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WCT - The Writing Competition Thread [Short Story Results]

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The Writing Competition Thread

News

10/30/08: The results are in! Thanks to everyone who participated, not just in September's short story competition, but in all the competitions of the last year. It's been a fun ride, so it is with mixed pleasure and sorrow that I officially turn the competition over to GA Jedi Knight, who will be running it from here on out. I will miss everyone who has come, stayed and/or gone in my time with the competition. I have only one more word for you: write. Write your little hearts out!

Current Stage: SHORT STORY RESULTS

Contest Dates:

-->Submission: 12:00am PDT 6 September, 2008 - 11:59pm PDT 11 October, 2008

-->Voting: 12:00am PDT 12 October, 2008 - 11:59pm PDT 28 October, 2008

-->Judging: 12:00am PDT 29 October, 2008 - 11:59 pm PDT 31 October, 2008

General Info:

The Writing Competition Thread holds competitions starting at the beginning of every other month, with the submission, voting and judging stages usually lasting six weeks followed by a short break. 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 creative writing skills. If you are interested, please enter regardless of your skill level. We try to give feedback and helpful tips for entered works once each contest is over.

Submission Rules:

- Late submissions will not be counted.

- 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, please write something new within the time frame of the submission stage. After all, the idea behind the competition is partially to promote creativity, and inherent in the idea of creativity is the act of creation.

- Only one entry per person is allowed.

- Finish your work before you post your submission, or if you make a revision, identify it clearly and do so before the submission deadline. Edits of submissions after the voting phase begins will be ignored.

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

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

- If your piece is too long to fit conveniently into a forum post, please find some alternate form of hosting such as Google Docs or fictionpress.com and link us to it instead.

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.

- Feel free to label your work according to its genre, style, etc. This will help people understand and better judge your piece.

Category - Poetry:

- No fanpoetry. That is, nothing that qualifies as fanfiction, but in verse form. See above for the reasoning behind this. Also note that allusion is one thing; basing the majority of your work on another person's creative product is another.

- 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.

- Feel free to label your work according to its form, e.g., 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.

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

- Feel free to label your work if you think it will help.

Voting Rules:

- Early or late votes will not be accepted.

- Anyone may vote, even if he or she does not have a current submission. If foul play is suspected (i.e., an entrant finding a bunch of friends or alt accounts to artificially support their entry) an investigation will occur.

- When voting, you will award your allotted points to any two or more entries as you choose. Note: this means you may not award all of your points to one and only one entry.

- Scoring: If the voter has submitted an entry this round, he or she will be allotted 6 points to distribute. If the voter has NOT submitted this round, he or she will be allotted 3 points.

- A voter may allot up to one point to his or her own entry if he or she so chooses.

- Please submit all votes via PM to me (Imagery).

Judging Rules:

- After the deadline for voting has passed, I (Imagery) will tally the votes for each submission and post the results no later than the end of the judging stage.

- The submission with the most points will be declared the winner, and the submission with the second most points will be declared 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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Current Submissions

for the September short story competition:

Persistence of Memory by TheHands

Revelations by Darklink42

The Night's Apprentice by Opterion

The Golden Zither by ubernym

Classified Glow by just64helpin

At Last, Atlantis by ZeaLitY

How to Fail at Practicing Good Kendo by GA Jedi Knight

(Each title is a link; follow it to read the corresponding entry.)

Results

for the September short story competition:

Runner-Up: GA Jedi Knight

1st Place: Ubernym

Here's the vote spread:

TheHands - 5

Darklink42 - 2

Opterion - 3

Ubernym - 14

just64helpin - 5

ZeaLitY - 5

GA Jedi Knight - 10

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This was pretty stream-of-consciousness, so forgive the obscurity of it all. But, I guess that's what free-form is for, right?

Anyway:

Mealtime

We had finished our prayers and I opened my eyes and stared down at my plate. A chicken sandwich sat there at the end of it, smoldering in a yellow cheese which dripped off the sides of the patty. It's bun was covered in Sesame seeds and was dented in a little bit from where I had poked it out of boredom a minute before. To the side of that was a green bean casserole steeped in a pungent mayonaise. The little green beans and crunchy offerings which poked out of it looked small, and utterly overwhelmed by the monstrous glob of white garnishing which I should think was a few years past its prime by the surreal scent it exuded. In any case, I could tell that it was cold, and I wasn't looking very much forward to that edge of the meal.

