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Schedule - 2021

Writer sign ups: Feb 1 - April 18
Artist sign ups: Feb 1 - May 23
Beta Sign ups: Feb 1 (open)
Hype Reader Sign ups: Feb 1 (open)
Writer Check in: April 18
Rough Drafts (15k min/60% of final story) & Summaries due: May 23
Summary Posting: May 31
Summary Claiming: June 5
Artist check in: Jul 10
Writer's Final Drafts (25k min) Due: July 31
Artist's Rough Drafts Due: August 6
Posting Begins: August 15 (tentative)

FAQ can be found HERE
Arthur blue


Title: Afterlife
Author: clea2011
Artist: merlocked18
Word Count: 124k
Pairings: Arthur/Merlin, past Gwaine/Merlin,
Characters: Arthur, Merlin, Gwaine, Leon, Hunith, Uther, Mordred
Rating: M (due to subject matter)
Warnings: Temporary major character death, death by drowning
It was the photo that first caught Arthur’s attention. And then he read the accompanying advertisement:
“Meet Jacob.
He’s everything you could possibly want him to be, and more. The help you always wanted. Living, breathing, he can do anything a real human being can do. He’ll cook, clean, take care of your every whim, without complaint. He is the perfect companion. And he could be yours.
Ever wanted to replicate a loved one who has sadly passed? Need help in the home? Or do you simply just want companionship? Look no further, with our bespoke range of Unique Clones ™, all your problems are solved. You can consign your tired, old-fashioned robot to the recycling.
Our clones won’t answer back, they will never complain, they are almost too good to be true…”
Link to Art: TBA
Link to Fic:

The Problem With Good Intentions

Title: The Problem With Good Intentions
Author: Sakarrie
Artist: finem (Tumblr)
Word Count: 28k
Pairings: Gen (Slight background Arwen, but not a focus)
Characters: Arthur and Merlin with most of the main s4 cast making appearances
Rating: T
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence
Summary: After being ambushed by bandits on a hunting trip, Arthur catches Merlin using magic to save a severely-wounded Gwaine. Desperate to save his friend from magic's taint, Arthur goes behind Merlin's back in order to find something that could save him. His methods may do more harm than good, though, and soon all of Camelot is in danger.

Art Masterpost: Link
Fic Masterpost: Link

The Crownless King

Title: The Crownless King
Author: Mythmaker
Artist: CeeSaltSanctuary
Pairings/Characters: Merlin & Arthur (and Merlin/Arthur)
Rating: Teen+
Word Count: 38,169
Warnings: Mentions of slavery/abuse, Canon-typical violence
Disclaimer: No ownership of Merlin claimed. I'm just here to explore character psychology. And I just think its neat.
Author's notes: I think I might have had the worst luck this year, but finishing this has made it entirely worth it. Thanks to the ACBB mods, CeeSaltSanctuary, and probably an eldritch god or two.
A looming political crisis, a long-standing promise of the Perilous Lands, and emissaries from Broceliande forest call upon Prince (Regent) Arthur to respond with some kind of diplomacy while his father languishes and Morgana’s schemes cast long shadows. In order to learn about their new allies (and enemies), Merlin is tasked to impersonate a minor Lord in a foreign court.

Apparently other people don’t think this is an insane idea.

Story link:
Art link:
sun dragon

Wake Up Camelot!

Intro picture of Camelot with the sun rising and the words Wake Up Camelot. ACBB 2020: Story by Tari_Sue, Art by LFB72

Title: Wake Up Camelot
Author: Tari_Sue
Artist: LFB72
Pairings/Characters: Merlin/Arthur, Merlin, Arthur, Gwen, Elyan, Lance, Gwaine, Percy, George, Hunith, Will, Vivian, Elena, Mithian, Agravaine, Uther, Valiant, Edwin
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 84,689
Warnings: too much sugar is very bad for your teeth.
Disclaimer:I do not own Merlin, he is very much his own man and does not belong to anyone, except maybe Arthur, but don’t tell Arthur that because it will go to his head and he will boss poor Merlin about even more. I also don’t own and didn’t invent the concept of the Merlin TV Show, because if I did I'd be a lot richer, that belongs to the BBC and Shine. I will make no money from this, unless you want to pay me to take it down in which case bidding starts at £1,000.
Author's notes:I have no idea how a real TV station operates, this is all entirely fictional, although some of the stories are loosely based on real news reports.
  Although dates in this fic say ‘2020’, this is an alternate 2020 with none of the world events that actually happened – so no Covid 19 or anything else, just general fluff. Oh, and the London Marathon happened in April, like it was meant to.
  Most of the chapter titles are taken from UK Children's Saturday Morning TV of the 70s, 80s and 90s, just because I wanted to – let's pretend they are what inspired Merlin, Arthur, Gwen et al to become breakfast TV presenters.
  Thanks to nympha_alba for the beta, this was such a monster to go through and I was about ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater when you came to my rescue!
Thank you to clea2011 for having a final check through for me even though she was trying to finish her own fic – I’ve had the privilege of reading some of that amazing fic and it's brilliant!
  Thanks to camelittle for also reading through and fixing all my last-minute errors. And for the jokes about brass – George would not have been the same without you, and neither would my commas. Also, my Brass Band Guru informs me that Sousaphones are American and not really part of a traditional English Brass Band, but it’s a strange big instrument for a strange little man and I didn’t want to change it to a tuba, so that inaccuracy is on me.
  And last but definitely not least, thank you so much to the brilliant lfb72 for not only putting up with me again but for all the wonderful art, endless patience and just generally being a lovely person to know, and for being an absolute hero during the real 2020, but also for all of the good ideas in the fic – the bad ideas were mine!
  Thank you to the mods for running my favourite fest once again, long may it continue!
  And thank you to anyone who actually bothers to read this.

