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Thread: The 2017-2018 Sekrit Solstice Sci-Fi Fantasy Story Swap

  1. #1
    I want to be Comic Sans. CobraMisfit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    The 2017-2018 Sekrit Solstice Sci-Fi Fantasy Story Swap

    Hear ye, Hear ye!

    The First of December is once more upon us, which means that we stand on the precipice of yet another season of writer-based joy and wonderment.

    That’s right, gang, polish up your prompts, spool up your spellcheckers, and flex those fingers because it’s time once again for the Best Thing to Happen to Humanity Since the Invention of Tacos....


    So what exactly is the SS-SFF-SS you may ask?

    The SS-SFF-SS (AKA: The Sisyphus) is a writer-focused word party where everyone provides a prompt for what kind of story they want to receive and what they’re willing to write. Once we close prompts, participants are secretly paired up via the Story Elves and a lot of math, they create a story based on their assigned prompt, and then provide it to the Story Elves who send it to the giftee a la Secret Santa.

    The best part is that authors not only gets to write something fun or outside of their normal comfort zone, but everyone who participates walks away with a story written just for them. Hilarity normally ensues, especially when we try to match authors with stories in a blind Guessing Thread.

    If you want an idea of the general madness involved, feel free to review last year's SS-SFF-SS Thread and the SS-SFF-SS Guessing Thread (password: vista).

    What the Sisyphus is not:

    1) Stressful: This ain’t NaNo nor your publisher’s deadline.
    2) Lonely: We’re a family here. We lean on each other.
    3) Judgmental: Genre, word count, and typos don’t matter here.

    Basically, we prompt, we write, we trade stories, we guess, we share the joy of the event, and we create life-long bonds with our fellow writers.

    If this sounds like your kind of literary playground, then here are the rules and such.

    The Rules and Such:

    RULE #1) HOW TO PLAY: There are two primary ways of participating: RECEIVING/GIVING and GIVING ONLY. (See Rule #5 for The Beta Option.)

    1a) RECEIVING/GIVING: Signing up to RECEIVE a gift means signing up to GIVE a gift. No exceptions. Since the spirit of this event is giving, you ask for treasures, you have to give treasures. To do so, you’ll make a post with what you want to read as well as what you’re willing to write. I’ll then put the names of participants in The Sign-Up List of AWesome located at the bottom of this post.

    Also, you may absolutely write more than one story if you want!

    1b) GIVING ONLY: You may absolutely sign up to GIVE a gift, but not RECEIVE one. If you’re the benevolent type that loves to give and give, I’ll forward you a copy of my Wish List. I’ll also hook you up with a giftee (or more than one if you so fancy). Please let me know if you want to give a story in general or for a specific prompt so I can match you appropriately.

    RULE #2) PROMPT PARAMETERS: When you sign up to RECEIVE/GIVE, please include a prompt that provides parameters for both your gift AND what you are willing to write for someone else. Your “receive” info can be anything: a word, a quote, an author name, an idea, a theme, etc. Just give your gifter a direction in which to run.

    That said, please KEEP IT REASONABLE. Long, detailed prompts run the risk of not getting matched because people don’t want to be boxed in. Feel free to ask for the moon, but also allow your gifter room to maneuver. If your prompt is deemed too stringent or “outlinesque”, the Story Elves may contact you to tweak it. If you refuse, you run the risk of Getting Benched (See Rule #11).

    Also, please specify themes/topics that you are okay with/not-okay with, both for receiving and for giving. (i.e. maybe you want to receive a space opera, but aren’t confident with writing sci-fi yourself.)

    Unless otherwise specified, the person writing for you will assume all bets are off.

    Example Prompt:
    Originally Posted by Queen Novella Von InkyQuill, High Potentate of Wordsmithia and all the Territories and Colonies therein

    Golly, CM, this sounds like the best thing to happen to humanity since the invention of tacos! Of COURSE I’ll participate. Sign me up to both give and receive.

