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Monthly SimLit Short Story Challenge

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  • MinraedMinraed Posts: 1,117 Member
    Well now. This tale is taking on a life of its own. I got in game to start shooting for Castaway Todd part 3. I have a vague idea of what I am going for, but as always my style is to let the game guide me along and whoa is it ever. I am having too much fun, and hopefully I will have this completed by the end of the day. Then I will start reading the early submissions that I see are already coming in.
  • MinraedMinraed Posts: 1,117 Member
    So sleepy, but I wanted to get this done. I hope I didn't mess it up in my rush to get it finished.

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    Read Castaway Todd part 3 - The Guardian - HERE on wordpress
  • darkchadmeisterdarkchadmeister Posts: 62 Member
    @Minraed Yeah, I'm the one that posted on imgur with Naia aka the Vengeance of Sulani. I was wondering if you were gonna tie her in with your story. :smile:
  • MinraedMinraed Posts: 1,117 Member
    @Minraed Yeah, I'm the one that posted on imgur with Naia aka the Vengeance of Sulani. I was wondering if you were gonna tie her in with your story. :smile:
    Thank you for sharing her. I didn't have an idea from the very start of all of this. I generally let what I discover in the game to guide me along the way. I decided on her when I discovered the conch shell in debug then learned what it was for. I had never played with Sulani or mermaids up until now so this was fun. I will be tying this whole thing into my Murkland Universe now, with these four being the guardians of the islands.


  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,384 Member
    The number of voters this month was excruciatingly low .. we have to get the word out better. There is also some statistical indications that not everyone is voting for the asked for number (only voting for one) .. let's be sure that we are supporting one another here. Our (my) primary objective is to support an oft-neglected community and to reach new scribblers. This will take all of us. If we only seek to grow our own we might as well hang this up. I love this challenge but I fear it has not met it's primary objective. The hard truth is that maybe it is me. I have been struggling with this as of late. Nearly a year in and I do not feel like I am anymore part of the community than when I started ( Some of you are good friends from outside of the simlit community and I am glad for you lovely support). For whatever reason I am not able to crack the hard shell of the community, it feels closed to me. If I am the issue then perhaps it needs to be taken on by someone more integrated than I have been able to do.

    While all of these stories were so fab and all winners in my boat the ones that took the reader's vote are here:

    Monthly Simlit Short Story Challenge: March 2020 Theme & February 2020 Submissions (Winner's Update)...

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    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
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  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,384 Member
    Hey everyone! Here's my entry for March and the conclusion to Veronica's story:

    https://ageekylegacy.wordpress.com/2020/03/06/the-life-of-veronica-grey-part-3/

    Whoa .. that ending was wildly wonderful!
    SebEwnF.jpg
    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
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  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,384 Member
    15aewar wrote: »
    Okay, my submission for March is now ready!
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    https://rendorasims.wordpress.com/2020/03/01/uris-tale-the-mermaid/
    I used 1200 words exactly. It's so weird. I usually have trouble getting anywhere near the word count on things, but with this one I had trouble stopping. Isn't that crazy?
    I used @darkchadmeister 's lovely vengeful lady as the helper. Dawn Roseworth, by @katrinasforest , makes a second appearance.
    Thank you guys so much for allowing me to use your sims. <3

    Uri is such a great character <3 glad he will go on
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    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
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  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,384 Member
    Hawaii ;-D

    AND in my heart I am there so it counted <3
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    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
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  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,384 Member
    Charliimai wrote: »
    I am very early posting this but as i mentioned on an earlier post i had it done. I had anticipated a lower wordcount sllowance and cut mine by far too much but am still satisfied that the story makes sense. I had however added 3 more screenies than allowed and had great difficulty choosing which ones to lose. But rambling over here is my entry..

    Such a warm heartwarming story ... <3 Finding home and family <3
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    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
    #EAgamechanger
  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,384 Member
    Minraed wrote: »
    So sleepy, but I wanted to get this done. I hope I didn't mess it up in my rush to get it finished.

    ct-cover-3.jpg?w=372&h=492

    Read Castaway Todd part 3 - The Guardian - HERE on wordpress

    I enjoyed the creative twist that you brought to this ending <3 Such a fun one
    SebEwnF.jpg
    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
    #EAgamechanger
  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,384 Member
    Banners out later tonight
    SebEwnF.jpg
    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
    #EAgamechanger
  • divanthesimmerdivanthesimmer Posts: 1,269 Member
    edited March 10
    lisabee2 wrote: »
    The number of voters this month was excruciatingly low .. we have to get the word out better. There is also some statistical indications that not everyone is voting for the asked for number (only voting for one) .. let's be sure that we are supporting one another here. Our (my) primary objective is to support an oft-neglected community and to reach new scribblers. This will take all of us. If we only seek to grow our own we might as well hang this up. I love this challenge but I fear it has not met it's primary objective. The hard truth is that maybe it is me. I have been struggling with this as of late. Nearly a year in and I do not feel like I am anymore part of the community than when I started ( Some of you are good friends from outside of the simlit community and I am glad for you lovely support). For whatever reason I am not able to crack the hard shell of the community, it feels closed to me. If I am the issue then perhaps it needs to be taken on by someone more integrated than I have been able to do.

