The Writeoff Association 926 members · 662 stories
Comments ( 518 )
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RogerDodger
Group Admin

Event overview

Please refrain from saying anything that might compromise your anonymity. Doing so is grounds for disqualification. It's recommended you do dummy reviews of your own stories should it otherwise be easy to deduce which you wrote.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
Group Admin

Oh man didn't we just do this?

I am hellbent on making a particular story idea fit the prompt. Everyone will hate it, no doubt.

horizon
Group Admin

You know what … let's try an experiment to make this one marginally more interesting.

Unless 3524396 feels this is against the spirit of the writeoffs, or substantial objections are raised, I would like to offer some modest prizes this round. Coffee money, really, but it would be something to go along with the bragging rights.

AUGUST WRITEOFF PRIZES
Sponsored by horizon ($25), yamgoth ($30), and PoniacDeville ($25)
$20.00 USD to the first-place story
$10.00 USD to the second-place story
$5.00 USD to the third-place story

$10.00 USD to the Most Controversial story* (i.e. the bouquet winner)
$20.00 USD to the NEW entrant (=first time submitting to writeoff.me) with the highest-scoring story

$5.00 USD to horizon's personal top choice*
$5.00 USD to yamgoth's personal choice*
$5.00 USD to Poniac's personal choice*

Prizes will be awarded as if the stories of the prize sponsors did not exist. All prizes, except for the new-entrant prize and yamgoth's/Poniac's choice, will be explicitly awarded to different authors, going down the lists as necessary. Best New Author, Yamgoth's Choice, and PoniacDeville's Choice CAN overlap with other awards, so a first-time entrant hypothetically could win as much as $35.00 $50.00. Holy smokes!

I would prefer to send prize money via PayPal, but can probably do something like sling an Amazon/iTunes/Steam gift certificate your way if need be.

Basically, I've gotten some cool reading out of these writeoffs. I'd like to encourage more! :twilightsmile:


*About award criteria:
Most Controversial: As explained in the Writeoff.me Site FAQ, this score is calculated based on the standard deviation of the votes a story receives. Basically, this is the story that receives the biggest mixture of love and hate.
horizon's choice: I generally rank my stories by how much impact the story had on me, with special attention toward literary merit (whatever that means). I have a soft spot for stories that successfully sell an audacious premise.
yamgoth's choice: "This award should probably go to whoever has the most hilarious gallows humour in their story. I mean, this is 'Famous Last Words' and I didn't put the 'goth' part in my name for nothing."
PoniacDeville's choice: (it's a mystery!)

--
Edit, 8/11: In the event of a tie, my current plan is to grow the prize pool and award money to both of the tied contestants. (I'm not going to insult authors by splitting a $5.00 prize in half.) In the event of a ridiculous tie, like 5 entrants with the same score, I will guarantee $25.00 worth of prizes, make a decision based on my budget, and figure out some fair method of determining winner(s).
Edit, 8/16: Prize pool amounts updated! Horizon's Choice and Yamgoth's Choice info added.
With the larger dollar amounts, we'll have to figure out on the fly how to handle ties (if any), but I'll guarantee at least $55.00 worth of prizes being awarded.
Edit, 8/18: A third sponsor! We now have a Third-Place prize as well as Poniac's Choice. $80.00 in prizes guaranteed.

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

3527180
Bribing people to write you pony words, eh?

I actually was thinking about this a while ago, and realized that if someone really wanted to commission a specific story, the best way to do it would not be to pay a specific author for it, but rather to start a contest in a group on the site and offer, say, $50 to the winner. That way, they'd get a BUNCH of stories based on their idea and get to pick their favorite.

Not that I'm cynical or anything, no sir.

Silent Strider
Group Contributor

3527220

Well, the quality of my stories is still struggling, but I would easily write up to some 7K words to a prompt I merely don't dislike just to have it reviewed, no cash prizes needed :twilightsmile:

(Which is a large part of why I took part in the last three Writeoff, and plan to keep doing so :raritywink:)

RogerDodger
Group Admin

3527180
Prizes have been offered for writeoffs in the past and it's worked fine. I doubt anyone would object.

The only possible issue is pairing entries up with people to hand out the prizes. People that make use of the "website" field to enter (for example) their Fimfiction profile are easy to contact, and otherwise it's usually pretty obvious. Last resort, everyone signed up has an email address I can presumably use to contact them.

horizon
Group Admin

3527508
Cool, thanks. :twilightsmile: I'll work with you if I'm having trouble tracking down winners.

3527220
That sort of shadow-commission worked out really well for AugieDog (and for me as the statue winner :raritywink:), but it works much better if you A) can control the topic and B) are offering more than coffee money. :twilightblush:

$25 toward prizes is about my "I don't need to make this into a budgetable expenditure" limit, so it seems like a good compromise to test the waters, but I can't imagine it would serve as a draw on its own. I'm curious to see if anyone else might think, "Hey, that's sort of a cool idea, I should add to the prize pool"; a $5 prize is a formality, but at, let's say, a $20 prize for a 750-word fic, people might take notice on the money alone.

