Friday, 29 December 2017

Fandom Snowflake Challenge 2018

A/N: The Snowflake Challenge is an annual fandom event, run over on Dreamwidth. In fandom circles 'speshul snowflake' is something of a derogatory term. The challenge basically seeks to reclaim the term, and turn it into something positive by encouraging people to celebrate their own involvement in fandom.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge

(Note: although the challenge runs from January 1st - 15th, it's super low pressure and you can go back and finish it any time you like.)

Day #1: Talk about why you're participating in Snowflake and, if you’ve participated in the past, how the challenge has affected you. What drew you to it? What did you take away from it? What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Taking part in the Snowflake Challenge is kind of a tradition for me -  I've taken part regularly and still have the posts from 20132016, and 2017. I like looking back over the fannish year and checking out the comm to see what everyone else has been up to. In years when I was only peripherally involved in fandom, it helped me still feel part of wider community. This year I'm more active and I'm hoping to find some cool new fandoms to check out and, possibly, a new challenge or two to take part in.

Day #2: Share a favorite memory about fandom: the first time you got into fandom, the last time a fanwork touched your heart, crazy times with fellow fans (whether on-line or off-line), a lovely comment you’ve received or have left for someone.

This year will mark my 20th year in online fandom - so there are plenty of memories to choose from! There have been fics that have made me sob like a baby, and fics that have had me snorting out loud with laughter on the bus. Late night sessions squeeing on group chat, and snail mail pen pals who shared snippets of fic along with real life updates. What fandom has always done, either one on one through fandom friends, or via the wider fannish community, is picked me up when I was feeling down.

It's always been there for a bit of escapism to dip and out of, or as proof that no matter how toxic pockets of fandom become, there are still huge swathes of it which is just about fans creating things for other fans to consume to keep the love of their fandom alive. It's that community element that has always drawn me to fandom. You're not just writing a fic and shoving it away in a drawer - you're getting the chance to interact with other fans through it.

So my single favourite memory is in the same vein. I think I wrote about it for Fanfic Writers Week too, but it really does have a special place in my heart: back when I was writing mostly teen fandoms I received a really long email from someone who said my fic had given them the courage to come out to their parents. To know that my writing had had that kind of impact on someone was really special.

Day #3: Post recs for at least three fanworks that you did not create.

Reccing my 2017 Yuletide fics because they are amazing!!

 Are We In Love Yet?
(The Aliens, Lewis/Dominic, c. 2400 words - by Misura)

The Aliens, if you’ve not heard of it, was a short lived (but brilliant!) Channel 4 comedy drama set in an alternate Britain where aliens crash landed into the Irish Sea in the 1980s. Humans, being what they are, soon rounded these ‘Morks’ up and forced them to live in a walled ghetto called Troy. Lewis is a border guard at the checkpoint who finds out he’s half Mork, and Dominic is a Mork cleaner who is painfully in love with Lewis. In the fic Dominic finally - finally - gets what he wants. …But not before some laugh out loud funny dialogue, and the The Alien League trying to force them to have sex on camera for the purposes of pro-pa-gan-da!

The Aliens

(Whitechapel, Chandler/Kent, c. 6200 words - by thedevilchicken)

This fic is just awesome from start to finish. Kent moves into a new flat his workmates dub Amityville because so many people have died in it. He knows he should leave before the inevitable happens, but the problem is that the thing is willing to give before it starts taking away… I love how atmospheric and creepy this is - right down to Kent’s inability to choose sanity over Chandler - and how it fits in with the tone of the show.


this is your bed to lay in 
(Southland, Cooper/Sherman, c. 12,800 words - by Ponderosa)

I fell so hard for this ship, right from the very first episode. Ben was so eager to please, and John was always so ready to call him out on his bullshit. But, then, John ended up in rehab and Ben ended up becoming a total tosser… This fic is like the ultimate fix-it fic for their relationship. Ben goes to John after Sammy kicks his ass, ends up crashing on John’s sofa for months while he tries to figure out where his life went so wrong and what he’s going to do about it, and finally gathers enough self-awareness to work out that what he really wants is sitting right in front of him. It’s just so well done, so believable - and it has a happy ending! :D


Day #4: In your own space, create a fannish wishlist. No limits on size or type of fanwork; just tell us what you’d like to see. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so. And if you grant a wish, do the same thing!

My one wish for fandom as a whole is more live and let live. Call out posts for 'problematic' content that actually boils down to 'I don't like this ship / the way you ship it' cannot come to an end too soon.

Day #5: Recommend a fannish or creative resource.

I'll recommend one of both; on the fannish side of things check out fandomcalendar on Dreamwidth to keep up to date with fests, exchanges, and other fandom happenings. My rec for a creative resource is Canva, it's an awesome graphic design tool I use all the time for blogging. Check out my Images 101 post for a whole range of places to find copyright free images to use with it.

Day #6: “I create for myself. I don’t need to have people to read/see/listen/appreciate it.” --said no Fan Creator ever. Okay, maybe the first part. But, I know of NO ONE who puts their work out there for the world to see and doesn’t want to have any feedback on it. So, leave feedback for a fanwork. Or multiple fanworks. It can be as simple as 'I liked this' to a detailed list of all the things you loved about the fanwork. The key is to leave some sort of feedback.

Done and dusted. The 'death of comment culture' debate has always raged in fandom, and is at a particular peak at the moment. I'm lucky in that I've always received a steady stream of feedback but I do think that's largely down to a 'you get what you put in' attitude. If you're known as somebody who comments on other people's work in the fandom, who responds to comments and enjoys receiving them, etc, then you tend to reap what you sow.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge Banner

Day #7: In your own space, create a love meme for yourself. Let people tell you how amazing and awesome and loveable you really are.

I, er, yeah. I'm pretty swell, I guess!

Day #8: In your own space, share a favourite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favourite interview, a book, a scene from a movie, etc) and explain why you love it so much.

Find me talking about my favourite Red Dwarf episodes over HERE. :)

Day #9: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favourite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator.

Where I Want To Be. (Tucker's Luck - Alan/Creamy - T - c. 8,000 words)
Coming of Age fic for an obscure ship in an equally obscure fandom. That's my kind of thing!

Friends With Benefits. (Breakfast Club - Bender/Brian - T - 1,800 words)
Typical exchange fandom offering.

Come Alive. (Downton Abbey - Thomas Barrow/OMC - T - c. 12,000 words)
Always with the gothic horror elements. Always.

Day #10: In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (Or a few!) Tell us what makes it work for you, and why it appeals to you so much. Talk about what you like to see in fanworks featuring that theme most. Feel free to include recs and examples!


Day #11: Share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life.


Day #12: In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a podfic, an icon, a sketch, a meta, or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Cross stitch. Draft an essay about a particular medium. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of book you love, a ship manifesto, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Create something.


Day #13: In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private.

Check out my New Years' Resolutions for 2018. :)

New Years Resolutions 2018

Day #14: In your own space, create your own challenge. Whatever your challenge is, and have fun with it! 

I expect a few people will mention this, but transformative works statements are always good. akamine_chan wrote a good meta post on what they are and why they're good HERE, but essentially it just means clarifying your position on other people making fanworks based on your own. Here's mine:

falsteloj transformative works statement

At times I've thought of codifying this more rigorously - using the creative commons licensing policy language, for instance - but really it just seems like making things unnecessarily complicated. I think this way is clear and gets across that I am genuinely happy for people to do what they like when transforming my fanworks.

For more like this, please click the image below:
Fandom - my life as a fan

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