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Monday, December 19, 2011

And the winner is (Special Holiday/Youth Edition!)...

“You know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen; Comet, and Cupid, and Donner, and Blitzen... but do you recall, that Reindeer that no one ever talks about?”

If any of you are able to take a second look at your own work, and see ways in which to improve a concept so that it can be more successfully developed, the effort will be worthwhile.

Those of you who vote are allowed to assign a range of “0” to “3” points, per entry. Since challengers may not vote for their own stories, a bonus of 2 points is given to a participant's highest-ranked work, if that participant also takes the time to numerically vote on the other entries.

Official judges receive a 30 point allocation, to assign as they see fit. The only restriction is that at most, only half of those points may be given to any single entry (unless there is only one entry, in which case the silly restriction is lifted!), and there is no requirement for a judge to use the entire 30 point allocation.

M is about to put on the “Editor Hat.” It's sort of like the “Sorting Hat” they use at Hogwarts (“Oh, Rudolph... you aren't really Gryffindor material! Now get off the Quidditch field.”), but a little less sarcastic.

A Reindeer to Remember

“Bucktooth the Redneck Reindeer” by Triton

M: It is to your credit that I could imagine Jeff Foxworthy delivering this piece. Aaaannnd, that's about all I'll say about this one.

M_Nicole_Cunningham: 0 / Ryan Jones: 1.5 / Tyler Tork: 1.5 / xdpaul: 1
M: 3
Total: 7

“Gander” by M_Nicole_Cunningham

M: Beautiful, captivating, and even a bit lyrical. Unfortunately, I don't quite understand the last two lines. (Were you going for ambiguous clarity, or clear ambiguity?)

M_Nicole_Cunningham: voted! / Ryan Jones: 3 / Tyler Tork: 2.5 / xdpaul: 2
M: 6
Participation bonus: 2
Total: 15.5

“Hreinn Larsen, Santa's Stable Keeper” by Ryan Jones

M: You could probably get a profitable children's story out of this one. I like it.

M_Nicole_Cunningham: 1 / Ryan Jones: voted! / Tyler Tork: 2 / xdpaul: 2
M: 4
Participation bonus: 2
Total: 11

“Vanish, The White-hued Reindeer” by xdpaul

M: Pure description isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you weren't playing to your strengths, here. Sadly, I have to disqualify you for burying us in an avalanche of words. (If they had been really, really short words and equalled the approximate number of letters in some of the other entries, I could have been swayed.)

M_Nicole_Cunningham: 0 / Ryan Jones: 2.5 / Tyler Tork: 0 / xdpaul: voted!
M: 0
Participation bonus: 2
Total: 4.5

“Cavil, the Dissident Reindeer” by Tyler Tork

M: With tongue planted firmly in cheek, you've succinctly eviscerated the jolly old elf of any redeeming qualities. One suspects that sweat shops and patent violations are only the tip of the icicle...

M_Nicole_Cunningham: 2 / Ryan Jones: 2 / Tyler Tork: voted! / xdpaul: 1
M: 5
Participation bonus: 2
Total: 12

“The Mother of All Reindeer” by Lady Quill

M: As with Ryan's work, you could easily spin this one into a fondly-remembered children's tale. Or, you could spin it into a rant about how aliens should be more careful when expelling their spent antigrav rods, and a celebration of Tonna's fortuitous discovery of Babel fish in the frozen tundra...

Arisia: + / M_Nicole_Cunningham: 2 / Ryan Jones: 3 / Tyler Tork: 1.5 / xdpaul: 3
M: 6
Total: 15.5+

“Reynaldo, the Norm Peterson of Reindeer” by Allan Davis

M: If you reworked this gag as a single-panel illustration, you could probably sell it to a greeting card company and sell a bazillion copies each December. Then George Wendt would hunt you down and kill you.

M_Nicole_Cunningham: 3 / Ryan Jones: 2 / Tyler Tork: 2.5 / xdpaul: 2
M: 6
Total: 15.5

And in the Junior Division:

“The 4 Leg Reindeer” by the six year old

M: I have the strong impression that your reindeer is equally likely to take up the manufacture of poisoned apples, or spinning wool from homeless cats. The word that comes to mind is mglw'nafh, but since I'm guessing your parents haven't explained that one to you yet, I'll go with "evocative."

M_Nicole_Cunningham: “very interesting structure” / Ryan Jones: “full of implications” / Tyler Tork: “most existential” / xdpaul: “awesome”
M: “evocative”

“Artemis Boomer” by the nine year old

M: Even at a young age, you've already learned the power of a surprise ending. I did not see this one coming. Of course, neither did the reindeer.

M_Nicole_Cunningham: “a definite future in writing” / Ryan Jones: “could be the hook” / Tyler Tork: “interesting protagonist” / xdpaul: “Pushcart Prize”
M: “surprise ending”

“School Bus Reindeer” by the ten year old

M: Has your father already introduced you to a little series called Axe Cop, by chance? When/if he does, here's another word you might want to keep in mind: "collaboration." Just make sure you don't forget that other magic word ("royalties"), when you spring it on him.

M_Nicole_Cunningham: “very original” / Ryan Jones: “mastered the use of understatement” / Tyler Tork: “Deep.” / xdpaul: “complex”
M: “collaboration/royalties”


And the numbers don't lie. We have... a three-way tie?

1st Place: 15.5 points — “Gander” by M_Nicole_Cunningham
1st Place: 15.5+ points — “The Mother of All Reindeer” by Lady Quill
1st Place: 15.5 points — “Reynaldo, the Norm Peterson of Reindeer” by Allan Davis

Oh, wait! Arisia cast a characteristic tie-breaking, non-numeric endorsement, with that little “+" beside “The Mother of All Reindeer.” Congratulations, Lady Quill!


As a reminder, over the next few weeks we are trying something a little different, as we engage in a few smaller, lighter challenges, while the holidays swirl us about, higgledy-piggledy and piggledy-pop. (Yes, that still might just be a subtle hint about the next challenge, since it turned out to not be a hint about the one we just proposed...)

So rest your creative faculties, but if a challenge intrigues you during this holiday interval, then by all means join the fun! Our current challenge is: “And now, for the next century and a half...”
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