Jukebox 2014

Now that the stories are live for Jukebox 2014, you can listen along with this YouTube playlist:

See also a table of lyrics and individual music videos at:

(Open, Unmoderated, Gift Exchange Challenge)

About Jukebox 2014 (Jukebox2014)

Active since:
Tag Set:
Assignments Due:
Tue 17 Jun 2014 12:00AM EDT
Signed up:
  • RedCoyote,
  • Measured_Words,
  • seekingferret,
  • AlexSeanchai,
  • Morbane,
  • Malkontent,
  • broadcastdelay,
  • Quillori,
  • havisham,
  • ghosthorse_tracks,
  • Katherine,
  • Ghostie,
  • 100demons,
  • Minutia_R,
  • Deepdarkwaters,
  • WildAndFreeHearts,
  • Carmarthen,
  • Thursday_Next,
  • Missy,
  • Merfilly
  • raspberryhunter,
  • boywonder,
  • within_a_dream,
  • platinum_firebird,
  • elstaplador,
  • smokefall,
  • ViaLethe,
  • Nary,
  • Teaotter,
  • Joanne_c,
  • Zdenka,
  • morganstern,
  • Kaesa,
  • looneyngilo2,
  • Aeiouna,
  • xenoglossy



What's this fest about?
Ask for a song and receive a story.

Jukebox is a challenge for fanfic writers. It is based on a theme of songs and music videos, and it uses a gift exchange structure, like Yuletide and many others. When you sign up, you will prompt several possible stories using songs for inspiration, and you will commit to writing a story for a recipient who will be assigned to you.

The goals of this fest are:

  • Write a story (or more, if you feel inclined)
  • Get a story
  • Share and learn about music
  • Read and comment on many creative interpretations of song narratives.

What’s the schedule of the fest?
Brainstorming: early April
Nominations: 17 to 25 April
Sign-ups: 27 April to 4 May
Assignments go out by: 5 May
Assignments due: 16 June (six weeks)
Collection opens: 20 June
Authors revealed: 25 June

What do I need if I want to sign up?
You need an account at the Archive Of Our Own. If you don’t already have one, you can ask for an invitation on the front page. They may take a couple of days to process.

You need to commit to writing a story of at least 1,000 words by the deadline (16 June 2014) for a song you have offered, to match your recipient’s prompt. You will have approximately six weeks to write this story.

You need to keep an eye on official announcements at this fest’s Dreamwidth or Livejournal communities (http://jukebox-fest.dreamwidth.org and http://jukebox-fest.livejournal.com, respectively. You don’t have to have a DW or LJ account to do that, but it helps.

Can I participate in other ways?
Yes, you can beta (edit) participants' stories by signing up to be a beta reader. You can also sign up to be a pinch hitter (a writer who may pick up an assignment when the original writer has had to pull out of the exchange). I will be posting in the DW and LJ comms about these options.

You can look at the prompts, which will be available on AO3, and write treats. (These can be any length - the 1,000+ word requirement only applies to an assignment). You can also read and comment on the stories when they go live. Exchange participants tend to like comments. ^!^

Why songs?
A song can be only a few minutes long but describe a whole world. By running a fest based on song and music video canons, I want to take advantage of the rich inspiration a song can provide. I also want it to be as easy as possible for participants to (re-)acquire and consume a canon in order to write to a prompt.

Just as a song can include a whole world, participants are encouraged to focus on those worlds. This is not the exchange to request a Labyrinth fic using the themes of a David Bowie song, or an Iron Man fic set to a song that Tony Stark would listen to. For crossovers, I recommend you stick to songs that have been nominated for the exchange, and check that your recipient has asked for this kind of crossover.

What counts as a song?
A piece of recorded music that includes lyrics (in any language) and is shorter than 20 minutes. This may include a video.

Songs nominated for this exchange must be widely available. Preferably, there will be a YouTube link or a link on the artist's website or another publicly accessible link. I will create a table of links and lyrics for use in the exchange.

The song must be able to stand on its own without reference to a longer work. I don’t object to people nominating songs from musicals or operettas – but if it would be necessary to understand the whole musical, or the whole operetta, or to read a contextual explanation in order to appreciate the piece, then that piece of music is not appropriate for this exchange.

Songs must also be able to stand on their own without reference to the artist - unless the song is autobiographical, or self-referential in some other way. This exchange is not the place to request musician RPF. In general, actors who appear in music videos are to be treated as characters, not as their real-life selves.

Covers by specific artists can be nominated separately.

You can either nominate a song on its own, or a song with an associated music video. It's possible to differentiate these when nominating on AO3.

Songs that don’t quite fit these requirements, but that fit the goals of the exchange, can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

By request, I am willing to include programmatic music - music that does not have lyrics, but where the composer, performer, and audience can agree upon a strong narrative theme. Yes, that's a broad definition - if you have a piece you think suits that criteria, and suggest it to me, I am likely to agree. NB: If you are interested in requesting such music, I will ask you to provide contextual links (a wikipedia page would do) and ensure that your requests include at least one song that does have lyrics.

Why just fic?
I’m sticking with what I know to ensure the fest runs smoothly. I’d like to open future fests up to visual artists if there is sufficient interest. If you would be interested in receiving art fills as treats, say so (no one's obligated to give them to you, but you never know...).

More about the nominations process
You don’t have to nominate any songs in order to sign up. But it’s a good idea to take part in nominations if you have specific songs you want to offer or ask for.

Nominating canons is done by filling out a form on AO3. I will post a guide and a link to the nominations form closer to the time. You can nominate a total of 5 songs or music videos.

More about signing up
When you sign up, you can make between 3 and 6 requests from the available (nominated) pool of songs and music videos. There is a space to enter a prompt for each song you request, so you can give your mystery writer an idea of what kind of story you’d like.

Some exchange participants also like to post a longer letter for their writer in a personal journal or somewhere else. Feel free – that’s up to you.

You must also choose between 3 and 10 songs or music videos that you are willing to write for.

You will be assigned someone who has asked for at least one song or music video that you have offered. You must write them a story of 1,000 words or more, based on any of their prompts.

If none of your recipient’s requests are songs or videos you actually offered to write, email the mod account (jukebox.mod, at gmail) and I will sort this out.

More about writing
Please keep your assignment a secret during the writing process. All authors will be anonymous until 5 days after the stories have been made available. Not knowing who’s written what story is a traditional part of this kind of exchange.

For this fest, you are strongly encouraged to get your story looked over by a beta reader before you submit it. I will make a post for volunteer beta readers in the LJ and DW comms.

Something may come up for you in May or June and you will realise you can’t complete your story. If you need to drop out, email the mod (jukebox.mod, at gmail) or click the Default button that is visible on AO3 next to your assignment. I understand. Do please let me know as soon as you know, because that makes it easier to find someone to write your assignment instead. You're also still expected to thank your writer for any fic you receive, if you can.