Teams consist of 5-13 people. If a team has less than five people, it cannot participate in the HSWC, and if a team has 13 people, it is full and cannot accept any more members. Each team is led by a friendleader and assigned a mod liaison—a specific person within the mod team who will personally assist that team whenever necessary.

The ships represented in the HSWC are not decided before the event begins. Teams can be built around any ship, no matter how rare or popular, with some considerations.

To build a team, all you have to do is get at least four other people plus yourself together before sign ups end! You don't need to clear it with the mods or anything. If you can dream it, you can do it. During the sign up period you can also browse already-existing teams to see if there are any you want to join, too. (More on that at the sign up page.)

Teams are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. The first thirteen people to sign up for a ship team are on that team. (More information on the sign up page.) You can see the current team roster here.

In addition to the main ship teams, there are also Team Abstrata, Themed Teams, and Team Noir.

For each main round as well as the collab round, teams use the round's prompt and submit a round entry that best fulfills it. These round entries are then voted on by the entire community. All teams gain points for participating in main rounds, and the top ten most-voted entries receive additional points. For more information, see Event Layout.


Friendleaders are very important! Each team must have a friendleader (FL) in order to participate in the HSWC. The friendleader is chosen from one of the already-existing members of a team.

How Friendleaders Are Selected (during sign ups)

Friendleadership is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis during sign ups. There's a spot on the sign up form to indicate whether you would like to be your ship team's FL, and the first sign up to ask for the FL position is the one who is picked. If they step down or change teams, the next person who volunteered to be FL is then automatically selected.

If a team reaches at least five members by the end of the sign up period but no one has volunteered to become FL, the mods will e-mail all teammates asking for someone to step forward. If no one volunteers, the first person to sign up for that team automatically becomes FL. If they don't want the position, they will be responsible for finding another FL for the team and e-mailing the mods with the new FL's contact information before they can step down. If no one wants to be FL, the team will be disbanded and (probably) sorted into other teams.

Friendleader Responsibilities

A team’s Friendleader is responsible for:

  1. Creating/maintaining the team DW community

  2. Submitting the entry for each main/collab round
  3. Organizing the collaborative round
  4. Maintaining order and peace within the team (to a reasonable extent)
  5. Checking in with the mods when asked
  6. Contacting the mods if the team has any questions or issues

Friendleaders also have a comm that they can use to exchange information and leadership ideas with other FLs: friendleader_fiesta.

We will be contacting friendleaders on May 9, a few days before rosters are announced, in order to confirm their friendleadership and to give them time to prepare. Once friendleadership has been definitively confirmed, each friendleader should email the mods at with their DW username, their team's ship, their vice-FL's DW username, and the name of their team's DW community so that we can add it to the team roster and the team comm list.

FLs can create their team communities before May 9 if they're feeling particularly gung ho, though you shouldn't invite team members to the comm until the roster is finalized. You can also inherit a team comm from the previous year's friendleader. You'll have to do the legwork to get in contact with that FL yourself, though. Last year's comms are listed at the 2013 HSWC Team Roster.

Teams, and the friendleaders that lead them, will be assigned Mod Team Liaisons. This is your designated mod contact who is dedicated to giving you and your team prompt, personalized advice and attention. To determine your liaison, please check this post or on the Big Kahuna spreadsheet (not yet posted).

We strongly recommend that the friendleader choose a vice-friendleader. This vice-friendleader can have individual jobs (for example, the art or writing team coordinator) or they might just serve as friendleader when the main friendleader is away. Should a team’s friendleader be unreachable for any reason, the vice-friendleader would be contacted by the mods.

FLs are also expected to know how to use DW at least well enough to create a community for their team and post their team's main round entries. That's not hard to learn, though, and our informative DW walkthrough post covers most of the basic questions people have when it comes to the site.

Team Communities

Each team has a Dreamwidth community, which will be created (or inherited) and maintained by the team's friendleader. All team communities are listed on the Team Roster. Teams can use these communities to coordinate, host, and discuss fanworks before submitting an entry to a main round comm; exchange contact information; mingle and get to know one another; and do anything else they want, really.

It is extremely recommended that all team comm entries be locked so only community members can read them. For more information, click here.

