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The Sentinel Big Bang
Creative fanworks challenge for The Sentinel fandom
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TS Blair Salt
The Sentinel first aired on 20 March, 1996. Twenty years later, Sentinel fandom is still here. There are no new episodes, but we still talk about the show; we still write fan fiction and create other fanworks; we still come together as a fandom to raise money for good causes and while some of us have known each other for twenty years (or more!), we still welcome new fans and new friends, too.

2016, our show’s 20th anniversary, will be a special year for Sentinel fandom, and as part of the celebrations our big bang will also be something special. We will be holding two big bangs, hopefully in tandem.

You can sign up to take part in just one of them or both. The signup rules will be the same for each, meaning you can submit up to two projects for each big bang, but no more than three across both challenges.

Sentinel Nostalgia Big BangCollapse )

Sentinel Anniversary Big BangCollapse )

Cheerleaders and beta readersCollapse )

Submissions - IMPORTANT

There is a very important change to the submission process this year. We will not accept projects via email. Instead there's a submission form on the Sentinel Big Bang website where you can upload your work. We're doing it this way because it's very important we have all of the information about each story - the form will make sure you can't forget anything.

All the links:


Overview of the anniversary challenges
Challenge schedule
Rules and advice for writers
Rules and advice for artists
Big Bang FAQ
Page-a-mod post

Take part:

Signups for writers - Nostalgia Big Bang
Signups for writers - Anniversary (regular) Big Bang
Signups for artists (both big bangs)
Cheerleader offers and requests post
Beta reader offers and requests post

Follow the big bang:

Join our mailing list
Join our livejournal community
Visit our website
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Google+
29th-Jun-2015 05:35 am - Page-a-Mod post
TS Blair Salt
Here's your page-a-mod post for the 2016 Big Bang.

If you have any questions, comments or just want to chat, comment here and one of the mods will respond as soon as we can.

You can also contact the mods via our Yahoo mailing list, or direct at mods (at) sentinelbigbang.com
29th-Jun-2015 05:34 am - Writer sign ups - Nostalgia Big Bang
TS Blair Salt
Comment below to sign up as a writer for the 2016 Sentinel Nostalgia Big Bang.

You are signing up to create a written project (fiction, meta or a combination of the two) based on a previously posted Sentinel-related work at least two years old. Your finished project (including the original work) should be at least 10,000 words. There is no upper limit.

The Sentinel Nostalgia Big Bang is for fan writers who have been around for a while. We’re asking writers to sign up to to take an older fan fiction story or series (something at least two years old, but ideally much older) and rework it or add to it. There are three options.


  • Ideally go right back to the first thing you ever wrote about The Sentinel.

  • Or, if your first fic makes you cringe too much, choose your personal favourite of your own works.

  • Alternatively, if reworking one of your own old stories doesn’t work for you, you could select your favourite Sentinel story by someone else – but you must have the original author’s permission for this option.


What do we mean by ‘rework’?

That’s largely up to you. You need to either change or add to the original, and the changes must amount to at least 10% of the original, or 4,000 words, whichever is less. You might

  • Re-edit the story, adding more detail, or fixing those errors you've noticed since you posted it

  • Write a "DVD commentary" to accompany the original piece

  • Write a prequel, sequel or missing scenes

  • Or finally finish that series you abandoned years ago!

The minimum wordcount to submit is the usual for our big bangs: 10,000 words and as always, there is no upper limit, but that 10,000 includes the original work you are updating, so you really only have 1,000 – 4,000 words to write, depending on the length of the orignal work. Of course writing more is always okay!

So, for those who find writing a long story difficult, the easiest option is to take a 9,000 word story or series and add a thousand words to it. But writers who tend toward the epic might like to take a longer work and cut it – change means change, to be valid for this big bang writing less is as valid as more (as long as you have at least 10,000 words left!). You can also leave the original story or series untouched and write a companion piece – a prequel, missing scene or sequel, or even a commentary.

You will be able to submit up to two projects for the Nostalgia Big Bang.

You must submit a final copy of your project by 27 January. This is a NOT a rough draft and the deadline for the Nostalgia Big Bang is absolute - the mods will not accept late entries or give extensions.

Signing up is a statement of intent; if you sign up but find you can't finish by the submission deadline, you can drop out with no penalty.

How to sign upCollapse )

Hopefully, everyone who signs up will submit a project or two in January. But we understand that's a long way off and things can change. If you want to withdraw your sign up, you can do so any time before the deadline just by deleting your comment on this post or by commenting again to let the mods know. But you don't even have to do that; if you decide not send in a project when the time comes, the mods will assume you've dropped out. No harm, no foul.

Writers' Signups close on 15 January.

