kai (kaiz) wrote in close_contrast,

Announcing the Severus and Minerva MiniFest!

Announcing the Severus and Minerva MiniFest!

Please note that this post was originally made to my LJ kaiz but since amberdiceless created this new community, I'm moving everything over here! :-)

The purpose of the MiniFest is to encourage more fiction, non-fiction, and art featuring Severus and Minerva and to get people interested in the relationship (whether congenial or not, whether romantic or not!) between these two characters.

The MiniFest will officially open on January 1, 2005 (midnight GMT) and officially close on February 1, 2005 (midnight GMT).

Why Severus and Minerva?

Severus and Minerva are two of my favorite characters in the HP universe. Their interactions with one another have intrigued me since I first started reading the series. Their fierce rivalry about all things Gryffindor and Slytherin. Their obvious respect for one another in the rare times when they don't realize students are watching. Then, with their rather warm reunion (positively effusive for Snape!) at the end of OotP, I became even more fascinated by their relationship.

As a result, I started to compile a list of slash, het, and gen stories that prominently feature some sort of interaction or relationship between Severus and Minerva.

As I compiled this list, people from all corners of HP fandom dropped by to leave me links to their favorite SS-McG stories and to commiserate with me that stories (and art, and essays) that feature the two of them in a meaningful way seem to be rather rare. That sparked my interest in organizing some sort of event that would generate some new SS-McG stories and get other people interested in their relationship!

The response was overwhelming, hence the idea for this MiniFest was born.

Frequently Asked Question About the MiniFest

1. What exactly is this MiniFest thing?

Think of it as a kind of International Severus and Minerva Month. A time to focus our creative energies on exploring the relationship between these two characters.

Stories, art, and non-fiction of all sorts (essays, theories, lists compiled from canon, etc.) are welcome! Het, slash, and gen stories are welcome!

Unlike most Fests or Ficathons or Challenges, there are no formal assignments for this MiniFest.

Writers, artists, and non-fiction creators are simply invited to participate by creating a work that in some way focusses on or offers insight into the possible relationship these two characters may have, or do have, or could have!

However, you don't have to think up your ideas in isolation if you'd rather not. Please check out the Inspiration portion of the FAQ for ideas to help you get started.

Also, unlike most Fests, the Severus and Minerva Minifest will not have a permanent archive!

Instead, I will be creating a Master Post of Links to all MiniFest submissions. Since I will be linking to those submissions, by definition your stories/art/essays MUST be archived elsewhere, like your LJ, or Inkstained Fingers, or fanfiction.net, or Fiction Alley, or your own personal website.

At the end of the MiniFest, we will have a (hopefully huge) list of links to stories, pieces of art, and pieces of non-fiction that will provide HP fans with many different ideas and resources about the relationship between Severus and Minerva.

2. When will it be held?

It will start at midnight on January 1, 2005 (GMT) and end at midnight on February 1, 2005 (GMT)

3. Why such a short deadline? How come this Fest seems to be so, er, lacking in rules and formal assignments and stuff?

The main goal of the MiniFest to generate some great fannish buzz about the relationship/friendship between Severus and Minerva. I want to be as flexible as possible about making that happen.

Some people like deadlines, some don't. Some like to write short fic, others prefer long fic. Some are galvanized by deadlines, others abhor them. Some like very specific sorts of challenges (see the section of the FAQ on Inspiration) others prefer fewer restrictions. Some people already have works in progress, others haven't started yet. And then, ultimately, someone (me) has to collect up all the links to the stories and artwork and make them available to fans. :-)

Thus, I am providing a short deadline for people who enjoy working under pressure or who like to crank out short fic in a short time (i.e. drabbles). I'm providing a firm end date for people who want to be more leisurely about things but who might not finish unless there is a fixed deadline.

I'm announcing it now (in December) so that people who like to write long stuff, who prefer to take it slow and steady, or who have lots of RL obligations can get started but not feel overly stressed come January. I'm providing scenarios and word-pairs and other sorts of challenges for people who enjoy that method of getting inspired.

And I've got that final deadline for me too, so that I know when I can collect all the URLs and make up that Master Post of Links!

For the folks who are interested in submitting non-fiction, there is a list of possible topics in the Inspiration section of the FAQ that might get your imaginations fired up! :-)

4. What do I have to do to participate?

This part is incredibly simple.

On January 1, 2005, I will make a post to close_contrast (in addition to an announcement at daily_snitch and quickquote) signaling that the MiniFest has begun.

Then, all you have to do is to write a story, create some art, write an essay (or other type of non-fiction) that in some way explores the (canonical or otherwise!) relationship between Severus and Minerva.

