Update: The result is in. Please follow this link to the result and review post.


Secret Moon’s Self-Isolation Writing Contest

As everyone knows, the whole world is in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic right now. In the face of the crisis, many countries and communities have implemented lock-down, quarantine and/or social distancing. To lend a hoof in helping everyone get pass this difficult time, I would like to announce the Secret Moon’s Self-Isolation Writing Contest, to provide MLP fanfiction readers and writers some entertainment during this isolation, maintaining the spirit in the community, as well as giving everyone a chance to earn some bits to cope with the financial issues caused by this crisis.


Time:

  • Contest opening: March 31st 2020, 00:00 am GMT.
  • Submission deadline: April 30th 2020, 12:00 pm GMT, extended until May 7th 2020, 12:00 pm GMT.

Hopefully by this time we have all got pass the pandemic.

Clearly it's going to take a long while from now until we get pass this thing.

  • Result announcement: About 2-3 weeks from submission deadline.

Due to my busy schedule of the last weeks in PhD course, this time may be subjected to change depending on the number of submissions.

Theme:

The theme for this contest is isolation/separation. This may include one of the following topics:

  • Social isolation/separation: school/work place/society isolation due to bullying or personality; isolation/segregation due to race, gender, class, disability, etc.
  • Physical isolation/separation: imprisonment/banishment; isolation/separation due to accident, natural disaster, war and conflict, magical mishap, and yes, diseases, etc.
  • Relationship isolation/separation: long-distance relationship (this could be romance or non-romance, such as Scootaloo’s relationship with her parents); hindered/forbidden relationship (such as that of Bright Mac and Pear Butter).

Rules:

  • Length: minimum 1000 words, maximum 7777 words by Fimfiction word count.

Why this specific number? Let’s just say it’s to celebrate a certain remake of a classic game out in this April.

  • Number of submissions per person: unlimited.
  • Genre: these can be of any genre: tragedy, comedy, romance, adventure, drama, horror, etc., even sex and porn

However, the sex/porn must be used to deliver the concept of isolation/separation, not just mindless self-masturbation.

  • Characters/elements: only OCs and characters/elements from the show Friendship is Magic, My Little Pony the Movie (2017) and Equestria Girls Feature Films and TV specials (including Tales of Canterlot High, Forgotten Friendship, Rollercoaster of Friendship, Spring Breakdown, Sunset’s Backstage Pass and Holiday Unwrapped).

Characters/elements from the comics, web specials and shorts and other expanded media are strongly discouraged unless they are self-explanatory. The submissions of this contest are meant for all the average fans of the show, who should be able to enjoy them with just the knowledge from the main media of FIM and Equestria Girls.

The story does not need to strictly follow canon. Headcanons/diversions from canon/alternative universes are allowed and welcome, as long as the readers can fully understand the setting and concept of the story by itself without having to read or watch any additional material.

  • Must be a new and original story, not a re-write or a plagiarism of an already published story.

Only stories that are submitted within the contest period will be eligible.

  • Must be a complete, independent story, not a chapter of a story, part of a compilation/collection/anthology of stories or part of an extended universe of another story.

As mentioned above, these submissions are meant for the average fans, and they should not be required to read other stories to be able to enjoy these submissions.

  • No editing after submission deadline.

All submitted stories will be downloaded at the time of submission deadline and only these versions will be evaluated.

  • All submissions must be placed in the Submissions folder in Secret Moon’s Self-Isolation Writing Contest group.
  • All submissions must clearly state in their long descriptions that they are submissions to Secret Moon’s Self-Isolation Writing Contest, and have a link to this contest group.

Judging:

All judging will be done by me. Factors such as number and ratio of up/down votes, comments, author, etc. will not be considered. The judgement will be based on these criteria:

  • Description of the isolation/separation: this should be the center point of the story, and a large part of the judgement will be given to how well the story captures and delivers the feeling, impacts and challenges of the isolation/separation.
  • Positivity/optimism: the things we need the most right now are positivity and optimism. A lot of consideration will be given to how well the story resolves the conflict of the isolation/separation in a positive note, or the way the characters face the challenges with optimism.

The story does not need to be optimistic from beginning to finish. It can start out super sad and depressing, but if at the end the characters get over the pessimism and learn to look at things in a brighter light, it will still be graded highly. However, it needs to have a smooth and believable transition. There should be reasons or factors that cause the characters to change their points of view.