Your FL will send all teammates e-mail invites to the DW comm once it is ready. If you do not receive a DW invite to your team community within a week after the HSWC begins, first check your DW inbox and e-mail inbox for messages. Then, check your pending invitations for an invite to your team community. If you still don’t see any correspondence, e-mail the mods at (do NOT send a Tumblr ask) with your DW username, your team, and a description of the problem.

Team Abstrata

Team Abstrata is the special rare-pairs team. This team has a Friendleader and a minimum member requirement, the same as other teams. However, this team is not tied to a particular ship; it can submit Doc Scratch <> Bro one round and Lil Cal <3< Eggs the next. The only restriction (aside from sticking to the prompt) is that Team Abstrata cannot submit main round works for ships that are already represented by a team in the HSWC.

In past years, Team Abstrata has had so many members that it ended up splitting into sub-teams. This is likely to happen again. When there are multiple Abstrata teams, each team is named after a different strife specibus, chosen by the team's FL: for example "Team Fancysantakind."

Themed Teams

Similar to Team Abstrata, Themed Teams are not limited to a single ship. Instead, these teams produce work around a central theme in Homestuck: for example, "Team Intermission," "Team Moirallegiance," "Team Ancestors," etc.

These teams are required to use themes that encompass more than four characters (for example, Team Beta Kids would not be acceptable). They're also intended to give representation to rarer aspects of the fandom that may not get work about them in the HSWC otherwise, so while "Team Beta Trolls" has more than four characters, it is still not suitable for a Themed Team. All Themed Teams must be cleared by the mods and assigned a standardized name before being added to the roster, so please e-mail the mods at before creating a new Themed Team.

During main/collab rounds, these teams can create entries that demonstrate their theme using any ship, as long as it fits the theme and is not already represented by another ship team. For example, Team Auspisticism could submit Diamonds Droog c3< Psiioniic c3< WV, but only if there was not already a Diamonds Droog c3< Psiioniic c3< WV team, and Team Guardians could submit Alpha!Rose <3 Nanna if there was not already an Alpha!Rose <3 Nanna team. As usual, different quadrants = different ships.

Like normal teams, Themed Teams have a minimum of 5 members and a maximum of 13. There cannot be more than one team about the same theme (there can't be two Team Moiraillegiances, for example). During sign ups, participants can join a themed team by writing the team name in the write-in slot.

Team Noir

Team Noir is the HSWC's casual team and cheerleading block. This team has neither a Friendleader nor a limit on how many people can join. By joining Team Noir, members have the freedom to participate in Bonus Rounds if they would like to, and they can also vote on main and collab round entries. This team, however, does not participate in main or collab rounds. They also have their own Dreamwidth comm at noirvelous.

There is a one-week period after each Main Round closes where Team Noir participants can "switch in" to the other competing teams and replace team members who have vanished or dropped from the competition. These periods will be announced on noirvelous when they open, so please keep an eye on that comm for posts!

You should join Team Noir if:

Team Switches, Drops, Hiatuses

Switching Teams

All participants will be able to freely switch their team membership throughout the sign up period. If sign ups close and your team is too small to participate in the HSWC, you will have a few additional days in which you can switch to another team (for more information, see the Schedule.)

After the official team roster is published, switching will be allowed only under extreme circumstances, i.e., when there is severe interpersonal stress within the team, severe conflict with the team's friendleader, or the team has been severely crippled by Vanished Participant Syndrome (though VPS cases follow disbanding protocols instead).

If this is the case:

  1. Contact the team's mod liaison. You can see who your team's mod liaison is on the Big Kahuna spreadsheet, and e-mail with their name in the subject of your e-mail so that they'll see it. Give your mod a brief overview of the situation and list what teams you would like to be switched to (including Team Noir, the Themed Teams, and Team Abstrata).

  2. The mod will work with you from there. They may attempt to first solve the problem within your team, but if no solution can be reached, they will then contact the teams you would like to switch to on your behalf.
  3. If you cannot successfully be placed in another team, you will be given the option to drop from the HSWC. Regardless of your final decision, the mod will then tell your previous friendleader of your switch or drop.
  4. Assuming you successfully switched teams, your new friendleader will contact you, and you will leave your old team’s DW comm and join the new one.
  5. Please note: Your points will not transfer to your new team as that would be a logistical nightmare.

  6. If you are the friendleader of your team and you transfer to another, you must appoint a new friendleader to take over for you and include this information (Dreamwidth username and an email they check regularly) in your initial email to us.

