Theme, Overview, Timeline & General Rules Theme: There is a Time and a Place for Everything
“In the real world, nothing happens at the right place at the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians (and fanfic artists/writers) to correct that.” Mark Twain(ish)
You know who the characters are: Sirius and Remus! But good art and stories are about so much more than character. Plot is often guided by the passage of time and the setting can be a rich, intriguing character in itself. Place and time are manipulated to create fantastical AU works, but they are beautifully present in canon. This year’s theme is all about time and place and their effect on vision and narrative. It’s about creative ways to set our characters, to free them from or bind them to the hands of time, and to explore the boundaries of the map and the clock.
General Overview: Welcome to RS_Games 2016! After nine years, it’s still your old friend, but with a new look and theme.
As always, the Games are about having fun and spreading the love of our favorite ship - not to mention going for Puppyshippers Gold. Sure, it’s technically a competition between teams, but the truth is, The Games are really more about making friends, telling stories, finding the right time and place to be creative, and having a good time.
Here is how it works: as in previous years, two teams will compete by creating the best possible stories and artwork, which will then be viewed and voted upon. Think of it as working together to create a body of work, a book of stories both visual and narrative which represent your Team’s point of view. You have about fourteen weeks to do this and during that time there are Team activities, Inter-Team activities, and all kinds of fun.
In October, posting begins. During the posting portion of the Games, works will be posted anonymously each day and readers will vote on each work. These works are not directly competing against each other, for the voters will evaluate each work independently, not as compared with the other posting.
At the end of the Games, the votes will be tallied as points. The team who has accrued the most points will be officially declared the winner, but, as we see it, everyone is really a winner. The public at large gets to read, view, and vote on the best fics and artworks around, but the real fun is in the process of making friends and creating some wonderful R/S pieces to share!
NOTE: You do need an LJ account to participate, but there is no requirement about how active it needs to be. Part of the fun of RS_Games is interacting in the Team Community and inter-Team activities, and it is necessary to be an LJ member for that. It’s easy and it’s free. Go here: https://www.livejournal.com/create for more info!
A Note About Our Theme: “We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love... and then we return home.” Aboriginal Australian Proverb
This year’s theme is about creating the right time and place for your art or story to take place. It’s about making the perfect setting or plot situation to let the characters shine. That said, it remains primarily about Remus and Sirius.
As always with the Games, the theme is merely an organizing principle, a theme to inspire and pull everything together. Though the prompts will be based on ideas and images relating to “time” and “place”, your stories and art need not revolve entirely around it. Create naturally and be yourself, and let time and place serve as your inspiration. Whether you have our boys traveling through time in a TARDIS-like device, waiting impatiently for detention to end, snogging in the fire-lit Hogwarts library, or sailing a tramp steamer across the Atlantic, your piece will certainly involve time and place. So take it, run with it, and claim that space-time as yours!
About Our Teams:
In the nine years RS_Games has been running, we’ve had many different Team designations: Team Canon v. Team AU, Team Sirius v. Team Remus, Team MWPP v. Team Post-Hogwarts, etc. This year, we’re trying something new: Team Time vs. Team Place.
Clearly, time and place are inexorably intertwined, but the goal of each Team is to focus on one or the other. Time might include everything from time travel to waiting for someone’s return to a sweeping saga that crosses many decades. Or it might not. Team Place might include travel stories or things set in particularly resonant places. Or it could be something entirely different. The choice is yours and the focus is however you feel it.
Time Line: Sign-ups begin on Sunday, May 22nd and last through Monday, May 30th, ending at 11:59pm Eastern time (like NYC)
Teams will be announced on Wednesday, June 1st., so please watch this space for more info.
Prompt table goes up Friday, June 3rd and closes at 11:59PM EST (like Toronto) on Friday, June 10th. (NOTE: If for some reason you will be out of reach of a computer during that time, please let the Mods know in advance and we will be happy to accommodate you.) In general, the earlier you choose your prompt, the better. First off, you may begin creating your work as soon as you receive your prompt confirmation. Second, though we are certainly NOT going to deny you your prompt just to be mean, for the sake of variety we do have to limit the number of participants per prompt. It’s first come, first serve - so get served first!
Works are due by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 21st EST (like Miami). This gives you about fifteen weeks (depending upon when you choose your prompt) to create your work. You are welcome to turn in your work early (and this year there will be rewards for that!) but there can be penalties for late entries. In the meantime, there will be activities (both team and inter-team), fun, and lots of interaction during this creation period, so never fear things slowing down.
Posting begins Monday, October 3rd and runs throughout the month. How many days will be determined by the number of participants, etc.
The winning team will be revealed in early November.
