And so it ends.

First of all, all authors whose names were previously hidden have been revealed...all five of them. But before this exchange closes for the time being, I have some matters to address.

This is not an apology but an explanation: You all probably wonder why the reveals were delayed three weeks past the original date. Well, the answer comes from indecision and lack of experience. The first delay was simply because my computer had problems that needed fixing, and I had no other computer access. When the trouble was resolved, I was all ready to reveal the submissions...except I had a family obligation that necessitated my not staying up until midnight (as I thought exchange moderators were supposed to do). So, figuring that the participants would rather have extra time to tinker with their fics than receive their gifts any sooner than later, I delayed the reveals deadline again. Now, you would think that that delay would be the end of it, and it would have been—if not for one detail.

I have never understood the point of anon periods. With Yuletide, the concept makes some amount of sense, given that the exchange is a kind of Secret Santa swap, but in all other cases, leaving the writers anonymous for an extended period of time fulfills no useful function, to my way of thinking. So, for most of this exchange's duration, I left the "[t]his collection is anonymous" box unchecked. The exchange had a low number of participants to begin with, so I didn't think revealing the authors at the same time as the stories would cause any problems.

However, toward the end of the exchange, I began to second-guess myself. Popular opinion appeared to tilt in favor of anon periods, and yet such a feature still did not seem at all necessary to me. So, once again prioritizing editing time over timely receiving of gifts—I would like to stress that I thought participants would care more about the former than the latter—I delayed the reveals again to make up my mind about what I should do. Obviously, I could have just created a delay of a day or two—but I also operated under the assumption that fic collections had to open on what would be, for the moderators at least, weekends. (Allowing for all time zones at once is not possible, but I figured that most participants lived in roughly the same hemisphere, though of course I could be wrong about that as well.) Finally, I chose to go ahead and make the collection anonymous at more or less the last minute. We all know how that turned out.

According to the reply that the AO3 support team sent me, making a collection anonymous partway through does not retroactively hide the user names of people who have already submitted to that collection. In other words, if I wanted to make the collection anonymous, I should have done it from the beginning.

Well, there you have it. If you do not want to participate in future iterations of this fest, I understand. Even if we have fewer participants, though, I still want to run the exchange again—but this time, I think I have a better idea of how to do it.

Changes that I intend to make for next year:

  • Co-moderation, if anyone offers. Someone who far outpaces me in communication (which should not be very hard) would do the trick.
  • Community posts on a fairly regular basis: check-ins, announcements, discussions about
    topics tangentially related to the exchange.
  • An instruction that anyone who wants to contact me should send a PM, not an e-mail. I had forgotten how easy it is for me to overlook an individual e-mail in my inbox, especially if I'm completely unfamiliar with the name of the sender. Leaving that aside, sometimes e-mails just get lost or don't make it to my inbox (as I discovered rather frighteningly this past winter). If you send me a PM, though, I'm bound to see it.
  • Less polling of the audience with regards to what directions the exchange should take. In my inexperience, I relied too heavily on guidance from others—whether or not to have an anon period, whether or not to even create a journal in the first place, etc. I wanted to satisfy everyone from the outset, but...well, you know the Aesop's fable.
  • A proper anon period.

    Elements that will remain the same:
  • The exchange will still be for fantasy and science fiction literature. No comics, movies, video games, TV series, games, or media tie-ins, though you might be able to use a movie's, TV show's, or game's parallel book canon, as long as the books are a separate continuity.
  • The exchange will probably open at roughly the same time as it did this year (late April).
  • Anonymous commenting will still be turned off to prevent spam. Do you remember what happened to some Journalfen pages (before what happened to all the Journalfen pages happened, that is)?

Thanks to everyone who participated, especially those of you who wrote treats and did advertising for the exchange!
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Contacting AO3

Not that it will help most of this exchange's participants for the short term, but I sent AO3 Support a message about what went wrong with my attempts to make the writers anonymous. God only knows how soon anyone will read it, of course. Thanks to the people who suggested that a bug might have caused that mishap.
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An opening and an apology

The collection is finally open.

Before I say anything else, I would like to apologize for all the delays. The first was caused by something going awry with my computer, the second by a familial obligation, and the third by...well, my own indecision and lack of exchange-moderating experience. And, of course, I aggravated the situation by accidentally setting the reveal time for today at twelve a.m. instead of 11:59 p.m. (though that was an honest mistake). Worse, for some reason, the fics ended up not being anonymous—I swear to God I did not intend for that to happen; I did check the box next to "[t]his collection is anonymous," just the AO3 FAQ tells you—but all but five of the works have the writers' names attached. What I should have done, I think, was open the collection on the seventh (or the fifteenth) but leave the participants anonymous until the fifteenth (or the twenty-first). My idea was that although people would have to wait longer than they expected to read their gifts, the participants would have more time to edit their work, and I wanted to err on the side of benefiting the writers most. You all must be frustrated with me, and I swear not to do anything like that again.

With some reservations, I do intend to run the exchange next year. While I cannot promise that nothing will go awry, I am seriously considering soliciting a co-moderator, someone who knows how to communicate with people and can counter my flakiness. Is anyone interested? This experience has taught me that while I may have the enthusiasm of an exchange moderator, I was wrong to try to run the entire fest alone. Or maybe I should just do what the originator of the Fandom Growth Exchange did and hand over the reins to someone who knows better what they're doing; I might be best suited to signing up for other people's exchanges instead.

