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On the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Vs. Cynicism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon page.)

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Story Contest II: Ship Sinkers: 7-10 - 8/31, Actual 1st Prize (and now 2nd!) again. (First Come, First Pairs.) · 10:01pm Jul 9th, 2016

But first, we've got to wrap up the original contest. I said I'd announce the winner by July 10th, which allows me to give it out before that: my weekend schedule got upended and left me with this day free instead of the now-occupied Sunday. So... out of the eighteen entrants, only six put stories up. And that? Is to some degree, my fault. In retrospect, I didn't provide enough writing time, which is why the second contest has several extra composition weeks attached -- plus I really should have posted at least one Deadline Approaching reminder. We learn as we go.

For those who didn't read them yet: these are the six.

Where Parallel Lines Coverage, Fan Of Most Everything
Sweetie Spade And The Diminutive Dozen, Zebrarian
Letters To Home, Latrans
The Care And Feeding Of Exotic Sapients, Brumby Run
Space, Intentionally Left Blank, GroaningGreyAgony
Pas de Deux, Dafaddah

As far as judging went: I read them all and then formed my extremely subjective opinion.

(I'm not here to write six reviews and provide full critical breakdowns about exactly what I thought of each. That would equal reviewing, and I don't review stories. I know what I'm like as a critic and I think it's best if the rest of you never find out.)

I was fairly forgiving for typos. I noted that we got two first-timers out of this and was pleased accordingly: may their follow-ups be many. But ultimately, what it all came down to was:

How much did I enjoy the story?

Like I said -- subjective.

(And come to think of it, at some point in the future, I may want to try assembling a panel. Hmm... well, see a ways below.)

So with that said, of the six... I enjoyed Groaning's the most. And so hir prize is very literally in the mail: I just sent the Amazon codes via PM. (I'd post them here as Proof Of Payment, but there's a certain problem...) Hopefully, a few people will check out that story and the other entries in the contest. It's too late to get anything (else) featured, but a Popular column push isn't out of the question.

And in the time between making the announcement and waiting to hear the first screams, let's get this going again.

Story Contest The Second: Now Even Contestier!

This time, I'm going to give you a theme. You write a story based on, skewed around, tilted sideways from, or generally related to that theme. The story can be of any length, but must be complete and posted by midnight on August 31st, Eastern Daylight Time. You also must post to this blog entry's comments thread when the story goes up. It's your choice as to whether you put a blurb at the end of the story's long description: if so, I recommend "For Estee's Ship Sinkers contest," with embedded link.

Yes, the theme words are a little suggestive, aren't they? They should be, because here's what they represent:

Tell a story about why your chosen two characters would never work as a pairing.

Here's the rules:

* The big one: each writer must announce and claim their pairing in this thread before writing the story: first come, first serve, and each pairing must be unique. So in other words, multiple people can work with, say, Rainbow. But only the first person to announce they're doing a Rainbow/Fluttershy story gets to work with that exact pair -- so think fast and choose carefully. I'll update the main blog entry with claimed pairs so that everyone knows which combinations are off the board.
* One pairing per author. No multiple claims, or more than one story submission from the same person.
* However, there's no limits on the number of people entering this time. Come one, come all. (But if the community writers definition of 'all' shows up, I'm going to extend the judging time accordingly.)
* Use only established show characters for your pairings. OCs are fine for background characters, relatives, friends, and so on, but they're not part of the ship you're going to sink.
* The story must be rated either Everyone or Teen. If everypony involved is an adult, then the Sex tag is fine.
* No incest.
* Keep underage relationships between underage characters. A story about why Snails and Silver Spoon don't work together is fine. Snails and Berry Punch? Is not.
* All genre tags are open (although Romance might be something of a problem, and with only established show characters allowed in your pairing, Human will be an issue) and you can have multiple tags on the story this time. I'll predict the submission leaders will be Comedy, Drama, and Sad.
* Pairings only. I accept the possibility of polyamory in a given story, but for the sake of this contest and making selections fair, keep trios on up out of it.
* Interspecies permitted, for those who really want to go for that Gilda & Steve Magnet disaster date.
* Due to BronyCon understandably occupying a lot of people, there is no deadline for just signing up. I can wait until everyone gets home.

