Fandom Snowflake Challenge

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Challenge
Name: Fandom Snowflake Challenge
Date(s): 2012-present
Moderator(s): mizface, wendelah1, spikedluv
Founder: akamine_chan
Type:
Fandom: Multi
Associated Community: Fandom Snowflake Challenge @ Dreamwidth Fandom Snowflake Challenge @ Tumblr Fandom Snowflake Challenge @ Pillowfort
URL: Fandom Snowflake Challenge Collection @ AO3
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Overview

The Fandom Snowflake Challenge is a multi-fandom, multi-platform challenge that runs out of Dreamwidth. It's an annual event that provides daily prompts for the first fifteen days of January. It encourages community, sharing and creating of fanworks, pride in fannishness, and in the fans themselves.

History

akamine_chan started the challenge in 2012, running it out of her personal journal with the help of co-mods lucifuge5 and andeincascade. In 2013, the challenge moved to its own community on Dreamwidth, snowflake_challenge, and has been run there every year since. The moderators change from year to year, and by 2019, none of the original mods were still with the challenge. The challenge also utilizes volunteers to help respond to the participants and their posts.

In 2016, the challenge prompted a friending meme hosted by the community and a discussion about a possible year-long version of the challenge.[1]

Purpose

akamine_chan created the challenge as a way to give back to fandom after the stressful rush of end-of-the-year holidays and fannish challenges and exchanges, and to spread the love of fandom, of fans:

I think fandom is a wonderful creation, a society of people who feel passionate about so much—art, music, sports, theater, cinema, television, writing, crafts, social justice, the world, etc. The people in fandom are creative and beautiful and feel strongly about the myriad things they love.

Where we fail, so often, is having faith in ourselves. We've let ourselves be convinced that it's not good to love as much as we do, that we shouldn't open ourselves up to possibilities, that we shouldn't put ourselves out where we can be seen. We're told we'll be misunderstood, laughed at, mocked, pushed back into our lockers, beat up with the contents of our hearts strewn across the cold tile of forgotten high school hallways.

So we try to hide ourselves, our talent, our brilliance. We talk down our creative works ("it's just fanfic"), we don't rec our own works, we're shy about friending others for fear of rejection. It's safer, easier to be quiet, to lurk, to keep our heads down.

I want to change that, if only for a little while. I want us to be proud, to be bold, to be loud. To be unafraid, just to prove to ourselves that we can. (lucifuge5 here: Hear! Hear!)

The gift of ourselves. Because, in the words of one Mr. Gerard Way, every snowflake is different. That's what makes us special. That's what makes us beautiful.[2]

How it Works

The Fandom Snowflake Challenge is meant to be flexible and low-pressure. It welcomes every kind of fan on every kind of platform and encourages participants to pick and choose which challenges they answer, allowing freedom in how and when and where they answer them. The challenge operates without set deadlines or requirements.

akamine_chan explains it thusly:

Every day for the first 15 days of January, we're going to post a fannish challenge. It could be something as simple as reccing fanworks to sharing a piece of canon that you love. Follow the instructions to complete the challenge. Sometimes you'll be asked to post to your own journal and drop a link in the challenge post. Sometimes you'll just need to say "I did it!" in the comments of the challenge post.

Only do the challenges you're comfortable with. No one is keeping track, no one is going to give you grief if you don't complete a particular challenge. The point is to stretch you boundaries, but not at the expense of stressing you out. Fandom is supposed to be fun, and these challenges should be hard but should still be enjoyable.

This challenge is for everyone, all fandoms, all media, all platforms. It doesn't matter if you're in a fandom of two (been there) or if it's a fandom of a lot (there now) or something in between. It doesn't matter if your fandom has quieted down over the years or if it's currently awash with fannish activity. Canon, not-canon, old, young, real people or totally fictional. Doesn't matter. Come play with us.

And even though the challenge is being hosted on DW, please feel free to comment anonymously and signing your name if you don't have a DW account, or signing in with OpenID, which let's you use your LJ (and other platform) credentials to comment. We'd love for everyone to participate regardless of what platform you use - DW or LJ or Tumblr or Twitter or dA or Mibba or FanFiction.net or archives or mailing lists or old-school BBS.

Part of this challenge is about fandom and the awesome the people in it. The other part of this challenge, just as important, is about getting us to interact with each other. Fandom is what weaves us together, friendship and love and laughter and life. It's the fabric of our lives. Come share it with us.

