Archive FAQ > Prompt Meme

What is a Prompt Meme?

A Prompt Meme is a challenge in which participants can submit one or more fanwork prompts that other participants can choose to fill.

Where can I find Prompt Memes?

To find Prompt Memes:

  1. Select "Browse" and then "Collections" on the menu at the top of any Archive of Our Own (AO3) page in the default site skin (below the site logo).
  2. From there, select "Prompt Meme Challenge" as the collection type in the filters on the right of the page on desktop, or available via the "Filters" button near the top of the page on mobile. If you know the name of a specific Prompt Meme, you can also search for it by entering the name under "Filter by title or name".

If you've submitted or claimed prompts in a Prompt Meme, there’s a simpler way to find it again. Please check out Where can I find Prompt Memes that I've signed up for? for more details.

Where can I find Prompt Memes that I've signed up for?

If you've submitted prompts to a Prompt Meme:

  1. Log in and go to your Sign-ups page by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Sign-ups (#)" from the menu.
  2. Select the Prompt Meme's name from the list of sign-ups.
  3. Select "My Prompts" from the dashboard menu at the left side of the page, or at the top on a mobile device.

If you've claimed a prompt from a Prompt Meme:

  1. Log in and go to your dashboard by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Dashboard" from the menu, or by selecting your profile image.
  2. Select "Claims (#)" from the menu found at the left side of the page, or at the top on a mobile device.
  3. By default, this takes you to your unfulfilled claims. To review your fulfilled claims, select the "Fulfilled Claims" button at the top of the page.
  4. Select the collection name from the blurb of your claimed prompt.

Can I participate in a Prompt Meme without an AO3 account?

No. In order to participate in a Prompt Meme on Archive of Our Own (AO3), you need an account. For information on how to create an account, refer to How do I create an account?

The people running the Prompt Meme may be able to issue you an invitation, or you can request one directly by entering your email address on the Invite Requests page. For more information, please refer to the Invitations FAQ.

If you're running a Prompt Meme and you need to request invitations for participants, please refer to How do I request invitations for a challenge that I'm running?

How do I add prompts to a Prompt Meme?

To participate in a Prompt Meme, you must have an Archive of Our Own (AO3) account. Please refer to Can I participate in a Prompt Meme without an AO3 account? for more information.

When sign-ups are open, a Prompt Form link will appear in the menu to the left of the Prompt Meme's dashboard or near the top on mobile devices. Fill in the form as instructed and select "Submit". Make sure to check the Prompt Meme's profile page and the top of the sign-up form for additional instructions or requirements, and keep them in mind while creating your prompts!

How do I add anonymous prompts to a Prompt Meme?

To participate in a Prompt Meme, you must have an Archive of Our Own (AO3) account. Please refer to Can I participate in a Prompt Meme without an AO3 account? for more information.

When sign-ups are open, a Prompt Form link will appear in the menu to the left of the Prompt Meme's dashboard or near the top on mobile devices. Fill in the form as instructed. Make sure to check the Prompt Meme's profile page and the top of the sign-up form for additional instructions or requirements, and keep them in mind while creating your prompts!

To make a prompt anonymous, check the box beside "Semi-anonymous Prompt?". Prompts submitted with this box checked will appear as "by Anonymous".

If you wish to associate your username with a prompt, uncheck the box beside "Semi-anonymous Prompt?".

Once you've filled in the form and chosen whether or not you wish to make your prompt anonymous, select "Submit."

Please note that the anonymous feature is not totally secure. Users may still be able to guess each other's identities by the prompts they create.

How do I edit my prompts?

To edit your prompts:

  1. Log in and select "My Sign-ups" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page. If you're on your dashboard, you can also choose "Sign-ups (#)" in the navigation sidebar (found at the top of the page when you're using a mobile device).
  2. Select the "Edit Sign-up" button beside or below the sign-up you would like to edit. This takes you to a form where you can edit your prompts.
  3. Once you have made your changes, select the "Update" button at the bottom of the page.
    • Please use caution when editing a prompt that's already been claimed. There will be no message given if you edit a prompt that's already been claimed and the claimant will not get any kind of alert that their prompt has been edited.

You can also edit individual prompts:

  1. Log in and go to your Sign-ups page by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Sign-ups" from the menu.
  2. Select the Prompt Meme's name to access its dashboard.
  3. Select "My Prompts" to access your current prompts for this Prompt Meme.
  4. Select "Edit Prompt" below the summary of the prompt you wish to edit.
  5. Once you have made your changes, select the "Update" button at the bottom of the page.
    • Please use caution when editing a prompt that's already been claimed. There will be no message given if you edit a prompt that's already been claimed and the claimant will not get any kind of alert that their prompt has been edited.

