News
Announcements and Other Things

Hello again, darling EFers.

We have officially closed the book on 2020, a year that, despite being universally panned as just The Worst™, managed to be a pretty good one in terms of all things EF. If you missed it, be sure to check out the year-end wrap-up.

But 2020 is in the rearview, so we’re looking ahead. With this in mind, the EF Mod Team has brainstormed and implemented a few changes that we think, overall, you guys will like.

Bad News First

First, we’ll start with what we’re taking away. In order to continue providing excellent event-themed skins, we’re going to start phasing out some of the lesser-used and redundant skins. So, if your default is currently heaven, mobile, or mobile-night, we encourage you to search through the other available skins for an alternative.

However, when we take, we also give. The holiday skin, which has previously been unavailable for eleven months out of the year, is now available year-round.

New Categories! New Genres! New Warnings! New Everything!

One of the things that happens when you start a fanfic archive in 2006 and it’s still going strong 14 years later is…well, fandom changes. So we’re introducing a slew of genres, categories, and warnings for our authors to use going forward and, if they so choose, apply to any currently published work.

New Categories:

  • Between Seasons (any) – For stories that are set, well, between seasons.
  • Canon-Compliant – For those stories that maintain canon. Canon-Compliant is for the small subsect of fics that aren't canon divergences and don't change canon events (i.e., what we saw on-screen and/or read in comics). These may be missing scenes or stories that fill in gaps by telling the story that occurred off-screen/page but complements the established canon narrative without changing anything. Authors can choose at their own discretion whether or not canon includes the comics. If canon does include comics, then the fics in this category should be comic canon-compliant. 
  • Vignettes – This isn’t new but it is in a new place. Previously, Vignettes was listed under Genre. We encourage everyone who had fics tagged with Vignette to edit these stories, as that tag was lost due to software limitations…in that we couldn’t “move” so much as “delete.” Sorry!
  • Wishverse – For stories set in, you guessed it, the BtVS Wishverse.

New Genres:

  • Slow-Burn – Typically applied to relationships that take time to develop, either romantically or sexually.
  • Fix-It – Fixing something that went awry in canon.
  • Kidnapping – Pretty sure this one needs no explanation.
  • HEA/HFN – For authors who wish to assure readers that they aren’t torturing readers just to gut them in the end, stories can now be marked as HEA (Happy Ever After) or HFN (Happy For Now). Since so many readers prefer to read stories with an HEA, we thought readers might be encouraged to read more WIPs if they know that their pain and suffering will not be in vain.
  • Tragedy – By the same token, if an author wishes to let readers know that there will be tears, and lots of them, fics can now be marked as Tragedy. Sometimes it’s better to know going in. It’s the way Shakespeare operated, after all!
  • Mystery – For fics in which the Scooby Gang becomes the Scooby Gang.
  • Prophecy – For fics in which a prophecy of some sort is prominently featured. This can range from Buffy’s death prophecies to end-of-the-world prophecies to the Shanshu Prophecy to create-your-own prophecy.
  • Under Magical Influence – Our fancy way of classifying those Shag-or-Die fics; or conversely, Something Blue fics, or really any fic where magical hijinks play a prominent role in what a character does or says.
  • Resurrection – Both Buffy and Spike like to die and come back. If your fic prominently features a Resurrection, this is the genre for you.

New Warnings:

  • Underage Sex – It has been an EF Rule since the dawn of EF that stories with Underage Sex were strictly not allowed. Well, we were never good at enforcing this rule, and in terms of our fandom, it confuses things. Like, it’s canon that Buffy was sexually active before she was of legal age, so why shouldn’t those fics be included?

Thing is, when EF was founded, Underage Sex was a Big Fandom Concern™, thanks mostly to super popular fandoms like Harry Potter, which has a host of adult/child pairings that had parents in a moral panic over what their children were reading and what was being normalized. This is also one of the reasons that EF insisted on registered user accounts in which the user verified they were old enough to read explicit fiction. Believe it or not, that was not standard when we launched. But the year is 2021, and the world has changed. Since EF hasn’t really policed these fics and we really have no desire to do so, we added Underage Sex as a warning and removed the rule. We encourage authors to apply this warning on all fics where underage characters are described as being sexually active, regardless of whether or not the sex in question is explicit.

For the purposes of EF, we're defining Under Age as anything under 17, or when Buffy became canonically sexually active. However, authors are free to interpret Under Age as under 18 years old.

  • Mental Health Issues – For stories that have a focus on a character’s mental health or wellness.
  • Emotional/Psychological Torture – In recognition that torture doesn’t have to physically hurt to leave a scar.
  • Physical Torture – What was the Torture warning has been amended to refer specifically to instances of Physical Torture.

Reminders

Just some things that you may not know or might have missed.

  • New Award – In 2020, we launched a brand-new award to recognize authors who completed at least one of their fics within the year. We want to issue more of these awards at the end of 2021! (Hinty hint hint hint)
  • EF Daily Backups – To be proactive in preserving site content, Holly will be performing daily backups of the EF Database, during which time the site will be inaccessible. These backups will occur between 10-11am site-time (EST/EDT) and result, typically, in no more than 10 minutes of site downtime. This reflects a change from the previously announced time, which was between 10:30-11pm.
  • Site Probs – All technical/site issues should be emailed to ssolace@gmail.com rather than discussed in the ShoutBox or the Facebook group. 
  • About Ratings – Fic ratings should be assigned based on the rating the fic warrants. While this isn’t a widespread issue, we have caught a few instances where a fic was given a rating that didn’t reflect the fic’s contents. We know NC-17 is the most popular rating, but fics with this rating should have content to match, and not just assigned this rating because of its popularity. Fics that are rated AO, NC-17, or R do not have to earn the rating in the first chapter, or even by the tenth chapter. The rating can be reflective of what the finished product’s rating would be, rather than what it has earned at the time of posting.

That’s all for now! Don’t hesitate to reach out to the mod team if you have any questions.



--The Mods on January 05, 2021 05:39pm 16 Comments
2020 In Review (Just the good stuff)

Another year has come and gone…and what a year it was.

There is a lot we could say on the subject of 2020—a lot we HAVE said either on the ShoutBox here or on the Elysian Fields Discussion Group. But for the sake of moving forward, we are choosing to focus on the good. And for our little fic archive, which turned 14, there is a lot of good.

Now the holidays are behind us, so we have retired the holiday skin as the site default. However, we did decide to make it available to users year-round for 2021, so if you like the falling snow, you can keep it.

We held three site events—Challenge Month in April, Trapped Challenge in October, and the first-ever Secret Santa Fic Exchange in December. The response was overwhelming, as the numbers will show.

But before we get to the numbers, we have some awards to issue.

First, we’re rolling out a brand-new award to all authors who COMPLETED stories in 2020. For a show that turned twenty-three last year, we have such a wonderful community of authors who routinely pour their time and creativity into giving us new stories and that seems like something worth celebrating, particularly with a lovely award designed by our own angelic_amy. Just how alive and well is Spuffy fandom? In 2020, 110 EF authors completed 332 fics (!!!!). Authors, seriously, take a freaking bow.

We are so grateful for all of you, and the amount of care and effort you put into your works. You’re the blood that keeps EF’s heart pumping. Thank you for the stories you give us and the time you volunteer to see them through to completion.

We look forward to awarding the FIC COMPLETE award to even more authors in 2021!

2020 Fic Complete Award

We also have the Challenge Complete Award (also designed by angelic_amy), which was awarded to site members who completed any site event challenge in 2020 (that is, the challenge events that are overseen by the EF mods and come with spiffy thematic skins and stuff). So if you participated in a site event challenge this year (or any year) and completed the fic in 2020, you have a shiny new award on your profile.

2020 Challenge Fic Complete

Next, OffYourBird spearheaded what is now a new EF holiday tradition with the first-ever Secret Santa Fic Exchange. This event was a rousing success, with 51 gifts making their way into the world, and ensuring that Demon Santa has been successfully sent fleeing from our snowy fields of solace... for this year. Thank you all so much for bringing this event to life with such enthusiasm, and special thanks to all the members who worked as and volunteered to be rescue writers to ensure that no one was left giftless. We hope everyone had a joyous and merry time participating. Participants: you will also find shiny new participation awards (designed by OffYourBird) on your profiles if you submitted your story by midnight 12/31.

2020 Secret Santa Participant

P.S. If you haven't read the fics yet, you can find them all on their site event page here, which is also accessible by going to Browse >> Site Events >> 2020 Secret Santa.

And more awards? Yes, more awards (designed by OffYourBird). Last year, we announced some brand-new awards to be issued to our most prolific members. Time to issue those again to the 2020 recipients!

2020 Most Prolific Author 2020 Most Prolific Commenter 2020 Top Ten Most Prolific Author 2020 Top Ten Most Prolific Commenter

Here’s 2020 by the numbers. 