Alternatively, an optimistic and even comedic tone can also be used throughout the course of the story. However, the story should still fully elaborate on the hardship of the isolation/separation, and explain the reasons/motivations for the characters to maintain their optimism.

  • Underlying philosophy/moral message: how deep and well-delivered the underlying moral messages and/or philosophies are. How sophisticated the clash of philosophies or the ambiguity of the moral standpoints is. Basically, how well the story make the readers think and reflect upon themselves and society.
  • Creativity: how unique the cause or setting for the isolation/separation is. How creatively the story resolves it.
  • Employment of characters/lore/elements from the show: these are MLP fanfictions, therefore they must use/employ characters, lore and/or elements (such as magic, races and species, social structure, etc.) from the show to set up the story. Stories which still work the same when every character is replaced by a human character will not be graded very high.
  • Writing style: how the story is structured. How well the words and sentences are used to deliver the feelings and thoughts of the characters. Also grammar and spelling.

Stories that do not satisfy one or all of these criteria are not disqualified from the contest. However, these criteria will play a big part in deciding which stories win the prizes.

Prizes:

  • First prize: $50.
  • Second prize: $30.
  • Third prize: $20.
  • Honorable prizes: $5 each.

These honorable prizes are awarded to stories that excel in one certain aspect but do not make the cut for the overall top prizes (for example having very creative/unique setting, an excellently-written tragedy that doesn’t end in a positive note, etc.). It will fall upon my own discretion whether to award any story with these prizes, but I will be as generous as possible.

The prizes may be subjected to expansion, depending on the number and quality of the submissions.
Prizes will be sent via PayPal. Contest winners will be asked to provide their email within 2 weeks of the result announcement to receive the prizes. Please follow the forum in the contest group to be notified of the result.
A winner may refuse to accept the prize, in which case it will be distributed proportionally to other winners.


If you have any question regarding the rules and evaluating criteria, feel free to ask in the comment section below or PM me, I will answer as soon as possible. Please follow the forum of the contest group for important updates such as deadline and result. Please help spread the news of this contest around. Good luck to everyone and may you all stay safe and healthy and keep your spirit high!

Comments ( 25 )
  • Viewing 6 - 25 of 25

436818
Looking forward to your story!

Thanks for the delay! I only came up with a workable concept in the last week, and haven't been able to spend much time on it.

436726
Okay, thanks for letting me know.

436722
Thank you very much for submitting your story.

Unfortunately, this story was published before the contest began (March 31st, 2020). Therefore, it is not eligible. Really sorry about that. Hope you're still interested in the contest and will submit another entry.

436719
Thank you for submitting! Stay tuned for the result.

Comment posted by Mica deleted April 22nd

So, I wrote a thing, and submitted it. Hope people like it.

Question:
Can one person submit many entries? How does this work? Is only one entry eligible for judging and possible victory? Or are all of them up for it and it's possible for one person to win three main prizes?

Answer:

  • Number of submissions per person: unlimited.

The contest rule does not have limit on the number of entries from each author. You can submit as many stories as you like. Each story will be judged independently, regardless if they are from the same author. So it is possible that one person can win all three main prizes if all three stories are excellent.

However, please note that each story must be independent story. The readers must be able to enjoy each story on its own without having to read any additional story to understand it. So if the later submission is a sequel of a previous submission (or any other story for that matter), it will be disqualified.

436650
Look forward to your story!

436629
Unfortunately, the rules for site post of contest state that the contest organizer must have already organized a successful contest before. Since this is the first contest I organize, I am not qualified for site endorsement.

So I really hope you all help me make this a successful contest by participating and spreading the news. If this contest ends successfully and I am qualified for future site endorsement, I may organize more contest in the future.

436450
Oh dang I know who my just-for-fun entry will fall to now 👀

You should submit this to site staff and they’ll announce it as a site post.

436486
Welcome. Any question you have?

436450
Yes! There is no limit to the number of submissions per person. Go as many as you can!

Can multiple stories be submitted? This looks pretty great.

436424
Thank you very much! I really appreciate it.

As with all the contests on this site, I'll promote this one on my profile in an attempt to get you more contenders.

436419
Okay. Thanks. Good night/ day:twilightsmile:

  • Viewing 6 - 25 of 25
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