Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
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RSchibler
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby RSchibler » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:21 pm

Henckel wrote:6. Make my kids watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers… for no good reason.


Duuuuude. That was my second favorite movie when I was a little girl! My favorite movie was Zulu (amazing battle movie, and I still adore it). I LOVE Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. wotf010 wotf009
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, P, P

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby Dustin Adams » Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:34 pm

I'm super excited to be in Q2. Just want to reiterate that in Q3.
So I'm working away on my Q3 so I can be IN here, too!

I'll probably send a PM or two in the next week.
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby Henckel » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:53 pm

RSchibler wrote:
Henckel wrote:6. Make my kids watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers… for no good reason.


Duuuuude. That was my second favorite movie when I was a little girl! My favorite movie was Zulu (amazing battle movie, and I still adore it). I LOVE Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. wotf010 wotf009


I just tried, but they rejected the movie. Mainly because of my youngest. I'll try again when my older child asks to watch something. wotf009
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – ?
(2020) V37 Q3 – ?

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby AlexH » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:03 pm

I found Seven Brides for Seven Brothers really creepy. Stockholm Syndrome made fun! wotf015

It's great to hear you're working to enter again, Dustin. I didn't realise you hadn't entered for so long.

I have a story I wrote for WotF in my first year of entering that I like but didn't enter as I never managed to get it right. So I'm thinking I should completely rewrite that. Plus new stories if I can manage it. And I have a couple of ideas to improve my V37 Q1 entry, though I'd much prefer it to win... wotf007
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby SCAFontaine » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:49 pm

Dustin Adams wrote:I'm super excited to be in Q2. Just want to reiterate that in Q3.
So I'm working away on my Q3 so I can be IN here, too!

I'll probably send a PM or two in the next week.


Way to go!

I'm currently finishing up a rather long 'short' story I had originally planned for Q2, but got sick with a suspected case of coronavirus, so yeah...it put a halt on that. I submitted a revised previous submission instead. For Q3, once I finish up this draft though, I have to completely rewrite the beginning to x out the use of an illness as the initial conflict. Really not the right time for it. In the end, it's definitely a good thing I wasn't able to finish it up and send it off before the end of Q2.
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby Dustin Adams » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:30 pm

Sabine,
I hope you're OK! Spain was hit hard. You weren't able to get a test?
Good idea changing the opening. Especially after Dave said to consider how many of those type he may get.
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby kizernix » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:23 pm

Good luck to everyone on the forum! I'm pretty new around here, but I recognize a few of you from Dave's Apex Group.

I submitted for the first time in Q2, so excited to finally be in the conversation. Working on the first draft of my Q3 now.
Uncertainty is the only fear that cannot be conquered - it must be accepted

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby JVAshley » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:11 pm

kizernix wrote:Good luck to everyone on the forum! I'm pretty new around here, but I recognize a few of you from Dave's Apex Group.

I submitted for the first time in Q2, so excited to finally be in the conversation. Working on the first draft of my Q3 now.

Congrats for jumping into the contest Kizernix. It is always more fun to peruse the forums when you have a story in the game.

I have a hastily written story that I am giving to a crit group next week to see if they think it is worth sprucing up for the contest. I could conceivably get in early for Q3. wotf012 Those of you who know me can stop laughing now. It IS conceivable, just not probable. And the new folk don't KNOW that I have yet to turn in a story before the last breath of the cuckoo at midnight of the last day. wotf001
~ writing about the ethereal beauty of broken things ~

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby SCAFontaine » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:02 pm

Dustin Adams wrote:Sabine,
I hope you're OK! Spain was hit hard. You weren't able to get a test?
Good idea changing the opening. Especially after Dave said to consider how many of those type he may get.


Thanks Dustin. I'm fine now, and no test. By mid March in Spain, they were pretty much only testing if you went to the hospital. But doctors did a phone consultation with my husband because I couldn't speak (lack of breath) and told us it was very likely from my symptoms and my travel patterns the week before. Since we were already under strict quarantine, they simply told us to stay home unless oxygen was needed.

