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Not just a contest; it's an Extravaganza. Multiple prompts; 20+ awards; poetry & prose.
The Dark Side to Magic Presents
The Ultimate Writing Extravaganza
Sponsored by the Dark Side to Magic
Please visit our (temporary) home page for more information about the Dark Side to Magic: http://www.darksidetomagic.com
Welcome to our all-new, hot-off-the-presses, custom-designed, highly innovative and totally unique contest system that offers more ways than ever to participate and to win. This is not the every-day writing contest; in fact, it's four dynamic contests in one, with nearly two dozen awards up for grabs.
This contest is still young, and we are still looking to improve it all the time. We hope that visitors and entrants alike are willing to offer their thoughts on the new setup. Do you like it, not like it, or something in-between? Does it confuse or overwhelm you? Have we missed something? Please, let us know. We want to make this contest as user-friendly as possible, so your comments are highly appreciated and will be rewarded. Feel free to use the review form below or to send comments to email@example.com. Thank you.
-The Dark Side Contest Team
How will the Extravaganza be structured?
The Extravaganza is divided into seven rounds, and consists of five different categories for submission. Four of these are open for submission to all writing.com members during the first six rounds; the fifth category is reserved for the Seventh Round, when the winners, the best-of-the-best, face off for the chance to be included in a print anthology with Dark Side.
Each round is open for submissions for one week, starting on Monday and ending on Friday. Judges will deliberate on Saturday, and results will be released on Sunday.
Each round's prompt will be available starting at noon on the Saturday before it opens for submissions.
CURRENT CONTEST SCHEDULE:
Round 1: Sept. 9 Sept. 13; Results Sept. 15
Round 2: Sept. 16 Sept. 20; Results Sept. 22
Round 3: Sept. 23 Sept. 27; Results Sept. 29
Round 4: Sept. 20 Oct. 4; Results Oct. 6
Round 5: Oct. 7 Oct. 11; Results Oct. 13
Round 6: Oct. 14 Oct. 18; Results Oct. 20
The Seventh Round:
Begins October 21
Entries accepted until November 1
Results Announced on or before November 17
How do the categories work?
There are four categories open for entry (except in the Seventh Round). These are similar to categories in a dog show: each operates independently, almost as if they were separate contests. They each have their own prompt, and an individual is welcomed to enter any or all of them in a given round. However, they all have the same rules and requirements, listed below, which all entrants should be familiar with.
IMPORTANT: If a category does not have three entries in a round, it does not have and cannot be judged that round. Instead, the entries for that category and any other categories with less than three entries are pooled and judged together. The prompt each was written for will still be considered, but the ranking will cross prompt lines.
What are the rules?
Entries to this contest must adhere to the following rules:
Each entry must be earmarked for one of the four categories, using the
form below; they must follow the prompt and format requirements for that category.
Entries should be prose fiction (short story, narrative, dialogue, etc.) or poetry
as the category allows; failure to follow format rules for the category will result in
Entries are due by 11:59 WDC time each Friday. Results will be announced on Sunday.
Entries should fall within a word limit of 1000-5000 words (prose), or
10-50 lines (poetry). Some leeway may be given, but submissions falling
outside of this range may be subject to disqualification.
Entries should be rated no higher than 18+.
Each author is limited to one submission per category per round. Entrants
should be aware of the procedure (outlined above) for insufficient submissions.
(Please note that each author is welcomed to participate in multiple categories
Entries cannot be edited after the submission period closes (see
Entries do not have to be newly written for this contest; however,
the prompts will be unique enough that it will probably be necessary.
A single story cannot be entered into this contest more than once.
What are the categories?
There are five categories total that pieces can be submitted to:
A Darker Side is a contest not for the faint of heart. It involves finding the hidden darkness of everyday positives and bringing it forth. Prompts for a Darker Side will be fairly detailed. They may include styles of writing that entries should emulate or genres into which entries should fit. Despite the name, submissions do not necessarily have to be dark; they could be comedic, or have a happy ending. A Darker Side accepts only prose fiction.
Another Side is a contest for the imaginative and innovative. It involves making something new and interesting from the commonplace and the clichι. Like those for a Darker Side, prompts for Another Side will be fairly detailed. They may include styles of writing that entries should emulate or genres into which entries should fit. Submissions can fall into any genre and/or style. Another Side accepts only prose fiction.
Shadow Verse is a contest for the daring poet. It involves creating a poem based on required format and conceptual elements. These requirements may range in specificity from round to round, but will always provide the baseline needed to begin work on a submission. Submissions for this contest may be in any style and/or genre allowed by the prompt. Shadow Verse accepts only poetry.
*Each of the above categories will feature one open prompt at some point during the Extravaganza.*
Encroaching Visions is a contest for the visually minded. It begins with a picture; from there, your creativity takes over. The challenge of this contest is to write a piece that conveys the mood - the emotions - of the image. How much else from the image you choose to use for inspiration is up to you. Submissions for this contest may be of any genre that fits the mood of the picture prompt. Encroaching Visions accepts both poetry and prose.