  • Total number of words added: 10,252,170 (+2,917,280 from 2019)
  • Total number of stories added: 412 (+150 from 2019)
  • Total number of chapters added: 2,628 (+643 from 2019)
  • Number of new members: 1,663 (+277 from 2019)
  • Number of active members: 6,439 (+503 from 2019)
  • Number of likes left: 87,130 (+18,459 from 2019)
  • Number of comments written: 43,195 (+3,116 from 2019)
  • Number of words written in comments: 2,389,052 (+397,992 from 2019)

Most Prolific Commenters of 2020

Most Prolific Authors of 2020

Thank you, EF Family, for making what was a very difficult year for so many people a good one for our corner of the internet. We love you guys.



--Holly on January 03, 2021 10:16pm 9 Comments
Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Holiday Season at EF

The holiday season is in full swing here at Elysian Fields! To celebrate the occasion, EF has again pulled our fabulous holiday banner from the vault for everyone to enjoy for the month of December. (Change your skin to our holiday theme by going to Account Info > Edit Preferences > Default skin: holiday)

A crew of Elysian Fields members is also hard at work helping Spuffy thwart Demon Santa’s evil scheming by participating in our very first Secret Santa event. We’ve had an incredible 51 members sign up to exchange fic gifts!!

 

What are the Secret Santa participation requirements again?

For those of you giving Secret Santa gifts (officially signed-up members only), you will be able to post your fics starting at 12:01am ET (site time) tomorrow December 1, and will be able to post until 11:59pm ET on December 31. All fics MUST be one-shots. That is, they must be one chapter composed of less than 15,000 words. Rest assured, your summary, story notes, chapter notes, and end notes do not count against your word count.

When publishing your gift, be sure to mark the checkbox shown below:

What event information do I need to include in my story?

You must include the following information in your summary or story notes: “This fic is an Elysian Fields 2020 Secret Santa gift for [giftee's name]"

It’s also recommended that you send your giftee a message once you’ve published the fic, so they don’t miss seeing it!

Banners: If you're including a custom banner with your fic, it must have "Designed for the Elysian Fields 2020 Secret Santa" legibly added to it.

 

Does a gift writer need to reveal their giftee’s preferences?

You do not! As with a standard Secret Santa, no preferences have to be mentioned publicly. However, if you want to attach your giftee's preferences to your story, please do so in your story end notes.

 

How do I find the stories that are being added to the Secret Santa?

All gift fics will be merrily marked with a Santa icon, which looks like the example below:

Additionally, all gift fics can be found on the 2020 Secret Santa event page. (You can also find this event page, as well as all of our other event pages by browsing for site events.)

 

What do I do if I realize I’m not going to be able to finish my gift fic by the deadline?

The last thing we want is for any member to end up giftless. While we have done our best to ensure that members are only participating with an understanding of their commitment, we know that life happens. So, if you find that you will be unable to write a fic for your giftee, you MUST reach out to OffYourBird (via ssolace@gmail.com or PM) by December 15 so that alternate arrangements can be made.

 

How can I help if someone ends up without a gift writer?

You can become a rescue writer! Rescue writers sign up by PM’ing or emailing OffYourBird. You do NOT have to be a signed-up Secret Santa participant to be a rescue writer. If you sign up to be a rescue writer, you will go on a list of writers available to rescue a gift, and you will be contacted by December 16 if someone is in need of your help.

 

We’re looking forward to much merriment at Elysian Fields this coming month --- Happy Holidays from the Mods!



--The Mods on November 30, 2020 05:33pm 2 Comments
It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Holiday Fic Giving

 

Up in the North Pole, according to popular myth, Santa is currently busy making all of the Hellmouth children’s toys so that he can distribute happiness and joy in less than two months’ time. Unfortunately (according to Anya’s excellent knowledge of supernatural history), Santa is, in reality, a demon who uses said gifts to tempt little children into coming close so he can disembowel them. Talk about a demonic holiday Grinch. Yikes. Thankfully, our Evil Santa has been pretty quiet the last several hundred years. Until now, that is… 

Now, Evil Santa is hopping on his demonic sleigh again, and it’s time for Spuffy to combat him the best way they know how: by making sure we give each other our gifts this holiday season!

Thanks to a great suggestion by member Ajmilone, Elysian Fields will be hosting our very first Secret Santa fic-giving event this year. Here’s how it works:

Everyone who signs up to participate in this event will write one fic and receive one fic. Each fic written should be a “one-shot” size. That is, the fic must not exceed one chapter, and the word limit maximum for a single EF chapter, and thusly it must be under 15,000 words in length. Fics do NOT need to be holiday related in any way (unless your giftee requests it!).

You will sign up using the form linked below, and input your preferences for fic writing/receiving. OffYourBird will make best case matches, and then reach out to each participant with the penname and story preferences of their “non-demony secret Santa" for whom they will be writing a fic. Please remember that this gift giving is confidential. Don’t share who you have for a giftee until posting time! We don’t want to spoil the fun and make Evil Santa suspicious, after all.

In order to ensure Evil Santa is well and truly put to bed (at least for this year!), all fics must be published to Elysian Fields by midnight (site time) on December 31, 2020. 

Here’s a full run-down of the timeline:

November 8 (Today!) --- Sign-ups open. Find the SIGN UP FORM HERE 

November 22 --- Sign-ups close at midnight site time

November 23-24 --- Writing assignments are distributed to participants

December 1 --- participants may begin publishing their fics. More details regarding HOW to publish your fic will be posted here in the news section at the end of November.

December 31, 2020 --- participants must have their fics published by midnight site time

 

No late sign-ups or publishing will be allowed. Please only sign up if you can commit to publishing your fic by midnight on December 31. Leaving a participant giftless will put them in grave demonic danger, and we really can’t have that.

Successful participation means that, not only will you get a brand new fic gift , but you’ll also get a shiny new badge for your profile!

 

(Note: you may have someone beta your fic or make a banner for your fic if you wish, but only those EF members who sign up to write/receive will be eligible for an event participation award for this event.)

So, come and join the fun this holiday season, and help Spuffy beat back the forces of evil with our first Elysian Fields Secret Santa event!



--OffYourBird on November 08, 2020 12:04am 22 Comments
Trapped Challenge Wrap-up

Hey everyone,

Congratulations to everyone who participated in some way during the Trapped Challenge. We had record breaking event with 47 brand new fic created and shared. That's phenomenal! If you have yet to check out the new titles, you can FIND THEM ALL HERE. You’re welcome. wink

Trapped Challenge stats:
(For challenge fic only, and accurate at the time of this news item being posted)

  • New fic – 47
  • Chapters added – 153
  • Words added – 458,193
  • Banners created – 38 (not including chapter art)
  • Comments received – 2,091
  • Likes received – 3,776

THANK YOU: to the artists, betas, commenters and authors who contributed to this challenge – it wouldn’t be the success it was without all of you.

If you participated during challenge month as an author, artist or commenter you should find some pretty awards as a thank you for your participation on your profiles. Betas, we haven’t forgotten about you – your awards will be distributing tomorrow - I just want to double check (okay, triple check) that I haven’t missed anyone before pushing them out to accounts.
Update 8/11 - Beta awards have now been distributed.  

Authors, please remember that for your betas and artists to be eligible to receive an award for their work they must be credited in either the Story Notes for the fic or the Summary itself.

Artists, another reminder, to be eligible to receive an award the banner(s) you have created must have the following line of text visible on the banner somewhere: Designed for the Elysian Fields ‘Trapped’ Challenge.

If you believe you should have an award(s) and you’ve been missed by mistake, please shoot a PM to me (angelic_amy) and I'll make sure it is added to your profile.

Our default site skin has changed from the one created for the event, but never fear, the Trapped skin is not disappearing for good. It can be found as an option for you to select as your permanent skin if you want - check out your account settings to do this.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the 2020 Trapped Challenge event, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

And as always, happy reading!

read



--Amy on November 04, 2020 06:05am 3 Comments
Ready to get Trapped by new fic?

Anyone feeling a little anxious? Restless? Trapped? Well never fear, that’s just your brain preparing you for the flood of AWESOMENESS that is new fic about to hit the site.

We’re almost to October and that means Trapped Challenge month is about to commence. With such an adaptable theme, we’re buzzing with excitement about the soon-to-be posted gems written in celebration of the 14th birthday of Elysian Fields.

Mods Holly and OffYourBird have joined forces and combined their talents to present to all of you—the readers, writers, artists, betas and lurkers of our site—a fantabulous new skin. It will be set as the site default skin for the month of October. To take a peak or switch your current skin out, make sure to change it in your preferences page. It is called Trapped.

In order to make sure everyone understands all that's going on, we'll try to cover everything here. If there's something you're not sure about, please let us know in the comments. There's a lot of information in this post, but please read the whole thing to be sure you know what's happening in October.

