Maybe you've just dipped a toe in the "Supernatural" fandom. It can be intimidating, especially when ugly squabbles rear their heads on social media.
You just love your show. You want to tell the world. You want to say thanks. You want to give back.
The #SPNBDAY2018 project gives you that chance.
If you could say something to your favorite characters, what would you want them to know?
Organizer Axy hopes that simple question will give every fan the chance to unite around something fun and original that leaves fandom politics aside. She says that the SPN Family has a uniquely visceral connection to the characters of "Supernatural" -- sometimes rising to a life-saving level.
"Hopefully (this project) will strengthen our bond inside the fandom, and maybe even create links between people who are kindred spirits. That would be awesome," Axy says. "We love this family, and we love this show, and this is, for us, a way to give back to both."
Every fan is invited to join in the creation of a book and a special blog of love letters to "Supernatural" and its characters, just in time for the show's 13th birthday. The blog will go live on Sept. 13, and the book will be presented to the cast at VanCon in October.
Entries can take any form: Love letters, poetry, a drawing, a painting, as long as they are directed to an SPN character or characters. To keep the project inclusive, a no-'shipping rule is in place, but that's pretty much the only restriction. The boundaries are your imagination and your love for the characters of "Supernatural." (For more on the project guidelines, see the pinned post at twitter.com/spnbday2018.)
Fan challenges associated with the project will crop up periodically on social media, with prizes awarded. During San Diego ComiCon, for example, followers of the project were asked to submit pictures of their collections of fan merch, with the winner taking home a Hot Topic "Supernatural" Book of Monsters necklace. Entries in those challenges will also appear in the book.
Organizer Doris says she found healing in the SPN Family, and she wants to share that feeling with others.
"I am a latecomer to not only the show, but to the fandom," Doris says. "Working through an initially very painful introduction to the SPN Family, suffering through a level of toxicity I hadn't expected, I found myself enveloped in a cocoon of encouragement, fun, and new friendships. My creative efforts were received with great kindness."
Organizer Taylor hopes the project will help fans remember what unites us, and find acceptance. "I really hope people realize why they fell in love with the show and the fandom as a whole,” Taylor says. “Or at the very least realize that there is a very bright corner of this family, and they are always more than welcome here."
Organizer Kathy says she was eager to help when she found out who would be involved in the project. "This small group of devoted fans are thoughtful and creative," she says. "We truly love our 'little show that could' and all the characters."
"It is about sharing and expressing those concepts in whatever medium you desire," says organizer Carrie. "It’s a positive reminder to (the cast) and to ourselves just how positively life-changing 'Supernatural' has been for us all."
"This project is for everyone," Kathy says. "Please send your art and your words. And please, as you work on this project, consider what we have been gifted with over the past 13 years (and counting). This show and these characters have changed our lives."
The organizers want to stress that every fan can find a way to contribute: Look within and ask yourself what the show and its characters mean to you, then share that. And find acceptance. That's what this family should be.
Project organizer Axy keeps a detailed storyboard and a tight schedule to ensure that the SPNBDAY2018 book comes out perfect and in time to be given to the cast at VanCon.
"I hope our fandom becomes a family again that focuses only on spreading the positivity, kindness and compassion that I know we're capable of," says organizer Mika.