Third Monday 2012

Welcome to Third Monday 2012!

Third Monday is an annual Presidents Day fic exchange for fandoms centered around American politics. That means our focus is Fake News RPF, Fake News FPF, Real News RPF, and Political RPF, although we also encourage crossovers with the fictional world of The West Wing.

(Open, Unmoderated, Gift Exchange Challenge)

About Third Monday 2012 (Third_Monday_12)

Active since:
Tag Set:
Assignments Due:
Fri 17 Feb 2012 12:30AM EST
Signed up:
  • mihrsuri,
  • queenfanfiction,
  • warriorpoet,
  • chicating,
  • bibliothekara,
  • antiphonal,
  • Tish,
  • sarken,
  • unquietspirit,
  • jamapanama



This is our first year running the Third Monday exchange here on Archive of Our Own (AO3), which means there will be some slight changes to the procedures we've used in years past. However, these changes will ultimately give you, the writer, more control over your work, while making the moderators' jobs much easier.

If you don't have an AO3 account but would like to participate in Third Monday, e-mail us at and we'll send you an invitation code right away. Please include "AO3 Invitation" in the subject of the e-mail and leave the main text blank. We're happy to send invitations to readers as well as writers.



What were the benefits of moving Third Monday to Archive of Our Own? The archive automates some of the more tedious processes of running a gift exchange, such as matching requests and offers, sending assignments, and revealing authors. This is a tremendous time-saver for moderators. More importantly, the archive's set-up allows authors to retain total control over their work. Even after posting, authors can edit their work for typos, restrict access to their work, or delete or orphan their work without the assistance of the exchange moderators.

Why isn't so-and-so on the list of available characters? We're sorry! It was probably an oversight. You can nominate another character, and we'll add them to the list within twenty-four hours so you can complete or edit your sign-up. Doing this will ensure that your request is assigned to an author who can write all of your requested characters. If you're in a rush or it's down to the last minute, you can send up a blank e-mail with the subject "Nomination Pending" and your nomination will be reviewed even sooner. You should note, however, that it's much safer to choose characters who are already available, since there will be more people offering to write them.

Why is it called Third Monday? Because George Washington's birthday, also known as Presidents (or President's or Presidents') Day, is celebrated on the third Monday of February.



Your Third Monday maintainers for this round are aliya, bessemerprocess, jamapanama, and sarken, and we can be reached at The minimum word count has been increased slightly from last year, to 750 words, and stories will be revealed on President's Day, with author reveals taking place one week later.

  1. General Rules
  2. Signing Up
  3. Fulfilling Assignments
  4. Pinch-Hits
  5. Dropping Out
  6. Beta Readers

General Rules

Dates: Please note your moderators are located in the Eastern time zone of the United States, and thus all dates correspond to that time zone. You can use The World Clock to see what time that is in your area.

  • December 8-18: Sign-ups are open until 12:30 AM December 18.
  • December 21: Assignments will go out by 11:00 PM December 21.
  • February 13: Minimums change for pinch-hits assigned on or after this date.
  • February 17: Stories are due by 12:30 AM.
  • February 19: Pinch-hits are due by 8:00 PM.
  • February 20: Works will be revealed by 12:30 AM.
  • February 27: Authors will be revealed.

Eligible Fandoms: Third Monday centers around the source texts that make up Fake News, Real News, and Political RPF fandoms; and the exchange also allows crossovers with The West Wing FPF. You can learn more about The West Wing in the "Signing-Up" section, and you can find a list of source texts below. The Third Monday tag set has a complete list of available characters.

  • Fake News: Hosts, contributors, and characters who appear on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, The Daily Show, or The Colbert Report.
  • Real News: Hosts or regular commentators who appear on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, Current TV, or Fox News programs that routinely discuss American politics.
  • Political RPF: Current and former first and second families, White House senior staff, Presidential candidates, and members of either house of Congress.


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This section provides instructions for filling out the Third Monday sign-up form.




Fandoms: Participants are encouraged to mix and match the listed fandoms as they see fit, with one exception: The West Wing should only be requested and offered as a secondary, crossover fandom. That is, you can request a story in which Josh Lyman appears on Hardball with Chris Matthews, but you cannot request a story that is solely about the fictional characters of The West Wing. Characters from Fake News, Real News, or Political RPF must play a significant role in your West Wing crossover request. Likewise, you can't offer to write only West Wing fic.

Characters: Once you have selected the relevant fandoms, clicking inside the characters field will display a list of characters you can choose from. You can view a complete list of available characters in the Third Monday tag set. If a character you wish to request is not on the list, please see the section on nominating a character. For information on offering all the characters in a particular fandom, see the section on the second offer form below.