    Prompt: I'd like an Alt-History Steampunk YA Cookbook, please. Nothing grimdark or with explicit violence/smexy times. Bonus points for a manatee in a tutu!

    I'm willing to write anything, except smexy manatees in tutus.

    RULE #3) EGADS, YES!/ER, NO THANK YOU: If prompt really excites you or there’s a prompt/person you don't want to write for, no matter the reason, please rep/e-mail me with your request. I’ll do my best to accommodate your wishes.

    RULE #4) WRITING TIME: Once the sign-up thread closes, the Story Elves and I will pair everyone up based on provided Prompts and what people are willing to write, then send out assignments via e-mail. From the day you get that e-mail you'll have approximately 10 weeks to create your masterpiece.

    As of today, our target delivery date is FEBRUARY 28th. This ensures that authors don’t feel pressure to write during the holiday season AND gives them enough time to get their stories to betas as needed. Keep in mind that target dates are flexible and we can always shift them if folks need or want more time.

    Most important: Communicate! If you hit a snag or have questions/concerns, please contact me via e-mail or here on AW and I’ll do my best to help you out. If you’re struggling and go radio-silent, especially as we reach the final weeks of the event, the Story Elves will go into full panic mode and may initiate Rule #11.

    RULE #5) THE BETA OPTION: This is the tangential way to participate since beta volunteers are always welcome. If you're not interested in giving or receiving, but would like to play as a beta, let me know via Rule #12. Authors may also seek out betas exterior to this thread/genre as they desire.

    RULE #6) WORD COUNT: There’s no limit to story length. We’ve seen everything from 100 word poems to over 30k novellas. A good story is a good story, so don't fret the word count.

    RULE #7) SUBMITTING COMPLETED STORIES: When you're ready to deliver your story, send it to me via e-mail in Word, .rtf, or .pdf (if a different format, just let me know). Also, please make sure to include a 200-400 word section pasted directly into the e-mail that you feel best represents your tale of wonders. I’ll use this for the guessing thread. Again, for those unfamiliar, here is a link to last year's Guessing Thread.

    It can be rough, clunky, filled with typos, etc. Folks won’t care. What they WILL care about is the fact that you put in time and effort to make something. We’re among friends here, so do your best, but don’t lose sleep. If the deadline hits and you need/want more time, submit what you have and work things out with your giftee for the "completed" story down the road.

    RULE #9) OWNERSHIP: The author of the story owns that story outright. This is especially true if the author decides to polish/expand the story for a professional market. The prompt they use is merely a motivating tool, but does not transfer ownership of the story to the giftee in any way. Everyone who participates in this event agrees to this.

    RULE #10) SAY “THANK YOU”: In the past, a few people have expressed concern about whether or not their giftee liked their story. Once you receive your gift, PLEASE thank your gifter. A heartfelt “thank you” goes a long way to convincing someone that the hours spent building something special were not in vain. So please be courteous and vocally appreciative.

    The Sisyphus is a fun bonding experience with a great deal of latitude, however we also need to ensure it’s a safe and agreeable environment for all participants. Endangering this safe space, in any fashion, may invoke Rule #11. That said, benching is a “last resort” and the Mods and I will attempt to work things out with an author long before it happens.

    By agreeing to participate in this event, you also agree that actions like bailing without communicating, inflexibility, hostility, or out-right offensive/boorish behavior may result in removal from the event and/or being forced to sit out of next year’s Sisyphus.

    RULE #12) I’M IN!: To ensure you have read ALL THE RULES, including this one, please rep* me (on this post) a statement that says you have read and agree to all the rules AND that you swear to give your gift by the deadline. Please also provide an email in the rep, even if you've played in the past, so the Story Elves can send you your gift when it’s time.

    Once you submit your rep, I'll send you a confirmation e-mail within 24 hours.

    FYI, please avoid PMing me. My inbox is stuffed with messages as far back as 2010, which I’m finally willing to admit I’ll never clean out.

