Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Contest (Round Two for 2013) Open

Hello writers and readers, here's Pod and Planet EVE Fiction Contest YC115. We had one of these last year that drew 101 stories, both by experienced writers and people writing their first fiction piece ever. If you want to check out the surprising high quality of stories the EVE community produced, the entries and winners are here.

This year's contest will be similar to last year's. Writers will have about five weeks to get their work(s) submitted. There will be a canon-based category and a more free-form category. This year, based on suggestions from last year's contestants, there will also be a humor category.

The prizes
Our total prize pool is 101 PLEX. One PLEX is courtesy of our friends at the High Drag EVE podcast. 100 PLEX(!) were donated by Somer Blink, who are generously sponsoring for a second year. So we have the equivalent of over 60 bil ISK in loot to pass out to you guys. Thank you sponsors.

The judges
Once again, we've got some expert contest judges for the contest. (Plus myself, for diversity or something). Your judges, in alphabetical order, are:
CCP Eterne (returning from last year) – EVE community dev, veteran EVE content writer, live events coordinator, EVE lore master.
CCP Falcon (returning from last year) – EVE community dev, veteran EVE content writer, live events coordinator, EVE lore master.
Mike Azariah -CSM member, Arek'jalaan project coordinator, blogger, podcaster, writer.
Telegram Sam (myself) – EVE player, “logical persuasion” (legal) writer, creative writer, appreciator of the craft.

The contest categories
The contest has three categories: standard EVE lore-based, freeform/ingame events based, and humor. 
The first category:
Eight Thousand Suns in New Eden Stories of the citizens and societies of New Eden:  capsuleer ships, crowded cities and lonely outposts; fertile planets and busy stations; corporate offices and peasant shacks; the immediate present, or the deep, distant past.  

This category is for stories set within the official canon of New Eden, similar to the EVE prime fiction chronicles.  The story can be about baseliners or about capsuleers, but it should not mention an in-game player character, corp or alliance.  Basically, the storyshould be set in the New Eden milieu as laid out in the prime EVE fiction. It's possible to write about a player character or real in-game events, but the names of player entities should be changed, and the setting and events should fit into the framework of the New Eden lore.

The biggest prizes will be in this “standard works,” canon-focused category.  That's because the body of lore in the Chronicles and EVElopedia is rich, detailed, and huge, and it deserves more exploring.   Also, because writing within the canon requires more attention and care. And finally, because we expect the most entries and the toughest competition in this category.
The second category:
A Day in the Life – True, somewhat true, or completely made-up tales of player character miners, mission runners, manufacturers, pirates, scammers, spies, and other heroes, rogues, and opportunists of EVE. 

Stories in this category can be about actual in-game events.  You can mention player characters, corps, alliances, real in-game events, or "player-driven content."  Basically, you can do anything you want, you need not conform to the canon. If you want to write a story about your corp and its members, a stroke of pvp tactical brilliance, a corp infiltration, a local chat encounter,  etc., it should go here. 

The third category:
Other Things Just Make You Swear and Curse – The humor category. There are no specific rules for this category, except the story should be EVE-themed and contain some humor.

The prizes breakdown
Pod and Planet Contest Grand Prize (will very likely go to the best story in the 8,000 Suns canon-faithful category) – 15 PLEX

8,000 Suns category
1st Prize 10 PLEX
2nd Prize (there will be three 2nd Prize winners) –7 PLEX per winner
3rd Prize (there will be four of these) - 5 PLEX per winner

A Day in the Life category
1st Prize – 6 PLEX
2nd Prize (there will be two of these) – 4 PLEX per winner
3rd Prize (there will be three of these ) - 2 PLEX per winner

Other Things Just Make You Swear and Curse category
1st Prize4 PLEX
2nd Prize2 PLEX
3rd Prize1 PLEX

Honorable Mention (10 of these, picked from top-scored entries from each category) – 1 PLEX per winner

