History of Yuletide

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Fandom: Multifandom
Dates: 2003 - present
See also: Yuletide Controversies, Yuletide

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Yuletide is an annual rare-fandoms gift exchange fanfic challenge. This page contains a detailed timeline of Yuletide rule changes, dates, and other information by year.

Graphical Summary


Suggestions, discussion, and announcements all used the yuletide lj community. 314 people signed up.[1] There was no fandom nominations process: this happened as a part of signups themselves. Crossovers and rare pairings in non-rare fandoms were both allowed in requests and offers.

  • November 3-10: signups and nominations[2][3]
  • November 13: Assignments sent.[4]
  • December 21: Assignments due.


People who defaulted on their yuletide 2003 stories are banned. Everyone else (including people who did not participate in 2003) is allowed. Fandoms are brainstormed ahead of time and selected from pulldowns in the signup form.[5] Rare pairings are no longer allowed.[6] The annual tradition of nominating Harry Potter despite its massive non-rareness is born.[7] 1,477 fandoms make the final list; eligibility is based on number of stories on fanfiction.net and the results of a google search.[8] Unlike in later years, participants are asked not to post what they offered or what they requested publicly.[9] 538 people sign up.[10] #yuletide is set up.[11]

  • October 19-26: fandom brainstorming[12]
  • November 1-8: sign ups[13]
  • November 9: assignments are sent out[14]
  • December 21: original upload deadline
  • December 22: upload deadline after hacking incident[15]


Only people who either participated before or who have written a New Year's Resolution fic are allowed to sign up. People who defaulted in 2004 are banned (but not people who defaulted in 2003?). The rough guideline for disqualification is if a fandom has 500+ fics online. Elynross and claire are added as mods/helpers.[16] The mods ask for help on anime fandoms, which are not their forte.[17] Only total number of stories on easily-accessible archives is considered in determining rarity, not livejournal presence or mailing list activity due to the time involved in hunting for those stories or the difficulty of accessing them.[18] Crossover requests are no longer allowed. Marvel and DC titles are allowed, but only if they don't have significant ties to any of the major heroes.[19] Nominations consist of people brainstorming in the yuletide lj com; there is no restriction on number of nominations per person. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's publicist asks for any fics of her work to be removed from Yuletide; fans disapprove.[20] There was no no-penalty default deadline: people who defaulted were banned from signing up in 2006 and would have to write a New Year's Resolution story to participate in 2007.[21]

  • October 25-30: nominations[22]
  • November 1-7: sign ups
  • November 14: assignments are sent out
  • December 21: stories are due


People who defaulted in 2005 without making special arrangements are banned permanently. Anyone else may participate, whether or not they've ever written a yuletide or NYR fic before. The yahoo groups pinch hitters list was started.[23][24] The fandom list starts over from scratch for the first time, and nominations per person are limited to 6.[25] Nominations were done via form for the first time.[26] A dead fandoms rule is added for tv shows that have been off the air 10 years. For the first time, non-participants are asked not to nominate fandoms.[27] Users are, however, encouraged to coordinate with one another to maximize their nominations ("I'll nominate this for you since I have an extra slot open").[28] 876 people sign up.[29] Yuletide Madness happens.[30] There is no no-penalty default deadline. People who default twice in a row or once without warning are permanently banned; people who default once with notice must write a NYR to qualify for future yuletides.[31]

  • October 12-19: Nominations[32][33]
  • October 26-November 2: Signups[34]
  • November 3: assignments go out[35]
  • December 19: stories are due


Yuletide Story of the Day posts begin. The first set of assignments sent out is wrong; assignments are resent. Public discussion of writing multiple stories and including your requests in your letter increases. Admin announcements move to the yuletide_admin lj community. The no-penalty default deadline is instituted with penalties for late defaulters at the mods' discretion. They report the average Yuletide default rate at 10-11% with over 100 defaults in 2006.[36] At least 1264 people sign up.[37][38]

  • September 19-25: nominations
  • October 5-18: signups
  • October 19: final assignments sent[39]
  • November 20: no-penalty default deadline
  • December 19: stories due


2,451 fandoms were nominated.[40]

  • October 21-31: nominations[41]
  • November 2-10: signups
  • November 11: assignments sent
  • December 7: no penalty default deadline
  • December 20: stories due


The mods decided to grant an amnesty to everyone previously "permanently" banned from yuletide.[42] It had 1437 fandoms and 2699 works. It had 336 numbered pinch-hits and two after the reveal. The most written fandoms were The Big Bang Theory, Castle and Leverage.

