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Cot Short Stories Contest #2: The Christmas Connection

Short Story Contest short story contest COT stories Christmas

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112 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Velox

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 04:17 AM

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Well, it's been a while since the last COT short stories contest...nevertheless, we are back! After the amazing response 55555 and I received from Short Stories Contest #8, we decided that we wanted to start another contest -- why not COT, and since it's around the Christmas season, why not Christmas-themed? After all, there's been a Valentine's Day short story contest, and a Halloween-themed story contest, it's about time for a Christmas one. Not just any Christmas-themed story, though -- a Sci-Fi yuletide adventure, a snowy steampunk tale, or an eerie Christmas mystery, along with a plethora of other possibilities.

Theme: Write a Christmas story while keeping it in one of the following genres:

ApocalypseSteampunkSci FiMysteryFantasy

CLARIFICATION:Your story may be religious or non-religious (still following BZP's rules, of course -- read the FAQ for more). However, the main theme of this contest is to write a story about the “Christmas spirit,” if you will – if it’s not religious, it should focus on the elements of the secular holiday (i.e., “holiday cheer,” presents, etc.). If religious themed, you may use Christmas or another religion’s equivalent (i.e., Hanukkah [Jewish], Saturnalia [ancient Rome], etc.). In other words, it's not so much "write a story about Christmas Day" as it is "write a story about the Christmas season" (though it can be about Christmas Day if you so desire). If you need any further clarification, please ask -- I don't mind asking any question you should have.

———How to enter:The entry period lasts from Monday, December 05, 2011 (today) as soon as this topic is posted and will end on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 11:59 PM PST.To enter, simply post a link to your entry in this topic using the following form:Member name:

Theme:Entry name and link:Any entry PMed to me or not linked in this topic will be ignored – no exceptions.

———Contest Rules:

    [*]All BZPower Rules and Guidelines apply.[*]Your story must be new and never before posted on BZP. You can certainly have been working on your entry before this, but it must be posted on BZP after the start of the contest for it to be eligible.[*]No plagiarizing! Your story must be your own work.[*]No cheating. Simple enough, yes? You don't get anywhere in life by cheating. Also, if you suspect someone of cheating, PM me. DO NOT post here. [*]Keep it PG-13 appropriate. So no gory descriptions, excessive violence, inappropriate content, et cetera.[*]Your story must be a short story. No epics here.[*]No flaming, bashing, or trolling! I shouldn't even have to say this at all, but if any of this occurs, you will be disqualified immediately.[*]RULE CHANGE: You cannot edit your entry 30 minutes after it is posted. This is to 1) ensure that all judges read the same version of your story; and 2) make things more fair, as not everyone will get the same amount of critique as others. So, once you post your story, you will have thirty minutes to edit it in order to make any formatting changes or to edit your story itself -- after that, your entry will be disqualified. PM me if you have to edit for story for some reason after 30 minutes before you do so. [*]There is no minimum or maximum word count for this contest. Just be reasonable, please. Do remember that the judges have to read every story.[*]If your story is not posted in this topic with the correct format, your entry will not be entered into the contest.[/list]

    The contest hosts reserve the right to change, edit, or make exceptions to any of the rules. A violation of the rules will be judged on a case-by-case basis by contest staff.

    ———Voting:Winners will be dictated by judges. However, certain awards will be chosen partially through polls, namely Best Character, Best Ending, Best Quote and Best Imagery. These are not finalized, and are likely to change, but you get the idea.

    Most Judges will be picked by the contest staff, but volunteers are more than welcome. Potential Judges are not be prohibited from entering the contest. Judges' names will not be posted until after the contest so I won't have to hurt anyone for bribing judges. If you would like to be a judge, feel free to PM 55555.

    ———Prizes:Prizes will be announced later, donations welcome. Also glory.

    ———FAQ:Q: Does it have to be Christmas or can I use some other winter holiday?

    A: Your story can feature some other Christmas-time holiday such as Hanukkah or [for those who study Ancient Rome] Saturnalia or whatever. Just as long as the holiday takes place somewhere around Christmas, it's fine.

    Q: Can my story be religious-themed?