Sign-up process: Sign-ups begin on Sunday, May 22nd and last through Monday, May 30th at 11:59pm Eastern time (like NYC) and the sign-up post will use the following information: LJ User name: Real name (optional)/Tumblr name/AO3 name: (We don’t share it, but it does make matching emails to user names MUCH easier when the works come in. Also if you are on Tumblr or AO3 and we need to contact you that way, it’s helpful to know your name there, too.) Artist or author: Do you want to create a story or art for the Games? You can also put "Either" or "Both" Email contact/best contact: It is VERY important that we be able to contact you. If you have issues with sharing your email, please be sure that we can contact you by LJ PM or other means. Country/City/State: This is just to get an idea of your time zone and where you are in the world. Fear not, for we promise we’re not stalkers - but it is really fun to know how many countries/states/areas participate. Knowing your time zone can also help us make decisions about lateness, etc. Team Choice: IMPORTANT NOTE: No matter how hard we try to accommodate everyone, there is no guarantee that you will get the your first choice of teams. Obviously we will make every attempt to give players the team they want most, but that is not always possible. If you are willing to play on either team, please note that and the Mods will be happy to assign you to the team who needs you most! Is there anything else you need to tell us? Say whatever you wish here or ask a question, but this is also you can mention things like if and when you’ll be out of town during the timeline of the Games or other such pertinent things.
Please sign up using the following information:
General Game Rules: 1. The stories will be a minimum of 1,500 words and, while there is no maximum, please know that if you choose to go over a certain size (probably around 50,000 words) your story may need to be divided into smaller sections to accommodate size restrictions. Should you choose to write a large story, we ask that you establish the line of division yourself. Also, keep in mind that this is a competition. Many readers adore long works, but others find the length off-putting and skip the longer works. We encourage you to write as your muse directs you, but please don’t forget your audience.
2. Art has no size requirements, but keep in mind the size of most people’s screens. If the image is too big it can become unwieldy and some people may have trouble viewing it, but if it’s too small, people may not be able to see it clearly.
3. A list of prompts will be posted and each participant must choose one prompt ONLY from the list. There are three types of prompts: Word-based (like quotations and phrases), picture-based (like photographs and drawings), and audio-visual (like music and videos), and there are always enough so that every participant should find something to inspire them. The prompt table will appear on Friday June 3rd you have until 11:59PM EST (like Toronto or Atlanta) on Wednesday, June 11th to make your choice. (If you are going to be out of computer range during that time, please see a Mod and we would be happy to accommodate you.) If multiple prompts inspire you, so much the better, but you need to pick only ONE that will be used for voting.
4. Whether you are Team Time or Team Place works should be labeled as one (or more) of the following genres. Please note, these categories will be used ONLY for Mod organizational purposes and not used as a basis for voting. In fact, at least on the LJ side, your genre labels will be removed from the header. (We’ve found that this increases readership.) The genre choices are: a. Angst b. Fluff/Romance c. Hurt/Comfort d. Horror/Adventure f. Humor/Crack e. Smut f. You can also let us know if it is AU or Canon Please note, any and all of these categories and combinations of categories are welcome. You can do AU Horror-Smut with a dash of Humor or simple Romance. And, yes, sometimes these things are hard to categorize, but remember, it is ONLY for organizational purposes, so please just do your best. Believe it or not, we Mods try really hard to post complementary pieces for the readers to enjoy, so your labels help us immensely. You may also notice that crossover is not on the list. You are more than free to write crossover, but, once again, keep in mind that this is a competition and you want to reach as wide an audience as possible. Many good writers and artists can always create crossover works that can stand on their own or reach any audience, but it can still be tricky and readers not familiar with the crossover work can sometimes feel a bit alienated and vote accordingly.
5. All works must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 21st EST and will be screened and posted by Mods. If you think that you are going to drop or miss the deadline, please see your Team Captain or a Mod to arrange a Pinch Hit. Missed deadlines can result in elimination and this will hurt your Team’s overall score.
Or, if you wish, you may apply for an extension. But there is a catch: one-half point will be deducted for each day you are late. The key here is COMMUNICATION, the more you let us know about the situation, the easier it will be on all of us. We’re not going to penalize you if you’re piece is late because you’re devastated by the fact that your cousin suddenly eloped with the person you’re dating, but we have to know about it in order to excuse you!
Also, this year, there may be special bonuses for those who get their stuff in early!
6. All fics and art must be rated. Ratings in the community will go from “G” (or “All Ages”) to “NC-17” (or “18+” (Ratings Guide can be found here). Obviously, this community will contain fictional works involving same-sex relationships between fictional characters. If you are bothered by that concept please do not enter. While there are no official rules against (properly labeled) adult themes and material, please be aware that this is a game open to everyone and the more general the access, the more votes you will get. Due to certain LJ and DW posting requirements, choosing to write NC-17 could theoretically decrease readership. The same is true for non-consensual sex and other controversial themes. Again, this is an issue between you and your muse, but there are things to keep in mind.
