Drug Use? Murder? Assault? Cover Art? I need help understanding

Guys I need help understanding the content guidelines.

For Drug Use, it says “No description or depiction of active, ongoing drug, alcohol or tobacco use by characters who are under the age of 16”

  • So, if the character is 16 and older can they take drugs? Obviously not showing it or saying what type of drug it is and not promoting it of course. One of my character’s had a drug problem in the past and he had a relapse, but he will be getting help for it. The character is 24 by the way.

  • Also, what if one of the characters were drugged and they didn’t know? The character started hallucinating and showing symptoms of the drug, but it won’t show someone drugging them. If the character believes they need mental help, is it okay to say they went to a psychiatrist to see why they’re hallucinating?

Mental health issues: Is it okay to have or say you’re having an anxiety attack/panic attack?


  • If you’re 16 and older can you show them drinking? Show that they’re drunk? Say that they’re drunk?

About Murder Scenes:

  • Can the main character shoot someone if its self defense? The character is 21 and has a gun license. She is not a police officer btw.

For Abuse it says: " No detailed descriptions of assault"

  • if one of my characters was abused and has bruises on her face or body, how do I let readers know they were abused without all the details? Do I just let the character say “I wasn’t treated the best.” (None of the abuse will be shown btw)

Cover Art: Is my cover art allowed? I published a story almost a year ago and I used an illustrated cover art of a celeb. It was never taken down. Is it because Episode didn’t know who the celeb was or…? Because I am rewriting the same story and I was looking at the guidelines and It says:

“No images or illustrated likenesses of celebrities or historical or contemporary public figures are allowed as characters or on backgrounds, overlays or story cards”

If it’s an illustration of a celebrity wouldn’t it still be mine? For example, paparazzi take pictures of celebs without permission and if the celeb uploads the picture the paparazzi took of them, they will get sued because it’s still the paparazzi’s picture.

Anyway If my cover isn’t allowed, then can I ask the celebrity if I can use it? And if she says yes will it be allowed? Because I had two illustrations of her and I paid more than $200 for it.

Here are the before and after.

I also tried looking this up but I couldn’t find the exact answer for my questions.


1 Like


I feel like these are questions the support team should be able to help you with more. These guidelines are interpreted differently between everyone (even support desk, but its better to go there with your questions).

It says under 16, so I think that’s okay to show at least one scene of a 16 yr old drinking. (dont take my word for it - you really should seek the advise of the support desk, since they know whats allowed and what isnt)
Also, it says “ongoing” use, so I see that as either drug/alcohol abuse, or a frequent depiction of ongoing use. So I’d say that those I mentioned aren’t allowed.

For this, I’m honestly not sure. I’d say it was allowed only because I’ve seen featured stories that have IMPLIED that a character was drugged.

I believe its allowed (again, support desk gives you the answers!). The guidelines says they can’t be graphic/detailed/explicit descriptions, so no excessive amounts of blood and bodies. (Also, I know my story was reviewed and accepted; it contained one dead body and small amounts of blood - it wasn’t an overly disturbing scene, murder aside)

I’m not sure for this one! I just know it can’t be parental abuse/torture!! See support desk for this one.

1 Like

Disclaimer: These are general answers, everything is always depending on the context. Things are reviewed case by case for this reason, so answers might change in an actual review.

Yes. It’s important that it’s being seen in a negative light and that they are getting better.

This is difficult to say. Drugging someone without them knowing is an awful thing to do to someone, so this would heavily depend on the portrayal and my previous answer. I’d advise showing the person doing the drugging as receiving a (non-violent) consequence for their actions and it to be negatively portrayed. This would be a mix of consent/bullying/drug use guidelines.

Of course, as long as it’s not portrayed in a joking manner.

Yes, but not as far as described as feeling good or positive. Neutral or negative descriptions/sensations.

Yes. I’d advise not showing both the gunshot and victim at the same time.

Yes. This implication is permitted.

We sometimes make mistakes. This isn’t allowed.

I’m sorry to say, but like I said in my fanfiction thread, we can’t legally track these kinds of agreements so we wouldn’t be able to recognize any permission given.

In general, I’d also recommend adding some Content Warnings if you haven’t already. I have a thread for them if you need somewhere to start. :v:


What if I switch things around and not include drugs. What if the character was hallucinating and say he went to a psychiatrist to get better?

So, if a character starts drinking because they’re upset and they start having a drinking problem for a short period of time, is that allowed? The character will eventually stop drinking in the story and decides to make better choices because when they drink only negative things come out of it. They start failing school and loses friendships/relationships because of it. That’s when they decide to stop and focus on school and bettering their friendships/relationships.

How would that work? Because if the reader chooses to defend themselves then they already know the main character they’re playing is going to shoot the bad guy. So, if they choose to defend themselves do I just show the main character with the gun and then when the main character shoots only show their arm?

I understand, I rather have a cover that’s allowed then having a cover that’s not allowed even though it was accepted. And it is true that it will be kind of hard proving the agreement. Because to be honest anyone can edit a screenshot you know what I mean? So, I totally understand. I will just edit a cover instead :crazy_face:

Yes, as long as it isn’t a harmful depiction of individuals with mental illness who have hallucinatory symptoms.


Zooming in and ‘camera’ switching.

Good luck :v:

1 Like