How and when do I post my story so that it's part of the event?
Starting at midnight on October 1 (site time, which is Eastern US time-it's listed under the shoutbox), you'll see a new checkbox on the page where you add a new story:

 

As soon as you see that box, you're free to post. If you're adding a new story that is part of the challenge, check the box and you're good to go.

Your fic does not need to be complete prior to posting. In fact, it doesn't even need to be completed during October. You have the whole month, during which you only need to BEGIN posting the story.

If you requested and received a banner, please make sure to credit the artist in your story notes section. If you're not sure how to add a banner, please see this section in the FAQ.

If you have a beta that you worked with as part of your challenge story, you must credit them in your story notes in order for them to be counted as having participated in the event. If they aren't listed in your story notes, we have no way of identifying that they were part of the event.

How do I find the stories that are being added to the Trapped Challenge?
It's easy to spot fic that have been captured by this challenge because all Trapped Challenge fics will be marked with a trusty set of handcuffs (we raided Spike's stash) and the icon looks like this one here:

Also, don't forget that we have a site events browse page where you can view all the stories from previous site events, as well as the ones from this event.

Will you be featuring regular stories while the challenge is going on?
There won't be any mod-chosen featured stories in October. In the area where we usually have featured stories, we're going to begin the month by highlighting stories written in past years in honor of our 14th anniversary (the reason we hold events in October). Starting on the 1st, each day will highlight one year (1st-2006, 2nd-2007, and so on...), and will contain a random assortment of stories published in that particular year. Starting on the 14th, that section will change to feature a random assortment of fics that are part of this event.

Is there a comment aspect to this event as well?
Of course there is! If you write at least 14 comments in October that contain at least 14 words, you'll meet the requirements of the commenter challenge! You'll see a link to the comment challenge leaderboard on the homepage under the Members of the Month where the all-star commenter list is usually located.

Besides an amazing sense of pride, do we get anything for participating in the event?
Of course you do! We have some amazing awards that will be given out after the end of October. Our wonderful OffYourBird has created the following awards for participating authors, artists, commenters, and betas:

   

That about covers it. Please let us know if there's any additional questions. Get ready for some amazing new stories!



--The Mods on September 30, 2020 10:31am 7 Comments
Trapped Challenge - banner claims

Hey everyone,

The first lot of requests for art have come in, and this short message is to point you all towards them! If you're an artist in the Elysian Fields community and you're thinking of signing up to create one of the banners (or you're curious about the upcoming fic and just want to take a look), then you can find the banner requests HERE on the page our wonderful Holly has coded for us to display all the request info.

Artists, make sure you read over the info if you’re thinking of claiming one of the art requests. Banner claiming OPENS at midnight SITE TIME on the 12th of September. Early claims will not be accepted.

To claim a fic request, artists will need to email Amy with the following information:

     Artist penname/user ID:
     Permission to share your email with the author(s) you sign up for: 
     Banner request: List your banner request(s) by fic title and author penname name, in order of preference
     (first, second, third).
     Number of banners you are willing to create: (max 3)

Each fic will ONLY be allocated to one artist, and it will be in a first come, first serve basis. Artists may sign up to create multiple banners, however we will cap the number to three banners to begin with, to encourage involvement from a lot of people. If we require a secondary sign up, that will happen later on.

Banner Requirements:
If you are successful in claiming a banner request, you'll be put in contact with your author via a confirmation email.
Please ensure you follow the request details as set by the author. 

Elysian Fields has two site requirements for the banner and they are:
     Dimensions: Width 900px x Height 250px (maximum). 
     Text: In a small clear font (approx 8 – 10 pt) along one of the edges:
     Designed for the Elysian Fields ‘Trapped’ Challenge.

Finally, to the participating authors. Even though the request claiming goes live on the 12th of September, you can still sign up to request art up to the 25th of September. So if you would like to add you request to the list, make sure you email me by the 25th. 

That's about it. Any questions? Comment here. And when the time comes... happy claiming!



--Amy on September 11, 2020 10:06pm 0 Comments
Trapped Challenge - banner requests

Hi everyone,

First of all, my apologies that this post comes to you all a few days late. RL has been a rollercoaster of lows and highs for me the last few weeks.

The kick off to the Trapped Challenge has been great so far, and I can't wait to read all of the future challenge fic by the actors who've signed up. For anyone sitting on the fence of decision making, consider this your literal push. Come on, sign up. You know you wanna. 

For participating authors, if inspiration has already struck and you're looking to for some art to accompany your words for when you post the story in October, then here is the info you need to know regarding banner requests.

All you need to do is shoot me an email (address available at the bottom of this post) with a combination of the following information. The first three dot points are required, the rest are optional. So, if you are looking for something specific, give me as much information as you think the artist will need. Alternatively, if you are open to the artist experimenting, then just give me the required info.

Required information:

  • Fic title:
  • Author penname:
  • Story blurb (or a short summary if you're not at that point):

Optional extra requests:

  • Season/episode (so the artist knows the kinds of images to look for):
  • Feature characters:
  • Colour theme:
  • Mood/Style (dramatic, simple, lighthearted, happy, etc):
  • Other (Special requests for objects, specific images, etc):

We'll be creating a master list of the banner requests for the artists on our site to browse, and let you all know when it's live.

And that's the sitch. Authors, you can email me your requests at angelic.amy.fic@gmail.com

Happy writing!



--Amy on September 05, 2020 04:33am 0 Comments
Trapped Challenge

Hello everyone,

In just over two months (on the 28th of October) Elysian Fields celebrates its 14th birthday. Reaching the milestone deserves a celebration, and as you all know, here at EF we love to celebrate our site anniversaries with a challenge. Welcome to your intro post for the Trapped Challenge.

The inspiration for the theme of this challenge comes from none other than the current world situation and changes to our daily lives wrought by Covid. For some of us, life has been turned completely upside down, and left us feeling... well, you get the picture.

The theme for this challenge, Trapped, can be utilised however your creative brains interpret.

Some ideas for those wanting a spark for the muse:

  • Trapped in an epic battle with seemingly no way out
  • Trapped in an un-happy relationship 
  • Trapped in an elevator
  • Trapped due to a freak weather event
  • Trapped beneath the Hellmouth or in an alternate dimension
  • Trapped in a fake relationship (for a Green Card, wedding date, or other scenario)
  • Trapped by a virus or plague
  • Trapped in a day that repeats over and over a la Groundhog Day or Mystery Spot 
  • Trapped on a bad date without a vehicle or exit plan
  • Trapped by the views or values of those closest 
  • Trapped in an unwanted job
  • Trapped in the future
  • Trapped in the past

...and now I need to stop because I could keep going (and even just brainstorming these ideas is fun), but it's time to get to the nitty gritty.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to use the theme of Trapped and use it for inspiration to write a brand new fic. Your use of the theme can be as small or as large as you want, so long as it's obvious enough for the readers to go "Oh, I see what you did there!" then your fic qualifies with this challenge. Whichever path you choose to take, we'd love to see what you come up with. 

Authors:
This news item serves as your sign-up post. By signing up to the challenge, you are agreeing to comply with the rules and regulations, and to write a fic with the following specifics:

  • Length: Minimum of 1,500 word count, maximum is completely up to you.
  • Characters: Buffy, Spike, and any other BtVS or AtS characters you see fit.
  • Content Specifications: The fic MUST address the theme of Trapped. How you decide to incorporate this theme into a fic is entirely up to you, the writer. All theme interpretations, big or small, are welcome. 
  • Timeline: The fic can be set any time during the BtVS timeline, post series, or pre-series.
  • Dates: No posting of the fic onto the archive (or anywhere else) until the 1st of October. As soon as you receive a confirmation email from me regarding your sign-up, consider the writing process time open.
  • The challenge is for new fic only, not to be attached to an existing story.
  • The fic DOES NOT need to be complete prior to posting, nor does it need to finished during the month of October. We’d just like them to be started during that time.
  • Authors are not limited to writing one story. So if you have more than one idea...great!
  • When you post your fic, please ensure you credit the artist who made the banner in your fic summary. 
  • If you have a banner artist or beta that you worked with as part of your event challenge response, you must credit them in your story notes in order for them to be counted as having participated in the event. If they aren't listed in your story notes, we have no way of identifying that they were part of the event. 
  • Please note: authors must sign up for the challenge prior to submitting a request for a banner. A further news post with details for banner requests will be posted to the site in the coming days. 

Artists:
You guys are included in the challenge too. We’ll be connecting you with authors via a banner request list. Prior to the posting of fic on the 1st of October, authors can sign up to request a banner be made for their fic. Participating authors will email me a completed form, with their request for a banner to accompany their fic. The request may include things such as: Fic Title, Author Penname, the season the fic is set in, specific character image requests, colour, theme…etc.

