• Published 24th Mar 2015
  • 1,008 Views, 22 Comments

Letters From the Capital - Apple Bottoms

Princess Twilight Sparkle has been asked to take over a very important correspondence job for Princess Celestia. But it turns out she knows her correspondent already - The Great And Powerful Trixie!

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Chapter 3

Dear Twilight,

I’ve been thinking about your letter, and my mother’s, for the past week. It’s been a long week of walking on flat, empty road, so I had little distraction from my thoughts.

It means a lot to me that you were there to be with my mother when she read my letter. I never intended to write her anything that would upset her, but … I suppose it upset her anyway.

I won’t bore you with a long story about where I come from or why I am here, but suffice it to say that I have not been home in a very, very long time. For many years, I thought that was how it was supposed to be, if I wanted to protect my family from the shame of my failure. But after reading these two letters, I’ve been forced to reconsider.

Perhaps … I’m not destined to be the Great and Lonely Trixie, after all.

Thank you, Twilight. For everything. I’m not used to having someone who would treat me like they would treat one of their friends.



Dear Trixie,

This week was the week of the Winter Solstice Festival, which I attended with my Mom and Dad. It was a beautiful event, with streamers and flowers everywhere, and massive ice-castles sculpted by the Ice Artisans Guild. Did you know there was a guild for ice-carvers? Neither did I!

There were pies and cakes and food of all flavors - even pickled summergrass, if you can believe it! It tasted almost as good as it does when you pick it fresh. I wish I could send you a picture, but I did tuck in one of the embroidered napkins from the head table, and a piece of a streamer.

I considered it a smash success on a personal level, as well - I didn’t spill a single thing, and everyone around me was impressed with my etiquette! Spike, on the other hoof, managed to tip over a punchbowl onto his head. Poor Spike!

I invited your mother to join me and my parents for the festival, and we all got to sit together at a table near Princess Celestia. She wore the star necklace you sent her, and when Celestia came by, she told her all about your journeys in the griffin lands, and what a tribute you were to the kingdom’s library and knowledge of griffin culture. Your mom was super proud of you!!

I think your mom had a really good time, it was really nice to see her smiling again after the first time I met her.

You said that you liked it when I treated you like one of my friends… I would like to hope that someday, if it’s alright with you, we will be friends.

Best wishes,


Dear Twi,

I would like to be friends too!! The great and

That is … I would like to be friends right now.


P.S., Please?


Dear Trixie,

I would like that a lot!!!

Your Friend,

Comments ( 20 )

Aw, that was sweet.

Nice way to use the letters to show how the relationship between the two changes.

5777095 Thank you very much! :) I'm glad you enjoyed it!

So they finally acknowledge that they are friends. I liked this story quite a bit. Good luck with the contest.:yay:

5780909 Thank you very much! I hope I will do well! :)

Very sweet story. Well done.

At first I was a little surprised that Trixie was having a correspondence with Celestia, though later it seemed to imply she was acting as a kind of diplomat? Though I entertain the headcanon that Celestia - being nice and trying to be down to earth - maintains contact with a lot of her graduate students, not just her personal one.

It's really very short, and I would have wanted to see more, because it was very enjoyable. It does however touch the proper points of the journey, as it were; Trixie's passive-aggressive anger at being apparently handed off to Twilight who seemingly keeps bragging about her princesshood, Twilight admitting that she's still coming to terms with royalty and doesn't want to lose herself, culminating with sincere respect and friendship.

Well done, indeed.

5792772 Thank you very much! The reason for the shortness was due to the contest's limit for wordcount; it had to be between 1-3k words, and I believe this one clocks in at 2.9. I could easily see it being a much longer story!

I left the background vague, so that readers could come up with their own 'headcanon' for the exact details behind it; but I personally imagined the reason that Trixie was out on this mission for Celestia was due to her defeat in Ponyville. She is a very proud pony who lost face, and she wanted to try to pick up the pieces of her life. Celestia's an excellent mentor for young ponies, especially magic ones, so I imagined that Celestia offered her an "exploration" type of job when Trixie came to her for help, so that she didn't have to face her (imagined) shame in Canterlot, and could escape from her infamy - which of course, is probably far inflated in Trixie's head as to what other ponies actually believe. (Trixie doesn't do things by halves!) And being able to contact her via letter would give Trixie more time to deal with her embarrassment/ego, and make it easier for Celestia to deliver some difficult truths from a distance.