Check out the Inspiration section of the FAQ if you're looking for ideas or...inspiration!

Sometime before midnight on February 1, 2005 reply to that MiniFest Announcement Post at close_contrast with a Submission Template (described in the FAQ below) and a link to your story, artwork, or piece of non-fiction.

That's it.

You don't have to sign up, or get registered, or formally request a scenario, or formally join a community, or anything.

All you have to do is to reply to the Announcement Post by midnight, February 1, 2005.

I will post weekly reminders letting folks know that the final deadline is approaching! :-)

5. When Can I Get Started?

You can start creating at any time. Right now, in fact, especially if you have an idea for a longer story, essay, or complicated artwork.

6. Oh heck, it's February 10, 2005 and I just finished my story now! Should I still post a link to my story/essay/art to the MiniFest Announcement Post?

Yes, please do.

We have email notification turned on so I'll get your message. However, the link to your story might not get added to the Master Post of Links right away depending upon how busy my RL is, and I will note it on the page as a late submission.

I will take late submissions up until February 28, 2005. After that point, any additional submissions will get added to this SS-McG list.

Eventually, some day after February 28, 2005, I will assemble a larger, master list of SS-McG related links that will include all the MiniFest entries as well as the original SS-McG list that I compiled.

7. Who can participate?


I am adopting a Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy regarding age. I do not want to know how old you are. Do not tell me.

I will put a content warning on both the MiniFest Announcement Post and on the Master Post of Links (and hide the links behind a cut tag) after I assemble it so that people who are underage will know to avoid that page. That page will be a LJ page which I will then add to the memories section in my LJ. Yes, I'm using the honor system here, no passwords, etc.

Please be aware that the stories/art that participants submit may contain slash, het, or gen content and may contain content or pairings that you may personally find objectionable. If any of that bothers you, then do NOT click on those links and do NOT get upset with the creators of that content.

It's simple: be responsible and be courteous, that's all I ask.

8. What sorts of stories/art/non-fic can I submit?

You may submit any stories or art, of any rating, be it slash, het, or gen. The only firm requirement is that the story or artwork prominently feature a relationship/friendship between Minerva and Severus.

Note: If you are submitting a story containing chan, incest, or bestiality, you MUST label it as such in the Warnings section of the Submission Template.

Essays and other non-fiction (i.e. lists, theories, databases, and such) that discuss Severus and Minerva are very welcome too. Like artists and fiction writers, please use the SubmissionTemplate described in the FAQ below.

9. Wait a second. You said I could submit non-fiction. Did I read that correctly?


Unlike many events, this MiniFest accepts non-fiction. So, if you've been wanting to write an essay about May-December or student/teacher romances in HP fanfic (i.e. Severus/Hermione vs. Severus/Minerva), or if you've been wanting to do an analysis of detentions and points taken by Minerva vs. Severus, or if you want to speculate on what Minerva and Severus might do for the Order, and so on, then please, by all means contribute to the MiniFest!

All that is required is that your non-fiction piece deal with the relationship between Severus and Minerva in some meaningful way.

Please use the Submission Template described in the FAQ below.

10. I usually write/draw dark/angsty fic that doesn't have happy endings. Is that sort of stuff okay?

I usually write/draw happy/fluffy stories that focus just on fun. Is that sort of stuff okay?

I write/draw chanfic/incest/noncon/etc., can I submit that too?

Absolutely! There are no restrictions on content.

Take a look at this list of existing SS-McG stories and you'll see fiction of all types, from dark to light, from angsty to fluffy, slash, het and gen!

Please Note: Regarding stories or art with chan, bestiality, or incest content, you must clearly note that in the Warnings section of the submission header.

11. You mean I can write a slash story, but just so long as we get to see Severus and Minerva interacting in a meaningful way then the story will meet the criteria for the MiniFest?

Yes, exactly.

Take a look at this list of existing SS-McG stories and you'll see fiction of all types, gen, het, and slash.

All the story has to do is to give the reader some insight into the relationship between these two characters. That relationship can be antagonistic, friendly, romantic, whatever. It just has to be an important part of the story.

12. I prefer to write drabbles. Can I submit my drabbles?

I like to do quick sketches, cartoons, things like that. Are those okay to submit?

I've got a huge series I'm writing and one of the parts focusses mainly on Severus and Minerva, can I submit that too?

Yes to all!

Fiction of all lengths is welcome and art of all types is welcome. I only ask that the fiction be complete in and of itself. Therefore, no WIPs are allowed. However, a completed part in an on-going series is perfectly fine.

Artists, and writers of fiction and non-fiction must use the Submission Template when they submit their work.

