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Welcome to dS Seekrit Santa 6.0!

If you played in last year's challenge, this page probably looks somewhat familiar. Basically, this is a fannish exchange: you write a story or make some art or a vid; you get some art or a vid or a story in return. Because it's an exchange, it's important to get your contribution posted ON TIME. Because it's a seekrit exchange, it's important not to spill about what you made before the Big Reveal on New Years' Day.
ds Seekrit Santa in 150 Words

So here's how it works. You send us an email telling us you want to play. We'll send you a form to fill out with specific info about what kind of art, vid or story you want and what kinds of contributions you'll create. Lots of other people send us forms just like yours. We load up all this info into the Seekrit Santa Database of Sanity and poof!—matches are made between what everyone wants to receive and what everyone is willing to create. Then we send you an email with your assignment, and send the other people emails with their assignments, and then you make your gift by the deadline, and all of the other people make their gifts by the deadline, and then it's Christmas Day and there are lots of presents to open! And nobody knows who made them and there is some fun speculation and usually recommendations and then on New Years Day everyone gets drunk and the creators are revealed and
well, it's fun.

Easy peasy, right?

But that doesn't mean there aren't some rules.
Rules

Stories must be at least 1000 words.
Vids must be at least 1.5 minutes long.
Visual art is not as easy to quantify, but basically, we want to see contributions equal in effort and time to a well-crafted 1,000 word story. So if you make icons, we're looking for sets of ten, rather than a single one; if you are drawing a sketch, it should be reasonably detailed work.

Contributions do NOT have to have a holiday theme.
 
You must make something that includes at least one of your recipient's requested pairings or characters. You may not contribute anything that includes any of the three things listed as off limits by your recipient.

Assignments are confidential until creators' names are revealed on New Year's Day. You should not discuss your gift in your Live Journal or reveal details that might identify you as the creator. Please don't discuss your gift at all with other participants in Seekrit Santa.

That means getting a beta for your work can be a bit tricky. Ideally, your beta should not be participating in Seekrit Santa, but Seekrit Santa prefers betaed work to absolute confidentiality, so do the best you can. Obviously, the recipient of your gift should never serve as beta. (There will be a post at the Discussion Community where people can volunteer as or ask for beta, too.)

That's it!
How to do Seekrit Santa

Still with me? Okay, let's start with registration.

Send us an email at dsss.admin@gmail.com with Seekrit Santa 2009 in the subject line and something like "I want to play!" in the body. We will respond with a form you can fill out; you'll see the form in the body of the message we send you but you won't be able to fill it out until you click "reply" -- the form in the reply field is the one you need to fill in. This form will look something like this, and is basically asking two categories of things.

What You Want Created For You:

1. You can make three requests of your santa, each one specifying a different pairing or character if you want, though this is by no means required. If you are requesting art or vids, please make sure to include AT LEAST ONE story request -- as yet, writers far outnumber visual artists, so we want to make sure you have a non-art option, just in case.

2. Tell us THREE things that you don't want: threesomes, mpreg, kidfic, incest, non-con, etc. Try to stick to one word if possible (this helps make the Seekrit Santa Database of Sanity more efficient).

4. Optional: If you want to give your Seekrit Santa some direction by including a theme, a plot, a location, bits of dialogue, etc., you may. HOWEVER, your Seekrit Santa is not bound by these optional suggestions, only by your pairing/character and media requests.
What You Are Willing To Create:

1. Tell us all of the pairings you are willing to write, draw, vid, etc (for slash and het). For gen, tell us all of the characters you are willing to focus on in your piece.

2. Tell us THREE things that you are NOT willing to write, vid, draw, etc: death, mpreg, non-con, etc.
IF YOU SAY YOU WILL DO "ANYTHING" WE WILL TAKE YOU AT YOUR WORD!
On the other hand, the more you offer to do, the easier this whole process is on us, so I encourage you to stretch your wings and fly, baby!

3. Tell us what kind of gift(s) you are willing to contribute: stories, digital art (icon sets, mood themes, banners, etc), sketches, drawings, manips or vids.

Deadlines:

Deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. CST, Monday, October 12. Please make sure we have your form by then.

We will send out all assignments by 11:59 p.m., CST, Monday, October 19.

Gifts will be due by 11:59 p.m. CST, Friday, December 18. If you CANNOT finish your gift, the sooner you let us know the better—that way we can find a pinch hitter for you.

Other Miscellaneous Things to Consider

Please keep in mind other challenges you may have committed to for the holiday season before you sign up, and make sure you have time in your schedule to devote to creating your contribution for dS Seekrit Santa. Likewise, once you sign up for dS Seekrit Santa, please remember to accommodate that obligation as you are tempted by fun, sparkly holiday challenges later in the year!

Please remember that your assignment is a holiday gift for a fellow fan and treat their request the way you would like someone else to treat yours. Try to produce the best work that you can, and meet the deadline!