Welcome back to Parallels! 2015 will be our fifth year.
Parallels is a rare fandom fanworks exchange for media from anywhere in Asia.
(Open, Unmoderated, Gift Exchange Challenge)
About Parallels Fanworks Exchange 2015 (Parallels_2015)
Welcome to Parallels 2015. This year's nominations are here.
June 1-15th: Nominations
June 16-29th: Signups
July 1st: Assignments go out
August 1st: Assignments due
August 1st-14th: Pinch hitting
August 15th: Works go live
August 22nd: Creator names are revealed
Fandoms & Types of Fanworks
Q: What kinds of fandoms are allowed?
A: Rare fandoms of any type of media from anywhere in Asia. (Anime, Bollywood films, kdramas, manhua, tokusatsu, komiks, RPF...)
Q: How do you define "Asia"?
A: With extreme vagueness. Anything on that top map in the Asia article on Wikipedia is fair game. I'll let in anything from Russia and any place that's partly in Asia or whose status is ambiguous. At this time, I am not allowing media about Asia but produced elsewhere (e.g. historical novels set in Asia but written and published in the US).
Q: What kind of fanworks do you allow?
A: Fic, vids/amvs, traditional art (drawing, painting, digital drawing & painting), and graphics. I'm open minded about what counts as "fan art", but these should be finished pieces. For 2014, I am adding graphics as a separate category. Photomanips, banners, wallpapers, gifsets, icons, etc. are part of this category. The level of complexity and effort should be equivalent to what would go into the other categories (500 words of fic, 30 seconds of AMV/vid, 1 finished piece of art). This can be one complex piece or a set of less complex ones. (Please, no single pieces that are head A on body B manips with no other changes to the photos. No single screencaps with a funny caption. This doesn't have to be the Mona Lisa of graphics, but it should be more substantial than that.) I have had suggestions to add other types of fanworks; I am open to this idea, but it would require a significant number of participants to be interested in the same type. Maybe next year.
Q: What if my source is a historical manga about European aristocrats?
A: As long as your comic/movie/whatever is from Asia, that's fine. I'm restricting sources based on geography, not content.
Q: How do you determine rarity?
A: I don't. Parallels operates on the honor system. Anything that is nominated will be on the signup form. If someone else has nominated something that's not in the spirit of the exchange and you're outraged, outraged, I say!, don't offer it and don't make fanworks for it. Whether the works produced for Parallels are really in rare fandoms is up to you, the writers, vidders, editors, and artists.
Q: But, but, but!
A: Dude, have you seen how much wank most methods of determining rarity cause? Plus rarity means totally different things for different types of media: a "rare" fandom for shounen anime is not the same thing as a rare fandom for anything from West Asia or even for josei manga. You know whether your fandom is genuinely rare a lot better than I do. The honor system will have about the same success rate as any other method and is far less trouble.
Q: How many fandoms/characters can I nominate?
A: 20 fandoms, 20 characters each. You don't have to use all of those slots, and you don't have to make all of your nominations at once.
Q: How do I nominate?
A: While nominations are open, you can find the nominations form here. After nominations are closed, you can still look at the tag set there.
Q: I'm going to be away during nominations. ;_;
A: Have someone else nominate for you or send me a message and I will manually add things for you.
Q: I don't have an AO3 account; can I still participate?
A: You must have an AO3 account to use the signup form. I can send you an invitation if you need one at the last minute. Otherwise, please add yourself to the queue.
Q: How many fandoms do I have to request/offer?
A: You must request 4. You must offer at least 4, but you can offer more if you want.
Q: What if I only want to request/offer fic/art/video/graphics? Can I offer fic in one fandom and art in another?
A: The form will let you specify media type. This can be different for different fandoms and different for requests and offers. If you love one of these four fanwork types so much you are not interested in the other three, that is fine.
Q: I only want to offer/request certain characters.
A: Nominated characters will be available to request. You will also be able to specify characters on your offers, but options may be more limited there depending on how many fandoms you are offering. (Offering a "bucket list" of multiple fandoms means you must offer all of the characters in each of them.)
Q: How does matching work?
A: You will be matched to someone who requested a fandom, characters, and an artform you offered. (For example, if you only offer art for a fandom, you can only be matched to someone who requested art in that fandom, not someone who only requested fic. If you offered characters A & B, then you could be matched to someone who requested A, B, or A & B, but not someone who requested A & B & C.)
Q: I'm going to be away during signups. ;_;
A: Make a temporary password and have a friend sign up for you or talk to me in advance and we will work something out.
