[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Part of the fun of the DtCA is that all stories are published anonymously for the first week, giving everybody a chance to guess at the mystery authors. Now you can know for sure - the authors' names are now revealed! Were you surprised or baffled?

Huge thanks to all who participated. DtCA is very special to me, our fandom's longest running fic project, and I know many others feel the same way and bring their best efforts to the challenge. You are the ones who make the season bright for me and it is so, so worth the effort.

*hugs* all around. And readers, please don't forget to tell the authors how much you enjoy their stories. They put their hearts and souls into bringing you the best vision they can of our Men from UNCLE.
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Hope I don't sound like the Voice of Doom counting down - but here's a reminder that your Down the Chimney Affair stories for this year should be uploaded to the DtCA 2016 challenge on AO3 this coming Saturday, December 17th!

Please don't panic, though, because although we ask that the stories be uploaded by that evening, your story does not have to be 100% complete. You can still access your story and edit and tinker to your heart's content, all the way up through Christmas Eve. The stories go live on Christmas Day, December 25, at 10:00 am (that's US Central time).

The reason for the upload deadline is to give a headcount on defaults, so we can set any needed pinch hit authors to work. They will have less than one week to write their stories. I'm sorry to say I will not be available as a pinch hit writer this year - makes me feel like a slacker!

I'm pretty sure everyone has participated before and probably knows how to upload a story to the collection, but just in case, here's a link to last year's instructions. Disregard anything that is date specific in the instructions, and also be sure to upload to the 2016 collection!
How to Upload to the Collection

If you have any questions or problems, contact me via LJ private messaging or via email.

Heh. I just realized that this is the 13th year for this exchange and we had 13 wonderful people sign up! (Yeah, it took me a while to see that...)
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Good morning, all.

Time flies by fast at this time of year, so wanted to give y'all a reminder that the deadline for DtCA is coming up soon. The final deadline to submit your stories (that is, upload them to the AO3 site) is a mere two weeks from today!

If you think you might not be able to meet this deadline or have any other problems, please contact either [livejournal.com profile] spikesgirl58 or [livejournal.com profile] sparky955 via LJ private messaging. They can help you find a beta reader or can start drumming up some pinch-hit writers. Or give you soothing recipes to fuel your last-minute writing frenzy... whatever.

Thanks to all who choose to participate. And now I return you to your regular fun weekend.

Looking forward to the stories!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
The insane elf working the AO3 matching software has completed her tasks and sent out the invitations to our winter to-do. If you are participating in DtCA and do not receive your assignment later tonight, please either pm me or email me.

The process is a bit different this year than previous years, so I hope I didn't click "send" too quickly and miss anybody. If participants have any questions about their assignments, or anything else DtCA related, just give me a yell as noted above.

Can't wait to see what fabulous fic y'all come up with this year!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Just a reminder that sign-ups for Down the Chimney Affair signups close tonight! If you've been "thinking about it" - now is the time to make a decision. We'd love to have your participation.
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Yes indeedy, cousins and friends, it is that time of the year again, when our thoughts turn to adorable Napoleon and Illya elves feasting on cookies and vodka, and jolly secret-agent Santas who are eager to fill our stockings with all sorts of fabulous fanfic.

Well, OK, maybe not quite yet... but it is time to sign up for DtCA already, in order to have plenty of fic in our collective stocking come the wintry end-of-year.

Can you believe we've been doing this for 13 years already?!

How The Down the Chimney Affair works

The Down the Chimney Affair is a secret santa-style story exchange, which means that you write a story based on another fan's prompts and someone else writes a story for you, guided by your prompts. If you want to receive a story, you must also be willing to write one.

This is the post to register for the exchange. Sign-ups will be open beginning today for one week. After November 6th, the agents at UNCLE North Pole will match Secret Agent Santas with recipients according to preferences noted on the entry form.

