December 29, 2011

New Year Contest

So, since the idea of a contest aroused an enthusiastic response, Jenny and I have decided to go ahead and host one! It will run through the month of January, opening January 1 and closing at the end of the month. Here's how it will work:


Each entry must be 200 words or less. Hopefully those of you who expressed worry about having time to devote to writing will find this doable. Also, don't panic - you're not expected to tell a whole story in such a few words.


The theme will be first impressions. This can be a character's first impression of another character, of a thing, of an animal... Think of it as you introducing a new subject, whether animate or inanimate, to the reader.


Writing styles differ, so don't try to fit your entry into a specific style. Bethany asked about prose versus poetry; in general we would prefer prose, but if you can write poetry skilfully, go ahead! Make sure to check your spelling and polish your grammar, and all such lovely technical things.

rules and regulations

Entries will be limited to two per person. Obviously, keep it clean; we'll be posting the winning entries (as long as the authors don't mind), so they have to be ones we're comfortable putting up. You may write in any genre.


After the contest closes, Jenny and I will choose first place and second place winners. First place winner will receive one copy of each of our novels, The Shadow Things and The Soldier's Cross, as well as a critique of the first chapter of their novel. Second place winner will also received a critique of the first chapter of their novel.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask. And if not - start writing!


  1. How do we submit our entries? Should we just post them via the comment form?

    Thanks for hosting this! I look forward to entering and seeing what others write!

  2. Good question, Keaghan. I think it would be best if you emailed them to either me (jeanne [at] or Jenny (sprigofbroom293 [at], or both. Less clutter that way.

    Have fun!

  3. Can we go ahead and start writing now? Then just sending it in after the opening?

  4. Absolutely! Go right ahead. (Write ahead? Alright, that was lame.)

  5. So does the writing have to be a complete story or just a piece of a writing? Could I post it on my blog and give you the link because I'm not allowed to use email (at least, until I get my secondary email address...and I don't know how long that would take)?

    Good questions, Ashley!!!

  6. Oh, just a piece of writing. The idea is that the entry will have a relatively complete feeling (not yanked out of a larger section), but won't tell an entire story. Rather, it will be a few paragraphs of some "first impression," like two characters meeting.

    And yes, it would be perfectly fine if you posted it on your blog; just comment here on Scribbles or over at The Penslayer and include a link to the entry or entries.

  7. A contest--how exciting! First impressions are a very important part of any story, so I look forward to writing!

  8. .... sounds epic! Perhaps an example of what you are looking for?

  9. Sure! Here's a general idea of what we're looking for:

    The majority of the men were fairly well-to-do, judging by their clothing, and from Bent’s words Tip could assume that they were seamen, but there was only one who wore the uniform of a navy officer. Tip observed him curiously — a lanky, gaunt man two tables away, lounging in his chair like Tip, but so tall that his legs stretched under the table and his feet came out on the other side. He had tossed his hat beside him and his black hair was turned an odd purple in the lamplight; a book, propped precariously against the edge of the table, had his undivided attention. He had a harsh profile, and Tip wondered without much enthusiasm whether this was to be another companion aboard the Argus.

    - This isn't ideal, since it was torn out of my work-in-progress (and happens to be only about 130 words), but hopefully it gives you an idea. This is a character's first impression of another character; you could also do a character's first impression of a house, or an animal, or a country. Does that help?

  10. Eep! I've already written my entries...actually five entries, and I may write more...the problem will be picking my favorite two to send in! Thanks for coming up with such a smashing idea, girls. :)

  11. Definitely helped, thank you! I'm going to try and block out time to do this :)

  12. I shall be scribbling away whenever I can find the time, and hopefully I'll be able to scrounge up some bit of Something for this. ^.^

  13. I have written mine, but I'm not sure if it's the sort of thing you meant... I have written it as my first impression of a thing, but in the voice /of/ the thing, so it does come across quite as if I am the observer. Is this allowed?

  14. Rachel - You over-achiever, you!

    Bethany - I wouldn't worry about it; we're not going to be too strict. If you're not sure about your first try, you could write another and submit both.

  15. I was wondering if I could do a first impression of oneself? My character changes a lot in the story and it would be her first impression of her new self. Would this be allowed?

  16. Ooh, original! Go right ahead. I'm looking forward to seeing what you all produce.

  17. I love contests! I just sent in my story for the Vision Forum contest and I was feeling the need for a new challenge. Enter Abigail and Jenny. Needless to say, you'll be hearing from me before January 31. Thanks for offering this contest, and good luck, everybody!

    P.S. I've posted a notice of your contest on my blog, I hope that's fine with you!

  18. I would like to enter, and I wrote a piece for it, but my word count is 290! I already scraped away 30 words, but I can't get it any shorter. Any ideas on what to do?

  19. Yaasha - That's perfectly alright! I'm looking forward to your entries.

    Aylin - I know the feeling. All I can suggest is that you read over it again (and maybe get someone else to read it) and try to pick out the phrases that aren't necessary. In general I'm not a big fan of that, but for contests with a wordcount limit, it's about the best you can do. Sorry I can't be more helpful!

  20. I'm afraid I'm having a bit of trouble sending you my contest entry for some odd reason. I posted it on my blog.
    And I also e-mailed it to Jenny if she can send it to you.


  21. That's no problem! Jenny can forward it to me. Thanks for submitting!

  22. Alright, I wrote a poem instead. I put it on my blog. It's here -

  23. When abouts will they be announced?

  24. Jenny and I will be posting the winners on Saturday. Stay tuned!


meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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