    A: Basically, you can have your plot loosely based off a religious theme or feature some small religious things, but they cannot be the center of the story, simply because of the sensitivity of religion. Make sure if you do have any sort of religious things in your story that you do not make it “preachy” and that you do not too heavily focus your story on it. If you think it might be too much, you can PM your story to me and I’ll look it over for you. I will also be reading all the entries to make sure that they are not too religious. It’s unfortunate that religion is such as sensitive topic, but as it is, BZPower must have this rule to avoid offending anyway. Thank you all for understanding.

    Q: Can we use multiple genres?

    A: Yes, though you would possibly have to choose one specific theme to officially group it under when entering.

    Q: Are fanfics allowed?

    A: Sure, but just keep in mind judges may be unfamiliar with your subject material (unless it's Bionicle).

    Other questions?If you have any questions about the contest not answered above, please post them in this topic. Chances are someone might have the same question, so if you post rather than PMing me, other members can read it the answer.First, however, look through this post to see if I've already addressed your question. But if you can't find an answer, or you think something is unclear, don't hesitate to post and ask about it!

    ———Contest Staff:Contest Hosts:Velox

    55555Contest Assistants:

    Zeddy

    Ziko

    Again, feel free to ask questions here if you have any. But most importantly, have fun and get writing! ^_^ It is my great pleasure to host another writing contest, and I eagerly await all the awesome entries! :xmas:


    Edited by Velox, Dec 22 2011 - 04:04 PM.

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#2 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 04:36 AM

I am so entering this.
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#3 Offline Engineer Alexandra Humva

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 09:25 AM

Time to pull out the keyboard and start writing.One question though; it says 'one of the following genres:' Can we have a sci-fi apocalypse steampunk mystery fantasy Christmas story?
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#4 Offline TNTOS

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 10:45 AM

I am not sure if I'll enter this, as I am still trying to finish my NaNo story.But if I have the time and if I get an idea, I might enter. It's a neat contest idea for sure.-TNTOS-
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#5 Offline Sumiki

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 10:47 AM

Hmm ... interesting theme. I might enter if I get a good idea for a story in my head.I've noticed that, unlike SSC8, story editing until the deadline is allowed. Wouldn't it be a good idea to have the same rule as SSC8? It seemed to have worked pretty well in that one. Plus, one could get feedback from responses and then edit your story - which would be fine if everyone got the same amount of C&C, but, invariably, that doesn't happen.(I hope that made sense.)

Edited by Sumiki, Dec 05 2011 - 10:51 AM.

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#6 Offline Valenti

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 10:53 AM

Fascinating.
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#7 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 10:54 AM

Not sure if I'm going to enter this... I have one question. Can the story have a religious theme (The birth of Christ. St. Nicholas/Santa Claus etc)? Because honestly, unless I write something about frosty the snowman, I can't see it not having a Christian theme, it being a story about Christmas and all.
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#8 Offline Mr. Chicken

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 11:32 AM

Okay, I may be short on time lately, but if I come up with an idea I'll deffinately be entering simply because I love the idea of an unconventional Christmas theme. I now officially have a mental picture of Aliens doing their Christmas shopping while invading earth. :P I mean, obviously that won't be my story. But I don't know why, I just find that image hilarious...P.S. TO THE NUIMOBILE!! :tohu:

Edited by The BIONICLE Hero, Dec 05 2011 - 11:34 AM.

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#9 Offline 55555

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 02:32 PM

Time to pull out the keyboard and start writing.One question though; it says 'one of the following genres:' Can we have a sci-fi apocalypse steampunk mystery fantasy Christmas story?

That story would be allowed, though possibly you would have to choose one specific theme to officially group it under when entering.

I've noticed that, unlike SSC8, story editing until the deadline is allowed. Wouldn't it be a good idea to have the same rule as SSC8? It seemed to have worked pretty well in that one. Plus, one could get feedback from responses and then edit your story - which would be fine if everyone got the same amount of C&C, but, invariably, that doesn't happen.(I hope that made sense.)

Ill let Velox take this one.

Not sure if I'm going to enter this... I have one question. Can the story have a religious theme (The birth of Christ. St. Nicholas/Santa Claus etc)? Because honestly, unless I write something about frosty the snowman, I can't see it not having a Christian theme, it being a story about Christmas and all.