    Here ends The Rules and Such.

    The Timeline of Excellence:

    December 1st: Sign-ups open. Masses flock to this thread. A new dawn of storytelling breaks and hope reigns supreme.

    December 21st: Sign-ups close. Late-comers reap a harvest of sorrow.

    December 25th: Assignments are lovingly wrapped and hand-delivered direct to your inbox. Hooray! Presents for everyone!

    December 25th – February 28th: Plots are generated, characters are drawn, and words are flung.

    February 28th: Stories are due to moi. Everyone celebrates the impending burst of Spring with the knowledge that their masterpiece is a mere hours away from arriving in their giftee’s inbox.

    March 1st: Stories are delivered to giftees who are overwhelmed by teh awesomez. Guessing Thread open in SYW. Stories are read. Friendships are forged. Joy spreads through the valley and there is peace.

    March Somethingth: We crown this season's Supreme Guessinator who lords over all of us with her/his story-guessing might.

    All hail last year's winner: RIV!

    As Supreme Guessinator, Riv ruled the Land of Sisyphus justly, spreading goodwill to all the people. But will this season's winner be as magnanimous or will they rule with an iron fist?

    Only time will tell.

    Personal Note: This is hands-down my favorite writing event. There’s something magical about writing specifically for another person using their prompt. Not only does it allow you to move outside your comfort zone, but also helps you explore a genre you may have never considered before. The more people who participate, the more fun we have, so feel free to tell your friends, family, kids, cats, or even that strange neighbor who mows the yard in nothing but a sheen of sweat and a smile.

    And now, without further ado....

    The Official Proclamation:

    Let it be known throughout all the writing lands that the 2017-2018 SS-SFF-SS season is now officially open!

    Let's light the tires and kick the fires, gang!

    The Sign-Up List of AWesome:

    Name: | Both Give and Receive(B)/Give Only(G)

    1) Maggie Maxwell: B

    2) Aliwood: B

    3) themindstream: B

    4) paddismac: B

    5) kjbartolotta: B

    6) Friendly Frog: B

    7) Marlys: B

    8) Tazlima: B

    9) Lillian_Blaire: B

    10) Richard White: B

    11) Kitkitdizzi: B

    12) Daniel STJ: B

    13) mrsmig: B

    14) Jade A: B

    15) Ari Meermans: B

    16) Kate Smash: B

    17) tjwriter: B

    18) Sara K: B

    19) Damoclian: B

    20) Arkdiver: B

    21) Aggy B: B

    22) Jaymz Connelly: B

    23) Kate879: B

    24) Tamlyn: B

    25) Mary Love: B

    26) Shadowflame: B

    27) Cliff Face: B

    28) Hoplite: B

    29) EFB: B

    30) BryanT: B

    31) JA Rama: B

    32) Sianablackwood: B

    33) eyeblink: B

    34) Sian: B

    35) tiddlywinks: B

    36) Sue77: B

    37) shortstorymachinist: B

    38) Esmae Tyler: B

    39) Maxmordon: B

    40) Riv: B

    41) DougR: B

    42) Myrealana: B

    43) tianaluthien: B

    44) Cobalt Jade: B

    45) SeaSerpent: B

    46) DianneM: B

    47) Anna_Headley: B

    48) CobraMisfit: B


    1) themindstream

    2) paddismac

    3) Lillian_Blaire

    4) BryanT

    5) Riv

    6) Mary Love

    *For those who are unfamiliar with reps, that's short for Reputation Comment. You can submit one by clicking on the blue star at the bottom left of a post (be careful not to click the triangle-exclamation point as that reports the post to a Moderator). That brings up a text box where you can enter data and submit.
    Last edited by CobraMisfit; 12-09-2017 at 12:56 AM. Reason: We're live, people!
    Quote Originally Posted by 10trackers View Post
    I adore how our Cobra unapologetically loves odd stuff

    "On a scale of one to pyramid, it's definitely pyramid." - TotalBiscuit

    Books | Website | Chirps | Goodreads

    CM's Motivational Alert Code Color Chart

  2. #2
    Making Einstein cry since 1994 Maggie Maxwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    In my head
    It's the mooooost wonderful tiiiime of the yeeeear!

