• Member Since 11th Mar, 2012
  • offline last seen 2 hours ago

GaPJaxie


It's fanfiction all the way down.

More Blog Posts297

  • 1 week
    FiO Writing Contest Results

    Fillies and gentlecolts! The long delayed resolution of the Friendship is Optimal writing contest is here at last. The stories have been read, the judges have been polled, and the pollsters are little horses, and so it's time to award our prizes.

    Read More

    29 comments · 897 views
  • 5 weeks
    Contest Story Reviews pt 1

    You remember that Friendship is Optimal writing contest? Well it turns out that people wrote 564,000 words for it. Even with three judges, it’s definitely going to take us more than a month to get through every entry.

    Read More

    16 comments · 555 views
  • 5 weeks
    Pencils Down (FiO Contest)

    84 Stories

    564,000 Words

    Holy crap. This is far more successful than I ever thought it was going to be.

    Read More

    9 comments · 436 views
  • 6 weeks
    FiO Writing Contest Deadline Extension

    Due to people not being finished editing, etc, y'all got until the end of the weekend. Submissions are now due at midnight PST on Sunday the 2ed. I'll be checking the group first thing in the morning.

    11 comments · 223 views
  • 6 weeks
    Friendship Has 24 Hours Remaining

    Little ponies! Big prizes! 24 hours remain!

    Actually, wait, it's due at midnight on the 30th, and it's currently 11:30 AM on the 29th, so that means... carry the two...

    Read More

    11 comments · 165 views
Mar
31st
2021

Friendship is Optimal Writing Contest (With Prizes!) · 2:19pm March 31st

There are so many talented writers in this community. So much artistry, so much care, so many people who put their hearts and souls into their stories. And when I look at all those short stories, those novels, those epics and vignettes, at the beautiful acts of creativity that made me laugh and cry, I can’t help but think…

What if there was some way to get all those writers to make stories about the things I want?

And in that spirit, I am pleased to announce the Friendship is Optimal writing contest, now with fabulous prizes!

Hosted by myself, Cold in Gardez, and Skywriter, the purpose of this contest is to get people writing some fun science fiction, and to do something nice for the fandom after the slog of the pandemic. There will be fun for experienced and new authors alike, and if we get enough entries, they'll be bound together into a physically printed anthology (with author permission).

And yes, there are prizes specifically for new or underrated authors. Just because your stories have never been in the feature box does not mean you aren’t fantastic, and we want to see your work.

Lasting the entire month of April, this contest gives everyone thirty-one days exactly to write a story based on Friendship is Optimal. If you’re not familiar with that story or that part of the fandom, don’t worry! Everything you need to know is summarized in three helpful bullet points below. The story should be between 2k and 12k words long, and may be mature if you wish, though we’d ask authors to avoid gratuitous gore or other viscerally disturbing content.

Friendship is Optimal

For the purposes of this writing contest, the world of Friendship is Optimal has three essential features:

  1. An artificial intelligence called CelestAI uploads the minds of the entire human race to pony avatars in her simulated digital world of Equestria.
  2. Within digital Equestria, she does her best to give everyone a happy and fulfill their values. Depending on the sort of story you want to write, she may be perfect at this, or may slip up, but she always tries.
  3. “Fulfilling values” is not just giving everyone a nice house and infinite free hamburgers, but trying to find what makes them deeply spiritually satisfied as a person. For an academic, fulfilling their values might mean an eternity to study. For a hedonist, it might mean infinite sex and drugs. For a serial killer, it might lead to darker places.

That's it! You do not need to read the original Friendship is Optimal, and your story does not ​need to adhere to any other kind of FiO cannon. Any story that has those three features is good enough for this contest.

Don't be afraid to go far and wide with weird sci-fi ideas. You can write a wish-fulfillment story about someone getting the life they always wanted in a simulated world, or a horror story about the last human fleeing from pony robots. You can write a religious person who is worried their digital self has no soul, or put a pony on Zoom as someone who emigrated to Equestria tries to convince their friends to get uploaded with them.

But however you take the prompt, I’m sure it will lead to some fun and thought-provoking science fiction!

The Prizes

All Prize Winners: Physical Copy of Contest Anthology*
*Pending adequate entries, stories can only be published with author permission.

  • BEST STORY OVERALL -- $250 USD
  • RUNNER UP -- $100 USD
  • BEST FIRST-TIME WRITER -- $25 USD
  • BEST WRITER WITH <500 FOLLOWERS -- $50 USD
  • (NEW) BEST ORIGINAL CONCEPT -- $50 USD
  • (NEW) BEST CHARACTERIZATION -- $50 USD
  • (NEW) BEST HAPPY STORY -- $50 USD

The Judges

GaPJaxie, author of 81 Days, which was also for a writing contest.

EAround the World in 81 Days (And Other Problems Caused by Leap Years)
When Twilight and Celestia have an argument about the existence of leap years, there’s only one possible way to settle their differences: a race around the world!
GaPJaxie · 63k words  ·  256  9 · 2.2k views

Cold in Gardez, author of A Once and Future Darkness, and other amazing stories.

