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Story-game Contest! [UPDATED 10/26/2014]

Posted 9/26/2014 by madglee

EDIT 10/26/2014:

How Do We Judge Creative Writing?: 

Here's an example of how teachers judge Creative Writing. Look at this convoluted mess:

The question of grading creative work is one that troubles creative writing professors and their students, as well as other English Literature faculty who may have to evaluate student creative work (e.g., in senior theses). Professors and students often confuse the merit of the authors’ intentions with that of the finished product. If we continue to believe that creative writers work automatically – that fiction is a byproduct of subconscious inspiration – then we cannot adequately assess the quality of creative writing. The myth of automatic writing must be broken: there must be a paradigm shift in how we view the creative process.

Narrative theory is key in teaching and grading creative writing; it can be used effectively to establish grading rubrics that clarify the evaluation process. In particular, this article focuses on grading short stories at the undergraduate level by using rubrics designed in conjunction with various theoretical texts, including Seymour Chatman's Reading Narrative Fiction (1993, Prentice Hall: New Jersey). Breaking down narrative elements such as plot, discourse-time, character, setting, narration, and filter delineates the tools authors use to effectively write fiction. The rubric, then, serves two purposes; it helps creative writing students plan their stories and professors evaluate student work. - 

:The ‘Problem’ of Creative Writing: Using Grading Rubrics Based On Narrative Theory as Solution, Rodriguez, Alicia (2008)

Imagine that many teachers believe that if someone tries, then that should count as an A. I remember thinking this. So, it's Junior year, these students' writing is not particularly good, but at what level do I gauge it? Do I grade based on the idea that in 11th grade, they can't possibly write as well as in college? Do I grade them based on how they compare to their peers? Do I grade them based on some non-existent scale of 11th graders? Do I grade them based on how hard they tried, or how creative the work is, despite any grammatical or syntactic errors?

Difficult, very difficult. Syntax, grammar, and spelling are important. And easy, these days, what with all the spell-checkers and grammar checkers. However, turn off the grammar checker. Write how you want. The most important part of creative writing is that one tells a good story. Imagine, while you are writing, that you are telling a story to a friend. Sure, emphasize things and describe locales. But show things, don't make mention that "This guy is anxious," but rather show that he is anxious, through his pacing, or stammering, or whatever.

So how will we choose? I can only speak for myself, but I would say that a very strong story, coupled with a strong infrastructure: that is, spelling, grammar, syntax, would win. (See what I did there? Terrible syntax, love it.) Something inspired. Go crazy. Hope that helps. 

Intent to Submit for Contest Deadline: 10/31/2014.

Final Submissions due by 12/31/2014. Contest results announced first week of January, 2015.

Minimum Entries Required for Contest: 5 excellent entries. If we do not receive at least five strong efforts, there will simply be no contest. We can't very well go giving out Featured Storygame and user Trophies unless enough people try.

Co-Authors?: No co-authors for final submission, but one may use a co-author for editing or feedback before submission.

Judges Panel: madGlee, Fleshnblood_78, Sethaniel (Judges not eligible for entry.)

Genre: Post-apocalyptic (As far as what "post-apocalyptic" means, I leave that to you, the writers. Certainly, civilization will have collapsed in some way, and possibly there are pockets of "organized government," or "megacorps," or whatever future you envision. There could have been bombs, viruses, global economic collapse, resource shortfall, mutants, raiders, religious zealotry, you name it.) Civilization, in some way, has collapsed. However, the key point is that there must be a meaty story. This contest cannot have something to do with the apocalypse, but be a trivia game, a spelling game, or purely puzzle game, among others. There is no reason puzzles and the like cannot be included, however.

Basic/Advanced: Up to you, although if basic, better be excellent writing, and if Advanced, still excellent writing.

Prizes: Assuming there are 5 excellent entries.

           #1: Featured StoryGame, + 100 Points, + Choice of Judge Trophy (Alexp has also said he may contribute something special, so we will have to wait and see!)

           #2: 50 Points + Choice of Judge Trophy

           #3: 25 points

           #4: Honorable mention(s)?

Want to Enter?: Send madGlee a PM, detailing your title and brief synopsis of your idea. I will record these and ensure that the story is appropriate. I will disseminate this information to the other two judges. If we  have any questions, please answer them fully so that we can ensure all entries fit the scope of the contest.

Intentions to Enter: 23 (my favorite number and the clue)

Entries by: Romulus, Tanstaafl, AppDude27, Dantene, 31TeV, TaraGil, insanebutvain, the_quiller, Nightbirdblue, Kiel_Farren, Steve_Greg, cMitchell3, DragonAnth, Ford, Lazarus, Aman, playa988, Tangecide, Boringfirelion, Mtactical, FeanoronForge, GraveRobber.


v20140011 Updates

Posted 7/6/2014 by alexp

Some minor bug fixes that should end some big annoyances, including the "PM that can never get unread"....

... also the length calculations have changed. @JJJ-thebanisher can provide more details (and will hopefully see this notice).