Fullmetal Alchemist Big Bang

Fan fics, fan art, fan love!


Hello authors! We hope everything’s been zinging merrily along for you, that words are just spilling right out onto the screen and the plot bunnies are well fed and happy! We also come bearing some good news!

We’re going to extend the author signups until May 13th! If you know someone who would be interested in participating, let them know! If they were to begin their fic right now today, they’d have just under a month to get a 15k word (or longer!) complete rough draft written to submit.  That breaks down to 556 words a day.  Not unmanageable, but definitely going to take some dedication. We’d love to see more authors join if possible, so spread the word!

While we’re extending the author sign-ups, artist sign-ups have been shortened.  They will also close on May 13th, so if anyone is considering participating as an artist, they need to get their name on the roster sooner rather than later.

As always, for a complete listing of rules, FAQs and sign up links, CLICK HERE.

Not much going on in our halfway point checkup for authors. Mostly right now, everyone should be focused on getting your draft finished, getting some stuff to betas (if you need a beta, please message us, we’ve got a list of people ready and waiting to help!). We know you can do it, and we’re here to help if you have any questions or concerns! So remember:


27 days left to write! LET’S DO THIS!!


How’s everyone doing? By now, you should have a really good handle on your story, some of you may be already be wrapping things up or even editing some things.  If not, you’ve still got plenty of time, don’t worry.

This week, we wanted to address an issue that we recently uncovered with a participant.  While interacting with one of our authors, we discovered that the age they put on their sign up was not their actual age. They said they were older in order to be able to write adult content and potentially receive adult artwork for their fic.  The mods came together and decided that it was best for the entire fest if we ejected this person, and we wanted to explain to all of you why we made the decision.

We all know that people who are considered minors have read, written, and drawn some very adult things. The fandom world is riddled with smut by underage teenagers, and their fan art is all over DA, RedCurtain, and tumblr. When an individual makes the decision to do those things when they’re not old enough to do so legally, the punishment for the crime comes back to them alone.  It’s unlikely that the offender would even be reported in the first place, but if they were, their local authorities would respond in whatever way aligns with their laws.

In our case, we put out the call for authors and artists and put in a stipulation about age.  If anyone’s parents were to discover their child had participated in an event where adult situations might be revealed, the moderators could be held responsible.  This isn’t some mean rule we made up to weed out kids, this is a rule we put in to protect ourselves and our adult participants. Minors CANNOT submit works that are sexually explicit. To do so puts our staff and our adult participants at risk for being labeled sex offenders according to international law.

This fest is about sharing our love for FMA and making new friends as we participate together. Participants lying about their age threaten the integrity of the entire event and put a lot of us in legal danger. We ask that you be sure that your correct age is listed in the sign-ups for your safety as well as ours.  If you need to contact the mods to check your age, don’t hesitate to message us. We would rather someone admit their error than for us to find out they lied about their age. IF IT IS FOUND THAT YOU INTENTIONALLY LIED ABOUT YOUR AGE, YOU WILL BE BANNED FROM THIS COMMUNITY.  That being said, we don’t like banning people.  We want to be friends with everyone. Please be honest and this won’t have to happen.

If you’re just starting your fic today, you have 34 days to make it to 15k, which breaks down to about 442 words per day.  At this point, if you haven’t started on your fic, you might not be able to finish. It can still be done, but only if you dedicate yourself!  Good luck and we’ll check in again next week!

Week 2 is on the Books!



You’re chugging along on your story and really making some progress! But even the best authors sometimes hit a snag and go a few days without writing. Sometimes we find ourselves hung up on the particulars of a scene- staging battles remains a mystery for myself and it takes me a while to plot out a dogfight that is seen in war stories. So what does a person do when they finally have that “AH-HA!” moment?

Personally, my best thinking places were in the shower or the laundry room. You obviously can’t keep pen and paper in a shower, but if I came up with something I liked, I’d replay it over and over again in my head, then write it down as soon as I got out, right into a notebook I left on the sink just in case.

Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself stuck. So you don’t know exactly what happens at point A- skip ahead to point B and come back to it, perhaps with your beta who will know your story as well as you do. Maybe approach that part a different way. For example, if you had your heart set on a detailed flashback, instead put in a less detailed conversation with another character, or just a narrative to get the point across and amp it up later in editing. Don’t get so bogged down on one part of the story that you forget to see the whole picture. And don’t be afraid to whip out your phone and email yourself ideas that you have while on the go!