Best wishes to everyone and their families, stay safe!!! wotf024
4 x HM

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby kizernix » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:38 pm

Hello Q3 writers! I wanted to share some advice we received on our Apex call last night with Dave and Robert J Sawyer. Rob made a point to not pull any punches in your story. He added, by that, he meant, don't worry about offending your mom with your story. DON'T HOLD BACK. Write what inspires you and let it burn!

Great advice from a great writer.
Uncertainty is the only fear that cannot be conquered - it must be accepted

V37 Q2: ?
V37 Q3: ?

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby nreavis » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:37 am

Henckel wrote:My process for this quarter:
6. Make my kids watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers… for no good reason.


I...may need to steal this as I write Q3...I had to trash my original story in favor of the one I'm working on.
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby Henckel » Fri May 01, 2020 9:22 pm

Works wonders until kids ask, "Dad, why cant they they get any sleep when they sleep with sheep?"

To which I reply, "I dont understand the question"
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – ?
(2020) V37 Q3 – ?

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby HermioneLee » Sat May 02, 2020 6:09 am

Hi everyone. I have noticed this a long time ago, but decided to post here and learn everyone's opinions today. Most of the stories in anthologies 34, 35 and 36 (I don’t know about the previous volumes) have a sad conclusion. Does a story with a tragical ending have a higher chance of winning?
Fight for what you believe in; believe in what you fight for~~Hermione Lee
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V37 Q2: ?
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby TimE » Sat May 02, 2020 6:34 am

HermioneLee wrote:Hi everyone. I have noticed this a long time ago, but decided to post here and learn everyone's opinions today. Most of the stories in anthologies 34, 35 and 36 (I don’t know about the previous volumes) have a sad conclusion. Does a story with a tragical ending have a higher chance of winning?


See http://davidfarland.com/2017/07/1550/

Reduce the reader to tears - though they don't have to be of sadness.
Some HMs More Rs - I keep thinking I'm getting closer, but perhaps not.
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby Dustin Adams » Sat May 02, 2020 6:40 am

HermioneLee wrote:Hi everyone. I have noticed this a long time ago, but decided to post here and learn everyone's opinions today. Most of the stories in anthologies 34, 35 and 36 (I don’t know about the previous volumes) have a sad conclusion. Does a story with a tragical ending have a higher chance of winning?

Hermoine,
Are they sad in the last lines, or the conclusion before the denouement?
Do they leave you with a sense of finality with the story and characters, or do you imagine them continuing on?

Do you want to discuss a particular example?
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby HermioneLee » Sat May 02, 2020 4:48 pm

TimE wrote:
HermioneLee wrote:Hi everyone. I have noticed this a long time ago, but decided to post here and learn everyone's opinions today. Most of the stories in anthologies 34, 35 and 36 (I don’t know about the previous volumes) have a sad conclusion. Does a story with a tragical ending have a higher chance of winning?


See http://davidfarland.com/2017/07/1550/

Reduce the reader to tears - though they don't have to be of sadness.


Very helpful tip! thanks:)
Fight for what you believe in; believe in what you fight for~~Hermione Lee
V37 Q1: R
V37 Q2: ?
V37 Q3: ?

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby HermioneLee » Sat May 02, 2020 9:03 pm

Dustin Adams wrote:
HermioneLee wrote:Hi everyone. I have noticed this a long time ago, but decided to post here and learn everyone's opinions today. Most of the stories in anthologies 34, 35 and 36 (I don’t know about the previous volumes) have a sad conclusion. Does a story with a tragical ending have a higher chance of winning?

Hermoine,
Are they sad in the last lines, or the conclusion before the denouement?
Do they leave you with a sense of finality with the story and characters, or do you imagine them continuing on?

Do you want to discuss a particular example?


Q: Are they sad in the last lines, or the conclusion before the denouement?
The conclusion, I think.

