paraka: A baby wearing headphones and holding a mic (Default)
[personal profile] paraka posting in [community profile] pod_together
Welcome to [community profile] pod_together! A challenge where writers and podficcers join together to create awesome projects - the writer writing something specifically to be podficced, and the podficcer recording it.

Please take a moment to check out the Rules/FAQs behind the cuts.

Basic Rules
While we encourage participants to read all the FAQs, here are the basic rules you need to know going in.

Minimum/Maximum: The minimum length is 1000 words or 10 minutes of audio. Groups will have to discuss a maximum length, since it will vary from person to person how much they can do in the allotted time.

Translations: We've been asked specifically about whether translations of fannish works are allowed in this challenge and the answer is yes. If all group members are happy with the idea and approval can be gained to translate the story, then it is allowed. All we ask is that the translator pay special attention to gear the translation to audio.

Check Ins: There are 3 mandatory check ins for those who signed up as individuals. Check ins help you make sure you’re on track to meeting your deadlines, give partnerships specific times to inform each other of progress, and also give you the chance to ask for help if you need it.

On the date in question one of the mods will make a post asking teams to check in. Comments will be screened so you can let us know privately if there’s anything wrong or if you’re on track.

Extensions: Each partner may request only one extension, and in their extension request, they need to lay out how many days they would like and what their realistic plan is for how they will finish what they need to do in that time.

Example requests are, "I'd like 5 days, and my plan is to check in each day with an update of my progress," or "I'd like 3 days, and my plan is that Friday is free so I'll do most of the writing then. If an emergency comes up, I'll be able to make up the time on Saturday and definitely finish then."

The mods will do our best to work with you to make sure that you have the time you need and that you have a workable plan to use that time. Failing to meet the date of the extension, however, will count as an automatic drop-out.

Final Product: While this challenge primarily produces stories, so long as your submission is a collaboration with an audio component and all group members are happy, the form your submission takes is up to you. This means that meta, filk, or non-narrative poetry, for example, are possible end products.

Posting: Both writers and podficcers will need an AO3 account. If you don't have one already, please let the mods know and we will send you an invite.

All podfics will be posted to AO3 with mp3 and streaming options.

We ask that everyone leave their projects up for at least 6 months.

Hosting: All downloads/streaming must be available directly from AO3 (no clicking through to a different site).

Traditionally all podfics were hosted on [personal profile] paraka's website so we could ensure active downloads/streams when we post, which is still an option. However podfics can now be hosted elsewhere if they meet the same criteria (right clicking to download, working streaming player on AO3).

For those hosting with [personal profile] paraka, if you ever want/need to have a file taken down, please email [personal profile] paraka at parakaproductions at gmail dot com.

Remember: This should be an equal collaboration, although ultimately, the writer gets the final say over the words of the work and the podficcer gets the final say over the performance of it.


Saturday May 30th individual sign ups open.
Saturday June 6th group sign ups open.
Sunday June 14th sign ups close.
Monday June 15th assignments go out to those who signed up individually.
June 15th-19th icebreaker week.
Sunday June 28th check in #1.
Sunday July 12th check in #2.
Sunday July 19th completed writing due.
Sunday August 2nd check in #3.
Wednesday August 12th early podfic submission date.
Sunday August 16th all podfics due.
Wednesday August 19th posting starts.
Friday August 28th posting ends, Party Favors due.
Saturday August 29th Party Favors posted.

Major changes from previous years of this challenge

Here are the major changes from previous years:
1) Having an m4b download is no longer mandatory, though still completely welcome.
2) This year you can state at signups whether you would like your podfic archived at the Audiofic Archive. (You're welcome to change your mind about this at any time and let us know via email.)
3) You can opt in to getting important announcements emailed to you so you don’t miss any comm announcements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between Individual sign ups and Group sign ups?

If you sign up as an individual, the mods will assign you to a group. If there are writers and podficcers that know they want to work with each other, they can sign up as a group rather than have a mod assign them to one. There will be separate sign up posts for each.

For individuals, when you sign up, we’ll ask you to list the fandoms you’d be interested in working in. Because this is a multifandom challenge, we encourage you to list as many fandoms as you’d be willing to work in.

Groups will be given the option of whether to opt into or out of check-ins. If you opt out, you are still welcome to check-in, but nobody will follow up if you skip a check-in. This means that mods may not become aware of emergency situations that involve one partner disappearing from the internet for a time, and so partners will need to make sure they check in frequently with each other!

I signed up as an individual, but now I have a group, what do I do?

First of all, make sure you sign up at the group post sign ups.

To cancel out your individual sign up, please leave a comment in response to your sign up comment stating that you’d like it withdrawn and a mod will screen it for you.

If you’re feeling adventurous you can leave your individual sign up as is and get a second group when assignments go out.

Will all groups have just one writer and one podficcer?

Not necessarily. Every year there are some participants interested in working with multi-podficcer (and sometimes multi-author) groups. In these cases, we check in with all involved parties before finalizing assignments, but sometimes these groups have led to really neat projects!

