Greetings citizens of Iwaku, and welcome to the grand opening of MISC! The Miscellaneous Iwaku Storytelling Contest is exactly what the name suggests: a contest in which the people of Iwaku write stories about miscellaneous things. They won't be just any random thing off the top of your head, but I'll get to that in a moment. This is set to be a contest that runs every other month, with months between filled with a less competitive but just as creative writing event run by other members of Iwaku's staff. The goal here is to get all of you lovely people writing short stories to flex your writing muscles and to get some peer feedback on your work to help you write something even better in the future. There will be some voting and a couple winners decided and some fun prizes handed out, but in the end the real prize should be writing something you're proud of, no matter what other people say about it. Now, with the introductory spiel out of the way, let's get to the details of this inaugural contest! This Month's Theme: A Brush With Death Writing Prompt A: Write about a character's first time dealing with death. This can be death of a loved one, an animal, even a stranger. This can be taken as literally or figuratively as you like. Writing Prompt B: Write out a scene including a near-death experience. The character in peril must survive. The Details You have three weeks to write a short story based on one of the above prompts. Or do both in one go if you're feeling sassy. The submission deadline is September 21, any entries submitted on the 22nd or later will be rejected, so get them in on time! We will use the site's native time, in the North American Central time zone (GMT-6), to decide when the date rolls over. Send your entry in a single private message to the three MISC managers: @Jorick, @Kitti, and @Astaroth. A winner selected by the managers will receive a spot in the Hall of Fame thread, a special temporary ribbon under their avatar to show off their win, and a month of donator status and the perks it comes with for free; a winner selected by public vote will win a spot in the Hall of Fame and a completely different temporary ribbon under their avatar for the same temporary length of time. Read below for the full rules for entries and submission, and below that for a look at our voting rules so you'll know what to expect when voting opens on September 22. Contest Entry Submission Rules Send completed entries in a single private message to all three contest managers (Jorick, Kitti, Astaroth) with some sort of title that lets us know it's a contest entry. Only one entry is allowed per person. You can submit a replacement entry if the submission period is still open, but we'll only count and post the most recent entry that we have from you. If your entry is denied for any reason then you can fix the problem and submit it again as long as the submission period is still open. Entries have to fulfill any criteria required by the prompt. Some will tell you to use a specific theme or phrase, others might be more open and have you write something inspired by an image, but make sure to use any of the specific requirements or your entry will be denied. Entries need to be original works created for this contest specifically, not something you wrote in the past. They also must be your own work because plagiarism is against site rules and defeats the entire purpose of the contest. Entries can't be posted elsewhere on Iwaku or off-site until after the voting period ends to avoid unintentional vote manipulation, but after it's done feel free to post them anywhere you like. This contest has a strict word limit of 10,000 words, but we suggest not going over 5,000 to be nice to voters and reviewers. Any entries that go over 10k words will be rejected. Entries that end up between 5k and 10k words will be allowed, but keep in mind that there may be a ton of entries and the people who want to read them all and vote and give feedback have lives outside of Iwaku that won't wait for them to read a few novels worth of entries in a week. Entries can be written in whatever format you like: short stories, poems, scripts, whatever feels right so long as it can fulfill the prompt criteria. BBCode post formatting is allowed for use in your entry, but we reserve the right to change things (particularly colors) if they would make it hard for people to read. We have a few different background colors thanks to the different site themes, and some colors are very hard to read on some backgrounds. If you aren't sure which colors are safe then please take a look at this handy guide. Also, we do not allow pictures/music/videos/etc to be embedded in entries, any entries sent in containing these things will be edited or rejected. Your entry may contain sexual content, but it has to follow the normal Iwaku rule of no characters under 13 years old shown engaging in sexual conduct. Anything else is fair game, but it will be clearly marked in the voting thread as a story containing NSFW content and some people may choose to skip your entry because of that. Non-fiction entries aren't allowed. Sorry, but MISC is a creative writing contest, not an autobiography contest. Feel free to write such things and post them in the Showcasing section of the forum if you'd like to try your hand at non-fiction writing. Giving your entry a title isn't required, but it's useful and encouraged. If you title your entry then we'll use it for the title of the spoiler your entry will be contained in in the voting thread. All site members except MISC contest managers are allowed to enter. Anyone from a new member to an admin can join the fun, it's all good. All entries must follow all Iwaku site rules, obviously. Don't air your drama with other members in a story, don't write an entry to mock or harass other members, so on and so forth. Be cool and just have fun writing. Voting Rules All entries will be posted anonymously. Voters will need to make a selection based on the quality of the piece, not the name attached to it. There will be two winners for each month of MISC: the community pick that receives the most votes, and a manager pick that will be decided in secret by the MISC managers. Each will receive separate but similar prizes for their accomplishment. People who have entered the contest can vote, but they can't vote for their own entry or it'll be disqualified. Show some love to your fellow writers or don't vote, whatever feels right to you. Votes will be public knowledge so we can keep track of this. You aren't allowed to tell anyone which entry is yours until AFTER the voting period is over. Doing anything to solicit votes is not allowed and will get you disqualified, and perhaps even banned from MISC altogether. Telling your friends "hey, I entered MISC this month, go read the entries and vote" is fine; telling people "go vote for #4, that's my entry" is not okay. Voters are highly encouraged to read through every entry before voting. We know we can't enforce this, but try to give everyone a chance before picking your favorite. Voters are also highly encouraged to post in the voting thread to explain their choice. Full reviews or critiques of the entries are very welcome, but please keep any criticism constructive and civil. Telling someone that their spelling errors and odd word choice made it hard to read is fine, but telling them that they write like shit is not okay. The MISC managers will select one entry as the Manager's Favorite for the month, to be revealed after the voting period is over. The winning entry will win some sort of prizes and will win a permanent spot in the MISC Hall of Fame thread to record their achievement. On the rare occasion that there is a physical or monetary prize for the month, it will be awarded along with the Manager's Favorite pick to avoid any temptation to pull shenanigans with the votes. The entry with the most votes at the end of the voting period will be declared the Community Favorite for that month. However, if the community makes the same selection as the managers, then the second highest vote recipient will be named Community Favorite; we don't intend to make the vote seem like it's playing second fiddle to our pick, it's just how it has to work so prize distribution makes sense when there are gift certificates or similar to be won, sorry! The winning entry will win fabulous prizes (fabulousness not guaranteed) and will win a permanent spot in the MISC Hall of Fame thread for all eternity (or until Iwaku explodes). And that's about it. If you've got any questions or want to squeal with glee, feel free to do so here in this thread. Questions can also be directed privately to the contest managers if you don't want to ask in public. Other than that, get to writing and have fun!