  • October 13-20: nominations
  • November 4-12: signups
  • November 14: assignments sent
  • December 10: no-penalty default deadline[43]
  • December 21: assignments due

Hits from this year include:


Yuletide 2010 had 1507 fandoms and 2644 works. It had 280 numbered pinch-hits and one after the reveal. The most written fandoms were Fairy Tales, Castle, The Hunger Games trilogy and The Vampire Diaries.

  • October 13-20: nominations
  • November 13-19: signups
  • November 21: assignments go out[44]
  • December 15: no penalty default deadline
  • December 20: assignments due

Hits from this year include:


2011 changed the nominations process: instead of the previous 6 fandoms, participants would only be allowed to nominate 3 fandoms each.[45]. In addition, nomination switching was restricted: only those fandoms that hadn't been reviewed could be changed.[46] This meant that nominating a too-big fandom used up a nomination slot with no option to switch. Yuletide 2011 went live on December 25 with 2582 works in 1439 fandoms in the main collection, and Madness had an additional 513 works in 459 fandoms. It had a total of 281 numbered pinch-hits and two post-reveal pinch hits; 15 of the pinch-hits were not defaults but people who didn't get auto-matched with authors. The most written fandoms were Once Upon a Time, Fairy Tales, Community, Warehouse 13, Vorkosigan Saga, Downton Abbey and Parks and Recreation.

  • November 11-14: nominations
  • November 16-20: signups
  • November 21: assignments go out[47]
  • December 22: assignments due & no penalty default deadline

Hits from this year include:


Yuletide 2012 had 1600 fandoms and 2734 works. The most written fandoms were Fairy Tales, Greek and Roman Mythology and Pitch Perfect.

  • Nominations: September 24th - October 3rd
  • Cleanup and Public Eligibility Review: October 4th - 14th
  • Signups: October 15th - 28th (the actual signups ran from the 14th to the 31st)
  • Assignments: November 2nd[48]
  • Assignments Due: December 22nd[49]

Hits from this year include:


Yuletide 2013 had 2567 works in 1626 fandoms. The most written fandoms were Sleepy Hollow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow and Elementary. Rules changes meant that the usual stalwarts of Fairy Tales and Greek and Roman Mythology could not be nominated en masse.

Hits from this year include:


Yuletide 2014 had 2684 works in 1631 fandoms. The most written fandoms were Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Orphan Black, The 100, Hawkeye (Comics) and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

Hits from this year include:


Yuletide 2015 had 2591 works in 1528 fandoms. By far the most written fandom was Hamilton with 57 works in the main collection; other large fandoms were The Man From U.N.C.L.E. film, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and The Martian (both film & book).

Hits from this year include:


Needs Updating: This page is out of date. Editors are encouraged to add more recent information.

Yuletide 2016 had 2400 works in 1235 fandoms. The most written fandoms were Ghostbusters (2016), Captive Prince, Stranger Things, Rivers of London, and Yuri!!! on Ice.

Hits from this year include:


Yuletide 2017 had 2241 works in 1190 fandoms. The most written fandom was by far The Good Place, followed by Wonder Woman (2017), Rivers of London, and The Defenders.

Hits from this year include:


Yuletide 2018 had 2190 works in 1182 fandoms. The most written fandoms were Venom and The Good Place, followed by Rivers of London and Ocean's 8.

Hits from this year include:


