The Snowflake Challenge is an annual fandom event, run by akamine_chanover on Dreamwidth. In fandom circles 'speshul snowflake' is a derogatory term, associated with the perceived Tumblr culture of diluted trigger warnings, social justice warriors, and US-centric policing of language and opinion. The challenge basically seeks to reclaim the term, and turn it into something positive by encouraging people to celebrate their own involvement in fandom.
I did the 2016 Challenge earlier this year, but I recently stumbled across an old fandom blog from 2013 with most of that year's answers still up. I figured I'd move the post here before I closed the blog down. :)
Day 1: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
Day 2: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you did not create. Drop a link to your post in the comments. See if you can rec fanworks that are less likely to be praised: tiny fandoms, rare pairings, fanworks other than stories, lesser known kinks or tropes. Find fanworks that have few to no comments, or creators new to a particular fandom and maybe aren't well known or appreciated. Appreciate them.
After all the planning, and writing - and last minute rewriting! - Yuletide delivered big time this year. So many awesome fics! Here are some recs of brilliant fics from fandoms I'm most familiar with ~
Pretty in Pink: I'm going to kick off with my amazing gift fic, I turn around again, and it's love. 'Six moments in time for Andie and Blane, through college and parents and breakups and travel, out of the 80s and into the 90s.' It follows Andie as she goes to college and explores her relationship with Blane - how they grow as people, and how they make it work when they come from such different worlds. I love how we get to see what has happened to other characters along the way, and the ending is just perfection. Andie's spirit just shines through the whole thing. Seriously, if you're a fan of the movie, go read this fic! :3
Now for my other recs, in alphabetical order by fandom ~
Addams Family: Merry Christmas, Lurch. This is the cutest fic of the whole bunch, imo. Lurch doesn't seem to be able to get into the festive spirit, and Morticia is worried about him. Luckily the rest of the family rally around, and the reason for Lurch's uncharacteristic behaviour is soon discovered. I just adore the way the author captures how much the family and household love and care about each other, for all their eccentric behaviour!
Blackadder: Pain and Painting. Prince George decides he wants a hobby; Blackadder has no choice but to assist. This is fantastic - so funny and in character, you'll think you're reading a script from the show!
Up next is another John Hughes fandom, Breakfast Club. There are two fics this year, and I'd highly recommend both of them. In the first, Go Fish, Brian gets his first ever blow job from everyone's favourite delinquent - and then afterwards arranges to go on his first almost date. It's hot, and funny, and adorable all in one package. The second, Isn't Life Swell?, is longer and explores Brian and Bender's friendship after high school. It's a really believable story of how they come to realise they feel more than friendship for each other.
Brittas Empire: Old New Borrowed Blue. Tim and Gavin are getting married - but nothing ever runs smoothly at Whitbury New Town Leisure Centre. This has all the manic wackiness of the show, as well as highlighting the good points of all the characters. ...Even Brittas.
Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman: Pocket Aces. Jake stays later and later at the saloon. Hank thinks he knows what the problem is. This is the fic I've been waiting for ever since I first watched Dr. Quinn - spot on characterisation, and more feels than I ever thought a story about Hank could give me.
Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy: A Very Happy Hitchiker's Christmas. Ford attempts to give Arthur a good Christmas. This is achingly sweet while being laugh out loud hilarious - I'm giggling to myself in memory right now!
Peter Pan: Hook, Line and Sinker. Captain Hook teaches Peter Pan a lesson. This is quite kinky, so probably not for everyone, but if that's your cup of tea this is a must read.
The Clangers: The House of Cards. 'This is a Clanger. She's just like you and me. Her name is Tiny Clanger.' This is just like being a kid all over again and watching an episode. ♥
Day 3: Comment to someone you haven't ever interacted with before or introduce yourself to someone you've interacted with and friend/follow them. Afterwards, leave a comment in this post with the equivalent of "I did it!"
Done and dusted.
Day 4: In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your wish-list if you feel comfortable doing so. Maybe someone will grant a wish. Check out other people's posts. Maybe you will grant a wish. If any wishes are granted, we'd love it if you link them to this post.
I linked up my Yuletide request letter.
Day 5: Stretch yourself a little and try something new. Go play in a new fandom or with a new pairing. Try working in a new medium. Or consume different fanworks. Give that new fandom a go. Listen to a podfic or watch some vids if you haven’t before. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it.