    I'll be giving and receiving, as usual.

    Dearest Sekrit Santie,

    My desires this year are simple. I would like: Dinosaurs. Ninjas. Solar Eclipses. Skateboards. Combine as desired. I like comedy SF/F (think Terry Pratchett), but I'm open to most genres with a little touch of the unusual. Please no smexytimes or extreme gore/violence.

    I can write SF/F with humorous tones, or touches of horror. I cannot write smexytimes or gore. I am willing to write shiny emo teen vampires and smexy manatees in tutus if it comes to it. Just don't expect it to be serious.
    Last edited by Maggie Maxwell; 12-01-2017 at 06:29 PM.
    The insane who believe they are sane are crazy. The sane who know they are insane are writers.

    Blog (updated 10/18/17)| Twitter | Pinterest | Wattpad

  3. #3
    Penmonkey Contrarian aliwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    UK Cantina

    More to follow


    1 - I would like to both give and receive.

    2 - My prompt this year is quotes

    "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately...depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!" Oliver Cromwell to the Rump Parliament 1653

    "Stupidity is, despite all appearances to the contrary, a complicated state of mind." Nick Hornby, Ten Years in the Tub

    "What's the plan?"
    "Don't get killed."
    Sam and Dean Winchester, Supernatural

    3 - I tend to write humourous SF/F. I certainly don't write serious, so expect twiddling and twisting. I can't write violence or smexy times either, let's not go there. If you want a sexy manatee I'll try, but you might be disappointed.

    4 - My favourite authors include Douglas Adams, Nick Hornby, JK Rowling and well, probably just about anybody, I have an eclectic list. Feel free to write anything, although you might want to keep the violence and smexy times to a minimum.

    5 - Absolutely NO hospitals or medical stuff please.
    Last edited by aliwood; 12-01-2017 at 06:58 PM. Reason: adding


    Upstairs for thinking, downstairs for dancing.

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW themindstream's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    No, Ali, you cannot snipe Maggie that way, apparently. (And I forgot the post wouldn't be stickied right away so she grabs the coveted 'first!' spot again.)

    :grabs a rope and swings into a new year's Sissyfus: I'm Iiiiiin!

    Give: No erotica, no horror genre. I'm good for both Sci Fi and Fantasy of most flavors, I'm not the best person for a romance-specific prompt. Humor is likely to be encapsulated in a serious plot.

    Recieve: No erotica or gorn but sex and violence (even graphic) in the service of the story are fine.

    Beta read: Can do!

    Prompt: I want a story about someone starting over in their life. Edit to add: Don't usually do this but I would like at least an optimistic ending - it doesn't have to be happily ever after, just 'things are looking up'.

    If you want more ideas feel free to mine my last couple years of prompts for other inspiration.
    Last edited by themindstream; 12-02-2017 at 04:38 PM.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" -- Arthur C. Clarke
    "Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from SCIENCE!" -- Agatha Heterodyne

    WIP: A Tale of Two Portals - first draft - 90k+ (!) and counting.

    I'm doing the Countdown to 2018 Flash Fiction Challenge! (password: 'flashed')

  5. #5
    Parasite free since '09 paddismac's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    trip-trapping all over your roof
    Ya-hooooo! Let's get these boulders rolling!! <selects a reasonably rounded 16-pounder from the pile>

    <deep breath> Okay, this ain't my first rodeo, I can do this... giving and receiving like always, and I'm willing to Beta as well!

    RECEIVE: Three guys walk into a crowded bar: a druid, a golem, and an Eldritch Abomination. It's an average Saturday night and the mood is festive. Then the lights go out.

