A fanfic challenge involves authors committing to write to a set theme, within a set time period. The following are popular challenge types, illustrated with examples, but no where near a comprehensive list of challeneges in this productive fandom.
These have a set theme for example a weekly topic may be set. This is popular with shorter fiction forms such as drabbles. Flashfic challenges involve writing a story within a set period of time eg one hour or a week
- Supernatural 100 - a drabble community with a weekly challenge. It has been in continuous operation since 2005.
- SPN Flashfic comm
- Salt Burn Porn - regular porn fic challenge where participants tag each other with prompts.
- Silver Bullets Shmoop fic challenge where participants tag each other with prompts.
- SPN Herea a team based challenge with team Angst squaring off against Team Shmoop. A member of each team would write on the same prompt and then readers would vote for the winner.
These are an informal type of challenge. They are usually hosted on personal journals, where the owner will suggest a theme, and then people comment with prompts, which people will write short fics to, that generally fit in the space allowed by a Livejournal comment, although they may continue over several comments. A coment fic does not need to be a complete story, and often will feature only a scene or two based on the prompt.
- Porn Battle - A prompt based, muilti-fandom porn challenge that includes fan fiction/art/vids The first ever Porn Battle was in January 2006, and it's been a twice a year event (in January and June/July) ever since.
- Sharp teeth is a Gen-oriented (ie pairings are allowed but are not to be the focus), multi-fandom horror fic challenge.
These are communities which run specific types of comment fic challenges, where fans anonymously leave a prompt based around a sexual kink or situation, and other fans write short stories based on them. The prompts often cover topics generally considered taboo. In a fandom where Wincest is widely accepted, obviously everyone's definition of what this is varies widely. Anonymity allows fans to write porn that may involve issues they may not wish to admit to liking, although some fans will later repost the stories under their username.
Writing to a specific theme
Some of the most popular challenges in Supernatural fandom have involved writing fanfic based on the plot of existing books or movies. A series of movie or book titles may be used as prompts.
Some challenges may be very broad in theme and may or not have prompts.
- Spn Apocasmut - a challenge to write porny apocalypse stories
- When The War Is Over - Curtain Fic set after the apocalypse
- SPN meant to be - happy ever after fic
- SPN 50 states - ran in 2007 and 2008 where participants were to write a story set in an assigned US state.
- 100 days of Summer Challenge - participants signed up to write a fic to be posted every day during the summer hiatus
The "Big Bang" model originated in Potter fandom (Harry/Draco to be precise) and has since spread throughout the fandomverse. They feature long fic which has art produced specifically for it. Some challenges are pairing specific, some are pan-fandom and the minimum length of the stories varies from 10-50,000 words.
You can find a list of Big Bang Challenges across fandoms here (although I am sure there are many more than listed). See also:
- SPN J2 Big Bang: participants sign-up to write stories of over 20,000 words, and are paired with an artist or vidder. Started in 2007 over 20 million words have been written as part of this challenge.
- SNcross Bigbang is a challenge for Supernatural fics which crossover with another text. Stories are greater than 20,000 words
- Dean/Castiel Big Bang started in 2010 and features stories with Dean/Castiel as the central pairing, or Dean and Castiel as the central characters in a Gen fic.
- SPN reverse Big Bang started in 2010 and reversed the usual process. In this challenge Artists produced work, which writers than produced stories of at least 5,000 words for.
- Crowley Big Bang started in 2011. Story minimum length 15,000
- Gabriel Big Bang started in 2010/11. Story minimum length 15,000
- Gen Big Bang started in 2011. Story minimum length 15,000
- SPN Slash Big Bang started in 2010. Stories must have a central slash or femmeslash pairing. Story minimum length 15,000
These run along similar lines to challenges, but here participants will be allocated another participant to write for and have to write a story based on that person's prompts. Often the fics are initially revealed anonymously, with authors revealed later.
- SPN Summergen - Running since 2007, this exchange is for Gen fic, and takes place over the summer hiatus
- Yuletide - an annual panfandom fic exchange for rare fandoms. Supernatural qualified in 2005. Supernatural Yuletide stories
- SPN J2 Xmas fic exchange - running since 2008
- Secret Angel Fic Exchange held in 2009
- Dean Castiel Secret Santa Fic Exchange
- girlsofspn 2010 exchange devoted to female characters in Supernatural
- spn_fs_exchange Exchange devoted to femslash with Supernatural characters
In a remix challenge, participants are randomly assigned to each other and they must rewrite a story originally written by their recipient. The core pairing, setting and plot must be retained, but everything else can be changed.