The Uresia Summer Short-Fiction Competition Part 4: Slimes and Snowmen and Satyrs, Oh My!
Official 2016 Rules
In order that all of us who enjoy wandering heaven's grave might have some new ways to do so, Cumberland Games & Diversions is hosting it's fourth annual short-fiction contest. If you've been involved with the prior three, you know the drill! If you're new, welcome!
The basic idea is pretty straightforward: take us into heaven's grave (or the Troll Lands) in short-story form, and we'll all love you for it. The more formal rules are as follows:
Eligibility: The contest is open to any and all Uresia fans, ages 18 or older.
Entries will be accepted from [checks wrist] right now, and until midnight, August 14th, 2016 (Fort Collins, Colorado time). Entries must be in English, must be at least 1,000 words and not exceed 7,500, and must be submitted via electronic mail to email@example.com in one of: Plain Text, Rich Text, Microsoft Word, or OpenOffice/LibreOffice document format. One story per author.
Sometime shortly after the submission deadline, I will compile a single document presenting all of the stories, with the names of the authors removed and stories arranged in chronological order by when they were submitted. Voting will be based on this collection (the authors' names to be revealed once the contest is over), with stories to be judged in two categories: Uresia-Ness, and Awesome-Ness. More precise voting rules will follow when the time comes, but basically the authors themselves will produce 50% of the final score, while the fans/readers will produce the other 50%.
Since the judging is meant to be 'blind,' without authors' names attached during judging, please be discreet when discussing your own participation in the contest. It's cool to say you're in it, but not to give away which story is yours.
Entries remain the property of their authors (which is to say, authors retain all copyright, though Cumberland naturally retains Uresia-specific trademarks such as 'Uresia: Grave of Heaven'). Entrants grant Cumberland perpetual permission to present the stories for free, in multiple formats, for the enjoyment of Uresia fans, and to perform minimal necessary editing for formatting and spelling and whatnot when doing so (I'll fix a typo if I happen to spot it in passing, but I won't harm a hair on the head of your writing style). Cumberland claims no commercial rights whatsoever on the stories; this is just for funsies, to elevate awareness of the Uresia community (which is, hopefully, good for all of us) to give Uresia GMs and player inspiring stuff to read, and to give all Uresia fans a 'GM-less' way to visit the grave again.
Content: All stories must be set in either Uresia or the Troll Lands (or both, or the waters between or near), and feel just as gosh-dead Uresia as a short story can be. There is no limit on 'adult' material in the stories (Uresia itself has a fair number of references to sex, violence, alcohol, hallucinogenic mushroom wine and, you know, Satyrs and things), but 'stylish and suggestive' is more likely, I suspect, to win stronger votes than 'blunt and literal.' Keep it classy. Unless you have a really, really awesome non-classy story that needs to be told. Stories can be funny or serious or literary or pulpy or anything else. THIS IS A THEMED EVENT. The theme is 'stories that are awesome, and take place in Uresia.' Please keep the theme in mind.
Entries should include the following at the beginning of the document: Title, Author's Name and Email Address (to be removed from the judging version, but I need it, natch), a warning if there is any content that goes beyond 'PG-13'ishness, and then a brief 'executive summary' teaser description of no more than 50 words. For example:
Deep within the Mazelcane Catacombs, three drunken Dwarves and a very bewildered Snowman discover love, hummus, and modal jazz in the least expected ways, while the Red Slimes burrow closer ... Will any of them survive?
Entries must be created for this contest and have no prior publication history.
Every participant (writers and voters) will get an exclusive Uresia article I've prepared for that purpose (last year they got the Scott's Landing piece outlining magic chimney sweeps as character types and touching on things like Rinden and/or Gargoyle politics, the year before that a Shadow River history piece from the perspective of Nectar's Garden banning practices, because WTF, Uresia). I also tend to slip a few extra-secret files to the winners, but really, this isn't about prizes; it's about the enormous wobbly eyes of appreciation in your readers (see Blue Lamp Road for all the previous stories, sailing the loving seas of eternity).
I think that's it for the rules. If anything needs clarified, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The official rules of the contest are those listed here, AND any clarifications to follow. Beyond RULES, though: Just enjoy yourself, and we'll enjoy along with you. Get to your notebooks, your laptops, your tablets and your smartphones, wherever you enjoy writing (I use all of those, myself), and take us all to Uresia for a little while. We're looking forward to the journeys ahead.