That's not really our department. You're more than welcome to do a religious themed story as long as it follows the overall BZP guideline:

Religious sigs, posts, and PMs are not allowed on BZPower. This includes quotes from the Bible, Koran, or other religious publications, as well as statements or sigs such as "Jesus Loves You" or "Proud to be a Christian."

- 55555

Edited by 55555, Dec 05 2011 - 02:33 PM.

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#10 Offline Inferna Firesword

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 02:51 PM

I'm in. Are fanfics allowed?-Inferna
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#11 Online xccj

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 02:52 PM

I'm in. Already have an idea. Probably won't be writing it until sometime after finals. Hope to see some other cool stories here too.Edit: Also, as far as religion is concerned, the previous BZP policies have allowed the celebration of religious holidays as an exception to the rule (see archived post here) Im sure that could be a basis for this contest. :music:

Edited by xccj, Dec 05 2011 - 02:57 PM.

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#12 Offline 55555

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 03:25 PM

I'm in. Are fanfics allowed?-Inferna

Yes, but you should keep in mind that the judges may be unfamiliar with your source material.

I'm in. Already have an idea. Probably won't be writing it until sometime after finals. Hope to see some other cool stories here too.Edit: Also, as far as religion is concerned, the previous BZP policies have allowed the celebration of religious holidays as an exception to the rule (see archived post here) Im sure that could be a basis for this contest. :music:

Good point. 'Tis the season!- 55555

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#13 Offline Toa Korkoa: Toa of plasma

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 09:14 PM

Question: Could a superhero story fall under one of those genres? Possibly fantasy? I think I've seen superhero stories filed in fantasy sections before...

Edited by Toa Korkoa: Toa of plasma, Dec 05 2011 - 09:15 PM.

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#14 Offline Legolover-361

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Posted Dec 05 2011 - 09:20 PM

The first second after seeing I had to write a Christmas-themed story in the apocalypse, sci-fi, steampunk, mystery, or fantasy genre, I could not comprehend.The next second, I had fallen for the concept, utterly, completely fallen.I have a great idea for an entry; I just hope there won't be too much competition in the apocalypse genre. :P
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#15 Offline Velox

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Posted Dec 06 2011 - 12:22 AM

Hmm ... interesting theme. I might enter if I get a good idea for a story in my head.I've noticed that, unlike SSC8, story editing until the deadline is allowed. Wouldn't it be a good idea to have the same rule as SSC8? It seemed to have worked pretty well in that one. Plus, one could get feedback from responses and then edit your story - which would be fine if everyone got the same amount of C&C, but, invariably, that doesn't happen.(I hope that made sense.)

Yeah, I get what you mean, and completely agree. The only reason I changed it was because I'd hate to have to DQ someone just over editing, but after thinking it over I think I'll go back to the original -- no editing after 30 minutes of posting your story. After all, these contests are to see how you can write, not how you can edit. Everyone should be able to proofread their story ahead of time with the length of the entry period. Even if someone were to enter at 11:58 on the night it's due, they'd still have 30 minutes to go back and proofread and then edit their work if need be. *goes to edit first post*

Not sure if I'm going to enter this... I have one question. Can the story have a religious theme (The birth of Christ. St. Nicholas/Santa Claus etc)? Because honestly, unless I write something about frosty the snowman, I can't see it not having a Christian theme, it being a story about Christmas and all.

Basically, you can have your plot loosely based off a religious theme or feature some small religious things, but they cannot be the center of the story, simply because of the sensitivity of religion. Make sure if you do have any sort of religious things in your story that you do not make it “preachy” and that you do not too heavily focus your story on it. If you think it might be too much, you can PM your story to me and I’ll look it over for you. I will also be reading all the entries to make sure that they are not too religious. It’s unfortunate that religion is such as sensitive topic, but as it is, BZPower must have this rule to avoid offending anyway. Thank you all for understanding. A good example would be It's a Wonderful Life. That film does have religious themes and religious things in it -- God is mentioned, one of the main characters is an angel, etc. -- yet it is not "in your face" religious, and can be enjoyed by non-religious people as the main theme is simply "every life is worth living". Also on that note, I forgot to mention this earlier: It doesn't have to be Christmas. Your story can feature some other Christmas-time holiday such as Hanukkah or [for those who study Ancient Rome] Saturnalia or something. Just as long as the holiday takes place somewhere around Christmas, it's fine.