7. All fics should be beta’d and, to be fair, it is best that all fics appear similar in format. We prefer that you use a plain, 10-point font. However, if font appearance or size is somehow integral to the story, please just let us know that - but remember that stories that are physically hard to read garner less votes. Eyestrain is nobody’s friend. Obviously, letters, notes, and other text-within-text situations are exceptions, but please put in the coding yourself. Proper coding is essential; if you have questions about how to code we will happily provide a guideline or you can ask a Mod or community member.
8. Posts will be accomplished by the Mods and all you have to do is prepare your work and email it to: email@example.com. You may submit any time before the deadline, and you should receive a confirmation email within twenty-four hours of submission. If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact a Mod.
When you send your email please include your user name, team, and the title of your work in the subject line. This makes it easier for the mods to organize. Along those lines, if you have multiple user names or change your username, please let us know as this can become confusing. Also, please include the text of the story and/or a copy (or link) to the artwork . You may send it either as an attachment or in the body of the email. Please use the following form as a header both in the work and in the body of the email. Remember, as in the story itself, you must include the coding in the header. Coding is important and coding errors can make or break a story. Also, fixing coding errors can easily drive the Mods into an early grave and nobody wants that!
Your user name (will be deleted before posting): Team: Title: Rating: Warnings: Genres (will also be deleted before posting on LJ): Word Count: Summary: Notes: Prompt: PLACE PROMPT NUMBER HERE
Your name, team, and genres will be removed before posting and a general disclaimer will appear on the site.
The “Warnings” space is mostly optional, especially for ”G” rated fics (please see Ratings Guide), but it is best if you warn your audience about anything that might be potentially adult-related. Warnings might include everything from swearing to frottage to character death to non-consensual sex. However, for the sake of expediency, let’s just assume that things like “boy kissing” and “same sex romance” are givens. This is Remus and Sirius, after all! Also, keep in mind that warning can also be advertising for other people’s kinks. Bondage? Drug use? Sarcastic llamas? Sometimes people will read something just because you’re creative here.
Under “Notes,” you can give bits of background, explanation, etc. You may also thank a beta or someone else who helped you, but please use initials only, etc. For example, if your beta is cackling_madly you could call her “C” or use the first initial of her real name. This is only because some people always use the same beta and it can become rather obvious who is who.
9. Entries will be judged in the following manner:
1. Does this work focus on concepts of time (for Team Time) or place (for Team Place)? (“Yes” is worth 2 points, “Sort-of” is worth 1 point, and “No” is worth 0) 2. How well did the author/artist use their Prompt? 1 to 9 (1 being the least) 3. How much did you like this story/art overall? 1 to 9 (1 being the least)
Your final score will be an average of all the votes and poll results will remain hidden. You will not get to see your scores, but you will be allowed to see all comments. In case you’re wondering, you can totally trust our honesty, but seeing scores can cause hurt feelings and needless division and that’s NOT what we’re going for in our fest.
Flaming is never allowed and any and all offensive/hurtful comments will be removed. If, as a participant, you find a comment that you consider hurtful or rude, please let a Mod know immediately and we will take care of it. Again, flaming and rudeness will not be tolerated. We really mean it! Trolls are only Magical Creatures and the only flaming allowed is Sirius swishing around in glam make-up and tight leather pants. SIRIUSLY!
Voting is open to the public, but Team members and Mods cannot vote. We do, however, encourage all participants to comment on works and pimp the Games as much as possible. Remember, all works are posted anonymously, so we ask you to honor that and not pimp your work on your own journal by revealing what you created. Pimp the Games, pimp works you love, encourage people to read your Team’s works, but please do not cheat and reveal yourself before Reveals. If we catch you doing this it is very possible that you and your work will be eliminated from the Games and that will undoubtedly hurt your Team a lot. All votes are averaged so it does not matter as much how many people vote for any particular story or artwork, but it is nice to get as many votes as possible.
Overall team scores will be posted by the Mods at the end of the Games, but individual scores will not. The latter is simply to avoid hurt feelings. This isn’t about competition amongst your teammates, it’s about competition between Teams.
10. IMPORTANT:Each Team will have a home community in which to gather, socialize, have fun, and make decisions. (The first of these decisions is to choose and vote on Team Captains.) This community is also your place to discuss life and support each other as teammates. Such support can come in the form of brainstorming, discussions, posting work samples, cheerleading, beta help, and the collective support needed to win the PuppyShippers Gold. The Teams can also use these private communities to enlist the support of and ask questions to our most excellent Mod team.
11. Any drafts or bits and pieces of your work in progress must not be posted anywhere public. Please keep it in the LJ Team Community or otherwise in spaces where non-Team members cannot see it. Because the pieces are posted anonymously, there must not be any public trail between you and your final piece. Thus we ask you to keep it within your Team. An exception to this is your beta (if chosen from outside your Team). You may discuss/show whatever you wish with your beta, but, again, please keep those channels private.