101 Ways To End Up In A Canadian Shack

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This article is about Canadian Shack Challenge by speranza aka. cesperanza. For the trope of the same name, see Canadian Shack Fic. For other uses, see Cabin Fic.

Name: 101 Ways To End Up In A Canadian Shack
Date(s): December 2001
Moderator(s): speranza
Founder: speranza
Type: fanfiction
Fandom: multifandom
Associated Community:
URL: http://trickster.org/speranza/ShackedUp.html
Canadian Shack 2011 Collection at AO3
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101 Ways To End Up In A Canadian Shack was a short story challenge created by speranza in December 2001.

It was based on prevalent fanon in due South fandom, which had Ray Kowalski and Benton Fraser "shacking up" in northern Canada (sometimes, but not always, literally in a shack[1]) after the series finale, Call of the Wild. Usually the shack was isolated, bonus points for being stuck in a blizzard. Thus, the shack challenge was an opportunity for deploying tropes like Huddling for Warmth and Bed Sharing.

While the challenge had a strong focus on due South, the submitted stories and vignettes were from many fandoms.

Subsequent similar small-ficlet challenges moderated by cesperanza include the Inappropriate Elf challenge and the Tax Shelters challenge.

Merely a Twinkle in Her Eye

From the author's notes to A Moment of Insight:
There was a moment, during the writing of this story, where I seriously debated retitling my DS page: "Speranza's DS Stories, Or 101 Ways To End Up In A Canadian Shack." Cause face it, that seems to be what I'm doing lately. I still may take that on as a challenge, and Resonant, brilliant woman that she is, has been helping me brainstorm:[2]

The Original Challenge: 2001

As Speranza (much later) explained:

So ten years ago, at the end of 2001, I was hanging around in a chatroom and we were talking about how all Due South stories seemed to end up in a Canadian shack. And then we decided that, really, all fandoms ought to end up in a Canadian shack. And so we started brainstrorming these little ficlets, half kidding, but then the writers in that room told their friends and suddenly everyone was sending me these little Canadian shack ficlets, partly because it became a thing about putting crazy or unlikely pairings and fandoms (not just X Files and Highlander and Quantum Leap but Hannibal and Iron Chef and Moonlighting) into shacks in the middle of the Northwest Territory or whatever. And I got like 100 of them (101 to be exact) in a matter of, like, three days. And I put them all up on my site as 101 Ways To End Up In A Canadian Shack.[3]

The challenge was answered by 30 writers, who wrote 102 stories in 62 different fandoms.[4] The fandoms ranged from Angel to X-Men; the fandom listing offers an interesting glimpse into what was popular, current, and beloved in this particular corner of media fandom in 2001.

The Tenth Anniversary Challenge: 2011

In 2012, after the 10th anniversary of the "Shack Thing," Speranza posted a quick overview of the challenge's original history, and then announced her intent to:

... an anniversary edition. I've opened up an Canadian Shack 2011 collection on the A03 and I'd like to invite you--any of you, all of you! bring your friends! - to come play! Write a short (around 500 words-ish) story putting your fandom/characters/pairing of choice into a Canadian shack! I think it would be particularly fun to get fandoms represented that didn't even exist in 2001, though old favorites are always welcome."[3]

Several of the fan writers who contributed shacks to the original Canadian Shack challenge also contributed to the 10th anniversary edition.

New shacks were quickly contributed in a variety of fandoms which hadn't been part of the original, among them Sherlock, Shakespeare, Firefly, Twilight, Leverage, and the rebooted Hawaii 5-0. (Of those fandoms, only the works of Shakespeare were around at the time of the original challenge.)

The 10th anniversary collection is open to anyone who wants to write their favorite fannish characters (no matter how implausibly) into a shack, or some kind of shack-like structure, in the Canadian wilderness. 101 new vignettes were posted between the launch of the anniversary edition (January 6) and the moment when the collection reached 101 (January 20), but the collection remains open for further submissions.[5]

As of June 2022, it listed 118 works in 85 fandoms.

Fan Response


  • torch:
    When I first heard of the shack thing, my reaction can best be described as eat it over the sink and don't drip any of it on me, okay? Then people started talking about werewolves, and I thought, hey, I could do that. Things went downhill from there. Nine shacks later, all I can say is that it seemed like a good idea at the time. This has been a great way to flirt with new fandoms and experiment with writing styles, and to get away with somewhat implausible crossovers, and to hang out with a lot of wonderful people. (Ces can now put "cat-herding" on her resume.) I got to play with the Pouting Menace and the cute bald guy. I got to pair up the two sexiest werewolves I know, not that there's much competition. I got to slash Hellboy, for which there will no doubt be some kind of divinely ordained punishment. Best of all, I got to watch a lot of my friends say, "Oh, no, I'm not getting involved in this," and then, a little later, "Hey, know what? I wrote another shack." I had a blast. Next year, let's do a tropical island. [6]


OMG, can the Canadian Shack meme die please die.
staranise, 2012[9]

Her post sparked renewed discussion of the trope and challenge on Fandom Wank.[10]. Soon after, naraht posted a linkspam of Canadian-shack-meta related links showing that discussion had spread to Fail Fandomanon as well as individual journals.[11]


  1. ^ Technically, a cabin; in canon Fraser owned one.
  2. ^ A Moment Of Insight, Archived version
  3. ^ a b "Canadian Shack 10th Anniversary Party! Come play!". Archived from the original on 2012-01-07. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  4. ^ "101 Ways to End Up in a Canadian Shack". Archived from the original on 2021-12-05. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  5. ^ "101! \o/". Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  6. ^ from Authors' Notes
  7. ^ "comment from nwhepcat". Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  8. ^ "comment from serrico". Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  9. ^ Speaking as someone with an actual Canadian shack, accessed January 12, 2012
  10. ^ "Someone actually says 'I don't want to appropriate your issues as a Canadian'". Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  11. ^ naraht, This can't be a linkspam 'cos I don't do those anymore: Canadian shack edition, posted to DW 2012-01-12