Artist's notes:
I have had the pleasure of working with Tari_Sue previously and was delighted to have the opportunity to do so again! Not only is she a fabulous friend but a fantastic writer and it was a real privilege to see this story unfold and develop before my eyes. It's such a fun ride in such testing times and I've really enjoyed working on this and depicting our heroes in challenging circumstances. I had fun making up the images for Camelot's waking dragon but all credit should go to Tari_Sue for bringing her to life through animation. The story is packed with scenes that cry out to be illustrated and it would have been easy to go on. Many thanks to Mattie le Fay for being my art beta and for the mods who continue to run this glorious fest!

To escape a toxic relationship, Merlin applies for a chance of a lifetime job in London working for Wake Up Camelot, the BBC’s flagship breakfast TV show. New city, new country, new job, new friends, new loves, new enemies – life is a rollercoaster…

Art link:
Story link:

Art for War of Hearts


Title: War of Hearts
Artist: matchboximpala
Pairings/Characters: Arthur/Merlin, Gwen/Morgana
Rating (if applicable): G
Warnings: None
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Artist's notes: I'm sorry the fic is not available to post with the art, because what I read of it was great. I hope it gets finished. Many thanks to dylan_mx for the quick beta turnaround. You gave me insightful comments that I hope to apply, as soon as I have a chance.
Summary: There were several long moments of tense silence as the gravity of the situation sunk in. Merlin had used magic, and Arthur had been awake. Arthur had seen.
When Arthur finds out Merlin has magic, at first he’s angry, then he feels betrayed, then torn—ultimately he doesn’t know what, exactly, to do with his manservant. Of course, he could never hurt Merlin, could he?

Art link:

Merlin's Magical Maladies

Title: Merlin’s Magical Maladies

Author: Subtlemagic
Artist: Ms Three
Pairings/Characters: Arthur/Merlin, Gwen/Lance, Other background pairings.
Rating: T
Word Count: 54k
Warnings: Off-screen violent attack, medical situations, allegories for bigotry, references to homophobia and other marginalisation.
Disclaimer: We do not own, nor are affiliated with Merlin (BBC). No profit is generated through this transformative work.
Author's notes: It’s been a long time since I’ve completed a challenge like this, and I’m so thrilled at the opportunity to get back into writing for the first time in a while, so thank you so much to everyone at ACBB. It was a bit of a challenge to complete as I’ve moved countries during the time I was writing this, but very worth it! Thank you so much to Ms Three, whose cover art almost made me cry. Thank you so, so much.
Summary: Dr Merlin Emrys is a consultant at one of the few dedicated Mageiaology departments in Camelot. He has dedicated his life to helping the magical community, through his work at St Caspian’s hospital, as well as through his weekly advice podcast Merlin’s Magical Maladies – Your magic problems, solved!

As tensions in the country between the magical and non-magical communities in Albion start to quietly build, Merlin feels drawn to help one of his listeners “Theo” with his sister and concerning homelife, but when he find out who Theo really is, will he still want to help?

Featuring Dr Merlin, Governance Officer Gwen, Nurse Lancelot and all the knights and paramedics and pilots in the Search and Rescue rugby team.

Story link:
Art link:
hatter alice

Clear All The Cobwebs

Title: Clear All The Cobwebs

Author: DLanaDHZ

Artist: PrincessPendragon

Pairings/Characters: Merlin/Arthur

Rating:  M for minor violence

Word Count: 36,264

Warnings: Someone does get stabbed but it's not graphically described

Author's notes: Thank you so much for letting me take part in this event again this year. The artists are always so talented, and I'm so happy with the art I received this year!

Summary: Arthur and Merlin used to be inseparable, best friends of the closest kind, but a blackout on the eve of Arthur’s thirteenth birthday changed everything. That was the day Arthur had to make a choice between keeping his best friend close or keeping him safe from his father. Ten years later, Arthur has mastered the art of pretending Merlin isn’t special, but then he and Merlin end up working on their college’s centennial celebration together. Now Arthur’s just trying to hold everything together without looking like a fool or an asshole. Or both. Arthur is about to find out that far more people need protecting than just his neighbor and maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t have to keep his distance from Merlin after all.

Story link:

Art link: Art in Story