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Contest! Imposing Sovereigns II: Once and Future · 3:35pm Sep 29th, 2019

Welcome once again to a contest of crowns (which may or may not be the next Song of Ice and Fire title if George R. R. Martin ever stops arguing with J. K. Rowling over what to do with their latest archeological find.)

This is going to work similarly to last time. The prompt is two-dimensional: One axis is a princess while the other is one of seven options. However, unlike last time, rather than the nature of the princess, that set of second options will be challenges the princess faces during (or possibly before, see below) her reign. In no particular order:

• Coronation: Every reign starts somewhere. Whether a grand ceremony, a subtle coup, or the invention of the very concept of monarchy, tell the story of how your princess takes the throne.
Example: Motherly
• Abdication: All things must end. Whether stepping down voluntarily, bowing to political pressure, or serving until death, tell the last story of your princess’s rule.
Example: A Queen’s Vows
• War: Even Equestria knows conflict. Whether external aggression, internal unrest, or random monster attacks, tell a story of your princess defending her realm.
Example: The Song of Syhlex
• Peace: Some rulers find the bargaining table more challenging than the battlefield. Whether festivities, diplomacy, or a simple slice of the royal life, tell a story of those awkward stretches between battles.
Example: Princess Celestia Hates Tea
• The Old: All but the newest dynasties carry incredible historical baggage. Whether stifling traditions, crushing expectations, or shameful legacies, tell a story of the past coming back to haunt your princess.
Example: Post Negative Comments Only
• The New: Time marches on regardless of whether a kingdom can keep pace. Whether cultural shifts, scientific advancements, or even competing political systems, tell a story of the future rushing at your princess head on.
Example: Progress
• The Princess Herself: Nobody’s perfect. Whether unshakable vices, regrettable mistakes, or mortal (or immortal!) frailty, tell a story where the greatest threat to the kingdom is the princess’s own failings.
Example: Administrative Angel

Now, to the details:

• The deadline is November 10th, 11:59 PM EST, six weeks from today. If your entry is still in the submission queue when the deadline hits, send me a PM or a comment on this blog with a screenshot of the story page to ensure you qualify.

• Teen rating at most; I want to be able to link to the winners in the announcement blog.

• Maximum word count is 15,000 per entry, and that’s a hard 15,000. Aragón, this means you.

• One story per princess-challenge combination, and combinations are first come, first served. You can reserve a slot by leaving a comment on this blog. I’ll try to keep the list updated as much as I can, but be sure to check the comments to avoid double-ups. I strongly recommend refreshing after your post your comment to see if anyone else has taken yours in the interim.

• You can submit as many stories as you can during the submission period, but you can only reserve one slot at a time. If you want to switch gears without submitting a story, you’ll have to relinquish the slot you already have. If you’re dropping out of the contest, please tell me so I can free up the slot for someone else.

• Your story can be a sequel to one of your previous Imposing Sovereigns entries, to either this contest or the previous one. Otherwise, it has to stand on its own.

• When you’ve submitted your story, add it to the appropriate subfolder in the Imposing Sovereigns group.

And now for an FAQ that hopefully anticipates all your questions:

What do we win?

Oh, right, the incentive. Beyond bragging rights and the warm glow of a job well done, here’s what you’re writing for:

1st: $100
2nd: $75
3rd: $50
Judges' Honorable Mentions: $20 each, with one per judge

Paypal’s my first choice for prize distribution. If that doesn’t work with the winners, we can hash it out when the time comes.

Who’s judging?

Myself, Venerable Ro, NaiadSagalotaOar, and cleverpun. Other volunteers are welcome, though I don’t recommend signing on if there’s only a day left in the submission period and you haven’t read any of the submissions yet.

What counts as a princess?

To qualify as a princess, a character must satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

• They must be an actual princess (e.g. Skystar.)
• They must otherwise be set to inherit rulership (e.g. Little Strongheart.)
• They must otherwise already rule a nation, organization, or other group of people (e.g. Sombra.)

Wait, Sombra? Last time you said no kings, queens, or princes.

That’s true, I did. But this year, we’re focusing more on rulership than the ruler, so we’re expanding that scope a little. Kings, queens, princes, principals, chiefs, chancellors, CEOs, and more are all fair game.

Doesn’t writing about an heir invalidate the prompts?

