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[2010: JUL-AUG] Writing Challenge


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Hi everyone. It's time we got this show on the road!

As a reminder, Thomas Gregory was the winner of our May/June competition, and he has decided on this topic:

“Universal Rights”

- On December 10th, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

- What does the future have in store for us when it comes to ‘Universal Rights’ in your minds?

This looks like an excellent topic choice, and I'm sure that there's a lot for people to get their teeth into, across all eras of the Star Trek franchise.

The closing date for this round's entries is Friday, 27th August. Remember that final submissions need to be marked with an arrow to be considered.

Good luck all, and the team is looking forward to seeing your entries!

-Tallis

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Special thanks to all of you. I do love the writing challenge and am quite humbled to be part of the judging crew for this month. That being said: Congratulations to Tal who wrote another amazing story!

I hope everyone enjoys the topic and submits an entry!

Your pal

Thomas Gregory

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just tried the link to the main website for the Writing Challenge page and it didn't work for me, so just in case it's broken for anyone else here's a vague summary from what I remember...

You're writing something trek based, but it does not have to be based on your main character for the SB118 groups. It could be your main character if you wanted it to, or any of your PNPCs, or it could be a completely different character that you made up purely to fit the topic, such as an Orion Pirate, a Ferengi female recently freed from oppression, or a green Ensign starting his first assignment on the original Enterprise. The sky's the limit as far as imagination is concerned, and I'd advise a quick browse through some of the more recent stories if you feel like you need more guidance. Also, it's worth mentioning that as far as "trek-based" goes, remember the show covers nearly every genre you can think of, from sci-fi adventure to historical political, to horror, to romance.

The word limit is around 3,000 words. This is so that the judges don't need to give up a week to write up feedback and decide a winner! Although if your story is 3,004 words you won't likely be disqualified, just aim for around there.

On the old forum we used to mark posts with a right arrow icon to show that they were ready as a final submission. I haven't figured out if we can do that on this beautiful, brand-spanking new forum yet, so don't worry too much about it. We'll read all new submissions before the closing date. It might be helpful to include (Jul-Aug) somewhere in your post's subject though, as I don't have admin privileges to delete the old entries.

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me by PM!

Tallis

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I just tried the link to the main website for the Writing Challenge page and it didn't work for me, so just in case it's broken for anyone else here's a vague summary from what I remember...

Fixed the link. Sorry about that:

http://www.starbase118.net/members/events/challenges/

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I think you got them all! But here's the rules from a previous round...

Guidelines: To participate, create a new thread. The subject of the thread must be the title of your story. If it is a Work In Progress, denote that with the heart post icon. If your work is complete, use the horizontal arrow post icon. Items not marked with an icon or marked with the WiP icon will not be considered for judging and will be moved to the "Character Cafe" forum at the end of the contest. Your work must be entirely your own. No co-authoring. You are welcome to create any character you so desire, but they must be from the Star Trek universe. No "canon" characters allowed. (i.e.- No one who has been on a show.)

Want to participate, but can't start a new topic? Why didn't you view the "Read Me First!" forum? You'll need to ask a moderator or Senior Member to create a thread for you!

Length: No more than 3000 words accepted.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, folks, I believe the saying goes something like "the votes have been counted and verified", so without further ado, here are the reviews for the entries for this round of the Writing Contest as provided by the judging panel, followed by an announcement of the winner and runner up! We all agreed that the entries this round were of an incredibly high standard, and it was very difficult indeed to pick a winner!

The Man Called AN – Lt Kevin Breeman

Having read a number of entries from this particular author, I always expect something that’s intelligently and poetically written, and this time was no exception.

There are fewer references to the Star Trek universe in this story, but those that do appear are not only important, but handled with such a wonderful element of fantasy that it’s difficult not to become caught up in the flow of the piece, swept along by the main character’s musings, to be led towards the final enigma which can never be solved. Such is the impact of flash fiction.

I also greatly enjoyed the ambiguity of the setting. Where exactly are we? Is it young Kevin’s dream? Are we on a holodeck, as inferred by the symbolism of the arch, and the phrase “end program”? As I reader I usually clamour for answers, but this time I quite liked not knowing!

This was a touching and magical piece, which was expertly crafted.

Reviewed by LtCmdr Tallis Rhul

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Righting the Past - LtCmdr Tal Tel-ar

Tal Tel-ar sure loves action... and so do I! I was up half the night

playing through co op mode on Halo 3 with my buddy. After he fell

asleep writing this review seemed the apt choice. Maybe it was the

choice of game-play leading up to reading the story for the second

time, but I was in first person shooter mode for act 1 of ‘Righting

the Past’. The writing - as expected from a Tel-ar entry - was apt in

both: setting the mood of the world and giving us a first person view

of the action that unfolds.