Thirdly, I'm curious to see whether this has any positive or negative effect on what I like most about the competition (the camaraderie and reviewing). Like I said, an experiment, and worthwhile if it draws even more talent to the writeoffs (hence extra money to new authors), or if it gets awesome feedback to some authors who were looking for it.

3527318
What, you mean the dozens of person-hours invested into critical analysis mean more to you than a five-dollar bill? Hmm … clearly I need to do something about this.

$5.25?

Silent Strider
Group Contributor

3528098
I would settle for a prize for 4th place; it's where I've been stuck these last two editions of the Writeoff :trollestia:

Jokes apart, the money would only mean anything to me if I thought I had a good chance of winning, and I don't think I'm there yet. Besides, I do find the reviews every story gets more valuable than even a somewhat larger prize — say, in the $20 range — anyway :scootangel:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
Group Admin

3528098
How bout tree-fiddy? :V

RazgrizS57
Group Contributor

3528513
I'd rather take a waterlogged tree stump.

Silent Strider
Group Contributor

And the prompt is out: Famous Last Words

Not among the ones I was wishing for, but how hard can this prompt be? :scootangel:

archonix
Group Contributor

3543739 Oh god you had to say it, didn't you?

(:derpytongue2:)

Silent Strider
Group Contributor

3543775

What? It's not as if saying that would give authors a block or something :raritywink:

(Though, truth be told, I skipped the common, and faster, brainstorming I usually do and went directly to a TVTropes wiki walk. The most useful page for inspiration, BTW, seems to be Tempting Fate; it even concludes by pointing that afterwards someone will say "You just had to say it" :trollestia:)

(And no, that isn't a ploy to make the other authors waste all their time in TVTropes and forget to submit a fic :trixieshiftleft:)

archonix
Group Contributor
Chris
Group Contributor

I'm already 1200 words into my story, and I'm not close to done yet :facehoof:

I may have to just start over at this point...

RazgrizS57
Group Contributor

3544217
You do realize this is a minific writeoff, right?

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

3544217
Hey, at least you have an idea for a full length story!

Its okay. Temptation started off as something similar, as did Shotgun Wedding. They're 3k words long and... well, the first chapter of shotgun Wedding isn't that long, but the whole of it is going to be pretty long.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
Group Admin

This was a good prompt for once. :D It fit a bunch of things I wanted to write. Now I just have to trim them down! :B

Silent Strider
Group Contributor

3544852

Well, it didn't fit any of my preexisting ideas.

But, given that my preexisting ideas tend to fare worse in the Writeoff than what I make up on the spot, this might not be a bad thing :scootangel:

Flashgen
Group Contributor

3544852

I'm not hitting any inspiration as of yet, but we'll see how it goes.

3544852

I want to strangle the prompt submitter and all eleven people who voted for it. And record their last words while doing so.

But hey, I'm halfway to 750 on a decent concept. And if I finish in time, I'll be a first-time submitter... :pinkiecrazy: So it's all working out.

horizon
Group Admin

Hey everypony: yamgoth is being all awesome and stuff, and has contacted me to roughly double the prize pool!

I've updated 3527180 with new details. There are two new awards and higher dollar amounts.

dangit, another contest I can't enter :pinkiesad2::pinkiesad2::pinkiesad2:

3528098
That gif... you sir, win a moustache :moustache:

Bachiavellian
Group Contributor

I'm actually surprised at how little time it took for me to brainstorm for this thing, considering how long it usually takes for me to come up with a story idea. Writing was also unexpectedly quick (even considering the word limit). Hopefully, this is a good sign? :twilightsheepish:

Chris
Group Contributor

3544235

MY MUSE WILL NOT BE CONSTRAINED BY YOUR ARBITRARY NUMBERS

3544339

True enough; I may well try to turn that into a full-on story when all's said and done.

In the meantime, I started from scratch, and managed to write something that is 750 words or less. Go me!

Submitted! I actually finished for once! I'm disappointed because I had to cut so much from what I had outlined, though. I've absolutely got to expand this story once the competition is over.

RazgrizS57
Group Contributor

Got my entry in, but I can't guarantee I'll get around to reviewing all the entries, regardless of the amount. I'll try and cast votes, but again, no guarantee. I wish everyone the best of luck.

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

3524396
Question:

What is the website field for? Is it for where the final story will be when it published to FIMFiction, if you're planning on doing that?

