apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
Most people will not care at all about the contents of this post. Feel free to disregard! This is mostly for [livejournal.com profile] eanor, who expressed some curiosity about how I do the matching for [livejournal.com profile] sherlockmas's holiday fic exchange. It may be of interest to anyone else thinking about doing their own fic exchange. Or it might not. (As you all may have noticed, I am VERY SYSTEMATIC about certain things. This will be one of them. There are multiple spreadsheets involved. You have been warned.)



First and foremost, you should convince your friend [livejournal.com profile] evilhippo to help you with the matching process, because she is a super matching genius with a savant-like talent for pairing people up to write fic. (She also makes a rather tedious task fun.) If you don't have an [livejournal.com profile] evilhippo, I'm sorry: you're on your own!

Second, you need a deep and abiding love for Google spreadsheets. It is so much easier to organize these things with spreadsheets!

After that, the process is roughly this:

  • Spreadsheet all the info. At this point, I have three spreadsheets for this fest: a master, one for offers, and one for requests. The master is where I keep track of who has signed up, their email address, whether or not they've checked in, who they've been assigned to, who they are assigned to, etc. I like a spreadsheet, because I can sort by whatever category I like, to have the list sorted by participant, who has checked in/not checked in, who's offered to pinch hit, etc.

    The "offers" and "requests" sheets are what I use to do the matching. I put down participants' names, a link to the comment where they signed up to the fest, and the details of what they offered to write or requested to received: the category (slash, femslash, het, poly, gen), the rating(s) they're comfortable writing or receiving, characters, pairings, potential crossovers, and finally: a keyword summary of the kinks, tropes, and general details of fic they like to read or write. (Things like "casefic, domesticity, PWP, BDSM, fluff" etc.)
  • Once the spreadsheets are finished, it's time to do the matching! I don't match participants off just the spreadsheet: hippo and I use the spreadsheets to find potential matches, and then click on the link to the sign-ups to confirm that it's a good match.

    There's a general order that (I think) works for matching people up, as well as some things to keep in mind when matching:
    1. Try to match the difficult sign-ups first. In BBC Sherlock fandom, that's pretty much anyone who didn't request or offer slash.
    2. Plenty of people offer to write or receive gen, but few are actually enthusiastic about it. If someone is a gen-only writer, I don't want them to end up writing for someone who says they'll accept gen, but then only makes shippy prompts. It's just not fun if you feel like you're writing someone's last choice for fic. Same with people who request gen fic: I want to pair them with a writer who's happy to write gen.
    3. As for smut: about twice as many people will request smut as will offer to write it. It's a fact of life. So I want to make sure to match up people who want smut-and-nothing-but with people who are confident about writing porn.
    4. Beware the PG-13 cut-off. If a participant doesn't specify "any" for the ratings they're willing to read or write, they'll likely choose one side or the other: "G to PG-13" or "PG-13 to R". Since no one's actually sitting down with the MPAA guidelines and counting F-bombs to classify their fics, this is basically shorthand for "I prefer milder and fluffier" or "I prefer dirtier and/or more violent". Even though someone who offered to write "G to PG-13" is likely perfectly capable of writing a fic to please someone who requested "PG-13 to R", they might feel uncomfortable that their writing isn't "hardcore" enough to please their recipient. (The opposite can be true as well: a smut writer worried they can't produce a G-rated fic to please.)
    5. Certain tropes/kinks are super easy to match up: if someone says they like Mycroft/Lestrade and MPreg, and there's someone who's offered to write both M/L and MPreg, you're pretty much good to go. Same with crossovers: if participants have Molly/Moriarty and Good Omens in common, it's likely a match made in happen. It's good to put these matches together as you come across them.

  • [livejournal.com profile] evilhippo and I talk to each in chat while we're matching. We tend to jump back and forth between sign-ups, and may have three or four matches we're actively seeking out at once. After awhile, you start becoming familiar with people and what they've requested.
  • When we make a match, we note it on both spreadsheets: on the "offers" spreadsheet under the "writing for" heading, and on the "requests" spreadsheet under the "assigned to" category. By sorting the list by these categories, we can see who has yet to be matched up.
  • It doesn't really get hard until you're down to the last third of participants, and you realize you missed someone who really, really wants Sally/Molly ageplay crossover fic with the Sweet Valley High books, and Oops! you've assigned the person who offered to write that to someone else.
  • Sometimes you have to re-match people you've matched up before.
  • Hopefully, you've left the easiest people (the ones who've made the broadest requests/offers) for last.
  • Somehow, despite best intentions, that doesn't always happen.


Once everyone's matched up, I send out an email telling everyone who they've got and provide them a link to their recipient's sign-up. I've only ever had one complaint about a match, and the complaint was totally justified: I don't know what I was thinking when I made that match.

