Writing Contest: A Small Gift

For IC and OOC events and contests that are not exclusive to members of Starlight.

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Writing Contest: A Small Gift

Post by Anadelonbrin »

One of the wonderful things about character journals and stories is that they give you an understanding of the interior life of a character you may be RPing with. This contest is designed to open a window into the backgrounds and souls of characters being actively RPed on Argent Dawn EU at the moment. In focusing on active characters rather than previous ones, we hope that this contest in its own small way can help contribute to a lively and engaging RP community.

Starlight invites you to write a short story of 100-750 words about a time when your character gave or received a small gift, what it meant to them and how it made a difference in their life.

A gift can be many things: an item, a talent, a pet, advice or even an oddly specific promise to the groom on his wedding day to rip his liver out if he hurts his bride. It is not always the most expensive thing or the biggest gesture that means the most. Sometimes, a gift can mean more to the giver than to the receiver. This contest is about little things that have a big impact.

How you choose to tell your story is down to your own creativity and preference: a journal, a letter, a third-person story, a poem etc. This is your story and we would love for you to tell it with your own personal flair.

The writing contest is open for submissions September 1 – 30.

The judges will be rating the stories based on the following criteria:
- Character: Creating an interest in the character and making them feel real.
- Theme: The rationale for why this gift, while small, made such a big impact.
- Craft: How the story is written, the art of storytelling, stylistic touches, engaging the reader.

Winners will be announced October 8.

Nomine has generously provided the prizes for this contest.

The contestants that place first, second and third may, in that order, choose between the following:
- A book: the UK first edition/first printing signed and numbered hardcover edition of The Pariah by bestselling author, Anthony Ryan
- 60 days of WoW game time
- 100 000 gold

Note: The winner of the book must be willing to share an address with Nomine to which the book can be sent.

- The entries are to be posted in the Public Events section of Starlight’s forum where they can be publicly read.
- One entry per player, even if you RP multiple characters.
- The entry should be posted as a separate topic titled “Contest entry: A Small Gift – [character name]”
- Include a way to identify and contact you in your entry and specify your preferred mode of communication (Discord, ingame mail etc.) so the judges can reach you if you win.
- The main character of the story must be yours and currently active in RP on Argent Dawn (though the story may be far in their past).
- The span of the story is 100-750 words. 750 words is a hard limit. This is roughly the equivalent of 1.5 pages in Word.
- The entry must be submitted for review by September 30.
- Keep it safe for work.
- Information learned from reading the submissions is entirely OOC and may not be used for IC purposes.

Note: To avoid losing any of your writing due to forum sessions timing out, we suggest that you do your writing in a separate document, such as Word, and copy paste it into the forum post.

Why are we doing this?
Starlight has a long tradition of internal writing contests. They are used to inspire and celebrate writing and storytelling and letting the players show parts of their characters that may not come to light IC for various reasons or consider what they might do in a given scenario. We greatly appreciate character development, and writing stories can be yet another way to dig deeper into what makes your character tick.
This time, we would like to extend that invitation to a wider community. We are curious about your characters and would enjoy the opportunity to get a glimpse into their lives. We hope that curiosity can lead to players reaching out and building bridges and thereby bringing people together that might not otherwise have met. While writing may be a solitary task, roleplaying is a group activity and we need each other to thrive, whether our characters are friends or foes.

Why OOC?
Not every character is an author IC. There are several events such as Bertel’s Poetry Appreciation and Timberstep Tales where characters who like to tell a good story can have an audience. But characters who are not themselves writers are also full of untold stories and behind every character is a player. We would like to give the player a chance to share something about the character that the character may not want to talk about.
In our forum, we have taken great delight in sharing the journals and inner workings of our characters over the years in ways that the characters would never show publicly. We enjoy seeing the same events described from different angles or reading the heart’s silent reactions to something someone said or did (And, let’s be honest, it’s always extra interesting when someone writes about your own character. If there’s drama between them? Pass the popcorn! If there’s heartache, strife, or sweetness, pass the hankie!). Therefore, we like to have such elements in the contest as well.
Another reason is simply that two out of three prizes are entirely OOC.

If you have any questions, post them here or contact Anadelonbrin (@anadelonbrin) or Chit (@chit2820) on Discord. (Ana will be showing as offline on Discord but will still respond when available.)

To submit your story, go to Public Events and post your story as a new topic with the subject “Contest entry: A Small Gift – [character name]”

We look forward to reading your entry!