URL of Dear Author Letter (Requests Only): You're welcome to provide your author with additional information about your likes and dislikes by posting a Yuletide-style Dear Author letter to your Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, or other blog, but please note that your author is not required to adhere to details beyond those in your prompt. Your author will see all four of your requests, so if you choose to write a letter, you only need to enter the URL once. (Entering it all four times won't hurt anything, though.)

Prompt, Including Any Pairings (Requests Only): If you've chosen two or more characters, be sure to let your author know which pairings you want to see, or if you want gen. This is also the place to include a general prompt, which can be anything from song lyrics to a title to a plot overview. If there is something you do not want to see in your story, you can include that as well, but please remember the "your kink is not my kink but your kink is okay" philosophy. Your squick or trigger might be your author's kink, and you probably don't want to insult someone who is writing for you.

Three Things You Will Not Write (Offer Only): This can be tropes, genres, ratings, or anything else you will not write. There's no need to include fandoms or characters you haven't offered in this list: the way matching works, you are guaranteed to get one request that consists solely of characters you have offered to write. The moderators will do their best to ensure the matching request does not require you to write any of the three items on this list.

Second Offer Form: Please only use this form if there are any fandoms in which you would be willing to write any character. For instance, if you're willing to write everyone from The West Wing, you would check the West Wing box for "Fandom" and the "Any" box for "Character." No other information should be provided in this form.


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Fulfilling Assignments

Please don't discuss your assignment with or show your story to anyone except your beta, and please don't reply to feedback or post your story elsewhere until after the author reveal on February 27.




Work Requirements: The story you write must fulfill one of the four requests you receive. Which one is entirely up to you: you are more than welcome to fulfill a Fake News FPF request even if you only offered to write Real News RPF. The story must be no less than 750 words, and must be beta read. If you're pinch-hitting, pinch-hit requirements appear in the "Pinch-Hitting" section below.

Warnings Policy: Participants are required to use the Archive of Our Own warning system to provide warnings on works that contain extreme violence, major character death, rape (non-con), or graphic sex involving a character under the age of 18. We ask that you please refrain from using the "chose not to use archive warnings" option. Violating the warnings policy will make you ineligible to participate next year.

Posting Works: In the associations section of the "Post New" page, you will see a field labeled "Does this fulfill a challenge assignment?" and a list of your open assignments. Clicking the ticky box for "Third Monday 2012 ([RECIPIENT NAME])" will ensure that your story is posted anonymously to this challenge and also marked as a gift for your recipient.

Privacy: In years past, some participants chose to have their stories posted under friends lock, so only members of the Third Monday community could view the work. While it is not possible to restrict access to only Third Monday participants, clicking the ticky box for "Only show your work to registered users" on the "Post New" page will ensure that only users logged in to their Archive of Our Own accounts can view your work.


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Volunteering: Whether or not you're signed up for Third Monday, you can still volunteer to pinch-hit. Simply e-mail us with the subject "Pinch Hit" and the following information:

  • Do you have an AO3 account?:
  • If yes, what is your AO3 user name?:
  • Which characters can you write?:

If you already volunteered to pinch-hit but are no longer able, you can e-mail us at the same address, with the same subject.

Pinch-Hit Requirements: Pinch-hits assigned before February 13 need to be 750 words long. However, if your assignment is dated February 13 or later, the minimum will be lowered to 500 words. Please have your pinch-hits posted by 8:00 PM on February 19.


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Dropping Out

If you need to drop out, please do so as soon as possible so we have more time to line up a pinch-hitter.




Before Receiving an Assignment: If you need to drop out before you've received your assignment, you can do so by deleting your sign-up on the "Your Signup" page, accessible from our side bar. There will be a "Delete" button at the top of your sign-up form. You can also delete your sign-up by clicking "Signups" on your dashboard.

After Receiving an Assignment: If you're already received your assignment and need to drop out, you can do so by clicking on "Your Assignment" in the collection side bar, scrolling to the bottom of your assignment, and clicking "Default." You can also default by going through the "Assignments" page on your dashboard.


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Beta Readers

Offer to Beta: You can volunteer to be a beta by e-mailing us with the subject "Beta Offer" and the following information:

  • Which fandoms are you willing to beta?:
  • Which characters are you willing to beta?:
  • Which file format should the author use?: (Examples: .doc, .txt, body of e-mail, Google Doc...)

If we get a beta request that matches your offer, we'll tell the author to e-mail you with "Third Monday Beta" in the subject. Please note that, depending on how close it is to the deadline or how many betas we need, we might only be able to match you on fandom.

Request a Beta: If you need a beta, e-mail us with "Beta Request" in the subject and the following information in the e-mail body:

  • Which fandoms are in your story?:
  • Which characters are in your story?:
  • Who is the recipient of your story?:

We'll find you a beta, tell you which file formats work for them, and then you can e-mail them your story with "Third Monday Beta" in the subject.


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