The second act offers a wonderfully written game of ‘cat and mouse’

before the story engorges itself in the type of visceral mayhem one

would expect from a Quentin Tarantino movie. Needless to say: 1) I was

high-fiving... myself... after the first reading. 2) I had to read it

again.

The problem I had coming away from my second reading was that the two

acts had relatively little holding them together. In the second act

the dialogue was heavy on explanation/exposition and while it wasn’t

clunky... it had less lasting appeal. Their is some genuine character

building going on and it felt like it was going somewhere, but as I

expect from the beginning - Reservoir Dogs! - the story ended abruptly

with every character still alive walking into a gun fight. It’s

intense - I won’t spoil it ;) - but the carnage that bookends the

narrative also kills the character development which was raising my

expectations as I read.

Reviewed by Lt Thomas Gregory

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Two Wrongs - Cmdr Jhen Thelev

What to make of ‘Two Wrongs?’ This is classic TNG... season 2-4 kind

of plot and writing. It was the stuff that hooked me as a child

because it always had me thinking while I was watching... or in this

case reading. I like to visualize what I read. ‘Two Wrongs’ begins

with one of those wonderful conversations between old friends who

happen to be Captain/Ambassador. It sets up the story nicely with talk

of ‘prospective new members’ and ‘misunderstandings’.

Their are stakes as well: ‘another win for you’ had my foreshadowing

sensors going. An abrupt and only partially explained - I’m not

convinced whether they are on the surface or the ship... not that its

all that important. - scene brings at least one question to the

forefront of the story: Is Orrusian slavery of the Mith going to keep

them out of the Federation?

Like the early seasons of TNG my disbelief had to be suspended at this

point. The Mith seemed pretty used to life as slaves. The story became

rather predictable from then on: the answer was ‘no’ the Orrusian’s

were not ready not membership. In the end the story played it safe:

the characters didn’t ask very important questions to the Mith,

instead relying on emotional outbursts that felt cliche. The story

structure boiled down to: 1) They arrive. 2) Slavery? 3) Comfirmed,

its Slavery. 4) They leave.

When I viewed the story from the perspective of the Orrusians I did

get a sense of ‘severe and deeply held societal prejudices’ guiding

the Ambassador and Captains behaviour. If I was an Orrusian watching

the two of them question the Mith: I would have deemed it a moment -

‘honey, the policeman would like to ask you if I'm your mommy.’ - that

would result in nothing. If there is any real misunderstanding its

caused by a severe lack of explanation and education by the

Federation. But then again, the Federation let’s just about anybody in

these days. So why not the Orrusians? They are giant Insects, they

seem nice enough... and they are plantation slave holders... they

didn’t think that last part would be relevant after they weren’t

rejected because of whole ‘Giant Insect’ policy. Wait does Starfleet

have one of these? Like Vampires, I believe Insects should not serve

with blood filled life forms. Is that prejudice? Or just common sense?

I felt a sense of indifference as the story failed to generate thought

provoking moments. There was never any doubt in my mind reading how

the story would turn out.

Reviewed by Lt Thomas Gregory

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The Bajoran Goat-Girls - Ens. Alleran Tan

The story was interesting with well-constructed sentences that kept cuirosity at a peak, and made me want to read more from this writer. It was a classic story of abuse of power, and a hero doing what he could to right the wrong, but by the end, the story had become so classic that it seemed cliche, making it easy to determine the ending before it came.

The piece was an excellent attempt for a first try at the Writing Challenge, and I can almost predict a win for Alleran in future attempts.

Reviewed by Cmdr Toni Turner

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And so to the declaration of the winners in the usual suspense-riven style...

This round's runner-up was...

Ensign Alleran Tan: "The Bajoran Goat-Girls"

And this round's winner was... (wait for it!...)

Lieutenant Commander Tal Tel-ar: "Righting the Past"

As usual, the winner of this round will help to choose the topic for the next round, so I will be in touch with Commander Tel-ar in the next couple of days - watch this space people: the next round of the Challenge will launch shortly!

Also, the winner and runner-up banners should be ready shortly - they are also winging their merry way to you.

Thanks everyone for some extremely high quality entries, and I look forward to seeing you all next round!

Lieutenant Commander Tallis Rhul

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Congratulations to all who entered! I must have read the stories like 5 times each hehe. Special congrats to our reigning winner Tal Tel-ar!

I'm going to myth and legend the heck out of next months hehe!

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