Hello m8s, frog here,

Following a meeting of a dozen or so people in a pub basement, we’ve arrived at a sort of definition for What #SFSwap is, and what’ll happen to it in future. I’ve got a notebook full of all kinds of garbage, but these seem to be the main points. Have a read and see if it sounds good to you.


WHAT IS IT?

  • Fundamentally, #SFSwap is a thing for giving people who want to write stories a kick up the arse so they can get writing. It’s also a way for them to shit out their unused ideas and see what other people make of them. People submit story ideas, which are then shuffled and given back to the submitters to prompt stories. These stories then go up on a website for people to read, with short blurb introductions.
  • We’d like it to be simple, easy to use, and easy to administer. We’ll try to automate the process as much as possible, and spread the editorial element (eg reading, blurbing and uploading) between a pool of people so it’s not too big a job for anyone.
  • It will happen every month, starting on the first of the month. It will begin with 48 hours for writers to submit prompts of up to 100 characters. Writers will then have a week to produce 500-1,000 words based on the prompts they have been given. Uploads will occur over the rest of the month.
  • If you submit a prompt you have to write a story. Writers have to use the first prompt they receive. If you submit a prompt then don’t meet the deadline for submitting a story, you can’t play again til you submit a story.

WHOSE IS IT?

  • I don’t want my name in particular attached to the project, or any real credit for it. I’ll continue to play an active role in developing it and contributing to editorial, and I’ll make decisions when needed, but I don’t expect this to be seen as my ‘thing’ – it’s a group effort.
  • I will, however, retain the ceremonial title of RULES STALIN.
  • The development team are currently @alexheeton and @fionchadd, so it’s them we’ll be thanking for the website.
  • It will have multiple editors, who will deal with uploading submitted stories, and writing short intros for them. Do get in touch if you’d like to be in the pool.
  • It looks like uploaded stories will be crowd-tagged.

WHAT’S THE PLAN?

  • The first round will finish over the next week, with all stories (finally) uploaded and blurbed.
  • The second round, starting on December 1st, will have an updated website, a pool of editors, and a slightly smoother procedure. If you’re already on the list for the next one, you’ll stay on it. (also, if you were on the mailing list for round 1, you’ll automatically be entered but will have the chance to opt out).
  • By the third round, or perhaps the fourth or fifth, we will have a permanent new site design, which should represent #SFSwap in its final form. Basically, it will improve in increments.
  • #SFSwap will have its own twitter account, and it will have its own email address.
  • We’re not wishlisting features: they will be built in as we need them, and all site functionality will be based around doing a simple job as well as possible.

WHAT ABOUT IN THE LONG RUN?

  • Depending on how the submissions/editors ratio works out, we may eventually need to cap numbers of participants for each round, but we’ll see how we go.
  • We’d like to see the scheme expand to include fantasy writing, but we’re not certain how this will happen right now.
  • At some point I will abuse the scheme to make everyone involved write Battletoads fan fiction.
  • All intellectual property generated by #SFSwap – both prompts and stories – will be open access and we’re prepared to back this up with forms and stuff if we need to.
  • We’re not going to worry about money until we have to, and we shouldn’t have to. At the moment it is very cheap to run, and we can’t see that changing drastically.

THE DARK RULES

  • #SFSwap also has a library of Dark Rules, devised by Samuel “drink your camel milk” Pinney. These are to be stored on paper only, and will apply as and when Sam decides to inflict them*.

*there are not really secret rules.**

**or are they?


 

So, that’s about it. Does that sound good? Are there any major problems? Are we all sitting comfortably?