This information will be added to a master list. Artists may then browse the page, and choose to sign up to fulfill a particular request. Each fic will ONLY be allocated to one artist, and it will be in a first come, first served basis. Artists may sign up to create multiple banners; however, we will cap the number to three banners to begin with, to encourage involvement from a lot of people. Secondary sign ups will also occur at some point. More details regarding the sign-up process for artists will come at a later date.

KEY DATES for the Challenge:

  • Writing sign ups: from the 25th of August through to the 31st of October.
  • Writing time: from email confirmation of sign-up until the challenge concludes.
  • Author submissions of banner requests: from the 31st of August through to the 25th of September.
  • Artist sign ups: 12th of September.
  • Artists to provide banners to authors: by the 30th of September (unless otherwise negotiated with the author).
  • Posting of fics to begin: from the 1st of October.
  • NOTE: fics DO NOT need to be completed by the end of October, but the first part/chapter must be started prior to the end of the month to be included in the Challenge. 

Authors, if you decide to sign up, we are asking you to send me (Amy) an email at angelic.amy.fic@gmail.com with the following information:

          Author penname:
          I intend to participate in the Trapped Challenge.

And that’s it for now. Any questions? Comment on this news post or shoot me an email at the address above. I know I speak for the rest of The Mods when I say we are looking forward to seeing what the authors and artists of our community come up with!



--Amy on August 25, 2020 08:45am 34 Comments
2020 Challenge Month Wrap-up

Hello everyone,

Thanks and congratulations to everyone who participated in the 2020 Challenge Month. It wouldn't have been the success it was without the input of the awesome members of our community. Altogether, 40 brand new fic were created for this event. That's amazing! If you have yet to check out all of these brand new titles, you can FIND THEM ALL HERE. You’re welcome. wink

2020 April Challenge Month stats:
(For challenge fic only, and accurate at the time of this news item being posted)

  • New fic – 40
  • Chapters added – 96
  • Words added – 274,785
  • Banners created – 26
  • Comments received – 1,217
  • Likes received – 1,828


To the artists of our community—thank you for gracing our site with your pretties.

To the betas—thank you for your help and comments to the authors you work with.

To the commenters, who leave the authors feedback—thank you for showing your appreciation.

And to the participating authors—thank you for giving us all a list of future reading material. I can’t wait to dive into the fic I’ve yet to read.

If you participated during challenge month as an author, commenter, artist, or beta, check out the awards section on your member profiles. You should see some graphics waiting for you. If we missed you by mistake, please shoot a PM to me (angelic_amy) and I'll make sure your award is added to your profile.

Our default site skin has changed and the Challenge Month skin has been retired until next year. For anyone who has been using the April skin (and have it set as your personal default) so long as you don't switch between skins, it should still be visible for you.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the 2020 Challenge Month, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. And as always, happy reading!

read



--Amy on May 03, 2020 01:42am 5 Comments
Everything you need to know about Challenge Month

Challenge Month is just around the corner, and this post has all the deets you need to know. And what's a site challenge without an event skin? Some of you may recognise it from last year (we've brought it out of retirement) and it will be the featured site skin for the entire month. If you want to make it your default skin for the month, make sure to change it in your preferences page - it's called 'Challenge Month'.

In order to make sure everyone understands all that's going on, we'll try to cover everything here. If there's something you're not sure about, please let us know in the comments. There's a lot of information in this post, but please read the whole thing to be sure you know what's happening in April.

How and when do I post my story so that it's part of the event?
After midnight on April 1 (site time, which is Eastern US time-it's listed under the shoutbox), post your story as you normally would. Once you've added your story, find the challenge you're responding to on the challenges page or in your saved challenges list (if you've already saved it to your personal list) in your Account Info page. At the bottom of the challenge, you'll see a Respond to the challenge! link. Click the link, put a check in the box next to the story which is the challenge response and click submit.

Your fic does not need to be complete prior to posting. In fact, it doesn't even need to be completed during April. You have the whole month, during which you only need to BEGIN posting the story.

If you have a banner artist or beta that you worked with as part of your event challenge response, you must credit them in your story notes in order for them to be counted as having participated in the event. If they aren't listed in your story notes, we have no way of identifying that they were part of the event.

How do I find the stories that are being added to the challenge?
Stories that are part of the event will be easy to spot because they'll have a little umbrella icon (That class protector umbrella comes in handy to avoid April showers):

Also, don't forget that we have a site events browse page where you can view all the stories from previous site events, as well as the ones from this event.

Will you be featuring regular stories while the challenge is going on?
There won't be any mod-chosen featured stories in April. For the first half of the month, the usual feature spot will showcase responses to challenges posted at Elysian Fields, no matter when they were published. Starting on the 15th, the featured area will display stories that were created specifically for this event.

Is there a comment aspect to this event as well?
Of course there is! If you write at least 20 comments in April that contain at least 5 words, you'll meet the requirements of the commenter challenge! You'll see a link to the comment challenge leaderboard on the homepage under the Members of the Month where the all star commenter list is usually located.

Besides an amazing sense of pride, do we get anything for participating in the event?
Of course you do! We have some amazing awards that will be given out after the end of April. Our angelic_amy created the following awards for participating authors, artists, commenters, and betas:

      

We’re also debuting a new award. If you are an author and you complete a site challenge, you will receive this new Challenge Complete award at the end of the year. This is not just for fic written for the 2020 Challenge Month, but any fic begun and completed for a previous site challenge. This award will also be backdated for fic previously completed for the different site events. Surprise! Expect to find these backdated awards on your profiles soon. 

That about covers it. Please let us know if there's any additional questions. Get ready for some amazing new stories!



--The Mods on March 30, 2020 02:08am 11 Comments
Welcome Back to the EF Admin Team, Holly!

With the farewell of our dearly beloved Susan, the rest of us—Amy, Megan, Kathleen, and I—put our heads together and discussed the best way to move forward. With as active and large a community/archive as Elysian Fields is, we agreed that we need to maintain the presence of a mod who is willing and able to focus on the backend maintenance and development aspects of the site. 

As many of you may have noticed, one of Elysian Fields' founders, Holly, recently became active again in the community. She has very graciously agreed to re-join the admin team, and is committed to learning the backend functions of the site. This is a huge task for anyone to take on, and there will be a learning curve as Holly gets brought up to speed with Susan's assistance, but we have every confidence that EF will be in good hands with her. We feel incredibly lucky and are so grateful to have her on the team again, as Holly's long history with EF, and the consequent insight/experience she brings to the admin role, is invaluable.

I could go on and on, but the best introductions come from the people themselves, so, without further ado, here are a few words that Holly wished to share:

I joined Spuffy fandom in 2002 and wrote all the Spuffy things until 2010, or in the thereabouts, when I started publishing romance novels under Rosalie Stanton. Because of my time in fandom, I was able to land a job at a real-life publishing company, Samhain, where I coordinated authors, offered contracts, and edited books for 4 years. I still edit books, but I'm my own boss and Samhain's a thing of the past. My other job is in marketing, but that's boring so we won't talk about it.

Insofar as EF goes, it's my home. I was a part of the team that created it and I am so proud of how it's thrived over these last few years. I am super excited to work with Amy, Megan, and Kathleen again (my original squad) and Katie, whom I've come to love oodles and oodles. Also very thankful to Susan for the insane amount of work she invested into the site and her patience with me, as I'm sure I'll be asking her all the questions. I can't say I'm not intimidated by the precedent she set, because wow with the intimidation. I am so grateful to her and the mod team for the hard work they put into making this site what it is. I said the other day that I have always considered Elysian Fields my baby, even if it did its growing up while I was all absentee and it was under the guidance of far more talented people. Even when I wasn't in fandom actively, if someone mentioned Spuffy (or EF, which DID happen!) I'd get all giddy and word-vomit my association with the site. So being back in this role means a lot and I am determined to do right by the site and the legacy with which Susan has entrusted me.

Please join us in officially welcoming back Holly as a mod!



--OffYourBird on March 11, 2020 10:43am 16 Comments
Hanging Up My Mod Hat

I wanted to say farewell because I’m leaving my post as an EF mod. However, I realize that many of you are now wondering, “Um, who are you, and what did you even do at Elysian Fields?” I stay relatively behind the scenes, so they’re both valid questions.

Megan, Kathleen, and Amy brought me into the admin crew back in 2013 after a site crash that caused EF to go offline. I helped them get everything back in working order, and things blossomed from there. I don’t like to brag (who am I kidding, I love to brag), but in the years since:

I updated the site software, and gave the site a bit of a facelift by refreshing the site’s original skins, and creating multiple new ones.

I modified the site a number of ways, including things like giving stories on bookshelves the ability to remember the last chapter that was read, adding many new options for members to sort/search for stories, giving members the ability to save challenges and second others’ challenges, giving authors and readers the chance to communicate back and forth multiple times on story comments, displaying the number of likes that a story received, and giving members the ability to edit and search shouts.