    So, the "three guys" listed are placeholders. They can be anything/anybody, your choice (though I do want at least one to be nonhuman). They can be male or female, friends, business associates, or total strangers.

    The bar might be a neighborhood dive, a roadside tavern, a swanky big city club, or a designated area on an orbitting space station. Contemporary, historical, or some time in the future.

    Let your imagination run wild! So much can happen in the dark.

    ETA: Oooh! And bonus points if you can include the presence of an odor. Vile or enticing, your choice. Even better if it's a significant plot point.

    My reading tastes are eclectic, so I'm open to a wide range of genres and tones. I love madcap humor, grim dark horror, and everything in between. Just please, no cyberpunk or military scifi. I'm impossible to offend, so crude language, gore, or sexual situations are fine. Whatever you need to tell your story.

    As for GIVING, I'm pretty firmly entrenched in humorous low fantasy, UF, and steamy PNR. There's generally a nihilistic smirk under the surface of everything I write, so if you're looking for sweet, contemplative or profound, I'm NOT that goat.
    Last edited by paddismac; 12-02-2017 at 08:24 PM. Reason: additional detail!

  6. #6
    There's a stick up there Kjbartolotta's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Los Angeles
    Give: SFF, horror, cop drama. Comedy/Bizarro tends to be my default posture. I can write erotica, but only of the fake Livejournal variety.

    Receive: I want some grimdark. Furious grimdark. But get this: the MC has to be a warrior-poet.


    I would also like to offer to beta for you lovely people, since I tend to get anxious when I don't have something to beta.
    Last edited by Kjbartolotta; 12-02-2017 at 08:25 AM.

  7. #7
    Making Einstein cry since 1994 Maggie Maxwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    In my head
    Quote Originally Posted by themindstream View Post
    No, Ali, you cannot snipe Maggie that way, apparently. (And I forgot the post wouldn't be stickied right away so she grabs the coveted 'first!' spot again.)
    Frantic forum refreshing for the win, again! Also having the entire post pre-written...

    I don't have a problem I don't know what you guys are talking about get that strappy white coat away from me.
    The insane who believe they are sane are crazy. The sane who know they are insane are writers.

    Blog (updated 10/18/17)| Twitter | Pinterest | Wattpad

  8. #8
    Snarkenfaugister Friendly Frog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    I is in! Gifting and receiving!

    *wonders how many people will have joined by the time I have finished writing this post*

    Oh Cobra, you have no idea how long I have been looking forward to this. By the way, you will let us know when or if you need any help with organising this stuff, right? I can only imagine the amount of time and effort you pour into these events year after year.

    giving: I generally write light SF&F, including modern fantasy and/or humourous, but I am happily willing to experiment with other genres (but with the caveat that I might end up doing them badly). Don't ask any horror, grimdark or graphic sex from me, please.

    receive: I'm returning to my tried and true prompt of 'Connect the dots': a manatee (I had it before Cobra's post. I did! Honest!), obsidian, a sock puppet, prairie and [one more to be added later, not decided yet]. Given the festive period, I'd prefer anything but a bad ending but go where the story takes you. No horror, grimdark or graphic sex, please.
    Crede esse ranas.

  9. #9
    Resist. Love. Go outside. Marlys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Yay! It's starting! I'm in to give, receive, and beta.

    Prompt: Write a story that combines any three (or more, if you like) of these ten elements:

    --a blue flower
    --a man named Almareen
    --two cats in a graveyard
    --lots and lots of snow
    --the memory of wine
    --a bad pun
    --a smooth stone from a river
    --a happy ghost
    --a red alligator purse
    --a holiday meal

    I'll write: ONLY a story about a manatee in a yellow sequined tutu that he stole from a sparkly goat last Christmas and hasn't taken off since. What the hell--anything.

  10. #10
    Penmonkey Contrarian aliwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    UK Cantina
    Quote Originally Posted by themindstream View Post
    No, Ali, you cannot snipe Maggie that way, apparently. (And I forgot the post wouldn't be stickied right away so she grabs the coveted 'first!' spot again.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie Maxwell View Post
    Frantic forum refreshing for the win, again! Also having the entire post pre-written...