There are 39 days left to finish your draft, that’s about 384 words a day if you still haven’t started- still very attainable!

Happy Writing and we’ll check in again next week! Feel free to message mods with any questions!

(Also LJ fam, could you leave a comment if this is the only place you're seeing these posts AND you are participating? Just wondering about LJ participation is all! Thanks!)


How is everyone doing? We hope it was a productive week and that your story is magically flying from your brain to your fingertips to the screen.  Remember, even if you’re still procrastinating, if you start right now today, you have 48 days to get that draft done, about 313 words a day, still very manageable!

As always, mods are here to help.  Need a beta? Get in contact with us, we’ll set you up with one


You guys are off to a great official start! If you haven’t already started writing, you have 55 DAYS to get your fic completed, which breaks down as a minimum of 273 words a day. Still very doable, even if you haven’t begun yet.

Have some chapters already together and need a beta? We have several betas signed up as well and ready to take on your project!

You can view the promised list of willing beta authors here!

There are only a few people now, but we expect the number to grow as the challenge goes along. For that, though, we need you to sign up! If you think being a beta reader is something you’d enjoy, then don’t hesitate and help a fellow author out. You can sign up as a beta even if you’re already participating as an author or an artist, or even if you’re not participating at all. You can find the sign-up form here.

The same thing also applies to pinch-hitters! If you’d like to do art for this challenge but are signed up as an author, being a pinch-hitter is a great way how to get to do some art as well. Or if you’re an artist who wants to do art for more than one fic - pinch-hitting is the solution! You can sign up to be a pinch-hitter here.

And for the authors who are busy at work, we only have one message: YOU CAN DO IT! And we’re here to help you get there! Good luck to everyone who has signed up so far, and remember- authors have until April 29th to decide if they’d like to participate.



This is not a drill or an April Fools’ joke! The moment you’ve been waiting for is here! The promised day has finally arrived, pun intended!


Don’t forget to read the Rules and Schedule before you sign up, so that you are up to date on everything. And if you have any questions, don’t be afraid tocontact us!

Authors’ sign-ups are open until April 30th 2016.

Artists’ sign-ups are open until May 26th 2016.

Beta readers and pinch-hitters’ sign-ups are open throughout the entire run of the challenge.

And now, without further ado…


Hear ye, hear ye! Sign-ups start tomorrow (yes, you’ve read that right!), and we have decided that some last-minute changes to the rules are inevitable. But don’t be afraid - nothing too drastic is about to happen! ;)

The first change has been directly inspired by our friends (and competition, wink wink, nudge nudge) over at @fmafandomchallenge. To quote them directly:

“Anyone under 18 will not be permitted to claim works with explicit content. We will not be releasing ages, but you will be required to provide yours in order to sign up.”

We hope you understand the need for this. Thank you to the mods of @fmafandomchallenge for letting us steal their rules!

Secondly, some changes to the artist rules have taken place.

If you’re participating as a graphic editor, you will be required to create four illustrations for your chosen fic instead of two.

The initial required number of illustrations for fanartists does not change, and remains at two pieces for a story.

Also, we are no longer limiting the sizes of your created illustrations quite as heavily.

Tumblr is, let’s say, very particular about sizes. It’s allowed to upload your illustrations to other sites such as LiveJournal, Pixiv, or DeviantArt, but if you’re going to upload them to Tumblr, any pictures under 540px in width are going to get distorted. I personally feel it would be a horrible shame for you to put so much effort into creating something, only for Tumblr to mess it up.

For that reason, it is required for your finished illustrations to be at least 540px wide, but otherwise, the dimensions are entirely up to you.

And last but not least, some revisions to rules for beta readers - and especially those who seek them - have been made.

Having your story beta read by another person is still a requirement for the challenge, but we will not be assigning betas to authors. People can, of course, still sign up to be beta readers for this challenge - you will fill out a form where you’ll tell us what you will beta, will not beta, and other useful info, and we will compile all this info and publish it here on tumblr (and then update it regularly). The authors themselves can then go through the list and choose a beta that would suit them.

You don’t have to be signed up to be a beta, though! The sign up is only there as one way of offering your services as one.

Thank you very much for your understanding, and don’t forget - sign-ups open tomorrow on Friday, 1st April! We’re looking forward to seeing you very much!

First Timers (Artists)

I remember the excitement (and anxiety) of my first big bang. I was an artist, and had no idea what to expect.  Would my author like my art style? Could I capture the scene as they’d imagined it? What if they didn’t like it?