Team Noir members can switch in to all other open teams for a one week period after each Main Round. The mods will mostly handle this for your team, so don't worry about it. Switch periods will be announced on Team Noir's comm.

Dropping from the HSWC

Dropping is similar to the team switching steps listed above: contact your mod liaison letting them know. Sometimes the mod might try to find a way to help you stay in the event first, but if that isn't possible, they'll remove your name from the team roster and inform your FL of the drop.

In advance, thank you very much for officially dropping instead of just disappearing. It's very stressful for a team when members vanish without a word.


If you're a team member going on hiatus, let your team and friendleader know. You might also leave a comment on your team's DW comm so that people know what's going on for you.

If you're a friendleader, please let your team and mod liaison know, and please make sure that your vice-friendleader is ready and able to fill in for you for a while.

If you don't inform your team that you're going on hiatus, your spot on your team may be given away by the time you return. Every single year a number of participants disappear without a word, leaving their teams with only a few or even one member struggling to represent their ship all by themselves. It's unfair to those loyal remaining members, and extremely disheartening for the entire HSWC. Therefore, AWOL member positions may be given away to waiting Team Noir members. If you want to make sure you have your position when you return, please let your team know you are going on hiatus. (For what to do if a member or friendleader vanishes, see Vanishing Participant Syndrome.)

If you're a Team Noir member, you can go on hiatus whenever you want, really. You can leave a post on noirvelous if you'd like to, but it's not required. The only reason this matters is if you absolutely know you want to be on a certain ship team if a spot opens, and you're afraid you might miss it while on hiatus. In that event, contact the friendleader of that team, letting them know that you're going on hiatus, but you're still interested in joining them when you return if a spot opens up.

Disbanding a Team

If the need to disband comes up, please follow these procedures.

  1. Create a post on your team’s community broaching the subject of disbanding, and do your best to contact each member of the team individually asking them to provide their opinions and input.
  2. Wait/discuss for the next 72 hours.
  3. If there is a consensus among the members who have spoken up, please contact your team's mod liaison with your team name and decision. To find your team's mod liaison, check the Big Kahuna spreadsheet (not yet posted) and the e-mail with your liaison's name in the subject.

    1. If no one responds to the community post, what happens to the team is your decision.
    2. Please mention which team(s) you and your teammates would like to switch to (including Abstrata, Themed Teams, and Noir), or if you would like to drop from the HSWC instead. You can go to different teams or stay together, as you choose. Your liaison will contact those teams' FLs so they know you're coming.
  4. Members of the disbanded team will then have 72 hours to transfer to other teams via the team roster. At the end of the 72 hour period, they will be automatically placed in Team Noir.

Vanished Participant Syndrome

Throughout the HSWC you may find that members of your team or, in some cases, even your friendleader may disappear without warning. Here's how you handle it!

As long as you have five members before sign ups end, your ship team is cleared to compete in the entire competition, even if vanished participants drop you below the five-member minimum. However, if you want to disband your team, read this.

For friendleaders

If you have members who you can't get in contact with, contact your mod liaison by e-mailing and mentioning the liaison's name in the subject line. Your mod will then try to contact that member for you. If they can't reach them within one week, the mods will remove them from the roster and open their position on your team for Noir switch-ins after the next main round. If there is a specific Team Noir member you'd like to join your team on the next switch-in period, just let your mod liaison know.

The bi-weekly e-mail check ins with your mod liaison would also be a fantastic time to let them know if you would still like more members for your team, even if you don't have participants who have dropped. That way, they can offer those positions to Team Noir during their switch-in periods.

For members

If your friendleader has vanished, contact your mod liaison; look for their name on the Big Kahuna spreadsheet and then e-mail with the mod's name in the subject. If there is someone within the team who is willing to take over as friendleader, please also mention that in your e-mail. A reminder that a team cannot participate in the HSWC without a friendleader. If no one on your team is willing to step up, consider offering to become the friendleader yourself.

The mod liaison will try to contact your FL, and if that fails, will update the team roster list with the new friendleader's name. They will serve as friendleader from that point forward. A spot will also be opened up on your team for the next Team Noir switch-in period.

Teams also always have the option to merge with other existing teams (assuming the second team has room). If no one wants to be Friendleader, you may also consider merging. In this case, please follow the procedure to disband your team.

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