    I don't have a problem I don't know what you guys are talking about get that strappy white coat away from me.
    I love that you think I was trying to be first. I just put in a placeholder while I ate my lunch and found my quotes. I'm just happy to be on the list.


    Upstairs for thinking, downstairs for dancing.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW Tazlima's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    I'm in!

    Giving: I'm useless at writing romance and erotica, but I'll try anything else. No. You know what? I'm a writer doggonit. I should step outside my comfort zone. Put me down for anything!

    Receiving: I'd like a story about (or from the POV of) the "Mayor of the Moon." It doesn't have to be Earth's moon.
    Last edited by Tazlima; 12-01-2017 at 08:12 PM.
    "One of the hardest things to do, I think, is learn to trust your own creativity." - Ambrosia

  12. #12
    Procrastinator Extraordinaire Lillian_Blaire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    hanging by a thread
    Woohoo! I'm in!

    Giving and receiving. (I'd be happy to beta read if anyone needs it, too)

    You prompt is long and so suddenly I'm doubting myself. Ack!

    Okay here it is (sorry, I'm just long-winded):

    Your main character finds a portal (what it is, how it works, is completely up to you) that plants them back at their most embarrassing moment. Your character has a chance to do things differently, save themselves from a lifetime of feeling shame whenever they think of this particular moment. Now's their chance to use all those comebacks they've formulated in their head since that terrible event. It might be a moment to stand up to a bully, pull the dress from their pantyhose before leaving the bathroom, or avoiding a freak accident. Perhaps it's doing something they neglected to do, or not doing something at all. You decide. Getting a 'do over' is something most of us have thought about. What would happen if we really got one? Explore the idea and see where it takes you.

    Be sure to toss in a curve ball; a twist no one sees coming. Create a challenge your character doesn't expect (but not a challenge to return to present time—that's too easy). What the challenge is, whether it happens in the present or past, is your choice.

    1. This is fantasy, so it doesn't have to be a human character or originate in our universe. Want to add some magic or sci-fi elements? Help yourself. But I'd prefer not to have it take place in a completely animal world (a few talking animals as side characters is fine, but I'd like the mc to be somewhat humanoid). Use your imagination and world-building skills to your heart's content.

    2. Humor is good, but not required, and I'd like the overall story not to be a comedy or farce.

    3. A happy ending is a must. Even if it's only a “happy for right now” kind of ending.

    4. Bonus points if you give the story an element of romance (hetero, m/m, f/f, whatever you prefer) and if your story contains a creative and subtle nod to a portal/hidden passageway from a fantasy novel (or movie, comic, TV show) you love. Sex/profanity/light gore or whatever is fine.

    5. Please include a beloved pet, a knock-knock joke, and a classic car.

    As for what I'm willing to write, I prefer light sci/fi fantasy. I'm willing to try anything, but romance (especially m/m) is my specialty. Not great with battles or blood or talking animals or anything that needs to be historically accurate. But challenge me!
    Last edited by Lillian_Blaire; 12-01-2017 at 11:35 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaymz Connelly View Post
    I don't know that anyone could fill Lil's stilettos in her absence. She's very special and unique.
    Lil is just full of of sweetness and love, with a side of raunchy innuendo. That never hurt anyone! - Jaymz
    Tell that to the guy(s) manacled in her basement... - be frank

  13. #13
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Central Maryland
    I survived last year's fiasco ... I mean writing attempt, so I might as well take another swing at this.

    1) Give: I do space opera/fantasy/dark fantasy/fantasy noir/military SF/action-adventure/40's style superheroes. Not great at a touch of the ultraviolence or romance, but I'll try if you really want (no guarantees, do not feed after midnight, some shrinkage might occur, our lawyers are standing by.)

