Rules And Faq

To start with...

What is the Finish-a-thon?

Remember all those poor, neglected plot bunnies that have been starving from lack of attention, because all those ficathons kept on having higher priority? The stories you wish you could finish, if only you could find the time? Well, fear not, the finish-a-thon is coming to the rescue!

The finish-a-thon is a ficathon, with all the ficathon-like things like deadlines and fellow volunteers to encourage you, but with this ficathon, you write your own ideas. But since part of the encouragement of a ficathon is writing things for other people, what we do is vote for which story ideas people should write.

Who are you?

This ficathon us run by Kerr Avonsen aka Kathryn A, who has run this ficathon since 2005.

How does it work?

The way it works is this:

  1. Sign up.
    There is a handy-dandy sign up form where you can list a short description all the plot bunnies, unfinished stories (apart from other ficathon stories) and vague ideas that you are putting up for voting on. Say what fandom(s) it's in, a very brief description, and some idea of what rating (all ages, teen, adult) and type (gen, het, slash or other) you think it will be, to give people a good idea of what they'd be voting for.
  2. Join or subscribe to the multific DW community, so that you will receive assignments, important notices, and reminders. I am NOT going to notify people individually. If you have a Dreamwidth account, you can subscribe as per normal; if you have a Livejournal or other account, you will have to subscribe to the RSS feed by whatever means you prefer.
  3. A poll is made, each "question" consists of the potential stories of one participant.
  4. We vote for which story we want each person to finish. The winning story in each section is the one which that author has to work on.
  5. Each writer works on their winning story, and finishes it by the deadline. They then put it up on the web somewhere, either in their journal, or on a website.
  6. I will post a master-list of all the stories on the author status page, so that people can find them.
  7. Everyone rejoices!


What time-zone are you using for the dates?

I live on the East coast of Australia, so I am using Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) and Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). For the convenience of those who live in other countries, I also give the information in Greenwich Mean Time. For Americans, this basically means that everything is due a day earlier than the Australian dates. For Australians, this means that you do not have that "extra day" that is usually the case for things that are organized based in the Americas.

When do sign-ups start?

AEST : Saturday 17th March 2012

GMT : 17th March 2012

When do sign-ups end?

AEST : Saturday 31st March 2012, 8am

GMT : 30th March 2012, 10pm

When does the voting start?

Sometime between the 4th and the 7th of April.

When does the voting end?

About a week later.

When do assignments go out?

Results announced by the 14th of April.

When are the stories due?

AEST : 9th June 2012, 10am

GMT : 8th June 2012, midnight


What do you mean, not other ficathon stories?

Unfinished stories from other ficathons already have a ficathon for them. This is the Home For Lost Plot-Bunnies that don't have a ficathon of their own.

What if I started the story for a ficathon, but missed the deadline?

If you started a story for a ficathon, and did not complete it, then you can use it for this ficathon, but we shall only allow ONE bunny of that kind. This is still the Home For Lost Plot-Bunnies that don't have a ficathon of their own.

Are there any restrictions? This isn't an anti-slash thing, is it?

This is for fan fiction; that is, fiction written by fans about fictional characters and/or fictional settings. This does not include fiction written by fans about actors (RPF/Real People Fiction) or bands (Bandom).

Otherwise, there's no restrictions. They're your own ideas, hence, your responsibility. Just let people know, in the descriptions, what kind of story you think it will be, so that they can vote wisely.

Is this just for unfinished stories, or can it be story ideas I never got around to writing?

This is for both; that's why we are referring to "stories" (unfinished stories) and "bunnies" (plot bunnies; ideas for stories).

What about sequels? Can I include bunnies for those?

Sure. Just give a link to where we can find the previous story or stories. Note that the sign-up form doesn't allow you to use HTML codes, so just give the URL(s) without HTML markup.

Is there a minimum number of bunnies required?

Yes. Three. We need something to vote on, after all.

Is there a maximum number of bunnies allowed?

Yes. Ten. Otherwise we'll never be able to decide. Just pick the bunnies you most want to write.


What if my story is a huge epic that I'll never be able to finish in 8 weeks?

