Yuletide and my author friends


There are a lot of Yuletide-nominated fandoms this year for works written by people I know.

I’m not sure what to do about this.

Let me back up a moment and explain, for those of you not versed in fandom.

Yuletide is a ficathon. A ficathon is a fanfic exchange, in which people request fanfic on certain themes, in certain canon, or regarding certain characters, and other people in the ficathon are assigned to write a story for that person. The writer writes the fic. The recipient gets the fic. Ficathons can be about one character or may include thousands. They can be on one theme or anything you like. One canon or many. Crossovers, AUs, or slavishly faithful. The exchange can be anonymous, pseudonymous, or open. It all depends on the terms of the ficathon in question.

Yuletide is the largest small-fandom ficathon. The entire point of Yuletide is to give presents to people of fic based on a canon that no-one writes very much. You can request a crazy diversity of things, from Ovid to Phineas and Ferb to the Nantucketer trilogy to music videos. Anything goes, as long as your request does not have more than a certain amount of pre-existing fic already written for it. You make your requests, and someone makes their offers, and the fine folks running Yuletide match you up. And on the morning of December 25th, you get a present.

People work very, very hard on Yuletide. I truly approve of this ficathon.

This year … this year, I am seeing names of a lot of people I know, or at least know to email them from time to time. And I kinda want to giddily say to them, “Look! Look how many times you’ve been nominated for Yuletide! Isn’t that awesome!” Yet this is potentially fraught.

Some authors do not approve of fanfic.
Some authors approve generally, but not of fic from their own work.
Some authors approve as long as they don’t know about it.
Some approve, but merely can’t read it.
Some approve enthusiastically and sneak-read it and don’t tell anyone.
Some write fic, either of their own work or the work of others or crossovers.
Some are writing for Yuletide.

There’s no really easy way to have this conversation.

That said, then, to you all whose works are Yuletide-nominated fandoms, I am happy for you. I’m happy that your work has touched people, influenced people. I’m happy that your fans care so strongly about the worlds and people you have made. I’m happy that you have a rich and vibrant impact on the world.