Once again the exchange will be hosted and archived on the Archive of Our Own, although all admin posts and discussion will be here on muncle.

The gift exchange rules and this year's timetable are noted below.

Down The Chimney Affair Guidelines

Secret Agent Santas agree to write a story of 1,000 words or more. Longer stories are welcome, but 1,000 words is the required minimum.

Stories are published anonymously on December 25, 2016. Stories should not be shared publicly before January 1, 2017, when the Secret Agent Santa authors are revealed.

The Down the Chimney Affair is a fiction exchange. Art and vids have been popular additions in the past and are absolutely welcome if the author so chooses, but are not required.

Stories set in either the original TV 'verse or the 2015 move 'verse are welcome. Gen, slash (m/m and f/f), OT3 and het are all welcome. You will need to specify fandom (TV or movie) and genre such as gen or slash on the sign-up form.

Two considerations to keep in mind when choosing prompts: 1) Plot outlines are not prompts, and 2) Prompts are things you'd like to see in a story, not an attempt to stump the author.

Participants cannot express a preference regarding who they write for, or who they would prefer as their author. Writers are matched to recipients based on preferences listed on the sign-up form.

And last but not least, the ugly: Authors defaulting on an assignment are prohibited from participating the following year. Two DtCA defaults result in prohibition from further DtCA exchanges.

All signups will be done via the sign-up form on the profile page of Down the Chimney Affair 2016. Just click the "Sign-Up Form" button to open up the form. Instructions are included within the form. Be sure you are first logged into your AO3 account (there is a "Log In" button on every AO3 screen, in the upper right corner).

The Down the Chimney Affair 2016 profile page contains extensive FAQs and also some detailed step-by-step instructions on how to sign up for the exchange. An AO3 account is required in order to participate; if you do not have one please contact vysila AT comcast DOT net for an account invitation.

We also have a link to the AO3 Down the Chimney collection on our [livejournal.com profile] muncle links bar.

2016 Timeline

All times noted are U.S. Central Standard Time Zone. Please visit a time zone converter to calculate the date and time of day for your locale.

Signups will be open for seven days, beginning Sunday, October 30 at 8:00 pm and closing at 8 pm on Sunday, November 6, 2016. (Sorry for the short sign-up period.)

Assignments will be sent out within 24 hours after the close of signups; that is, no later than the evening of Monday, November 7, 2016. That will give participants six weeks to complete their gifts.

The pinch hit sign up will be posted to [livejournal.com profile] muncle on LJ on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

Stories are due no later than 8 pm on Saturday, December 17, 2016.

Pinch hit assignments will be sent out no later than 8 pm on Sunday, December 18, 2016.

Pinch hit stories are due no later than 8 pm on Friday, December 23, 2016.

Stories will be revealed at 10 am on Christmas Day, December 25, 2016.

Authors will be revealed at 10 am on New Year's Day, January 1, 2017.

If you have any questions regarding the Down the Chimney Affair or how to sign-up, please add a comment to this post and I will respond as soon as possible. (I'm completely sure I screwed something up somewhere - please point it out to me so I can fix my inevitable mistakes!)

Thanks so much, and looking forward to the awesome fic!

(P.S. If any of my friendly volunteer helper elves want to step in and help handle questions or problems, I'd be super grateful.)
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
The stories have now been revealed (although the authors remain anonymous until January 1st). There are 25 delectable stories for your reading pleasure!

Here's a fab fusion image from [livejournal.com profile] togsos to get you in the reading mood!

mfu fusion dtc toggie

Follow this link to this year's collection.

Happy Reading and Merry Christmas from the elves at UNCLE North Pole!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
The story deadline for the tenth annual Down the Chimney Affair is rapidly approaching! Due date is TOMORROW, 8:00 pm EST on Sunday, December 13, 2015.

Just a reminder that if you do not post your story by the above deadline, unless I hear otherwise immediately, your story will be considered in default and a pinch hit author will be assigned to write to those prompts.

