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Jake The Army Guy

Be excellent to each other, and PARTY ON, DUDES! ~ Abraham Lincoln

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Jake's Horseword Extravaganza Winners!!! · 6:06pm Jul 29th, 2017

Howdy, howdy, internet! Firs and foremost, as always, adorable Applejack:

Fuzzy Appul

Anywho, after way too many delays, it's finally time to announce the winners of Jake The Army Guy's Horseword Extravaganza! First off, a huge and sincere thank you to everyone who participated. It stuns me that I could drum up this much interest.

Before we list off the winners, some love for some honorable mentions. The way we voted was by everyone picking their top five, and comparing. Then, a very complicated process happened, as advised by Maskedferret, and we came up with a list of six. The bottom three were all amazing stories in their own right, but the winners just eeked out. So special props to Chandelier by Petrichord, All That Lingers by Ice Star(which was my personal first place), and Dashes to Dashes, Dust to Dust by The 24th Pegasus.

Now then, on to the winners!!!

Our third place winner is...

Fluttershy’s struggle with her crippling shyness seemed to be over, now that she had six best friends whisking her off on adventures on a regular basis. Her therapist had other ideas, such as her making a new pony friend all on her own. Her attempt to fulfill that challenge, by way of introducing herself to the first pony to cross her path, didn’t go at all like she expected.

A season one romance.

"In less deft hands, a story anchored around therapy sessions can come off as hackneyed and trite. Thank goodness, then, that BlazzingInferno was on their game with this entry, and gave both a S1-era Fluttershy and her uniquely intimate friendship with a fellow patient the delicate and introspective touch they deserve." ~ Aquaman

Fluttershy and Noteworthy's relationship in this one builds up beautifully, and their mutual reticence and anxiety blossoming into strength and determination to face the world is a delight to read. Cute, well-written, and packing a great deal of quality into each bite-sized chapter. ~ Carabas

This explores the internal torture imposed by anxiety with devastating accuracy. I admit, a lot of my appreciation for this story came from empathizing with Fluttershy. Still, for all its missteps and dragged hooves, the romance is still beautiful and organically paced. ~ Fan of Most Everything

Congratulations to BlazzingInferno, who wrote a really cute and naturally building relationship! Get in contact with Pascoite and he will offer advise and assistance on your next project!

The runner up, who wrote a ship I never thought would be this adorable, is...

Teach Me Beauty, Teach Me Grace, by Propmaster!

Rarity helps Cheerilee remember that she is an amazing mare.

Cheerliee and Rarity make for an (eventual) lovely couple in this one, thanks to a sequence that showcases Rarity at her generous best in the face of a nervous Cheerilee. A charming entry into the contest, which breathes life, motivations, and shared anxieties into its leading pair. ~ Carabas

Rarity’s generosity and ability to externalize inner beauty are on full display here. She’s at her best, and Cheerilee knows it. The story does an excellent job of exploring the inadequacy that comes from comparing oneself with a multi-time savior of the world. resulting in some excellent character interplay and a very sweet conclusion. ~ Fan of Most Everything

"Of all the many odd ships on display in this contest, none felt more immediately and profoundly RIGHT in my opinion than that of Rarity and Miss Cheerilee, two hard-working mares too preoccupied with their careers to address their emotional needs. PropMaster deserves props, indeed, for managing to convince me that an obscure ship not only worked within their individual entry, but really ought to be more prominent than it is." ~ Aquaman

Propsy, Present Perfect has already done his review of your incredibly cute and realistic ship fic. He will post it soon.

And finally, our First Place Winner is...

Tom and Boulder's Intimate Experience, by cucharrador!

What? I told y'all it was gonna win.
Okay, okay! The actual First Prize Winner, with a story about a misanthrope and a dope, it's...

Strawberry Serenade, by AugieDog!!!

While selling her namesake fruit in Appleloosa, Strawberry Sunrise meets a handsome, easygoing stallion who makes her cynical heart go pitter-pat. But she can’t be falling for him! He’s...an Apple!

One of the key criteria by which I judged the entrants was character and relationship development; do the shipped characters naturally become a couple, or do alien brain worms smack their muzzles together to exchange long protein strands? Strawberry Serenade doesn’t just have the characters actually talk to one another first, it establishes them before they even meet, showing how each is missing something and how the other might have it. The best romances are complementary, even when one of the romanced characters is anything but complimentary. ~ Fan of Most Everything

"Our sole consensus finalist pick (and believe me, that wasn't because there weren't a LOT of great entries to choose from), AugieDog's entry mixes a headstrong but naive cowpony with a misanthropic and secretly miserable salesmare to bake a delightfully layered cake of a story filled with creamy character development, topped with a dash of comedy and a pinch of genuine heart, and yeah, I've definitely lost track of this metaphor. Forget it. This one's well worth your time." ~ Aquaman

One of the most all-round solid shipping fics submitted, and a excellent demonstration of how chemistry between two engaging leads ought to work. The characters shine in their interactions, the plot's twists and turns emerge naturally from their own foibles and actions, and both Braeburn and Strawberry (but especially Strawberry) are given a delightful richness of character beyond what little the show gives us. Entirely worthy of its high place. ~ Carabas

Augie, for writing a thoroughly enjoyable and genuinely heartwarming fic, PM me your PayPal address and I will wire you the grand prize of $50!

