A number of people have contacted me because they're going to have to post late. Others have told me that their stories have defeated them and have asked if they'll be able to participate next year. I've answered everyone, but in case there's someone out there who's worried about either question:
1) Yes, you can post late.
I know that real life can get in the way; I know that stories can be uncooperative. Posting late is more than allowed. (And I'll add any late stories to the Master List.)
2) No. There are no penalties if you can't post a story. And you WILL be able to participate again if you have to bail.
If the story proves un-writable or, as above, if real life gets in the way--hey. It happens. Hopefully things will go more smoothly for you next year.
Hope this helps!