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yo ho ho

The 2008/2009 xmas_rocks F.A.Q.!

Posted by sidewinder on 2008.09.08 at 07:28
Welcome to the 2008/2009 xmas_rocks fic exchange!

Whether you're new to taking part in xmas_rocks or someone who's participated in previous years, please take your time to review this F.A.Q. carefully as it contains all deadlines, rules, and policies for the exchange. A few things have changed since last year so please do not assume everything is the same as before.

What is xmas_rocks?
xmas_rocks is a Secret Santa-style fiction exchange for rock band, slash-oriented fiction. As with similar exchanges, you will submit a list of pairings within rock band fandom you would like to receive a story about. In exchange, you offer to write one of a list of pairings that others have requested. You will be assigned a recipient based on what you offer to write, and will have a set time period in which to write a story for that person of at least 1,000 words in length. Identities of authors will be revealed at a later date, after stories have been posted in our archive.

You must offer to write a story if you want to receive one. You must submit a brand new work of fiction in exchange for your story--artwork, poetry, video, and other forms of fanworks are not acceptable, nor is a story written previously. For the full rules of the exchange, please read the following information to decide if you'd like to participate.

Who can participate in xmas_rocks?

Due to the adult nature of this exchange, you must be 18 years or older in order to participate.

Anyone who is on the default list from not completing a previous year's xmas_rocks assignment will not be eligible to participate.

When you sign up, you will be asked to provide a link to a piece of fiction you have written, within the past two years, of at least 1,000 words in length. This is to verify that participants have had experience writing stories previously of at least this length, and meet a basic level of writing ability.

xmas_rocks dates to remember:

1. Saturday, September 13, 2008: Pairing nominations opened
2. Saturday, October 4, 2008: Pairing nominations closed
3. Monday, October 6, 2008: Participation sign-ups opened
4. Monday, November 3, 2008: Sign-ups closed
5. Monday, November 10, 2008: Story assignments mailed out
6. Monday, December 22, 2008: Story submission deadline
7. Monday, January 5, 2009: All stories posted
8. Monday, January 12, 2009: Authors revealed

Detailed info on each step of the exchange is as follows:

1. Pairing/fandom nominations opened (09/13/08)

An official post will be made on September 13 and for three weeks, nominations will be accepted in that post's comments for pairings eligible for the exchange. The purpose of the nomination period is:

a. To limit the number of requestable pairings to those of genuine interest to participants

b. To allow the moderator to rule out any pairings that don't fit the exchange guidelines

c. To get participants thinking about what pairings they might be willing or interested in writing, as well as requesting

All potentially interested participants can comment with up to 8 slash pairings they would like to see eligible for the exchange. Any member of what could be considered a "rock" music act, or a solo rock artist, will be acceptable. Individuals closely associated with such acts (such as a prominent record producer or manager, a member of a touring band, etc) are also eligible when paired with a rock artist. Fictional characters are not eligible, neither are inanimate objects. Real people who are not prominent celebrities in their own right are not eligible (that is, the spouse or child of a rock star who is not famous for his or her own work.)

Femmeslash as well as m/m slash pairings are welcome.

The pairing requests should be made in the following format:

Band Name (Band Member A's full name/Band Member B's full name)

"Crossovers" are allowed, and the format for requesting them should be:

Crossover (Band Member A's full name, Band/Band Member B's full name, Band)

Individual artists are eligible as well, just list them under crossovers. For example:

Crossover (Band Member A's full name, Band/Solo Artist B's full name)

For instance, one person's nomination list might look like:

1. The Beatles (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
2. The Beatles (John Lennon/George Harrison)
3. The Beatles (Johh Lennon/Brian Epstein (Beatles' manager))
4. The Who (Pete Townshend/Roger Daltrey)
5. Foo Fighters (Dave Grohl/Taylor Hawkins)
6. Crossover (Pete Townshend, The Who/Roger Waters, Pink Floyd)
7. Crossover (Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones/David Bowie)
8. Crossover (David Bowie/Elton John)

Pairings only can be requested - not threesomes (or moresomes). You are welcome during the actual sign-up process to include a prompt suggesting an idea for a threesome including your requested pairing, but your assigned author is not required to follow the prompt (further information below).