I coded many features from scratch, such as the private messaging system, beta reader and banner artist listings, the member of the month system, the suggestion box, the awards sections in profiles, and the daily digest emails.

I worked to make the site more than just a general archive by adding Buffy-centric touches like the “lurking standing about” member count on the home page, and little Easter eggs hidden throughout the archive.

There are countless other little things I’ve done that no one will ever know about because they’re just odds and ends that help the site run more smoothly.

I’ve been the loudest voice on EF’s social media, so if you’ve seen a relevant (or not so relevant) gif announcing a site event, a silly post featuring a bad photoshop of Spike in an ugly Christmas sweater, or the scooby gang wearing goofy New Year’s Eve hats, that was probably me amusing myself.

Phew! When I write it all out like that, it feels like a lot. Even so, I think maybe the best way to show you how I’ve changed the site is to let you see what Elysian Fields looked like when I found it. If you’re curious, go here: http://dark-solace.org/oldEF and when a log in pop-up appears, enter username OldEF and password 2013Elysian (the site is password protected to keep search engines from finding it, but I’ve kept it as a time capsule all these years).

Anyway, now that I’ve rambled long enough, I want to thank my fellow mods, Kathleen, Megan, Amy, and Katie for their trust in me, and for the camaraderie we have, and will continue have even though I can now rejoice in my lack of responsibility. I leave you all in their capable hands. In addition, I’ll stay on call as an admin emeritus to help get EF’s new tech mod up to speed (more to come on that soon). I want to thank every member who’s ever provided a great site suggestion that sparked my imagination to create something new for the site, every member who’s ever stopped to say thank you when I’ve provided technical assistance, and every member who changed from a fandom friend to a real life one. I’ve put so much time, effort, and thought into this site for so many years, but I’m ready to let go. Thank you for letting me be part of your lives.



--Susan on March 04, 2020 07:37pm 46 Comments
2020 April Challenge Month

Last year we held our inaugural April Challenge Month, and it was one of the most successful challenges we've ever hosted. Well, I'm here to let you know that we're doing it again! Site wide events are something that we do well here at Elysian Fields (you can find all of the past events HERE). We always look forward to seeing what the talented members of our site come up with. You guys rock! 

With the huge success of last year's challenge we've decided to make it an annual thing, so consider this post your official invitation to participate in the 2nd Annual April Challenge Month. The best part is, you guys have already done part of the work by issuing so many dynamic and creative challenges. Our site has a veritable treasure trove of inspiration in the form of member-written fic ideas, and they are just dying to be responded to.

Buffy didn’t get a choice in her calling, but your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to scan the Challenges page(s) of the archive and find something that sparks the muse to action. Any fledgelings to EF, the Challenges page can be found HERE. Word count doesn't matter--one-shots or epic-length, the responses for the challenge are not genre-specific, or tied to a given theme. So long as the fic meets the requirements as set by the original poster, you're golden.  

No sign-up necessary, just hold off on posting your new Challenge inspired creation(s) until the clock strikes midnight (EF site time) on April 1st. Any fic posted within the month that is a direct response to a Challenge from the list on the archive will be considered part of the April Challenge month, and will be marked with an icon to differentiate it and make it easily identifiable, as with the past site events. And as with previous events, participating members (authors, commenters, and betas) will receive an award on their profile page. Also, the fic does not need to be completed within the month of April. 

Any questions? Comment on this news post. We look forward to seeing your responses! 

write read



--Amy on February 13, 2020 05:17am 11 Comments
Goodbye 2019!

As we close out 2019 and head into 2020, it's time to look back at all the wonderful things that happened at Elysian Fields this past year. We held 2 site events, Challenge Month in April and the Big Bads Challenge in October. Combined, the events resulted in 74 brand new stories! 2019 also brought Elysian Fields our 20,000th registered member. The fact that we're still so active after over 13 years online, and almost 23 years after Buffy the Vampire Slayer first premiered continues to amaze us.

We celebrated the holidays with our lovely seasonal skin, but January means it's time to put the decorations away until next December. If you had the holiday skin as your site default, it will be changed to the standard site default, the time in between. However, if you'd prefer another skin for your default, you just need to set it on your preferences page.

We thought it would be nice to start the new decade with some new awards, and thanks to OffYourBird we have some amazing artwork to gift our most prolific members. We're thinking that competition will be fierce to get on the most prolific lists in 2020 since everyone will want these stunning creations displayed their profile pages:

We're so grateful to everyone who makes Elysian Fields such a special corner of the internet. Thank you to the authors, the commenters, the readers, the lurkers, and everyone in between. Here's to a fabulous 2019, and an even better 2020!cheers

2019 by the numbers:
Total number of words added: 7,334,890
Total number of stories added: 262
Total number of chapters added: 1,985
Number of new members: 1,386
Number of active members: 5,936
Number of likes left: 68,671
Number of comments written: 40,079
Number of words written in comments: 1,991,060

Ten Most Prolific Authors of 2019:
1. sweetprincipale (547,864 words)
2. Axell (410,678 words)
3. Twinkles (389,594 words)
4. Cryptwarmer (357,272 words)
5. Holly (302,949 words)
6. Soulburnt (279,268 words)
7. Touchstoneaf (252,591 words)
8. Iamblichus (234,248 words)
9. All4Spike (225,545 words)
10. bewildered (215,506 words)  

Ten Most Prolific Commenters of 2019:
1. pfeifferpack (290,886 words)
2. magnus374 (180,792 words)
3. Chosenname (119,245 words)
4. OffYourBird (75,692 words)
5. All4Spike (53,790 words)
6. The Danish Bird (48,667 words)
7. Touchstoneaf (47,906 words)
8. MaggieLaFey (47,233 words)
9. thenewbuzwuzz (45,216 words)
10. Joyce (40,434 words)



--Susan on January 03, 2020 11:54am 5 Comments
Big Bads Challenge Wrap-up

Hi everyone,

Spike called, and he wants his Big Bad status back... talk about possessive. And so, like the Sunnydale Hellmouth itself, the Elysian Fields Big Bads Challenge is officially closed. 

Myself and the rest of the mods would like to thank and congratulate all who contributed in some way, making it yet another successful site event. Without the authors, artists, betas, commenters and lurkers, our site wouldn't be the place of awesomeness we know it to be. So thank you. 

read The Big Bads Challenge has delivered unto the site 30 brand new fic! If you haven't had a chance to check them out yet, and I highly recommend you do, you can FIND THEM ALL HERE

Big Bads Challenge stats:
(For challenge fic only, and accurate at the time of this news item being posted)

  • New fic – 30
  • Chapters added – 110
  • Words added – 370,812
  • Banners created – 28
  • Comments received – 1,653
  • Likes received – 2403

If you participated in the challenge as an author, commenter, artist, or beta, check out the awards section on your member profiles – you should see some graphics waiting for you. If we missed you by mistake, please shoot a PM to one of the mods. Thank you again to everyone who participated in in the Big Bads Challenge, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

And as always, happy reading!

hug



--Amy on November 08, 2019 07:28pm 3 Comments
Big Bads Challenge

Hello everyone,

Time is ticking down on October, which sadly means wrapping up the Big Bads Challenge. To allow last minute entries by struggling authors, we're extending the challenge deadline until the 7th of November. Until 11:59pm (site time) the little check box that allows you to contribute to the challenge will still be visible for new fic. Remember, you only have to post the first chapter of your fic within this timeframe for it to be included in the challenge.

Anyone looking to read the wonderful fic submitted already - you can find them ALL HERE.

Also, thanks to member requests, the new site skin we debuted for the challenge will be sticking around. The mods wish our authors co-operative muses on this All Hallow's Eve, and happy reading to any readers and lurkers about.

screenpunch  read



--Amy on October 31, 2019 05:31am 0 Comments
The Big Bads are Coming!

Can you sense the danger in the air? That's just your slayer sense letting you know that a whole lot of big bads are on the way! That's right, we're almost to October, and Big Bads challenge month. We've never been more excited to know that villains are just around the corner. We're even marking the event with a spooky event skin, which will be our featured skin through the entire month. If you want to make it your default skin for the month, make sure to change it in your preferences page.

In order to make sure everyone understands all that's going on, we'll try to cover everything here. If there's something you're not sure about, please let us know in the comments. There's a lot of information in this post, but please read the whole thing to be sure you know what's happening in October.

How and when do I post my story so that it's part of the event?
Starting at midnight on October 1 (site time, which is Eastern US time-it's listed under the shoutbox), you'll see a new checkbox on the page where you add a new story:

 

As soon as you see that box, you're free to post. If you're adding a new story that is part of the challenge, check the box and you're good to go.

Your fic does not need to be complete prior to posting. In fact, it doesn't even need to be completed during October. You have the whole month, during which you only need to BEGIN posting the story.

