Q. What's this all about, then?
A. The Homestuck Shipping Olympics is an annual event for Homestuck fans who ship, and are enthusiastic about shipping. Its goal is to encourage fans to create a bunch of fanworks for their ships and others' ships--and also to create a space where fans can hang out and make new friends.
If you like, you can go take a look at HSO 2011 to get a better idea of how this'll work. We've made some changes since then, but the general spirit is the same!
Q. Um...won't this just create drama and animosity?
A. The HSO is not intended to be a Serious Competition! Yes, there is a point system, but that's just to create incentive; think of it as a game. A game in which participation benefits the entire fandom.
However, we are aware that the HSO's size and structure does somewhat encourage people to get a little competitive...and even aggressive. To prevent potential drama, we are extremely strict about enforcing the Wank Policy.
Please note that the Wank Policy includes a section on behavior outside the HSO. Fandom can be a very public place, and our top priority is making sure our participants feel safe.
Q. Are you going to run this again next year/ten years from now/at some unspecified time in the future?
A. We make no promises.
Q. I have a question that wasn't covered in the FAQ.
A. Go to the Info Post and search under the appropriate heading or use Ctrl+F/Cmd+F. If you still can't find it, feel free to leave a comment here or email us at email@example.com!
Q. When/how can I sign up?
A. Sign-ups will open on May 5! You will have until June 2 to sign up, but keep in mind that you should sign up early if you are really invested in which ship you get. Last year, we had about 300 people sign up in the first three days; plus, this year we are capping team sizes at 10 instead of 12.
This year, sign-ups will be done through a google form because last year influx spent about 24 hours straight processing sign-ups and we don't want that to happen again. We will post here and on the hso-announce tumblr when sign-ups open.
Please note that sign-ups take place on an individual basis. Teams are formed on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Q. But I REALLY want to be on my OTP's team! Isn't there some way I can get in?
A. At the end of the sign-up period, we'll be checking with the confirmed teams' Palhonchos to make sure that all the people who signed up for a team are actually participating (we had a few no-shows last year). Also, we will be doing participation check-ins regularly throughout the HSO. If any of these check-ins result in spots opening up on a team, we will make an announcement about it and let people sign up for that team on a first-come first-serve basis.
HOWEVER, do not count on this occurring! The HSO is designed to favor multishippers, and you will get the most fun out of it if you can enjoy making stuff for different ships.
Q. My OTP is really rare, and I don't think we'll meet the minimum required team size.
A. A number of people felt that way last year, but they did some hardcore campaigning and managed to scrape together fairly large teams in the end! Don't underestimate your fellow fans. :)
That said, if you seriously don't think you're going to make it and you don't really want to join another ship's team, you can always join Team Alchemiter or Team English.
Q. Can I still sign up if I'm going to be away/unavailable for part of the summer?
A. Absolutely! Make sure to let your palhoncho know in advance, though, especially if you're going to be gone for a week or more.
Q. How can I tell if the team I want is valid?
A. Team ships must be composed of two or more named Homestuck characters in one quadrant, wherein ‘character’ is defined as ‘a canon humanoid intelligence not corresponding to a real-life equivalent.’
Important things to note:
- Autoresponder counts as a character.
- We do not allow 'category' ships.
- Different iterations count as different characters--for instance, Aranea<3Terezi is a different team from Mindfang<3Terezi. This also means that selfcest ships are allowed.
Q. What happens if some of my team members drop out/disappear/don't participate?
A. We'll be sending out regular attendance check-ins this year. If team members don't respond to check-ins (assuming they haven't cleared an absence with the palhoncho), we will write them off as having dropped out and a space will be opened on your team.
Q. I have an issue with my group’s palhoncho. What do I do?
A. If you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll contact your palhoncho on your behalf; your identity will be kept anonymous.
Q. Can our team have a joint palhonchoship or a temporary stand-in palhoncho?
A. We suggest that you work out a vice-palhoncho position; that way, we know who to contact if the normal palhoncho is MIA. Co-palhonchoship is not recommended, though you can of course delegate duties to the vice-palhoncho as you see fit.
Q. What do I do if I want to switch teams?
A. If at any time, any member of the HSO wants to switch teams for whatever reason, that is fine. Simply follow these steps:
- Contact the Palhoncho of the team you want to switch to, and inquire if there is any room on their team.