We want to encourage story writing, so, if a story is an epic, still put it on the list, but commit to writing a given number of words of it (7000-10,000), or finishing it, whichever is shorter.

10,000 words? You gotta be joking!

I did say "epic", didn't I? And it's much much less than NaNoWriMo, in twice the time. But you are allowed to choose a lower number of words to commit to, so long as it is at least 7000 words.

Is it a 7000-word minimum for all stories?

No. If you committed to writing 7000 words but you found that you had actually finished the story, and the story turned out to be fewer than 7000 words, that is fine.

If you know beforehand that it is going to be a very long story, that you will not be able to finish in the time, then you are allowed to commit to a given number of words rather than committing to finishing the story. That commitment must be to write at least 7000 words, but it could be a commitment to write 10,000 words, or 8,000 words, or some other number. Whatever the case, you must write that many words, or you must finish the story.

If I only write 7000 words of a story that I said I'd finish, is that okay?

No. If you committed to finishing the story, you must finish the story. It is expected that most people will commit to finishing their stories - this is the finish-a-thon, after all!

So is there a minimum length requirement or not?

Unless you committed to writing 7,000-10,000 words of an epic, there is no minimum length requirement. However, it seems a bit pointless to waste an 8-week ficathon on a drabble. But I don't want you to be sweating over length requirements. Stories have natural lengths; try to pick story ideas which would naturally fit into more than a drabble.

Is there a maximum length requirement?

No, but do remember you've only got 8 weeks.

Signing Up

So how do I sign up?

You need to have a Dreamwidth account or a Livejournal account. You can use either one to log in to this site.

  1. Make sure that you are currently logged in to either Dreamwidth or Livejournal.
  2. Go to the sign-up page: sign up.
  3. In the "Author Name" form type in your name or pseud. NOT your username.
  4. Click the "Edit" button next to that form, NOT the "edit" button which is elsewhere on the sign-up page.
  5. You will be taken to the log-in form (if you aren't already logged in). This has "Select your account provider" at the top of it, and a lot of different icons to choose from. These represent different sites which provide OpenId login services.
  6. You have two main options: you can log in using your LJ id, or you can use the generic OpenId (for Dreamwidth).
  7. Doing option 1: click on the Livejournal "pencil" icon.
    1. The form will change to say "Enter your Livejournal username:"
    2. Type in your Livejournal username.
    3. Click the "login" button.
    4. This will take you to Livejournal, which says that wants to validate your livejournal identity, and "Do you want to pass your identity to them?"
    5. Click on either "Yes, just this time" or "Yes, always".
    6. This should then take you back to; you are now logged in.
  8. Doing option 2: click on the "OpenId" button.
    1. The prompt should now be "Enter your OpenID:"
    2. Type in the URL of your Dreamwidth journal; that would be ""
    3. Click the "login" button.
    4. This will take you to Dreamwidth, which says that wants to validate your dreamwidth identity, and "Do you want to pass your identity to them?"
    5. Click on either "Yes, just this time" or "Yes, always".
    6. This should then take you back to; you are now logged in.
  9. You will now be presented with the handy-dandy author-sign-up form which has fields for all the information you need to provide.
  10. Click on "Save Page" when you're done.
  11. If nothing happens, then you probably haven't filled in a minimum of three bunnies.
  12. You should now be on your author information page, with all your bunnies and everything.

What if I have a typo and want to edit my sign-up, or add another story idea before voting starts?

  • Click on the "Edit" button on your author sign-up-info page. This is the page you created when you did the "Save Page" above. This is NOT the sign up page. This is the page listed at the BOTTOM of the sign up page that has YOUR NAME as its name. Go to THAT page and click "Edit".
  • You may be prompted to log in if you haven't done so already. (see above)
  • Then it will give you a form where you can update your sign-up information.
  • Click on the "Save Page" button at the bottom to save your changes.

What if somebody else (maliciously or accidentally) messes up my sign-up information?

Fear not, for I have Mighty Administrator Powers! Contact me on the sign-up post on Dreamwidth, and I will revert your information to an earlier, pristine version. (That's one of the good things about using a wiki as a back-end; you get versioning)


Where does the voting happen?