Question: Could a superhero story fall under one of those genres? Possibly fantasy? I think I've seen superhero stories filed in fantasy sections before...

Sure. Also, notice: FAQ has been updated.Posted Image

Edited by Velox, Dec 06 2011 - 12:29 AM.

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"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender


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#16 Offline ~JC~

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Posted Dec 06 2011 - 12:40 AM

since i've got enough going on right now and it's a short story i don't think designing a few new species would be time particularly well spent, can i base it off halo or fallout or something?
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tu whit, tu whoo


#17 Offline Velox

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Posted Dec 06 2011 - 12:46 AM

since i've got enough going on right now and it's a short story i don't think designing a few new species would be time particularly well spent, can i base it off halo or fallout or something?

Sure, you can write a fanfic if you want, but in 5 5's words, "you should keep in mind that the judges may be unfamiliar with your source material."Posted Image

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#18 Offline dotcom

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Posted Dec 06 2011 - 12:49 AM

Ohhh interesting. I like this theme.I think I might give a go at a post-apocalyptic story, maybe after finals are done next week.I definitely hope to enter, though.
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#19 Offline I Am Ultron Six

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Posted Dec 06 2011 - 08:37 AM

I'll get writing a fantasy story I think
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I am Ultron Six, a cybernetic intelligence created by Doctor Henry Pym. My imperative is to bring peace and order to this world. I am about to fulfil that imperative; for the extinction of humanity…begins now.

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Soon the earth will no longer be habitable for any biological organism: Man, woman, child, plant, animal, fungus or bacterium. All life will cease to exist. This is not a threat, there is nothing you can do to stop it. The process has already begun. I receive no pleasure in this, it is simply the only solution. There must be peace and order, the end of life on earth will ensure that. Goodbye.


#20 Offline GeluNumber1

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Posted Dec 07 2011 - 11:30 PM

Does the story have to be related to Bionicle? Or can it be about humans, possibly alien species?
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Why are orange and black such a good color Combination ? Purple is pretty, and so is blue. Pink hurts your eyes, green is quite mellowing, black is very threatning, red is cool, orange is SO awesome, yellow's hard to read... But you can't see white at all! Oh, wait. I forgot brown.

Here's my thoughts: If a person tells the truth and says, " I always lie," Is he lying? Or is he telling the truth? And what has a mouth, but no head, and a body, but no torso? Do caterpillars like to tend to supporting colum of stone's every need? Or is that name misleading by nature? Speaking of nature, why are the children of animals called offspring? don't many young beasts come alive in spring, and thus, should be called onspring? Heeeeeeyy..... I got the first post on a page for the first time. Who knows; it may happen again. What the... It did happen again... and again...

YEAH! I'M ENCOUNTERING PROTODERMIS!

#21 Offline Ymper Trymon

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Posted Dec 07 2011 - 11:34 PM

This is in COT, so it's a safe bet that it does not have to be related to Bionicle.
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#22 Offline Thunder on the Mountain

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Posted Dec 07 2011 - 11:34 PM

I`m game. :P I`ve ruled out fantasy and sci-fi, so it'll either be Mystery, Apocalypse, or Steampunk, but I really can't decide out of those. :P
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#23 Offline Zarohum

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Posted Dec 07 2011 - 11:39 PM

I can't think of anything to write that won't be extremely cheesy. I'll definitely try to enter something, but I don't know if I will actually come up with anything worth reading.
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#24 Offline GSR

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 12:06 AM

I'm liking the idea of mystery. And this overlaps with much of my break, so I'll actually have time to write and revise rather than slam out a story with less than an hour to go before the deadline and submit it without revision only to wake up the next day trying very hard not to think about how bad it turned out - not that I'm the kind of person to do that, no siree.
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#25 Offline Ymper Trymon

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 12:12 AM

I'm probably going to spend the first half of the month planning it out - I've already got the universe it's going to take place in ready, and the factions that will be involved, I just need the actual story and specific characters.
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#26 Offline 55555

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 12:13 AM

Does the story have to be related to Bionicle? Or can it be about humans, possibly alien species?

This is in COT, so it's a safe bet that it does not have to be related to Bionicle.