13. What should my Submission Template look like?

This is the official MiniFest Submission Template.

Title: self-explanatory
Author: you -- and a link to your email address or LJ if you have one or want to share it
Link: a URL
Type: Fiction, Art, Non-fiction
Category: i.e. Slash, Het, or Gen
Length: i.e. Drabble, Short story, Novella, etc. Or your approximate word count if that's easier for you to calculatue.
Main characters: self-explanatory
Pairings: if you're writing something other than Gen, please state the major pairings
Warnings: i.e. Chan, Incest, Bestiality, Non-con, Death story, D/s, anything that you think a reader should know about.

Please note: if your story contains Chan, Incest, or Bestality, you MUST add in the warning.

Series: Yes/No (if yes, please add a link to the series)
Rating: U.S.-ian ratings, please. i.e. G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, etc.
Summary: Please write something here that will give readers a bit of insight into the story, the art, or the non-fiction. For authors--you don't have to give away the whole plot here! :-)
Notes: anything else you'd like to add, thanks to betas, etc.!

Please note: If your story, art, or essay is archived on a site that requires a password, PLEASE let readers know that in your Notes. A simple "Requires password" will do.

Confused about U.S.ian Movie ratings? You're not the only one! Here is a summary:

Rated G – GENERAL AUDIENCES: All ages admitted.
Rated PG – PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED: Some material may not be suitable for children or pre-teenagers
Rated PG-13 – PARENTS STRONGLY CAUTIONED: Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Rated R – RESTRICTED: Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Rated NC-17 – No one 17 and under admitted.

Basically, use your best judgment on the ratings. You can find clarification of the rating system here

Please do NOT send me a post like:

So here's my SS/McG story:
http://xxx. yyy. zzz. com/myfic.html !
LOL ;-)

I cannot read every single submission before I add it to the Master Post of Links.
I won't fill out the template for your story/non-fiction/artwork.
*You* must fill out the template. Please be as complete as possible; readers are counting on you!

14. Why are you singling out chan, bestiality, and incest fic/art/essays for special warnings?

The ONLY reason I am requesting that contributers mark their submissions this way is because those three topics seem to be consistent 'hot-buttons' within the HP fandom community.

Contributors are welcome to warn for other elements if they wish (i.e. BDSM, non-con, death story, partner betrayal), however only these three: Chan, Bestiality, and Incest are required.

I, personally, have no objection to such content. However, I do not want any author or artist to end up with a flame from an irate reader who accidentally reads a story or essay or views a piece of art with that sort of content.

I really do want this to be a positive and enjoyable experience for contributors as well as for readers/viewers.

15. Where the heck do I post my fic/art? Can I post it to other places too?

I will open the Fest on January 1, 2005 with a single MiniFest Announcement Post.

Sometime before February 1, 2005, simply reply to that post, including the official template (see above) that describes your submission and provides a link to it (either to an archive where you've posted the work, your own personal webpage, an LJ entry, etc.).

It's that simple.

If your story was inspired by the MiniFest I would appreciate it if you mention that fact when you archive your story somewhere, but that isn't a requirement by any means! :-)

Because I'm only posting a link to your story, by definition, it must be archived somewhere else.

Possible archives include: your LJ, or Inkstained Fingers, or fanfiction.net, or Fiction Alley, or your own personal website.

Addendum (12/21/04): Because amberdiceless created close_contrast, you can also post your story here as well! Please just make a note in your post (that contains the Submission Template, of course) that your story/nonfic/art is for the Fest and I'll do the rest. :-)

If you should finish up your submission way before January 1, simply email me (kai_z @ operamail dot com) a Submission Template with a link to your submission. I'll add it to the existing page of SS-McG links and then later, when the MiniFest is closed, I will add it to the list of completed works for the MiniFest.

16. Where will all these stories/etc. be archived?

The MiniFest will not have a formal archive.

Rather, I will create a Master Post of Links page at close_contrast similar to this SS-McG Fiction Links that links to all of your fic, non-fic, and art.

Since I will be linking to your submission, by definition your work MUST be archived elsewhere, such as your LJ, or Inkstained Fingers, or fanfiction.net, or Fiction Alley, or your own personal website.

17. What will this Master Post of Links look like?

The Master Post of Links will look very much like my existing page of SS-McG Fiction Links with several VERY IMPORTANT differences.

A. There will be a blanket disclaimer stating that the works herein relate to JKR's creations and that are not meant to infringe copyright, etc.

B. There will be an obvious, unambiguous content warning on the page indicating that some links may contain subject matter that readers might find objectionable and for each reader to assume personal responsibility and examine the Submission Templates very carefully before choosing to view content.