But searching inbetween the two lots I found something much more to my liking. It was as if I'd turned a corner suddenly, whilst lost and afraid, in a distant land, hungry and seeking refuge, and then before me had risen a bright and glorious citadel whose façade bore my name in letters, emblazoned as if burning by the fires of heaven. And there had been feasting in abundance, and service, and goodwill toward all. It was like that.

It was like that when I turned my beady little eyes to the center of the plate and beheld, soaking in their warm, brown juices, the petite mound of beans which had been serviced onto my plate, so as to play the part of the third piece of my meal. At that moment, it was all I could do to not flood my plate in a cascade of bewildered, anticipatory salivation.

I could not hope to take it all in. Then, in an instant, the plate disappeared from my view, and all that remained were the beans, spreading out from their epicenter, settling onto the plate, slowly, but surely. They took hold of my senses and tore from my mind the remembrance of things past. The sandwich and that wretched casserole were finished. They no longer held any place in my life. I was slowly descending into it- becoming one with sacred legumes. I couldn't stop it. I didn't want to stop it.

Then the episodes of my life flashed, like the blink of an eye, before me. The darkness crept in from around the corners and inched forward, curling into the center of my vision. The shroud came down, and all was over.

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A day left in the contest. Do we have any more submissions in the works, besides mine? If anyone's really working on something I can extend the deadline, which I may even extend through the weekend already just because I don't know if I'll finish my piece in time. Let me know what you want to do.

On another note, Doulifee and I are talking about setting up an archive for the website rather than having a massive amount of posts for the thread. That way we could have all old submissions and contest results up for everyone to check out. Good idea, confirm/deny?

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Good idea, confirm/deny?

Confirm [ENTER]

Also:

Holy crap, it's already down to one day?! ****! I've been so wrapped up with my Thin-Walled Structures project that I completely forgot about it... Damnit.

This is the Freeform competition, right? I might be able to whip something short up today, provided I can stay awake (been up all night doing said project)... Maybe I'll submit my project report. ;-) (Nah, I wouldn't make you guys suffer through it, even though it's only 5 pages. :-P )

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Here's something:

Scrumtrilescent

Scrumtrilescent is a term coined by actor Will Ferrell as part of a Saturday Night Live sketch. It has since become a part of popular culture, and is commonly used to describe the indescribable. It should not be confused with cromulent, a word which originated from an episode of the television series The Simpsons to affirm the validity or acceptability of a word.

History

The term was first heard in an episode of Saturday Night Live in which Ferrell, in character as Inside the Actors Studio presenter James Lipton, arrives at a point in which he can no longer use standard English words to describe a guest's talent and skill. At this point Ferrell's character is forced to make up his own. "A performance so scrumtrilescent, I can barely move." He then sits motionless for several seconds.

Etymologically, the word scrumtrilescent is believed to be a portmanteau of scrumptious and transcendent. Also of note is the pronunciation, which varied between the dress rehearsal and live performances of the episode. Ferrell has stated that the word has no specific meaning and "I just said what I said." SNL alumna Molly Shannon stated "Will is usually very modest about that type of thing. That word he came up with [is] really just brilliant". After being told that it was Tina Fey who wrote the sketch and devised the term, Shannon responded, "Oh, that explains it."

Like other terms derived from popular forms of entertainment, such as embiggen, "this whomps" and crocrojio, scrumtrilescent quickly became an active part of the human vocabulary. In 2006, scrumtrilescent was printed in Gary Winter's Public Dictionary. The definition provided there is: "Adjective. A description of what is difficult or impossible to describe, especially in a emotionally positive sense."

See also

*Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

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Zeality sent me commentary and an entry from beyond the grave:

A website sounds great.

I guess mine will be the only poetry entry:

Pink Rukia

I lay my head upon a cushion soft,

And in my clouding sight, a woman forms --

Her slender figure dressed in silken garb,

Her hair slow-fluttering with pink aloft.