  1. Submissions are closed - organization is in progress!. Posted Nov 10, 2003. Accessed Oct 12, 2016.
  2. Welcome aboard!, the first post in the yuletide lj com. Posted November 3, 2003. (Accessed December 29, 2011.)
  3. "Submissions are closed - organization is in progress!. Posted November 10, 2003. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  4. "Assignments are out!". Posted November 13, 2003. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  5. "Yuletide 2: Obscure Boogaloo: Information". Posted October 19, 2004. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  6. "Yuletide 2: Obscure Boogaloo: Instructions". Posted October 19, 2004. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  7. "Cliffs Notes version: two very simple points which are getting lost". Posted October 29, 2004. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  8. "Welcome to the Second Annual Yuletide Treasure Obscure Fandoms Challenge!". Posted November 1, 2004. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  9. "Yuletide Update: Please Read". Posted November 1, 2004. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  10. "Just so you know!" Posted October 27, 2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  11. "Yuletide Chat is open for business!". Posted December 20, 2004. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  12. Deadline Reminder! in the yuletide lj com. Posted October 26, 2004. (Accessed December 29, 2011.)
  13. Reminder -- last day to sign up in the yuletide lj com. Posted November 8, 2004. (Accessed December 29, 2011.)
  14. "Assignments are out!". Posted November 9, 2004. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  15. "Another Update". Posted December 21, 2004. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  16. "Good Morning, Campers - it's the Yuletide Countdown!". Posted October 4, 2005. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  17. From a post by elynross, "Seeking Yuletide Assistance, the Elimination Round!": "We are particularly interested in hearing about anime/manga fandoms that are not obscure, as this is a weak area for your moderators, and I remember some puzzled mutterings from last year." Posted October 17, 2005. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  18. From a post "When deciding on obscurity...": "We know that the ffnet/archive measure of obscurity is flawed. We know that some fandoms slipped through last year that probably shouldn't have, and some will probably slip through this year. We aren't willing to do a lot of questioning of how stories are categorized at the ffnet sites, as to whether they're really the fandom in question, or not -- we go by the easily countable numbers. We do the best we can, and we hope everyone has fun!" Posted October 17, 2005. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  19. "There will be two official posts today. Er, not including this one. ;)". Posted October 24, 2005. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  20. "Attention Yuletiders!". Posted November 29, 2005. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  21. It finishes its story, or it gets the Yuletide curse. Posted December 13, 2005. (Accessed December 29, 2011.)
  22. "I for one welcome our evil overlordzzzzz....". October 24, 2005. (Accessed November 18, 2010.)
  23. "'Tis not quite the season!". Posted August 25, 2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  24. "Further clarification due to moderator... error.". Posted August 28, 2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  25. "Call me Post-and-Retract! Big Changes for Yuletide!". Posted October 9, 2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  26. "Yuletide Plan of Attack: Return of the Yulebat!". Posted October 11, 2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  27. "Upcoming Fandom Nominations". Posted October 12, 2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  28. While we tell of Yuletide Barter. Posted October 13, 2006. (Accessed September 5, 2019).
  29. "30 MINUTES TO DEADLINE!!!!". Posted November 2, 2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  30. "Yuletide Madness Is Open!". Posted December 24, 2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  31. If you expect to receive email from yuletide or the pinch hitters list, deadline, and defaulting. Posted December 13, 2006. (Accessed December 29, 2011.)
  32. "If you asked a question on the Brainstorming post. .". Posted October 12, 2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  33. "Nominations update". Posted October 12,2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  34. "FAQ update, notes, and pinch hitting!". Posted October 26, 2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  35. "After minor technical difficulties...". Posted November 3, 2006. (Accessed November 19, 2010.)
  36. Yuletide is coming! Update on Defaulting Policy. Posted September 20, 2007. (Accessed December 29, 2011.)
  37. Fifteen minutes until signups close... on yuletide_admin. Posted October 18, 2007. (Accessed August 10, 2013.)
  38. Comment thread listing possible final number
  39. REAL Assignments going out! in yuletide_admin. Posted October 19, 2007. (Accessed December 28, 2011.)
  40. Link to 2008 nominated fandoms in yuletide_admin. Posted October 29, 2008. (Accessed December 29, 2011.)
  41. Fandom Nominations for Yuletide 2008 Are Now Open! omgwtfYULETIDE! in yuletide_admin. Posted October 21, 2008. (Accessed December 29, 2011.)
  42. Yuletide 2009 Default/Ban Amnesty. Posted October 29, 2009. (Accessed December 29, 2011.)
  43. Defaulting Deadline. Posted December 7, 2009. (Accessed December 29, 2011.)
  44. Assignments Going Out! on yuletide_admin. Posted November 21, 2010. (Accessed December 28, 2011.)
  45. Nominations! posted Sep 14, 2011
  46. Yuletide Rarity and an Incomplete List of Ineligible Fandoms posted Nov 3 2011
  47. Assignments have gone out! on yuletide_admin. Posted November 21, 2011. (Accessed December 28, 2011.)
  48. Assignments have gone out! in yuletide_admin. Posted November 2, 2012. (Accessed August 10, 2013.)
  49. Yuletide 2012 in yuletide_admin. Posted September 10, 2012.