But of course, I noticed some stories with happy endings.
Last edited by HermioneLee on Fri May 08, 2020 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby kizernix » Tue May 05, 2020 9:58 am

TimE wrote:
HermioneLee wrote:Hi everyone. I have noticed this a long time ago, but decided to post here and learn everyone's opinions today. Most of the stories in anthologies 34, 35 and 36 (I don’t know about the previous volumes) have a sad conclusion. Does a story with a tragical ending have a higher chance of winning?


See http://davidfarland.com/2017/07/1550/

Reduce the reader to tears - though they don't have to be of sadness.


Due to all the doom and gloom in the world right now, I can see how the pendulum could swing the other way for the balance of Vol 37. I think Dave would appreciate a good "uplifting" story right now (because he knows the readers of WoTF would appreciate it too).

I know he isn't looking for any Speculative Pandemic stories! wotf019
Uncertainty is the only fear that cannot be conquered - it must be accepted

V37 Q2: ?
V37 Q3: ?

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby KD Julicher » Tue May 05, 2020 2:52 pm

So, Dave has said many times the way to win WOTF is to make the judges cry. That's certainly easier with a sad ending than a happy one. However, I think if you look at them many WOTF winning stories may have sad endings in that a character dies or looses something precious, but they usually still win, ie, achieve their goal. That's important too. Most of the times the judges don't want complete failure. Bittersweet, perhaps, but not grind your face in depressing.

Of my six stories that made finalist, only two had unquestionably upbeat endings. Two involved the main character dying, but being victorious: in two others, the hero was successful but paid a very high price. A powerful ending requires willingness to sacrifice everything to achieve a goal.
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby HermioneLee » Wed May 06, 2020 4:09 am

Thanks kizernix and KD :)
kizernix, I definitely agree with what you said about the judges wanting to see upbeat endings, with the COVID 19 pandemic all around the world. And yes, I also saw his blog post that he didn’t want to see stories about pandemics.
KD, wow, I still can’t believe that you were a finalist for six times! And it seems like you have great experience on writing story conclusions.

Perhaps I could find a balance between "tear-jerking" and "uplifting." Maybe that would make the judges laugh and cry at the same time
Fight for what you believe in; believe in what you fight for~~Hermione Lee
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed May 06, 2020 9:16 am

HermioneLee wrote:Thanks kizernix and KD :)
kizernix, I definitely agree with what you said about the judges wanting to see upbeat endings, with the COVID 19 pandemic all around the world. And yes, I also saw his blog post that he didn’t want to see stories about pandemics.
KD, wow, I still can’t believe that you were a finalist for six times! And it seems like you have great experience on writing story conclusions.

Perhaps I could find a balance between "tear-jerking" and "uplifting." Maybe that would make the judges laugh and cry at the same time


You are a master if you could pull off evoking both emotions at once, Hermione.

In the meantime, I will suggest focusing on the poignant ending. It makes readers cry, but it's filled with emotional gravity and hope for a better future for the protagonist. You know what I did in "Super-Duper Moongirl..." That kind of an ending is what you should be trying to achieve. A soul crushing decision made, with the hope of a better future for a protagonist we have come to love. Make the readers fall in love with your heroine on page one, and they will ride with them to the bitter end. But in Western culture, which is what you're selling to here, readers will expect hope at the end of the story. David Farland will be looking for that, he's said as much.

I think Kate said it's much harder making a reader laugh at the end, and that's true. And there's an issue with laughter. Although the world desperately needs it, it is not taken seriously--it's laughter! Sadness and sacrifice has weight, whereas levity is light and fluffy. Note how many comedies are made in motion pictures. Eddie Murphy has played brilliant roles in many. They don't get Oscars. They aren't even mentioned. Why? Because the dark tales of personal turmoil they're competing against have apparent weight. In the scales of judging, weighty wins. Which isn't always fair. I think they should have an Oscar for Best Comedy. Comedy is one of the hardest genres to write in.

Even though Dave calls for it each year, you'll only see one comedic piece make it, if any, in an anthology. I suspect since he's calling for it, he's sending more than we see up to the quarterly judges, but they don't stand up against the heavy, poignant, pull-on-your-heartstrings pieces.