- If they are not comfortable with you joining, they do not have to specify a reason and you are expected to accept this gracefully. Either contact another team’s Palhoncho, or remain where you are.
- If they are fine with you joining, inform your ex-Palhoncho of your switch.
- Join your new team comm and relinquish membership in the old comm.
- Write email@example.com with your DW username, your old team, and your new team.
Please note that your points will probably not transfer as that would basically be a logistical nightmare.
If you are the Palhoncho of a team and you want to switch (and you do not have a Vice-Palhoncho in place), you must appoint a new Palhoncho. The new Palhoncho must email firstname.lastname@example.org with their DW username from an email address they check regularly.
Q. What do I do if I think my entire team needs to disband?
A. It's unfortunate, but it happens!
- Open up a post broaching the prospect of disbanding the team.
- Make a good-faith effort to contact each and every member about the topic.
- Wait/discuss for the next 72 hours.
- If there is a consensus to disband among the members who have spoken up, email email@example.com with this decision.
- Members may then seek out other teams using the above protocol, if they so desire.
Please note that your team points will go with you up to a maximum of the first quartile (Q1). Whatever Q1 is at the time of the disbanding will be the maximum amount of points that will be added onto members’ new teams.
Q. What’s the length rule for [thing we didn’t list]?
A. If we didn’t list it, there’s no hard and fast rule. Use the things we did list as a general yardstick against which to measure the amount of effort we expect to see in each submission. If you’re unsure about what that entails, feel free to contact us.
Q. Can one person can have an entry with multiple types of media?
A. Yes, each entry can use as many forms of media as you like so long as they are tied together in some coherent way (in other words, not just a random collection of stuff that happens to fit the prompt).
Q. Can a submission be a fan work that you've made prior to the HSO?
A. No, sorry! The idea is to create fanworks specially for this challenge.
Q. Is it okay for a fic to be more than one chapter as long as it stays under the 3000 word limit? Are there any extra limits to illustrated fics?
A. It can be as many chapters as you like and have up to 4 illustrations, so long as the wordcount is under 3000.
Q. Is there any way you could extend/reconsider the 3000-word limit?
A. While we are sympathetic to writers who feel stifled or constrained, we are anticipating a lot of entries each round--last year we had 47 teams! That means that not only do people have to read through their team's submissions to decide on their round entry within a very short period, but people also have to read through (conservatively estimating) 25+ fics for the entire round. That's kind of a lot, at a maximum of 3000 words! And we want to make sure it's feasible for everyone to really consider every single entry.
If you absolutely HAVE to go over the word limit, you can accept the point penalty! We do not reject any entries based on length.
Q. When can we post things that we made for HSO?
A. You can post bonus round creations as soon as you make them! In the interest of keeping the main round voting fair, though, please wait until voting closes to post main round entries--whether or not your entry was chosen as your team submission.
Q. Will there be an official HSO time and a place to post entries that didn't make the cut as an official team submission for a round?
A. Yes! Palhonchos will receive invitations to join the hso_extras comm when the Round 1 voting closes. We will make an announcement about it when that occurs.
Q. What is the policy on crossovers?
A. It depends what story it is. The main concern we have with crossovers is that they require knowledge of a different source material to appreciate fully; if it's a really well-known story like a common fairy tale, it should be fine. If you email firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea, we can be more specific.
Q. Is there a maximum rating?
A. Anything goes! But any NC-17 stuff should be put under a cut and marked appropriately. Also, please warn for common triggers like violence, guns, non-con, body horror, etc.
Q. Is it okay if the entry focuses on one character, rather than both/all?
A. While the focus can be on one character, the submission should fundamentally be about the ship in some way.
Q. What is the policy on ancestor-related content?
A. It’s fine to include some measure of ancestor-related content, but it shouldn’t be the focus of the submission. They are different characters, after all!
Q. Can people who are not participating see the entries?
A. All HSO posts will be public! But if you want to vote, you have to be on a team; Team English is meant to let people vote and participate in the bonus rounds without having to do anything else.
Q. What's the official stance on locked posts in the team communities? For example, if we wanted to have a brainstorming post but didn't want to broadcast all our ideas to the other teams.
A. That’s totally fine! We don’t actually track everyone’s comms, though we may creep from time to time. Your team community can be as open or locked as you like.