Blue Christmeth is an annual holiday Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul gift exchange, open to both writers and artists. Sign-ups are open November 21st-December 12th, 2021, and works will be revealed January 23rd, 2022.
(Closed, Moderated, Gift Exchange Challenge)
About Blue Christmeth 2021 (BlueChristmeth2021)
Yo, bitches, welcome to Blue Christmeth, a Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul Fanwork Exchange!
Blue Christmeth is a Secret Santa-style gift exchange open to both writers and artists. You’ll sign up and specify the characters and pairings you’re willing to write or draw. You’ll also get to submit four different prompts you might like to have turned into a story or artwork made just for you!
After sign-ups close, the Blue Christmeth moderator and AO3’s team of specialized robots will pair you with a recipient with whom you appear to have some… chemistry. Your task is to write a finished story of at least 1,000 words or create a finished piece of artwork that fulfils at least one of their requests as best you can. Then you’ll post it anonymously by January 16th, and wait anxiously to see your own gift when works are revealed on January 23rd.
Sounds fun, right? We think so too! Read on for FAQ, rules, and more!
Sign-up opens: Sunday, November 21, 2021
Sign-up closes: Sunday, December 12, 2021 @ 09:00PM UTC
Assignments given: by end of Monday, December 13, 2021
Assignments due: Sunday, January 16, 2022 @ 09:00PM UTC
Works revealed: Sunday, January 23, 2022 @ 09:00AM UTC
Creators revealed: Sunday, January 30, 2022 @ 09:00AM UTC
How do I sign up?
Go here for a complete guide to the sign-up process!
Can I make art for my recipient instead of writing fic?
Yes! The signup form is open to both artists and authors. The types of art that are allowed are drawings/paintings/illustrations (digital or traditional) and vids. Fanmixes, icons, and manips are not accepted.
Wait, you say art is allowed? I don't want to receive art, I only want fic!
In that case, I'm sorry, but we’ll have to have a Blue Christmeth without you. Blue Christmeth is open to both writers and artists, and we cannot promise what type of gift you will receive.
Where's the sign-up form for artists?
There's just one sign-up form for both artists and authors! We don't ask you to specify if you'd rather write or draw, because we're not taking that into consideration for matching. If you're a multi-talented individual, you can wait and see what prompts you get assigned and see if you'd rather write or make art for your recipient!
What sort of requests are allowed?
You can request anything at all as long as it involves at least one canonical character from Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul or El Camino. RPF (real-person fanfiction) requests are not permitted. You can make a total of four requests. At least one of them must be gen (no shipping)- this is to ensure you can be matched - but the other three can include any pairings you like. **NB: if you want to request a character or pairing that isn't currently visible on the sign-up form, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send a Tumblr message to @enbouton and it will be added.**
Your requests can be as simple as “Baby Holly’s first Christmas” or “Jesse/Walt, hurt/comfort” or as elaborate as “Breaking Bad steampunk AU” or “Hank/Marie, AU where Hank is the one who cooks meth and Marie helps him hide it from Gomez and the rest of the DEA. Skyler is suspicious, and Walt starts a homebrewed beer empire” or anything in between. However, keep in mind that the minimum requirement for fic is only 1,000 words, so your author may not be able to fulfil a more elaborate prompt given the time restraints.
Also, please keep in mind that you may get art as a gift, and try to think of at least some of your prompts in terms of art as well as fic.
I’m only interested in creating/receiving fanworks for Breaking Bad, not Better Call Saul. Can I still take part?
Of course! However, AO3 auto-matches people based on the characters and pairings they’ve offered, so if you only want to create fanworks for Breaking Bad and not for Better Call Saul, or vice versa, please say so in your offer! This will help us avoid a situation where someone who doesn't watch BCS gets matched to someone with four BCS requests because they offered Saul and Mike. As the moderator of Blue Christmeth, I review all auto-generated matches to make sure that they're truly compatible.
What if I only want to request one pairing?
That's fine! You are welcome to have your three non-gen prompts all be for the same romantic pairing. So, you could make three Walt/Jesse ship requests, and then have your fourth request be a gen Walt & Jesse request. You are also welcome to make four gen prompts for the same character or characters.
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 Blue Christmeth Dealer” post on your LJ/DW/Tumblr that outlines what you like and dislike a little more firmly. This is not a requirement, but if you have one, you can add the URL to one of your prompts when you sign up.
Does my work have to be Christmas-themed?
Not at all! Most Blue Christmeth works aren't. If you want to request a Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/Atheist Kids Get Presents Day themed fic, feel free! But it’s by no means a requirement.
What if I have to drop out?
There's no penalty! If you can't finish your assignment for whatever reason, don't worry about it! Things happen, we understand :) 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.
Can I take part if I defaulted in a previous year?
Absolutely! Again, there are no penalties for defaulting.
I'm interested in participating, but I don't have an AO3 account!
That's not a question, but we'll let it slide. Just email me at email@example.com to request an AO3 invite! Don’t worry if it’s your first time-- AO3 is pretty easy to get the hang of.
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. Stories submitted to Blue Christmeth need to be new. You can't dedicate your WIP to your recipient or add a chapter to a longer existing fic to fulfil your assignment.
I have a really good idea based on one of my recipient's prompts, but it's too long to finish in time!
Sorry again, but we ask that you please come up with a truncated version or write something else. All stories submitted for Blue Christmeth must be complete by the final deadline. You can still write your epic idea, but you'll have to do it on 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?
If your gift truly is only a few hours away from being finished, contact mod Sylvestris 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 done. How do I turn this in?
Post a new work to AO3, and under "Associations" where it says, "Does this fulfil a challenge assignment," check the box under "Open Assignments" for "Blue Christmeth 2021". After you post it, AO3 will keep it anonymous for you until the collection is revealed.
Will I be able to edit my work after submitting it?
Yes! As long as you've submitted a complete work (i.e. not an outline or a WIP), you can edit/proofread/polish it as much as you like after submissions close.
I think I might be able to pinch-hit if there's a need. Can I sign up for that somewhere?
Yes! Just email email@example.com. NB: you can sign up as a pinch hitter even if you aren't participating in the exchange otherwise.
I have another question!
Feel free to ask me on Tumblr or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mods would like to thank the mods of Secret Mutant for their guidance and for letting us adapt their rules and FAQ for our purposes!
1. Be kind! Remember that 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. Leaving a comment on your gift to say thank you is strongly encouraged. When writing your requests, you're welcome to say that there are characters, ships or scenarios you’d rather not see; just keep in mind that those might be someone else’s favorites and avoid character- or ship-bashing.
2. Blue Christmeth 2021 is open to adults aged 18+ only.
3. Finished fics must be at least 1,000 words long.
4. Each participant is allowed to make four requests; at least one of the four prompts must be gen (no shipping). Anyone who submits four shipping prompts will be asked to change one of them to satisfy this requirement.
5. Your finished fic MUST be a complete, self-contained story, not a work in progress, prologue, or chapter of an ongoing fic. Art must also be complete, whatever that might mean for your particular style of art.
6. Gifts must be submitted by 9:00 p.m. UTC on Sunday, January 16, 2022. Anyone who has not submitted a gift by that time will be automatically defaulted and their assignment will be given to a pinch-hitter.
7. This is an anonymous gift exchange, so please don't reveal who you're writing or drawing for - or post your work elsewhere - until it's officially revealed here on AO3! After creator reveals on January 30, you are free to post your work anywhere you like.