Sapphic Summer – Link Submissions

Sapphic Summer – July – September

Theme: Femslash pairing (see main page for more info)
Posting Date: The entire theme period.

The Rules:

  1. Minimum and maximum word counts are set by your other challenges. If you’re writing for this theme only, please use a 3,000 minimum.
  2. Any fandom or original fiction (no RPF).
  3. No limit on the number of stories.
  4. Only previously unpublished works qualify. (See note in FAQ about limited RT exception)

Posting Information

Word Count:

Note: We reserve the right not to link to a story if you write chan, RPF, or fail to warn properly for common trigger content (rape, murder, domestic violence, major character death, incest, etc).


Q. When do I sign up?
A. There are no signups for this challenge, only a fixed posting period.

Q. Will the themes change from year to year?
A. No, it’s a yearly thematic overlay challenge. You can write for the theme alone or couple it with another challenge.

Q. When can I post?
A. Any time during the posting period listed with each quarterly challenge, though you may have a specific posting date defined by your other challenge. However, it still must be within our quarterly window to qualify to submit your link. (If we’re talking a day or two outside the posting window based on the other challenge parameters, please use the contact form to let us know and see if we can work something out.)

Q. Can I post a work in progress?
A. No. Only completed works will be accepted during the posting period.

Q. Can I use a work already published?
A. No.

Q. Can I use a work I’ve written for a different challenge if it meets the requirements and posting dates?
A. Yes! In fact, we expect it. This is not a sign-up challenge, it’s more a creativity challenge to push your own limits, and then we’ll have a nice collection of stories at the end. So, carry on and double up. (Triple up, quad up… if you can get five challenges under one story, you’re a master.)

Q. Can I use a Rough Trade project (past, present, or future)?
A. Past project? No, probably not. Not unless it’s just in the immediate past and it’s within the current quarter! In general, Rough Trade might be hard to make work. You need to submit a completed work to this challenge, and it needs to be a new work, even if it’s for another challenge. That’s going to be hard to make work with Rough Trade, but it is possible. For instance, you could write it in April for April RT and the Spring Every Season Challenge, and as long as you finalized the story and posted it somewhere before the end of June, you’d be okay. If you failed to do both in the same 3 month window, it wouldn’t qualify for Every Season.

Q. Can I write more than one story?
A. Yes. As many as you want.

Q. Does it have to be a main character?
A. Yes. (Yes, yes, yes.) Can’t give this answer enough emphasis. Diversity is often done in mainstream media through secondary and tertiary characters. That’s tokenism at its finest. Your main character needs to fit the challenge parameters. If you have more than one main character, for instance, a romantic pairing, then at least one of the two needs to meet the challenge criteria.

Q. Why are the themes confined to a single quarter?
A. To provide structure and discipline for those who need it. But, also, it would be confusing as fuck to have overlapping themes.

Q. Can I post my work before the posting period of each quarter?
A. The list will be the people who posted during the (very broad) 3-month posting window. Works published ahead of that will not count. Again, if your other challenge has you posting on the last day of the prior quarter and your story would qualify for the next quarter theme, get in touch with us so we can at least consider the issue. Do not contact us unless the situation is actually on the horizon. We’re not interested in giving you a blanket, corner-case exception in the event that you might someday run into this obscure situation.

Q. If I have a work in progress that has never been published that fits the theme, can I use that?
A. Absolutely, look at you already owning the hell out of this challenge. However, the rule about it being complete must still be followed. Finish your WIP and post it during the right posting window, and it will count.

Q. Will there be an AO3 collection?
A. Yes. We’ll provide a link to the collection when people begin posting their links to our submission page.

Q. Can I discuss my fics publicly?
A. Do what is comfortable for you. You might find that you don’t want those kinds of expectations from others or whatever. The choice is yours. Also, consider your other challenges. They might have secrecy rules. For instances, QB stories all post in June, which is the Q2 theme for gender and sexuality expressions outside of the binary. If you write a QB story that fits the theme, you’ll implicitly have some secrecy rules on you for a large part of the challenge. Make sure your other challenge rules are met!

