-centered businesses can be said to use two strategies for testing software products.  In the first method, called alpha testing, occurs before the product is released commercially to the public (in other words, the testing occurs by a internal component of the company).  The second method, beta testing, usually occurs just prior to a commercial release and depends on external sources.  This is done mainly to catch unanticipated errors and to field suggestions for improvements that can be developed in a future product release.  The World Wide Web became a natural venue for software companies to employ this strain of testing: it was only a matter of downloading the software from a web page or FTP site, and the beta tester could send their comments back immediately via e-mail.

I suppose you can see how the term beta reader came to be used in fan fiction circles. <g>

Beta Readers: Do You Need One?

This essay, written by Laura Michelle Hale, was recently posted on Alt.Startrek.Creative.  I thought it was very well written and aptly appropriate material to include here on the BRI List web site.  A quick e-mail later, and I got the go-ahead from Laura herself to publish it here.  Great, huh?

So, without futher ado, I present to you Beta Readers: Do You Need One, and What to Expect From Author & Beta

Glossary: How to Read the BRI List

The toughest task in creating any reference source is always the same: making it readable and easy to understand.  To help you make sense of the layout for the entries in the index, I'll step through each section in detail.

Section 1: Contact Information

This section outlines the beta reader's offered services.

The headers are broken down as follows:

Contact Name
E-Mail Address(es)
If specified, the preferred e-mail address is listed in bold font.
Content Ratings
Indicates what manner of story the beta reader will accept, from as low as G to as high as NC-17.  (Ratings as determined in the Alt.Startrek.Creative FAQ)
The areas in which the beta reader will assist you.  Such specialties include:
  • Proofreading
  • Sentence Structure
  • Grammar
  • Characterization
  • Plot
  • Setting
  • Writing Style
  • General Trek Knowledge

Section 2: Series Information

This section specifies the beta reader's particular reading preferences in a given Star Trek series, so the writer can get just the right feedback they're looking for.

Note: Section 2 should be completed IN FULL for EVERY series of interest.  For example, if you wish to beta both DS9 and Voyager stories, complete the section once for DS9, and once again for Voyager.

The headers are broken down as follows:

The type(s) of story the beta reader will read.  Such genres include:
  • Romance
  • Parody/Humour
  • Angst
  • Hurt/Comfort
  • Erotica
    This is a truly vast genre (much larger than I would have thought possible), and to tell you the truth I'm not certain how much of it is or will be used by writers of Star Trek fan fiction writers.  However, with a little help from some of the patrons of the BRI List, I've decided to include the following classifications to the index profiles:
    • Slash (ie. same sex) Erotica
    • Het
    • Multiple partners
    • B/D (Bondage and Discipline)
    • S&M (Sadism and Masochism)
    • BDSM (B/D with S&M)
    • D/s (Dominance and submission)
    • NonCons (Non-consensual sex)
    • Rape
    For other forms of erotica not listed here, it will be up to the writer to contact the beta readers to see if they will read your material.  Just because it isn't listed doesn't mean they won't accept it, but do check first.
  • Character Death
  • Alternate Universe (AU)
  • Crossover
  • Episode Additions (codas, missing scenes, etc.)
  • Poetry
  • General Adventure
Characters/Character Pairings
A listing of specific characters ot character relationships a beta reader will read.  Character codes can be found in the Alt.Startrek.Creative FAQ.  Preferred characters and pairings are listed in bold type.

Section 3: Miscellaneous Remarks

This section has other vital information provided by the beta reader to make sure your correspondences go as smoothly as possible.

Joining the BRI List - Submission Form

Think you might be interested in lending your services as a beta reader?  Then download a copy of the Beta Reader Index List submission form, fill it out and e-mail it to  I'll be more than happy to insert you into the index.

Now, for the List

A huge note of thanks has to go out to the people who volunteered to join the BRI List, especially the ones who had to put up with the repeated adjustments to the submission form to make sure the information shown below is as accurate as possible.  Without your interest and patience none of this would have been possible.  Thank you!

To ease your search, the index list is categorized by series.  Simply click on the series name listed below to jump straight to that section.

The Original Star Trek    The Next Generation    Deep Space Nine    Voyager    Enterprise    Other Realms

Site Feedback

Okay, now that you've had a chance to visit the Beta Reader Index List, you have to tell me what you think of it.  Is this what you would expect of a beta reader index?  Is there room for improvement?  I really want to make this place a useful resource for Star Trek fanfic writers, and the best way to do that is by getting the information from the people who use it.

So, to better serve you, please send me your remarks. 

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Darrel W. Beach, BSc. 
Programmer/Developer, Focus Systems Inc.
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