• Member Since 5th Jun, 2015
  • offline last seen 1 hour ago

Shrink Laureate

“Trixie hates to interrupt a good monologue,” said Trixie, interrupting a good monologue, “but maybe we should continue it somewhere not on fire?”

More Blog Posts104

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Season 9 Bingo Writing Contest! · 9:09am Oct 28th, 2018

This contest is now closed.

While we wait for season 9, why not take part in a writing contest with an unusual setup?

  • Every writer gets a different prompt
  • The contest ends with the start of season 9

To coincide with the release of Oliver's Season 9 Bingo, I'll be using the tiles from it to create a set of randomised prompt cards that look something like this:

A possible writing prompt card

If you sign up, you will be given a prompt card with five ideas like the above, varying from the commonplace to the obtuse. Some are characters, some are places, some are plotlines, some are abstract concepts. Your story should incorporate as many of the ideas from your prompt card as possible, but at least two of them.

Some of the random prompts may be unfair, and you won't know if yours is until your card is allocated. Even I don't know in advance what they'll be.

Express your interest below. You will be added to the list and allocated a number. On the contest start day (in about two weeks time), I'll send each author a PM with their randomly-generated prompt card. You can still enter after the start, provided there are story slots left, although you won't get any extra time.

Submit your story to the story group before the start of season 9.

Contest Rules


  • Apply now! - Comment below to get added to the list.
  • Begin - All the entrants will be sent their prompt card on the same day. You can join after this day, up until one week before the cutoff, but you'll get less time.
  • Cutoff - Stories must be added to the contest folder before the start of season 9.
  • Deadline - Stories must be completed by one week later. At this point, all the submitted authors' prompts will be made visible.
  • Evaluation - It'll take us a while to read and judge all the stories, so be patient.

The cutoff date is the start of the first offical US broadcast of episode 1 of season 9 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. No, I don't know when exactly that will be, so there's no sure way of knowing how much time you have to write. Your story must be published on Fimfiction and added to the group by this date.

After the cutoff you then you have an extra week to finish your story, whether that's final chapters or fine tuning. There will be no further extension granted.

Rules for prompts

  • There are a maximum of 100 prompt cards.
  • You may NOT request a replacement for a prompt card you dislike.
  • You may only submit one entry for your prompt.
  • If you enter a complete story with time to spare, and it meets all the rules, and there are prompt cards left, you may request an additional one.
  • You may reveal your prompt before the deadline if you wish, but nobody is obliged to.

Rules for stories

  • Your story must incorporate at least two of the ideas from your prompt card, and up to all five. You'll score higher the more you use.
  • Stories must follow all site rules.
  • Stories should be between 1,000 and 20,000 words.
  • Mature fics are permitted, but are likely to be judged harshly.
  • Submit your story to the contest folder before the start of season 9.

Final rule

  • Don't be unpleasant. I reserve the right to exclude anybody caught being nasty to anybody else, without explanation or appeal.


Each story will be scored on:

  • Whether the judges enjoyed reading it.
  • How many of the story ideas it incorporates, and how well it uses those ideas together.
  • Correct use of the English language.

Remember, you must use at least two of the ideas from your prompt card. The more of them you use, the better your story will score.

If you know me, you know I like writing that has all the typos fixed and punctuation in place, so use your extra week wisely to make sure it's the best it can be.

I need judges!

Judges will, of course, need to read a lot of stories. Not all of them though, and the more people join in, the fewer stories each one has to read. Judges may refuse to read mature-rated stories, or those to which they have a severe allergy - let me know when you sign up if you have any limits.

PM me if you're interested in helping. I'll accept more judges up until the cutoff, unless I have enough.

Comments ( 143 )

I want to enter!

I would like to help judge, though given the uncertainty of when that service will be required, I can only tentatively commit.

Sure, deal me in!

Can't promise anything, but I'll try to work it into my schedule.

Oh, I'm definitely interested in participating. Let's see what happens.

Judges are appreciated! This has a longer timescale than many contests, so I expect the judging phase will also be a little more extended.