The moderator, sidewinder, will respond to your comment either accepting or ruling out each submitted pairing. sidewinder will have the final say in approving or refusing a proposed pairing nomination. Once a pairing has been submitted and accepted once during the nomination process, it does not need to be nominated again by any other participant. If any of your suggestions are not accepted, you may submit a request again, up to 8 accepted suggestions.

Submitting a list of pairing nominations does not commit you to participating in the exchange. But your pairings must be nominated and accepted during this stage in order to be requested later on!

2. Pairing/fandom nomination deadline (10/04/08)

This is the last date to get in your nominations for pairings. Nominations must be received and accepted by 11:59 PM EST to make the final list of eligible pairings.

3. Participation sign-up opened (10/06/08)

Sign-ups for participation in the exchange will be opened on October 6. The complete list of eligible pairings will be posted on that day. You do not have to have participated in the nomination process to sign-up, and you are not limited only to the pairings you nominated yourself. You are only limited to the pairings on this list.

Sign-ups will be accepted as screened comments on the sign-up posting, viewable only to the moderator. You must comment with all of the following information in order to participate:

* Your writing name/pseudonym
* lj username (if you have one)
* email contact address
* requested pairings to receive, including prompts
* pairings you are willing to write
* a link to some recent (within the past 2 years) example of your writing which is at least 1000 words long. If friends-locked, please email the moderator a sample directly!

You must request at least 5 pairings you are interested in receiving. They cannot all be from the same band and should include at least one "popular" pairing. We want to make sure there are enough possible matches available, and to accomplish this all participants must be flexible in both their wants and their willingness to write. You will only receive one story, and it will be something from your requested list.

You must be willing to offer to write at least 5 pairings from the eligible pairing list--though you will only have to actually write one of them. Your list should include at least one "popular" pairing. You can, and are encouraged, to offer to write as many pairings as you realistically think you know well enough to write. This will make the assignment process easier. We strongly encourage participants to offer to write in at least 2 different bands (or at least to offer a crossover or two). Remember that you will only have to write one story, but you need to offer 5 or more from the list in order to ensure we can match requests with willing writers.

What is a "popular" pairing? A popular pairing would be one that more than a single person has written before; it may have a livejournal community or archive devoted entirely to it; or it should at least involve members of popular bands within fandom which are being written about. While rare pairings can often be fun and desirable, matching is much easier if people have at least 1 or 2 more common pairings on their request and writing lists.

What are prompts?
Prompts are any specific requests or ideas you have for the story you'd like to receive about a pairing, and may also include things you don't want to see in your story. Authors are not bound to use your prompts. They are only required to write your requested pairing. However, many authors find prompts handy so that they have some idea what kind of stories you'd enjoy receiving. Authors are strongly encouraged to honor requests for content a recipient does not want to receive, however.

Why am I asking to see a sample of your writing?
To ensure that those signing up are at least somewhat active and experienced authors already. Writing an xmas_rocks story should not be your first attempt ever to write a piece of fiction. We also want to ensure that participating authors have at least a basic understanding of grammar, formatting, punctuation, spelling, etc and can write a story of the required length. We may ask an author to work with one of our team of beta-volunteers if there are any concerns about meeting these basic requirements.

I will acknowledge receipt of your sign-up request and/or let you know if any necessary information is missing before accepting it.

4. Participation sign-up closed (11/03/08)

Sign-ups must be received by 11:59 PM EST on November 3. If by some chance no one has offered to write the pairings you have requested and/or a match is not possible, you may be asked to add more requests to what you are interested in reading. If no one has requested the pairings you have offered to write, you may be asked to offer other pairings instead which have been requested.

5. Story assignments mailed out (11/10/08)

Story assignments will be mailed out by November 10. You will receive your assignment via email. You will then have six weeks to write a story that meets these basic requirements:

* The story you write must be at least 1,000 words in length. Of course, it can be longer than that. It cannot, however, be shorter, or simply be several short unconnected pieces (for instance, ten random 100-word drabbles would not be acceptable.)

* Your submission must contain the requested fandom(s) and pairing as the main focus of the story. Other characters or bands can be included, but please try to keep the primary storyline about the characters and relationship your recipient requested.

* Your story does not have to include explicit erotic content, however it should still indicate a sexual/romantic relationship between the characters requested.

