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. 

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. 

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 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

And with that I'll add to my WIPs BUT I already had notes on a story idea that fits perfectly so ...

Perfect choice for prompt.


-- pfeifferpack on August 25, 2020 09:26am

Aaaaaand this gives me permission to start on the other fic I'd been plotting. Super exciting. 

-- bookishy on August 25, 2020 09:54am

Oh, man, if I'd known this was coming I'd have held off on posting my current fic because I honestly did write it to fit the themes of being trapped. What beautiful bad timing on my part.

-- Cosmic Tuesdays on August 25, 2020 10:12am

Well you know I'm in! This challenge is like catnip for me!!! <3

-- bewildered on August 25, 2020 03:09pm

I am so in.

-- Holly on August 25, 2020 08:00pm

Coolness, good to know! I think I might make a banner again. :)

-- thenewbuzwuzz on August 26, 2020 03:52am

OOhhh Just what I was needing!! (Also my first ever challenge!!)

-- Freakypet on August 26, 2020 04:10am

I've now thought of an idea I can write that would fit this theme. I am signing up for this challenge.

-- Cosmic Tuesdays on August 26, 2020 10:56am

Definitely game for this one.  It fits perfectly into one I started an outline for a few months ago.  Motivation!!  woohoo!  

-- MissLuci on August 26, 2020 12:44pm

Trapped in a spaceship

Trapped in an umbrella city

Trapped by the expectations of others

Trapped on safari

Trapped in a lions' den

Trapped by your own mistakes (you made your bed, now lie in it)

Trapped by house chores.

Trapped in a grave

Trapped by the world ending

-- JustWriter on August 26, 2020 01:00pm

Trapped with a trap music soundtrack. Hells yes.

-- Girlytek on August 26, 2020 07:21pm

I'm so excited for this! The plot bunnies are multiplying.

-- SlayrGrl on August 26, 2020 09:54pm

I have a fic started that fits! Yay! If I find my own banner artist, do I have to sign up for a banner? Will they still get counted as participating? So excited for a new challenge! 

-- sandy_s on August 26, 2020 10:34pm

@sandy_s - If you have a specific artist already set who will be making your banner, you should not sign up for a banner, as there's no guarantee they would be the one who claims your story. Any artist will be counted as participating so long as they are credited in your story notes.

-- OffYourBird on August 26, 2020 10:49pm

Glad to see the interest in the challenge so far. All authors who've signed up at this point should have received their confirmation emails, can't wait to see what you guys come up with! 

-- angelic_amy on August 27, 2020 07:01am

I am in! Already have the first chapter going and it is like a plot bunny buffet in here!! Question, could we do two pieces? Like, what if I want to write one where they are physically trapped in a room and a second one where they are trapped in a naughty silk scarves in handcuffs kind of way, but that wouldn't fit in one piece? 

-- sweetprincipale on August 27, 2020 11:02am

@sweet: you can write as many themed fics as your heart desires! The more bunnies the merrier biggrin

-- OffYourBird on August 27, 2020 11:24am

Well, bloody hell. I wasn't planning on writing any more damn stories. I thought I had my stable of BtVS fics all finished. Dammit. I already have an idea. Hell; I already have one outlined.

You people will be the death of me, you and Spuffy...

-- Touchstoneaf on August 28, 2020 01:42pm

What a marvelous challenge for these times!  But you forgot to mention "trapped in a hotel room with only one bed"...


-- yellowb on August 29, 2020 09:16am

Ooh... I have a fic which fits... which I abandoned because it's a twisty thing... *holds breath and dives in* I may finish! 

-- Sigyn on August 29, 2020 09:29pm

May authors use a challenge as a springboard for the trapped theme?  I guess I'm really asking if the standard link for the challenge pages will be available for a story submitted for the trapped challenge.  I definitely want the challenge author to get props for inspiring me.  Thanks!

-- Soulburnt on September 01, 2020 01:53am

@Soulburnt: yes, absolutely. If you use a member's challenge for your fic, you'll want to connect it to your fic the standard way that you always do.

-- OffYourBird on September 01, 2020 03:30am

@angelic_amy I sent a sign-up email about five days ago, and I still haven't received a confirmation email in response. I totally understand if you've been busy, I just wanted to make sure you actually received it as lately some of my other emails haven't been sending properly. screenpunch 

-- Wonder and Ashes on September 04, 2020 04:12am

@angelic_amy - do we just email you the banner request? I think I'm a little confused since it says something about a form. 

-- Irishrose on September 04, 2020 03:43pm

@Wonder and Ashes - reply sent. No mix-up on your end, I found your email buried in my inbox. RL has been RL, but I thought I'd replied to all author sign ups. My apologies for the late response, but you should have your confirmation of sign up. 

-- angelic_amy on September 05, 2020 04:35am

@Irishrose - banner request info has gone live on a news post just now. :)


-- angelic_amy on September 05, 2020 04:36am

Would there be terrible and/or apocalyptic consequences if - hypothetically - I were to sign up but then can't muster the courage to post and chicken out? I'm still new here and didn't find anything about that in the rules/announcement. Sorry if it's a stupid question, just don't want to cause a lot of work for someone only to back out.

-- chaoz on September 05, 2020 12:53pm

Chaoz, I have no official wisdom on this, but may I offer a suggestion? Try posting something short before the challenge month. You'll be shocked at the incredible support you receive, even if it's your first attempt. This place is so nurturing. 

My two cents, 


-- sweetprincipale on September 06, 2020 03:31pm

This is such an awesome theme. I only wish I could use my current fic to participate. Oh well...I'll just have to write moredevil. I just signed up with an email.
I'm gonna break my own rule about having only one WIP at the time, but who cares. 

-- The Danish Bird on September 06, 2020 05:58pm

@chaoz: there is absolutely no penalty for signing up and not writing. That said, I promise you will, as Sweet mentioned, only find love and support if you choose to publish! October challenge time is when a lot of new writers have found their feet in years past :heart:

-- OffYourBird on September 06, 2020 06:50pm