First is the event for 2014. We have done daily-prompt challenges for the past three B2MeMs. These are always popular and are pretty easy to do (so long as BINGO cards aren't involved ... ;), but when we started running B2MeM, it was not necessarily a daily-prompt challenge, and while daily prompts are usually well-liked, we have also had requests to try a different format. So we wanted to propose an idea and see how the community felt about it.
Instead of a daily prompt, we have considered putting together a compilation this year. Those of you who have been SWG members for a few years know that we have done compilations there in the past. (Akallabêth in August is probably the best example of this.) The idea is that participants claim a prompt or prompts well before the event itself. Each participant then sets out to create a story, poem, or artwork based on that prompt, only instead of trying to get something created quickly to be ready for the next day's prompt, the participant has time to make the piece the best it can be. During the month of the event, one or a few of these pieces are "released" each day. By the end of the month, there is a compilation of stories, poetry, and art based around a theme.
Our idea is to put together such a compilation for this year's B2MeM, based around a theme that encompasses the diversity that our community has to offer, i.e., whether you write First Age or Fourth, Hobbits or Noldor, there will be a place for you. The pieces will be revealed over the course of March. At the end of the month, we would also like to offer an e-book or print-on-demand book of the compilation (for writers and artists who want to be included--this would NOT be mandatory). Ideally, there would be the opportunity for writers and artists to pair up to do illustrated stories, and we would offer beta assistance and other for authors who want it.
So what say you all? Are we willing to give the daily prompt a break for this year? Does a compilation seem like something we'd like to try for this year's B2MeM? Please remember that this community exists to promote a fandom holiday that will help bring the various corners of the Tolkien fandom together, so we need to know if our participants think an idea will work for them or not. In short: please be honest in your feedback! :)
The second point concerns moderators. B2MeM started as an alliance of Tolkien fandom groups that wanted to offer a month-long "holiday" in which Tolkien-based transformative works are celebrated. As a result of this basic structure, it was always assumed that the mods of the groups that participated would be the mods of B2MeM. In actuality, this doesn't work that well. For one, group mods already have significant responsibilities in running their groups. In many cases, they cannot also run B2MeM. Secondly, this keeps those who have ideas about B2MeM, time to volunteer, and who would make excellent moderators from actually serving as moderators.
As a result, we will be opening up moderation of B2MeM to more than just the mods of the groups that sponsor it. Moderators help plan out B2MeM events and get them ready for March. They help run things behind the scenes before and during the event. They help to answer questions from participants and cheer participants on. We tend to work closely together on planning and then divide up responsibilities for actually running the event, based on the talents and interests of each mod.
Please comment here, message me, or email me at DawnFelagund@gmail.com if you'd like to be a mod for this year's B2MeM. You should expect to be available beginning in December through early April. (Obviously, everyone needs time off, and we cover for each other when needed, but this is our "busy season," so to speak.) I will make sure to begin including anyone who is interested in moderator correspondence going forward.