For artists, the Big Bang is a whole different ball game.  You’re given a piece of work that you have to make come alive in a very special way, and it can definitely be a daunting task, particularly if you’re assigned a really great story or an author you really admire.  In marking our one week mark before sign ups, here’s a list of tips that might be helpful for first artists who are participating in their first Big Bang fest.

  • When you get your author assignment, you should have a discussion about the story you’re illustrating. If you’ve read through the draft and have a few ideas on what you’d like to draw or manipulate into existence, that’s wonderful!  Share your ideas with your author!  If you’re at a loss and can’t really decide on any scenes, asking your author for help might be in order.  Settle on what scenes are going to be illustrated before even cracking open your art program.  Things to consider when deciding are…

  • How many illustrations do you feel you can create within the time frame? With some stories, you only have time to do the minimum- a sketchy scene that goes well with the fic but requires little time or effort (because life is often demanding of our precious time: work, school, social life).  If you’re the type of person that knows you’re gonna procrastinate to the very last second, you might want to do only the required two pieces and call it a day.  But if you’re on top of things and have the time, feel free to do more, and more detailed- which brings me to the next point…

  • How detailed do you want your art to be? Now, when you’re thinking about this, keep in mind your author is creating a massive fic, 15,000 words long at the minimum!  And some go longer than that! Putting your best work with their best work is best for a great presentation.  Stick figures with a detailed and involving fic is insulting, not mention incredibly rude. Of course, no one’s expecting lifelike realness, and no one’s expecting spot on copies of the anime art. Authors expect nothing more and nothing less than an effort to the best of your ability.

  • Stay in contact with your author. Nothing is more frustrating and nerve-wracking as an author than an artist that shows up once and never checks in.  Did they drop out?  Are they even working on anything?  Don’t be afraid to share rough sketches with your author to be sure you’re both getting what you’re expecting.  They have shared their rough draft with you, it’s only kind to keep them updated as you go along.  A quick preview can save tons of disappointment later.


  • Feel free to send them along to your author so they can place the art where it belongs in the fic. DO NOT POST THEM ONLINE UNTIL POSTING OPENS. This is something that can get you and your author in some serious trouble. (I made this mistake once, trust me)

  • Once posting opens, feel free to post them anywhere and everywhere, and link back to the posted fic so that your followers and fans can get the context for the artwork you created!

  • AUTHORS WILL NOT BE PAYING YOU FOR THESE WORKS OF ART. ANYONE CHARGING FOR ART WILL BE IMMEDIATELY DISQUALIFIED AND BANNED FROM FUTURE ROUNDS WITH US.* This should go without saying, but it doesn’t matter if you’re a routinely paid fan artist that sells art at cons or just a hobby artist. This is not an opportunity for you to make money.

THINGS TO REMEMBER: Your art must be either an original work of art, or if you will be participating as a graphic editor, made using OFFICIAL FMA artwork to manipulate into illustrations. YOU CANNOT USE OTHER PEOPLE’S FAN ART FOR THIS FEST. Not even if you have permission.  It has to be art from screencaps from either series, any of the video games, movies, OVAs, or the official art books or promotional images.

You must provide TWO original drawn works or FOUR manipulated illustrations at the bare minimum.

Granted, artists are going to be pretty bored until the end of May.  But while you’re resting up and doing your carpal stretches in preparation for your assignments, you can take the time to organize any drawing reference pics you have (for example, I’m terrible at hands and feet and have multiple reference pics saved into easy to access places), create a playlist to help inspire you, get some fragrant candles to encourage calm creativity- basically ready your space to get to work.  Authors aren’t done with their fics while you’re working either, they’ll be making changes and polishing their stories with their betas.

Pinch hitters, or artists who pick up the slack when other artists have to drop out suddenly, will be notified if there’s a need for them. In some cases there will be some art already finished, other cases you’ll need to provide all of the art. We’ll be keeping everyone informed as the fest progresses so that pinch hitters are well aware of the situations as they arise.

If you’re coming to this Big Bang with no prior experience, this list may seem very daunting.  But it really does work out to be a lot of fun, and you’ll walk away with lots of new friends and fans.  And as always, feel free to ask questions, that’s what the mods are here for!  Many of us have participated as both artists and authors, so don’t be scared to ask!