However, the safety valve is that once you have posted your story it can be edited and tweaked and changed up until practically the moment the stories go live on Christmas Day. This has been verified with the AO3 support staff. Please do not stress if you feel your story isn't quite ready for publication upon submission - you still have time! Because DtCA is an anonymous exchange, no one but you will be able to see your story before the reveal date of December 25th.

For those DtCA participants who are either new to the Archive of Our Own, or those who post their stories using the URL import method, here are the step-by-step instructions on how to post your DtCA story using the AO3 direct upload interface. Please note that some of the screens may have changed slightly, and buttons may not be in the exact position described below but they will be somewhere on the screen.

This way to the step by step instructions )
And that's it, you have successfully posted your Down the Chimney story. Now just sit back and wait for the Big Reveal on December 25th.

(And if you're like me and tweak a story forever, go all the way back up to Step 4 so you can access and edit the story after it has been posted.)

Finally, if you just can't quite figure out how to post your story successfully or run into problems, contact me. I will be able to help you.
ext_422737: uncle hallway (Hallway)
[identity profile] elmey.livejournal.com
It got stuck in the cushions on Santa's sleigh, but here it is for the record:



TO: [livejournal.com profile] edna_blackadder
FROM: [livejournal.com profile] elmey


Open Your Present Here )
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
It's that time again, to consider whether you might have enough energy and inspiration to volunteer as a pinch-hit writer for this year's DtCA. While we always hope there will be no need for pinch-hit authors, it's a busy time of year for everyone!

Pinch-hit assignments, if needed, will be sent out no later than the evening of December 14th (or earlier if we know the need before) and the pinch-hit story will be due to be uploaded to AO3 no later than the evening of December 23rd. This allows a little more than a week to produce a story of approximately 1,000 words.

If you are willing to serve as a last minute pinch-hit author, please leave a comment to this post. All comments are screened (well, I hope so, I seem to have forgotten how to do that).

Information needed in your comment:
Your AO3 account name and associated email address (stories will be posted to AO3 and you must have a user account there or request one from me)
Kind of story you are willing to write (ie, gen, slash, either)
Anything you prefer not to write (ie, explicit sex, graphic violence, etc.)
Required turn-around time (number of days)

Thanks so much to all those adrenaline junkies who embrace this challenge!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
My conscience (aka [livejournal.com profile] elmey) poked me today with a reminder that this announcement should have gone up a few days ago. Once again I have lost track of time!

So, here it is! Anyone who would like to offer their services as a beta reader for any of this year's authors, please comment on this post.

In your comment, please supply:
1. Your fan name
2. Any particular areas of expertise, such as grammar, a keen eye for POV slippage, plot hole spotter, etc.
3. Things you will not beta, such as explicit or violent fic
4. Note if you are willing to beta more than 1 fic and offer an estimated turn around time (1 day, 1 week, etc.)
5. A way for authors to contact you (I suggest a private LJ PM for initial contact and then email addresses can be exchanged there)

Authors, if you are in need of a second pair of eyes to check out your story, feel free to contact any beta reader as needed. Please do not comment on this post or reply to a comment, but contact the beta reader via their preferred method.

Thank you!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Sign-ups for the 12th annual Down the Chimney Affair gift exchange closed last night.

The UNCLE secret-santa elves were busy overnight, matching all those requests to our talented writers. We had 24 sign-ups this year, in two different fandoms (movie and TV 'verse), with some pretty amazing prompts!

If you don't receive an email about your assignment in the next few hours, please let me know so I can re-send your assignment.

~listens for the sound of clacking keyboards~
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
For the past five or so years, we've been using the same icon and banner to represent the Down the Chimney Affair, both here and on AO3. Now that the exchange has expanded to include movie 'verse as well, it is time to update our art. [livejournal.com profile] elmey has generously offered to spearhead this effort, so look for a post from her soon.

