Yuletide, as described on Fanlore.org, is
- an annual rare-fandoms gift exchange fanfic challenge, encompassing gen, het, femslash, and slash. Participants agree to write a 1,000-word (minimum) story for a randomly assigned recipient who has requested at least one of the things the writer offered to do, in return for receiving a story from a randomly assigned writer fulfilling one of the participant's requests.
As described on yuletide_coal, a LiveJournal community created in 2010 for the purpose of kvetching about Yuletide, it is "a rare if not unique chance to write a fic and post anon, and have the opportunity to have it read by hundreds of people without the baggage of BNFs or past fandom fails hanging over everything. Pre-reveals, no one will fawn over Astolat's fic just to kiss her ass. Pre-reveals, no one will avoid or leave passive aggressive snits on their fandom enemy's fic. NNFs who write good fics that affect readers have the same chance at recognition as everyone else. The recs drive more readers to the good fics without the usual circle-jerk of friends reccing friends."
Nonetheless, pretty much every aspect of Yuletide is optimal for creating wank: which fandoms count as "small" or "rare"; the creation of sockpuppet accounts ("dentists" or "valets") in order to get more fic than one writes; authors disregarding their recipients' wishes; feedback and the lack thereof; and so on. These Fanlore.org pages provide some context of past Yuletide wanks.
For histories of famous Yuletide wankers and detailed descriptions of other Yuletide wanks, please see the other pages in this folder.