Fortunately, the person I assigned myself to was a much better match for this person, and so it was a mistake easily fixed!


So, that's basically how I do matching. If anyone else has matched participants for a fic exchange, I'd be curious to hear about how you do it! (Also, if anyone else has made it this far: stories about matches you've been part of in the past. Horror stories. Matches made in heaven. Lay 'em on me!)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (PF: modicon)
[livejournal.com profile] pulped_fictions, a community for writers of original fiction, is running a summer event to coincide with the Olympics! I was in on the brainstorming, and let me assure you: it looks like lots of fun. :D

If you have lofty goals of putting out a pile of words this summer, there's a marathon event to keep you inspired! Less time? Well, the Heptathlon is composed of seven smaller challenges, all of which can be completed in just a little of your spare time. (Also: only participate in those challenges which interest you!)

Click the banner, and join us! (Jooooiinnnn ussssss!)




Click to join!

apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Zombie five!)
I feel so accomplished today. I cleaned and vacuumed my bedroom, did laundry, spent an hour and a half on the phone and the internet figuring out my student loan situation, finished adding all the new zombie prompts to the database, and pimped [livejournal.com profile] zombi_fic_ation out to a couple comms. (I also showered, but never mind! Now I'm just bragging. :P)

Last item on my agenda before I head off to tutor: pimp the zombie prompts that MUST BE WRITTEN!

First, have a banner: click it to add your own prompts to the fest!


And now: THESE PROMPTS NEED HOMES! Won't you lend a hand? List of prompts I'm dying to see filled: )

Want to fill one of these prompts? Mark your calendar for Monday, April 23 when prompt claiming opens.

Want to add an idea for your fandom? Get thee to the prompt post!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Zombie five!)
Because I won't be around tomorrow to harrass remind you all, just wanted to say:

Prompting for [livejournal.com profile] zombi_fic_ation's fic fest starts tomorrow!


Be sure to watch and/or join the community so you won't miss it. :)

apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Nerd - Fanfic)
(I conceived of this article when planning for my own comm's holiday fic exchange. I thought, instead of writing a ridiculously long FAQ, why not put all of the optional guidelines I wanted to include in one easy-to-link article?

If you'd like to link to this article, go for it. And don't forget to include your own tips and experiences in the comments!)


So, you’ve signed up for a fandom exchange! This is going to be great, right?

Well, unless you end up with a recipient who makes only one, super-detailed prompt that outlines the entire fic for you and doesn’t leave you any room to be creative.

Or you don’t get a prompt at all! One of those people who insists they “love everything” and would be happy with whatever you turn in! (As if that’s a help...)

Or the person assigned to write for you hates your OTP!

Or they’re known for writing super-explicit slash, and you only read gen!

Or the mod’s cat/grandmother/cat’s grandmother suddenly gets swine flu and they disappear off the face of the earth!

Or...well. You get the picture. There’s a lot to stress over! But don’t worry, most if not all of those scary fandom scenarios can be avoided with just a bit of crafty thought on your part! The rest? Well, it’s in the hands of the gods. Err...mods. :P Take a deep breath, and read this guide! )

Do you have ideas for how I can improve this article? In the comments, please share your own tips for surviving and thriving in fandom exchanges! Give me your successes and horror stories, your glories and tragedies...

Also, do you have a resource I should link to this article? Let me know!

ETA: And if you have recommendations for fests or exchanges that you've participated in the past, send them along! If I get enough, I'll do a "fest rec post". :D
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Hug)
Oh wow, I missed you all! How is everyone? Any exciting weekend plans?

Nothing much on my part. I've submitted my first original story for publication, so that's out of the way! (I don't have my hopes up for getting published, but it was nice to break the ice, right?)

The rest of this weekend, I need to finish all the music mixes I signed up for, and slap some polish on my [livejournal.com profile] femgenficathon entry. (At least it's written! It...doesn't go anywhere...but it's written!)

I've got my two entries for [livejournal.com profile] sherlockmas's Summer of Sherlock done and emailed to Rachel. (I am kind of wondering who the hell I am anymore, finishing all of this stuff ahead of deadlines...I think I have the chatroom to thank!)

So how's tricks? Wanna link me to something fun/funny since I don't have much going on this weekend?

ETA: For interest, and my own reference, here's the prompts I'm working on the for the music mix exchange: Read more... )
apple_pathways: (Record Shopping)
Some very good prompts already made over here:

mixtape exchange

But please click the banner and make some more, because I need more friendly faces to squee with! You're all going to have to hear about my mixes anyway, so why not jump in and prompt/make some yourself!

([livejournal.com profile] evilhippo: There is someone over there using your flash-y Tab icon and making Homestuck prompts. I got so excited when I thought it was you...and then the letdown. :( Boo!)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Moriarty OMG WTF RLY?)