Q. Why are you using the term Character of Color for Q4 rather than BIPOC?
A. Keira and Jilly carefully considered terminology used for every aspect of the challenge, and we don’t claim that we got it “right,” but we tried our best to be sensitive to the issues in what is, honestly, an ever-changing lexicon. We remain open to updating the language used for this challenge when needed. In terms of BIPOC, Upon much reading and consideration, we decided that the use of the term BIPOC, when applied to a fiction writing challenge, would inherently be insensitive. So we decided not to do it, and rather use the older term “characters of color.” Our decision was based upon much reading and thought, and this article perhaps best and most clearly explains why we chose not to use the acronym BIPOC in relation to To Every Season. It was a choice made out of an abundance of respect and sensitivity to the topics discussed in the vox article. That said, we certainly encourage every participant’s ongoing self-education and awareness on matters related to gender, sexuality, and racial justice. This, however, is a writing challenge. It’s our job to put forth the challenge with as much sensitivity to the subject matter as possible, and it’s your job to educate yourself and make your choices based on reliable information, not our personal opinions.


  1. Title: New Phase
    Author: DarkJediQueen
    Challenge: Sapphic Summer – July – September 2023
    Fandom: DC Universe
    Relationship: Diana Prince/Sarah Simon (OC), Clark Kent/Lois Lane
    Warnings: Explicit Sex
    Word Count: 9,577
    Summary: Sarah Simon hadn’t thought much about what she was going to do with the new power she got. It changed nothing in her life until the new hire at the Daily Planet showed her that nothing was as it seemed.

  2. Title: Death’s Trinity
    Author: Bythia
    Challenge: Sapphic Summer – July – September 2023
    Fandom: Harry Potter
    Pairings: Narcissa Black/Amelia Bones, Sirius Black/Lily Evans/James Potter
    Warnings: Minor Character Death off screen
    Word Count: 7,000
    Summary: When Lily comes to Amelia with worries about James, Amelia is dragged into more secrets of her friends than she could have ever fathomed.

    Title: To Build Trust and Love and Family
    Author: Bythia
    Challenge: Sapphic Summer – July – September 2023
    Fandom: 9-1-1
    Relationship: Henrietta “Hen” Wilson/Karen Wilson
    Warnings: Minor Character Death (Eva, off screen)
    Word Count: 25,093
    Summary: When Howie sets Hen and Karen up on a blind date, neither of them is happy about it or about their friend’s scheming to bring them to the same table. But they also don’t expect to fall in love, or to adopt a child, or to build a family. And they especially don’t expect to eventually create a soul bond between them. And still, that’s exactly what they do.

    Title: In Your Hearts I Live On
    Author: Bythia
    Challenge: Sapphic Summer – July – September 2023
    Fandom: 9-1-1
    Relationship: Henrietta “Hen” Wilson/Karen Wilson
    Warnings: Major Character Death (Chimney); Discussion of (canon): suicide attempt, addiction, sexual assault
    Word Count: 14,281
    Summary: Karen had grown used to her worry about her wife and their friends, knowing the risks their jobs came with. She had forgotten, though, that life itself came just with as many risks. It’s a hard lesson when it’s not the job that takes one of their friends from them.
    In one universe, the surgeons treating Chimney after his car accident manage to save his life. In another universe, they don’t.

  3. Title: I Want a Divorce
    Author: farawisa
    Challenge: Sapphic Summer – July – September 2023
    Fandom: 9-1-1, NCIS:LA
    Relationship: Evan Buck Buckley/Eddie Diaz, past Eddie Diaz/Shannon Diaz, past Evan “Buck” Buckley/Matthew John Martinez (OC)
    Warnings: Torture, Racism, Ableism, Hate Crimes
    Word Count: 10,860
    Summary: Evan Buckley had lost her son seven years ago in childbirth, so when she saw Christopher Diaz with the kid’s mother Edmonda, she was this close to ripping the other woman’s throat out, with her teeth, because there was no doubt in her mind that this is the child who she had been told had died shortly after the birth.

  4. Title: Face the sun
    Series order: 2
    Author: Isthatso
    Challenge: To every season layer challenge 2023 Q3 – Sapphic summer; Big Moxie 2023 Q3; fire family conflagration, prompt: divorce
    Fandom: 9-1-1, Harry Potter
    Relationship: Evan “Buck” Buckley/Harry Potter
    Warnings: implied/referenced transphobia, implied/referenced domestic violence against transgendered people, implied/referenced child abuse
    Word Count: 3,222
    Summary: Love and laughter painted the day in beautiful colours, but Buck had something difficult to share with Eddie and Chris. Like the fact that she was a woman, no matter what she looked like. Unfortunately, before she could do that, she made Chris a promise she might not get to keep. It all depended on Eddie, and he might make a different decision when he found out her truth.

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