TS Blair Salt
Comment below to sign up as a writer for the 2016 Sentinel Anniversary Big Bang.

You are signing up to create a Sentinel-related written project (fiction, meta or a combination of the two). Your finished project (including the original work) should be at least 10,000 words. There is no upper limit. Your project may be a single piece or multiple pieces linked by chronology or a theme. Your project must be a stand-alone piece, not a sequel or part of a series which has been posted before.

You will be able to submit up to two projects for the Anniversary Big Bang.

You must submit a final copy of your project by 27 January (this is a provisional date and might be moved to later in the year). This is a NOT a rough draft.

Signing up is a statement of intent; if you sign up but find you can't finish by the submission deadline, you can drop out with no penalty.

How to sign upCollapse )

Hopefully, everyone who signs up will submit a project or two in January. But we understand that's a long way off and things can change. If you want to withdraw your sign up, you can do so any time before the deadline just by deleting your comment on this post or by commenting again to let the mods know. But you don't even have to do that; if you decide not send in a project when the time comes, the mods will assume you've dropped out. No harm, no foul.

Writers' Signups close on 15 January.


All dates for the Anniversary Big Bang are provisional at the time of posting. We hope to adjust the timetable so our authors can include their big bang stories in the Moonridge auction in 2016. If we're able to to that, the deadlines and claims will be later in the year. We'll confirm any changes as soon as we know for sure about the auction; in the meantime the dates are as posted.
29th-Jun-2015 05:32 am - Signups for Artists
TS Blair Salt
Sign up below to take part in the Big Bang as an artist.

One sign up covers you for either or both of the 2015/16 big bangs.

Signing up is a statement of intent. Once you're signed up, it's up to you to claim in whichever of the big bangs you want to. We'll use your signup to send a reminder if you don't show up at claims time, but if you decide not to claim, that's just fine.

“Art” for the Big Bang refers to any creative fan work that is not written. It can mean traditional art, manips, etc. but could also be fanvids, music mixes, podfics...and much more. Anything you can post on a web page. You'll be signing up to produce at least one piece of art to accompany or illustrate your assigned project. (Exception: if you only make icons, we ask you to create at least three.) You are, of course, welcome to do more, but that's the minimum!

You won't be assigned a project to illustrate until February, because we won't have drafts from the writers until then. But you can sign up early, or wait until the claims day if you prefer. We will post reminders before artist signups close.

Artists will have some choice over the project they are assigned but there is no guarantee an artist can be assigned their first preference.

How to sign upCollapse )

Artist signups will close on 1 February 2016.

Art claims will open on 1 February. That’s not a misprint: signups will remain open for the first day of artist claims - this is to allow for last-minute signups on that day. But please sign up early if you intend to take part: it helps the mods enormously if we know in advance how many artists we will have.

Hopefully, everyone who signs up will want to claim a project or two in February. But we understand that's a long way off and things can change. If you want to withdraw your sign up, you can do so any time before artist claims just by deleting your comment on this post or by commenting again to let the mods know. But you don't even have to do that; if you decide not to claim a project when the time comes, the mods will assume you've dropped out. No harm, no foul.
29th-Jun-2015 05:31 am - Cheerleader offers and requests
TS Blair Salt
What's a big bang "cheerleader"?

Well, it doesn't (usually) involve pom-poms.

A cheerleader's job is to encourage a writer to write her Big Bang story. You'll be cheerleading for a specific author, and you'll agree between yourselves what is the best way you can help. Basically, you're there to gently prod your writer to keep writing, perhaps read parts of the project in-progress, to help her brainstorm ideas if she hits a writers' block and generally, well, cheerlead.

Signing up as a cheerleader does not obligate you to beta-read, though if you want to beta you can - that's between you and your writer.

The cheerleading part of the Big Bang seems to work really well for some people, but not so well for others, so taking part in this is completely optional. Cheerleading assignments will not be imposed by the mods, because for a writer/cheerleader relationship to work, you’ve got to be compatible personalities. Only you can decide that, so we're asking the cheerleaders to offer their services directly.

Here;s how it worksCollapse )

Cheerleader requests/signups will close on 3 August.


(Note: you can still request or sign up as a cheerleader after this date, but the mods will no longer watch this post after 3 August, so it’s up to you to match yourselves up.)
29th-Jun-2015 05:30 am - Beta offers and requests
TS Blair Salt
The Big Bang rules state that all written projects must be beta-read.

The mods won’t force anyone to use a particular beta. If you’ve got someone you usually work with, you can go ahead and continue to work as you usually do. But for those who don’t usually work with a beta reader, or who want to work with someone new, this post is one place you can look for a beta for your big bang story.

Writers: please comment with brief details about your project (fiction or non-fiction, genre, pairing, length). Alternatively, reply to any beta who has offered her services below to request her help.