*Authors submitting to the 2016 FMABB WILL NOT be paying for illustrations. If the author decides to write a sequel OUTSIDE of the FMABB and desires the same artist for the sequel, the artist can charge for illustrations.  As sequels are not allowed in the FMABB, there would be no infraction on the rules at that point.



First Timers (Authors)

The first time I signed up to write for the FMABB, it was a reverse big bang, where the artist went first and the author wrote a 20k fic around the artwork.  I participated as both an artist and an author (and my author bailed on me!) and I had the best time writing for the fest!  The fic I wrote? It turned into a trilogy that spanned over three years in the making and is my longest work to date- a total of nearly 250,000 words, over twenty original characters, and dozens of illustrations- all spawned from one piece of art that barely had a background.

If you’ve never written for any Big Bang before, it can seem like an incredibly intimidating event.  You’re expected to write at least 15,000 words and it has to be complete (not betaed however) and submitted in a relatively short amount of time.  But trust me, you can do this!  Let’s take a look at some ways to help get you from a blank page to submitting your first draft on time.

  • YOU SHOULD ALREADY BE WRITING.  If you’re not writing, you’re only slowing yourself down in the long run.  Haven’t started yet?  If you start right now today, you have SEVENTY DAYS to write 15,000 words. That’s only 215 words a day!  Five to ten minutes of your time!  So start writing right now if you haven’t yet begun.

  • Don’t feel like you have to stop at 15,000 words.  If you get on a roll and seem to fly through the word count, keep going!  There have been fics submitted well past the minimum count before.  So long as you can submit that completed, rough draft on May 26th, the rest is up to you.

  • Treat your artist with respect! Your partner is allowed to illustrate your story as they see fit and feel is best - that’s their part of the challenge. You, as an author, can offer suggestions or ask your artist for a certain scene to be illustrated, but remember that the artist is allowed to say no. The artist is not your fanart-creating slave - the challenge should be fun for both parties. Authors are granted a very wide berth creatively-wise; the artists should be given the same freedom.

  • While the artists are busy creating their half of the fest, you’re going to be working with your beta and making this fic ultra polished and super magnificent. It’s important to realize that when a beta makes suggestions, they’re doing so to make sure you submit a perfect piece- not to mock your writing or take over your vision.  Most betas will carefully comb your work for grammar and punctuation, flow of paragraphs and sentences, and occasionally offer insight if a character strays into the land of “OOC”.  In the end, you make the changes you’re comfortable with, because it’s your story.

  • Communication is key! All of us have different responsibilities in life, we live in varying time zones, and our time management differs greatly. If your artist doesn’t reply to you within an hour, or even a day, that’s okay - they are working hard on the challenge as well. However, the communication between the author and the artist should be functional at least - if you feel like your partner is not responding to you for suspiciously long time, don’t be afraid to contact the mods.


If you’re lucky enough to get your fic polished and ready to post before August 22nd, sit back and take a well deserved break!  Join the mods in cheerleading the remaining participants!  You might check in with your artist and offer some words of support and encouragement while you give your fingers a break.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, ask a mod!  We’re here to help and many of us have entered as both artist and author, so don’t be afraid to ask.


*Authors submitting to the 2016 FMABB WILL NOT be paying for illustrations. If the author decides to write a sequel OUTSIDE of the FMABB and desires the same artist for the sequel, the artist can charge for illustrations.  As sequels are not allowed in the FMABB, there would be no infraction on the rules at that point.



With THREE WEEKS before sign ups, let's talk about BETAS!

What is a beta?  A beta is fanfic jargon for ‘editor’.  A good beta will read every rough draft an author writes (and subsequent drafts) and go over them with a fine tooth comb, catching spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, as well as offer insight into how to make sentences and paragraphs flow better, and even offer suggestions if an author gets stuck on a particular plot point.  What makes a beta different from an editor is that betas can usually tell you if the characters you’re writing are out of character, and that’s a huge deal in fan fiction.

Having a beta look at a fic gives an author the opportunity to share polished work that doesn’t look as if it’s been scribbled down and quickly posted.  As an author myself, it really helped me learn how to be a better writer in general.  I used to have problems switching POV and tenses a lot until a beta worked with me to help me know when I was making those mistakes.  When it came to fan fiction, it helped me learn how to keep certain characters in character (like Sesshomaru from InuYasha for example…  Man, I had a hell of a time with him!).  If you were to look back through my fics, you can tell the point I started using a beta, because my stories got so much better overall.

For the first time, the FMA Big Bang is going to be holding beta sign ups in addition to author and artist sign ups.

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