Coding by Sir Basil. Banner by Sen. WELCOME TO THE WRITER'S SHOWCASE SOIREE AN INVITATION ? What's this? The strange abandoned mansion that you see ahead of you as you clutch that slip of paper you found is suddenly flooded with lights. Shivering at the chill in the wind, you wrap your coat tighter around you and trudge through the misty front yard, determined to see what's inside. The grass underneath you crackles underneath your feet, or was it the dead brown leaves that you were stepping on? Standing in front of the huge oak doors, you raise your hand to use the heavy brass doorknockers… Only for the doors to suddenly creak open on its own. Holding your breath, you expect to see a monster… Only for a man in a mask to smile at you, a young lady coming up to his side and extending a welcoming smile. "Welcome. We've been expecting you." You watch as the lady reaches out with a gloved hand, and you grip it to find that her touch is as cold as ice. And you smile. For you have found a place where you belong as a creature of the night... WHAT IS THE WRITER'S SHOWCASE SOIREE ? Good day, everyone! I hope everyone is pumped and excited for this month's Halloween, just as I am for this sweet new event we have prepared for you - the Writer's Showcase Soiree. The Soiree is a creative and hopefully helpful two-part event for this month that involves us as an entire community - from us staffers to our beloved members, we hope to help you and each other improve your writing, have fun, and make friends. It would help you flex your writing and creative muscles in the prompts and exercises we have prepared for you, should you like to participate. You may be aware of MISC - a competitive writing contest that other staff members run every other month. Same as them, WSS is slated to run every other month in alternation. What will you do in the Soiree? Participants will follow the given prompts and exercises, and submit it in an allocated thread in the Refining Writing forum. Entries will be both reviewed by a panel of staff members and given constructive criticism, as well as peer reviews from non-staff members and even discussion! Let's have fun, everyone, creating and writing together. Because at the heart of it all, the aim of this is to improve and learn together. Without further ado, I welcome everyone to the opening night of the Writer's Showcase Soiree. This month's theme is: A HAUNTED MASQUERADE PART ONE: THE MASK OF A MONSTER Exercise: Create a monster that could be your own unique or personal take on traditional myths and folklore, or an entirely new creature from your imagination. Make sure to explore this creature's appearance, name (it is possible for it to be in a foreign language if they are known in different cultures), its history (including myths), abilities, habitat, life span and gender ratio. We encourage picture references! You can write it out however you like, in paragraph form or as a CS. These questions can help you develop the appearance of your monster. How tall is your monster? How heavy is your monster? What does your monster's face look like? Include eyes, mouth, nose, teeth and ears. Describe your monster's arm and leg appearances. What does your monster's hand(s) and finger(s) look like? Describe the aspects of your monster's feet and toes. eg. Are they smelly? Does it have hair/fur? What color is it skin/fur? Is there a type of texture to your monster's skin? Is it rough like sandpaper, scaly, smooth? Does your monster have horns, wings, tails, or extra limbs? Why would someone be afraid of this monster's appearance? Here's an example monster: Standing at 40cm (1’04”) and weighing 5.5kg (12.1lbs), the Iwakubunnit is a small bipedal rabbit that spends most of its time lazing about the Iwaku forums doing nothing. It looks quite ordinary, covered with a fluffy and sleek coat of fur that is incredibly soft to touch. The Iwakubunnit is so cute and adorable and fluffy that when it is sleeping and has its head tucked within the mass of rabbit fur, it looks like a cloud. Beady black eyes, a twitching grey-furred nose, pointed ears that flop to the side every time it tries to get a look at you and whiskers so long that they drag on the floor. The Iwakubunnit’s hands and feet and uncannily similar to human beings, with the exception of them being padded and protected with a thick layer of fur. They are surprisingly clean, but mysteriously stink with the stench of metallic blood. If one were to look closely, the Iwakubunnit has a set of horn stubs, hidden away in between its ears. The Iwakubunnit thrive on the website IwakuRoleplay, and spend their days roaming around the forums in search for something to amuse themselves with. Sometimes, they can be found poledancing in the FAQ area, or bouncing around the Donations page in hope of catching someone’s attention. They prefer higher altitudes, so the majority of them are found in the upper area of the website. The Iwakubunnit like to feast on textboxes and the occasional shitposter, but that gives them severe diarrhoea. Their favourite food of all time are other people’s plots. The first Iwakubunnit was born when the Admins offered the feather of an owl, the heart of a demon and the eye of a honey badger to the writing gods, in an attempt to summon a worthy guardian for the fledgling site that was IwakuRoleplay. The first Iwakubunnit ate up all of the shitposters, all the spambots and gave the admins their coveted and treasured Banhammers. However, after the banmins became efficient with their new weapon, the Iwakubunnit became bored, since there was not much for it to do. As a result, it went into retirement and gave birth to small Iwakubunnits that started overtaking the site. After spending so many years in the presence of writers, it seems to have turned these gentle creatures into moody and unpredictable monster. Iwakubunnits are capable of transforming into insatiable monsters that devour all plots and stories in sight. They increase a thousandfold in size and gain immense strength capable of smashing entire threads to bits. Each Iwakubunnit has their own preference of genres, but none go unscathed after the rampage of an Iwakubunnit. They say that everytime Diana messes something up during an update, the Iwakubunnits mutate to become more and more powerful… PART TWO: THE ENCOUNTER Exercise: Write an original short story