Multifandom Tropefest

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Name: Multifandom Tropefest
Date(s): 2018-ongoing
Moderator(s): scribblemyname
Founder: scribblemyname
Type: gift exchange for fic and art
Fandom: multifandom
Associated Community:
URL: AO3 and tumblr
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Multifandom Tropefest is a multifandom exchange that started in 2018 dedicated to "tropes, variations on tropes, and trope subversions."[1] The exchange allows both fanfiction and fanart.

Trope requirements and nominations process

The freeform tags submitted to the tagset during nominations are required to be "common thematic element or plot or character device in some genre of fiction."[2] This excludes genres, kinks, and fusions, but participants who are aiming to write or recieve a particular genre, kink, or fusion should, "try to think of the tropes using that kink or that appear in the canon you like."[2]

Many tropes submitted to the exchange are generic versions of specific canonical events, such as "Dimension Travel - Summoned to Another World by a Magical Artifact" which was submitted to mimic Susan's horn from The Chronicles of Narnia.[3]

Tropes are split into related buckets for easy browsing, increased clarity, fine-tuned matching, and to make sure they fit the definition of trope that the exchange is using. The mods sometimes approve tropes as-is, but often change them to be grouped under a parent trope. Clarification posts are used to make sure tag nominators are okay with tag changes.

Sometimes the mods create their new parent tropes, such as the aforementioned dimensional travel, which was created to encompass everything that would have fit under the alternate reality parent trope but that involves explicit travel[4] and also probably in relation to this discussion of alternate universes, canon tropes, and fanfiction genres:

In original fiction, there is an alternate universe trope, which is the characters fall into an alternate universe, glimpse one, get stranded in one, etc. Common to scifi shows, with the Mirrorverse in Star Trek being a classic example.

In fanfic, alternate universe is a genre. Subgenres include coffee shop AUs, hooker AUs, etc. Each of these comes with its own set of common or less common tropes and variations, subversions, etc.

  • Not a trope: Coffee Shop AU
  • Trope: Coffee Shop Regular Falls for the Barista
  • Trope: Coffee Shop Visitor Falls for the Barista
  • Trope: Coffee Shop Staff Matchmake Two Regular Customers

Kinks alas are not tropes. Rope Bondage, for example, is a kink but it is not a common thematic element of any genre, nor does it serve as a character or plot device. It appears frequently in erotica and smut, but so does coffee. There are many tropes that include being tied up with rope or coffee, but it is not itself a trope. BDSM Verse is a fanfic trope, however, and comes with many variations and subversions.

In the case of Sex Work - Hooker(s), I counted it as a trope because sex workers often serve as tropes in tv, film, etc., including non-hooker characters playing the hooker or visiting hookers, etc. It's fine as a thematic element, even if it occupies a grey area. In cases where Fanlore called it a trope and it was the only obvious parent trope to many trope variations, I approved what I would consider a genre, e.g. First Time. In cases where a story or canon has become a trope, that's also fine, e.g. Cinderella Circumstances.

If you can make a case why we should consider something a trope, we will find a way to word it that makes sense and usually let it in.[2]

For example, the tag "Alternate Universe: Established Relationship" was confusing because in fanfiction an established relationship usually means the author has skipped the getting together parts. This is a genre, not a trope, according to the Tropefest rules, but the tag was then clarified and approved as "Falling Into Alternate Universe - Established Relationship"[5] before later reaching its final form "Dimension Travel - Falling Into Alternate Universe where in an Established Relationship"[6] when the dimensional universe parent trope was created.

2018 Schedule

Aug 22 - Sept 5: Nominations

Sept 9 - Sept 22: Sign Ups

Sept 23 - Sept 29: Matching / No Match Offer and Initial PH Cleanup

Sept 30: Assignments Out

Nov 2: Default Deadline

Nov 9: Assignments Due

Nov 10 - Nov 22: Pinch Hits / Treats

Nov 23: Work Reveals

Dec 1: Author Reveals[1]

2019 Schedule

Aug 15 - Aug 24 11:59 PM: Nominations

Aug 28 - Sept 7, 9:59 PM: Sign Ups
Sept 7 - Sept 9: Matching / No Match Offer and Initial PH Cleanup
Sept 10: Assignments Out (at the latest)
Oct 13, 11:59 PM: Default Deadline
Oct 20, 11:59 PM: Assignments Due
Oct 20 - Nov 2: Pinch Hits / Treats
Nov 2, 11:59 PM: Work Reveals

Nov 9, 11:59 PM: Author Reveals [7]

Matching, requests, and assignments

Multifandom Tropefest matches on fandoms, characters/relationship, tropes, and mediums. "Mediums" in this exchange aren't just fanfiction or fanart but also includes canon compliant, canon divergent, or alternate universe, so the six mediums are:

  • canon compliant fic
  • canon compliant art
  • canon divergent fic
  • canon divergent art
  • alternate universe fic
  • alternate universe art.

The trope and medium fields also allow participants to select the "any" checkbox.

The minimum for participation is both offering and requesting three unique fandoms, one character or relationship, one trope, and one medium. THe maximum for both is 10 unique fandoms, 20 characters/relationships, and 20 tropes. Each offer and request can only have one fandom.[1]

Assignment requirements are as follows:

  1. You’ll produce either a 2K word minimum fanfic of the character(s) or relationship and the trope OR
  2. a minimum of a clean lineart illustration of the character(s) or relationship and the trope on unlined paper.
For both art and fanfic, you’ll need to avoid your recipient’s listed DNWs, i.e. the things they do not want, and turn in your work by the assignments due deadline. Works should focus on the requested character(s) or relationship and not just include them.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Multifandom Tropefest AO3 profile. Accessed 06 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c scribblemyname, Nominations Clarifications Post #2 - 8/24/18. Accessed 06 September 2018. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "tropedef" defined multiple times with different content
  3. ^ Anonymous, commenting on Nominations Clarifications Post #3 - 8/26/18. Accessed 06 September 2018.
  4. ^ scribblemyname, replying to anonymous on Nominations Clarifications Post #3 - 8/26/18. Accessed 06 September 2018.
  5. ^ Nominations Clarifications Post #1 - 8/22/18. Accessed 06 September 2018.
  6. ^ Multifandom Tropefest 2018 Tag Set. Accessed 06 September 2018.
  7. ^ 2019 Schedule. (Accessed 9 September 2019)