The 2012 X-Men: First Class holiday exchange!
(Open, Unmoderated, Gift Exchange Challenge)
Hello, internet! Welcome to Secret Mutant, a Secret Generic Holiday Figurehead exchange for all the X-Men: First Class fic/art your little heart could desire. WE WILL MAKE YOUR HEART GROW THREE SIZES.
Those interested in writing an XMFC fic or making XMFC art for someone else and receiving some in exchange will sign up for the next two weeks. After sign-ups close, the mods will match participants based on their likes and requests and you'll have five and a half weeks to work to fit your recipient's request. The works will then be posted anonymously for everyone to lavish with praise. On December 22th, the creators will be revealed and we'll all pat each other on the back for being super awesome.
Sounds great, right? I certainly think so! If you think so as well, read on for more information!
Sign-ups: October 10 - October 24
Assignments Out: October 29
Last Day to Drop Out: December 1
Assignments Due: December 9
Stories Posted: December 16
Author/Artist Reveals: December 22
Assignments will go out on October 29, after which you'll have almost six weeks to work a present that fits your recipient's request. The last day to drop out will be December 1st. (Obviously if something comes up after that, we'll be forgiving, but the earlier we know you can't finish your assignment, the better.) Once all assignments are in, we'll start the pinch hits going and posting will be the following week.
Excellent! How long does my fic have to be?
Just 1000 words! That's not long at all, right? There's no maximum, so feel free to write a 20,000 word epic if you so desire, as long as you can finish it by the deadline ;D
Can I do art instead of fic?
Yes! The types of art that are allowed are drawings/paintings/illustrations (digital or traditional) and vids. Fanmixes, icons, and manips are not accepted, however. If you have an idea for another sort of art, you can email the mods at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll talk about it.
Wait, you say art is allowed? I don't want to receive art, I only want fic!
Then, I'm sorry, but Secret Mutant isn't for you this year. Last year we had some amazing artists participate and I'm sure the quality will be just as high this year. I want to give them an opportunity to participate as well, and this year there's no easy way to weed out the people who don't want art.
What sort of requests are allowed?
This year, Secret Mutant is open to all pairings, not just Charles/Erik. You can make four requests total. Three of them can be any pairings you like, but one of them must be gen. This is to ensure you can be matched. If three of your requests are for an obscure pairing only you write, it will be hard to match you with someone and we want to make sure you get an awesome present you enjoy.
We're trying to keep prompts on the short-side, so if you have an epic idea for a crossover AU steampunk time travel fic, this might not be the place for it. Generally, we're asking for three prompts for up to three pairings and one gen prompt, but feel free to request AUs or sad fic or disgustingly happy fic or fic where everyone has wings or whatever floats your boat! We'll do our best to match you with someone who likes writing those things! Remember, though: writer's might not be able to write to your specific prompt, though they'll write to your likes even if the specific scenario of the prompt doesn't speak to them.
What if I only want to request one pairing?
Then you can fill out each request with the same pairing :) Same goes for gen fic--if you only want gen fic, feel free to only request gen fic!
Is there a way to get in touch with my gifter/recipient?
Gifters and recipients can't contact each other directly until the fest is over, but feel free to make a "Dear Secret Mutant" post on your LJ/DW that outlines what you like and dislike a little more firmly. This is in no way a requirement, mind, but if you'd like to put one out there, we'll put a collection post on the LJ comm.
Does my work have to be ~*winter holiday themed?*~
Nope! If you want to request a Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/Atheist Kids Get Presents Day themed fic, feel free! Ask for all the winter stories filled with cocoa and presents and ice skating and bitching about the heating bills. If you want a totally not-winter-themed present, go ahead and ask for it. Heck, you could ask for a summer story if you want. Don't feel confined to ~*the holiday season*~.
What if I have to drop out after the last day for drop outs?
There's no penalty--we probably won't hunt you down and glare at you from the bushes outside your house or anything. But we'd appreciate it if you let us know as soon as possible so we can get a pinch-hitter lined up for you.
I dropped out last year. Can I still participate this year?
Yes, you can :) We understand that things come up, especially around this time of year, so we're not barring anyone from the challenge based on participation this year. The more, the merrier!
I'm interested in participating, but I don't have an AO3 account!
That's not a question, but we'll let it slide. The mods have AO3 invites. If you need one, please comment here with your email address or email email@example.com to request one.
Ooo, my recipient's prompt fits in really well with a work in progress I've already started posting. Can I just write them a new chapter of that?
Sorry, but no. The stories for Secret Mutant need to be new. You can't dedicate your WiP to them or add a chapter to a longer fic to fulfill your end of the exchange.
I have a really good idea based on one of my recipient's prompts, but it's too long to finish in five weeks!
Sorry again, but we ask that you please come up with a truncated version or write something else. All stories submitted for Secret Mutant must be complete. We've had some trouble with that in the past. You can still write your epic idea, but you'll have to do it in your own time. If you submit a story that's not complete, you will be defaulted from the challenge and a pinch-hitter will be found to replace you.
I'm almost done and the deadline is in an hour, but I don't think I can make it! Can I have an extension?
I'm sorry, but this year there will be no extensions. AO3 will automatically default anyone who doesn't have their gift uploaded by 11:59pm EST on December 9th. If your gift truly is only a few hours away from being complete, contact a mod at firstname.lastname@example.org, but chances are we'll still assign a pinch-hitter and your recipient will be lucky enough to get two gifts.
I'm an artist/vidder and I want to make sure I preserve anonymity by not uploading to my own webspace. What's a work around for this?
We recommend imgur and tinypic for art until the reveal (at which point you can switch it over to your own webspace). If you have issues with either of those sites, let the mods know and we can upload it to the mod LJ gallery. If you're a vidder, let us know and we'll work something out for you as well :)
I think I might be able to pinch-hit if there's a need. Can I sign up for that somewhere?
Yes you can! Please take a look at this post on the LJ comm to sign up as a possible pinch-hitter.
This all sounds great! But I have a question you didn't answer!
Feel free to ask in the comments of the LJ comm or to email the mods at email@example.com.
1. Don't be a jerk. The number one rule for all fic fests, I feel. Remember you are making a present for someone else and someone is making one for you, so please be courteous both to your recipient and to your gifter.
2. Building on that, no character bashing, please. For anyone. Don't request it and please don't write it.
3. If you purposely write a story/make a picture that is intended as malicious towards your recipient, you'll be be banned and a pinch-hitter will be called in.
4. Moving away from the jerky rules, fic length is a minimum of 1000 words. Feel free to write more, if you wish!
5. You can request up to four things but one of them MUST be gen.
6. Your story MUST be complete. No works in progress, no prologues to a longer fic, no chapters of a larger story.
7. Gifts must be in by 11:59PM EST on December 9th. Anyone who does not have a gift uploaded by that time will be automatically defaulted and the assignment will be given to a pinch-hitter.
8. The exchange is anonymous, so please don't reveal who you're writing for until it's officially revealed on AO3!
9. Understandably, then, don't post your fic/art elsewhere until after the reveal, at which point you should feel free to post it wherever you'd like!