If you requested and received a banner, please make sure to credit the artist in your story notes section. If you're not sure how to add a banner, please see this section in the FAQ.

If you have a beta that you worked with as part of your challenge story, you must credit them in your story notes in order for them to be counted as having participated in the event. If they aren't listed in your story notes, we have no way of identifying that they were part of the event.

How do I find the stories that are being added to the challenge?
It's easy to spot the danger lurking in our Big Bads challenge stories because they'll be marked with a skull and crossbones icon like the one here:

 

Also, don't forget that we have a site events browse page where you can view all the stories from previous site events, as well as the ones from this event.

Will you be featuring regular stories while the challenge is going on?
There won't be any mod-chosen featured stories in October. In the area where we usually have featured stories, we're going to begin the month by highlighting stories written in past years in honor of our 13th anniversary (the reason we hold events in October). Starting on the 1st, each day will highlight one year (1st-2006, 2nd-2007, and so on...), and will contain a random assortment of stories published in that particular year. Starting on the 14th, that section will change to feature a random assortment of fics that are part of this event.

Is there a comment aspect to this event as well?
Of course there is! If you write at least 13 comments in October that contain at least 13 words, you'll meet the requirements of the commenter challenge! You'll see a link to the comment challenge leaderboard on the homepage under the Members of the Month where the all star commenter list is usually located.

Besides an amazing sense of pride, do we get anything for participating in the event?
Of course you do! We have some amazing awards that will be given out after the end of October. Our amazing angelic_amy created the following awards for participating authors, artists, commenters, and betas:

 

That about covers it. Please let us know if there's any additional questions. Get ready for some amazing new stories!



--The Mods on September 27, 2019 05:10pm 9 Comments
Big Bads Challenge - artist signups

Hey everyone,

The first lot of requests for art for the Big Bads Challenge have come in and you can find the banner requests HERE. Artists, make sure you read over the info if you’re thinking of claiming one of the art requests. 

Susan, our resident tech guru extraordinaire, has the art request claim page set up to automatically switch to request claiming OPEN at midnight SITE TIME on the 12th of September. Early claims will not be accepted.

To claim a fic request, artists will need to email me with the following information:

     Artist penname/user ID:
     Permission to share your email with the author(s) you sign up for:
 
     Banner request: List your banner request(s) by fic title and author penname name, in order of preference.
     Number of banners you are willing to create: (max 2)

Each fic will ONLY be allocated to one artist, and it will be in a first come, first serve basis. Artists may sign up to create multiple banners, however we will cap the number to two banners to begin with, to encourage involvement from a lot of people. If we require a secondary sign up, that will happen later on. 

Finally, to the participating authors. Even though the request claiming goes live on the 12th of September, you can still sign up to request art after that date. We will be imposing a cut off (most likely mid October—but this is to be confirmed), to ensure that artists have enough time to complete the requests before the end of challenge month. If you haven't signed up for the challenge but were thinking about doing so, it's not to late to jump on board. 

That's about it. Any questions? Comment here.

And when the time comes... happy claiming!



--Amy on September 06, 2019 09:33pm 6 Comments
Author of the Month and Email Snafus

Just a quick post about a couple of technical issues/general glitches that we wanted to make everyone aware of.

1. Toften was named author of the month for Spetember, an honor she definitely deserved due to her amazing writing. However, we realized after the fact that Toften had already had the author of the month title. We failed to realize this earlier due to a series of unfortunate events. Once we realized our error, we puzzled over what to do. While we felt that Toften earned it, the rules state that members can only earn the title once. At this point, we're not ready to open things up to repeat winners since there are so many other deserving authors who haven't had the title. We spoke with Toften, who was gracious and understanding when she learned of our mistake. We decided to just go without an author of the month for the remainder of September because we didn't want to choose a different author who might feel like a second choice, or that they have an asterisk next to their author of the month listing. We apologize to Toften for getting her involved in this mess, and to all our members for the confusion this may have caused. We will strive to prevent it from happening again.

2. We're continuing to have issues with AOL/Yahoo email accounts delivering our emails. We've researched, explored, and experimented with ways to stop these providers from blocking us, but so far we've had no luck. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the things they block from us. Sometimes messages are delivered as normal, sometimes they go to the junk folder, sometimes they don't appear at all. At this point, AOL/Yahoo isn't a reliable way to get notices from EF. We'll continue to try and get them to trust our emails, but if your EF email address is AOL/Yahoo, we recommend that you go to your Edit Bio/Personal Information page and change your email to another provider. Gmail and Outlook/Hotmail don't appear to be having issues delivering our messages, so they are good alternatives.



--The Mods on September 05, 2019 09:53am 3 Comments
Big Bads Challenge - banner requests

Hello everyone,

We've had a positive start to the Big Bads Challenge so far, judging by the number of author sign ups. I'm looking forward to reading what everyone comes up with--it's always a good thing to have new fic to read. 

Authors, if inspiration has already struck and you're looking to for some art to accompany your words for when you post the story in October, then here is the info you need to know regarding banner requests.

All you need to do is shoot me an email (address available at the bottom of this post) with a combination of the following information. The first three dot points are required, the rest are optional. So, if you are looking for something specific, give me as much information as you think the artist will need. Alternatively, if you are open to the artist experimenting, then just give me the required info.

Required information

  • Fic title:
  • Author penname:
  • Story blurb (or a short summary if you're not at that point):

Optional extra requests

  • Season/episode (so the artist knows the kinds of images to look for):
  • Feature characters:
  • Big Bad: 
  • Colour theme:
  • Mood/Style (dramatic, simple, lighthearted, happy, etc):
  • Other (Special requests for objects, specific images, etc):

A master list of the banner requests will be created by our tech guru Susan for these requests to be listed on for artists to browse, and I'll announce when that goes live.

That is literally it. Authors, you can email me your requests at angelic.amy.fic@gmail.com

Happy writing!



--Amy on August 28, 2019 06:02am 9 Comments
Big Bads Challenge

Current author sign up count: 31

__________________________________________

Hi everyone, 


In a little over two months from now Elysian Fields turns 13 years old. 13 years, wow—it’s almost hard to believe our little archive is reaching teen status. And what teen doesn’t deserve a celebration upon reaching such a milestone? To celebrate the upcoming 13th anniversary of the archive, well, that of course means it’s time for the next site challenge. Welcome to your intro post for the Big Bads Challenge.

One of the best things about the series was the depth and breadth of characters, and so many of them were either underutilised or underappreciated. Not to mention, who doesn’t love a good villain? And fanfic is just the vehicle to give these characters the ‘air time’ they so deserve.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to select a ‘Big Bad’ from the series and write a new fic with them as a key player. Your Big Bad could be one of the regulars that had series-long arcs, or an episodic bit-player that you’d like to see get some more attention. Any named antagonist from the series, no matter their impact on the episode, season or series arc, is eligible to qualify for Big Bad status with this challenge.

You like to write known Big Bads? Great! We'd love to read more of them. Personally, as a fan of Mayor Wilkins III, I strongly believe there is no such thing as too many fic with him involved. But he or other series regulars might not float your boat. Perhaps taking a bit-player and turning them into a more epic-level villain is more your speed. Gorch brothers anyone? Mr Trick? Sunday? The Cher-loving psychopath that was Buffy's short-lived college roommate? I could go on. Whichever path you choose to take, we'd love to see what you come up with. 

Authors:
This new item serves as your sign-up post. By signing up to the challenge, you are agreeing to comply with the rules and regulations, and to write a fic with the following specifics:

  • Length: Minimum of 1,500 word count, maximum is completely up to you.
  • Characters: Buffy, Spike, a ‘Big Bad’ and any other BtVS or AtS characters you see fit.
  • Content Specifications: The fic MUST address the theme of Big Bads. How you decide to incorporate this theme into a fic is entirely up to you, the writer. All big bads figures, canon or OC, are welcome. 
  • Timeline: The fic can be set any time during the BtVS timeline, post series, or pre-series.
  • Dates: No posting of the fic onto the archive (or anywhere else) until the 1st of October. As soon as you receive a confirmation email from me regarding your sign-up, consider the writing process time open.
  • The challenge is for new fic only, not to be attached to an existing story.
  • The fic DOES NOT need to be complete prior to posting, nor does it need to finished during the month of October. We’d just like them to be started during that time.
  • Authors are not limited to writing one story. So if you have more than one idea...great!
  • When you post your fic, please ensure you credit the artist who made the banner in your fic summary. 
  • If you have a banner artist or beta that you worked with as part of your event challenge response, you must credit them in your story notes in order for them to be counted as having participated in the event. If they aren't listed in your story notes, we have no way of identifying that they were part of the event. 
  • Please note: authors must sign up for the challenge prior to submitting a request for a banner. A further news post with details for banner requests will be posted to the site in the coming days. 