And that's it, folks! A huge thank you to everyone who participated. I think I can speak for the other judges when I say there were very few stories we read that we did not enjoy in some manner. You all did fantastic.

Til next we meet, stay safe, stay free, and stay metal! Jake The Army Guy out!

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Comments ( 31 )

Congrats everyone!

Sounds like everybody had a good time. Mission accomplished.

Site Blogger

Mmm, long protein strands.

Congratulations, AugieDog!

Yeah, a fair number of those delays were my doing. Sorry, everyone. :ajsleepy:

Still, this was definitely a fun contest. Thanks for having me on, Jake, and congratulations to the winners!


Congrats, folks! That was fun, and I've got some new stories to read.

Huzzah! I'm super excited to see the review. And THANK YOU, Jake, for running this contest, and to everyone who helped him judge the entries!

Congrats to Augie for the win! Awesome work!


Excellent selection of winners! Glad to participate, and i had a ton of fun. Thanks to all the judges, and thanks to Jake for hosting this cool contest~

Great job everypony! And a special thanks to Jake for hosting the competition.

(Someday, I will finish my HarshJack entry.) :facehoof:

Any plans for more contests later on? I would be keen to try again.

Congratulations, everyone!
From the moment I saw who else had thrown their ponyhat in the ring, I knew the competition would be fierce. It's an honor to place among so many amazing stories. I clearly need to read more of them :twilightblush:

Thanks for running this contest, Jake!
Thank you, judges for your hard work!
Pascoite... maybe I'll just apologize to you in advance? :scootangel:

This competition has really brought out a ton of great stories from everywhere. Authors I liked made amazing stories and authors I was 'meh' on created great stories. That [Romance] tag really forces people to have an interesting short story with a beginning, middle, and end.


I'm thinking I might do one next month. Just need to think about a prompt

Congratulations to the winners! Fun contest, and it got me to spew out like 15k words in 4 or 5 days. That's impressive by my standards, and I'm glad it made the top 6 out of all the entries!

Congratulations to the winners.

Thanks, folks!

This is the third "unlikely shipping contest" I've entered over the years, now that I think about it. The first contest, I didn't finish in the top three, but the sequel to the story I wrote is just about my favorite thing I've ever put together. The second contest, I didn't finsh in the top three either, but that story got me a spot in the Royal Canterlot Library. And now? Third time's the charm, I guess!


Before we list off the winners, some love for some honorable mentions. The way we voted was by everyone picking their top five, and comparing. Then, a very complicated process happened, as advised by Maskedferret, and we came up with a list of six. The bottom three were all amazing stories in their own right, but the winners just eeked out. So special props to Chandelier by Petrichord, All That Lingers by Ice Star(which was my personal first place), and Dashes to Dashes, Dust to Dust by The 24th Pegasus.

Y'know, I was thinking about doing more with the story I set up with those two, and writing a follow up blog at some point, so if you've been keeping track of it, you might get to learn about some of the stuff that went into it if I get around to that.
Now excuse me while I scream internally.

Well, I wasn’t expecting those results. :applejackconfused:

This was fun, thanks for hosting this Jake :twilightsmile:
Congratulations to the winners :heart:

Wanderer D

Congrats, Jake! You survived your contest!

Great job~

Consider reposting this in the contest group, since I would imagine a lot of people check there for the results.


Strange or Unusual Magical Object?

Ex. Bag of Withholding (like a Bag of Holding, but has sharp teeth and bites when you take something out of it)?

Well, this is just about a useless bonus prize for you, since I'd help you with anything you care to send me anyway. You might do better to sell it, then still send me a story...

I'm hoping to win Shell Game some extra story views, more than anything.
And if you're okay with it, I'll bestow the Pascoite prize upon somebody else in need

Hey, what you do with your prize is your business.

Your call. I'll help whomever you care to designate, but it'd be more efficient if you pick someone who's at least fairly far up the skill curve. Like if I'm spending the whole time giving basic grammar advice, that's not something too hard to find around FiMFic.

Congrats to the winners, and thanks to everyone involved. It was a blast and I really enjoyed the stories!:yay:

Congrats to the winners! This was a fun contest. I haven't read everything but I wholeheartedly endorse and approve of the winner.

Thanks for this contest. It was the first thing that actually got me to write a dang story in years, and I think I like the thing I wrote, flawed though I'm sure it was.

Congratulations to 4617190, the other winners, and to everyone in general for a strong contest!

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