featuring a monster that was submitted in Part One. You may feature another participant's monster with respect to the author, playing the monster as a part of that race. Recommended setting is fractured fairy tale. Bonus: Write the story from the monster's point of view. Bonus x2: Incorporate this month's masquerade theme into the story. PRIZES: THE HONOR ROLL What? Honor roll and freebies? After the first Soiree event has finished running, a list of members on the Honor Roll will be published! The Honor Roll is a list of participants who have fulfilled the judges' set criteria and standards for the events, and in the following soirees people who have participated often and regularly will get a spot on the list! For the Soiree's grand opening, the Honor Roll participants will get a chance to win redeemable freebie coupons, which are randomized awards that one can redeem anytime. There are 5 coupons that can be won each distributed to one person. What are the possible freebies that Honor Roll members can get? Free Art Request from [Insert Staff Artist Name Here] Free Div Box or BB Code Character Sheet or Formatting from [Insert Staff BB Code Wizard Here] Free Character or Roleplay Banner from [Insert Staff Photomanipulation Wiz Here] Free Character Playlist put together by [????] People also have a chance to get the COOL THANG user banner under their names for one month. In following soirees, the more you regularly participate, the higher your chances of one day getting that fun user banner. These coupons can also be gifted to friends, so if you have friends you'd like to help out or cheer up and you have a coupon you don't really get to use, why not make someone else's day? GENERAL SUBMISSION RULES Each part of the event is allotted two weeks' time to finish and submit entries. The time period for Part One begins from October 1 and ends at October 15, and for Part Two it begins October 16 and ends October 30. Any entries for the respective parts that is submitted past the deadline dates will no longer be accepted, so be mindful of these dates. We will be using the site's native time (GMT -6) to decide when the date rolls over. To submit your entry, just post your finished work in the thread we will set up for submissions. A Contest Runner will copy and move it to the opening post so that it will be visible to those who want to post reviews. To make sure that the Soiree team will see it, please remember to tag these names: @Hana @Sen These are the main contest runners for the Soiree, and they will put up your submissions as soon as they can once they are alerted of them. All entries must be submitted before the deadline dates set for each respective part of this event. Entries submitted past deadlines will no longer be reviewed; the staff reviewers all have limited time to read and review all entries. We can only help those who have submitted within those dates. Only one entry per part is allowed per person. Entries must fit within the given criteria for each challenge. Participants must write original entries for the challenges; they may not take concepts from original published works and use them in their submissions. Inspiration from published works is of course allowed; however the point of this activity is a creative exercise to help members create their own works. Plagiarism isn't allowed and if a participant is caught, they face the possibility of being banned from the Soiree. Submissions have a word limit of 5,000 words, but the recommended length is 3,000 words so as to not overwhelm the reviewers and the staff who will be reading over the entries. Other participants are also encouraged to read each other's entries; constructive critiques and comments are part of these exercises. THE STAFF BEHIND THE SOIREE Judges/Reviewers @Hana @Minerva @IceQueen @Sir Basil @Izurich Prompt/Challenge Creators @Izurich @Minerva @WhisperingWillows @Sen @Kitti @Jorick @Hana Awards and Gifts @WhisperingWillows @Sen Event Runners @Hana and @Sen Let me share with you a story behind how we all came together for the Soiree. In the two years I have been on Iwaku, I've grown to adore the community and the variety of people with all kinds of talents in not just writing or roleplaying, but art, music, and so much more. But what drew me most other than it being an inspiring creative outlet for me was the people that made it up, and eventually along the road this year, I wondered to myself - how do we bring both writing and community together? We can collaborate together in groups or in partnerships, but what about something else other than roleplaying that can both be fun and helpful? There was an idea, building inside my head about what I can also do as a part of the content staff. In my search for what I can do to help produce content and exercises to help members, I asked the members themselves about what they thought would be a good, fresh exercise. I'd like to thank @LimeyPanda for bringing this up in a Discord server, as well as @Jorick for letting me base this event off of his old writing competitions that eventually grew into what is now MISC. If it weren't for you two, I'm not sure if the idea would have even been sparked as well as it had now. And I'd like to thank @Sen for being there for me in the month that it took to put this together, drawing me out of my creative slumps and discouraged feelings that sometimes seemed to almost overwhelm me. She's been the angel that's been pushing me forward as always even if her methods are more a sort of tough love. The entire team of volunteers for this group have also been wonderful in molding the ideas and suggestions we bounced back and forth into what are now are prompts for this month. Thank you so much. Lastly, I'd like to thank you, the members, who are reading this. The members that are considering on what to write. And the community as a whole. We welcome you all to the Soiree, and may we all enjoy the fruits of our creativity and innovation this month to present monsters that enthrall, monsters that repulse, monsters that can even be very much in the realm of possibility in the strange world that is ours. And in creating them we wear their masks to spin tales and stories to share. - Hana Please take note that the reviews and critiques of submissions must be posted in the reviews thread. Only submissions and discussion are to be posted here.