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One-Shot Contest: Friends and Partners
The partnership between humans and Pokémon has been central to the franchise since the very beginning. Trainers capture Pokémon to train for battle, Rangers call on them for aid, humans-turned-Pokémon team up with true Pokémon to face danger--no matter what form the human-Pokémon partnership takes, it's shaped every world where these two species interact. For this year's one-shot contest, we're looking for entries that explore the special bond between humans and Pokémon!
Your story should center on the partnership between at least one human and pokémon: perhaps a trainer and their Pokémon struggling to trust each other after a rocky introduction, a native of the Mystery Dungeon world helping a lost human adapt to their changed circumstances, or a story about how humans and Pokémon first learned to work together. Anything you can think of that puts the spotlight on the partnership between humans and pokémon will work well for this contest, and the characters you choose to feature can either come from canon or be your own creations. 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 if you're worried about your entry going over the limit, check it using this online calculator, which is the one the judges 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 Midnight UTC on March 8, 2021. 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
Everyone who enters will receive in-depth feedback from our four judges: Dragonfree, HelloYellow17, kyeugh, and Umbra. They'll also have the opportunity to participate in a promo post highlighting contest participants.
In addition, each judge will rank the entries from what they consider to be the best to the worst. The judges' scores will then be combined to determine overall first-, second-, and third-place winners.
The top three stories will receive an individual promo and author interview to be posted on the Thousand Roads forums, as well as a free art commission. Art commission details are still to come--look for an announcement about that a little later on in the writing period! Meanwhile, throughout the writing period, we'll be featuring interviews with last year's top-placing writers to give you some insight into their process, inspiration, and encouragement while you work on your own entry!
Stories will be judged on overall writing quality as well as on their use of the theme. You are welcome to have your story looked over by one or more beta readers before submission, and it's okay if those beta readers are participants themselves--just as long as none of them are judges! We encourage you to spell-check and do your best job of proofreading, as technical errors are likely to impact your final ranking.
That's it! Have fun writing, and I look forward to your entries. If you have any questions, feel free to post in this thread or ask Negrek via PM/DM. You can also check out last year's contest and results to get an idea of how these contests tend to go.