Okay, normally I just babble about Yuletide as if everyone knows what it is and either they're doing it or if they're not, it's because they don't want to. But! I've realised that's not true. Maybe you would participate if only you knew more about it!
What is yuletide
? Well, it's a holiday fest for small fandoms. And when we say small, we're not talking "small compared to Harry Potter" or even "small compared to Supernatural or Stargate: Atlantis". We mean small. Some fandoms have a total of a few hundred fics scattered over the web (and there are allowances for old TV fandoms such as MASH, which might have once had very active fandoms, but are now very small again), but many, the vast majority, have less than a hundred, less than fifty. Some may have one or two. Some (like a few I requested) may be getting their first fic ever this year, assuming someone has requested and someone else has offered and they're matched up.
Now, I'm sorry to say, but you have missed the most fun part of all (IMO), the nominations. What happens is each year people get to nominate up to six fandoms that will be available for that year's fest. Anything that was nominated last year but not this year goes off the list. Fandoms that grew too much over the past year go off the list. It's a really fun time, with everyone trying to figure out which fandoms they want to nominate. This year the participants nominated a whopping 1662 fandoms between them. Wow.
What the hell are all these fandoms, you must be asking yourself. Well, they're TV shows both old and new, books, video games, the Bible, various myths, historical figures, bands and musicians, actors*, movies, manga, anime, comics, web comics, Asian dramas...literally anything you can think of that you'd like to see fic about can be nominated. In years past there have even been songs nominated, though I don't know if there are any this year.
So you've missed the nomination period, but don't despair! Like I said, there are over 1600 fandoms available to choose from
. Browse through and I bet you'll find something you could write or something you want to read fic about.
The way the fest works is pretty simple. You find three to four fandoms you want to receive fic for and then three or more fandoms you can offer to write for. When you put in your requests, you can specify not only the fandom, but also the characters and an optional prompt. For an idea of what people might write for a prompt, see mine here
. I tried to give some leeway as to what could be written, but was fairly specific, because I nominated these fandoms with an idea of what I wanted to read in mind. As a writer, I prefer more detailed prompts to really vague ones, but not too
detailed. I think what I wrote for my requests is the sort of thing I'd like to see with my assignment as well.
You may notice that post is titled "Dear Yuletide Santa..." There is a tradition of making posts to elaborate on the kind of thing you like and don't, so the person assigned to you can get a better idea of what you like. Last year there were about 900 participants. This year there are already almost that many and there is still a week left to go before signups close. Chances are the person writing for you will not know you at all. Give them something to go on. They'll almost certainly appreciate the help.
Once signups are over (October 18th), a program will match everyone up and assignments will be sent out within a couple days. You get two months to write and it only needs to be 1000 words minimum, so it's not a huge commitment. While you are only matched for one fandom, you are assigned one person
. What that means is that you will get 3-4 fandoms, but only one of them is guaranteed to be one you signed up to write for. If you happen to know one of the other fandoms and decide you'd rather write that, you can. Some people request on a theme, with very similar canons, and some request totally randomly. I've never been assigned someone whose other fandoms I was familiar with, but it can happen.
The other thing about your assignments is that the details are optional. All you really need to stick to is the fandom and the characters requested. However, most people like to include the prompt if possible, since they're trying to write something the recipient will like as well as trying to write a good story.
Yuletide is hands-down the largest multi-fandom fic exchange (and probably the largest fic exchange of any sort) and it's really excited to participate in something so huge. I've done it for three years running and written stuff I never imagined I would write like A.I.
, The Dark Is Rising
, and Seinfeld
. Last year I choked and couldn't write the fic I was assigned, but I still wrote a pinch hit, and even though I was horribly stressed out about not being able to do my assignment, I still love Yuletide and have only positive feelings regarding it.
Has that explained it all? Feel free to ask if you still have questions. The FAQ
is long and overwhelming, but it might help to take a look at it. If you want to keep track of the goings-on, you should friend the comm linked above, as well as yuletide_admin
*OMG There's a category for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost RPS! And four people have requested it. I am kind of pathetically excited about this. They're best friends! They make movies together! They're funny! (Oh, I hope all four requests get written and are actually good!)