This means you must be a member of AO3. If you need an invitation to Archive of Our Own, please respond below and we'll wrangle one for you! It's a fantastic space for reading, tagging and archiving fic.
A little history for newcomers: Summergen was initially conceived as a gift-exchange event to kill time over Hellatus; now, it's become a beloved thing in its own right and we couldn't be more grateful for all the wonderful participants and the fanworks created. Y'all are the best. How much longer Summergen will carry on? Who knows. Guess 'til we've all decided the sun has set on it. But until then? BREAK OUT THE FEELS AND THE FLIP-FLOPS. LET'S DO THIS THING.
For 2021's calendar and an event overview, click here. It contains important info. PLEASE READ. Gifts can be fic and/or art (hand-drawn, digital, photomanips, crafts and graphics). You need only pick one prompt and create one gift.
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 would inspire the average Supernatural viewer. This year, we are not accepting crossover prompts, just to simplify the move to AO3 matching.
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.
-CRAFTS: papercutting, collage, maquettes, just be sure if fills a prompt.
Art will have to be hosted elsewhere, such as imgur.com, as AO3 doesn't offer a hosting service... yet!
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!
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., Jesse/Cesar or Dean/Lisa is allowed if the romance is not the focus of the story, but not Jody/Donna or Sam/Gabriel.). 'Gen' can mean literally almost anything, about any character, in any genre. It can be 'simple' brother fic, but it can also be intricately plotted, sprawling multidimensional, metaphysical political intrigue spanning four generations and several galaxies! 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 my fave fanon ship for Summergen?
A: See above. However, Destiel has become a bit of a wiggly situation, but because there was no conclusive reciprocation from Dean, here at Summergen we're considering this to be unrequited, romantically. So if you opt to see their relationship as romantic, reciprocation from Dean or the romance itself cannot be the focus of your story in any way, shape or form. Many, many other challenges focus on romantic pursuits. Summergen is for lovers of gen, which does not allow a focus on romantic or sexual relationships, be they het, M/M, femmeslash, one-sided crush, or otherwise.
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 probably blew it. If you're not certain, just ask. We're not completely heartless, promise!
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: This, we're not quite sure of. Pinch-hits will be run through AO3 as well, and we're not quite sure how that will transpire. We do know you don't have to be signed up for the event in order to pinch-hit, so keep an eye on the Summergen comm here for information!
Q: Can I sign up if I don't have a Livejournal?
A: Absolutely! But you must have an Archive or Our Own account, this year. 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.)
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. It can be a fic, piece of art, or a combo of both filling the same prompt. 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! There will be a place to specify your preference in the sign-ups.
Q: Do we need beta readers, and can I thank my beta in my author's notes, or is that giving away my identity?
A: Yes, please get your fic and art beta'ed! But whether to openly thank them ... 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