Which opens up all kinds of possibilities, like script format for multiple voices. If you’re at all interested in that kind of thing, we encourage you to leave a comment to that effect when you sign up.

You’re also welcome, once you’ve been matched up, to invite additional members into your group to contribute to the writing, podficcing, editing, etc, as long as all group members agree

If you’re signing up as a group you can have as many people in your group as you want. If you want to write and podfic your fic on your own, sign up as a "group" of 1. If you have multiple writers/podficcers that want to work together, go for it!

What about filk?

In the past we’ve had participants create filk and it is officially welcome as part of [community profile] pod_together, just specify in your sign up if you’re interested in creating filk for/as part of your project. Your mods aren't overly familiar with filk and how it works, so if you have any specific expectations or needs, or if you feel like some of the rules of the comm aren't accommodating enough for filk, please let us know so we can help you have a good experience.

What about artwork?

A lot of podfics are posted these days with covers, or music mixed in, which we encourage and think is awesome. However, due to the complexity of sign ups already, we won't be assigning artists to groups (this year, at least). You are welcome to create these things on your own, though, or if you know of an artist/mixer/etc. that you'd like to invite to join your group, the mods will fully support you in this.

I want to participate, but I've got a busy month ahead and I'm not sure I can commit or, What's a Party Favor?

If you find the time later (or if you finish your project early and want to do another) you can always create a Party Favor, which is a no-commitment pod_together style project that can be submitted and posted on the last day. Party Favors have no word minimum, no pressure or commitment, and are made completely outside the bounds of the challenge, until the day they show up in our inbox as a delightful surprise! The last day to submit party favors is the day before the end of the posting schedule, whenever that turns out to be.

What's the modding style like?

We are very hands-on mods. Part of the premise of this comm involves throwing strangers together and asking them to collaborate, which can be a hard thing! So the mods take extra care to ensure that everyone's doing ok and are happy. That's one of the reasons for the mandatory check ins. Mods will follow up with groups or individuals that don't respond at check-in, not because we don’t trust you but because we’ve seen everything from computer failures to emergency hospital stays come up in the past and we know better than to assume that silence means things are fine. We’ve also seen some hurt feelings or communication issues within partnerships that could have been easily fixed with mod mediation, so please don’t be shy about coming to us with whatever’s on your mind. Even between check-ins we’re always happy to hear from participants, whether that’s just a check-in that things are okay, a situation that needs brainstorming help, a potential problem... If participants have any worries or need any help, we highly encourage you to contact us (pod.together at gmail dot com).

Let us help you. If you can't get a hold of someone in your group, please let us know. If you need to drop out, we'd rather hear it from you, than try to scramble something together at the last minute. If you even think there might be a problem, keep us in the loop. We’ve dealt with over 100 partnerships at this point and have a lot of ideas and resources to help support you guys and make sure everyone has an enjoyable experience! But we can't help if we don't know there's a problem.

I’ve gotten my assignment, now what?/what is icebreaker week?

We strongly encourage writers and podficcers to start discussing their project right away. To help with that, there will be an icebreaker week where mods will be posting little activities to help group members get to know one another and get them started on their project. The activities in icebreaker week are not mandatory, however participants should use this time to determine what kind of project they'd like to make and how they plan to go about doing so. This is also the time to set expectations about what partners expect from each other and what they expect to get out of this project. The best way to make sure you get what you want from the experience is to communicate those wants clearly at the start!

In terms of the project you're creating, you may share more than one fandom, you may find you have a favorite trope in common that you want to explore or an experimental form you both want to try, and/or there may be squicks that have to be considered. Even though it’s ultimately the writer who writes the work, podficcers should be open about what kind of works they excel at recording and what they may be struggle with. For example the reader might be awesome at crack but have trouble with sex scenes. Or maybe they are great with description but find dialogue harder.

Writers can help their podficcers out by talking about what kind of mood or atmosphere is in their work, what the characters are feeling, etc.

We’ve set a deadline for when the writer has to get their work to the podficcer(s) however your group may have to set different personal deadlines internally. Some writers/podficcers are really quick others are slower. You’ll want to talk amongst yourselves to find out how much time each will need and what length the story is going to be to get things done on time.

What if I need to drop out?

Please let the mods and your group know right away. This is a group collaboration and if you think you might have to drop out, the more advanced notice you give us, the more we'll be able to help the rest of your group find a replacement. Even if you think you might finish, please let us know if you have dropout concerns so we can prepare someone on standby to jump in if needed and make the process as smooth as possible.

How do groups hand in their finished assignments?

Writers will submit their assignments via AO3, under the Pod_Together 2015 collection. The collection is moderated and set to "unrevealed" so the stories will show as "mystery" works until the mods reveal them on the scheduled posting day.

Podficcers submit their assignments by either updating the project on AO3 with self-hosted download links (remember: all downloads/streaming must be available directly from AO3, no clicking through to a different site) or by emailing the podfic/links to the podfic to the mods at pod.together at gmail dot com for the mods to upload.

Here are detailed instructions from last year. The only change is that the new collection is here.

What is the Early Podfic Submission Deadline?

