The Eyes Have It
One-Shot Contest: Aeons and Avatars
The Pokémon World is full of wondrous creatures--but some are more wondrous than others! Among the common insects that can cause hurricanes, fire-breathing cats, and thunderbolt-calling mice walk entities that some consider the living manifestations of time, space, and even life itself. It's those most rare, most revered creatures that we want to celebrate with this contest: the Pokémon so unique as to be considered legendary. How do they see the world and the other creatures in it, with their long lives and immense power? How do they spend their days, and what worries trouble them at night? For this year's one-shot contest, show us the world through a legend's eyes!
Your story should shed light on the perspective of one or more legendary Pokémon. We're taking a broad view of what qualifies as a "legendary Pokémon" here; you can't go wrong writing about Celebi, Eternatus, or Dialga, but you're also welcome to write about Pokémon with debatable legendary status, such as Arcanine or Silvally, or even a Pokémon you've invented yourself. The idea behind this contest is to explore what's unique about a legendary Pokémon's perspective, so as long as your story addresses that topic and you manage to make the perspective on display feel appropriately "legendary," you can showcase whatever pokémon you like!
Also note that while this contest is about legendary Pokémon POV, your entire story does not need to be written entirely from that perspective. You can intersperse the legendary POV with that of non-legendary characters, or even tell the legend's story through another character. The legendary POV should be the most prominent and the central focus of the story, however. If you're not sure whether the story idea you have in mind fits what we're looking for, feel free to ask!
Entries should be no more than 10,000 words long. Different writing programs will give different word counts, so be sure to check your story using this online calculator, which is the one I will use to determine eligibility. There is no minimum word requirement.
The story you submit should be a new one written for this contest, not one you'd written previously that happens to fit the contest theme, and it should adhere to Thousand Roads' story guidelines. Please refrain from publishing your work online until the final results of the contest have been posted.
All entries are due by 11:59 PM UTC on June 30th, 2023. Not sure when that is in your timezone? You can keep track of the deadline with this handy online countdown. To enter, send your story to Negrek via PM or DM, or e-mail it to email@example.com. One entry per person, please.
Judging and Prizes
Judging and prizes will look quite different than usual this year, so make sure you read this section even if you're familiar with our past contests!
Last year's contest had a high volume of entries, which was great! However, it also meant a great deal of work for the judges, and if the number of entries continues to increase, pretty soon we'll be at a point where it wouldn't be feasible to have the judges read and provide feedback on every story. To ensure that all entrants continue to get judge feedback and to keep rankings as fair as possible, we're essentially running two separate contests this year, united by the theme and rules but each with its own set of judges, and each of which will have its own first-, second-, and third-place winners.
Once all entries have been received, they will randomly be split between the Miraidon Flight and Koraidon Flight, each of which will have its own set of judges. The judges in these two flights will read, review, and rank all entries as normal, and when both are done, we'll bring everything back together to announce the full results of the contest, including the top three winners of both flights!
- Everyone will be writing one-shots based on the same guidelines and theme--legendary Pokémon POV
- All stories will be randomly assigned to one of two sets of judges (except judge entries; these will always go to the set of judges not including the author)
- The judges will read, review, and rank all the stories in their flight as usual
- There will ultimately be two first-place winners, two second-place winners, and two third-place winners of this contest
We'll be trying something new for prizes this year, too! All entries for this year's contest will be eligible to be included in a legendary-themed zine we'll be putting together on Thousand Roads, with winners having the opportunity for special features and to be illustrated by one of our community's artists. More information about the zine will be available in August when general organization will begin, but for now, the most important things to note are:
- You will not be required to participate in the zine to participate in the one-shot contest
- Participation in the zine will be opt-in rather than opt-out
- You will not need to decide whether you'd like your work included in the zine until after the results have been published
- You will have time to make edits to your story after receiving judge feedback and before submitting a final version of your story to the zine
Feel free to ask any questions you may have about judging or prizes (or any other aspect of the contest) in this thread here; since this is our first time trying a couple of these things, I expect we'll encounter some rough edges this year while we try out the new format. As always, I hope you enjoy writing for this year's contest, and good luck to all the entrants!