Summergen is almost upon us, gang! (For 2016's calendar and an event overview, clickity here. This contains important info; please read.) We're continuing to include art, manips and vids to the classic 'fic' as allowed media. It worked out well last year; here's hoping this year will be just as awesome!
You must submit at least three prompts, and may submit up to six – more is better. Tell us something you’d like to see in a fanwork that you aren’t going to create yourself.
Try to keep your prompts relatively brief and leave room for your gifter’s imagination to roam. You can get as creative and specific with your prompts as you’d like, but please try to include at least two prompts that the average Supernatural viewer would be inspired by. If you’d like to include a crossover prompt, feel free, but you must limit it to only one crossover prompt, and then be sure to give us at least three additional regular gen prompts, for a total of four (or more).
Keep in mind that your prompts are open to interpretation. Your gifter may do something different from what you expected of the prompt, and you should respect their artistic choices. Please remember to comment on the gift created for you and thank the author/artist for it, when the time comes. We all like to know we're appreciated, yeah? (Addendum: sometimes recipients have to withdraw or default from the event, in which case creations are gifted to the community at large. It would be lovely to show these works extra appreciation!)
You must submit at least ONE gift to us for your recipient. This can include as many prompts as you're inspired to combine! Here are the media accepted:
-FIC: If you're writing a fic, it must be a minimum of 1,000 words but there is no maximum length, except what you’re able to finish in the allotted time.
-HAND-DRAWN ART (traditional or digital): If you're creating art, please make it a finished, polished piece. It doesn't have to be full-color but it does have to be more than simple line art. Minimum dimensions: 500 x 500 pixels.
-PHOTOMANIPS/GRAPHICS: Again, please create a detailed, finished piece, not simply a screengrab with a Photoshop filter run over it. Give the sort of gift you'd be happy to receive. :) Minimum dimensions: 500 x 500 pixels.
-VIDEOS: If you're making a video, it should be at least one minute long. (We're not video folk, so we'll leave this up to you 'professionals'!)
You may combine media in one gift, but this is not required. For instance, you may write 1k words and include a banner if you wish, or submit a sequential page, or just a nice illustration or just a nice fic! It's only limited by your time and imagination (and the wishes of your recipient.)
Keep in mind your own schedule, speed and RL challenges; be sure you can honor the commitment you make to Summergen in signing up. In other words, plan a shorter, simpler fic if you’re pressed for time or work slowly. You don’t have to go overboard. (A lot of truly great fanfiction of all lengths has come out of past Summergens!)
You can create anything you’d like to, as long as it is gen and there is a solid connection to at least one of your recipient’s prompts. Go nuts. Get creative. Let your SPN-flag fly free and help your fellow fans make Hellatus into a fun-filled hiatus instead!
Q: What is Gen?
A: By "gen" we simply mean fanworks where the focus is not on romantic or sexual relationships, although those relationships may be a small component of the story, if the relationship has happened in canon. (i.e., John/Mary or Sam/Jess is allowed if it’s not the focus of the story, but not Sam/Cas or Dean/Gadreel.) If you're not sure your idea fits, comment and ask, or take a look at last year's master list to get an idea about what's appropriate.
Q: Why can’t I make fanworks about Sam/Dean, Dean/Cas, or other pairings in my Summergen fic?
A: See above. No slash is allowed of any pairing. Many, many other challenges allow or focus on slash. Summergen is for lovers of gen, which does not allow a focus on romantic/sexual relationships of any kind: het, M/M, femmeslash or otherwise.
Again, please note: No Wincest, Destiel, or any other pairing is allowed. Please don’t make a request for such or slip it into your gift – not even at a squint. Summergen is for gen fanworks only.
Q: Can I sign up if I defaulted/withdrew in a previous Summergen?
A: Withdrew, yes. Defaulted, no. If you withdrew properly (i.e. you emailed the mods to let us know you weren't able to complete your submission), no problem. If you just vanished without a trace, or you didn't contact us until after we assigned a pinch-hitter, of course you can't sign up again. Why should we trust you not to do that again? If you're not certain, just ask.
Q: What happens to the gift that was created for me if I default or withdraw?
A: The gift will still be posted, but it will become a gift to the community. The comm is delighted by and grateful for everything created for this event! :)
Q: Can I request or create fanworks about minor and recurring characters, not just the Winchesters?
A: Absolutely, yes. Please do! Any character that has appeared on the show is fair game.
Q: Can I create fanworks about Jared, Jensen or other actors on the show?
A: No, RPF (real person fanwork) is not allowed in Summergen. However, you may include fictionalized versions of real people that fit into Supernatural canon (e.g., a time travel story where Sam and Dean meet Abraham Lincoln, or if your story is based on The French Mistake, you can use the fictionalized versions of the actors that appeared in that episode).
If you have any further questions about this, feel free to ask.
Q: Will there be a separate sign-up post for pinch-hitters?
A: No. Instead there is a separate community for pinch-hitters, spn_genpinchhit. If you're interested in pinch-hitting, please join that community. Note: you have to join, not just watch, because all pinch-hit requests will be locked.
Q: Can I sign up if I don't have a Livejournal?
A: No. However, the sign-up form asks for a link to your journal and you can give us a link to your primary fannish home – Dreamwidth, Tumblr, AO3 or whatever – but we need you to have a LJ journal as well, in order to follow the comm and therefore, track any announcements and updates we'll be making. (Check your LJ settings to be sure you're receiving notifications for the comm.) If you make a Livejournal for this reason and this reason alone? That's perfectly okay with us. We just want you to stay informed.
Q: Are we allowed to create our recipient multiple pieces based on their scenarios/prompts, or only one?
A: You can submit only one gift for your recipient as part of the anonymous exchange. But it can be as involved as you like: a multi-chap fic or several panels of a comic, for instance. A small banner to accompany your fic? Sure. If you really think you'll have time to make more than one gift, though, consider signing up as a pinch-hitter. These are the people who step in to write/create in lieu of participants who have dropped out: if you pinch-hit you'll get a new set of prompts to choose from and our endless gratitude!
Q: If I want to receive a specific medium as my gift, can I request such?
A: You can indeed! For instance, if you'd prefer to have fic instead of art or vice versa, there will be fields to specify your preferences on the sigh-up form. You can pick as many or as few as you like.
Q: Can I thank my beta in my author's notes, or is that giving away my identity?
A: That's kind of a judgment call. Don’t do it if it will be a dead give-away of your identity. Otherwise, feel free, or consider something like “Many thanks to my beta, L – you know who you are.” Beta credit can always be given later, after the reveal.
If you have any other questions, please drop us an email at supernaturalsummergen @ gmail . com (without the spaces).