Artists:
We want all of our uber-talented banner artists to be included in the challenge as well. Artists, we’ll be connecting you with authors via a banner request list. Prior to the posting of fic on the 1st of October, authors can sign up to request a banner be made for their fic. Participating authors will email me a completed form, with their request for a banner to accompany their fic. The request may include things such as: Fic Title, Author Penname, the season the fic is set in, specific character image requests (including the big bad), colour theme…etc.

This information will be added to a master list. Artists may browse the page, and choose to sign up to fulfill a particular request. Each fic will ONLY be allocated to one artist, and it will be in a first come, first served basis. Artists may sign up to create multiple banners; however, we will cap the number to three banners to begin with, to encourage involvement from a lot of people. Secondary sign ups will also occur at some point. More details regarding the sign-up process for artists will come at a later date.

KEY DATES for the Challenge:

  • Writing sign ups: from the 24th of August through to the 31st of October.
  • Writing time: from email confirmation of sign-up until the challenge concludes.
  • Author submissions of banner requests: from the 26th of August through to the 15th of September.
  • Artist sign ups: 12th of September.
  • Artists to provide banners to authors: by the 30th of September (unless otherwise negotiated with the author).
  • Posting of fics to begin: from the 1st of October.
  • NOTE: fics DO NOT need to be completed by the end of October, but the first part/chapter must be started prior to the end of the month to be included in the Challenge. 


Authors, if you decide to sign up, we are asking you to send Amy an email at angelic.amy.fic@gmail.com with the following information:

          Author penname:
          I intend to participate in the Big Bads Challenge.

And that’s it for now. If you have any questions about the challenge, please don’t hesitate to ask - you can shoot Amy an email at the address above, email the main account at elysianfields@dark-solace.org, or comment on this post. 

Yours in Spuffy,
The Mods.



--Amy on August 24, 2019 12:45am 27 Comments
2019 April Challenge Month

Hello everyone,

The moderators of Elysian Fields would like to thank and congratulate everyone who participated in the 2019 Challenge Month. Authors, artists, betas, commenters, and lurkers – you all play an important role in making our archive the successful and wonderful place it is.

The 2019 Challenge Month has brought us 44 brand new fic. Yes, you read that number correctly, 44 brand new fic. That's huge! For anyone who has yet to read the wonderful contributions created by the talented authors on our site, you can FIND THEM ALL HERE. You’re welcome. wink

April Challenge Month stats:
(For challenge fic only, and accurate at the time of this news item being posted)

  • New fic – 44
  • Chapters added – 110
  • Words added – 302,780
  • Banners created – 22
  • Comments received – 2,048
  • Likes received – 2,994


To the artists of our community, thank you for gracing our site with your pretties.

To the betas, thank you for your help and comments to the authors you work with.

To the commenters, who leave the authors feedback—thank you for showing your appreciation.

And the to the participating authors, thank you for giving us all a list of future reading material. I can’t wait to dive into the fic I’ve yet to read.

If you participated during challenge month as an author, commenter, artist, or beta, check out the awards section on your member profiles – you should see some graphics waiting for you. If we missed you by mistake, please shoot a PM to one of the mods. For anyone who has been using the April skin (it's also been the site default over the last month) it is being retired, but only until next year when we hope to do this all over again.

Site events are awesome, and the challenges page has lots of ideas to spark inspiration. Just because this event has concluded, doesn’t mean the fic have to. Don't know if you've seen it yet, but I’m intrigued by a new challenge set by DarkVoid116 called 20,000 Members (click on the bolded text to see it), which was inspired by the membership milestone the archive reached this week.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in Challenge Month, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

And as always, happy reading!

read



--Amy on May 02, 2019 05:19am 11 Comments
Get Ready for Challenge Month!

We know it's been a challenge having to wait for our April site event. However, we're only a few days away! We can't help but show our excitement for challenge month. No, really, you can see it with our brand new event skin, which will be our featured skin through the entire month. If you want to make it your default skin for the month, make sure to change it in your preferences page.

In order to make sure everyone understands all that's going on, we'll try to cover everything here. If there's something you're not sure about, please let us know in the comments. There's a lot of information in this post, but please read the whole thing to be sure you know what's happening in April.

How and when do I post my story so that it's part of the event?
After midnight on April 1 (site time, which is Eastern US time-it's listed under the shoutbox), post your story as you normally would. Once you've added your story, find the challenge you're responding to on the challenges page or in your saved challenges list (if you've already saved it to your personal list) in your Account Info page. At the bottom of the challenge, you'll see a Respond to the challenge! link. Click the link, put a check in the box next to the story which is the challenge response and click submit.

Your fic does not need to be complete prior to posting. In fact, it doesn't even need to be completed during April. You have the whole month, during which you only need to BEGIN posting the story.

If you have a banner artist or beta that you worked with as part of your event challenge response, you must credit them in your story notes in order for them to be counted as having participated in the event. If they aren't listed in your story notes, we have no way of identifying that they were part of the event.

How do I find the stories that are being added to the challenge?
Stories that are part of the event will be easy to spot because they'll have a little umbrella icon (That class protector umbrella comes in handy to avoid April showers):

Also, don't forget that we have a site events browse page where you can view all the stories from previous site events, as well as the ones from this event .

Will you be featuring regular stories while the challenge is going on?
There won't be any mod-chosen featured stories in April. For the first half of the month, the usual feature spot will showcase responses to challenges posted at Elysian Fields, no matter when they were published. Starting on the 15th, the featured area will display stories that were created specifically for this event.

Is there a comment aspect to this event as well?
Of course there is! If you write at least 20 comments in April that contain at least 5 words, you'll meet the requirements of the commenter challenge! You'll see a link to the comment challenge leaderboard on the homepage under the Members of the Month where the all star commenter list is usually located.

Besides an amazing sense of pride, do we get anything for participating in the event?
Of course you do! We have some amazing awards that will be given out after the end of April. Our amazing angelic_amy created the following awards for participating authors, artists, commenters, and betas (this is our first event with beta awards, and we're so glad to have them since betas need love too!):

That about covers it. Please let us know if there's any additional questions. Get ready for some amazing new stories!



--The Mods on March 28, 2019 06:14pm 14 Comments
April Challenge Month

So, for those of you who have been members (or lurkers) here at Elysian Fields for a while, you’d know it’s not exactly a secret that we love Challenges. heartsAnd for anyone who was unaware, all you have to do is check out our Site Events page.

We went ‘live’ as an archive in October of 2006, and it’s become somewhat of a tradition over the last few years to celebrate that fact with a site wide event. And the response has always been phenomenal, from authors, artists and readers.

We look forward to these Challenges, and seeing and reading what our wonderful talented members come up each year is awesome. So awesome in fact, it made us mods ask the question, “Why can’t we do this more than once a year?”

Well, there isn’t a reason to not host a site challenge more than once a year. And as it happens, you lovelies--our members--have already planned it for us. Our site has a veritable treasure trove of inspiration in the form of member-written fic challenges, and they are just dying to be responded to.

And so the April Challenge Month was created.

Buffy didn’t get a choice in her calling, but your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to scan the Challenges page(s) of the archive and find something that sparks the muse to action. Any fledgelings to EF, the Challenges page can be found HERE. Word count doesn't matter--one-shots or epic-length, the responses for the challenge are not genre-specific, or tied to a given theme. So long as the fic meets the requirements as set by the original poster, you're golden.  

No sign-up necessary, just hold off on posting your new Challenge inspired creation(s) until the clock strikes midnight (EF site time) on April 1st. Any fic posted within the month that is a direct response to a Challenge from the list on the archive will be considered part of the April Challenge month, and will be marked with an icon to differentiate it and make it easily identifiable, as with the past site events. And as with previous events, participating members will receive an award on their profile page. Also, the fic do not need to be completed within the month of April. 

Any questions? Comment on this news post. We look forward to seeing your responses! 

write read

 



--Amy on February 21, 2019 02:28am 13 Comments
Goodbye 2018. Hello 2019!

It was another amazing year in our corner of the Spuffy world. We celebrated our 12th birthday with the 12 Years 12 Seasons Challenge, which produced 31 wonderful new stories, we were lucky enough to have OffYourBird join our admin team, we passed the 5,000 story mark, and we continued to work both behind and in front of the curtain to make sure that Elysian Fields remains a welcoming, user-friendly place to be.

With no sign of slowing down, we're excited for 2019, which will include some site events that you won't want to miss. Also, we're set to register our 20,000th member sometime this year, which is no small feat. We promise to continue to do all we can to make sure that Elysian Fields feels like home.

Three cheers for everyone who made 2018 special at Elysian Fields, and who are carrying that energy into 2019! Here's to the authors, the artists, the commenters, the readers, and even the lurkers (no time like 2019 to come out of the shadows) cheers.