And share it with others.[3]

Reactions

While I ran out of steam toward the end, I hope to go back and do some of the challenges I missed. My favourite part of the challenge is reading other people's responses, and I've many days yet to read through.[4]
—blueswan
I had a lot of fun with this, completed all of the days even if I didn't post on the main board. It really opened up some discussions with my friends at LJ and I think we all came away better for the interchange.[5]
—erulissedances
This challenge is pretty much my favorite thing that happens all year. It reminds me that fandom is an amazing place because of the people who contribute and support and make it the place it is.[6]
fire_juggler
I loved every minute of this. It made me think about fandom - why I'm here, why I stay. I got a folder of fic recs and made new friends and I've come away feeling really positive.[7]
keiliss
I love all the creative energy that exists in fandom, and I love snowflake_challenge's attitude, particularly when it tries to subvert imposter syndrome, and makes people stand up and be proud of what they've made. I love seeing young or new fans realize that fandom isn't something they should be ashamed of but something they should be PROUD of – that fandom has given them a way to make things or forge relationships that wouldn't have been possible anywhere else.[8]
kisahawklin
I haven't actually been participating, uh, at all (not enough hours in the day, sadness) so I'm not in the best position to speak about this challenge, but lurking around responses to this challenge has filled me with warm fuzzies about fandom![9]
—kotetsu
Still have a couple of challenges I want to do, but I've had fun so far! Thanks so much for this. I'm struggling with writer's block a bit this month (Jaunuary-itis!) so having this meme has given me something to do, and has been a great way to rec and read recs. I'm going to try and check out more of the comments now the main challenge is over.[10]
meridian_rose
I just wanted to say how amazing this experience has been. It was wonderful last year as a participant, but this year has been unreal. Being "behind the scenes" got me clicking even more links, checking out even more recs, and watching in awe at the response, not just to each day's challenge, but to each other. To see people commenting on posts, and granting wishes, and passing along their love of fandom... truly beautiful. I said it at the start but it bears repeating... being a part of this process has been a gift, one I will always treasure.[11]
mizface
It was both fun and thought provoking, making me step outside of my comfort zone occasionally.... and I met some lovely fellow fans :)[12]
tarlanx
While I did not participate every day, I certainly enjoyed the days I did and I got so much out of reading other people's entries as well. Here's to next year![13]
velvetwhip
I'd been feeling a bit disconnected from fandom (and my journalling spaces in general) for the back half of 2012 so I'd made the decision to interact more, get more involved, try and find my people and the challenge just came at the perfect time for me for that - I have LOVED every minute of participating, I've made some lovely new friends and really found spaces where I'm happy. The challenge (and the lovely people participating) have given me my fannish mojo back and helped breathe life into what was really a dead place. I cannot gush enjoy, frankly, I'm just too happy :D.[14]
wenchpixie
This challenge has made the beginning of my year much easier. There always was something to look forward to every day.[15]
—winterlover

Works and Projects Inspired by the Challenge

External links

References

  1. ^ Snowflakes all year long?, (Last accessed 16 January 2016.)
  2. ^ akamine_chan: Announcing the Fandom Snowflake Challenge, (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  3. ^ snowflake_challenge: The Fandom Snowflake Challenge 2013, (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  4. ^ comment by blueswan in 2014 Fandom Snowflake Challenge - Wrap Up Post, (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  5. ^ comment by erulissedances in 2014 Fandom Snowflake Challenge - Wrap Up Post, (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  6. ^ comment by fire_juggler in 2014 Fandom Snowflake Challenge - Wrap Up Post, (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  7. ^ comment by keiliss in 2014 Fandom Snowflake Challenge - Wrap Up Post, (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  8. ^ Fandom Snowflake Challenge, Day 1, (Last accessed 18 January 2016.)
  9. ^ comment by kotetsu in Fandom Snowflake Challenge Wrap Up Post (2013), (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  10. ^ comment by meridian_rose in Fandom Snowflake Challenge Wrap Up Post (2013), (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  11. ^ Fandom Snowflake Challenge Wrap Up Post (2013), (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  12. ^ comment by tarlanx in Fandom Snowflake Challenge 2015 - Wrap up post, (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  13. ^ comment by velvetwhip in 2014 Fandom Snowflake Challenge - Wrap Up Post, (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  14. ^ comment by wenchpixie in Fandom Snowflake Challenge Wrap Up Post (2013), (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)
  15. ^ comment by winterlover in Fandom Snowflake Challenge 2015 - Wrap up post, (Last Accessed 11 January 2016.)