Just things to consider in trying to win this contest. Reality is reality. As always, you must do what you feel is right, of course. :)

All the beast!

Wulf Moon
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby Dragonchef » Thu May 07, 2020 5:52 am

HermioneLee wrote:Perhaps I could find a balance between "tear-jerking" and "uplifting." Maybe that would make the judges laugh and cry at the same time

As someone very knowledgeable in this "aspiring to be a great writer" ordeal we are all [of us Forumites] suffering through (and learning from, I might add) said . . . "Kill you lovelies", and then justify it. Make 'em cry and smile at the same time.
R = 5
HM = (Q4v36)
SHM = (Q3v32)
SF = Zip
F = Zero
WINs = Zilcho
wotf013

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby HermioneLee » Fri May 08, 2020 3:16 am

Wulf Moon wrote:
HermioneLee wrote:Thanks kizernix and KD :)
kizernix, I definitely agree with what you said about the judges wanting to see upbeat endings, with the COVID 19 pandemic all around the world. And yes, I also saw his blog post that he didn’t want to see stories about pandemics.
KD, wow, I still can’t believe that you were a finalist for six times! And it seems like you have great experience on writing story conclusions.

Perhaps I could find a balance between "tear-jerking" and "uplifting." Maybe that would make the judges laugh and cry at the same time


You are a master if you could pull off evoking both emotions at once, Hermione.

In the meantime, I will suggest focusing on the poignant ending. It makes readers cry, but it's filled with emotional gravity and hope for a better future for the protagonist. You know what I did in "Super-Duper Moongirl..." That kind of an ending is what you should be trying to achieve. A soul crushing decision made, with the hope of a better future for a protagonist we have come to love. Make the readers fall in love with your heroine on page one, and they will ride with them to the bitter end. But in Western culture, which is what you're selling to here, readers will expect hope at the end of the story. David Farland will be looking for that, he's said as much.

I think Kate said it's much harder making a reader laugh at the end, and that's true. And there's an issue with laughter. Although the world desperately needs it, it is not taken seriously--it's laughter! Sadness and sacrifice has weight, whereas levity is light and fluffy. Note how many comedies are made in motion pictures. Eddie Murphy has played brilliant roles in many. They don't get Oscars. They aren't even mentioned. Why? Because the dark tales of personal turmoil they're competing against have apparent weight. In the scales of judging, weighty wins. Which isn't always fair. I think they should have an Oscar for Best Comedy. Comedy is one of the hardest genres to write in.

Even though Dave calls for it each year, you'll only see one comedic piece make it, if any, in an anthology. I suspect since he's calling for it, he's sending more than we see up to the quarterly judges, but they don't stand up against the heavy, poignant, pull-on-your-heartstrings pieces.

Just things to consider in trying to win this contest. Reality is reality. As always, you must do what you feel is right, of course. :)

All the beast!

Wulf Moon


Haha ;) I don’t really think that I could master "comedy". I'm horrible at telling jokes. But uplifting? That’s easier compared to making the judges laugh. I’m not sure if my ending would be touching enough to move the judges to tears, but I think it’d definitely wow them.
Fight for what you believe in; believe in what you fight for~~Hermione Lee
V37 Q1: R
V37 Q2: ?
V37 Q3: ?

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby Dustin Adams » Fri May 08, 2020 5:01 am

Who is your main character? The one in the most pain.
Why tell this story? It's the biggest event in the character's life.
What happens? The character faces challenges, tries to resolve them, they get worse until the character comes to the end of the line and is faced with a final choice.
How does it end? The choice is a success and the character wins, but sacrificed something. The choice is a failure, but something unexpected is gained.

That's a from the hip summary, but could explain how to make a simultaneously tear-jerking and uplifting ending depending on the details, how much we care for the character, and the stakes.
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby HermioneLee » Fri May 08, 2020 5:46 am

Dustin Adams wrote:Who is your main character? The one in the most pain.
Why tell this story? It's the biggest event in the character's life.
What happens? The character faces challenges, tries to resolve them, they get worse until the character comes to the end of the line and is faced with a final choice.
How does it end? The choice is a success and the character wins, but sacrificed something. The choice is a failure, but something unexpected is gained.

