The ratings system, in Nan's own words.
Rating zines, like rating movies, isn't an exact science. Basically, there are two broad categories: those that are suitable for children and young teens, and those that aren't - whether for strong language, sexual situations or explicit sex, mature themes (strong emotional intensity), violence, or whatever else might disturb or upset a young or very sensitive reader. Ratings on one side of the border include G, PG, PG-13; on the other side are R and X, which require an age statement to be sent with an order, attesting that the person ordering is over a specified age and is therefore aware of and accepts mature content. This saves headaches later for publishers who don't want to be accused of sending pornography, however defined, through the mails.
The series itself would probably have been rated PG-13: there's the occasional profanity (as you may have noticed, by its being cut, on Family Channel); people who aren't married having sex (though implied rather than being graphically filmed), and even though the blood doesn't show much, the body count gets pretty high at times and there is considerable violence in all three seasons.
Here are some general guidelines on ratings:
G - suitable for any reader of any age. No mature themes or subject matter whatever. No age statement needed.
PG - Probably not appropriate for young children (under 10, say), and as in movies, for older children, a parent's opinion should probably be asked before ordering. The PG means "parental guidance suggested," not "required." No age statement needed.
PG-13 - Probably not suitable for anyone under puberty. Anyone under that age should get a parent's consent to order. There are at least mature themes and perhaps strong language, violence, implied sex or sexual themes, or any combination of these. If sex is involved, no sexual organs are mentioned except by euphemism and body parts not customarily exposed for public view are not discussed in any but a passing way (breasts, for instance). The emphasis is on emotion, not anatomy. No age statement needed.
R - contains either graphic violence, extremely crude language, or explicit (but not graphic) sex - that is, sex acts are described but the story's sole focus isn't sexual. Body parts get mentioned, often in some detail. Age statement is required.
X - the story's main focus is sexual or violent. Either element is graphically described. Age statement is required. All of the above have produced fine zines in this fandom, though given the series' focus on chaste (but intense) romance, either G or X rated zines are relatively rare. A rating is not a judgment on the quality of the zine, only a description of its orientation in terms of mature material. When rating information was supplied by the publisher, it's been included. If not, the reviewer took her best guess."