So to review: stories must be complete and submitted by the posted time deadline. (There is no maximum length: minimum is whatever will get you accepted by FIMFic's submissions.) Shameless self-promotion and rallying your followers behind your cause is probably inevitable, but not necessarily helpful.

I'll likely wind up serving as sole judge again: if so, I'll read everything by no later than September 20th and post a winner, at the latest, on the 25th. However, if anyone wants to volunteer to assist in judging, I'm open to working with a panel -- but the rule there is that if you're helping to make the final call, you can't have an entry in the contest. And in order to keep the screaming debates at a rather small connection-destroying maximum, I'm maxing out the size of such a panel at five -- and, if we get a really good five, I'll withdraw from that number and let them hash it out: in such a case, my only job will be to provide the prizes. (Should we somehow get more than five judge volunteers, I'll pick which five form the panel. And yes, I have a judging system in mind if we're using multiple panelists: we'll see how it goes.)

1st Prize: two Amazon gift codes valued at a total of $20 U.S. (Please see previous contest for terms and conditions.)
2nd Prize: The Notorious MLP Dry-Erase Board!: one Amazon gift code valued at $10.

All questions, requests for rules clarifications, panel volunteering, pairing claims, and contest entry posting notifications go to this blog post's comments thread starting now.

Also, screaming about the results of the first contest starts now.

I don't know why I do this to myself either.

Pair Claims

Calligraphy Legends: Rarity/Applejack
KwirkyJ: Twilight/Blueblood
Daedalus Aegle: Flurry Heart/Pound Cake
Fan Of Most Everything: Soarin/Spitfire
Brumby Run: Big Mac/Twilight
Titanium Dragon: Applejack/Rainbow Dash
Rinnaul: Marble Pie/Big Mac
Xam: Celestia/Twilight

Report Estee · 1,565 views ·
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Comments ( 28 )

I'd greatly enjoy being on the panel, though considering you have people like Titanium Dragon and InsertAuthorHere following you I doubt I'll get in. Its still worth a shot, I suppose. Do you intend to publish the guidelines you use to judge the stories for everyone to see, or do you think that would affect the results?


Ultimately, all judgments are subjective -- at least for this category of judgments.

For a panel system, I was thinking of just asking people to rank their top ten stories: 1st place gets 10 points, and then each subsequent position gets one less until 10th place receives one. Add up the numbers and highest total wins.

I would accept TD as a panelist. I would also expect a number of former potential entrants to flee for their lives. :pinkiehappy:

Dept of It Could Be Worse. Reality Check seems to have departed for Archive of Our Own.


I wouldn't have minded having him as a contest entrant. Regardless of how I might feel about some of his beliefs and positions, I'm not going to deny his ability to write.

The relationship between RC and I was... infrequent. He loathed the CDA, but enjoyed One-Tenth Bit and talked a little about dealing with the public on No Sale. Politically, we probably would have gone Highlanders on each other.

Overall, I don't seem to interact much with FIMFic's supposedly-more-notorious members, which may be because I'm just so scary that every last one of them is avoiding me. In particular, Chatoyance and I have never spoken, possibly because I've never read a single Conversion Bureau story. (I did read through Unicorn Jelly before ever arriving here, though.)

Congratulations to GroaningGreyAgony! That is a magnificent piece. Well deserved.

Perhaps I'll enter this round, but I'll need to dwell on a concept first...

Woah. I was genuinely expecting to be disqualified. My sincere thanks for including my entry in the contest!:ajsmug:

Unfortunately I loathe ships and couldn't write inter-personal relationships to save my life so I'm out of this contest. The premise does, however, sound quite entertaining and I'll probably enjoy other's entries. I'll keep an eye on this contest accordingly.:pinkiehappy:

Is it alright if I claim Rarity and Applejack for the contest?

