A progressive, multi-step writing challenge for all members of Writing.Com.
Welcome to Breakthrough!, a progressive, multi-stage writing contest open to all members of Writing.Com! This activity will sporadically appear to promote a particular genre and/or type of writing. The basic idea is that participants are challenged to write five pieces of increasing length and complexity over the course of the activity. Sometimes the contest will involve rewriting and expanding the same story and other times will involve writing five separate stories. You "break through" and graduate to the next stage of the challenge each time you turn in a story for the previous stage that's accepted by the judge(s). There's no working ahead or tackling the assignments out of order!
For this round of the activity, we're focusing on:
5 separate short stories
in the Romance and Erotica genres
And the stages to be achieved are:
Stage 1: No minimum / 625 words maximum
Stage 2: 625 words minimum / 1,250 words maximum
Stage 3: 1,250 words minimum / 2,500 words maximum
Stage 4: 2,500 words minimum / 5,000 words maximum
Stage 5: 5,000 words minimum / 10,000 words maximum
The only hard deadline for this contest is that all five stages must be complete by May 30, 2015 @ 11:59pm WdC time. Other than that deadline, you're free to work at your own pace. Remember that you must complete Stage 1 to reach Stage 2, Stage 2 to reach Stage 3 (and so on). Beyond that, the timing is up to you. If you want to wait until the last minute to do all five... go for it! If you want to crank out the first four Stages in the first few days and leave the remaining twelve weeks for your Stage 5 offering... more power to you! How you schedule your time is completely up to you, as long as you keep in mind the following guidelines:
Signing Up. To sign up for this activity, just let me know by posting in the forum below.
Content. There are absolutely no restrictions on content other than the word counts provided above. Items may include any subject matter or sub-genre, and ratings up to and including XGC are acceptable. For each Stage, you must write a different original story.
Word Count. You must post a word count at either the top or bottom of each entry.
Judging. The judge(s) are only here to ensure that you meet all the requirements for each Stage. At the very end of the competition there will be prizes for the best items, but otherwise you are not competing against anyone other than yourself for this activity. The judge(s) will only take quality into consideration if a particular item has been sloppily thrown together or appears to lack genuine effort. Aside from those hopefully rare situations, the judge(s) are only here to check for adherence to the rules and give you their stamp of approval to move on to the next round.
Individual Prizes. The primary prize for which everyone is eligible is simple: 1 GP per word. These gift points are awarded based upon the final word count of your item for each Stage; for a 600-word Stage 1 item, you get 600 GPs for that item. If you write a 2,634-word Stage 4 item, you get 2,634 GPs for that item. Assuming you finish all five Stages and write the maximum number of words possible, that's 19,375 GPs in prize money! And in addition to the GP reward, the following prizes will be given to anyone who completes all five Stages:
An exclusive Breakthrough! Merit Badge.
An Awardicon for the judges' favorite of your five items (value chosen at judges' discretion).
Grand Prize. The judges will award a high-value Awardicon (100K or higher) to the single best item among all the participants. You need not complete all five Stages to win this prize; all items submitted for any Stage of the activity will be included in the consideration for this prize.
Other Contest Eligibility. Your items must be newly-written (no work created before the opening date of this activity is accepted), but anything you create for this activity may be used in other contests provided you follow all the guidelines of both activities. If you want to write a Stage 1 entry and have it also count as an entry for "The Weekly Quickie Contest" , for example, that's totally fine as long as your story follows the requirements of both this activity and TWQ (including word counts, prompts, etc.).
Donations. Donations are gladly accepted. Any donations of 50,000 GPs or more will get a merit badge from my personal funds. If you donate more than 100,000 GPs, I'll make it one of our exclusive Breakthrough! badges!
Other than that, just have fun with the activity and enjoy stretching your writing abilities!