[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.
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
The magical hour has come and all the stories written for this year's DtCA are now live and awaiting your reading pleasure.

Please click here Down the Chimney Affair on AO3 to go to the stories. Don't forget to leave feedback and kudos for our generous and talented authors.

Stories appear in random order, but you can sort stories in any order you wish (such as title, word count and so forth) and can also use the search box at the top of the page to look up stories for a specific recipient. Oops, I have just discovered that the 'search for recipient' tool is apparently taking a holiday today, as it is not working properly. Sorry for that!

Authors will remain anonymous for another week, until January 1, 2014. Have fun guessing who wrote which wonderful treat!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Here's a primer for those readers who are not familiar with the Archive of Our Own (AO3) where the stories for this year's Down the Chimney Affair are archived.

Since DtCA is a Secret-Agent Santa type gift exchange, stories will "go live" at 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (US) on December 25th. Authors will not be revealed until January 1st, allowing an entire week of suspense as we all try to guess who wrote those fabulous stories.

To access the Down the Chimney Affair entries for this year, simply click on the "Down the Chimney Affair on AO3" link on the right side of [livejournal.com profile] muncle. That will take you directly to the stories for Down the Chimney Affair 2013.

This year, stories should display in random order. However, if you prefer a different order, it is quite easy to sort the stories on the page. From the "Sort and Filter" box on the right side of the screen, note that you have multiple sorting options in a drop-down list. Date Updated is the standard setting, but if you click on the down arrow, you will see that items can be sorted by other choices. Once you have made your sort selection, just click the "Sort and Filter" button to resort the list of stories. This should make it easy for you to read the stories in whatever order you prefer.

And remember, you do NOT need to have an AO3 account or be a member of AO3 in order to read the stories, nor is there a super secret password to remember (unusual for spies like us). Down the Chimney Affair stories will always be completely open and available to all readers.

If you have any questions, just send me an LJ private message or an email to vysila AT Comcast DOT net and I'll see if we can't sort it all out.

Woohoo – only about 36 hours to go! Happy Holidays to All!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Just got home from a holiday dinner and was delighted to see that in my absence all stories have been uploaded to AO3. This is the first year we've not had a single default! So my heartfelt thanks to all the authors for their last minute pushes to get those stories uploaded on time. Believe me, I understand your pain.

Pinch-hit volunteers, you may now breathe a sigh of relief.

Thanks to everyone who chose to participate this year, whether as an author, pinch-hitter or beta reader. This story exchange could not happen without you - and of course our beloved Napoleon and Illya.

Woohoo! The stocking is now full - can't wait to open it come Christmas Day!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Just a gentle reminder to participants that the deadline for uploading your Down the Chimney Affair story to AO3 is tomorrow evening (December 13, 8:00 PM EST).

Although I cannot give you a grace period on the submittal time because of the automated system, do remember that you have up through December 24th to edit, tweak and otherwise modify your story after it has been uploaded.

Our muncle stocking is filling up quickly - woohoo!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Just a reminder that the deadline for submitting your Down the Chimney Affair story is one week from today. I know, everyone is probably painfully aware of this already. Keep in mind that you will still have editing time after the story is submitted, though.

Yay, starting to get excited about all the lovely stories we'll see.

If anyone needs assistance with uploading their story, or is beginning to be concerned about finishing their story, please drop me a private message here at LJ.
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
The story deadline for the tenth annual Down the Chimney Affair is rapidly approaching! Due date is 8:00 pm EST on Friday, December 13, 2013. Wow, that's less than two weeks from today! How did it get to be December already?

Just a reminder that if you do not post your story by the above deadline, the automated archive will immediately identify the non-submission as a defaulted story 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!

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. For easy reference, this post will remain "stickied" at the top until after the due date has elapsed.

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.
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
It's time to put out a call for pinch-hit authors for the tenth annual Down the Chimney Affair. While we always hope there will be no need for pinch-hit authors, we know this is a busy time of year.

Stories are due no later than 8:00 pm EST on Friday, December 13, 2013 so I will know by late on December 13 whether any authors have defaulted.

Pinch-hit assignments will be sent no later than December 14 and are due by 8:00 pm EST on December 23, 2013, allowing slightly over one week to produce a story of 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.

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
The submission date for Down the Chimney Affair authors is a little less than three weeks away (December 13th). I just got a nudge from someone reminding me that it is time to post a request for beta-reader volunteers, so here it is!

