LITERATURE CHALLENGE YOURSELF: #1 - Beginnings
Challenge Yourself is an official Snafu Literature forum contest. It operates on a three-week cycle, as explained below. As the title suggests, the idea is not to best each other, but to best yourself!
Everything has a beginning, even if you never finish it. The best beginnings are ones that draw the reader in and make them starve for more. They raise just enough questions to be engaging rather than confusing, and are descriptive enough to begin the process of painting a mental picture.
Only prose or poetry allowed. Works must conform with the Snafu Literature forum rules.
(Poetry is anything written in verse or with poetic construction rules. Prose is normal writing, i.e. fiction or nonfiction stories or essays.)
Entries must be created WITHIN the cycle time. You MAY NOT use anything you wrote last week, last month, last year, or ever before this cycle. These works may be posted as demonstration of the theme, but MUST be marked as previous work.
If your submission is over 2000 words, please print your work as a PDF
and upload it to GoogleDocs or another site which allows sharing of files, then post the link to it here as your entry.
Multiple submissions are totally allowed. However, only the best will be judged. Please post each submission as a separate post.
Include a link to your literature thread, literature site, or other repository for works in your post or signature for easy reference for the judge.
Submissions must be related to the theme in some way. This is fairly open to interpretation, but it should be obvious to the reader how it relates.
The judge cannot submit contest entries.
Submissions will be judged by me (Hana). The criteria for judging are:
CREATIVITY, STYLE, VOICE, READABILITY (spelling, grammar, and coherence), THEME, and EFFORT. Please note that you are judged against YOURSELF (your previous demonstrated works) and not so much against each other! In this contest, a new writer who puts in a tremendous amount of creativity and effort can defeat an experienced one who has more skill and experience, but didn't push themselves. Further, breaking out of your usual style, or using different thematic elements than you are used to, and trying something new in general are also viewed favorably.
In other words, if you write a paragraph that took five minutes and/or you put no effort into it whatsoever, you won't make it in the top three, no matter how good you are.
Challenge Yourself currently has one judge: Hana. If you would like to be considered as a judge, please PM Hana.
Only one judge is in charge and judges a single contest, and any others may post submissions as all other contestants. The main judge may only post exhibition works, which do not count as entries into the contest. If the main judge is not able to end the contest, another may step in and end the contest and start the next. Their entries will then be considered exhibition works.
At the end of judging, first, second and third place will be posted with short critique, plus any honorable mentions at the option of the judge.
Challenges operate on a three-week cycle. The contest officially begins on
MONDAY: Contest begins, submissions accepted. Submissions will be accepted until the MONDAY after next, 2 weeks later. (Start: Monday, April 18)
MONDAY TWO WEEKS LATER: No more submissions accepted. Entries will be judged. An announcement will be made roughly 10-12 hours before the contest closes. Theme suggestions for the next challenge begin. (Submission period ends Monday, May 2, 9 AM, GMT -6, so try to finish Sunday)
Judges reserve the right to reject challenge suggestions based on vagueness, being too similar
to a recent challenge, or infeasibility.
FRIDAY: Winners will be announced. Voting for the theme for the next contest begins.
MONDAY: Next contest starts.
Good luck and have fun!Results!3rd place - Sam4books
Again, beginning with a simple sentence that holds so much mystery is a really good tactic. The initial scene in the first three paragraphs is really, really intriguing. The shift afterward is a little jarring to the mind, but you dip right back into intriguing with Isaak, and the beginning of his journey. I especially love the humor injected toward the end of your entry! Remember to start a new paragraph every time the speaker changes, and try to experiment with paragraph structure and length. 2nd place - Doctress Who
This feels like the beginning of a story that could become an epic series. Beginning with something so familiar yet flabbergasting is such a great effect. "Why is there blue everywhere? Wha?" Immediately raising a question like this to hook the reader is a fabulous tactic. Some of your word choices make it difficult for an American to read, but I'm owing that to differences in the language on either side of the pond. Be wary of over-explanation, or you will begin to lose that sense of mystery that first drew your reader in. Also be careful of overuse of commas. 1st place - The end is the beginning, by Iris
I love this. While I don't typically like poems that don't have recognizable meter, this flows very well in recitation. I also may be a bit biased since my daughter and I have been spending a lot of time this spring watching things come back to life, but this poem is very evocative to me of the theme. This is shorter than most of your other poems, but that's not a bad thing. My advice for future work is to experiment with punctuation and line breaks.
And an honorable mention. Only one this contest, since RL ate me. Hopefully I will have time and mind to critique more honorable mentions next contest!Honorable Mention Critique - Death and Thy Father's Door, by BeeAre
I love the meter of the poem. It flows very well overall, although the second 14-syllable stanza has some lines that don't quite fit. I know how hard it can be to have a consistent meter throughout, though. I think this fits the theme of beginnings very well in that it's a new beginning after the realization of past mistakes, and it's something that many people can identify with. In the future, experiment with different styles of poetry. Mayhaps challenge yourself to try a sonnet?
Thank you to EVERYONE who participated! I loved reading each and every one of the entries, and I only wish I could have had more free time to study them in depth. I look forward to reading more from everyone!