* Your story should also meet basic standards of English grammar, punctuation, and spelling. We strongly recommend the use of a beta-reader or editor to review your story before submitting it. The moderator does not want to have to proofread and request corrections on multiple pages of typos at the last minute. We will try to have a team of willing betas in place to offer their services for this if you need one.

To preserve the "Secret Santa" aspects of the exchange, please do not talk about the specifics of your assignment publicly, such as in your livejournal or in comments here. Please do not POST your story, as you are working on it or once finished, in any other community, archive, personal fiction page, etc--whether under community-lock or not! This rule must be followed until after the author reveal on January 12, 2009, or else your submission will be considered invalid and a new submission required (either from yourself or a pinch-hitter.)

6. Story submission deadline (12/22/08 11:59 PM EST)

All submissions are due on or before December 22, 2008 by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time. Submissions must be received via email to sidewinder72@earthlink.net. Please keep them in plain text (.txt) or rich text (.rtf) format only. Your email subject line should read "Secret Santa Story" so that I can be sure all stories are received and not filtered into junk mail.

There will be no extensions. We must enforce this deadline so that, in case of anyone defaulting and not submitting a story, we have two weeks to attempt to get a replacement story ready for the recipient now left without a gift. If you let me know you are still working on something but it will be done late, a request for a pinch-hitter replacement story will still go out.

When your story is received, it will be reviewed to be sure it meets the requirements of the exchange. I will do a surface beta-read on the story and send you a link where you can review how it will look upon posting, including any obvious typo corrections that might be suggested by me.

7. All stories posted (1/5/09)

The archive of stories submitted will be opened on January 5, 2009, at a URL given upon that date. You will be able to browse all stories by recipient name and by fandom. Feedback forms on all stories will allow you to leave comments and thanks either anonymously or signed on the stories.

8. Authors revealed (1/12/09)

On January 12, 2009, the names of the authors of each fic will be posted in the archive. You may also then repost the story (or stories) you wrote wherever you like after this date.

On defaulting

If you are unable to complete your assigned story, it is requested that you let sidewinder know this as soon as possible. If you do so before the deadline for story submissions, you will be under a one-year ban from participating, but after that will be allowed to participate again in xmas_rocks. If you do not inform sidewinder until after the deadline, or never at all, that you will not be completing your assignment, you will be added to the permanent-ban list and will not be allowed to participate in any future xmas_rocks exchanges.

Some defaults may be evaluated on a case by case basis, and sidewinder will make the final call on your status.


You People And Your Quaint Little Categories
joanne_c at 2008-09-11 05:43 (UTC) (Link)
Need a clarification involving someone who may fit in here:

Individuals closely associated with such acts (such as a prominent record producer or manager, a member of a touring band, etc) are also eligible when paired with a rock artist. Fictional characters are not eligible, neither are inanimate objects. Real people who are not prominent celebrities in their own right are not eligible (that is, the spouse or child of a rock star who is not famous for his or her own work.)

Having just re-read her book, there's a couple of femslash pairings with
Angela (Angie) Bowie that I'd like to consider nominating (specifically Marianne Faithfull, potentially a couple of others). I'm not sure which of the above categories she falls into, though - my instinct is the first, someone else's may be the second. She does have an IMDB page and some (admittedly minor) acting credits if that helps in determining eligibility to be included, though. She seems, in my view, to be famous for being famous more than for anything specific, though. So I open the question to you as moderator of the exchange to clarify before I ask for something not eligible in my nominations.
sidewinder at 2008-09-11 09:45 (UTC) (Link)
I would say yes in that case :) Someone having an IMDB page indicates, to me, some level of public personna vs. someone with nothing to do with the industry.
nemperor at 2008-09-18 08:20 (UTC) (Link)
Just for clarification... am I right to understand that it would not be acceptable to request a pairing that consisted of two managers, or a manager plus a roadie or press officer or other band associate?

sidewinder at 2008-09-18 10:31 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, yes, the general rule is at least one member of the pairing should actually be a band member/musician, and the other can be a manager or other associate.

Next year we could consider a change in that policy, but it's set for this time around.
nemperor at 2008-09-18 10:44 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for clarifying. :)
elastic_spam at 2008-11-16 02:27 (UTC) (Link)
I'm writing mine on microsoft word, shall I transfer it to wordpad?
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