There's a maximum of 100 entries, to keep the scale under control.

I am definitely interested!

Though I am slightly confused at your distinction between the cutoff and the deadline. Just to clarify, are our stories to be be published on to the site before Season Nine? And after publishing, we have a week after the premiere of Season Nine to edit?

In anycase, I wish all the other participants the best of luck with prompts!


The stories need to be published on the site and entered into the group folder before the cutoff. They need to be marked as complete before the deadline one week later.

Basically, a lot of contests get an extra week or two added because somebody was lagging behind. This codifies that: if you need an extra week to finish your story or make it perfect, you have it. I still publish chapters with mistakes, and have people in the comments point them out, even after repeated rounds of editing.

Ah, so we have a week after publishing to mark it as complete.
Thank you for answering!


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I'd appreciate people spreading the word about this.

This sounds fun! Sign me up.

I'm in. Let's see what the heart of the cards has in store for me.


Sounds like fun. Count me in, too.

Can't say I've ever seen this kind of contest before. Sign me up! I love a good challenge!

I'll give this a shot.

I'll take a shot at it.

Sounds fun, I'll take a stab at it.

I'd like to enter as well! Sounds like a lot of fun.

Just out of curiosity though, if things turn out to be too hard, can I PM you and ask if I could drop out?

I'm not expecting everyone who signs up to produce a story. Some of you might get really impossible prompts! So don't worry too much if you can't.

At the same time I don't want to be shuffling prompts between people. You get one roll of the dice, and that's it.

I don't know if I can make any guarantees about producing a story, but I wouldn't mind getting a prompt just to be safe.

A quick question: how many prompt cards are there in the hat to pull out of?


I'm using the tiles from the Season 9 Bingo, which has 119 (not including the Free Hugs tile); and assembling prompt cards with 5 of those. That's a theoretical maximum of 22,869,362,880 21,916,472,760 possibilities. But I'm don't fancy reading 22,869,362,880 21,916,472,760 stories, so I'm capping the number at 100 prompt cards in order to keep it under control.

Also of note: until I bash some random digits into my script to use as a seed, even I don't know what the final set of cards will be.


Actually, 21916472760. Unless you don't account for the potential for duplicates being present in your selection of five tiles, which you should.

I'll do it.

I think I used 120 rather than 119.

I’ve been meaning to write more, so hit me.

Sign me up ;)

So glad to see people interested in this.

Ooh ooh, let me in on this! :pinkiehappy:

This sounds fun, sign me up!

Sounds fun, sign me up.

I failed to manage to write anything for the last contest I signed up for. This means I need to correct this wrong by at least attempting to write for a new prompt! I am a little nervous at the unpredictable nature of the prompt, but it looks fun enough that I can't resist. Sign me up!

I'm up for writing, and if you absolutely need one more judge.

4960859 4959208
A lot can happen between now and the end of the contest, so I'll keep the names of everybody who's mentioned an interest in judging, and I'll see how you each feel when it rolls around. No hard feelings, even if you change your mind.

Alright! You've convinced me. I'll join the CULT.

You know what I mean:raritywink:

I'll put you down for both the cult and the writing contest, if that's alright?

I need something to push me into actually writing stories again. This looks as good a way as any, and intriguingly different, too. I'll go for it!

(Edit: will also signal-boost to the two people who actually read my blatherings. :P )

Sounds like fun! I want in.

Sounds Fun I want to give it a go

*deep breath*


Ooooh this seems really fun.

I would probably also be able to judge if you find you need it

Got it, you're on the list. I'll drop you a line closer to the time.

This sounds very interesting. I’ll toss my hat in the ring, so to speak.

Hmm... this might be fun. Okay, deal me in.

Hit me with a card. Let’s do this!!!

This looks fun! I would like to enter.

Sounds like a fun idea, I would love a card! :heart: Not too many plans in the future atm so plenty of time to write. (I love doing contests, they give me something to work on when taking a break from my main stories or in-between chapters. As well as helping me get out of writers blocks...)

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