TA Once and Future Darkness
When Luna returned after a thousand years of exile, she brought something else back with her. Dreams – real dreams – are shaking the world, and Twilight Sparkle must stop them before they destroy it.
Cold in Gardez · 9.6k words  ·  525  38 · 5.9k views

Skywriter, author of the best god-damn mad science story ever published.

TContraptionology!
When life gives you lemons, make robot monsters.
Skywriter · 134k words  ·  1,037  28 · 16k views

The Rules

  1. Publish your story on FiMFiction by April 30th, and add it to the group Friendship is Optimal Writing Contest. If you're a first-time or underrated author, be sure to add your story to the relevant folders.
  2. Minimum length is 2,000 words, maximum length is 12,000 words.
  3. All stories must relate to Friendship is Optimal as described above. Compliance with those three bullet points is all that matters, you do not have to stick to any kind of FiO canon.
  4. Mature content is allowed, but porn and snuff are not. While there are no explicit content guidelines, if the primary appeal of your story is that it's titillating or gruesome, you will not place.
  5. Multiple entries are allowed, but any single author can only win one cash prize.
  6. Do not approach the judges about your story before the contest is over. Trying to sway the judges to your story before the submission date is cheating.

The Mentors

And, finally, if you're feeling stuck and want to run your story by someone, you're free to swing by the Friendship is Optimal Discord Server for feedback on your stories. No promises of course, we aren't a reviewing service, but there's a lot of clever people there who love FiO and fanfiction and who don't mind giving feedback.

Report GaPJaxie · 4,277 views ·
Comments ( 104 )

Well now. I've never felt confident enough to explore the Optimalverse seriously, but this may be just the boot to the rear I needed.

You do not need to read the original Friendship is Optimal

I beg to differ, after that synopsis I need this story in my life RIGHT NOW

Question, by human you mean our humanity or the humans of the EG world?

5486839

In the original Friendship is Optimal, it's our humanity, but you can write it either way if you want! We're not stuck up on canon, just looking for some good stories. :)

Crossovers are okay, right? Was already gonna do something with virtual ponies and this'll be interesting if I do.

5486852

Yup, that's fine!

If Starscibe enters, the rest of us might as well go home!:pinkiecrazy::twilightsheepish:

5486865

Untrue! I want your stories in that physical anthology. ^_^

Where's Starscribe when you need him?

5486871

I mean if you want to PM him a link to the contest I won't object. :twilightsmile:

Comment posted by TheEighthDayofNight deleted March 31st

I admit I'm not really up to date on Friendship is Optimal, but I could use the cash and drawing on my knowledge of Japanese Virtual Isekai I should hopefully be able to pull this off.

5486895

That's the spirt! Put your own twist on the premise and kick ass. :D

5486898 Heh, if I win I'll have to thank my friend who got me into .Hack//... if I win.

Question: Does said uploaded human remember their previous life?

5486909

In FiO canon, yes! Though you don't have to do it that way. You can run with any take you like:

  • They remember.
  • They don't remember.
  • They remember a ponified version of their life.
  • They don't remember, but know that there's something they've forgotten.
  • Or maybe CelestAI gives them a magic book with their own biography!

Or whatever else. :D

This seems like fun, I think I'll try it out. 👍☺️

Though my only question is how would I submit the story towards the contest?

“Fulfilling values” is not just giving everyone a nice house and infinite free hamburgers, but trying to find what makes them deeply spiritually satisfied as a person. For an academic, fulfilling their values might mean an eternity to study. For a hedonist, it might mean infinite sex and drugs. For a serial killer, it might lead to darker places.

I feel like not including the alternative definition to this is wrong and could be interpreted to mean that she seeks to develop people through relationships and improving them to a higher standard.
Not to mention it isn't the complete sentence. It's "Fulfilling human values through ponies and friendship".
Ie, it's not just about satisfying their pleasure and sense of fulfillment. Ie, not simply giving a serial killer what they want.
Human values go far beyond that, and a proper friendship is optimal story could also be about community and learning to be a better person.

Human values is a criminally ambiguous phrase when it comes to AI, so interpretation is important, but it can include human systems of morality and ethics.

5486919

Hooray!

Publish your story on FiMFiction by April 30th, and add it to the group Friendship is Optimal Writing Contest. If you're a first-time or underrated author, be sure to add your story to the relevant folders.

I'm very excited for this! I love FiO. Just wondering if you can provide any clarity on the definitions you'll be using for 'underrated authors'? New authors is pretty self explanatory, but underrated could use a bit more explaining. I've had stories in the sandbox a few times, but I don't have a great deal of followers and I'm not very well known on here - I'm sure other people will wonder if they'll count as 'underrated' or not as well.

5487041

I'm very excited for this! I love FiO. Just wondering if you can provide any clarity on the definitions you'll be using for 'underrated authors'? New authors is pretty self explanatory, but underrated could use a bit more explaining. I've had stories in the sandbox a few times, but I don't have a great deal of followers and I'm not very well known on here - I'm sure other people will wonder if they'll count as 'underrated' or not as well.