-The deadline for submissions is November 10, 2013.  (Entries must be received by November 10, 11:59:59 PM EVE time).  
-Works can be any length up to 5,000 words long. 
-The work must be your own, of course.
-The work should be a new work and not have been posted or published before.  (Sit down and write that new one, ye bustards!) Sorry, to be fair to everyone we have to follow a bright-line, no exceptions rule on this.  Basically, the work should be a new work written after the contest opened on October 6, 2013.  If you have an older work you want to share, we're very happy to link it for everyone to read, but we can't enter it in the competition. 
-A work can only be entered in one category.
-You can submit more than one work. No extra consideration and no penalties will be given for multiple submissions. Each piece will stand on it's own, of course. The purpose of this rule is to encourage and not penalize prolific writing.
-Entries have to be in English, only because that's a language that most in the community can read.  But if English isn't your first language, don't be shy.  A story doesn't have to be in perfect grammatical English to be good.
-Whatever your first language is, use your word processor's spell check before you submit the work. You worked hard on it, why let little cosmetic errors hurt the story's overall impact?

How to Submit Your Work
1) Post your story on a blog site or website.  You can find some free hosting sites via a quick internet search.  The URL will be shared with the public, so that everybody can read your work.  Don’t post in a password-protected place, or of course in any place that you want to keep private.
2) Send Telegram Sam an in-game or EVE Gate mail that:
     -Provides a link to the where the work is posted; 
     -Indicates which category the entry is for; and
     -States whether has been posted or published before. 
If you want to add illustrations to your posting, so much the better.  However, illustrations will not affect the judging of the fiction piece.  

As stories come in, we'll be posting the links to them here.  Check back often to see what the writers of EVEdom are producing.  Any questions about the contest, message Telegram Sam through EVE Gate or in-game.  Or just post your question on the contest announcement thread in the EVE forums.

Note 1: Works in the 8,000 Suns category should conform to the official EVE official lore.  At least two of the judges are lore experts who will likely dock points if the story violates the official EVE lore. Writers might find Mark726's EVE lore guide helpful as a resource for checking the canon. If in doubt about a point of the lore, you may want to consult with the people in the EVE Fiction section of the EVE forums. But, bear in mind: A good story can lose points for violating the canon, but a mediocre story won't gain extra points just because it perfectly conforms to the canon. I personally would recommend not letting anxiety about the canon choke your ideas. With some tweaking, you can likely make your characters and plot fit into the milieu of the canon. And on the other hand, reading through the New Eden lore setting many trigger some great ideas for a story.

Note 2: From last year's results, we expect the most entries and the most intense competition in the 8,000 Suns category. The Day in the Life had less entries, and probably less top-level entries. So the competition was less intense there. The humor category is new this year, so it's anybody guess on the level of competition. If you're writing to win a prize, you have the option of strategically picking the category, based on your evaluation of the possible risk and potential prize level reward.

Note 3: We had 101 entries last year, and we have 101 PLEX prizes this year. Strange coincidence, or a manifestation of the interconnected lattice of cosmic unconsciousness? Consider these facts about the number 101:
-In Hebrew, the letters of the name archangel Michael, if converted into numerals, come to 101.
-In Greek, the letters for “love,” if converted into numerals, come to 101.
-101 is the 26th prime number. The Roman alphabet has 26 letters. There were 26 generations between Adam and Moses.
-In Soviet Russia, returnees from gulags could not live within 101 km of a major city.
-101 is often used as the number of ways to do something, for example “101 Ways to Waste Your Time.”
-101 often indicates a beginner-level course, such as “Numerology 101.”
-The traditional PC keyboard (with no Windows keys) has 101 keys.
-There is a 101 proof Wild Turkey bourbon.
-101 is the Mayan numeral hoo kal hun.
-101 Dalmations.

Again, many, many thanks to Somer Blink and the High Drag podcast for the prizes to the writers.  Thanks also to CCP Eterne, CCP Falcon, Mike Azariah and labtechwar (banner designer) for donating their time and expert services.  

Good luck, writers!  May your muses be with you, may your space-outs take you deep, and may you hit your zone!  : )

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