For 2018's calendar and an event overview, click here. It contains important info; please read. This year's gift media will be fic and art (hand-drawn, digital, photomanips and graphics). We've eliminated video simply due to of lack of interest.
You must submit at least three prompts, and may submit up to six – more is better.
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 be sure 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, and you should respect their artistic choices. Please remember to comment on the gift created for you and thank the author/artist when the time comes. We all like to know we're appreciated. (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 ONE gift to us for your recipient. (If you're inspired to create more, or decide to create fic and an accompanying bit of art or something similar, go for it! But you are only obligated to fill one prompt. You may also include multiple prompts in one fill, if it floats your boat!) 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.
Please be mindful of your own schedule, speed and real-life challenges; be sure you can honor the commitment you make to Summergen in signing up. Plan a smaller, simpler gift if you’re pressed for time, limited by a vacation or you simply work slowly. You don’t have to go overboard; lovely works of all sizes have come out of past Summergens!
Get creative. Let your SPN-flag fly free and make Hellatus an embarrassment of gen riches!
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, ask, drop us an email or take a look at past fills to get an idea as to 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, you kinda blew it. 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: Sort of? This year, we will be forming a mailing list of pinch-hitters. When the need arises, we'll send out an email and the first person to respond will get the goodie. You'll be able to volunteer when you sign up for the event, or you can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your handle, journal URL(s), and a reliable email.
Q: Can I sign up if I don't have a Livejournal?
A: Absolutely! The sign-up form will ask for a journal, and you can give us a link to your preferred fannish home – LJ, Tumblr, AO3, etc. – but be sure to follow Summergen on either Livejournal, Twitter or Tumblr to get announcements and updates. (Check your settings to be sure you're receiving notifications for the comm.) If you make a journal for this reason and this reason alone? That's perfectly okay with us; we want you to stay informed. We won't be sending out email notifications unless necessary, or we're looking for pinch-hitters.
Q: Are we allowed to create multiple pieces based on our recipients' scenarios/prompts, or only one?
A: You are only obligated to supply 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 to cover for 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 email@example.com