I'm also thinking that [livejournal.com profile] muncle is in need of a graphic design remodel after all these years. So artists, I hope you'll consider sharpening your pencils and/or firing up your graphics program to brighten the place up.

Look for [livejournal.com profile] elmey's post soon!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Yes indeedy, cousins and friends, it is that time of the year again, when our thoughts turn to adorable Napoleon and Illya elves feasting on cookies and vodka and jolly secret-agent Santas are ready to fill our stockings with all sorts of fabulous fanfic.

Well, OK, maybe not quite yet... but it is time to sign up for DtCA already, in order to have plenty of fic in our collective stocking come the wintry end-of-year.

Can you believe we've been doing this for 12 years already?!

How The Down the Chimney Affair works

The Down the Chimney Affair is a secret santa-style story exchange, which means that you write a story based on another fan's prompts and someone else writes a story for you, guided by your prompts. If you want to receive a story, you must also be willing to write one.

This is the post to register for the exchange. Sign-ups will be open for 9 days. After October 24th, the agents at UNCLE North Pole will match Secret Agent Santas with recipients according to preferences noted on the entry form.

Once again the exchange will be hosted and archived on the Archive of Our Own, although all admin posts and discussion will be here on [livejournal.com profile] muncle.

The gift exchange rules and this year's timetable are noted below.

Down The Chimney Affair Guidelines

Secret Agent Santas agree to write a story of 1,000 words or more. Longer stories are welcome, but 1,000 words is the required minimum.

Stories are published anonymously on December 25th. Stories should not be shared publicly before January 1, 2016, when the Secret Agent Santa authors are revealed.

With the release of The Man from UNCLE film this year, DtCA will now include both our beloved TV 'verse and movie 'verse fiction. Historically DtCA stories have been limited to either gen or M/M slash, but with the fabulous female characters in the movie, it seems a little ridiculous to exclude them, so het, F/F and OT3/multi stories are now also welcome.

The Down the Chimney Affair is a fiction exchange. Additional art and vids have been popular additions in the past and are absolutely welcome if the author so chooses, but are not required.

Two considerations to keep in mind when choosing prompts: 1) Plot outlines are not prompts 2) Prompts are things you'd like to see in a story, not an attempt to stump the author.

Participants cannot express a preference regarding who they write for, or who they would prefer as their author. Writers are matched to recipients based on preferences listed on the sign-up form.

And last but not least, the ugly: Authors defaulting on an assignment are prohibited from participating the following year. Two DtCA defaults result in prohibition from further DtCA exchanges.

All signups will be done via the sign-up form on the profile page of Down the Chimney Affair 2015. Just click the "Sign-Up Form" button to open up the form. Instructions are included within the form. Be sure you are first logged into your AO3 account (there is a "Log In" button on every AO3 screen, in the upper right corner).

The Down the Chimney Affair 2015 profile page contains extensive FAQs and also some detailed step-by-step instructions on how to sign up for the exchange. An AO3 account is required in order to participate; if you do not have one please contact vysila AT comcast DOT net for an account invitation.

We also now have links to the AO3 Down the Chimney collection on our [livejournal.com profile] muncle links bar.

2015 Timeline

All times noted are U.S. Eastern Standard Time Zone. Please visit the time zone converter to calculate the date and time of day for your locale.

Signups will be open for nine days, beginning Friday, October 16 at 10:00 am (10:00) and closing at 8 pm (20:00) on Saturday, October 24, 2015.
Assignments will be sent out within 24 hours after the close of signups; that is, no later than the evening of Sunday, October 25, 2015.
The beta reader sign up will be posted to muncle on LJ on November 14, 2015.
The pinch hit sign up will be posted to muncle on LJ on November 28, 2015.
Stories are due no later than 8 pm (20:00) on Sunday, December 13, 2015.
Pinch hit assignments will be sent out no later than 8 pm (20:00) on Monday, December 14, 2015.
Pinch hit stories are due no later than 8 pm (20:00) on Wednesday, December 23, 2015.
Stories will be revealed at 10 am (10:00) on Christmas Day, December 25, 2015.
Authors will be revealed at 10 am (10:00) on New Year's Day, January 1, 2016.

