Mossflower Odyssey IV: The Beasts in the Crater

Nine beasts, enslaved in a distant coliseum. The terms are simple: fight until you die. Glory awaits the strong while the meek shall perish, their cries drowned by the roar of the crowd. It's survival of the fittest and survival takes many forms. Let the games begin.

Hi, everyone! My name is Tooley, new to these parts, but I'm familiar with a few of your resident members (heya, Rascal!). I know there are a lot of writerfolk around these parts, so I thought I'd let you all know about a Redwall writing contest that has just started up! To note, I'm not directly involved in the management of this contest–just an excited fan looking to share the news with others who might be interested (I apologize if this is in the wrong section, though I see that these have been advertised here before).

Now... some of you may be squinting your eyes, cocking up an eyebrow, and mouthing the words "what da heck is this?" Which leads us to~

What is a Redwall Survivor Contest?

A Redwall Survivor Contest is a collaborative story set within the world and framework of the Redwall series. Nine writers will each write a character of their own creation, set within the plot and story developed by the contest's Coordinator (which, in this case, is the story about nine beasts forced to fight and survive in a coliseum). Every week, contestants will write a "chapter" for the story from their own character's point of view, interacting with the other characters and pushing the plot forward until it reaches its conclusion (this takes, in real-world time, about a few months). Think of it like a round-robin RP, except with much longer chapters (about 1,500 words on average), and a lot more coordination and planning behind-the-scenes, so that the story itself reads with the smoothness of a novel.

But I said this is a contest, and I wasn't lyin'! There's a catch: every week, after each contestant has posted at least one chapter (usually no more than two, often just one), the readers then get to take the reins and influence the story directly by voting to eliminate their least favorite character from the story. Whoever receives the most votes that week must then off themselves from the story, either by having their character leave or - more traditionally - killing their character. This continues until three characters remain. These characters survive, and the audience then votes for which one of them is to be crowned the winner of the contest.

As you can imagine, the stakes are high, and every week the writers have to bring their A-game to avoid the reader's axe!

So, how do I make it into one of these contests?

Before the nine characters are chosen for the story, aspiring writers first go through an application process. A list of categories is set for who the nine characters will be (things like "A Thief," or "A Beast With a Secret"). A writer chooses which category they would like to apply for, and then they write a short story (750 words max) about their character. To note, this isn't like providing a bio like you would for an RP, where you just describe their appearance, personality, etc. Imagine instead writing a moment out of your character's life–a little slice of a story featuring your character. That could be something as simple as a regular day in life for them, or it could be a massive moment that defines who they are. The sky's the limit here, so long as what you write gets across your character's personality and makes people want to read about them more.
(On the contest forum, there are links to examples of good applications. Check these out to get inspiration on what exactly the Coordinator is looking for in an application, and how to best write one.)

Now, why is it important to write a really good application? Well, after all the applications are submitted, the top 3 best from every category (decided by the Coordinator) are put up publicly, where everyone can read them and vote for whichever one is their favorite. Whatever application gets the most votes will make it into the story itself, and from then on, the contest is a-go!

Okay… but what do I get for winning?

Beyond bragging rights, there is no direct "prize" for winning. Our artsy members regularly contribute fanart of characters and scenes in the story, but there is no real reward in the monetary sense. That said, if you're someone who enjoys writing, wants to improve their writing, or wants to be get involved with a community of aspiring writers who quite deeply love the craft of writing, then you owe it to yourself to give these contests a shot.

Speaking personally, the last contest (Mossflower Odyssey III) was my very first Redwall Survivor contest. I was, in many ways, a fish wayyy out of water, but I had such an absolute blast. Developing my character weekly, challenging myself to grow as a writer, seeing the story develop from my own actions and the actions of my wonderful co-writers, being encouraged by people who loved writing just like I did and who wanted to see me succeed–I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences I've had as a writer. You can bet your scones and scuffles that I'm going to apply again this time.

So I highly recommend you all check out the website, where there is further information on the story, and details on how to apply: http://redwallsurvivor.com/forums/

If you have any questions about this whole thing, then feel free to ask either on the forum (where the Coordinator, Admin, and the rest of the community are), or here on this thread. I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have. And if this looks all a little bit confusing, then trust me, I get it. I had a ton of questions when I first found these contests, so just hit me with what you've got and I'll see what I can do! 😃

Thanks for your time, everybody!

Applications CLOSE on Wednesday, June 14 at 11:59 PM

sounds likefun. sadly, i wont be in it, but i encourage everyone to try!! ^ ^ good luck!

I don't know if I have the time, but this looks very interesting. I'll have to think about it.

@doggo:

I will be applying!

Huzzah! Glad to have you on-board, matey. 😃

@waaaaaaah:

I don't know if I have the time, but this looks very interesting. I'll have to think about it.

It does require a time commitment (you'll be writing weekly, and coordinating with your fellow writers daily), but it's well worth the investment for the experience! That said, you know your own schedule  best, so you do you, mate. If you've got any questions at all, please shoot 'em by me. Otherwise, if you find that it might be a bit too demanding time-wise, but you're still interested to see how things play out, then feel free to read along and vote! Audience plays a huge role, after all. 😃

Apologies for the double post, but just wanted to note that there is now exactly one week left for applications. We've had a superb response so far, so much so that we even opened up a new, tenth category, and raised the application limit to four. So if you're out there lurking, waffling back and forth, then now's the time to take the plunge!

@Tooley:

Apologies for the double post, but just wanted to note that there is now exactly one week left for applications. We've had a superb response so far, so much so that we even opened up a new, tenth category, and raised the application limit to four. So if you're out there lurking, waffling back and forth, then now's the time to take the plunge!

I don't think I can commit to it 😞 Guess I'll have to wait for the next one

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