Hmm. Well, that's certainly fair. GGA's entry was a beautifully surreal piece. Congrats to him/her, and thanks for giving me both the impetus to dust off the setting that got me started with pony fiction and the realization that splitting tends to work better than lumping when it comes to garnering notoriety.

As for this round... This will be tricky. I'm going to have to get back to you on a pairing reservation, if ever. Pairing agnosticism means that I don't really have any strong opinions against pairings either. Plus, the much larger field of possibilities means there's far less urgency to sign up.

I may or may not get around to this, but--what the hay--I'll meet the ante of cheap-as-free.

Gonna try to get something out of Twilight + Blueblood.... :twilightoops:

Thank you for the interesting challenge, and for picking my effort out of all the worthy entries!

In any other respect than as an eBay seller, I am lousy at shipping, so I will sit this current contest out, I think.

Thank you for the kind words!

Grats to GroaningGreyAgony!


Unfortunately I loathe ships and couldn't write inter-personal relationships to save my life

But isn't that exactly what makes you perfect for this contest? I know I'm completely unable to write a romance that isn't utterly horrible, and that's why I think I have a shot.

I'm gonna lay my chips on Flurry Heart and Pound Cake.

I'm probably going to give this a shot, but I'm still not decided on a pairing. I'll post again and claim something after pestering friends for ideas. Or make a couple lists and roll some d20s.

For a writer whom has frequently derided (okay, been an arrogant snob towards) shipping stories, you'd think I would jump in on an anti shipping contest with all four metaphorical hooves. :scootangel: Actually,I find myself somewhat apprehensive. You want us to write stories centered on a relationship that doesn't work, and yet is a coherent, readable narrative. This sounds like one tough assignment. But then I said the same thing about your last contest: you pushed me out of my comfort zone big-time, and I'm really pleased with the result. So I won't yes immediately, but I'll give it some thought.

Okay, I'm here to claim Twilight and Big Macintosh.

And I promise to spend more time writing it than three hours (starting at 2:00AM local), whilst wildly guessing the time difference between Australia and the USA.

Sadly, life happened to me and I wasn't able to get much work done on my story idea.

However, it is too good of an idea for me to never get finished when I have the chance so I'll be posting it at some point... . Hopefully before two years pass. *Gives a long stare at his stories folder.*

(deleted ship claim here)

Editing hours after the fact now that I've thought about it. I was thinking of Marble & Macintosh, but I'm not sure my ideas actually work for the real intent of this challenge, rather than just it being everypony else ruining it for them. Still doing this, just holding off on claiming a pair for another day or two.

I think I have an idea. I'm reserving Soarin'/Spitfire.

Well, as someone already claimed RariJack... how about AppleDash? I.e. Applejack x Rainbow Dash?

Yeah, I think I have something that can work. Claiming Marble Pie and Macintosh for certain this time.

You also might signal boost this contest now that the con is over. Don't seem to be many involved yet.

And now I need to actually watch Hearthbreakers and see if my ideas can actually fit canon...


You also might signal boost this contest now that the con is over.

In a few days. Let's allow the hangovers to subside.


You know, I constantly see Celestia/Twilight pairings, but I rarely see one done well. I'd like to claim Celestia/Twilight. Or is that violating your underaged pairing rule with the sheer gap in age between Celestia and Twilight?


As long as they're both adults. The claim is yours.

Do both characters have to be ponies (i.e., can I do one character from MLP and one from EqG)?

How about the toyline? If it's an official toy, does that count?

A character and an inanimate object?

Because I have some terrible, terrible ideas.

Also, does it have to be published on its own, or can it be added to a collection?


They have to be official show characters. So you could do EqG and MLP, but no toyline-only ponies et all.

If it doesn't move/speak/think, it's generally not a character.

Solo publication or collection is fine either way.

If it doesn't move/speak/think, it's generally not a character.

Cardboard cutout of Maud is at least as emotive as actual Maud.

Not sure if/when you're going to see this, given your current Internet situation, but my entry is up: Team Cohesion

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