    While all of these stories were so fab and all winners in my boat the ones that took the reader's vote are here:

    Monthly Simlit Short Story Challenge: March 2020 Theme & February 2020 Submissions (Winner's Update)...

    @lisabee2 No, It's not you at all! You have only been doing your absolute best running this challenge and I don't think anyone else can do a better job. The problem is the community itself - people are just not interested in reading. It's sad to say, but it's the hard truth. I always promote this challenge wherever and whenever I can, but people just ignore my posts on social media (either that or they don't see them between all the posts of the people they follow). Some will read, but then they won't stick around to vote.

    I just feel like people are much more interested in watching YouTube videos of speed builds, let's plays, CAS videos, etc. And maybe we need to go that route as well (I don't know)? Maybe promote the challenge via YouTube videos (talking about each story and maybe reading it out loud for the viewers)? I'm so sorry that this challenge isn't going the way you wanted or expected it to, but I'm really thankful for my fellow scribblers for being so supportive and kind each and every month I put something out there - that to me is more than enough.

    On that note, congrats to all the winners (@Qnshr5, @15aewar, @breckenridge, @darkchadmeister, @MenaBuchner and @shera20)! Everyone did an amazing job (especially this time around) and it was so fun to collab with other writers and their Sims!
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    Check out my SimLit blog here: https://ageekylegacy.wordpress.com/
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  • katrinasforestkatrinasforest Posts: 928 Member
    edited March 10
    Congrats to the winners! (Can I still say my character was "in a winning story" this month? ^_^)

    @lisabee2 I'm sorry to hear you're feeling down about the contest. Seriously, from my perspective, you are doing everything you can and doing it with passion and enthusiasm. (Also, if you're an outsider to the community, I'm like a super-outsider! I'm still the oddball who only got into Simming when the TS4 came out on the PS4.)

    Written text always appeals to me more than videos because I can consume it wherever, whenever. But if, as @divanthesimmer suggested, you feel videos will draw a bigger crowd, maybe we could have a month when we must put our story in a video or audio form. (Or perhaps two months to work on it?) Give people the chance to re-categorize themselves as a Novice if making videos is a new thing for them. (I obsessed over video-editing years back and wouldn't mind a little motivation to dabble in them again.)

    You also have to consider who is our audience here. It may be that writing communities who've only dabbled in the Sims or never thought of it as a storytelling tool are more the group to reach out to than Simmers who just aren't into the story aspects of the game.

    This contest has meant a lot to me. I actually turned my little story about Clover into a children's chapter book that I'm sending out to literary agents now. That manuscript would 100% not exist if this contest did not. Maybe it's not doing everything you wanted it to just yet, but believe me, it's done awesome things. :)
  • 15aewar15aewar Posts: 1,051 Member
    @lisabee2 Wow, that's a shame that not many people voted. That's always frustrating when you work so hard on something and no one notices. It's as if someone forgot your birthday.

    Maybe it would help if we promoted within the community more? I could post announcements in the Writer's Lounge, or in the reading circle I'm a part of.
  • breckenridgebreckenridge Posts: 44 Member
    I think the contest is great and congrats to all the winners. I will say I'm not too surprised by the low voter turnout - my story had 35 fewer views than last month's (though I did submit it late in the month). I'm still very stoked about my bronze though.

    I feel our community has gotten insular and isn't attracting new writers and readers at the rate at which it's losing them, although last month had a lot of interest. It's tough to organize and promote, for sure.
    My newest chapter-based simlit: Cutback.”
  • lillibattenberglillibattenberg Posts: 1,233 Member
    Congratulations to the winners!
    I agree with @breckenridge about the community getting a bit insular - I don't think that's any fault of ours, but when everyone else has seemingly been in it forever it might feel difficult to break in?
  • MinraedMinraed Posts: 1,117 Member
    edited March 10
    I will probably be late for work, but I felt compelled to add in my little bit of a virtual hug while I soak in my morning caffeine.