That's a from the hip summary, but could explain how to make a simultaneously tear-jerking and uplifting ending depending on the details, how much we care for the character, and the stakes.


Ooh, very wise words!
My only concern is, my main character didn’t really make a huge sacrifice in the end...but something unexpected did happen in the ending
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V37 Q1: R
V37 Q2: ?
V37 Q3: ?

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby SwiftPotato » Fri May 08, 2020 6:53 am

Unexpected works as long as it is fair and meaningful. If it truly comes out of nowhere, it'll leave the reader feeling unfulfilled. The MAGIC SWORD super secret may apply well here!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby DoctorJest » Fri May 08, 2020 10:54 am

I've just started completely rewriting my Q3, after thinking about a number of things I've learned from one of Dave's online workshops. It doesn't change the story itself, and I may be able to lift some scenes from the first version unaltered, but it does change a lot of the character interactions and settings within the world, and I think makes it into a far more living place than it was in the original version (which took place almost entirely within a small, isolated part of the same setting -- it now branches out a lot more than it did in that first draft).

A lot to do, but I'm enjoying it! Happy to be in for my Q2, but I'm really feeling this story right now, and very keen to draw a line under that first draft and start advancing towards the actual edits.
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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby Henckel » Fri May 08, 2020 1:27 pm

HermioneLee wrote:My only concern is, my main character didn’t really make a huge sacrifice in the end...but something unexpected did happen in the ending


This is how I work through this situation...

The climatic moment is a decision. Option 1 or option 2. Mc will want both, but has to choose only one or the other. Thus the dilemma. To straighten the sacrifice, identify which (option 1 or 2) your mc has to give up in tje climatic moment. Then go back in the story and foreshadow to show how much they wanted that. ...foreshadow by threatening to take it away... or take it away for a short time and show the reader how is breaks mc. Call this stroll level #5. This is enough to break mc. Then in the climax, when you take it away for good, the stress level is all the way up to #11. And yet mc chose to do this. ... its self sacrificing for a greater good. Bittersweet.

Hope this helps.
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(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – ?
(2020) V37 Q3 – ?

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby HermioneLee » Fri May 08, 2020 10:19 pm

Thanks Leah:) I’m trying to apply the magic sword super secret on my story. It’s very helpful, and I must make sure it fits well in the plot

Good luck, DoctorJest! My story has been edited for over ten times, and after every revision, I feel like I have reached another height. I hope we both (and also to the forumites) make it to the winning list for Q3!

Thanks Henckel :) that’s what I’m trying to do, putting the mc in a tough decision and making her choose for the greater good.

I think that we can create a new discussion thread to talk about the winning stories in the past few anthologies, and try to figure out what the judges liked about those stories. How were they special? How did they stand out among so many stories? What was the style of the author? Also we can share our opinions and thoughts about the stories.

Anyone agree? There will be spoilers, of course, but I believe that anyone who seriously wants to win this contest would read the past few anthologies
Fight for what you believe in; believe in what you fight for~~Hermione Lee
V37 Q1: R
V37 Q2: ?
V37 Q3: ?

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Re: Discussion: Q3 Volume 37

Postby Dustin Adams » Sat May 09, 2020 3:29 am

HermioneLee wrote:I think that we can create a new discussion thread to talk about the winning stories in the past few anthologies, and try to figure out what the judges liked about those stories. How were they special? How did they stand out among so many stories? What was the style of the author? Also we can share our opinions and thoughts about the stories.

Anyone agree? There will be spoilers, of course, but I believe that anyone who seriously wants to win this contest would read the past few anthologies

I was thinking of doing this with a few more stories in the members only section. I enjoyed my deep dive into Useless Magic.
2x Finalist
1x Semi
2x Silver
9x HM
Eight EDF stories. DSF: Short Story. My Semi-F My Finalist #1


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