All events will take place at 11:59PM EDT unless otherwise noted.
Nominations open: July 9
Nominations close: July 23
Sign-ups open: July 28
Sign-ups close: August 11
Works due: September 30
Works revealed: October 5 (8:00PM EDT)
Creators revealed: October 12 (8:00PM EDT)
What's this about?
The Darkest Night is an exchange fest celebrating dark themes in fanworks. If you've participated in exchanges like Yuletide, you'll be familiar with the concept. If not, here's a (very!) brief rundown: You sign up with a list of fandoms and characters to create a fanwork (either fanart or fanfic) for another person, and someone else will do the same for you. This exchange is run on Archive of Our Own.
What is exchanged?
You can create fanfic or fanart for this exchange. The minimum requirements:
- Fanfic: 500 words or more
- Fanart: A cleaned-up sketch on unlined paper
We welcome all fandoms, including Original Work. For RPF, there are a few limitations:
- All characters in modern-era RPF must be over 18
- No non-famous family or friends of RPF people may be used in the fanwork
- RPF nominations can be removed at the request of the person in question
How does it work?
There are three main phases for exchanges like this: nominations, sign-ups, and posting.
- This is when you nominate the fandoms, characters, and themes you'd like to see in the fest.
- You may nominate 6 fandoms total, and 5 characters or groups of characters per fandom. You may also nominate 10 free-form tags.
- Character groups are for when you want a group of characters interacting; you request it in the format of Group: [Character 1] & [Character 2] (for platonic relationships) or Group: [Character 1]/[Character 2] (for ships).
- This is when you sign up with your requests and offers.
- You can request 4-10 fandoms, with 1-10 characters or groups per fandom, as well as 2-20 free-form tags per fandom. You can also choose your medium per fandom requested: fanfiction, fanart, or both.
- Offers work the same way: 4-10 fandoms, 1-10 characters or groups per fandom, and 2-20 free-form tags per fandom. You can choose to offer either fanfiction, fanart, or both, but make sure it's something you're comfortable creating for all fandoms you offer.
- We use OR matching, meaning that you will be matched with someone who requested at least one of the fandoms (and characters/tags from that fandom), but not necessarily all fandoms, characters, or tags that you offered.
- When you're done creating your fanwork, you post it on AO3. Click here to learn how to post to AO3.
- On October 5, the works will be revealed. All works will be anonymous for a week. On October 12, creators will be revealed.
We're defining dark themes as "anything that deals with disturbing, violent, and/or depressing themes."
What if I can't complete my assignment?
Please default ASAP so we can find a pinch-hit for your recipient. There are no default penalties for this fest.
What's a pinch-hit?
When a participant can't be matched or is defaulted upon, they'll be assigned to a volunteer familiar with a requested fandom who will create a fanwork for them.
You may nominate 6 fandoms, with 5 characters/groups in each, and 10 tags total. Fandoms There is no rarity requirement regarding which fandoms are eligible. RPF, Crossover Fandoms, and Original Works are all allowed. Non-traditional fandoms such as songs, poetry, anthropomorphism, etc. are allowed. Fan-created fandoms based on existing fandoms will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
If you are nominating a fandom that contains multiple versions of characters, or has been known to cause issues in exchange tagsets, then please let us know if and why you think the fandoms should be combined or separated.
Characters & Groups
You can nominate individual characters or groups of characters. To nominate individual characters, just use the character's name. If your character has multiple versions across fandoms, please specify the fandom in parentheses after their name. If you'd like to nominate a group, please use the format group: Character A & Character B (platonic relationships) or Group: Character A/Character B (for ships). All characters nominated in a group must be from the same fandom; otherwise, nominate them under Crossover Fandoms. If the group is a Crossover Fandom, please put each fandom in parentheses after each character's name. Rule 63 versions of characters are allowed; please use the format Female Character A or Male Character B. See the examples below:
- Momomiya Ichigo
- Steve Rogers (MCU)
- Female Sparrow Hood
- group: Third Doctor & Sara Jane Smith
- group: Charles Xavier (X-Men Movies) & Zordon (Power Rangers)
- group: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy
You can nominate up to 10 tags total. These can be tropes, kinks, settings, etc. They should be related to dark themes in fic/art or something that can be easily applied to dark themes. We will be asking the community to help determine when to combine related tags together, so please keep an eye on the Dreamwidth community.
You can request 4-10 fandoms, with 1-10 characters or groups per fandom, as well as 2-20 free-form tags per fandom. You can also choose your medium per fandom requested: fanfiction, fanart, or both. Offers work the same way: 4-10 fandoms, 1-10 characters or groups per fandom, and 2-20 free-form tags per fandom. You can choose to offer either fanfiction, fanart, or both, but make sure it's something you're comfortable creating for all fandoms you offer. We use OR matching, meaning that you will be matched with someone who requested at least one of the fandoms (and characters/tags from that fandom), but not necessarily all fandoms, characters, or tags that you offered.
Pinch-hits will be posted to the community.
Any other questions? Ask us in the comments, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.