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WCT - The Writing Competition Thread [September Round]


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The Writing Competition Thread

In conjunction with The Writers' Thread


This month's category: Short Story. Good luck everyone!

Current Stage: VOTING

Contest Dates:

-->Submission: September 1 12:01am to October 6, 11:59pm

-->Voting: October 7 12:01am to October 20, 11:59pm

-->Results: October 21, 7:00pm

General Info:

The Writing Competition Thread holds bi-monthly competitions starting on the first day of every other month. There are three categories that our competitions fall under: Short story, poetry, and freeform. Each competition focuses on one of these categories. We aim to be a non-threatening competition, and to help our entrants improve their writing skills. If you are interested, please enter regardless of your skill level. We try to give feedback and helpful tips for entered works.

Submission Rules:

- Late submissions will not be judged.

- Entries should reflect the category of the competition. If an entry is deemed to not fit into the correct category, it will be ignored.

- Instead of submitting old material, you are encouraged to write something new. After all, we are writers, and we are up to a little challenge, right?

- Only one entry per person is allowed. Subsequent entries will be ignored.

- Finish your work before you post your submission. Edits of submissions after the judging phase begins will disqualify the submission.

- Remember to include a title, or at least a handle for people to call your work during the judging phase.

- Please post your piece directly into this thread! Otherwise, it may get overlooked.

- If you would like your entry to be placed on the Writers’ Thread list, then submit a link with it as well.

Category - Short Story:

- No fanfiction. Fanfiction will belong in the Freeform category. Why? Because creating and developing your own characters in a limited amount of space is a significant challenge. Working with existing characters in existing universes is like remixed music; it's one thing to remix a song, but something completely different to make it from scratch.

- Fiction and nonfiction are both welcome.

- Please limit your submissions in this category to 2500 words.

- Please label your work as fiction, non-fiction, hybrid, etc. This will help people understand and better judge your piece.

Category - Poetry:

- Poetry can be almost anything. You need not adhere to a particular form unless you wish to. Anything from sonnets to haikus to free-verse belongs here.

- Please limit your submissions in this category to 1000 words.

- Please label your work regarding the type of poetry it is. For example, ballad, villanelle, palindrome, limerick, free-verse, acrostic, etc.

Category - Freeform:

- If it has words, it belongs here. Examples could be Maddox-style rants, journalistic articles, How-to documents, or really whatever creative idea you can come up with. Hell, even ASCII art would probably find a home here.

- Please limit your submissions in this category to 3000 words.

- Label your work, if you think it will help.

- I will kill you if you use an ASCII art generator to make a submission.

Voting rules:

- Early or late votes will not be accepted.

- *NEW* Anyone who has submitted an entry in past competitions may vote, even if they are not current submitters. The purpose of this is to prevent one person from having their friends (or alt accounts) to win by flooding the vote, while maintaining a larger voter base than normal.

- When voting, you will choose a 1st Place and a Runner-Up.

- *NEW* Scoring: If the voter has submitted an entry this round, their vote for 1st Place will be worth 3 points, and for Runner-Up worth 2 points. If the voter has NOT submitted this round, their votes will be worth 2 points and 1 point.

- Honorable Mentions can certainly be made, but will not add any points.

- You may not vote for your own work

- Voting in this competition automatically gives your entry an extra point!

Determining the Winners:

- After the deadline for voting has passed, I will tally the votes for each submission. The submission with the most will be declared the winner, and second place will be the runner-up. Winner and runner-up will both receive a custom signature badge so you can show off your achievement!

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Freeform Submissions

Antonio Pizza

"Why I Hope My Marriage Is Like Super Mario Bros. 3: An Improvo-Essay by Antonio Pizza"


A Herculean Effort

He sat there, abdominal muscles tensed to the breaking point, straining, moaning, panting, pushing. His foot tapped at the ground, and his toes curled as if attempting to dig through the tiled floor. A groan escaped his lips, and a quiet whimper followed not far behind. He rocked back and forth, his arms wrapped tightly around his middle, while his palms dug deep trenches into his flanks. His eyes seemed to bore through the far wall, feigning an intensity to shame both hammer and chisel, that is, when they were not rolled back into his head, not withstanding the agony that roiled throughout the man's body, seemingly racking his very life away from him.

He gulped for a breath of air, and then held it. His face turned crimson, and the thin vessels in the whites of his eyes bulged and popped as if mortal man were not built for such an experience. He breathed the air out, and continued to rock, continued to grip, continued to dig through the ground beneath his feet. He arched his neck backwards and opened his mouth as if to bellow. But nothing came out. And when he threw his head back down it was in perfect sync with the jerking rock of his body. His foot now pounded at the ground, and his toes no longer curled, they writhed. They seemed to scream in-tune with the man and with his pain. Morbidly, his entire body seemed a chorus, synchronized, and in tune with his moribund agony.