Traditionally, posting can last quite a long time for [community profile] pod_together and many groups are excited and anxious to publicly share their projects ASAP, so the early deadline is a kind of incentive. Groups that complete their projects and hand them in by August 12th will have their project posted in the first half of the posting schedule.

When will my group's story be posted?

Once assignments have been handed in, the mods will make a posting schedule so you can know when to expect your story to be posted. The mods will make announcement posts to twitter, tumblr, livejournal and dreamwidth, linking back to the AO3 post, after which you are free to link to or crosspost in your normal places.

Podficcers please feel free to use the download link provided elsewhere if you wish.

What does a work written specifically to be podficced look like?

That's up to you! Part of the goal of this challenge is to explore answers to that question.

In past years we've had some great variations, including submissions with filk, poetry, multiple POVs, massive multi-voice collaborations, sound effects, computer voices and experimental soundscapes, multimedia integration of text-only, audio-only, and visual-only pieces, and other languages.

There's no wrong way to do it, but if you want a place to start, you might look at this post about ways to make a story easier to perform or these posts (DW|LJ) on how groups did it our first year.

I am new to this sort of collaboration. How exactly will it go?

Here are entries from previous years if you'd like to see how others have done it in the past.

Again, the specifics are up to you but remember, this is a collaborative effort. You need to be flexible with the ideas you bring to the table. Writers shouldn't look at this as an opportunity to get a guaranteed podfic for a specific fic idea and podficcers shouldn't think this is the chance to have someone write them a specific prompt.

Groups should start off with conversations about shared interests and the direction they'd like to see their project move in. Here are some suggestions for where to do after that:

1. The writer can start to write several possible works they have in mind (perhaps summaries or specific scenes) and the podficcer can pick the one they connect with most for the writer to continue and finish

2. The writer can write a piece and the podficcer can beta it AND/OR the podficcer can do a test-read and writer then adapt the piece based on that.

3. The writer can write the beginning of a piece, send that to the podficcer for early beta, test-read, and perhaps a follow-up conversation, and then take that feedback into account before continuing with the writing.

During the conversation about shared interests, it's a good idea for all group members to discuss what their strengths and weaknesses are; try to see if you have any matching strengths you can both work off of.

Continuing this year, we've worked an extra week into our timeline right after matches go out for partners to take a chance to get to know one another. We'll be posting ice breakers and suggested activities for groups to do to better get to know one another. These can be done in the comments on the post or in email to one another. These activities are not mandatory.

It can also be useful to use free tools like Google Docs to share the written story, so all group members can leave notes and suggestions and also so the podficcer can start preparing for their performance as early in the process as possible.

This should be an equal collaboration, although ultimately, the writer gets the final say over the words of the work and the podficcer gets the final say over the performance of it. Beyond that, the details will be yours to decide. Be creative, have fun, and see what works best for you!

[community profile] pod_together is multi-platform! You can now follow us on DW ([community profile] pod_together), LJ ([ profile] pod_together), twitter ([ profile] pod_together - info only, no sign ups) or on tumblr ([ profile] pod-together).

If you have any further questions please feel free to ask here or email us at pod.together at gmail dot com.

Date: 2015-06-02 04:01 pm (UTC)
whuffle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] whuffle
I wound up helping a bunch of people I know who did a group podfic a couple years ago for this exchange and were having issues with their audio. Now I'm thinking about participating but I've never participated in something like this before.

What if I have a fandom that I'd really like to try writing something for and having someone else podfic but it's basically an original universe fandom with an almost nonexistent readership? Is there any likelihood it'd be worth me trying to participate? I can probably come up with other fandoms and ideas, but in terms of the thing that would really excite me about this particular exchange, it would be the opportunity to have someone podfic something for this specific original universe fandom. I've sort of been dreaming of having someone do that ever since I heard of this exchange in the first place...

Date: 2015-06-06 02:05 pm (UTC)
rscreighton: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rscreighton
If you wanted to do maybe do something as a party favor type thing towards the end of the challenge I'd be up for playing in a original universe fandom thing? :D

Date: 2015-06-08 07:34 pm (UTC)
whuffle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] whuffle
Thanks for offering, I might take you up on that! I'm about to put up my signup so come take a look and let me know if you want to talk?

Date: 2015-06-11 08:19 am (UTC)
jinkyo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jinkyo
Heyo, heads up -some of the links in the "What does a work written specifically to be podficced look like?" are wonky.

Date: 2015-06-13 10:09 pm (UTC)
ariestess: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ariestess
Will it still be a minimum of 1000 words for poetry? I seem to remember it being a lesser wordcount in a previous round.
Edited Date: 2015-06-13 10:09 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-06-15 11:16 pm (UTC)
klb: (Default)
From: [personal profile] klb
I don't think we've ever had a different minimum for poetry in the past. But if you and your partner come up with a specific idea that you agree on and that you anticipate will be less than the 1000 word/10 min minimum, you're welcome to contact us about it and request we waive the minimum.

Date: 2015-06-17 05:46 pm (UTC)
ariestess: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ariestess
Not a problem. I might be confusing this with a different challenge I did once.


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