I take her hand, and meet her iris warm,

As high we fly into the youthful night,

Ascending frigid peaks in regions far

To meet the darkling morning's purple swath,

Where dreamy Sky caresses and adorns

A sleeping aura with a shroud of stars,

And stirs a gentle lake with fancy's tide.

She hovers near, with moonlit pallor cream;

Within her loving kiss, I dear confide.

Each night, I visit her in endless dreams.

My entry will have to wait until later tonight, and I'm even thinking of scrapping it and doing something else really quick...

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I'm going to call a three-day extension. Hopefully that will give GA and whoever else enough time to come up with something small. Also, I really like what I'm working on this time, but I'm going to a free screening of Sigur Rós's new movie now, so I won't be able to finish in time. Yay selfishness!

The new dates for each stage can be found in the first post. And just to be fair, those who have already submitted should be perfectly aware that they can submit revisions at any time up until the new deadline. Only the last version you post will be considered for voting.

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I set the deadline and almost forgot, myself. There's still a little less than an hour and a half left in submission, but to be honest I'll probably accept anything posted in the next twelve hours (before I have a chance to get on tomorrow morning and compile all the entries).

Here's my entry:

Alligator Poems and More

I. Prophecies on the Rapture

We expected you to fall

into the sewer’s gaping maw

about as much as we expected

that alligator to eat your leg.

II. Forethoughts (Four Thoughts)

you know the way the street-light works

to bend those branches which are not circles

seem just so interminably I must be staring

at the horrid lovechild of a vampire and an

impressionist painting never was so real

III. Appendices

Magic is not always smoke and mirrors.

Sometimes it is just smoke, sometimes

just mirrors.

Other times it is something entirely different, not smoke not mirrors

but rather in between,

almost like God thought “what is not smoke?” and “what is not mirrors?”

and then “what is neither here nor there?”

Eventually He winds up where we began.

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All right, looks like we have four entries. They will be compiled in the "past submissions" posts as current submissions, but just FYI, here are the authors and titles:

Barnsalot - "Mealtime"

just64helpin - "Scrumtrilescent"

Zeality - "Pink Rukia"

Imagery - "Alligator Poems and More"

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oh shit, i wanna do this!

do you guys do this every month??

Every two months. We rotate between three different categories: Short Story, Poetry, and Freeform (aka anything that has words). This one now going into the judging phase is Freeform. If I'm not mistaken, January will bring us to Poetry, and then March will be Short Story.

In other news, I always take too damn long to write things (as evidenced by my update frequency for Eternal Legends)... Oh well, maybe next time I can kick my ass into gear and get something done the first week of the competition so I don't have the same problem again.

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GA is correct. The poetry competition will begin January.

Also, I'd like to remind everyone that all votes for this competition should be sent to me via PM.

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Ok, we've got votes from all participants. I'm just going to keep the voting open through the deadline in case other past contributors would like to vote. (Hey G_D! Hey Jam! ;-))

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Sorry guys, I totally forgot about all of this. Creating this forum has seriously been detrimental to these contests, but that's a rant for another time. My votes:

First Place

Zeality- Pink Rukia

Runner-Up

Imagery- Alligator Poems and More

Reviews:

Barnsalot- I really liked yours, up until the ending. I felt like it had good comedic value up until that point. You're a little generous with the adjectives, so watch out for that.

just64helpin- I suppose your entry is freeform, but I don't see how anything creative was communicated here, and I feel like that's an essential part of the contest.

Zeality- I will be the first to admit that I suck at writing and critiquing poetry, but I really liked the imagery you used. Also I like the format, this is a sonnet right?

Imagery- Cool entry, I like the creative aspect of it, although I didn't think that section II was as good as the first or last sections.

I'm going to try to start hanging out around here more often, and hopefully I'll even be able to enter something next time.

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Not a big deal, Jam. Appreciate the votes anyway.

Voting is now closed. I have the results, but I'm going to keep writing my papers now and hold off posting them until I can get sig badges for the victors. Should be up Wednesday night at the latest.

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