C. The link to every story/piece of art/non-fiction will contain the full Submission Template so that readers can make informed choices about which stories/art/non-fic to view (or not) based on that information.

D. The links will be organized according to category: FIction, Non-fiction, Art. And in each of the Art and Fiction categories, they will be organized according to Gen, Het, and Slash. Within each of those categories, the links will be in alphabetical order according to author name.

18. I just found this HugeEnormousOMG typo/grammar error/logic error/whatever in your FAQ!

Please let me know what it is by replying to this post and I'll fix it! :-)

19. I've got a question about the MiniFest but you haven't answered it here!

I've got a great idea for a scenario/art-idea/etc. Where can I post it?

Please feel free to either post your question here or to email me at: kai_z @ operamail dot com. I will be happy to clarify anything and if necessary, I'll add your question (and its answer) to the FAQ.

If you have more ideas to help inspire artists, and fic and non-fic writers, please either drop me a line (kai_z @ operamail dot com) or just reply to this post. I'll be happy to add them!

20. How do I find out about updates? Where will you be posting updates about the MiniFest?

On January 1, 2005, I will be making the formal MiniFest post. Bookmark that post for updates. I will also be posting weekly reminders to my own LJ, to the close_contrast LJ, and to daily_snitch and quickquote.

I will add an UPDATES section to the FAQ and you can find out new MiniFest information there. In addition, I will add answers to new questions to the end of the FAQ.

21. I really need a jump start like a challenge to inspire me, can you help?

Thanks to luthien, maxi47, and tboy--three of the originators of many of the wonderful scenarios for the Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fests--we do have some ideas to help get people started. :-) bethbethbeth and I have contributed a bunch too.

If you have more ideas to suggest, please reply to this post and I'll edit it to add them in.

Inspiration for Fiction, Non-fiction, and Art



Two word ideas

Critical care
After hours
Soft spot
Old souls
Tacit agreements
Turning point
Lights out
United front
Conflicted loyalties


Standing at a gravesite
Near the Whomping Willow
In Minerva's rooms
In the Leaky Cauldron
In Muggle London
Near Hagrid's cottage
In Snape's classroom
During the MWWP era
After the first war with Voldemort
Twenty years in the future
The year before Harry comes to Hogwarts


How far would a head of house go to protect one of their own?

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

The flight of the Phoenix.

The Dumbledore Triangle.

“My enemy’s enemy is my friend.”

McGonagall wouldn’t approve.

Snape discovers something unexpected during his late night rounds.

The final benediction: the laying out of the corpse.

McGonagall finds a way to counterbalance Lucius Malfoy’s influence on Snape.

The transformation of Severus Snape.

Swinging from the drapes.

If these walls could talk (and, of course, they can.)

A fine vintage.

Blue with cold, red with…?

McGonagall’s private supply of Gillywater proves to be the essential ingredient.

Dumbledore’s lieutenants to the rescue.

The thistle and the rose.

Snape in a kilt; McGonagall in the litterbox. What’s going on?

Snape or McGonagall: who truly possesses all the attributes of a good spy?

Everybody’s watching Snape; nobody’s watching McGonagall.

Sleight of hand.

You have to play the cards you’re dealt.

Dumbledore the conjurer juggling his operatives: now you see them, now you don’t.

The end of the school year.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

It’s not Dumbledore who holds the reins on Snape.

McGonagall’s ethics meet Snape’s code of honour.

Snape doesn’t know he’s a decoy but McGonagall does.

McGonagall’s expectations are higher than Snape can meet.

Snape knows McGonagall’s cat name.

McGonagall both respects and despises Snape’s methods.

What if Snape wasn’t a cat person?

McGonagall is Snape’s mother! O_o

Other Ideas

What do you think happened after that scene at the end of OotP when Minerva returns from St. Mungo's?

What do you think Minerva thinks about how Snape treats Harry and the trio? Are they friendly rivals? Lovers? Do they really dislike each other?

What do you think that Dumbledore would do if he knew SS and McG were involved in a relationship?

Are SS and McG secretly married? Is one of them married to someone else, while the other pines?

Has McG been a teacher all her life? If not, what did she do before?

How might that give her more or less sympathy for Severus?

What does she do for the Order? What does Snape do for the Order?

If Minerva and Albus are lovers, what does Snape think about it?

Some have speculated that Minerva and Tom Riddle were lovers. Would that give her more or less sympathy for Severus?

What if Severus left Voldemort because of Minerva?

There's a lot of Severus/Hermione fic out there and yet not much Severus/Minerva. Is the bias against older-woman/younger-man romances alive and well in fanfic, or is it just a case of writers preferring to write Hermione?
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