News Archive

  • Wednesday
    TLS for all users

    We have implemented TLS site-wide as an unconditional redirect. (http -> https) This improves security site-wide for all users, and shouldn't have any negative effects, performance or otherwise.

    90 comments · 1,557 views
  • Monday
    SA Reviews #100

    25 comments · 834 views
  • 6d, 6h
    Radio Everypony Ru Interview (today)

    Hey guys,

    I'm going to be doing an interview segment on Radio Everypony Ru. Actually the first time I've done one in several years, so, kind of a rarity I guess. The quote below has links to audio streams and chat so that you can listen/chat if you're interested. If you want to watch/listen at a later date, you can check out the youtube recording at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQaHo8kJlai2ELfRQH_o6FA

    https://radio.everypony.ru/64 - 64 kbps stream

    https://radio.everypony.ru/128 - 128 kbps stream

    https://radio.everypony.ru/320 - 320 kbps stream

    http://radio-everypony-ru.chatovod.ru/id0969944 - live radio chat

    Also, one can listen to us on http://ponyvillelive.com/ or via hoofsounds

    Time:

    5pm GMT

    8pm MSK

    1pm EST

    10am PST

    The interview will have lots of answers to interesting questions I hope, so do listen in if you're at all interested.


    The recording is now available:

    26 comments · 902 views
  • 1w, 9h
    TooShyShy's "Let Her In" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    6 comments · 1,001 views
  • 2w, 3d
    Everfree NW Scribblefest Contest Ending Soon!

    Hey everypony!  Only a few hours remain for the Everfree NW Scribblefest 2017!  Get your Scribblestories (totally stealing that from Novel-Idea) in as soon as possible!  Feeling cramped for time?  Need to do some last minute edits?  Now's the time!

    For those of you that still need to submit, here's the link to our Google Form:  https://goo.gl/forms/aAtOQEHtvsKSE5PA2

    Want to try to pump out a 2000-6000 word story in less than 10 hours?  Here's the rules and regs:  Scribblefest 2017 Rules, Regs, and requirements!

    Good luck everyone!  We are so excited and looking forward to seeing all of your awesome stories!

    15 comments · 798 views
  • 2w, 4d
    SA Reviews #99

    7 comments · 1,197 views
  • 5w, 3d
    SA Reviews #98

    12 comments · 1,763 views
  • 7w, 19h
    Everfree NW Scribblefest 2017!

    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.

    Like last year, we’re giving out six special awards, each of which comes with a $20 Amazon gift code!

    This year’s prompt is: Growing up wild and forever free

    Awards

    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.

    Goals

    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

    Publish one new (never before published) story to FIMFiction.net between now and March 6th, then submit it to our online form at: https://goo.gl/forms/aAtOQEHtvsKSE5PA2

    Prizes

    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.

    Word Limits

    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.

    Duration

    Scribblefest 2017 will accept entries from February 1st, 2017 until 11:59 pm PST on March 6th, 2017. 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 Process

    Judging will be done in phases by 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,  Heartshine, directly by PM on FIMfiction:  https://www.fimfiction.net/user/heartshine

    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 https://docs.google.com/forms. If you have trouble submitting, please contact our writing track lead, Heartshine, directly via PM. https://www.fimfiction.net/user/heartshine

    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.

    Final Thoughts

    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.

    28 comments · 2,334 views
  • 7w, 5d
    SA Reviews #97

    7 comments · 2,119 views
  • 9w, 2d
    Arrival

    219 comments · 5,712 views
  • 10w, 1d
    SA Reviews #96

    12 comments · 1,945 views
Mar
3rd
2017

Today's story might just contain an element of truth.

The Legend of the Gift Horses

[Random] • 2,056 words

If you have ever wondered how the saying "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" came to be, please venture inside and learn one fairytale version of this tale.

FROM THE CURATORS: There are many elements that go into an enjoyable fairy tale, and we found that this one fired on all cylinders — from voice and structure to character and ideas.  "This is a fantastic in-universe tale, one that almost seems to delight in its own telling," Present Perfect said.  "I actually got a thrill when Wish was saved, and I adore that Starswirl takes on certain mythic proportions of his own."  AugieDog also enjoyed it all.  "Fun and well told," he said.  "My only quibble is that the story ends too soon.  I wanted it all to keep going and going. That for me is the sign of a story really getting its hooks into me."