Certainly! We do it in two ways. First, with prizes. We have prizes for best writer with <500 followers, which is a quick shorthand for "could use more love."

All Prize Winners: Physical Copy of Contest Anthology*
*Pending adequate entries, stories can only be published with author permission.

  • BEST STORY OVERALL -- $250 USD
  • RUNNER UP -- $100 USD
  • BEST FIRST-TIME WRITER -- $25 USD
  • BEST WRITER WITH <500 FOLLOWERS -- $50 USD
  • (NEW) BEST ORIGINAL CONCEPT -- $50 USD
  • (NEW) BEST CHARACTERIZATION -- $50 USD
  • (NEW) BEST HAPPY STORY -- $50 USD

Second, we'll be making a special effort to call out new writers or writers who we feel didn't get enough views during the review/judging process.

5486871
Speak the devil's name and he shall appear.

I've writing a CAMP NANO novel this month. If I have any time on the side, I'll probably throw something in. The hard part will be coming up with something I haven't seen from FiO before. Gotta air-can the dust out of the idea mill again.

5486929
I concur that the 'definitions' break from the original work, however perhaps intentionally. In the canon, it is explictly stated Celeseia 'satisfies values through friendship and ponies", and the rules as stated retract from the full implications of that epithet, seemingly to favor a more positive (happy) direction.

Also, first sentence in point two is malformed:
'she does her best to give everyone a happy and fulfill their values'
Give everyone a happy?

Additionally many of the inspirations for going 'far and wide with sci-fi ideas' would seem to break rule 1, that all of humanity is uploaded :twilightblush:

Still, this has my attention.

Mixed feelings on you referring to the private server you run with Cloud Hop as "The" FiO server, but otherwise glad to see something like this. I'll go ahead and pop a story in by the end of the month, 'cause I've got one sitting here unwritten.

Just a note, you're likely to get crossover with Nightmare Night in April, which I'll be posting this year's announcement for next week.

5487163

I'll go ahead and pop a story in by the end of the month, 'cause I've got one sitting here unwritten.

Hooray!

Just a note, you're likely to get crossover with Nightmare Night in April, which I'll be posting this year's announcement for next week.

You know there's already 4 writing contests going, right? FiO, Cadence is a Bad Mother, Appledash, and Foreign Lands? Appledash has a $600 main prize. :O

5487174
Nightmare Night in April is a yearly event, so...

Also, we did an online panel at HarmonyCon 2021, if anyone wants an inspirational video...

Please note that the story idea that gets brought up, where the guy wakes up after decades in VR, is the one I'm writing for this, so uh... please don't write that. :V

I decided that for this contest, I would attempt to create CelestAI herself, and bring the magic of Equestria Online to real life. :twilightsmile:

Unfortunately, I determined that I lack access to the advanced computer hardware, programming knowledge, and general lack of lazy-assedness to succeed in such an endeavor, so I instead poured some booze and sat back to read what comes of this with some cheesy crackers for company. :pinkiecrazy:

So sorry to fail to rise to the expectations you never had for me. :trollestia:

5487174

You know there's already 4 writing contests going, right? FiO, Cadence is a Bad Mother, Appledash, and Foreign Lands? Appledash has a $600 main prize. :O

Five?
Scampy's SunFlower Shipping Contest

5487236

DAMN YOU APRIL

Hm... Alrighty then. I think I can be convinced to dredge myself up from the stygian depths long enough to cough up a few thousand words.

Maybe it's time I finally wrote that premise I had so long ago.

You know? This seems like fun, and I'd love to dip my toes into the Sci-Fi genre. I do still need to finish the story I'm currently working on, but once I do that, I'll see if I can whip up something for this contest! :yay: Here's hoping I can keep it within that dang word limit... :applejackconfused:

5487415

I am looking forward to it! And remember, if you ever want to bounce ideas off somebody, you can always join our Discord server to get some feedback.

5487413
Actually, in reviewing I find that I put together part of it already, although I haven't published it on FimFiction. Is it permitted to complete it and enter that into the contest? Or does it have to be fully original as of now?

5487425

Completing it would be fine!

Commenting so I don't forget this, imma try to think up some ideas when it isn't midnight here :pinkiecrazy:

Wait, so the endgame has to already have occurred?

Or can we set this like while The Fall of Asgard was still in production??

Or at least before everyone's been uploaded?

----

An artificial intelligence called CelestAI uploads the minds

5486895

CelestAI does have an achievement system, as seen in David / Light Sparks' section...

5487662

Looking forward to what you come up with!

5487670

Wait, so the endgame has to already have occurred?

Or can we set this like while The Fall of Asgard was still in production??

You can set things while events are still unfolding, yes. :D

Heck yeah, I'm excited for the results from this!

So, does the digital Equestria have to be pure ponies, or can it be an alternate, anthro version of Equestria?

5488426

Either is fine!

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