What is it?
Nine Billion Names is a multifandom fic-a-thon devoted to exploring the role and concept of faith (or lack thereof) in the lives of various characters. There is no limit to what you can do with this, although approaching from a perspective of neutrality, tolerance and diplomacy is highly recommended. Religion is a sensitive topic, but one of the most fundamental facts of the world today. This is meant not only as a chance to write something relatively unique, but also to learn about the other views that exist in the world.
That said, really, honestly, there is no limit--you can write your fic as deeply thoughtful and philosophical, as funny and irreverent, as a tragedy--whatever you like!
How do I join?
Go to the sign-ups page and leave a comment with the form filled out!
What do I have to do once I join?
Write! Preferably research some first, if your assignment or claim is on a topic you're unfamiliar with. We've compiled a list of resources to help you get started. Please also make use of a beta reader before posting, as this will give you a greater degree of control over the quality of your fic.
Sign-ups open: Jan 6th
Sign-ups close: Feb 1st
Assignments out: Feb 6th
Assignments due: 15th March
Your fic must have a minimum word count of 1,000 words. There is no maximum--it can be as long as you want, as long it's completed and betaed on time.
But what if I don't have anyone to beta for me?
We're committed to making sure everyone does the best work that they possibly can. As such, there is a list of volunteer betas available in the resources section. Look over it, find someone who matches your requirements and then contact them and ask nicely if they would please look over your fic.
Will I be banned, flamed, yelled at, etc., if I can't make it in on time?
We're pretty relaxed about the deadline--it's okay to be a day or two late, but if you're going to be any longer than that, or if you're going to have to drop out, please contact us as soon you possibly can, as that's simple courtesy and gives us a chance to arrange a pinch hitter to take over your assignment, if needed. We won't yell at you or flame you, and you will not be banned from future participation if you have to drop out. People are more important than fiction, and fandom is supposed to be fun. We are ALL at the mercy of real life and our own personal muses, and if one or both of those things works against you, at least take comfort in the fact that no one else will. We want this to be as fun for you as possible!
What about claims?
Claims are subject to the same rules, with the exception of the deadline. As a claimed fic has no intended recipient, it obviously won't require a pinch hitter, but if you decide you can't or won't be able to write your fic, please let us know, anyway, so that your prompt can be opened for someone else to use it.
If you still haven't turned something in after about four months and haven't contacted us, we will assume that you've changed your mind and will re-open your prompt to the public.
If I sign up for the gift exchange, do I have to claim a prompt, too?/If I claim a prompt, am I obligated to participate in the gift exchange?
No, not at all! The gift exchange and prompt claims are completely separate animals, toally autonomous from each other. You can sign up for both if you wish, but you're not required to. Pick whichever of the two events you're most comfortable with, and go from there. That's the whole point of offering two different ones to choose from. :-)
Can I use a fake lj-cut?
Sorry, but no. You're, of course, free to post your fic on your own personal journal and cross-post it to whatever comms you feel like, but at least one copy MUST be posted to this community. This is because it's very annoying and very disappointing to click on a link to a fic and find it's no longer working, either because the LJ's been deleted or flocked en masse.
If you decide you no longer want your fic up here at a later date (e.g, retiring from fandom), contact us and we will remove it for you. (Though we will be very sad)
How many prompts can I claim?
You may claim up to five prompts and either use them all in one fic, or write five separate fics. Please note that the 1,000 words minimum applies in every case, so if you claim five prompts intending to write five fics, they will all be required to have at least 1,000 words. Please be realistic about what you'll be able to do.
What if a prompt I want is already claimed?
Never fear! If a prompt you fell in love with has already been claimed, but with a different fandom or character than the one you wanted to use it for, you can still claim it, too!
Person X claimed prompt #52 for "The West Wing," but you wanted to use it for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." You would still be able to.
Alternately, if Person X claimed the prompt for Buffy, but you wanted to use it for Willow, you could still do that, too.
However, if someone has already claimed a prompt for both the fandom and character you wanted, we're sorry, but you'll have to choose another.
What if I'm not in one of the core fandoms?
We're very sorry, but the reason for the core fandoms list is to have the best possible chance at matching assignments with assignees. We will do our level best to make sure that every participant is matched with core fandoms and wild cards in common (we want to see those smaller fandoms get their day in the sun, too!), but if you absolutely cannot write in one of the core fandoms, you will be unable to participate in the gift exchange.
HOWEVER, this should not discourage you from going to the prompts and claiming for your non-core fandom! There are no fandom restrictions for prompt claims; you may take a prompt for any fandom that you want.
Is there anything special I have to do to join the comm?
Nope! Just click the "join this community" link in the userinfo, we're not fancy about that. You don't even have to be participating to join--if you just want to be there when all the fic starts pouring in, you can totally join/watch the comm just for that.
I've written faith-based fiction outside of this event. Can I post it here?
Yes, you can! Starting April 1st, once the assignments are in, you are perfectly welcome to post your non-NBN faith-based fiction here.