Others found the story growing on them as it developed.  "This starts out looking like a well-constructed but slightly stock fairytale," Chris said, "but in the aftermath of the battle (near the halfway point in the story), it suddenly becomes much more creative than I was giving it credit for."  Horizon agreed: "This goes places I wasn't expecting, and I have to give it props for its fusion of its two core mythological components."  Chris further commented on the tale's balancing act: "It deftly straddles the line between using well-known imagery and relying on cliches."

All told, those elements added up to more than just the titular fable.  "I found myself appreciating this both as a piece of storytelling, and as story in its own right," Chris said, and Present Perfect agreed: "This is easy to approach on its dual merits."

Read on for our author interview, in which LiterarySerenity discusses coyote similarities, parental bookshelves, and world-hopping Merlins.


Give us the standard biography.

I’m a 28-year-old freelance writer and transcriber in California, who is in the final semester of a graduate program in Literature & Writing Studies. As of late, most of my days have revolved around developing a final thesis project (a creative novella with a metafictional slant), and reading great stories for inspiration (particularly the works of Cornelia Funke and Diane Wynne Jones).

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

Creative writing has always been a very liberating and serene experience for me. I feel as if I can express myself the best through the written word, and there is a subtle joy in being able to create something (like a story) to share with others. The names of ponies in Equestria tend to hint at their special talents, as well as how the characters approach those talents, so “Literary Serenity” came to my mind as appropriate to portray my own feelings toward writing.

Who's your favorite pony?

I would have to say Discord is my favorite character out of the whole cast. He reminds me of Coyote from Native American folklore, as a trickster with great power but his own vulnerabilities. I enjoy the overwhelming strength of his personality, his hidden depths, and how much he has grown since his introduction.

In terms of ponies who are strictly ponies, however, I’d say Twilight Sparkle. I can relate to her as a fellow bookworm, scholar, and someone who wants to improve and define her role in the world.

What's your favorite episode?

That’s a hard decision! Off the top of my head, I’d have to narrow down the choices to either the Season 4 Two-Part Finale or the Season 6 Two-Part Finale. Both of those finales struck me as being major payoff points in the series, where we’ve gotten to witness how far the characters have developed.

In the Season 4 Finale, for instance, we had Twilight defining her role as the Princess of Friendship, the ponies opening the chest, and that major fight against Tirek. Then in the Season 6 Finale we saw a team of ponies, whose lives got turned around thanks to friendship, getting the chance to save Equestria.

What do you get from the show?

I enjoy the positive messages that come across in MLP: FIM, including the need to get along with others and the importance of following your dreams. Other shows have those messages as well, but MLP: FIM approaches life lessons like friendship in refreshing and original ways. For instance, in “The Cutie Map” two-parter, the lesson emphasized was that it takes a combination of talents and individual perspectives to create harmony. But there was also the point that friends don’t always need to agree on everything to be close. They can have disagreements yet respect each other’s differences.

What do you want from life?

I want to make the world a better place, uncover the extraordinary in everyday happenings, and become the best storyteller and creative writer possible. It is my goal to brighten the lives of others with my stories, and to leave my own positive messages behind for future generations.

Why do you write?

Writing is my truest means of self-expression. I write to communicate, create worlds and characters to share with anyone who would like to discover them, remember precious moments in my life, and simply vent (from time to time).

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

Reading and writing as much as possible are very important. Discovering what other authors before you have done, particularly in literary genres that interest you, makes all the difference because they can provide inspirational and solid foundations off which to build. Pick a few of your favorite authors and works, and consider what makes them stick in your mind. While reading, also pay close attention to the flow of prose, how the author uses details, etc. to experiment with in your own writing.

Try to reach out to other writers, be grateful for constructive feedback, and make sure to give constructive feedback in return.

Among the best pieces of advice I can offer is to write stories that fill you with enthusiasm. Don’t be afraid to take risks, and play around as much as possible with your ideas. Creating stories based solely on what “sells” (or is what is “the most popular” at the moment) is damaging if you would rather be writing something else. It turns writing into a job to get through, instead of a fun and fulfilling experience.