I did it!
Day 6: In your own space, pimp three comms or challenges and explain why you love them. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
Queer Fest (what took over from lgbtfest to all intents and purposes). There are a lot of reasons why I love this fest, but right at the top is their allowance of 'Any Fandom' prompts. There's nothing worse than wanting to take part in an exchange and not knowing any of the fandoms well enough to write in!
Three Weeks for Dreamwidth. I just like the gentle, friendly nature of the challenge. It encompasses so many different interests, and is incredibly low pressure!
Yuletide. Probably the biggest fandom fic exchange, it produces huge amounts of quality rare fic every year. For the most part it's a really positive, friendly exchange - but you can also follow the inevitable wank at yuletide_coal for extra added value.
Day 7: In your own space, share something non-fannish about yourself. A passion or a hobby or a talent, something that people might not know about you. We are more than just our fandoms. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
Some of my flist will be well aware of this, others won't, but I am into politics. Like properly, 'it's my day job and I once stencilled my favourite Marxist quotes onto my bedroom wall' into politcs. Sometimes I wish I wasn't because the hours suck, and the pay sucks, and everyone thinks you're scum if their bin doesn't get collected. But, mostly, it's challenging and interesting and, sometimes, you even feel like you're making a difference. And that makes it all worthwhile. Or almost, at any rate.
Day 8: In your own space, talk about setting yourself a fannish goal. Big or small, it doesn't matter. Some examples: complete a bingo, sign up for a Big Bang, write that fic you've been thinking about for years, podfic that story that you love, make a fanmix for your fandom, post that bit of meta or reclist you keep putting off. Maybe resolve to be better at leaving feedback or answering comments. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
In 2012 I wrote 101,800 words over 16 fandoms. Hopefully this year I can be just as prolific!
Day 9: In your own space, create a fanwork. A drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. A picspam. Something. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
I'd already deleted the relevant post.
Day 10: In your own space, talk about a creator. Show us why you think they are amazing. It can be a detailed, thoughtful analysis, or a squeeful, joyful post. Or maybe a combination of the two. Make a recs list, link to their archives or master lists or websites, maybe create a Fanlore page for them. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
I'd already deleted the relevant post.
Day 11 - In your own space, share a favorite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favourite interview, a book) and explain why you love it so much. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
I'd already deleted the relevant post.
Day 12 - In your own space, rec at least three fanworks that you think would make a good intro into XYZ fandom. Rec a fandom overview, a introductory picspam, stories that define and shape the fandom. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so. If at all possible, try to pick a smaller or rarer fandom, one that maybe doesn't have the following you feel it should.
I'd already deleted the relevant post.
Day 13 - In your own space, ask for recs. Something as simple as "I like XYZ (where XYZ is a kink, a pairing, a trope, etc) - please rec me some." Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
My favourite trope is character A pining for character B, thinking they can never have them because of reasons. While all along character B is pining for character A, thinking they can never have them because of the same or completely different reasons. After we've had this nice angsty exploration something happens and they realise happy ever after is possible. (Or alternatively one of them dies and THEN the other finds out happy ever after could have been possible.) Any recs welcome! :3
Day 14 - In your own space, write a love letter to Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, or to your flist/circle/followers. Share you love and squee as loud as you want to. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
Dear Fandom, Thank you for showing me how to put a story together, and how to use a photo editor. Thanks for finding me awesome friends who share my geeky passions, and TY for introducing me to more cool stuff than you can shake a stick at. For building my confidence, for giving me people to admire, and for helping me become the person I am today. You taught me that I wasn't alone, and for that I will always love you. xXx
Day 15 - In your own space, share a favourite 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. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
Oh, man, there are way too many to choose from. The very first piece of slash fic I stumbled across was like a lightbulb going off over my head. Then there's the first time I stayed up late IM-ing fandom friends, and the very first review I ever received. Getting into Meta and really *thinking* about what my hobbies meant to me, and to others, and re-reading the fic of my heart for the 15th time. The time a young lad wrote to me to say my teen fic had helped him come out to his parents, and how that email made me stop worrying about whether or not my friends thought I was weird for being involved in fandom. Just, yeah, it's been a blast - and I hope there's still plenty more to come! :3
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