If you have the time and are willing to serve as a beta-reader for any of our DtCA 10 authors, here is your chance to speak up and be heard. Please comment on this post with:

Your LJ name
A way to contact you "off-list" (such as an LJ private message)
State your abilities as a beta-reader ( such as, 'eagle eye for typos and grammatical errors', etc.)
If you prefer to beta-read only a certain type or genre of story, please state so in your comment
What kind of turn-around you can provide for the beta-reading (do you require 24 hours, 1 week, or what?)
If you are able to beta-read more than one story please also state that

Authors: if you are looking for someone to cast a critical eye over your fabulous story, feel free to contact anyone who responds to this post. Please keep your beta-reading discussion off-list, such as via private messaging or email.

If anyone runs into any difficulty or has questions about any part of the process, please do not hesitate to contact me via LJ private message or send to my email: vysila AT comcast DOT net

If I've forgotten anything I'm sure y'all will let me know!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
The UNCLE North Pole elves worked busily throughout the night, making sure that our Down the Chimney participants were assigned just the right recipients (and vice versa). Those assignments should be arriving in your mailboxes any time now.

If you do not get your email notification of assignment within 24 hours, please contact: vysila AT comcast DOT net or just PM me here on LJ.

If you need any clarifications on your assignment, again, please contact me not your recipient.

Thanks!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
The sign-up period for the Down the Chimney Affair 2013 is now closed. The elves at UNCLE North Pole will now get busy matching up authors with their recipients. Participants can expect to receive their assignments via email (to the address associated with their AO3 accounts) no later than Sunday, October 13. Your assignment email will include the due date and instructions on how to upload your story.

If you have any questions regarding your assignment, please contact me via LJ private message or by email to: vysila AT comcast DOT net. Do NOT contact your recipient directly, please.

Yay - the 10th DtCA is underway. The smoke you smell is our authors revving up their keyboards!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Just a friendly reminder that the sign-up period to participate in the Down the Chimney Affair closes in less than two days. There's still time to sign up if you've been putting it off - come and help us celebrate ten years of this annual fiction exchange! Remember, too, that if you want to edit your sign-up form for any reason, you are able to do so up until the time the sign-up closes.

The sign-up form can be accessed on this year's challenge page. The Sign-up Form button is on the left side of the screen.

Closing time for sign-ups is Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm EDT (20:00). At that time the automated process will prevent any further sign-ups.

edited to correct closing date
[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.

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 10 days. After October 11th, 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, 2014, when the Secret Agent Santa authors are revealed.

Gen and slash fiction is welcome. At this time het pairings are not an option.

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 2013. 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 2013 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 now have links to the AO3 Down the Chimney collection on our [livejournal.com profile] muncle link bar.

2013 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 ten days, beginning Tuesday, October 1 at 8:00 pm (20:00) and closing at 8 pm (20:00) on Friday, October 11, 2013.
Assignments will be sent out within 48 hours after the close of signups; that is, no later than the evening of Sunday, October 13.
The pinch hit sign up will be posted to muncle on LJ on November 30, 2013.
The beta reader sign up will be posted to muncle on LJ on November 30, 2013.
Stories are due no later than 8 pm (20:00) on Friday, December 13, 2013.
Pinch hit assignments will be sent out no later than 8 pm (20:00) on Saturday, December 14, 2013.
Pinch hit stories are due no later than 8 pm (20:00) on Monday, December 23, 2013.
Stories will be revealed at 10 am (10:00) on Christmas Day, December 25, 2013.
Authors will be revealed at 10 am (10:00) on New Year's Day, January 1, 2014.

Finally, because 2013 marks our 10th anniversary of the Down the Chimney exchange, the mod would like to make a teensy plea. If possible, could the number ten figure somewhere in your story? It could be a reference to 10 years of partnership, a 10th anniversary, their 10th mission together, 10 times Illya spent Christmas in the hospital or heck, Napoleon checking his partner after an explosion to make sure he still has all 10 fingers! You get the idea. I just thought it might add a fun little element to this special anniversary. Please note that my request is NOT a requirement, just a bonus idea that would earn you much love from this moderator.

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.

Thanks so much, and looking forward to the awesome fic!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
A heads up to all MFU fans that [livejournal.com profile] muncle will once again host the annual holiday Down the Chimney Affair, for the 10th year! It's a special anniversary and we hope y'all will be just as excited about the occasion as we are.

Last year we hosted the fiction exchange on the Archive of Our Own and we will continue with that host, as it worked out pretty well for everyone. Some of the suggestions made by authors and readers after last year's DtCA will be implemented to (hopefully) make this year's experience even more awesome and fun.

This little elf will be back in a few days with the official announcement and all the links to make this the easiest and best Down the Chimney Affair ever!

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