Characters are also the heart of most stories, so do your utmost to develop them as much as possible. I’ve always been a fan of character-driven stories, because when characters and their personal development are the main focus, it helps to make the reader feel for them. Furthermore, interesting characters also suggest their own stories (as we’ve seen with all the fanfics for MLP: FIM).

Talk a little about the process of expanding a popular saying into a piece of My Little Pony fanfiction.

Most sayings or phrases have particular (and oftentimes surprising) histories behind them. It struck me that this would also be true in Equestria, and I started to wonder how a phrase like “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” might have originated for them. Equestria is a magical land filled with creatures like Fruit Bats and Timberwolves, whose names suggest something about their construction or appearance. Thrown into such a continuum, Gift Horses didn’t sound too far-fetched. Although then it begged the question of what happened to them, or where they might live.

Around the same time, I reread an abridged version of 1,001 Arabian Nights, which featured the idea of genies bound to objects by Solomon. The two ideas collided and inspired me to turn Gift Horses into the Equestrian version of genies, with Starswirl the Bearded in a kind of Solomon-like role. In “Luna Eclipsed,” Twilight also made reference to the fact that Starswirl apparently knew several pot-related spells, and I thought those pots would make perfect containers for malicious Gift Horses. From there the rest of the story started to come together, with the Gift Horses in actual gift boxes representing the genies on good terms with Starswirl.

The issue of harmony and friendship as foreign concepts to those genies, and the community of ponies as an example for them, also came along at the same time. If this was a story from Equestria, I felt it should come back or contribute something related to those themes.

Why write the story in the form of a fairy tale?

Many of the stories that relate the history of Equestria have had fairy-tale qualities, from the rise of Nightmare Moon (in the very first episode) to the first sentencing of Tirek to Tartarus. We saw them by looking at stylized illustrations in books, such as the one Twilight Sparkle used to learn about the Elements of Harmony. I got the idea that, just maybe, it was the type of book pony parents might keep around to provide bedtime stories for their fillies as well.

Cast in that light, “The Legend of the Gift Horses” could have been another tale among the collection told to fillies that they might or might not forget about as they grew older.

How do you see the character of Starswirl the Bearded?

My perceptions of Starswirl the Bearded are mostly based on the Reflections comic arc, when he got revealed as a past mentor and friend to Princess Celestia. Even since then, I’ve seen Starswirl as a powerful, knowledgeable, fatherly, and eccentric wizard. In other words, I believe he is a lot like Merlin from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. He has traveled through time, apparently tells Celestia and Luna about the Tree of Harmony, and even knows how to jump from one world to another via mirror.

So when Starswirl appeared before Wish in my fairy tale, I hope to make him leave the same kind and wise impression.

Have you considered returning to the idea and writing about a pony finding a Gift Horse’s box?

I’ve considered it many times. Someday when I have time (like this summer, if all goes well), I’d like to write a straight-on sequel of sorts done in the same format as most of my other stories on FimFiction.net, where some filly stumbles upon the gift box that contains Wish. Of course, that one would probably turn into a novella.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

The supportive nature of our MLP: FIM fan community constantly amazes me. I’d just like to thank everyone who read and enjoyed “The Legend of the Gift Horses,” and to thank all the wonderful people on The Royal Canterlot Library site!

You can read The Legend of the Gift Horses at FIMFiction.net. Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.

#1 · 3w, 7h ago · 3 · ·

I'd already encountered this fic a way back, and I thought it had interesting concepts and a good - if sadly all-too-short - narrative structure. I agree with the comments at the start; there are some creative twists and turns here, and the battle was a highlight.

However, reading the author interview was just as delightfully fascinating, if not moreso. The inspiring enthusiasm for the writing craft really comes through. It neatly captures the sheer intrinsic pleasure of getting into the zone, especially with writing characters that develop their own agency and interests. Now I kinda wish I could go back to my own interview and edit my own answers.

Good writing indeed, and I wish you good fortune in your future pieces! :twilightsmile:

#2 · 2w, 6d ago · · ·

>>4442527 It's an honor! I'll do my best to continue growing stronger as a writer. :twilightsheepish:

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