I will be putting the polls on the community.

How do I vote if I don't have a Dreamwidth account?

Follow the instructions in this FAQ to activate an OpenID account on Dreamwidth.

Then, for the first poll:

  1. Click on the link for the poll, which takes you to the post at DW.
  2. The poll will be showing the results of those who already voted. To log in, find the log in section in the grey area at the top left of the browser window. Click on (OpenID?).
  3. This takes you to a page where you can log in with your OpenID. Type your OpenID in the space provided and click the Login button.
  4. This will take you to your LJ page, where you will be asked to verify that you want to grant identity validation to Dreamwidth. You can either choose "Yes, just this time" or "Yes, always."
  5. You will be returned to a DW welcome page where you can choose whether you want your login to be remembered or not; to return to the poll, click the link "Continue to (link for the poll)"
  6. If you haven't voted yet, you should be able to see the poll and cast your vote.

(thanks to lin4gondor for the above instructions)

For other polls, if you're already logged in, you won't have to log in again.

Who gets to vote on what I write?

All and sundry. It is not necessary to be a participant in order to vote. This is so that you can get your friends to vote so you get a better idea of what your peers want.

Do participants get voting incentives?

Why, yes they do. In order to celebrate the specialness of being a participant, a participant will get TWO votes in the poll.

What if I don't know what story to vote for?

Try. It is possible to not answer a poll question. But please do try to pick one story from everybody if you possibly can.

What about my own stories? Do I pick one of mine as well?

Nope. The point is to find out what other folks here wish you to write. If you are the author, click on the "I am the author" option for that poll.

What if there's a tie in the votes? Do I have to write both of them? Which story would I write?

No, you just have to write one of them. If you can't decide which one, toss a coin. If you can't toss a coin, I'll toss one for you - just ask.

Arrgh. I never thought people would vote for *that* story!

People will surprise you. They'll vote for anything, however unlikely you think it. So be prepared to write any of the story ideas you put up, don't assume that people won't vote for the weird one that you put there half-jokingly.


Where do I post my story?

Anywhere you like; so long as it is on a publicly-accessible web page. I will post a master-list post on, you give the link to your story in a comment to that page.

I will make a master-list page here, showing all the links.

I finished early. Is it okay if I post early?

(Really? Most people have the opposite problem!)
It's absolutely fine if you post early. This isn't an anonymous exchange, so we don't have to conceal anything. Post the story to your favoured site when you're finished; just make sure you give the link to the story when I put up the master-list post.

I didn't finish. Can I have an extension?

No. If you have a Real Life reason for not being able to finish (like "my computer died" or "my mother broke her hip") then you can have an exemption. After all, it's your story, you will finish it later.

Otherwise: A) post a 1000-word extract from what you've managed to write so far, indicating that it isn't finished. You will then get a week's grace period in which to finish or revise the story. Note that those who do not post anything by the deadline will NOT get a grace period.


B) Write me a nice note saying, "sorry, I couldn't finish". The flimsier the excuse, the more grovelling required. You get a gold star for participating.


C) Drop out without a word or excuse. This will get you banned from participating next time.

A 1000-word extract? I thought you said there wasn't a minimum length requirement!

There isn't. If you've written less than 1000 words, then post everything you've written. The 1000-word extract is so that one doesn't have to post the whole thing and feel embarrassed. Instead, you can just show us the best bit. Or feel embarrassed because you haven't fulfilled your commitment.

I finished my story, but it isn't betaed!

As with unfinished stories, if you post something by the deadline, you get a week's grace in which to revise. If you don't post anything, you do not get the grace period. Do not treat the grace period as an extension to the deadline. It is not.


I didn't finish my story last time. Can I still sign up?

If you gave it a go, sure. If you bailed out for no reason and didn't even bother contacting me, no.

To be explicit, the following people are banned:

  • radondoran

To end with...

But what about...? I have a question that wasn't answered here.

Ask the question in the multific Dreamwidth sign-up announcement post and I will try to answer it.