    2) Gift: I'd love to see something done with a nature fae out of their habitat. I mean a real fish out of water story: Selkies in Space, a Dryad stuck in the middle of a metropolis, let your imagination run rampant.

    Edit: Oh and Riv, you're goin' down!
    Last edited by Richard White; 12-01-2017 at 07:41 PM.

  14. #14
    The Tripinnate Kitkitdizzi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    My excitement can only be conveyed through dance.

    Receive: Take the antagonist of your WIP or a previous story and write a story with them as the main POV character. It could be their origin story, start of darkness, how they deal with going to the grocery store...whatever. I just love to fall in love with villains.

    Give: This year I...wanna write a romance. With sexy times and hanky panky. Therefore, I may be writing a horror or comedy.
    Fueled by the coffee Tiddlywinks says she gave up...(though she's totally lying)

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW DanielSTJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Give: I write on the basis of creating a meaningful story. I am willing to head in any direction and try anything. The floodgates are open: so am I. Nevertheless, I think I would try to write a sci-fi/fantasy story and try to combine the best of both worlds.

    Receive: Anything with sentimentality. I'm a sap down at heart, but if you could make it a Fantasy or Sci-Fi romance-- I would be grateful.
    Vivere militare est.

  16. #16
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    I'm in! I love this challenge!

    1) Give: I write epic fantasy but I'm willing to try almost anything in the spec-fic world, although if you're looking for hard SF I won't be your best choice.

    2) Gift: I decided on a photo prompt this year. Make what you will of this:

    I'm happy to both give and receive a bit of smexytimes and gore, but I don't want to drown in either.

    And once again, thank you to COBRA MISFIT for the most wonderful game of the year!

    KINGLET: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    FISKUR: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    STONEKING: Releasing February 20, 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing

    My Website:

    And the occasional Tweet.

  17. #17
    Slow and Steady Jade A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    I'll give and receive
    My prompt is going to be pretty open:

    'A man awoke on his 75th birthday to discover that he suddenly had supernatural gifts.'

    Any genre, any theme. Have at! Just keep things SFW if you please.
    I write dark fantasy: monsters, ambiguous morality, and occasional jokes.

  18. #18
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Over the hill and picking up speed! Vroom.
    I'm in for both Give & Receive*.

    What I read: Just about everthin' but grimdark, slash horror, and smexytimes.
    What I write: Almost nuthin', but willing to try my hand at everything but the above. Of course (curse?), iffen yer a stickler for believable Hard SF, I'm not the writer you're looking for.

    Prompt (if you wanna call it that): Avalon is REAL, y'all. Set your story there—any time period (past, present, future), any location (here on Earth, another world, another universe or dimension). Humor is appreciated, as is dialogue that leaves more out than in and shows differing agendas between the characters.

    *Ari One Track cannot beta this year; it really messes with writing my own gift story.
    Resources for Promoting on AbsoluteWrite:

    How to Help Keep AW Afloat.


    "Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance." Lyndon B. Johnson

  19. #19
    Merry SSSFFSS! KateSmash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Here I am, to join the fun!


    As Pat Benatar once said: Why don't you hit me with your best shot?

    Or (kind of) like Meatloaf: I would do anything for Sisyphus, oh I would do anything for Sisyphus. Yes, I'll even do that.


    So, you know what sucks? Insomnia sucks. Especially around day 3 or 4 when you're trying to function on very little sleep. Reality goes all fuzzy and surreal. It's not fun. So make it fun for me. Use insomnia as the magical means of travel for an old school portal fantasy or dimension hopping (for the SF inclined). Anything goes as long as it isn't gratuitous (so no porn or splatterpunk). Have fun!

    A side request: My eyesight also sucks. If you find it in your heart, dear gifter, could you please submit your story as a .doc or .docx file? They're the easiest to put on my ereader and adjust the text size on. I would love you forever.

