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#smallfandomproblems (is that a thing??)

I was trying to catch up on my flist a bit and comment and such bc wow it's been awhile and I feel bad about being so... not here. Sorry I suck :/ Anyway, it kind of turned into me wincing at like every other post for awhile. A big bang for one of my fandoms apparently had posting a couple weeks ago and since the fandom OTP is like 90% of what was posted and it's my NOTP... Not fun lol

It also reminded me that the deadline for the secret santa exchange for that fandom is coming up soon and I need to decide if I'll participate this year or not. Again, everyone's OTP is my NOTP, so I'm a bit worried about being able to get a request I'd actually want to write. And having anyone write what I'd want to request. I wish the secret santa wasn't so narrow in allowed requests, that would really make things easier imo. They have a list of like 4 ships you can request and I NOTP one of them, OTP one of them, and am not interested in the others. *sighs* Small fandom problems strike again.
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I have oldfandomproblems, lol. I was going to sign up for the SGA secret santa but since most people left from that fandom that are still active are m/m slashers, finding a match for my ship would be a problem.
I have a similar problem with the Harry Potter fandom. It definitely makes it tricky.
HP just has so many characters and ships, it's sometimes hard to find anyone that's not primarily in the big ships. Which mostly tend to be my NOTPs in that fandom too, whoops. HP rarepairs all the way lol
Thankfully my only real ship in SGA is the fandom OTP. I'm not terribly active in the fandom, but I do know it's hard to find anything other than that! Sorry, I know that feel :/ But uh, I don't think I've heard of the SGA secret santa. Do you happen to have a link?
http://sga-secretsanta.livejournal.com/ Here's the link to the community, but sign-ups are closed. You can still sign up as a pinch hitter though, which I am debating doing.

The Sparky side of fandom is still active, but I guess these days it's mostly on Tumblr. I've seen some Sparktober-related stuff on there, but the LJ community is pretty much dead, at least from my experience.
Thank you! I'll put it on my list to check out next year.

Yeah, most of the fandom does seem to be on tumblr now. Which is mostly fine since I'm there too, but comms and such is just a lot easier here...
Different problem, but I'm such a canon stickler that half the time, all of the ships in any given fandom are my NOTP! Or even when they are my OTP... I don't necessarily want to focus on the ship, even if I ship it hard, but gen is hard because I feel like it's the reverse problem. I just want to write a fanfic about the universe.

So yeah, I hear you, even if I can't totally relate. :/
I'm not much of a canon ships shipper, but I think the older I get, the more rarepairs I acquire and the more I dislike the big ships lol But I definitely feel you on the gen fic!
Small fandom problems are DEFINITELY a thing.
I'm glad I'm not alone then :D
Yes, fandom is always a precarious balancing act, and sadly when it comes to gift exchanges people who don't like the more popular pairing(s) can feel left out to some degree.

As someone who mods challenges, I will offer the advice to contact the challenge mod. Some are very open, flexible and willing to offer suggestions, some are not. I've never ever heard any challenge mod say they have too many participants. So by all means, open up a conversation and see if it leads anywhere.

Seeing that I run a small gift exchange, I can offer reasons why things may be as they are. For instance, my gift exchange challenge has never made it to the double digits when it comes to participants. So whatever pairings are offered, they need to be covered by very few people. And yes, a huge percentage of the stories in the fandom is one pairing, which makes it very difficult to find other pairings that 3 or more authors are even willing to write.

So I have a poll where authors intending to participate in the challenge can comment as to what pairings they are willing to write. Each pairing requires 3 votes to be added to the list. Why 3? If there is only one vote, the author who is willing to write it, is probably the only one who would ask for it. They can't write for themselves. With only two votes, you may have the same two people stuck writing for each other year after year until one drops out. And then you have one person and no one to write for them. However, not all authors vote, and the participants are already in the single digits. Usually there are very few people voting and they are the ones who pick the pairings we use. With so few participants, adding pairings that no one is offering to write would lead to a lot of one-off requests that are impossible to match. As a mod, I really don't want to have to go back to participants and ask them to make another request because I have no one willing to write their initial request. And of course, someone wouldn't answer and then assignments are delayed in going out.

Since there are so few participants, I also have a rule that Santas are not required to write a pairing as romantic. A story should be focused on that chosen pairing, but they can merely be friends. If I didn't have that rule, I would probably have one lonely gen person stuck in a sea of slashers and we couldn't match them if they're the only participant with a preference for gen. I also don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. If an author isn't comfortable writing romance, I don't want them to feel that they *have* to.

I will also add that I allow people to write a *Dear Santa* letter. Santas often check out their recipient's journals searching for clues of what the recipient may like. I have no issues whatsoever with someone noting to their Santa that their favorite pairing wasn't among the offerings. There is a rule that people should not *pressure* their Santas, so it's all in the wording. Noting preferences is perfectly acceptable, demanding things is not. (i.e. "The pairings suck, I want you to write x/x instead." vs. "I like my pairing of choice okay, but my favorite pairing x/x wasn't offered. If you could work them into the story, I would really love that!"). I'd like to think that most Santas truly want to write something their recipient will like.

I hope that helps a little bit!
Thank you for your reply! I do know having a small fandom and low participants numbers makes things more complicated. Thankfully running a big bang only requires matching artists with authors, though I have had a mod have to come ask me if I'm willing to write for any other fandoms in an exchange, which was kind of awkward. And I really don't begrudge everyone else who ships my NOTP even though it probably sounded like that, whoops. I just get sad about my small fandoms and how I always seem to go for the rarepairs lol Mostly I guess I need to keep more on top of things to see if there are pairing polls and such. And try to pull other ppl into my ships... Being able to add other preferred pairings to the dear santa letter is a great idea though, that's really nice that you allow that for yours :)
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