[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
Today the authors of all those luscious and lovely Down the Chimney Affair stories are revealed! Did you guess correctly on who wrote your story?

A huge thank-you to all the participants and of course to the readers who make this possible every year. And an especially big shout-out to [livejournal.com profile] orockthro for her marvelous pinch-hit effort and to [livejournal.com profile] spikesgirl58 for volunteering to write something for our pinch-hitter, so she too would have a gift in her stocking.
[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
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~
ext_422737: uncle hallway (dtc)
[identity profile] elmey.livejournal.com
A call to action from one of [livejournal.com profile] vysila's supporting elves, who stole her icon temporarily :)

As you've all noticed, our fandom's biggest yearly event, the Down the Chimney Affair is now open for it's 12th year. Author sign-ups have started.

We want our wonderful MFU artists to get involved too!

We've always had more writers than artists in the fandom, and haven't been able to find a practical way to make the story exchange all inclusive. But we want DtCA to be for everyone and are trying something new this year. We've got some suggestions and we need your input for more.

1. As vysila mentioned, we'd love to have icons and banners to promote DtCA. We're open to both the series and the new film and we'd like our promo material to reflect that. All contributions gladly accepted and used.

2. Aside from promo material, we'd love to have a challenge that's fun for artists and ties into DtCA.
One possible example: a [livejournal.com profile] muncle countdown to the story reveal on Dec 25th (based on a theme perhaps) where each participating artists gets their own day to shine--or more than one day if you have the time and energy.

Please give us your ideas, we're open to anything that will let you participate in Down the Chimney. And the categories in the headline aren't exclusive. Got something else you want to do? Chime in!
[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
Just wanted to let everyone know that the last few gifts apparently fell off the sleigh somewhere and will be delivered just a wee bit late. Just think - more DtCA goodness to look forward to in the New Year.

Apologies to [livejournal.com profile] edna_blackadder and [livejournal.com profile] mayamaia for the delay in delivery. Don't take down your stockings yet!

In the meantime, a HUGE thankyou to all who participated (and managed to get their works in on time, no less). You are all awesome and amazing.

Best wishes for a fun celebration tonight and may all your hopes and wishes for 2015 come true.
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
My apologies to everyone for stressing you out with html coding - I should have known better than to throw that into the mix.

So, the format is much simpler now. Just straight typing, no coding, except for the lj-cut and the lj user names, which hopefully everyone knows how to use.

Subject line should read: Down the Chimney Affair Gift for recipient's name (gen)
of course, if your work is slash, then replace the word (gen) with the word (slash)

First line of the post should read: TO: recipient's name
Second line of the post should read: FROM: creator's name
Third line of the post should be an lj-cut with text reading as follows: Open Your Gift!

Below the cut either place the entire body of your work (story, art, etc.) complete with title and other information such as notes, prompts, etc. as you want OR display a link to the work if it is hosted elsewhere, such as a personal website or on AO3.

Please use the tags dtc and dtc11 on the post.

Let me know if you still have questions or concerns. I just want it to be easy for everyone.
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
I just realized that as I am contacting Down the Chimney Affair participants with their posting date and instructions, that the html coding for the post format is not always coming through. That's my bad; I didn't realize LiveJournal auto-formats all html coding in private messages.

Below is the proper format, complete with html coding, that should be used when posting your DtCA works to [livejournal.com profile] muncle.

The subject line should be typed as follows, except of course that you will substitute the appropriate user name inside the quotation marks and drop the blank spaces inside the <> marks.
Subject: Down the Chimney Affair gift for < lj user="recipientname" > (genre)

In the post body, please start off with this format. Once again, substitute appropriate user names inside the quotation marks and drop the blank spaces inside all of the <> marks.
< center >< font size="+2" >TO: < lj user="recipientname" > FROM: < font color="#006600" >< lj user="yourname" >< /font> < lj-cut text="Open Your Gift!" >< /center >

Beneath this, you may post the entire contents of your work, if you so desire, or simply post a direct link to your finished work wherever it is hosted.

For an example of what your final header should look like, here's an example. Of course, we're not doing secret posting, so be sure to put your own name as the "from" party.

DtCA header example

Finally: please use the tags 'dtc' and 'dtc11' on your post. And if you are hosting your work on AO3, the subcollection for Down the Chimney Affair 2014 has been created, so it would make it easier for readers to find all of this year's Down the Chimney works in one place if you associate your work with the collection (the same way you did for the Mini-Bang).

Any questions, ask away. (And don't worry if you haven't gotten a message from me yet about your posting date; only the early posters have been contacted so far.)

Edited to add: If the above html instructions are a tad too intimidating, please feel free to send me your story and I will post it on your behalf. Or anyone who knows a bit of html could do the same. It's not meant to be stressful in any way - all of your lovely works will be just fine whether they're formatted consistently or not.
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Just an informational post to remind everyone that our 11th annual DtCA is getting close! If anyone is struggling with their prompt, or has had some unforeseen delay occur, please let me know as soon as possible, via the usual contact methods (PM or email).

So - a little poll (without ticky boxes). Please let me know your preferences ASAP (yeah, I know it's a holiday weekend in the US) as I'm currently working on a posting schedule.

1. Would y'all prefer that we stretch the posting period out over most of the month of December? With 23 claims, we would probably be looking at an initial posting date of December 8th or 9th all the way through December 31st. One work per day.

2. Or do you prefer a shorter posting period, such as approximately the two weeks before Christmas, with multiple works being posted every day?

Because we are posting to [livejournal.com profile] muncle this year, we will not be using the single date, everything-goes-live-at-the-same-time option.

Please weigh in on this issue. I know some contributors have indicated their works are nearly or already complete; others have indicated they need as much time as possible. We'll go with the majority of responses.

Feel free to indicate preference in comments, whether you are one of those who claimed a prompt, posted a prompt, or are just an enjoyer of the holiday bounty.
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
I would appreciate it if the last few folks who have not contacted me about their claims would do so as soon as possible.

We have four prompts that were claimed but the authors/artists have not yet identified themselves to me. I am not doing this to be nosy (you don't have to offer any details about your work) but so I can make up a posting schedule.

So PLEASE, let me know via LiveJournal private messaging or via email (vysila AT comcast DOT net) which prompt you have claimed.

Also, the same contact also holds true for anyone who is struggling with their offering and needs some help or knows they will not be able to finish their work.

We don't want any disappointed recipients!
[identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Thank you one and all for choosing to participate in the 11th annual Down the Chimney Affair. We had an amazing 23 prompts posted and I am happy to report that all 23 have been claimed.

The tally is:
6 gen prompts
6 slash prompts
11 prompts had no preference stated to genre

8 of the prompts were open to other media in addition to fiction

It just plain thrills me that the majority are open to either genre and that works other than fiction are also gaining traction.

What's the next step? It's all in your court now, my friends. Go forth and have a wonderful time creating your fannish masterpieces.

I'll post a call for betas in a week or two, and will be in touch with participants about their posting dates.

If you have not already done so, please do not forget to contact me, either by Live Journal private message or by email to: vysila AT comcast DOT net to tell me which prompt you claimed. This is so I can create the posting schedule.

Woohoo - DtCA 2014 is under full steam!

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