Thank you for your patience and for participating (if you participated), and may you all enjoy your gifts.

I'm deeply sorry.
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Just as a reminder, I will not be changing the collection's opening date again. It will open on the midnight between August 21st and August 22nd. I apologize if this creates a conflict with other exchanges. I was not planning to have an anon period, since the exchange is very small and maintaining anonymity would be a farce in some cases, but if enough people want one, I may change my mind.

If anyone is wondering, I do plan to run the exchange again next year. However, I doubt that I will extend the deadline multiple times in future rounds— as Morbane said, it's not good for the exchange to keep dragging on.

Edit: There will be an anon period for one week after the collection opens (so handles will be attached to stories on August 28th).
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One final delay

I have decided to open the archive one week from today (August 21st) at midnight EST.
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Another belated announcement

Everyone has at least one gift now. The collection will open, revealing works and authors simultaneously, on Saturday.
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I should have posted this yesterday, but....

The posting deadline has passed. I have had to default one participant, which leaves us in need of a pinch hit for one Sumi, whose requests are for the following canons:

  • Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
  • Peter Pan - J. M. Barrie
  • Twixt - Sarah Diemer
  • Belinda and Bellamant; Or The Bells of Carillon-Land - Edith Nesbit

For more information, see their letter.

If you would like to pick up this pinch hit, please e-mail me about it with your AO3 user name.
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Schedule change

My computer will have to go in for repairs as of tomorrow, and it may not be returned to me for a while, which will prevent me from doing much moderating. To properly accommodate this unforeseen event, I have changed the deadline for posting fics to August seventh. The reveals deadline is still August fifteenth, unless anyone objects.
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Pinch-hit redaction, round 2

As of this morning, someone else has picked up NightsMistress's pinch hit.
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Posting deadline

For all intents and purposes, the deadline for posting your stories is August first.

Pinch-hit redaction

The pinch hit-writer sent me an apologetic message saying that they did not, after all, have the time to finish the fic, so the aforementioned pinch hit is outstanding once again. Don't despair, though—said writer did swear that they would compose a treat if they could. But if you want to pick up the pinch hit, here you go:

Once more, here are NightsMistress's requests. )
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Outstanding pinch hit

As of this morning, we have a pinch hit someone has picked up the pinch hit.

Requests by NightsMistress )

Assignments are out!

Based on the comments left on the last post, I decided that last night would be the optimal time to send out assignments.

The posting deadline has not changed.

Go to it.
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Sign-ups are closed

Sign-ups closed about...fifteen hours ago. Believe it or not, everyone turned out to be matchable. I didn't even have to change character matching to OR instead of AND!

Assignments are scheduled to go out on the seventh, unless the community as a whole would rather have them sooner.
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Nominations are closed

Nominations have closed again. Once more, thank you to everyone who nominated; we increased our canon count by 39.

Sign-ups are still ongoing.
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Nomination update

Several new nominations have been submitted since I re-opened the nomination process. Thank you, everyone, for continuing to contribute.

Unfortunately, Girl Genius and its attendant characters are not eligible for this exchange, since the source material is a comic. However, there is currently time to replace your nomination with something else if you'd prefer.

Nominations will close again at ten a.m. Eastern Standard Time tomorrow. Sign-ups are ongoing through June second.
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Nominations are re-opened!

Nominations have been re-opened and will remain so for the next forty-eight hours. The sign-up and assignment-posting deadlines have been adjusted for this change.

ETA: I corrected the link. Sorry for the confusion.
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Possible second round of nominations

Would anyone object if I re-opened nominations for a day or two? I've heard a few comments to the effect of "I wanted to nominate something, but I forgot/only found out about the exchange after nominations closed."

ETA: I will extend the deadlines by however long nominations stay re-opened. If I decide to re-open them for 24 hours, then the writing deadline will have a 24-hour extension.
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Sign-up announcement

I have extended the sign-up deadline to May 30th at 11:59 PM EST.
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Sign-ups and Dear Author letters

Nominations closed last midnight. Blessings on everyone who nominated!

We have now reached that near-pinnacle of fic exchange excitement known as sign-ups. Go here to make your (at least four and up to ten) requests and (at least five and up to ten) offers. You need to request at least one character per canon—and character matching is AND for now—but since a few of the canons in the tag set were nominated without characters, that may cause trouble. If it does, I'll fix it.

Before you sign up, though, you may want to write a letter to your fic-writer and post a link to it here. If you're not familiar with them, Dear Author letters are journal entries in which list your canons, the characters you'd like to request, and however many prompts you're interested in seeing written. These letters can open with a grateful and anticipatory introductory paragraph and conclude with a similar one, and they're great opportunities to list your likes and dislikes. If you have a particular squick or trigger, you should probably mention it in the letter (and in your sign-up). Your writer will be obligated to avoid including any of your DO NOT WANTs. Describing what you enjoy about the canons you request is also helpful to your writer.

Be sure to mention your AO3 name in the letter, leave said letter unlocked, and refrain from linking to a placeholder letter.

Now, go have fun.

ETA: Sign-ups are open for real now. Now they're really open for real. Try it again.