You can edit or delete your prompts at any time while sign-ups are open. Owners and moderators can edit or delete their prompts at any time. For more on how to delete prompts, check out How do I delete my prompts?

How do I delete my prompts?

To delete all of your prompts:

  1. Log in and select "My Sign-ups" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page. If you're on your dashboard, you can also choose "Sign-ups (#)" in the navigation sidebar (found at the top of the page when you're using a mobile device).
  2. Find the Prompt Meme's name on the list of challenges.
  3. Select "Delete Sign-up" beside or below the Prompt Meme.
  4. A dialog box will appear asking you to confirm your decision to delete all of the prompts in this sign-up. If you wish to continue, select "OK".
    • Please use caution when deleting a prompt that's already been claimed. There will be no message given if you delete a prompt that's already been claimed and the claimant will not get any kind of alert that their prompt has been deleted.

To delete individual prompts:

  1. Log in and go to your Sign-ups page by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Sign-ups" from the menu.
  2. Select the Prompt Meme's name to access its dashboard.
  3. Select "My Prompts" to access your current prompts for this Prompt Meme.
  4. Select "Delete Prompt" below the summary of the prompt you wish to delete.
  5. A dialog box will appear asking you to confirm your decision to delete all of the information related to the prompt. If you wish to continue, select "OK".
    • Please use caution when deleting a prompt that's already been claimed. There will be no message given if you delete a prompt that's already been claimed and the claimant will not get any kind of alert that their prompt has been deleted.

You can only delete individual prompts if you have created more than the minimum required number (e.g. if the Prompt Meme allows you to create two to three prompts, and you create three). If you've only signed up for the minimum number, you can either delete all of your prompts at once, or edit your prompts instead. Please refer to How do I edit my prompts? for more information.

You can edit or delete your prompts while sign-ups are open. Owners and moderators can also edit or delete sign-ups at any time.

How do I claim a prompt?

To participate in a Prompt Meme, you must have an Archive of Our Own (AO3) account. Please refer to Can I participate in a Prompt Meme without an AO3 account? for more information.

You can access open prompts by selecting "Prompts (#)" from the Prompt Meme's dashboard. Use the "Claim" button next to any prompt you would like to claim. You can do this for as many prompts as you wish to fulfill. Multiple people can claim the same prompt, and you don't need to submit prompts to claim any. Your username is listed as a claimant under each prompt you claim. In anonymous prompt memes, only the number of anonymous claimants is given.

You can check which prompts you have claimed but not yet fulfilled via the My Claims page, available from your dashboard. If you're unsure how to get to this page, refer to How do I find my unfulfilled claims?

For information on how to fulfill a prompt, refer to How do I fulfill my claimed prompt?

For more information on how to find a Prompt Meme, please refer to Where can I find Prompt Memes?"

How do I find my unfulfilled claims?

To find your unfulfilled claims:

  1. Log in and go to your dashboard by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Dashboard" from the menu, or by selecting your profile image.
  2. Select "Claims (#)" from the menu found at the side of the page or at the top on a mobile device.

By default, this takes you to your unfulfilled claims. To review your fulfilled claims, select the "Fulfilled Claims" button at the top of the page.

How do I fulfill my claimed prompt?

To find your unfulfilled claims, refer to How do I find my unfulfilled claims?

You can fulfill a claimed prompt by selecting the "Fulfill" button beside the one you wish to complete. This opens the Post New Work form with the assignment details already filled in, the collection selected, and with the prompt added to the beginning Notes section. If the Prompt Meme is moderated, the work will be submitted to the collection, but will need to be approved before it's publicly added.

Alternatively, you can fulfill the assignment by going to the Post New Work form. In the Associations section, select the checkbox for the open claim you are completing. When you post or preview the work, the details of the Prompt Meme and prompter will be automatically filled in for you. The work will be added to the Prompt Meme's collection; however, the prompt itself won't be automatically added to the beginning Notes section.

For more detailed instructions on posting a work to the Archive of Our Own (AO3), please refer to the Tutorial: Posting a Work on AO3.

How do I drop a prompt I have claimed?

