Everfree Northwest, Seattle’s premier pony convention is known for having one of—if not the—strongest writing tracks in the MLP fandom. As part of that, we run an online writing contest (now called “Scribblefest”) every year. Entry is open to everyone, whether or not you attend the convention.
This year, we’re changing things up a bit. Instead of ranking stories in simple order, we’re giving out six special awards, each of which comes with a $20 Amazon gift code!
The Jaw-Dropper Award (“The Dash”)
We all know the type, the stories that make us go “Holy cow, THAT just happened!” This would go to the story with the best twist, surprise, or simple moment of hoof-pumping awesomeness!
The D’aww Award (“The Fluttershy”)
A staple of ponyfic… the story with the sweetest, most touching moment that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
The Nasally Ejected Beverage Award (“The Pinkie”)
You know, the one that makes you laugh so hard you snort milk out your nose.
The True Fable Award (“The AJ”)
The story that is most true to the spirit of the show. By definition, a fable is “a short story, typically with animals as characters, conveying a moral.” This goes to the story that best teaches a life lesson, especially using old fashioned, honest-as-apple-pie wisdom.
The Elegance Award: (“The Rarity”)
For services to poetic language, beautiful diction, haunting prose, and overall elegance in writing.
The Checklist-And-Caliper Award (“The Twilight”)
The story with the most attention to detail. This could be a puzzle or mystery type plot, stories that rely on actual math/science, or ones that show well thought-out rules underlying the use of magic. Basically, any story that makes you wonder just how much time the author spent on research, calculations, plot diagrams, or anything else that wasn’t actually writing.
It’s up to you, the author, where you want to focus your effort. Good stories will often include elements that make them eligible for multiple awards, and we encourage everyone to focus on good storytelling, rather than myopically targeting a specific award. Do note however, that no story may win more than a single award.
How to Enter
Each of the six awards mentioned above comes with a $20 electronic code good for use at Amazon.com. International contestants may request a code for their regional Amazon affiliate (such as amazon.ca, amazon.co.uk, etc.) instead, and we will attempt to provide a code worth the equivalent of $20 US in that region. This may not be possible however, so non-US residents enter at their own risk.
In addition to the $20, winning stories and authors will also be featured on the EFNW website, various media/blog posts, and in the EFNW Convention Book.
Stories must be between 2000 and 6000 words in length. Note: FIMFiction’s word count uses a different algorithm than most word processors and we will allow some leniency to compensate for this.
Scribblefest 2016 will accept entries from February 1st, 2016 until 11:59 pm PST on March 6th, 2016. Judging will begin immediately afterwards, and winners will be announced 2-4 weeks later, depending on the number of entries we have to judge.
Judging will be done in phases by a a combined panel of EFNW staff and invited guest judges from the community. Judges will be given a randomized set of stories to read and each story will be assigned to a minimum of two judges, to reduce the chance of personal taste/bias disqualifying a story unduly. Judges will vote for their favorite story in each award category to advance to the next phase. After each phase, votes will be tallied, and the top stories in each category will advance to the next phase, where the process will repeat until only one winner in each category remains.
Additional Rules and Details
1. All entries must adhere to a PG rating. Submissions using elements that could reasonably be considered above a PG rating, including but not limited to adult situations, intense violence, or drug use will be ineligible for the contest. If you are unsure if your story meets these guidelines and wish to ask, please contact our writing track lead, Xepher, directly by PM on FIMFiction. https://www.fimfiction.net/user/Xepher
2. Any material that violates the rights of a third party will be disqualified.
3. Submissions must be relevant to the My Little Pony fandom. If it’s not MLP-based fiction, an entry may be disqualified.
4. Stories must be an original work by the submitting contestant and must not have been released prior to the start of the contest.
5. Contestants may submit only one (1) story for consideration. If more than one (1) story is submitted, the submitter will be asked to select which entry they wish to enter into the contest. If the submitter cannot be reached in time for judging, the most recent entry will be used. Contestants that attempt to subvert this rule and submit multiple entries under different accounts or aliases may be disqualified at our discretion.
6. Co-written submissions are allowed, but disqualify all authors involved from submitting additional solo or co-written stories.
7. Editing/proofreading assistance doesn’t count as co-writing, and authors may submit their own story even if they help edit for someone else.
8. Contestants may only win one award each. If an entry is found to be the best in multiple award categories, the judging panel will decide which award is most suited for it, and will give the other awards to lower ranked stories in the other categories.
9. Winners will be selected based on many judging criteria, including, but not limited to: technical skill, characterization, creativity, originality, impact, and personal tastes of the judges. This is in addition to the criteria defined for each award itself.
10. Submissions must be submitted via the linked Google Form. http://goo.gl/forms/aa5LY4s9gi If you have trouble submitting, please contact our writing track lead, Xepher, directly via PM. https://www.fimfiction.net/user/Xepher
11. Final interpretation of the contest rules and judging criteria are left to the discretion of the judging panel, and their decisions are final.
12. Submitters retain ownership of their submissions, but by entering the contest the author agrees to allow Everfree Northwest to share their submitted stories on our website, social media, conbook, and in other promotional media and materials.
13. Contest judges are not permitted to enter the contest.
Good luck to everyone! We look forward to reading your submissions, and hope to see you all at Everfree Northwest this May. As always, keep up-to-date on the latest Everfree Northwest news by visiting our website, viewing/following our FIMFiction account and group, liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter and Tumblr.