2018 by the numbers:
Total number of words added: 7,495,574
Total number of stories added: 323
Total number of chapters added: 2,277
Number of new members: 1,689
Number of members who logged in: 5,966
Number of likes left: 72,747
Number of comments written: 42,250
Number of words written in comments: 2,298,018

Ten Most Prolific Authors of 2018:
1. Soulburnt (1,468,620 words)
2. Passion4Spike (531,974 words)
3. Axell (340,340 words)
4. All4Spike (292,579 words)
5. sandy_s (240,811 words)
6. -Carrie-Ann- (227,316 words)
7. Toften (191,273 words)
8. holetoledo (170,185 words)
9. OffYourBird (168,215 words)
10. Sigyn (141,677 words)

Ten Most Prolific Commenters of 2018:
1. pfeifferpack (445,950 words)
2. magnus374 (220,103 words)
3. Badwolfjedi (214,037 words)
4. OffYourBird (79,671 words)
5. All4Spike (66,786 words)
6. thenewbuzwuzz (58,165 words)
7. acekoomboom (57,013 words)
8. SpindleKitten (56,547 words)
9. jeweledichneumon (56,095 words)
10. Chosenname (53,094 words)



--Susan on January 01, 2019 02:33pm 9 Comments
Shoutbox Guidelines

We've had a few questions lately regarding the shoutbox, and what is and isn't allowed. We've never had any official rules for the shoutbox, but just wanted to clarify some guidelines to avoid any confusion in the future. Chances are, you're already following the guidelines without even knowing about it, but please read them over just to familiarize yourself. They're listed here as an introduction, but there also posted in the FAQ, and there's a handy link under the shoutbox. Please let us know if you have any questions.

--

The shoutbox is a place for members to say hi, rave about a story they're currently loving, ask if other members can remember the title of a story that may have been forgotten, complain about a bad case of writer's block, etc. To keep things running smoothly, and to make sure that all writers and readers feel welcome, we ask that you to follow these guidelines:

  • As with all interaction on the site, we ask you to be polite and speak to others the way you'd like to be spoken to. If you have an issue with a story, an author, or another member of the fandom, the shoutbox isn't a place to air grievances. Please remember that all terms of service apply in the shoutbox.
  • Please do not make site suggestions or ask questions about technical issues in the shoutbox and expect that an admin will take notice or respond to them. We do our best to keep up with the shoutbox, but as volunteers that’s not always possible. Site suggestions should be placed in the suggestion box, and technical issues should be detailed in a message to our site email.
  • We’re happy to help promote Spuffy/BtVS goings on around the web, but the main focus of the shoutbox should be Elysian Fields related discussions and events, not advertisements for other sites. If you have a Spuffy related event to promote, please restrict posts about the specific event to once per week, with updates about new material created for that event restricted to once per day. 
  • Shouts are limited to 300 characters, which can make nuanced or in-depth conversations difficult. If you're finding you have a lot to say about any particular subject, you can post in our closed Facebook group or our LiveJournal page
  • Shouts by members of Elysian Fields do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Elysian Fields administrators. If you have an issue with something posted in the shoutbox, please report it to an admin
  • We reserve the right to delete any shouts that violate the guidelines listed above.


--The Mods on December 23, 2018 12:32pm 30 Comments
12 Years 12 Seasons Challenge

Hello everyone! 

A huge congratulations to everyone who participated in the challenge this year! Thanks to the involvement of the authors, artists, readers and reviewers we've had yet another very successful event celebrating Elysian Fields' birthday. I can't believe it's been 12 years since we opened. The challenge has seen 31 brand new stories written and shared with our wonderful community.

You can FIND ALL CHALLENGE FICS HERE - if you haven't read any yet I highly recommend you check them out.

To the artists of our community who created banners for the challenge, all art left unclaimed by participating authors returns to your ownership. If you wish your banner to remain up for grabs by potential authors you can always add your banner along with the corresponding prompt up on the site challenges page here by selecting 'Issue a Challenge' and filling in the details.

Finally, if you participated in the challenge as an author, reviewer, or artist, check out the awards section on your member profile - you should see some pretties there waiting for you. 

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the 12 Years 12 Seasons Challenge.

Happy reading!



--Amy on November 02, 2018 05:40pm 3 Comments
Sharing EF Fanworks for Personal Use

Recently, our community has engaged in some great discussion regarding the sharing of fanworks for personal use. We understand that there has been some uncertainty and concern due to lack of available information regarding what is appropriate or not.

What qualifies as personal use? Elysian Fields defines personal use as the possession and/or individual sharing of a fanwork for the sole purpose of reading and enjoyment. Publishing-related actions, such as posting an author’s work to another site without permission, are not considered personal use.

Historically, Elysian Fields has not made statements regarding personal use because we feel that once fanworks are posted on the web, they are de facto available for public distribution and it is neither our right nor desire to police this process. However, we also wish to acknowledge that is important to be mindful of an author’s wishes regarding their published fanworks.

To that end, we are making EF author non-distribution wishes more accessible to the community as a whole by:

1) Creating a publicly accessible, author-updated non-distribution request list (found here)

2) Adding the following language to our Terms of Service:

Fanworks posted on Elysian Fields are available for personal download and personal reading distribution. You can find a self-identified list of authors who wish their works to not be shared among members here. Members are never allowed to re-post author's works to other sites without expressed consent of the author.

3) Adding the following language to our FAQ page:

As an author, what if I don't want my stories distributed off-site?

It is the author’s responsibility to manage wishes for non-distribution. If you would prefer that your stories not be shared among members, please note this in visible areas, such as in the "story notes"  sections of your fics and on your membership profile. Please also add your name to the “Request for No Distribution” list found here. Members are never allowed to re-post author's works to other sites without expressed consent of the author.

As a reader, how do I know if an author requests no sharing of their work(s)?

EF maintains an author-updated “Request for No Distribution” list for current and previous authors, found here. Authors who are still members of EF will also often post this information on their fics and membership profiles. Authors on this list request that members refrain from sharing their works with others. Members are never allowed to re-post author's works to other sites without expressed consent of the author. 

We have created these tools with the understanding that expressing requests for non-distribution is the sole responsibility of the author and that—while readers are expected to respect these wishes—this is not a policy that will be punitively enforced.

Thank you all for continuing to make the EF community a vibrant and considerate place.



--The Mods on October 23, 2018 08:09am 9 Comments
Get Ready for the 12 Years 12 Seasons Challenge!

Did anyone notice that we're only hours away from October and the 12 Years 12 Season Challenge? We're definitely not sitting here staring at the site time clock.

In order to make sure everyone understands all that's going on, we'll try to cover everything here. If there's something you're not sure about, please let us know in the comments. There's a lot of information here, but please read the whole post in order to learn about all the amazing things happening this month...

How and when do I post my story?
Starting at midnight on October 1 (site time, which is Eastern US time-it's listed under the shoutbox), you'll see a new checkbox on the page where you add a new story:

As soon as you see that box, you're free to post. If you're adding a new story that is part of the challenge, check the box and you're good to go.

Your fic does not need to be complete prior to posting. In fact, it doesn't even need to be completed during October. So any authors stressing about the timeline, please take a breath because you have the whole month, during which you only need to BEGIN posting the story.

If you requested and received a banner, please make sure to credit the artist in your story's summary section (see the screenshot below for proper wording). If you're not sure how to add a banner, please see this section in the FAQ.

How do I find the stories that are being added to the challenge?
Challenge stories will have a dozen roses icon next to the title:

Also, don't forget that we have a site events browse page where you can view all the stories from previous site events, as well as the ones from this challenge.

Will you be featuring regular stories while the challenge is going on?
There won't be any mod-chosen featured stories in October. In the area where we usually have featured stories, we're going to begin the month by highlighting stories written in past years. Starting on the 1st, each day will highlight one year (1st-2006, 2nd-2007, and so on...), and will contain a random assortment of stories published in that particular year. Starting on the 13th, that section will change to feature a random assortment of fics that are part of the 12 Years 12 Seasons Challenge.

I'm not an author or an artist, is there something I can do to participate?
Don't worry readers, we haven't forgotten about you. If you write at least 15 comments in October that contain at least 12 words (for the 12 seasons and our 12 years), you'll meet the requirements of the comment challenge! You'll see a link to the comment challenge leaderboard on the homepage under the Members of the Month where the all star commenter list is usually located. Authors and artists who participated/are participating in the Challenge  are welcome to participate in the comment challenge as well!

Besides an amazing sense of pride, do we get anything for participating in these challenges?
Of course you do! We have some amazing awards that will be given out after the end of October. Our amazing angelic_amy created the following awards for participating authors: , artists: , and commenters: .

That about covers it. Please let us know if there's any additional questions. Stay tuned and get ready for an amazing October!



--The Mods on September 30, 2018 06:48pm 5 Comments