If you are new to the exchange, we are a 1k (1,000) word fic exchange centered around the women characters forgotten in large fandoms and all women characters in small fandoms. If you are returning this year, welcome back!
This year we are again running the exchange through AO3 (archiveofourown.org). That means everything from nominations to sign ups to posting and commenting will be hosted on the archive -- though you are of course welcome to promote, cross-post (after a delay), and discuss on LJ, DW, twitter, tumblr -- wherever you make your digital home. If you would like to participate in rarewomen this year and don't already have an AO3 account, drop a comment at this post and a mod will send an invite code your way.
Speaking of mods, prozacpark and I, aphrodite_mine may just be familiar faces by now! If, after reading this entire post you have questions or concerns, feel free to contact either one of us at this post, you would prefer to contact one of us privately, please use the information in this post and direct questions as described there.
With those preliminary notes out of the way, what's next?
RAREWOMEN 2014 TIMELINE
Now: Discussion of possible nominations at this post
January 31st--February 8th: Nominations take place through AO3; promotion of the fest takes place EVERYWHERE
February 9th--15th: Nominations clean up
February 16th--March 2nd: Sign ups through AO3
Early March: Assignments go out
April 25: Last date to drop without penalty; drops after this date subject to potential banning in 2015
May 4: Stories due to AO3
May 10 (or early May, depending on any pinch hit issues): Stories and authors revealed; authors may share their (and others') work via link
May 17 (or a week after the archive opens): Stories may be cross-posted on other mediums
1) Nominating and nomination discussion are open to anyone. These steps do not require the user to participate in the exchange.
2) The exchange is open to anyone (who did not land on the 2013 ban list. If you do not know if you are eligible, please contact aphrodite_mine with your AO3 username) with an AO3 account. If you do not already have an account, you may request an invitation here. By signing up, the user agrees to:
-- Request 3 (three) to 6 (six) fandoms and 1 (one) to 10 (ten) women per fandom drawn from the nomination set
-- Offer 3 (three) to 10 (ten) fandoms and 1 (one) to 20 (twenty) women per fandom
[A note on the AO3 sign up process: On the AO3 request/offer page, each user will be asked to select a fandom from those nominated, and from that fandom select "any", or up to 10/20 names from those nominated. Please err on the side of offering and requesting as MANY women as you feel comfortable with as options make matching easier. Matching is also done via OR rather than AND, therefore listing many women opens you up to anyone who offered any one of them (rather than trying to find someone who listed them all).]
-- Write a story of at least 1k (1,000) words focused on at least one rare woman listed in the generated assignment
-- In the event that the user CANNOT complete a story, they must:
To drop out without penalty: use the AO3 function on their assignments page
To receive a new assignment because the one they received was generated in error: contact the mods AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
To drop out with penalty: use the AO3 function. After April 20, unless accompanied by a note of medical/personal emergency, the user will be placed on the ban list for 2015
1) What fandoms or women are eligible to be nominated?
The short answer is: all fandoms are eligible, and if a woman character generates FEWER than 500 hits on AO3/200 hits on fanfiction.net for complete fic on a single website (and does not generate greater than 500/200 of hits on another site) then they are eligible for nomination. We will be using AO3 as our primary number base, however if another single site turns up GREATER numbers of fic, we may use those numbers. Because of the AO3 habit of tagging background/non-focal characters, this number is a hazy rather than a hard rule. If hits fall within 5-10 of [NUMBER] we will err on the side of THE MORE WOMEN THE BETTER and allow them for nomination. Older fandoms with high hit counts may also end up eligible where hard numbers might render them ineligible.
2) How is "woman" defined for the scope of this challenge?
Any character who self-identifies (or is identified via Word of God) as a woman, then the character is eligible for rarewomen.
3) What would render a character ineligible?
-- If the character is a genderswitch/always-a-girl version of a character without her own canon, that character is ineligible
-- If the character actively refuses to self-identify with a gender, we will not arbitrarily assign them one. That character is ineligible.
-- Per #1, if the character generates GREATER than 500 hits on AO3 or 200 hits on Fanfiction.net.
4) How will nominations work?
Nomination discussion here will help participants and mods learn which women may be eligible for rarewomen. Nominations themselves will be held on AO3. Anyone with an AO3 account will be able to nominate in [up to five fandoms with up to five women in each]
5) How will sign-ups work?
Sign-ups will run through AO3. Here is a step-by-step guide to requesting and offering the rare women you want to! Requests and offers will be selected from the characters and fandoms approved from nominations into the rarewomen 2014 tag set.
6) How will characters who pop up in multiple canons be treated?
Ah, mega-fandoms. This is an issue not easily solved without some arbitrary decisions. Like last year, we'll allow a character to appear in iterations of a fandom that take place in different mediums. Television, movies, comics, radio, cartoons… even with the same-ish canon and same-ish cast, these would all count as separate fandoms.
We'll also, within reason, allow fandom subsets. Titles like Alias, Runaways, and Young Avengers obviously take place within the larger MCU Comicverse, but contain their own universe to such an extent that they can exist on their own.
Nominate characters on the basis of what you would like to write and read. We may end up making changes with where the character is filed, but no character that falls within eligibility will be eliminated. Last year's mostly-catch-all MCU Comicverse and DCU Comicverse seem to be a feasible solution, so don't be surprised to see something similar this year.
There is additional discussion of this issue here and here.
7) What sort of stories can I request?
While remembering that aside from at least ONE match on ONE character, optional details are optional (but encouraged), you may request gen, femslash, het, poly, incest, RPF... it's all good. You can note that you'd like to see your rare woman/women paired with NON-rare women, or men, as long as the requested rare woman is the CENTER and FOCUS of the request and resulting fic. While background men, male narratives, and slash are not forbidden by any means, we encourage requests and fic to focus as much as possible on the WOMEN. After all, this is a women-themed exchange!
8) How will posting work?
There is a guide to posting at the AO3 here.
9) I don't really use LJ any more/don't regularly check it. How can I keep track of what you all are doing?
Our RSS feed is http://rarewomen.livejournal.com/data/rss and can be accessed on Dreamwidth as http://rarewomen-feed.dreamwidth.org/. We also have a mod tumblr account, the username is simply rarewomen! If there is significant interest in a Twitter as well, we can make that happen -- let us know at the mod contact post.
10) How could someone end up on the ban list for 2015? What can those banned for 2014 do to participate this year?
For no-shows who were banned last year, you are welcome to write treats and promote the exchange. Your ban will expire in 2015 to participate fully.
Really, the only way that you can end up on the ban list for 2015 is by disappearing completely either on an assignment or pinch hit without notice to the mods.
11) I'd like to participate in a way other than (or in addition to) writing/receiving a story. What can I do to help?
We need pinch hitters and beta readers. Those of you who volunteered last year to be on the pinch hit list will have the opportunity to remove yourselves. If you'd like to sign up for this year, follow the instructions on this post. To offer or request beta reading, post here. I act as a messenger between requesters and offerers.
12) I have a question or special circumstance that isn't answered here,
Please use the mod contact post to get us your question. We may add the question and answer to this FAQ.