The Seventh Round is the elite round, held only once and available only to those who receive prizes totaling 15,000 GP or more in a single round (see award/prize information below). It has no prompt, accepts submissions up to twice as long as the standard rules (above), and has only one award, only one prize: publication in a print anthology from Dark Side. Those eligible to compete in the Seventh Round will receive more details by email when the time comes.
(The Seventh Round was previously known as "Legends from the Dark Side.")
What's with the awards/prizes?
The Extravaganza does not offer prizes the way the average writing contest might. Instead, there are numerous awards up for grabs. Each round, each category (except those lacking three or more entries, see note above) will be judged for the traditional 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. In addition to and independently of the overall ranking, each submission will be eligible to be awarded any of nearly twenty other awards.
Each of the awards, including the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards, has a GP value. The total values of all of the awards that an individual's submissions have been awarded in that round is that author's "prize." Like tickets in an arcade, that prize can be spent in various ways: assuming that the author has a large enough prize, s/he could request an Awardicon for one of his/her submissions, a Merit Badge for him/herself, or a lump sum of GPs. Furthermore, that individual has the option to bank his/her prize with Dark Side, saving it for later use; by continuing to participate in the Extravaganza, that author could bank enough GPs to purchase a more valuable item.
Please keep in mind that, while this system is intended to offer the greatest opportunity to win, place, and show possible to each entrant, it is not intended to create an "everybody wins" situation. Entry does not guarantee an award or prize of any size, and we do not give away awards without substantial reason. That being said, any round in which there are at least three entries will have at least 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
How does judging work?
Submissions will be judged by Dark Side members (find their bios and contact info at http://www.darksidetomagic.com/members). Each judge will consider every submission based on their own criteria, and the judges will collaborate to choose the final placement. Results will be announced each Sunday.
Need any help?
Dark Side runs multiple contests on a weekly basis. GP donations are greatly appreciated. Donations should be sent to [#1854914] "The Dark Side to Magic" . Our most generous donors will receive a Merit Badge in thanks.
Dark Side is also open to prompt suggestions from the community, and we would love to feature some guest judges in future rounds. If you are interested in participating in one of these ways, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Darker Side
"The Perfect Life"
Paul spoiled rotten for
""Invocation To The Mews""
Prosperous Snow for
"Rainy Day Decisions"
Paul spoiled rotten for
"Please! Let This Be A Dream"
A.M. Ray for
"Pipes of Pan"
Acme Spire for
Round 2: Sept. 16 Sept. 20; Results Sept. 22
Submissions for this round will be accepted starting Monday September 16th, until September 20th. Entries submitted after 11:59PM on September 20th will not be accepted; results will be announced on the 22th.
THIS ROUND'S PROMPTS
A Darker Side
What darkness can you uncover this week?
Fire is a terribly destructive force. It can completely consume structures, forests, whole stretches of land, leaving nothing but ash behind. This is the image of fire we often find in literature - fire as heat, fire as anger, fire as a force of destruction. But fire also brings life-giving warmth in dangerous arctic conditions, and the ash it leaves behind after its destruction fertilizes the soil to an unparalleled health. This week, show me that side of fire - the healing, purifying, life-giving fire.
This week, you can ignore the 10 line minimum. Instead, write me a poem - that has rhyme, metre, structure, etc. (whatever mechanisms you would use in a longer poem), and meaning (as all poetry should) - in a single line of 10 words or less. Please include a brief description of the meaning or purpose for your one-line poem in the "plug" section on the submission form.
Prose or Poetry
The picture prompt for this round is "Reactivation" by Alexsander Kpekep.
It can be found here: http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/259/9/8/reactivation_by_kpekep-d6mio0w.pn...
Remember, the challenge of this prompt is to capture the emotions of the image; how much inspiration you take from it beyond that is entirely up to you
Images are the property of their respective creators.
J. B. Anthony
(mouseover for details)
This contest is still young, and we are still looking to improve it all the time. We hope that visitors and entrants alike are willing to offer their thoughts on the new setup. Do you like it, not like it, or something in-between? Does it confuse or overwhelm you? Have we missed something? Please, let us know. We want to make this contest as user-friendly as possible, so your comments are highly appreciated and will be rewarded. Feel free to use the review form below or to send comments to email@example.com. Thank you.
-The Dark Side Contest Team
Please Note: Legends from the Dark Side, the anthology in which grand prize winners will be eligible to be included, will not be a marketed book; that is, there are no plans at this time to purchase an ISBN number, required to sell a book through a bookstore, etc. It will, however, be a complete book available for purchase through Dark Side and a small number of other online vendors, such as Amazon.com. Copies are printed and bound to order.