(Open, Unmoderated, Gift Exchange Challenge)
About Darkest Night 2019 (darkestnight2019)
The Darkest Night is an exchange fest celebrating dark themes in fanworks. If you've participated in exchanges like Yuletide, you'll be familiar with the concept. If not, here's a (very!) brief rundown: You sign up with a list of fandoms and characters to create a fanwork (either fanart or fanfic) for another person, and someone else will do the same for you.
What's this about?
The Darkest Night is an exchange fest celebrating dark themes in fanworks. If you've participated in exchanges like Yuletide, you'll be familiar with the concept. If not, here's a (very!) brief rundown: You sign up with a list of characters/ships to create a fanwork (either fanart or fanfic) for another person, and someone else will do the same for you. This exchange is run on Archive of Our Own.
What is exchanged?
You can create fanfic or fanart for this exchange. The minimum requirements:
Fanfic: 500 words or more
Fanart: A cleaned-up sketch on unlined paper
Interesting! What fandoms are eligible?
We welcome all fandoms, including Original Work. For RPF, there are a few limitations:
All characters in modern-era RPF must be over 18
No non-famous family or friends of RPF people may be used in the fanwork
RPF nominations can be removed at the request of the person in question
Mods reserve the right to approve or disapprove characters/ships. This will only happen if a nomination breaks these rules or is in extremely poor taste (e.g. fic about Hitler). We will only choose not to accept something after serious discussion by all mods. We will post that we will not accept a nomination so that the slot can be used for something else.
How does it work?
There are three main phases for exchanges like this: nominations, sign-ups, and posting.
This is when you nominate the fandoms, characters, and themes you'd like to see in the fest.
You may nominate 6 fandoms total, and 5 characters or groups of characters per fandom. You may also nominate 10 free-form tags.
Character groups are for when you want a group of characters interacting; you request it in the format of Group: [Character 1] & [Character 2] (for platonic relationships) or Group: [Character 1]/[Character 2] (for ships).
This is when you sign up with your requests and offers.
You can request 4-10 requests, with 1-20 characters or groups per request, as well as 2-40 free-form tags per request. You can also choose your medium per request requested: fanfiction, fanart, or both. We will not be using fandoms. You may mix and match different characters/ships from different fandoms in requests.
Offers work the same way: 4-10 offers, 1-20 characters or groups per offer, and 2-40 free-form tags per offer. You can choose to offer either fanfiction, fanart, or both. We will not be using fandoms. You may mix and match different characters/ships from different fandoms in requests.
We use OR matching, meaning that you will be matched with someone who requested at least one of the characters/ships, mediums, and freeforms in a single request, but not necessarily all of them.
When you're done creating your fanwork, you post it on AO3. Click here to learn how to post to AO3.
On September 29, the works will be revealed. All works will be anonymous for a week. On October 6, creators will be revealed.
How do you define "dark themes"?
We're defining dark themes as "anything that deals with disturbing, violent, and/or depressing themes."
What if I can't complete my assignment?
Please default ASAP so we can find a pinch-hit for your recipient. There are no default penalties for this fest.
What's a pinch-hit?
When a participant can't be matched or is defaulted upon, they'll be assigned to a volunteer familiar with a requested fandom who will create a fanwork for them.
Are there any limitations on who can participate?
- You must have an Ao3 account to participate. If you do not have an Ao3 account and would like to create one, please contact us at email@example.com for an invitation.
- You must be 18 years of age or older.
I have another question.
Please either post them here (anon commenting is on) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll get back to you within 24 hours.
You may nominate 6 fandoms, with 5 characters/groups in each, and 10 additional tags. There is no rarity requirement regarding which fandoms are eligible. RPF, Crossover Fandoms, and Original Works are all allowed. Non-traditional fandoms such as songs, poetry, anthropomorphism, etc. are allowed. Fan-created fandoms based on existing fandoms will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Since we will not be using the fandom category for matching we do not care if fandoms overlap.
Characters & Groups
You can nominate individual characters or groups of characters under the appropriate fandom. To nominate individual characters, just use the character's name followed by the fandom in parenthesis. If you'd like to nominate a group, please use the format group: Character A & Character B (Fandom 1) or Group: Character A/Character B (Fandom 1). The & is for platonic and / is for romantic. Rule 63 versions of characters are allowed; please use the format Female Character A (Fandom 1), Male Character B (Fandom 2), etc. See the examples below:
Momomiya Ichigo (Tokyo Mew Mew)
Steve Rogers (MCU)
Female Sparrow Hood (Ever After High)
G: Third Doctor & Sara Jane Smith (Doctor Who)
G: Charles Xavier (X-Men Movies) & Zordon (Power Rangers)
G: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter)
All nominations for characters/ships must be disambiguated by having the fandom in parenthesis. Since we are not using the fandoms themselves in the sign-ups, we do not care if tags wander.
You can nominate up to 10 tags total. These can be tropes, kinks, settings, etc. They should be related to dark themes in fic/art or something that can be easily applied to dark themes. We will be asking the community to help determine when to combine related tags together, so please keep an eye on the Dreamwidth community.
You can make 4-10 requests, with 1-20 characters or groups per request, as well as 2-40 free-form tags per request. You can also choose your medium per request: fanfiction, fanart, or both. Offers work the same way: 4-10 offers, 1-20 characters or groups per offer, and 2-40 free-form tags per offer. You can choose to offer either fanfiction, fanart, or both. We use OR matching, meaning that you will be matched on a minimum of 1 character/ship, 1 freeform, and 1 medium in the same request.
In order for the sign up form to show which characters and relationships are being requested and nominated, fandoms will not be on the sign up form. Instead, you can put your pairings or characters directly into the Characters: field. You may mix and match characters/ships from different fandoms in the same request/offer.
Pinch-hits will be posted to the community.
DNWs - do-not-wants - are things you absolutely don't want to be in your art or fic. If you have something you feel strongly about, please put it in your AO3 sign-up. (And please be as specific as possible.)
In this exchange, we will only be enforcing DNWs that are in the AO3 sign-up, so if your artist or writer crosses a line you explicitly stated, you will go out as a pinch hit and receive a new gift.
Please keep in mind that this can only be enforced if your DNWs are a part of your AO3 sign-up. We will not enforce anything in a letter.
Any other questions? Ask us in the comments, or email email@example.com.
-You must be at least 18 years old to participate.
-If you have a concern about either your recipient or the person that gifted you, contact us about your concerns. Do not publicly call them out in namespace during the anon period.
-All DNWs (do not wants) must be listed in your AO3 sign-up to be enforced by the mods, but do not use your DNWs to attempt to overly box in what your creator can make you.