I also enjoy the headcanon that Celestia keeps in contact with her other students! She's had to have had hundreds by now, Twilight can't be the only student she remembers fondly!

Official EFNW Pre-Con Contest final round review

Congrats for making it this far; that means you're at least in the top 10%. Now, the epistolary nature of this story, combined with some of the super-short letters which yet had full formatting... well, that threw me off somewhat. It made it hard to immerse in the story when letters were starting and ending so quickly. I did very much enjoy the part where Trixie was getting sassy and underlining things. I was also a bit confused for a lot of it, unsure about what the pre-existing relationships between Celestia, Twilight, and Trixie were. Still, it's an interesting concept, and pulled off in a unique way.

5874798 Wow, I'm super honored!! Thank you for your review, and for letting me get this far! :)

I appreciate the critique! I will use it and do my best to improve for next time! My hope with the varying lengths of the letters was that it would keep things from becoming repetitive; however, I definitely should have considered using different fonts or something to differentiate the authors more clearly!

Thanks for reading! :twilightsmile:

Well well well, looks like the dice roll came up on your other entry here, Apple Bottoms! Here's my review:

While your other story entry was good, this one is great! At first I thought the language was really stiff and I wasn't liking it, but then I realized it was a calculated move to show Twilight and Trixie getting over their expectations. Trixie's sarcasm in her initial letters was genuinely funny and the next chapters stuff with her mother was surprisingly touching. As someone who lives far from home and has traveled a lot, it actually struck me a bit more than I was expecting. So, what do I think?

I think this one is going on my list of nominees for the Community Choice award. Congrats, and good luck! :)

5879357 Aw thank you very much! :) I am glad you picked up on the initial 'stiffness' of the conversation! I just joined FIM fiction to post my fics for the contest, so I don't really expect to get any notice for the community choice! So you nominating me means a lot, thank you! I appreciate it! :heart:

Comment posted by Lapis-Lazuli and Stitch deleted Apr 26th, 2015

Congratulations on your win, this was a charming read :)

This was downright lovely. You've got a very believable, very natural ebb and flow to Twilight and Trixie's correspondence, here. It was quite engaging—congrats on first place!

Epistolary stories rely quite a bit on being able to capture the characters' voices, and you do a great job on this front, especially with regard to Twilight once she stops being so formal in her letters. Her letters are really engaging to read and sound very much like something she'd write. One criticism I'd say is that it's not clear why you've chosen Trixie for this story. For example, Trixie and Twilight have a history with each other and this is not addressed at all in the letters. Plus, although you give some hints, I think the story could have been improved if you had explained why Trixie was journeying to the Griffin Kingdom in the first place. There are some really tantalizing elements to explore that are unfortunately left untouched (I suppose this was due to the word limit of the contest).

From all the drama about this winning, I must admit I was a little unsure going in. I'm glad to say that this has washed away any doubts I had - this is a great little story.

I'm having some secondhand embarrassment for you right now. Your opinions are your own, but going after someone out of jealousy after they win a contest makes me doubt the sincerity of your criticism.

Epistolary novels are a recognized format in literature, I recommend you do some research! [link]


Thank you very much for all of your kind comments! I am very pleased that you enjoyed my little story. :pinkiehappy: It's really encouraging to hear from all of you! :heart:

@Catalysts Cradle, you are absolutely right about the word limit for the contest! I had a much bigger story in my head, but getting it to fit in the word count, and have it still make sense, was difficult. But I didn't want to rely too much on large time skips or skimming over events, so I tried to make it shorter. I hoped that people would draw their own assumptions from what I left unsaid, and maybe even create head-canons! Ultimately, I wanted to take a ship that it feels like everyone writes and make it special to me by writing it in a way that I thought was engaging. I just hoped that others would enjoy it too! :twilightsmile:


I'm both pleased and saddened by your comment! I'm so very happy that you enjoyed my fic, and I thank you for taking the time to read it, even with your concerns! I appreciate you giving me a chance! :pinkiesmile: I'm just sorry that you had to have any concern in the first place. It's a shame that there's drama, and I feel bad for any of the other writers whose accomplishments may have felt 'cheapened' by jealous comments from other users.

That was nice. If you decide to expand on it, I'd definitely read it.

I finally got around to read this, with my long list of read later, and found it to be quite sweet. You have done a fine job with this and hope your future work is just as well.:twilightsmile:

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