We have a lot of new readers and authors at SIYE so I thought I would re-introduce one of our popular features we have to offer.
Six times a year, a Challenge is made. A Challenge is a plot of a storyline with certain conditions and/or suggestions. People who think they are up to the Challenge must write a story based on that plot given. Anybody may try out for a Challenge. An example may be a plot about Ron’s bachelor party at the Three Broomsticks. A condition or suggestion may be to explain how Percy got an invitation or why all the glasses in the room have holes in them. How the story is written is up to the author based on the plot and conditions. And, of course, the honors.
Challenges are held six times a year: February, April, June, August, October, and December. Most plotlines are arranged around what Harry and Ginny would be doing at that time of year. Romance and Valentines are a popular theme for February. The Challenge is posted on the first of the month and the deadline for submission is the last day of that month. Then the judges have fourteen days to read all the submissions and send their nominations in to me, Sir Ollivander, for tallying up. The winners are posted on the fifteenth.
The honors are the winning categories. There are always four and usually are Best Overall, Romance, Humor, and Adventure. However, certain Challenges have included Dark Fiction, Most Educational Learning Experience, Most Creative, Angst, Fluff, Comedy, Scary/Haunting, Holiday/Tradition, and a few others.
To keep the Challenge fresh in our readers’ mind, suggestions are posted on the tenth and twentieth of the month. (Some thing that happens accidentally is a misspelling; please pardon the sloppy typing.)
Judges are invited SIYE members to judge a particular Challenge. I choose them from a variety of ways. One was a list of authors who were in the top twenty-five story counts/hits. One method was a list of authors who had won any Silver Trinket Awards. Judges work independently and answer to me via e-mail. When completed, they submit their nominations, I record them on a spreadsheet, and determine the winners for each category. They submit a first and second place vote for each category. Based on the trends I see, I may include an Honorable Mention. One story had the most votes far and away from the second highest but not enough in any one category to win. That was an Honorable Mention.
The year’s Challenges have already been written. The next one is quite “Disapparating.” Do you think you are up to a Challenge? Give it a try. The more the merrier. You can’t win if you don’t enter. And good luck.