If you have any questions regarding the Down the Chimney Affair or how to sign-up, please add a comment to this post and I will respond as soon as possible. (I'm completely sure I screwed something up somewhere - please point it out to me so I can fix my inevitable mistakes!)

Thanks so much, and looking forward to the awesome fic!

P.S. I apologize for only having icons and a banner that feature the TV characters. I'm not an artist and I'm using the DtCA art we've had for a long time. Maybe we need an icon/banner contest for all our fabulously talented artists, so we can have DtCA art that includes our marvelous movie characters too!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
All Ye Faithful Man from UNCLE fans, that is! (~points to icon)

It's time for Down the Chimney Affair 2015, our 12th DtCA! It just wouldn't be the holidays without the wonderful elves who produce fabulous fiction, art and other creative works featuring our favorite international spies.

I need to update a few things but look for a sign-up announcement post in the next couple of days. This year we will revert back to the AO3 Gift Exchange format - mainly because it is less work for ye olde moderator (me). I hope that any disappointment felt by this decision will be offset by the fact that this year we will welcome fic based on the 2015 Man from UNCLE movie in addition to our beloved TV series. Plus we will also accept OT3 and het fic this time. As ever, slash and gen are always welcome.

Sorry for the belated start, y'all know work has been most workity of late and I needed a reminder that time was slipping away.
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Please place your prompts for your DtCA gift in comments to this post. Comment while logged-in, please.

Down the Chimney Affair this year will operate similar to the Easter Egg promptfest on [livejournal.com profile] mfuwss and the Halloween ficathon on [livejournal.com profile] mfu_scrapbook. Please see the full rules for this year's DtCA here.

Prompts can be anything: a word or phrase, a short description, an image, a song. Please provide links to external sources such as images or YouTube videos in your prompt comment. While we prefer holiday or winter themes, this is not required.

In your prompt comment, be sure to provide the additional following information:
Whether you want Gen or Slash content. Het is not an option, sorry.
Level of explicitness preferred.
Whether you are open to any media response (story, poetry, icons, original art, photomanips, vids, etc.) or whether you prefer
a specific format

Prompts may be claimed as soon as the comment prompt goes up. Please claim prompts ANONYMOUSLY (i.e., log out of your LJ account first). You may claim more than one prompt but give others a chance to claim before taking on additional commitments. Prompts can have more than one claim, if so desired. You are free to claim any prompt that interests you.

Prompts may be posted from now until Saturday, October 25, 2014. Due to a shorter time frame this year, it may be wise to post your prompt(s) as soon as possible.

The posting schedule for finished works has yet to be worked out and will depend on how many entries we end up with. Finished works may be posted on [livejournal.com profile] muncle or on AO3 to the Down the Chimney Affair 2014 sub-collection. More about posting final works later.

If you claim a prompt and realize you will be unable to fulfill your claim, please do the following:
a) Delete your claiming post so that the prompt is now orphaned and can be claimed by someone else, and
b) Please contact me via private message on LJ or by email: vysila AT comcast DOT net

If you have any questions, please post them to the DtCA 2014 FAQs post on [livejournal.com profile] muncle. The link to that post is here.
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
By popular demand, DtCA is back for this year. I know this has been a year of heavy writing and artistic demands, what with the 50th anniversary celebration, so we will be doing something a little bit different this year.

1. We are switching to a "prompt meme" type event. We are borrowing the format from the Easter Egg promptfest on [livejournal.com profile] mfuwss and the Halloween ficathon on [livejournal.com profile] mfu_scrapbook.) This is not a reciprocal gift exchange. You may post a prompt but are not obligated to claim someone else's prompt.