Click the banner to find out how you can vote for the best of the Spring Into
Sherlock Fest at [livejournal.com profile] sherlockmas!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (221B)
Hey, do you guys know what day it is? No, not Mother's Day. (Though it technically is...) To be honest, if you do know you're one step ahead of me...

It's the LAST DAY of [livejournal.com profile] sherlockmas's Spring Into Sherlock Fest!!!

I...didn't quite realize it was the last day until I started typing the date "May 8" and remembered that voting was supposed to start May 9. You see, I thought there were 30 days for the festival, though I'd only scheduled it for 28. Oops! So, there's a whopping six new works up on the comm now, and I'm postponing the start of voting until May 10.

One of the works that went up today is my own. So, yeah: have a look if you're so inclined:

Name: Amy ([livejournal.com profile] apple_pathways)
Type of work: fic
Category: Gen.
Title: “And Back”
Prompt(s) used: Sherlock has the head of Orpheus in his refrigerator.
Rating: PG
Warnings: Themes of loss and mourning. A severed head.
Notes/Acknowledgments: Much thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sabriel75 and [livejournal.com profile] evilhippo for the encouragement and company while writing this story. And thanks to everyone who took part in Spring Into Sherlock, for making this festival such a good time!
Summary: "A tragic widow, a severed head, and a rather unsettling view of the afterlife--all discussed over tea."

"And Back", over at [livejournal.com profile] sherlockmas.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Bad Music (Life's Too Short))

Click the banner to get started or visit our FAQ for more info!

YAY PEOPLE ARE PARTICIPATING IN OUR FEST! [livejournal.com profile] rachel2205, my fearless co-mod and Light of my LJ, has offered to write my Molly/Jim "Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf" prompt, and someone else is writing my Jim/Molly "Hades/Persephone" prompt! Life is good.

For anyone who missed my last post: we are throwing a retirement party for my father. I am In Charge of Music. Please list:

Songs you would be willing to boogie to in the company of your parents and their friends.

(Oh, and for anyone else who ever needs DJ advice: [livejournal.com profile] ladybracknell is surprisingly knowledgable! It's true: there is nothing she can't do!)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Adorable Watson + Sherlock)

Click the banner to submit a prompt, or visit our FAQ for more info.

Open prompting for [livejournal.com profile] sherlockmas's 'Spring Into Sherlock' fanworks festival has begun! If you're familiar with the show, stop on by to offer up a prompt.

And if you're willing (please?), here's the banner code to share the news with the Sherlock fans on your flist:

apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Adorable Watson + Sherlock)
Thanks to everyone who offered an opinion on which name to choose. In the end, my all-wise all-knowing co-mod Miss [livejournal.com profile] rachel2205 picked "Spring into Sherlock" as it most neatly captures the two elements we wanted to get across in our title: 'spring' and 'Sherlock'!

So I have created an incredibly-bright and (I hope) altogether eye-catching banner to spread the love! If you'd like to promote the fest to the Sherlock fans on your flist *hopeful smile* I've provided the banner code below!

(Oh, and if you're a member of [livejournal.com profile] thegameison_sh: I'll promote this in the Team Sherlock comm, but if you're on another team and would be willing to share this banner on your team comm...)

(Look how happy he is! Won't you join us? :P)

Click the banner to get started or visit our FAQ for more info!

apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Alice)
A question, dear flist:

If you were running a spring fanworks fest, what would you name it? (Keeping in mind that I am likely to steal your answer...)

Quick poll:

[Poll #1681905]

Also: what other phrases/sayings can you think of that are about spring?

For some great Sherlock fic reading, here is a Masterlist of all the works produced for Sherlockmas's Christmas fanworks exchange. :D


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~Margaret Atwood

Why is it not spring now??? I want to dig in my garden!!!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Gashlycrumb Tinies)
[livejournal.com profile] dark_fest is a multifandom fest for fiction with dark themes. What is that you ask? According to the fests userinfo:

For the purposes of this fest, we allow "dark" can have quite a wide definition,since one person's bonechiller is another's stroll in the park. Dark fic can be subtle as well as explicit. Dark fic can be difficult subject matter, moral ambiguities, unhappy endings, no win scenarios, secrets, lies and shames, psychological messes, a look into the void, a twist of a canon mood or theme. Dark fic can be bad thoughts, bad deeds, bad decisions. Dark fic can be pure evil, it can be in over its head, it can be wrong for all the right reasons, it can pave the road to hell with good intentions. Dark fic can be horror, violence, torture, abuse, non-con. Dark fic can be subtle and understated. Dark fic can be psychological. Dark fic can be dark humour. The purpose of this fest is to explore all these murky corners.

In any case, I love dark fiction and will be all over this shiz! Prompting is open now (click the banner to go to the prompting post) and will close on January 28th.





Check it out, and let me know if you're at all interested so I'll have someone to squee/commisserate with!

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