Sunday, 22 February 2015

Writing contests

For a long time, I refused to go anywhere near fanfic-writing contests in the ponyfic world. (Or anywhere else, for that matter.) Part of it was that I was nervous of the competition, part of it was that a lot of them didn't seem very well thought out, part of it was that a lot more of them ended up with two or three entries if you were lucky. So I wrote my stories, put them up on Fimfiction and just generally cruised along. I didn't really give any thought to the idea that I might start entering any fic-writing competitions myself.

And then, last summer, there was the EQD "Outside Insight" contest, whose prompt ("Write a story about ponies from a non-pony's perspective") caught my interest. And so I wrote We Who with Songs Beguile, which ended up making the final. I was very pleased by that, especially considering the quality of the opposition I was up against. And, since then, I've entered several more, albeit on a much smaller scale. I've even managed to win one: It Doesn't Matter Now took the honours in a small contest organised by UK of Equestria.

I'm still not a full-on contest enterer. I completely missed the original "Most Dangerous Game" contest, which is a shame as I'd probably have tried that one. (Its sequel was of much less interest, unfortunately.) And before anyone mentions them: yes, I know about the Writeoff Association's write-offs (guys, what's with the non-agreeing hyphenation?), but they really seem to demand more time than I tend to have available. I need competitions which are pretty much write story, submit story, wait for results!

So, I suspect that I'll continue in much the same vein as I do now: entering the occasional contest simply because the setup catches my eye. Whether I'll ever win another one, who knows, but I think I would encourage other fanfic authors to give the thrill of competition a go from time to time. Just don't worry too much if it all goes horribly wrong: The Light that Ignites in the Dark was one of nine entries for a contest. It came, er, "lower than seventh" along with a fic by a guy named JMac. You may have heard of him. :P

Maybe one of these days I might even try to set up a small-scale contest myself. That sounds like it might be quite a train-wreck fun, actually. Especially as then I wouldn't have to think of anything to write for it! :P


  1. I'm really really glad that you've been entering these competitions where possible. I don't enter competitions, be they for music or anything else, because I just simply haven't got the confidence to do so. In your case, I know for a fact that you've got the talent for writing, and I've said that for years (though not once an hour every hour, I think I should add.) I must admit I didn't know about the UKoE winning entry, so that's definitely really great to hear! And I have no doubt there'll be others before long.

    As for running your own competition, I certainly like the sound of that, and with LJ, LY, UKoE, and Twitter to advertise it, I'd hope that given a long enough time span, there would be a reasonable number of entries. I wonder what the prize would be though. (I'm kind of hoping it'll be a lifesize Pinkie. ;) )

    1. Thanks! I've had quite a good time with ponyfic of late, so I feel fairly cheerful about the whole thing. One very good thing about contests is that having a prompt in front of you can really helps to overcome Writer's Block. :)

      And it may happen; I honestly don't know at this point. I doubt I could manage an actual prize beyond the, ahem, "glory", though. :P

  2. Well, if you ever need help organising a competition, I'm sure I can be of service.

    1. Thank you; I'll bear that in mind. :) Mind you, I think it's most likely that anything I did set up would be a small-scale affair; knowing me, it would probably appear out of nowhere when I got bored one day. :P