3. The prompt can be a song, an image, a single word or phrase or any combination thereof. Although we like holiday or winter themes, this is not a requirement. Also please state whether you prefer Gen or Slash (sorry, no het) and the level of explicitness. Additionally, as this event is open to artistic responses of any kind, please state in your prompt if you are open to any media response, or if you specifically prefer a story, or art, or icons, or whatever.

4. Posting prompts will open today - October 12, 2014 - and will close two weeks from yesterday - Saturday, October 25, 2014. Due to the shorter time frame, it may be wise to post your prompts as soon as possible.

5. Interested parties will claim prompts ANONYMOUSLY (i.e., not logged into your LJ account). (We gotta have some "Secret Santa" action here.) Prompts can be claimed as soon as they are posted, no need to wait until October 25th. While authors and artists may claim more than one prompt, please give others a chance to stake a claim before claiming more than one. Also, be sure not to overload your creative plate by claiming too many prompts - remember that the holiday season is a super-busy time of year! Additionally, a single prompt can be claimed by more than one person.

6. As always, we ask for a minimum story length of approximately 1,000 words. However, please do not stress over the story length. If you've told your story in 500 words, or 800 words, or 10,000 words - it's all fine. If you want to do one drawing | photomanip or 10 in response to a single prompt, that too is fine.

7. We will use a daily posting schedule for the claims rather than a mass publication on December 25th. The schedule will depend on how many entries we have. Artists and authors will post their own works according to their assigned date. The details have yet to be worked out but there is still time.

8. Posting platform: Artists and authors may post their works here on [livejournal.com profile] muncle if desired. All works will be posted as logged-in users - there will be no guessing as to who created what. (I'm going to miss that, actually.) I will be creating a sub-collection for Down the Chimney Affair 2014 on AO3, so works may also be posted there to the collection, with a post here in [livejournal.com profile] muncle that gives a direct link to the AO3 work. This would be similar to the way the 50 Mini-Bang works were posted on LJ.

9. On January 1, 2015, authors and artists will be free to post their works elsewhere, such as on a personal website, their personal LJ and other places.

10. If you have claimed a prompt and realize you will not be able to fulfill it, you can do two things:
a) Delete your claiming post so that the prompt is now orphaned and will be available for others to claim and
b) Please let me know as soon as possible, either by private message here on LJ or via email: vysila AT comcast DOT net

I think that covers it for now. Any questions, by all means comment on this post and I will do my best to answer.

Thanks to everyone for wanting to support the Down the Chimney Affair for the 11th year!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
The time has come and the authors of all the fabulous tenth annual Down the Chimney Affair stories are now revealed. It looks like we have some very astute readers - or at least some very good guessers!

Go ahead and check your guesses against the truth here!

A very big thank you again to everyone who participated this year! We could not have done it without our talented authors, their patient and hard-working beta readers or even our readers, who generously give feedback and kudos - because that is what makes this gift exchange all worth it.

I'm so glad that everyone is enjoying the stories. Hope to see you back here later this year for the 11th annual DtCA!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
It's my turn to say 'thank you' to everyone who participated in the tenth annual Down the Chimney Affair fiction gift exchange. For those of us who have been knocking around the fandom for a while, it just wouldn't feel like the holidays without the DtCA. I was grateful that when [livejournal.com profile] green_key stepped down, she allowed me to continue running the exchange on her behalf.

We have an amazing group of authors this year. The stories are beyond wonderful, with something for everyone's taste. So readers, don't hesitate to hop on over to DtCA2013 on AO3 and indulge in some fanfic.

Seriously? This fandom is blessed with fantastic talent and fans who have a deep and passionate commitment to Napoleon, Illya and UNCLE. I'm so grateful to be a part of this fandom - and I really do thank you all for coming back again this year, despite all the changes.

Now, anybody got guesses about who wrote what? Post your guesses as comments to this post if you want.

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