Not at all. The heir could be filling in for a temporarily absent ruler, learning the finer points of statecraft, or just struggling with a conflict along the lines of the prompt. Monochromatic’s Bodyguard AU contains excellent examples of both Peace and The Old given the forbidden princess-soldier romance hanging over it like the Sword of Damocles. Even the Abdication prompt can work for an heir if they give up their claim to the throne before they ever take it.

What about alternate universes?

Practically expected. Thanks to the magic of alternate realities, anyone can be a princess. However, the “in-contest sequels only” rule means that you can’t set your story in a pre-established AU like the Winningverse or the Oversaturated World. Also, AU or not, characters are still expected to be in character. If you retell the reign of Ivan the Terrible with Tsarevna Coco Pommel, you’ll have your work cut out for you in terms of justifying her actions.

Does that mean EqG characters are out?

Sorry, I meant established fanfic universes. The human world, the world of Good King Sombra, and other canon alternate worlds are fair game, and their residents are considered distinct from their Equestrian analogues.

Are evil counterparts considered separate from their usual selves?

Depends on the aesthetic and psychological distance between the two. Discord is Discord both pre- and post-reform, but Luna and Nightmare Moon are treated as separate entities. As a rule of thumb, if they have different character tags, they're treated as different people.

What about OCs?

Sorry, but no. Regardless of whether it's Littlepip, Princess of Getting Shot, or Darkhorn Bloodblayde the Incredibly Attractive, you'll have to put original characters aside for the prompt. You're welcome to use some in the story, but they can't be the princess. Similarly, while crossovers are allowed, the princess of the prompt has to be an MLP character.

Isn’t there a lot of overlap between the prompts?

A fair amount, yes. Choose whatever fits your idea best, or failing that, whatever’s available.

How are you handling early-airing episodes?

If it’s aired in the States, it’s fair game. For everything else, I ask that you wait until after it’s done so. Feel free to write your story ahead of time, but don’t submit it until after all relevant episodes are public knowledge. (And I mean submitting the story at all, not just to the contest. Some of us are trying to avoid spoilers as best we can.)

Does the story have to be from the princess's perspective?

Not at all! So long as her struggle is the main focus of the story, it can be told from behind someone else's eyes.

Can I get help from other people when editing, prereading, and proofreading the story?

Absolutely! This contest should be determined by the strength of the story, not who caught the most of their own typos and plot holes.

I have further questions.

Ask away! I want this to be fun for everyone involved, and that means making sure the rules are clear.

Sign-Up List
(As before, you can pick characters not directly on the list. That's what the "Others" are for!)

• Celestia: Fylifa, Sister Solstice
• Luna: themoontonite
• Cadence: Skywriter, Her Crystal Throne
• Twilight: Black Hailstorm
• Flurry Heart: Pearple Prose
• Blueblood: BronyWriter
• Chrysalis: Akouma, This Coup is Going to be Perfect
• Cozy Glow: Equimorto, Komm, Süßer Schein
• Discord: alarajrogers, The Rise of Chaos
• Fluttershy: Jhoira, A Dream Coronation
• Gallus: Hopeful_Ink_Hoof, PRINCE GALLUS? And the Trial for the Throne
• Gilda: paperhearts
• Pinkie Pie: TheDriderPony, The Joy Hive
• Rainbow Dash: Herald of Opera
• Rarity: Undome Tinwe, I Vow To Thee, My Country
• Sci-Twi: Punk Rock Prom Queen
• Skystar: Flashgen, Shedding Her Shell
• Sunset: The Voice in the Water, Phoenix-born rising - the ascension of Sunset Shimmer
• Thorax: AstralMouse
• Trixie: AlexTFish, Princess Trixie of Transylmaneia
• Other:

• Celestia: Cerulean Blue, Sunspear
• Luna: GaraTheAuthor
• Cadence: SockPuppet, Even a victorious battle is a terrible thing
• Twilight: Daedalus Aegle, Heavy Lies the Head
• Flurry Heart: semillon, Run Away With Me
• Cranky: TheDriderPony, Bound By Duty, Led By Love
• Filthy Rich: AugieDog, Miles to Go
• Guto: Antiquarian, The Last King
• Neighsay: Thought Prism, Inward Eyes Wide Open
• Other:

