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The Summer Steam Creation Challenge

Year Two

Summer Steam Harlequin Challenge
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
We provide the plot bunnies, you do the creating!
Summer Steam Creation Challenge
Inspiring you to be inspired all summer!

About This Community:

This is a community for writers and artists who want to play around with inspired ideas and push themselves to finish a fic or art in only 30 days. We provide the plot bunny, you do the creating!

We'll provide a list of plot summaries, and you use that as your springboard for creating a fanfic, an original work, or art.

It’s also a way to ensure that you get a little present on your FList every day of August!

How it Works:

26 typical harlequin plots (one for every letter of the alphabet) will be posted at the before the claiming period begins. When the claiming period opens, you can claim whichever plot you like. Please double check that the claiming period is open before you claim a plot. Writers/artists can claim more than one if they’re feeling ambitious. They may begin to work on their fic/original story/art as soon as they have claimed their plots and the mod has confirmed and authorized the claim. Starting on the 1ST of the posting month, in alphabetical order, writers/artists will post their work. Your flist will offer up one treat every day for the whole posting month!

We STRONGLY SUGGEST that your art/fic is complete when you post.

How do I do that?

1) Join the Community.

2) Browse the 26 plots summaries, and choose which you’d like to claim.

3) To claim a plot, comment directly to the plot list entry and call dibs. It’s first come, first serve, so move fast to ensure you get the plot you want. However, no claiming will be accepted until the first day of the Claiming Period. (No dibs calling before then! It will be deleted!)

4) Make sure to read all the comments before making a claim to ensure you’re not double-claiming a plot. (If there’s a large enough number of people who want to participate, doubling up may be possible, but only AFTER all 26 plots are claimed once.)

5) You MUST claim your plot by the end of the claiming period.

6) If a plot is not claimed by the end of the claiming period, it will become a FREE day without a specific prompt. That means someone can claim the DATE rather than the PLOT and do whatever sort of harlequin they'd like.

7) You have from when you claim your plot to your posting date to create something from your plot. Original fic/ fanfic of any fandom / art / icon(s)/a whole comic/ an epic/ a series of drabbles – ANYTHING. But it must be INSPIRED by your plot. (Doesn’t even have to be directly like it). Again, we strongly suggest you try to avoid posting WIPs.

8) Mini-challenges (based on your particular plot) and drabble challenges (with no particular plot) will also float around during the writing period and anyone is allowed to post for those, not just people who have claimed the plots.

9) On the 1st of August we will begin to post our creations. Whoever claims A must post the 1st, B = the 2nd, C = the 3rd, etc.

10) Please post the all fic or art IN THIS COMMUNITY LJ (for archiving purposes). You may fake cut to your post from your own LJ.


12) Post Format:
For Fic:
Approx Word Count:
Fandom (if any):
Spoiler Warning:
Pairing (if applicable):
Author’s Notes:


For Art:
Can We Borrow Your Art?:
Fandom (if any):
Spoiler Warning:
Pairing (if applicable):
Artist’s Notes:
Worksafe?: Y/N
Thumbnail/ Preview:

13) Please Tag like this:
"plot: (your letter)", "fandom: (your fandom)/original" and either with "fic: wip", "fic: complete" or "art: icons", "art: comic", or "art: standalone"


Now that you've had a chance to take a look at the rules and the plots - time to throw a wrench into the equasion!

As there are 26 letters in the alphabet but 31 days in the posting month. That leaves five whole days at the end of the month void of treats. The remedy?

As well as calling dibs on plots, you may also call dibs on one of the free days (27th to the 30th/31st). On these days you can write/draw WHATEVER KIND OF CREATION you want, as long as it fits the theme! You don`t have to use one of the challenge plots.

To call dibs on the days you must call on the PLOT POST. The same timestamp rules apply - no dibs calling before the start of the claiming period.

How Many People Can Join?

As many people as want to can sign up to be members of the community, but there are only 31 days in the month, so there are only 31 people who can sign up for a story/art challenge. If you want one of the plots, you better move quickly!

What WON`T be accepted:

1) Flaming or spamming
2) Any fic/art portraying taboos, kiddie porn, or anything else of questionable or excessively vulgar taste. Squick and kink is fine, but be discerning. (To Clarify: Wincest is fine, if that’s your bag, but be aware when you post it may not be everyone’s. Illegal smut, such as fic or art featuring children under the age of 14, will NOT be allowed. However, non-con is a kink, so that’s allowable. Basically, be tasteful, folks.)
3) Real People Fic/Art (for issues of security and protection).

Prending as if I didn`t actually make up all these questions myself...

Q: What if I claim a plot and can’t create anything for it / have to pull out?
A: Please leave a message on the community with the letter and title of your plot, letting folks know it is now up for grabs.

Q: How do I claim a newly freed plot?
A: Be the first to comment and call dibs! You can do this ANY TIME, not just within the claiming period.

Q: Do I have to follow the plot summary exactly?
A: No! As long as whatever you do is at least loosely inspired by the plot, then it doesn’t matter. Have FUN.

Q: What if all the plots are taken and I still want to participate?
A: Once all 26 plots are claimed at least once, if there is enough demand for it, they will be re-opened to be claimed a second time. But ALL 26 plots must be claimed at least once first. There are also the wildcard days.

Q: Can I post my fic/art on my own site/in my LJ/ on an archive before my Posting Date?
A: NO. Where’s the fun in that? The idea is to have something NEW to read every day of the posting month! You can keep a secret… right?

Q: What day must I post my piece?
A: A=1st; B=2nd; C=3rd; D=4th; E=5th; F=6th; G=7th; H=8th; I=9th; J=10th; etc

Q: Are you my beta?
A: No – finding and utilizing a beta, an editor, or any other form of second–reader, spell-checker, etc. is the responsibility of the participant. Please, PLEASE try to at least use a spell-checker.

Q: How big/how many words does the art/story have to be?
A: As big or small as you like. Epics are just as welcome as drabbles, one icon is just as welcome as a whole comic series. Just make sure that you post ALL of the story/art in THIS LJ and that all the chapters/thumbnails/pages are properly linked from that entry.

Q: What if I only want to read?
A: Lurkers are welcome!

Q: Can I write (fem)slash?
A: Of course!

Q: Can I write an original fic?
A: Of course!

Q: Can I write a Mary Sue?
A: …er. As long as you promise to do it well!

Q: Can I draw erotic art?
A: Yes – make sure it has a “Not Worksafe” warning, just for the sake of your fellow community folks.

Q: Can I post my art/fic elsewhere?
A: Sure, just as long as you do it AFTER your Post Date.

Q: What fandoms are accepted?

Important Dates
The plots Will be posted by June 1st.
Plot claiming begins MIDNIGHT EST on June 15th.
Writing/arting period is between June 15th and July 31st.
Posting begins August 1st.

Good luck!