It just wouldn't come out.

Minimum Wage: A Strange Celebrity

by G_D

Earlier this week, a bill which was passed by Congress over 60 days ago went into effect, raising the national minimum wage by seventy cents to $5.85. This is the first in a series of three increases set to take place over the next two years, with the final minimum wage to be set at $7.25 per hour. Proponents of the increase are ecstatic, saying that it's about time; this is the first increase in minimum wage in over ten years, and before the recent increase, the wage floor was at its lowest real dollar value (taking inflation into account) in over 50 years. If these politicians opened their eyes, however, they would see the inevitable consequences of this increase, and it would not be a pretty picture.

Whether we like it or not, the minimum wage is here to stay. We are too steeped in an economic policy that requires protection for the poor to simply abolish or even gradually diminish minimum wage, and an attempt to do so would solicit cries of outrage from the general public regardless. However, that doesn't mean we must continue to raise it, and we shouldn't. It doesn't take much knowledge of economics to see that to raise minimum wage is to necessarily increase both inflation and unemployment, leaving our economy in worse condition than before. In addition, the people who are most hurt by a raise in minimum wage are those who it is intended to help: the ones earning it. In response to a minimum wage increase, many companies must try to cut costs as rapidly as possible, and guess where the easiest area is to cut: the unskilled workers making the least amount of money. Granted, the market will eventually equalize, but it does so by lessening the worth of the dollar and increasing the number of marginal low-wage employees who are without jobs.

The logical question that follows, then, is why minimum wage is so heavily supported, and why nobody in government does anything to stop it. Surely there are intelligent people in Congress who understand basic economics. And there are; the bill passed by a vote of 315 to 116 in the House of Representatives, indicating that a good number of politicians know the dangers of the minimum wage. However, many of the opponents of the bill don't get it entirely; a group of Republicans proposed a compromise bill which tacked on tax cuts for small businesses in order to offset the problems caused by increasing the wage floor. It's a little better, but it isn't what we need. So why did the bill pass, against logic and opposition? My guess is that the Democrats who proposed the bill were doing an easy vote-grab at the general public – especially low-income voters – by giving them what they want and what sounds like a good deal. I mean, who wouldn't want to get paid more? It is also possible that they are well-meaning, and honestly believe the negative side effects will not outweigh the positives.

The problem is that this is the presiding line of thought in many peoples' minds, and especially in the minds of well-off lawmakers. They see minimum wage as a good thing, because they only see the bottom line: low-income workers will be paid more. Instead of taking into account the wide range of facts regarding minimum wage – for instance, that approximately half of those earning minimum wage are under the age of 25, and about a quarter are between 16 and 19 – they make their decisions based on what sounds to them like an obviously good idea. Besides that, the debates that take place often focus on only one negative aspect of the increase; namely, the loss of jobs by unskilled low-income workers. The point of inflation and the increase in price of goods is seldom mentioned, and there is still much debate at how much the minimum wage affects unemployment, even among seasoned economists.

Unfortunately, the minimum wage is here to stay. We can do our best to slow its increase, but we cannot neatly abolish or diminish it, especially now that new legislation has passed. One could hope for someone in power who had good economic sense, but that has been a rare phenomenon in our country, and isn't likely to be changed anytime soon. Here's hoping the future will prove me wrong, and this increase will turn out for the better of our economy.

Center Line

I walk the middle road.

Down a horseshoed street

With the sun on my right and

A Hydrant on my left

Watching each step in time.

A bag of mail in my right hand.

Am I the postman?

No, no. just a friend.

My burden I have chosen to bear.

I arrive and the wind

Rather breeze

Picks up.

I am in the shade of many trees

The ground undried from the afternoon sun and the morning’s rain.

I leave the sack at the door and turn back.

Dylan singing, track 6, greatest hits.

I walk the middle path

Head up straight and full

Clarity in the air.

Each sound each sight

Every thing in the light.

Rightly cast the shadows and far free the feelings.

But strange no feeling of freedom

No burden to bring my face down.

Leon K
A heart contains several notes-

Melodies for special situations.

Played like drums or quickly strummed,

they produce emotions.

A midnight tryst contains a lovely ballad,

Tempered later by the blues;

Fighting words will illicit drama

sung by a broadway muse.

Fear of fate will still sing the gospel

following a quick bout of prayer-

While a sunset always arrives

following electronic days in subtle layers.

Anothers pain is echoed by a wailing sound,

A guitar crying their hurt that day;

While a flute, light and airy,

brings peace and fends loss away.

