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In a Lyric Wheel challenge, the moderator pairs each participant with a recipient. The participant sends their recipient a set of song lyrics or poetry; the moderator decides whether songs or poems will be used and whether the lyrics must meet a specific theme. Each recipient must then use a line from the lyrics or poem in their story. The standard requirement is that the story must be a set length, usually no less than four pages in Word, and must be completed within a time frame set by the moderator, usually two to three weeks after the pairings have been emailed to participants. Lyric Wheel stories differentiated from songfic in that the rules clearly stated that the lyrics could not be something the character was listening to on the radio.
The Lyric Wheel challenge was originated in 1998 in Highlander by Amand-r, Alice in Stonyland, and Dana Woods. Subsequent Lyric Wheels were generated in other fandoms, including X-Files, Buffy & Angel, Harry Potter, Vin Diesel, A-Team, Sentinel, and FFX Yaoi.
- Original Lyric Wheel Challenge FAQ (Accessed 2 November 2008)
- Harry Potter Lyric Wheel community on LJ (Accessed 7 November 2008)
- Wayback Machine link to the now defunct Sentinel Lyric Wheel page (Accessed 7 November 2008)
- The Slash Sentinel Lyric Wheel Page (Accessed 7 November 2008)