Swapped Roles 149 members · 83 stories
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Nitro Indigo
Group Admin

Reunions
A Swapped Roles Contest

Last year, I noticed that there was a surprising lack of roleswap fanfics on this site. To fix that, I decided to run a roleswap contest over the summer themed around secrets. While it didn’t get many entries, it nevertheless attracted the attention of some big authors and was the origin of two of my favourite fics. Overall, I think it was a success, so I’ve decided to run another one!

This year’s theme is reunions.

The contest begins at midnight on the 1st of June and ends at midnight on the 1st of July, in BST (UTC+1).
If your entry is still in the approval queue by the closing date, please PM one of the judges.

But what is a roleswap?
A roleswap is a fanfic that takes place in an alternate universe where canon characters have each others' roles, but are still otherwise themselves. For example, a fanfic where Spike is the Element of Magic and Twilight Sparkle is his assistant - but Spike is still a plucky, young dragon and Twilight is still a bookish, older pony - would count as a roleswap.

Roleswaps are not to be confused with other kinds of swaps, such as gender (Spike is a dragoness and Twilight is a stallion), personality (Spike is bookish and Twilight is plucky), species (Spike is a pony and Twilight is a dragon), age (Spike is older and Twilight is younger), or body (Twilight screws up a spell that makes her switch bodies with Spike for a day). However, these can overlap with roleswaps. (eg: If you wanted to swap the Crusaders with their sisters, it would be logical to swap their relative ages as well.)

If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, feel free to use my roleswap generator! If you’re not sure if your idea counts as a roleswap, don’t be afraid to ask!

Rules and Guidelines

  • Entries will be judged not only by their quality as stories (grammar, coherency, etc.), but also on their originality. Celestia turned evil instead of Luna? Nah. That’s been done to death. Octavia is the Element of Magic? Daring Do is the captain of the Wonderbolts? Twilight hatched Smolder during her entrance exam? Now you’re talking!
  • Unlike last year’s contest, you’re allowed to write sequels, prequels, and side-stories to existing roleswap fanfics this time. However, they must introduce and focus on a roleswap that hasn’t appeared in that continuity before. If it’s a continuation of someone else’s story, remember to ask them for permission!
  • Only one entry per person. They must be written specifically for the contest, published no earlier than the starting date, link to one of the announcement posts in the long description, and be added to the contest folder in this group.
  • No M-rated entries, crossovers, humans in Equestria, or ponies on Earth.
  • You can write entries based on other My Little Pony generation 4 media, such as the comics and Equestria Girls.
  • There’s no word limit, but please make sure you can finish your entry on time. Unfinished entries will be disqualified.

Judges

Prizes

  1. $60
  2. $50
  3. $30

All of these will be sent through PayPal.

I have an idea but I'm not sure how it could fit the theme.

So anything E or T will will right? So role swap could be like any character in a different role from they are canonlly portrayed as?

Nitro Indigo
Group Admin

7509592 Yes, and a roleswap needs to put a character in another character's role.

7509654
Could I use an OC?

Nitro Indigo
Group Admin

7509665 Not as part of the roleswap, but if they're a supporting character or something, yes.

7503898
The "but are still otherwise themselves." Is tripping me a bit up.

Just to check, it's ok if a roleswapped character's personality (and even cutiemark) differs somewhat from their canon counterpart if it's reasonably explained by how their lives thread a different path, yeah?

I'm pretty new to this concept, so I'm trying to figure out how restrictive this whole roleswap thingie is

Nitro Indigo
Group Admin

7509706 Yes. For example, in one of last year's entries, Ask Not the Sparrow, Rainbow Dash is more cautious than in canon because she fell out of the sky instead of Fluttershy as a filly and almost died, but she's still protective of Fluttershy and is determined to be the best in her field.

Very intriguing idea and contest, especially combined with a reunions theme. That second part actually cut out my idea of Sandbar and Twilight switching places before the series premiere, but I might have a couple more to try out.

7509706
Basically, imagine the cutie mark swap episode. Even though Rarity was in charge of the weather, she was still focused on patterns, Fluttershy's personality made it hard to do Pinkie Pie's job, and Rainbow Dash was really angry and out of her league when she was taking care of the animals.

For a quick example, have this fun little write up.

Princess Cadence stared at the solid pink dome that encased the long lost Crystal Empire, wondering what the tyrant Lord Shining Armor had done in his return.

Cadence's husband, Sombra, patiently waited next to her, watching the militaristic crystal ponies inside march in unison to the beat of a drum.

"Slaaaaves," Sombra seethed.

"You're right, sweetie. We might need the Elements of Harmony for this one."

"Crystals!"

"I know you don't like putting Twilight in danger, Somby, but we might not have another choice. Lord Shining Armor's shield is too strong for us to get through alone. We'll have to return to Equestria and get your sister and her friends."

"Crystals."

"I'm not leaving you alone out here, Somby."

"Crystallllls." He argued.

"Well... I... You're right. By the time we both get back, Lord Shining Armor could attempt to invade. But I'm not leaving without you Sombra."

"... Crystalssss, s-slaves," he said with a bitter tear.

"What do you--" that was all Cadence could say before she was forcibly teleported back to Canterlot, her lover remaining behind as a last stand against the dreaded Lord Shining Armor.

Not my best work, but it gets the point across.

Nitro Indigo
Group Admin

7510795 I just found the winner. Everyone go home. =P

I have an idea I'm planning for this contest. There are two ways I could write it, one of which is a retelling of Friendship Is Magic parts 1 and 2 to highlight the differences from canon. I see though that the first contest explicitly forbade those. This contest doesn't seem to actually specifically say that's not allowed, but would I be right in guessing that it's still going to be frowned upon?

Nitro Indigo
Group Admin

7516152 It's allowed this time, but don't expect to get marks for originality if you do.

7516646
Well crap, wish I'd realized that this specific way of intro-ing a setting was frowned upon in the role swap community. There goes my fic lol

7503898
me, realizing it's both BST on July 1st midnight meaning like 9 hours from now and not the time I thought I would have

Ah well. I still want to finish up my entry, even if it's not actually submitted for the pool then. Will there be an inspired/late entry folder perhaps?

Nitro Indigo
Group Admin

7524842 It didn't occur to me to make a late entry folder. The contest folder will be deleted once it's over, anyway.

7524843
Ah, alright! Thanks for the answer.

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