• Celestia: BoredAuthor817, Afternoon Tea and Games
• Luna: Cynewulf
• Cadence: _Moonshot
• Twilight: PresentPerfect
• Flurry Heart: DannyJ
• Amore: ArgonMatrix, The Heart Beats Still
• Applejack: KorenCZ11, The Princess's Title
• Blueblood: Captain_Hairball, Battle of Canterlot: I Want to Break Free
• Discord: AkumaKami64, The Broken Treaty
• Ember: horizon, Fang and Flame
• Rainbow Dash: NecroHorse
• Raven Inkwell: CoffeeMinion, Murder Most Fowl
• Sci-Twi: River Road, War Games
• Shining Armor: The Seer, After The Flood
• Silverstream: Hopeful_Ink_Hoof, Silverstream's Raiding Party
• Sunset: Princess Platinum Blonde
• Other:

• Celestia: Anon Y Mousse
• Luna: iisaw, Waning Crescent
• Cadence:
• Twilight: BronyOverlord, Twilight's Secret Shouting
• Flurry Heart: Boltstrike58, What it Means to Rule
• Chrysalis: MagnetBolt, A Trolley Problem Named Desire
• Ember: HapHazred, Pony Peace is Dragon War (Diplomatic Dragon Noises Included)
• Shining Armor: Somerset Cider
• Sombra: ZeroMonkey, Fit for a King
• Thorax: Dreams of Ponies
• Other:

The Old
• Celestia: Jykinturah
• Luna: I Thought I Was Toast, Lest We Forget
• Cadence: Shortmane, Memories of a Foundling
• Twilight: Unified Dreams
• Flurry Heart:
• Sombra: Jhoira, One Night's Rest
• Zecora: The Iguana Man
• Other:

The New
• Celestia: chris the cynic
• Luna: Syke Jr, Souls and Silicon
• Cadence:
• Twilight: TCC56, Worshiping At The Altar Of Knowledge
• Flurry Heart:
• Vice Principal Luna: QueenMoriarty, The Exile's Keeper
• Rarity: MrNumbers
• Rutherford: SirNotAppearingInThisFic, For the Benefit of Yaks
• Sunset: Lightning_Striker
• Thorax: Miller Minus
• Other:

The Princess Herself
• Celestia: Kris Overstreet, Seneschal
• Luna:
• Cadence: wishcometrue
• Twilight: Aquaman
• Flurry Heart: Cereal-Killer
• Chrysalis: Majin Syeekoh
• Cozy Glow: Fiddlebottoms
• Discord: AkumaKami64, From Discord Comes Harmony
• Fluttershy: brokenimage321, To Be Kind
• Platinum: Pascoite, In the Moon's Platinum Glow
• Rarity: Chiko, She Kills Monsters
• Storm King: Equimorto, Seasons
• Wallflower Blush: TCC56, Royal Flowers
• Other:

Comments ( 286 )

The Old, Twilight Sparkle please!

Delighted to see this back. :pinkiehappy:

I'll go for The Princess Herself: Blueblood please.

This is going to be fun.

I think I'd like to try my hand at: Coronation: Sunset Shimmer.

If Sunset's ineligible for the contest, I'll do Coronation: Sombra instead.

I'm in for Twilight Sparkle and The New.

RB_ #5 · Sep 29th, 2019 · · 1 ·

Ah, contest season. At this rate, I'm never going to get anything done.

Put me down for Flurry Heart/The Old. Let's find out if I can out-write myself from two years ago.

I think I'll have a go at Flurry Heart: The Princess Herself.

Can I pick peace and Celestia?

When I saw that you were doing a new one I got unreasonably excited. 🧡

I’d like to take Coronation. but with Sci-Twi instead of classic purple smart if that’s possible. I’ve had an idea knocking around in my head for a while and I think it’s perfect for this contest.

I am morally and historically obligated to select Luna and War

It’s lterally my whole thing. That is taken when I post then Celestia and War

Does the story have to be from the Princess's pov, or can it be from the pov of someone who's watching them from the sidelines?

If so, I'd like to request Twilight and Peace!

Not only is it possible, it doesn't even take up pony Twilight's Coronation slot. The FAQ has been updated to reflect that.

War-Luna is yours to do with as you see fit. May the sun have mercy on her enemies, because I know the moon won't.

As long as the primary focus of the story is on the princess's struggle, she doesn't have to be the one telling it. FAQ's been updated and Peace-Twilight is yours to work with.

I'd like Flurry Heart with either Coronation or The New, please.

Give me Flurry Heart and War, please.

Both are available, so I'm going to need you to pick one of the two. If I don't hear back from you before someone chooses one, you'll default to the remaining choice.