    Last edited by KateSmash; 12-01-2017 at 08:55 PM. Reason: proper punctuation is important

  20. #20
    Penmonkey Contrarian aliwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    UK Cantina
    Some great prompts already and so many people!


    Upstairs for thinking, downstairs for dancing.

  21. #21
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Over the hill and picking up speed! Vroom.
    Yep. I'm already getting ideas and that's unusual 'cause I'm lousy at writing to prompts . . . generally. This is going to be another great Sisyphus, I just know it. Thanks so much, Cobra.
    Resources for Promoting on AbsoluteWrite:

    How to Help Keep AW Afloat.


    "Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance." Lyndon B. Johnson

  22. #22
    Emerging Anew tjwriter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Out of My Mind
    I'm in for both!

    GIVE: I'll try my hand at just about anything (maybe not hard SF), so come at me, bro!

    RECEIVE: Ok. Here we go. I love me some witty, sarcastic, intelligent main characters, primarily in the urban or epic fantasy realm. Think your Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Patrick Rothfuss, Kevin Hearne, Jeffe Kennedy, Robin Hobb, and so on. Whatever your choice, I want the main character forced so far out of their comfort zone that their butt starts to pucker, be it societal status, sudden power, cultural change, whatever. (If I can find the right image, I'll come back and add it.)
    Last edited by tjwriter; 12-03-2017 at 07:02 PM. Reason: Add Receive Prompt

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW Sara K.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    London, England
    My first time, I'm ready to jump in to both give and receive!

    GIVE: I'm willing to try almost anything, except all-out comedy (I can write lighter things, just not complete comedy).

    RECEIVE: Hrm. I would like to see Ancient Egyptian flavour in space! It can be the actual Ancient Egyptians, or they can be influenced by that culture, or there can just be a dirty big pyramid in the middle of space station...or anything else, as long as there's something in the story that tastes of Ancient Egypt. The only disallowance I'll make is, please nothing to do with our current pyramids (like, the ones you can actually see now in Egypt) having been made by aliens.
    Last edited by Sara K.; 12-02-2017 at 12:13 AM. Reason: formatting

  24. #24
    Fragile Bunny Damoclian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Mark me down for BOTH givin' giftiboos and receiving giftizzles!

    Givez: I can write anything. If I tell myself I can write anything, then I can write anything. I. Can. Write. Any. Thing... Although, I would rather not write about sexual violence, animal abuse, or psychological torture. And I'm awful and hard sci-fi. I can write anything, though! Damnit, I CAN WRITE ANYTHING!

    Receivez: I would like a rehash of one of my old prompts only I will make the prompt better, and please include an extra-extra fancy-fancy dress partay! Here's what I'm thinking* (I will try to keep it brief this time):

    There is a certain segment of the reading population capable of inserting themselves into the books they read. These megareaders** have a chat-thread hidden on an obscure website where they "pretend" they can change stories by reading them, and how their presence alone does that... and how dangerous some stories are to megareaders. There is a list on this website of all the stories people have entered, and never escaped (THE CLASSICS??? ).

    Our protag discovers this ability in theirself after finding the megareader thread and deciding to read the most dangerous story of all. The megareaders' : "Avoid this story by any means necessary"-Book. You, dear gifter, get to decide what the most dangerous book in the world is! G'luck.

    *Take or leave any portion of this prompt as necessary for the sake of your sanity or the story. This is meant to inspire, not shackle, or be terribly sticky.

    **Consider not using the term 'megareader' in your guessing thread snippet, or at all. :P
    -Twitter of fear and loathing and incredible shyness!

  25. #25
    Making magic with words arikdiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    My first time too. Put me down for giving and receiving.
    I read widely. I write military sci-fi, soft sci-fi, and fantasy.

    Give: I am happy to have a go at anything, though I'm not great at comedy.

    Receive: I would love a ghost story with magical elements. If you can throw in a fantasy trope or two and twist in an unexpected way you get bonus points.
    Last edited by arikdiver; 12-02-2017 at 12:50 AM.

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