You may drop a claim at any time, even after posting a work that fulfills it. If you'd like to remove a prompt you've claimed:

  1. Log in and go to your dashboard by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Dashboard" from the menu, or by selecting your profile image.
  2. Select "Claims (#)" from the menu found at the side of the page or at the top on a mobile device.
  3. Scroll to the claim you want to drop, and select the "Drop Claim" button.
  4. A confirmation dialogue box will pop-up asking if you are sure you want to drop the claim. Select "OK".
  5. You will be dropped from the claim, and it will no longer appear in your Claims list upon refresh. If you have dropped a claim you've already fulfilled, the work will remain in the Prompt Meme's collection, but all other links between the work and the prompt will be removed.

How do I find works based on my prompt?

To find all works based on your submitted prompts:

  1. Log in and go to your Sign-ups page by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Sign-ups" from the menu.
  2. Select the Prompt Meme's name to access its dashboard.
  3. Select "My Prompts" to access your current prompts for this Prompt Meme.
  4. Works fulling your prompts will be listed after each prompt.

You will also get an email notification every time a work is posted in response to one of your prompts. Please note you will not receive an email notification if you have this turned off in your preferences.

There's a problem with a work created for my prompt!

You should bring any issues with works based on your prompts to the people running the Prompt Meme. If the work violates our Terms of Service, you can submit an Abuse Report to the Policy & Abuse Committee using the link in the Archive of Our Own (AO3) footer.

You may also choose to refuse the work if the creator has gifted it to you. For more information on how to do this, please refer to How do I refuse a gift?.

How do I create a Prompt Meme?

To create a Prompt Meme, you first need to create the hosting collection or subcollection.You can find step by step instructions on how to do this in our Tutorial: Creating a Collection. When creating your collection, make sure you select "Prompt Meme" from the "Type of challenge, if any" menu in the Preferences section.

Refer to our Tutorial: Running a Prompt Meme on AO3 for step by step instructions on setting up your challenge.

How do I request invitations for a Prompt Meme that I'm running?

If you're running a Prompt Meme and need to request invitations for participants, please contact Support with the challenge name and link, sign-up dates, which account to send the invites to, and how many invitations are needed. Please refer to How do I request invitations for a challenge that I'm running? for more information.

How do I add tags to the Archive for participants to use in my Prompt Meme?

You can create a tag set to add new tags to the Archive of Our Own (AO3) for your Prompt Meme. For more information on this, refer to our Tag Sets FAQ.

How do I reveal creators and works in an anonymous and/or unrevealed Prompt Meme?

To reveal creators and/or works in an anonymous and/or unrevealed Prompt Meme:

  1. Navigate to your Collection Settings page and scroll down to the Preferences section. If you're unsure how to get to there, refer to How do I return to my Collection Settings page?
  2. To reveal works, uncheck the box next to or beneath "This collection is unrevealed". To reveal creators, uncheck the box next to or beneath "This collection is anonymous".
  3. Once you have unchecked the appropriate boxes, select the "Update" button towards the bottom of the page.

For more information, refer to How do I reveal works or lift their anonymity in a collection I own?

How do I deal with inappropriate prompts or works?

If there are inappropriate prompts, you can delete the prompt or the sign-up from the Prompts page by selecting the "Delete Prompt" or "Delete Sign-up" button. Deleting the prompt removes the prompt in question. Deleting the sign-up deletes all prompts requested by the user, including any anonymous prompts they have made.

You can only delete individual prompts if the participant has created more than the minimum required number (e.g. if the Prompt Meme allows you to create two to three requests, and they created three). If someone has only signed up for the minimum number, you only delete all of their requests and/or offers at once.

If there are works that don't match the prompt, you can't delete someone else's work, but you can remove the work from the collection. Refer to How do I remove a work or bookmark from a collection? for more information.

How do I delete a Prompt Meme?

To delete a Prompt Meme, go to your Challenge Settings page and select the "Delete Challenge" button at the top right of the page (or below the Setting Up the [Name] Prompt Meme heading on mobile). This prompts a dialog box that you will need to confirm and select "OK". If you are unsure how to get to this page, refer to How do I return to my Challenge Settings page?

Even if you delete your Prompt Meme, all works will remain in the collection.

If you wish to also delete the collection, please refer to How do I delete a Collection?

Where can I get more information if my question isn't answered here?

If you need guidance on a particular part of collection or challenge creation, please check out:

Some frequently asked questions about the Archive are answered in other sections of the Archive FAQ, and some common terminology is defined in our Glossary. Questions and answers about our Terms of Service can be found in the Terms of Service FAQ. You may also like to check out our Known Issues. For help with your specific Prompt Meme that isn't covered in these FAQs or Tutorials, please add AO3_Support as a co-owner and then contact us and we'll do our best to help you.