A snow covered field on a winters day

is reflected by all that jazz;

And a solo by a lone violin

will remind us of beauty past.

A single aria from a lonely soul

becomes a duet between lovers,

while a dirge follows inevitably

when they depart each other.

So from my heart to yours,

Why can't we sing forever?

Let's let our souls fly free and

see what music we'll make together.

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Sorry. You can blame it on whoever deleted the thread. The problem is, I don't want to give an extra week and a half to whoever hadn't submitted a piece yet.

I understand your pain, though; as a result of this whole mix-up, I don't have any pieces in the competition. If it makes you feel better, I'll try to host the Spring Competition earlier than usual.

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I don't understand what you're saying. Are you saying I should tell people right now that they have one day to finish their works? What happens then if they have been working on it for the entire time the contest has been off? Then they have an unfair advantage. Not to mention that when the thread was deleted there was just under a day and a half left in the competition.

I am merely trying to handle an unfortunate situation in the most fair way possible. Please, instead of being indignant and angry, why don't you try helping me to understand where you are coming from?

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"Indignant and angry," ha. Internet, serious business, and all that jazz. I don't even have a piece I'm interested in submitting, so don't jump to conclusions. I'm just defending logic here.

Of course I'm saying that you should tell people right now that they have one day to finish their works. Here's why:

If you're going to ask what happens if they've been working on it since the deletion, then you ought to be asking, what happens if they've been working on it since long before the competition began, or if they merely submit an old work as a competition piece? In the creation of the current rules JamStunna and the others decided it was better to trust in participants, so why stop trusting them now? A day and a half can be a lot of time for a writer, after all, so who knows how many people had plans to submit before the deadline? Why deprive them of that chance because of a mishap?

Also, there's no reason that people who have already submitted couldn't resubmit their works as well. It would be their fault if they didn't, and just as much their fault if they hadn't been working on it since deletion as well (after all, a work is never finished, it is merely abandoned by the author). There's really no reason to protect them from what can only be their laziness or contentment and punish others for what may just as easily have been the fault of time availability or writer's block.

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At Fire in the Hole's suggestion, I have decided to not only extend the submission stage for this competition to the end of tomorrow (Tuesday), I have also included any submissions made since the contest began (save for the Eternal Legends chapter, unless GA wants it in the competition). So, GET CRACKIN!

Also, if I have forgotten or left out anyone's entries, please let me know before tomorrow night!

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I guess I have to resub... again lol.

"Untitled" - Poem, Freeform


"The Blue-Tinged Angel" - Short Story, Fiction


I hope you like them.

G_D, I think that you added my short story, but not my poem. Unless I can only submit one thing, then just put one item in this comp, and one in the next one. Thanks.

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Sorry bout that Old Man Time...I coulda sworn I got that.

5 more hours for entering the competition!

Thanks. I'll vote tomorrow after I finish finals, though now that I think of it I have items in two categories, and there aren't any in the third, so maybe I shouldn't vote because I wouldn't be all that objective? Either way I'll still review other peoples work.

EDIT - I looked over the judging rules, and tell me if I'm wrong, but it looks like I should just vote in all categories.

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As of this writing there is just under an hour and a half left in the submission stage. I won't be awake when it gets over (slight oversight), so I'm pushing the start of the judging stage back to 1:00 pm tomorrow. That way I'll be sure to get all the entries onto the front page.

In other news, I added a Judging Rule: You can't vote for yourself. That's just lame. If you have a serious complaint, please let me know.

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Ok! The voting stage will start in about 45 minutes. Though there are no freeform entries, you will still get an extra point if you vote in Short Story and Poetry. Also, before you vote please read through the Judging Rules again. All entries are posted on the first page.

Happy voting!

EDIT: I just realized I missed Manic Cinq's poetry entry. I really apologize if I missed anything else, and please let me know ASAP if I did!

EDIT 2: I also just added ZeaLitY's entry, so be sure not to miss that one. Man, poetry competition is stiff this round!

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I pm'ed you, G_D. Pretty sure thats what we're supposed to do.

EDIT: I just look at the a-z of ocr comp. thread, and the writers thread isnt in it. Is it just that it hasn't been added yet, or what?

just send a pm with a small text that explain the competition, to the Orichalcon or myself. Gathering info take time that's all.

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We have a while left for voting. I set it to end January 31st, but if everyone votes before then it can end earlier. I just know that sometimes we've had trouble with people not voting very quickly (myself included).

So, does somebody want to volunteer to write something up and send it to TO? I'm getting pretty busy right now, and just don't have the energy. I'd suggest sending a description, history, and links. I would appreciate if someone would do this, but if nobody does in the next couple days I'll try to write something up Saturday.

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