    It is a reality that reading is just not the big draw. I am 52 and have ADHD. I can't really read books these days because I can't stay focused so I listen to audio books. I love to write, and I am part of a writers group, but I can't seem to get my stories out because I can't focus on one thing long enough it seems because I get distracted by so many other fun things maybe. What I am saying is that this is not just a problem of the younger generation either. I read the stories here because I am part of this group. If I were not I would not feel compelled.... actually that is not true, because I am compelled since I bookmark many story bloggers who I feel I WANT to read, I just can't seem to focus on actually doing it.

    So.. where am I going with this?

    We are a small group, yes.
    Think of it like a book club with a handful of members who join together to share their passion.
    In my writers group we get mailings with three mini assignments each month. There are occasional open mics to come and read in the studio to a group, there are workshops and courses for those of greater passion and drive and there are open writing nights where we go into the studio with our unfinished little projects and write together.

    We just do our thing and share and listen to others.
    We don't vote. That is not what we are there for.
    We are just there to write. To get our words and stories out and to share with the 3 or 30 who show up.

    As you know Lisa, I ran the Simatography community for years. Even machinima makers struggle to keep get attention at times. Our photo contests were sometimes overwhelmed, and sometimes pitiful in the submissions, but we had fun with it, supported each other and really we were being creative for the sake of it, for ourselves, and then to enjoy that some others may also appreciate it. But I also fully understand your feelings around this. I have felt the same discouragement often during Simatography's years.

    Maybe it is not such a bad thing if there are only a few of us?
    Maybe it is not necessary to have votes, or to just be ok with a small number.

    I have not been regular, and I may disappear again, but if I am part of a community that is smaller, however small, I will keep coming back.

    I guess the moral of my story here is don't be down. You have brought us together and are sparking our passions. I think I can speak on behalf of the others to say that we appreciate you.
  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 162 Member
    @divanthesimmer, @katrinasforest, @breckenridge and @Minraed are all spot-on. The only person I don't agree with is @lisabee2---it's definitely not because there's anything wrong with you! It's nearly impossible for an independent author to convince someone to read their work. The only blogs I've seen succeed are recommended by people outside the community or run by authors who do the blogging quid-pro-quo thing where they follow someone else's blog to get more followers. Who's going to trust a writer's opinion on the quality of their own work?

    My coauthor and I are trying (in tiny bursts between writing thousands of words for work) to make digestible content that appeals to people outside of the immediate community. We haven't blown up yet. If we ever do, I'll try to direct people toward the contest. Or would anyone be opposed to me promoting the contest by meme-ing their stories? It's not like I have any social media clout whatsoever, but it's less annoying than having to self-promote in environments where self-promotion is demonized.

    I know you said no to workshopping on the forums because the quality of feedback can vary. Here's an alternative. Can I offer my copy editing services to anyone who wants them? I'm not a professional copy editor, just a technical author, but am also an over-the-top nerd who could tell you the difference between a hyphen and an en dash, has opinions on who else's vs. whose else, and knows that eponymous refers to the eponym, not the namesake. This isn't throwing shade at anyone: I love when people want to learn and improve, and it never hurts to have a little more polish.

    And everyone, especially @lisabee2, is doing a great job! The character switching idea is fantastically creative and highlights the genre's strengths. I look forward to voting in April.
    kbt.jpg
    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,755 Member
    lisabee2 wrote: »
    The number of voters this month was excruciatingly low .. we have to get the word out better. There is also some statistical indications that not everyone is voting for the asked for number (only voting for one) .. let's be sure that we are supporting one another here. Our (my) primary objective is to support an oft-neglected community and to reach new scribblers. This will take all of us. If we only seek to grow our own we might as well hang this up. I love this challenge but I fear it has not met it's primary objective. The hard truth is that maybe it is me. I have been struggling with this as of late. Nearly a year in and I do not feel like I am anymore part of the community than when I started ( Some of you are good friends from outside of the simlit community and I am glad for you lovely support). For whatever reason I am not able to crack the hard shell of the community, it feels closed to me. If I am the issue then perhaps it needs to be taken on by someone more integrated than I have been able to do.

    While all of these stories were so fab and all winners in my boat the ones that took the reader's vote are here:

    Monthly Simlit Short Story Challenge: March 2020 Theme & February 2020 Submissions (Winner's Update)...

    @lisabee2 You are awesome.

    I've been taking quite a break from writing SimLit--I keep up with reading the stories that pop up in my WP Reader, because reading these every morning is an important part of my day, and, truly, a deep love of mine.