Please don’t ask for a beta until you’ve got at least part of your project written. A beta needs something to work with. If you need help before you’ve really begun you may be better off asking for a cheerleader, which is a separate post.

Beta readers: please reply to writers to offer your help or leave a comment of your own to offer your services. Please say something about your strengths as a beta (plot, grammar, etc.) and whether there anything you would not want to beta (e.g. any pairings you dislike).

We recommend you track this post so you will be notified by LJ when a new beta request is posted in the comments.

Beta requests and offers are also welcome on the mailing list: http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/sentinelbigbang/

The mods will watch this post and we’ll try to ensure that every writer who asks for help gets a beta reader. Don’t forget, though, that this isn’t the only place you can look for a beta reader. The sentinel_betas community isn't very active but does still exist, and a lot of other lists and communities in the fandom allow beta requests, too.
25th-Jun-2015 11:58 pm - Update on the Kerensa Mission...
Sentinel_Jim_Gray
I thought I would write a quick note about what I was able to do for Kerensa. Actually, I'm still waiting for checks to come in but as soon as they are in, everything will be ordered and taken care of.

The first thing we're getting her is a really nice headset. One that has awesome sound and recording capabilities. Then we're getting the Dragon Premium Program for her computer so that she'll be set in that department.

What worried me about all this was the fact that Kerensa wouldn't be able to set it up, as to install it and learn to do it. She's not that steady yet. So I decided to email a place in the town that she lives, explained the situation and asked how much he would charge for installing the program and headset and then at least a couple of hours instruction to get her started. The man emailed me back and gave me his phone number and asked me to call. His name is Jon. And I'm so glad I did call him. He said he was amazed at how
wonderful Kerensa's friends were and since we were doing it for Kerensa that he'd also like to pitch in by doing everything we needed for $125.00. So for that price, he'll come to her house, set everything up and give up to four hours instructions until she's got the hang of it. What a gem. I told him Kerensa would be calling him. When I talked to Kerensa she was amazed and said, "That's the man I use all the time for my computer to be fixed. He's really nice." What a small world we live in. What were the odds that I would email him and he would answer and it would be her guy. :)

The really good news about all this is we collected enough for the program, the headset (and it's an upgraded headset) and will be sending a Visa card with enough to pay Jon the computer guy.

And last but not least, I made a card with Jim and Blair on the front that says, "It's about friendship." It's a very large card and has plenty of room for all of the names I needed to put in it. She's going to be able to look back at that and smile all the time. She had no idea that everyone would be so kind and loving to her. I guess we showed her didn't we?

I hope to have all of the money by this weekend and then I'm ordering the program from Amazon. The Visa I'm mailing to her from here. With any luck, she'll be hooked up to the computer by next Friday or the following Monday. Depending on when Jon can get out to do it.

Thank you to all of you for your kindness and love. This means so much to her and she'll be so happy. And I don't know about everyone else, but it makes my heart feel great doing good things for others. You're the best.

Love and hugs, Patt

PS: Just found out today that July 18th is Kerensa's birthday, so she'll be up and running by that time. What a fantastic Birthday present you all have given her. Thank you again to everyone. And if you want to send a card next month, you know where I am if you need her address. Night all. :)
20th-Jun-2015 11:59 am - Something about Kerensa...
Sentinel_Jim_Gray
I've been thinking about our friend, Kerensa, and about how much she misses being able to write, whether it's to create stories or answer emails from so many who have sent her messages of concern, care and encouragement. She wants so badly to be able to communicate, but can't until she regains control of her right hand; as hard as she's worked toward full recovery, she's very afraid she may never be able to write again. All of us who rely upon our computers for our connection to our broad network of friends around the world, and to read and write stories, know how much it would hurt to lose that connection and how incredible it would be to be given a means to have it back.


I've discovered that for a modest $74.46 we could give her a highly recommended voice activated program and headset so that she could again use her computer. I know finances are difficult for everyone but if fifteen of us could afford to give $5 or eight of us could afford to give $10, we could get that program for her and give her the ability to 'write' again. I could order the program and headset and have it delivered right to her as a gift from all of us. If you could help, would you write me at PattRose1 at aol dot com to get my mailing address. There'd be no need to send any money until I've heard from enough people to make the gift possible, but as soon as enough people have signaled their commitment to contribute, we could move ahead with this gift to Kerensa.

And please don't feel like you have to. No one will know who is giving what, so that's nice. Kerensa will be so pleased. Thank you for reading.

If it would make things easier, please send the amount you choose to paypal under PattRose1@aol.com and then you don't have to mail it. I wasn't even thinking earlier.

Hugs, Patt

PS: And thank you to Marilyn for wording this so beautifully. She's a peach.
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