Final Update: Congratulations to BlackPersephone for winning the contest/spotlight. Thanks to everyone that contributed.
UPDATE: For fairness, we have decided to put up a poll to decide the winner of the contest/spotlighted pasta. There is an admin in the contest, and it doesn't feel right to disqualify them which we would have to do if the admins were to pick the winner. And please, don't mess with the polls. If we see anything that looks suspicious we'll wipe it out and put Fifty Shades of Grey as the spotlight. But seriously, vote once and don't recruit anyone. Looking at the users that entered I don't think it will be a problem, but I have to mention it. Keep in mind that we have caught people several times. Good luck to everyone that entered.
List of Entries
- Bea Wary by BlizzardLemon
- Blobster by JohnathanNash
- Dog Children by Umbrello
- Hunt in the Gulag by BlackPersephone
- I Don't Remember by Cappka
- The Laughing Desert by Mikemacdee
- A Night of Crimson by The Damn Batman
- Niki No. 41 by Ameagle
- The Shimmering Tree by ChristianWallis
- Tunda by Shadowswimmer77
- The Unkillable Kenny Leonard by Banningk1979
- Venomous by Anarchic Operations
Greetings fellow readers and writers! I’m Whitix (lurker, occasional critic and writer), here with a writing challenge for YOU. We haven’t had a contest in a good while, and I think it’s time to do something about that. Thus introducing, The 2016 Summer Creative Writing Challenge, open to any and all writers. Let’s get down to it.
What’s this all about?
I’ve been mulling over an appropriate theme for a contest, and settled on two points:
1. I want to read an interesting story.
2. I don’t want to stifle creativity.
That’s it. That’s all I’m looking for. I want YOU, possible entrant, to write something original, well put together, enthralling, creative, unique. Tell a creepy story. Give us something we haven’t seen before. Give us something we have seen before, but tell it in a way we haven’t seen before. Give us a story that makes us say, “Damn. That was pretty damn awesome.”
Get the idea?
The spirit of this contest is to hopefully spur some creativity in writers and give us some more inspired works. Hopefully a more competitive atmosphere will give wiki some truly unique stories. I realize that whether a story is creative or not is a very subjective statement, and I want you to know that you won’t be judged on the topic/content of the story, only the overall quality of the story.
I don’t want to place any restrictions on what you choose to write about, nor how you execute the topic. I won’t turn away entries even if the premise is generic, as the point of this contest is to encourage creativity, not enforce it. That being said, there are some things I would urge you to consider:
1. Try something that you haven’t seen done before. Get outside your comfort zone. Confront a new topic. Try whatever you’ve been thinking of doing, but haven’t got around to it for one reason or another (every writer has THAT idea in their head).
2. Make it creepy. This is a horror website after all, and thus, you should always keep this in the back of your mind while writing your entry.
3. Get feedback. The best way to figure out if something works or not is to ask unbiased strangers about it. Posting in the Writer’s Workshop is recommended if you’re unsure about your story, or need any sort of literary help. We’ve got a good team of users patrolling that area.
4. Make sure you enjoy writing it. If your story is a chore to write through, then it’s probably a chore to read through. Have fun, dammit!
TL;DR: Write a good story; have fun while doing so.
The winning author will have their story featured as August’s spotlighted pasta on the front page. I’ll also offer reviews to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place writers on additional stories of their choice. ALL entrants will receive thorough reviews on their submissions from myself.
I have no idea how many entries to expect, and so for the time being, I will be the sole judge. That said, if there is a significant amount of entries (maybe 10+?), I’ll request one or two additional judges to help give out scores (we would all grade a story and the average score would be taken).
Alright, allow me to be upfront: I am a harsh critic. I will actively look for imperfections in your work and nitpick them. Please be aware of this fact. That said, I’ll try my hardest to grade as objectively as I can (I’m only human after all). Just because I list a minor flaw doesn’t mean it impacts the score very much; I believe that there’s always room for improvement, no matter how minor.
Here’s the grading scale I’ll be using for the contest:
Grammar- 10 points, Mostly all or nothing. I’m not a huge stickler for grammar; as long as the story meets the quality standards and the grammar doesn’t impede the reading, then you should receive ten points.
Style- 20 points. Sentence structure, imagery, word choice, description, etc. Anything that furthers the enjoyment of the narrative through the actual literature itself.
Content- 50 points. Above all, I just want to read a good story. Thus, that's where I'll allot most of the points. Points here are given based on plot (15 points), characters (15 points) , flow of the story (10 points), and general enjoyment (10 points) that is had while reading.
Creepiness- 20 points. Elements of horror and the story's ability to present creepy material are graded here.
A story's enjoyment is a very subjective part of the score, but realize that I want to enjoy myself and I want to give out these points. You should get all of them if you enjoyed writing the story.
Reviews won’t be posted until the submission period is over, as I believe it’s more fair that way.
A Few Rules
As always, there are some guidelines to follow:
-The contest starts with the posting of this blog post. Entries will be accepted until July 18th, which gives you roughly five weeks to post your story. After that period, I will post the review scores and announce the winners.
-Post a link in the comments to your story once it’s finished.
-Your story must be new; please don’t link an existing story on the site.
-Use the by-user template (there's a handy little button for it under the templates section when submitting a story) at the bottom of your story to properly give yourself credit.
-As mentioned, I don’t want to stifle creativity. Still, the winning entry will be spotlighted on the wiki, and can’t be overly NSFW. Please don’t let this stop you from writing whatever NSFW content you desire, just know that extreme NSFW stories won’t be eligible for front page posting.
A Recap and Some Final Notes
-The goal of this contest is to write an enjoyable creepy story and post it to the site by July 18th.
-It must meet the Quality Standards of the site and have a link posted below.
-Reviews will be given to all entrants, with extra reviews given to the winners.
-Additionally, the first place winner will receive a spot on the front page
I realize that coming up with something new and unique in such a relatively short timespan isn’t always the easiest thing to do. To help with this aspect, I’ve compiled a list of some (IMO) unique writing prompts to help you if you’re stuck for ideas. These prompts are NOT required for the contest, nor do they influence judging in any way. They’re simply there to help you get started if you need them. Leave a message in the comments (maybe with a specific genre if there’s one you prefer) if you’d like one.
I think that about covers it folks! Leave a message on my talk page or in the comments if you need clarification or have any questions. Good luck and I look forward to reading your entries!
Thanks to EmpyrealInvective and Jay Ten for their help in getting this off the ground.