    I know, having tried to keep Book Club and the Reading Circles afloat for a few years, how much work it takes to do these community things.

    Believe me, @lisabee2 , you're doing a great job, and your efforts are so appreciated.

    You have created a lovely community--this community that you've created counts! It's important! And I've seen many of the participant thrive and grow through what *you've* created!

    You are doing great!
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,755 Member
    And also, yeah, yeah! I really like what everyone has been saying here....

    I feel the important thing is to keep this going. You'll find that sometimes more people participate, and sometimes fewer--but if it stops (or, frankly, possibly if someone else were running it), there wouldn't be a welcoming, inviting place for them to write and grow!

    Keep it going as long as you can--as long as you have the energy to. When you need a break, there will be someone else who can step in.... but in the meantime, what you're doing is so appreciated, so valued.

    Also, to everyone who participates--I love reading your stories so much! I don't always comment (in part, because it's a contest), but I always enjoy so much!

    I sometimes feel that if there's even one reader whose days and life is made better because of a work of writing, that makes it worthwhile, right? Well, I am your reader! You've all made my days and my life better. Thank you!

    Also-- @lisabee2 : Your collab for these past months was brilliant! I loved it so much! Such a great idea!
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • lone_catlone_cat Posts: 270 Member
    I just popped in to say, that I am a new writer and I discovered this thread last month. I didn't have time to vote or read all the stories, but I will definitely participate in the future (at the very least read all the stories and vote). I think this is a great idea, and it brings writers of all different levels together. From what I see, I think you are doing an excellent job of promoting this, @lisabee2 , and don't be too hard on yourself. :)
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  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,384 Member
    First off ty for your sweet and encouraging words. I am so glad that you all are happy with the challenge. I have decided that I am going to keep trying to do what I set out to do. Namely support a community that is often unseen and sadly often reticent to accept "new" people. @breckenridge you pointed out a very real heartbreak we are losing fab scribblers all the time so it is a community in decline. I have had some folks tell me I should do YT but TBH I love writing and love Simlit so much .. I would hate to see it die. Keeping our established scribblers while finding new is my hope. This is our community and it is up to us to preserve it .. not just ourselves as individuals but looking out for others too .. this is why I thought of this challenge to get us to connect. The resulting stories were so great <3 It is frustrating to see them not get read BUT together we can push forward and grow the community and ourselves too.
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    LisabeeSims
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  • MinraedMinraed Posts: 1,117 Member
    Lisa, maybe we can chat sometime and I can share some of what my writing group does. Maybe we can add a few mini challenges in here and there, or some other features to help writers like that long talked about booklet / guide for taking photos. I state up front, as many of my long time Sim friends know, that I come and go with my enthusiasm. This is how I approach most things in life, but when I am ON I will put myself forward to help in any way and to keep the fun going. I have a few days off so maybe I will put out a small mid month fun mini-challenge on the weekend based on one of my writing club mailer prompts. They are like warm up exercises. :)
  • divanthesimmerdivanthesimmer Posts: 1,269 Member
    @lisabee2 I have a few ideas you could use (or not)! You know how you (and I) usually just write/share one post at the end of the month saying something like: "Here are the stories submitted for this month - please vote!"

    I think that's great, but what about sharing the link to each writer's story individually on Twitter/other places as soon the writer shares it here, sharing a sneak peek if you will (with one image from the story)? It could be something like: "In @divanthesimmer's entry for the Monthly SimLit Short Story Challenge this month, the main character, Veronica, and her young son Gabe, arrives on a secret island! Who will they meet there and is there hope for this struggling family or are they doomed for good? Find out by clicking the link below!"

    I realized that even though I post the link to my story on Twitter and Tumblr, it doesn't really give anyone a good idea of what it is they'll be reading (Tumblr shares a bit of the post at least, but Twitter only shows one image and the title of the story), so the idea mentioned above could be a good way to attract readers.

    You could also ask the other EA Game Changers who post YouTube videos to promote the challenge through their videos (though I don't know if they'd be interested in the slightest).

    We could also create a Discord channel where we post updates, like when someone finished their story and when it's time to vote. We could invite everyone in the SimLit community by posting the invite on the SimLit threads everywhere on the forums and it's up to them whether they want to be a part of that or not, but it's one way to capture everyone's attention!
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  • SimsQueerSimsQueer Posts: 78 Member
    Wow. I was supposed to participate last year on April, but I'm here again now. I have some catching up to do...

    I like divanthesimmer's promotion ideas. I was wondering if you guys got instagram for this? It would be really cool for this, cause you could post a picture and a short caption and it would be easy to use. Plus, almost everyone has instagram.
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