The Future Fest will launch on the 1st of March 2009, and will be dedicated entirely to fanworks (stories, videos and art) based on the BBC show named Merlin. All entries will adhere to canon as we currently know it, and will instead take creative license with that which has yet to happen - the future.
The Great Dragon has long predicted what is in Arthur's and Merlin's destiny, but what if you had the chance to write it? What if you could shape the destiny that is yet to come? Imagine the possibilities. You could make the plot go anyway you wanted it to, really. Yay for fannish omnipotence!
Entries will be set in the future, or at anytime after the end of season 1. Canon as it was before the end of the first reason must remain absolutely unchanged; it is the future we are creating here, not the past. Entries will fit into six distinct timeframes: 0-1 years after the end of the first season, 2-5 years later, 5-10 years later, 10-20 years later, the distant future and, finally, across multiple timeframes (for narratives that encompass several timeframes). Basically, fans participating in this fest can do anything they please with Merlin's characters, so long as they do it to them after the end of season 1.
The fest will have five rounds, each round occurring after the end of a season and taking into account whatever new canonical information would have appeared during that specific season. Since there are five seasons scheduled for Merlin, there will be five rounds of the Future Fest. This is merely the first round; it will run from the 1st of March until the 1st of September, 2009. All participants have a whopping six months to get their entries in for this round! So don't worry if you're also involved in other fests or challenges; you'll have no trouble finding the time to contribute to this particular fest.
First Round Begins: 1 March 2009.
First Round Ends: 1 September 2009.
The reason this round will run until the 1st of September is so that fans can take a break during the second season of Merlin, which will likely start airing during September. The fest will be closed while the second season is running, so that fans can consolidate the shiny new canon and return refreshed for a second round. The fest will open once again on March 1st 2010, to run its second round until the third season airs. It's pretty simple, really; for every season of Merlin, there will be a new round of the fest that will incorporate the latest canonical data and make predictions based on that data.
Claims and requests can be found here. Submission rules can be found here. Good luck!