Correct, no Bionicle-ness needed or asked.- 55555

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#27 Offline Solomon Kane

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 12:19 AM

I actually thought up a relatively good idea for this, so I'll probably try to enter. It's rather dark, and not the most original plot, but if I can make it work well enough by the twelfth (when I leave college and the internet for Christmas break) I'll enter it anyway, just for the heck of it."That is not dead which can eternal lie, / And with strange aeons even death may die."
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    That time...is over.


#28 Offline Xomeron

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 12:23 AM

I'm just popping in to remind everyone, if you want to set it in the real world, Christmas being a big, major holiday only came around during the Victorian period. Just saying.
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That being said, thag thag thaggity thag thagness.

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#29 Offline Lord Kini Hawkeye

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 02:28 AM

I'm just popping in to remind everyone, if you want to set it in the real world, Christmas being a big, major holiday only came around during the Victorian period. Just saying.

Luckily for us there's only one category that allows for such worry, that being Mystery. Considering Steampunk, Sci Fi, Apocalyptic, and/ or Fantasy genre stories don't exactly allow for a "real world" setting.Props to the first person who manages to write a story under those genres (somehow) that manages to be completely grounded in reality and history.If you can do it, i will bow before you. but i highly doubt that'll ever happen.Sides it's a Xmas tale, don't need to worry when it came about. hence why it's a story :)So i'm still trying to decide whether or not to enter this. I'm really bad with thinking up stories on the spot... perhaps something based off of one of the RPGs going on?

Edited by Lord Kini Hawkeye, Dec 08 2011 - 02:29 AM.

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The worlds have now learned

Of the worst yet to come

On the brink of an end, a Boy learns to crawl

{/BZPRPG Profiles\}  :.: {/COMIC: Eljay: The Becoming\} :.: {/EPIC: Danger Close\} :.: {/EPIC: Wings\}

[There is Invisible Text here]
Cause I can't find a banner ;_;

{/Seven Lives, Two Faces\}

Don't pass up this chance, oh go tear down the walls

No gods will watching, no one cares enough at all

These worlds need now an ending, as they did at the start

But I'll keep on pretending, I won't

Go...


#30 Offline Smitty

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 07:23 AM

Man I had a story that I wrote last year but never got to post it any where, but it's not Si-Fi and I think is closed to PG than PG-13...
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"Yeah Ninja go clean your room..."


#31 Offline Kumata

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 09:34 AM

Although I think Steampunk is a bit of an overdone genre, I've never written a steampunk story so I think I'll go for that.
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#32 Online Toa Smoke Monster

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 10:28 AM

I may enter this, depending on when I get some free time to write. (I tried to enter the last contest, but time ran out on me before I could finish my entry. :()Oh well. I do have a couple ideas for this contest though.
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Everyone is one choice away from being a bad guy in someone else's story.


#33 Offline Squishyfrog

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 11:42 AM

I am going to try to write a short story.FOR GREAT JUSTICE
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#34 Offline 55555

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 02:24 PM

Man I had a story that I wrote last year but never got to post it any where, but it's not Si-Fi and I think is closed to PG than PG-13...

PG is below PG-13, so PG level stories are acceptable. PG-13 is a maximum.- 55555

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#35 Online Click

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 05:16 PM

What about Bionicle Naming Day? Isn't that the equivalent of Christmas? :biggrin: I just don't write much other than Bionicle, and that might be easier to write about.
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#36 Offline Thunder on the Mountain

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 06:30 PM

2 Questions.A: Does this contest also have a one entry per-person rule? I have two entries I'm sort of torn between. :PB: When you say Apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic is acceptable yes?
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#37 Offline Toa Genris

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 06:41 PM

Can we create our story based on other work that we have done?
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#38 Online Elric of Melnibone

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 07:19 PM

Interesting... I might actually join this...
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#39 Offline Site Lurking Youkai

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 07:59 PM

Can the story be based on a video game as long as it's original?
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#40 Offline Zaxvo

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Posted Dec 08 2011 - 10:48 PM

This is an awesome idea... restricting genres makes it especially enticing. Your comment about fanfics implies that Bionicle fanfics are allowed. Is that correct? Also, there are a couple of holidays that don't occur at the same time every year, because they are built on non-Gregorian calendars (examples: Chinese New Year, Eid, etc.). So, sometimes they happen around the holiday season, other times they don't. Are those allowed?
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