It doesn't show up while the fic voting is going on, right?

Soge
Group Contributor

Managed to get an entry in this time! Got an idea stuck in my head right as I was going to bed, and I guess it might have worked. Worth losing an hour of sleep.

RogerDodger
Group Admin

3546486
On the results page, your name will be a link to the website entered (e.g., last event's results: Pascoite, Bad Horse, and Prompted-by-Raridash's names are links).

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

3546537
Ah, perfect. Thanks.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
Group Admin

>tfw you've completed multiple entries and have time to do more, but nothing you want to write

3545408
One of mine ended at 1100 words. I chopped it down but saved the original version for potential posting later. (Though it's obviously got a lot of unnecessary words still...)

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

3546619
I haven't really had that problem thus far; the first drafts of all of them have ended up under the limit. All of the ideas have been conceived for this contest, though, meaning that they were supposed to be short. I guess one of them was an idea I've played around with before (and which I haven't yet written because it is the one I am least sure will be short enough).

I've got at least two more I'd like to write, possibly three.

Silent Strider
Group Contributor

3546662
Three fics in three hours? What kind of madness is that? :twilightsmile:

(Wow, and I thought I was writing too many minifics... :twilightoops:)

Chris
Group Contributor

36 submissions so far, and we haven't even gotten to the usual flood of last-minute entries... :rainbowderp:

The reviewers are going to have their work cut out for them this time around

Silent Strider
Group Contributor

3546694
40 now, with an hour and half remaining. And I've beaten my previous mark in number of submissions :twilightsmile:

Not going for more, though. I do have another idea that could work, but it's so different from my usual work that I'm not sure I could get it right in a week, much less in an hour and half.

RazgrizS57
Group Contributor

3546938
40? Jeez, only one of those is mine.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
Group Admin

3546694
Thank goodness for 750 word limits, amirite?

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

3546669
Well I wrote four in four hours, so, yeah, totally doable.

Alas, I did not sleep last night, so I must nap now. I look forward to reading all the stories and judging them this afternoon.

Hopefully they don't contain any really stupid errors.

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

3527180
Well, it looks like your bribery worked.

42 entries and still half an hour to go.

I pity the judges.

Oh, wait. That's US... :pinkiesad2:

Silent Strider
Group Contributor

3547072
Wow :twilightoops:

I did write my last one in an hour and half, but that was after having the idea swimming in my head all afternoon yesterday; even keeping that slower pace across multiple stories would be crazy for me. A better estimate for me would be two hours per story, including brainstorming time, if I'm not stuck.

BTW, will we reach half hundred stories in 24 hours? That would be, like, 200% cooler :rainbowdetermined2:

Edit: We reached half hundred fics :ajsmug::yay::pinkiehappy::rainbowlaugh::raritystarry::twilightsheepish:

Eakin
Group Contributor

3547103
Looks like we did, the submissions screen says 51

Go us :twilightsmile:

RogerDodger
Group Admin

Now to get 3 hours of sleep. It's not like I could've started before midnight. :facehoof:

horizon
Group Admin

This is all my fault. As penance, I will make it a point to review every single one, along with constructive criticism. (Well, there goes my next week …)

:pinkiehappy: This is awesome though! There are some intriguing titles in the mix, and I'm seeing some exciting names in the newly-registered section of the writeoff.me user page. I'm looking forward to this whole "giving away money" thing. Let the games begin!

Axis of Rotation
Group Contributor

Bah, missed it by ten minutes. Oh well, plenty of stories to read. I mean, seriously, 51?? Woo! :yay:

Thisisalongname
Group Contributor

At first I was disappointed the word limit wasn't higher so I could flesh out my stories more. After 15 reads, and 35 more to go I am so ever grateful for that word limit. Godspeed everyone on the 35k words you now have before you.

Von Snootingham
Group Contributor

Well, I found out about this whole shebang about three hours ago and decided I wanted a part of it. Didn't realize the deadline was in UTC time though and thought I had four more hours than I did. Submitted my story at 2:06pm only to find that submissions were closed, I'd missed it by 6 minutes, and I apparently don't know what time zones are. FML. Oh well, I guess. Next time.:fluttercry:

...I was really proud of it too, especially since thought it up and wrote it down in a bout an hour.

Bad Horse
Group Contributor

I'm gonna start from the last story & work my way backward, bcoz I'll probably give up. But that first story with Big Mac & Cherilee is great. Gonna be hard for anything to top that.

horizon
Group Admin

3547240 3547256
Bummer :applecry:

Tell you what, if you want to post links here or send them to me via PM, I will at the very least include them in my review/concrit sweep (if you post public links, others might, too, but I can't make any promises). This won't make you eligible for the awards but it'll be a consolation prize.

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