Rough Trade Ruminations

In November of this year, Rough Trade will turn 10 years old. I can’t say I expected my NANOWRIMO challenge to morph into what it is today but overall I’m pleased with it. Sometimes the struggle has been real. As a writer, I think I’ve grown with each challenge, but I think I learned more during the times that I failed. (I don’t need comments about my individual failures on RT–just because while I can take getting punched in the face, it doesn’t mean I want to get punched in the face).

The best part about Rough Trade isn’t the works I’ve produced, though I am proud of them, or the lessons I’ve learned about myself and my craft. My craft exploration happens whether I participate in RT or not. The best thing about the challenge and our ten-year anniversary is the journey we’ve been on together.

We’ve built something special in our community and I hope that Rough Trade continues to be a source of inspiration, enjoyment, and fun for many more years to come.

I’ve finished my April RT and you can read about it here. It’s  Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy.

Last year was difficult (for obvious reasons) but I really struggled with RT. I hated the story I wrote for April (during the process) but that was more about my mental state than the story itself. I wrote exactly what I’d planned to write but the stress of the panorama and being stuck at home was very difficult. I calmed down about that first story and even posted it on my site but July fell to pieces a bit. I picked it back up later, completed it, and posted it as well. For the record, I wrote Eye of the Tiger for April and House of Wolves for July.

Since I finished my RT a few days early, I’m trying to keep my mind busy and I’ve started editing Heart of a Lion which was my novel-length work for November 2020. I didn’t finish it during the month but I did more than meet my word count goal during the month of the challenge. I just had more story than I could tell during that month. It came out to be 134k and I’m really pleased with it so I think you guys will like the finished project. It’s a Rule 63 McKay/Sheppard. I’ve written McKay as “always a girl” before (Hold My Coffee), so I was comfortable with that aspect but putting her in the role of a Guide in a short story idea that I’d originally planned for Rodney took some work. The result is satisfying.

Earlier in the year, I was working on the themes and conditions for Rough Trade 2022. And I thought as we move into a new decade of challenges for the site that it would be interesting to change things up a little. You can read about the challenges on the Rough Trade forum.

As we close out the first challenge of 2021 and head towards the 10-year mark, I’m really just utterly gruntled to know all you bitches.


Keira Marcos

In my spare time, I write fanfiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on the Internet. It's not the usual kind of hobby for a 40ish "domestic engineer" but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people's expectations.


  1. Thank you for hosting this forum and thank you and all the other authors and artists for the enjoyment you have shared.

    • I agree ; these stories and these authors are amazing. I’m always super gratefull to see anything on any of the forum. I am a super fan of alot of genres and they are mostly old used up ones but I always see wonderful new things here.

  2. You are a utter WONDERFUL bitch in ANY forum you write, and I, for one, am thankful to be have given a glimpse into your worlds. Thank you for sharing your talent and may you forever reign!

  3. I love your Meredith, and I am so looking forward to seeing Heart of a Lion again!

  4. I’m always really grateful for the site and what you do to maintain it. I’ve not done any challenges after having a meltdown over NaNo last year and have written very little at all. Reading all the fabulous stories both here, at Wild Hare and Quantum Bang have begun to get my muse waving her sexy bum at me. I’m going to think about July but in the meantime… if I could just write – something, anything will do, then I’ll feel like my lockdown lethargy is finally over. Thanks for everything, Keira; your time, your skill sharing, and your brilliant writing. And here’s to another 10 years!

  5. As a reader, RT and QB have led me places I never would’ve considered. I’ve found new authors, fandoms, tropes that have infinitely enriched my fanfiction experience. You’ve built an amazing community and we’re all reaping the rewards of that work. Thank you!

  6. Can I just say that over the many years since I found your original website here, and through it the others you started and thus all the many various authors who have posted to them, your fics have pulled me through many times when I was at the end of my rope, due to the various mental and physical health issues I have. I’ve been able to lose myself in your fics forgetting for a while the constant pain due to arthritis, and given me what ifs to ponder when I haven’t been able to sleep. Thank you for all you’ve brought to the various forms of fandom over the years and I hope you’ll be with us for many more.

  7. Oh I quite enjoyed your November Rough Trade, so I’m looking forward to seeing the complete version whenever you get it up! 🙂

  8. Thank you for hosting the site and for the works you and the others have given us. Every year I think, ooh, I wanna write for this, and then I chicken out. Its been about 7 years since I’ve written anything, the last time being for Bring Back The Porn. I was really proud of that. Maybe I’ll find a prompt for next year that fits the fic that’s been living rent free in my head for the last 4 years.

  9. I don’t remember how I stumbled across Rough Trade or which year. Maybe 2013 or 2014? I know it was the middle of the month and I was confused by what was going on. But…. I came back again and again because I loved the stories. I have found some of my favorite stories and authors on RT. Thank you so much to all the wonderful authors for sharing your work. Thank you Keira for providing this space for writers and readers.

  10. Heart of a Lion has, in my opinion, the best Woolsey ever.

  11. I learned a hell of a lot doing RT and I’m so grateful to you for making it real. Work has been hell but I plan to do another challenge soon.

    I am *seriously* looking forward to the edit of Heart of a Lion!! Loved the first rev as well. You rock on, lambchop.

  12. I absolutely love your work. Every time I get notice that you’ve posted something new I get super excited. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

  13. Thank you so much for all your work on the admin end of things! It amazes me how you’ve put all.this together and still write!

    Hope the coming decade is twice as good as the first!

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