Q: I signed up with the wrong pseud and now it won't let me switch.
A: Delete your signup and try again.
Q: Can I sign up multiple pseuds of the same AO3 account? Can we sign up as a team? Can I sign up twice?
A: Unfortunately, the AO3 challenge interface only allows one signup per account. You can make a second AO3 account for the other person. After Parallels is over, you can add the correct pseud as a co-author and remove the new account. I don't mind if you sign up multiple AO3 accounts that are all you or if there are multiple people using your one account and you want to collaborate on your Parallels assignment. As long as you can get your assignments done on time, the rest of that is up to you.
Q: I hate my assignment!
A: If something went wrong with matching, I will assign you to someone new and send your old assignment out as a pinch hit. If matching ran fine and you just hate your assignment, you can either default or suck it up and finish anyway.
Q: I hate the optional details!
A: They're optional. Just ignore them if you can't or don't want to use them.
Q: I was assigned on one request, but I like one of the others better.
A: You only have to do 1 work. It can be for any of your recipient's requests whether or not you matched on that one.
Q: Can you explain the minimum requirements?
A: Fic should be 500 words+ and feature the characters your recipient requested. Optional details are optional. Vids/AMVs should be substantially footage from the requested source and feature the requested characters. Art does not need to be portraits of characters' faces, but it should be recognizably related to the fandom and characters your recipient requested. (That is, if someone complains, you should be able to explain to me why your art is a valid response to your assignment.) Graphics should be a substantive piece. A few screencaps won't cut it. Graphics should be something like a complex photomanip, a detailed wallpaper, a gifset that has effects/text, etc. The more pieces in the set, the less detail is expected of an individual piece. If you're only doing one piece, it should show a significant level of art/craft. It's hard to compare disparate types of fanwork, but keep the fic/video/traditional art guidelines in mind when thinking about what graphics to make. If there are disputes about whether someone has fulfilled their assignment, your mod will be the arbiter, and I will judge on a case by case basis.
Q: Do I have to use the requested characters?
A: Yes. Unless your recipient indicates in their optional details or a separate letter that it's ok to not use them.
Q: Can I write a crossover, use external source in a vid, do non-representational fan art, etc.?
A: Uh... try to make something your recipient will like. If you as a recipient like things like non-representational fan art, that would be a good thing to put in your optional details or in a separate letter. Using a small amount of footage of an actor in another role is probably ok. Making an AU gifset on request and including images from outside of your assigned canon is fine. Doing original animation for an AMV is awesome. Including so much crossover/original/external stuff that your assignment is no longer recognizably in the requested fandom is a problem.
Q: Can I give my writer/vidder/editor/artist more detail?
A: Sure! Just write a letter. Most people post these places like DW or LJ. I will have a post up on the two communities for people to either link their letters or post them directly in comments.
Q: What should go in my letter?
A: Themes you love. Squicks. If you're requesting a vid/AMV, you could talk about what kind of music you like. You could link to favorite fan art. You could talk about what you want out of graphics. Basically, anything that gives your recipient a better idea of your tastes is fair game.
After the exchange
Q: Do I have to comment on my gift?
A: Yes. It's a gift. At least thank them for making something for you. Jeez.
Q: Can I remove my works from Parallels?
A: No. These are gifts. No takebacks. You may, however, orphan your works any time you want.
Q: I gave embedded art/video and now I have a hosting problem!
A: You are welcome to change your hosting and edit the Parallels work to include a new embed. (And if I notice that your work is no longer available, I will ask you to do this.) If you need help with hosting options, talk to me. If and when AO3 natively hosts images or video, you are encouraged to update your older Parallels works accordingly.
Defaulting & Pinch Hits
Q: I defaulted in a previous year. Am I banned? ;_;
A: No. I am lazy; I didn't even keep a list. It's not like threats of banning actually reduce the default rate anyway.
Q: What if I have to default this year?
A: Use the 'Default' button under your 'Assignments' tab on AO3.
Q: I'd like to pinch hit.
A: Great! Like last year, I'll be posting pinch hits to the DW and LJ communities and also to Tumblr (but please claim on DW or LJ if you can because it might take me a long time to see your ask on Tumblr).
1. Nominate Asian sources that don't have big fandoms.
2. Make a fanwork meeting the minimum criteria and using the fandom and characters in your assignment.
- fic: 500 words
- vids/amvs: 30 seconds
- art: 500x500px
- graphics: 1 complex item (banner, wallpaper, etc.) or a collection of simpler ones (gifsets, icon sets, etc.)
3. Don't be a dick.