I'll take Luna and abdication for $1000, Alex.

To be clear, the in-contest sequel only means I can’t actually do bodyguard au, right?

Regrettably the case, though you are more than welcome to use Rarity in some other timeline.

Comment posted by Cynewulf deleted Sep 29th, 2019

Can "other" be used only once, or is it available multiple times, as long as no two authors use the same character?

I’ll do the Princess Herself and Twilight then please!

"Other" represents the entire phase space of other characters that could potentially be applied to each challenge. "Other" itself can never be occupied; it simply acts as a reminder that the five alicorns aren't the only options on the table, though each character-challenge combination still has a one user limit.

So, what can I put you down for? :pinkiehappy:

Peace, Flurry Heart please.

Nothing yet. If I get an idea I think I can stay focused on, then I'll take a spot. Until then, I'll leave it free for anyone else who might want the same combo.

I want to send Blueblood to War. :rainbowdetermined2:

I'll take Thorax and War, please.

I'd like to request a shot at "Luna, The Princess Herself", please, if it hasn't been taken yet.

Luna protects, Ranger.

Well then, once more unto the breach. I was only just thinking about your last contest and there you are with another one.

My brain looked at all those options and decided to choose exactly none of them. I have maybe 12% of a plan but heck if I can think of anything else now that I'm mentally stuck on that. Not going to pick a combination yet because I'm not sure yet what direction exactly I'm going to take it in or if I'll even figure out a whole story for it, but I'm pretty sure they're not gonna run out for this character anytime soon.

Author Interviewer

Oh boy, maybe I'll be done reading Sunset Shipping by then!

Unless you've got a prohibition against stories that were written previously but unpublished, give me War Twilight.

Ooh, this sounds neat. Luna, and the new Thorax coronation for me please.

I would like to do Peace: Daybreaker.

Okay, it's the most cliche combination of all, but I can't help but take New Luna.

I so rarely get the opportunity for comedy, and I've had something brewing for a while upstairs (with credit to another writer who did something similar, to whom I have already asked permission).

Crap, it's already been taken. Lemme rethink.

UPDATE: The Old Luna! Basically the same idea. It fits.

No, wait again. It doesn't fit.

The Old


Go ahead and have the new Luna slot, I'll actually change to Thorax Coronation for now.

I'll take Flurry Heart, Coronation, please

Screw it, I'll commit.

Coronation Rarity, please.

Got it!

I'll take the Abdication of Princess Twilight Sparkle for a thousand, Alex.

I already switched, it's cool.

If I am permitted to take an idea from a story in my anthology and rewrite it into its own full story (building on the idea rather than the universe – knowledge of the prior story/anthology would be wholly unnecessary), then put me down for The New, Prince Rutherford.

Not a problem. As long as it's published after the announcement, you're kosher.

Thanks for prompting me to add to the FAQ regarding the distinction between characters and their evil counterparts.

I'll allow it. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the combination. (This is true for everyone, but Rutherford makes it especially intriguing.)

• Maximum word count is 15,000, and that’s a hard 15,000. Aragón, this means you.

You know he's going to submit a 15,001 word fic now, right?

Hm... Wonder if I could run the tables on this and produce something that ticks all the boxes on the chart.


You know he's going to submit a 15,001 word fic now, right?

And I'll disqualify him for it. If he wants to cut off his nose to spite his face, he has his choice of blades.

Hm... Wonder if I could run the tables on this and produce something that ticks all the boxes on the chart.

You're welcome to try. Just be sure you reserve the character you want use in one of the seven options before they get snapped up for all of them.

Alright, Operation Pax Aurora is a go!

Glad to be of service in seeing to the propagation of weird edge cases. It's one of my specialties. :twilightsmile:

Gah! How do I choose?!

Go with whatever best fits the idea you want to write about.

Of course, first you have to pick an idea...

I have an idea... It's just how to put it best....

Can I do War with Celestia?

Not enough griffon love here. Is it too far-fetched to push for a Gilda option, given the somewhat... up-for-grabs nature of the griffon kingdom and her being the mostly likely to get shoe-horned into the role in a canon sense? If yes, then I'd be down for Gilda & Coronation, please.

Otherwise, um, Ember and Peace, please. Not enough Ember love either.

Let me know which option makes the cut. I'll strike through the other in this post.

I'm surprised no one has picked Bugbutt yet.

Put me down for Queen Chrysalis: Peace.

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