It's my favorite time of the year, and not sleet nor snow nor out-of-season heat nor grad school nor traineeship angst nor book contract can prevent me!

I already know all about this: Fandom nominations are open.

What is Yuletide and why should I care?: Yuletide is the annual fanfic gift exchange for very small fandoms. It is notable for a large number of participants, a generally high quality of stories, and an atmosphere of communal glee broken by occasional scattered wankstorms.

If you participate, you offer certain fandoms in which you feel confident that you can write a story, and make requests for stories which you would like someone else to write for you. For example, "I'd be willing to write a story set in the world of Njal's Saga, the Mahabharata, Cyteen, Max Headroom, Venetia, "Me and Julio Down at the Schoolyard," or Mushishi. I would like to receive a story in any one of the following fandoms: Enid Blyton's St. Clare's series, featuring Bill and Clarissa. Femmeslash would be great, but friendship would be fine too. Vienna Teng's "My Medea." Any story inspired by the song." Etc. You can offer multiple fandoms, but can request only four.

You will then be matched with someone who requested a fandom and characters you offered to write, and vice versa. You know who you're writing for, but not who's writing for you. You write your stories, without revealing to anyone but your betas what you're writing or who you're writing for. On December 25, the stories are unveiled with authors' names removed. Everyone happily reads and recommends. On January 1, the names magically appear. Everyone congratulates each other on their stories.

Last year's Yuletide I wrote a story with 2 parallel stories of 17 scenes (plus prologue and epilogue) each, for Steve Brust's Dragaera, plus several treat stories. The year before that, I sent gonzo food writer Anthony Bourdain to Narnia. No Reservations: Narnia.

This year, I am requesting C. L. Moore's Northwest Smith, Vonda N. McIntyre's Dreamsnake, and George R. R. Martin's "Thousand Worlds" (his early space opera stories.) For my last request, I am hesitating between my perennial request for Diane Duane's "Tale of Five" ("Door" series) and Patricia Wrede's Lyra (a story about the Sisterhood of the Stars from Caught in Crystal).

Who's playing this year, and what are you requesting? Who's thinking of trying it for the first time?

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