Thursday, August 18, 2011

Blizzard's Global Writing Contest: Get Your Geek On!

I believe it is only fair to follow up the latest chapter of "A Warlock's Work" with a word about an event that I have been awaiting each year since 2009 with mixed feeling of embitterment and excitement. Excitement because of what this means for writers all over the world--embitterment because I never win.

The Blizzard Global Writing Contest was announced on Monday. This writing contest is, by virtue of its name, an invitation to Blizzard fans all over the world to submit works of fiction based on the franchise of their choice: Diablo, Warcraft, or Starcraft. I am quite fond of Warcraft, as many of you may know, and so have decided to submit--as if anyone couldn't guess this--a work of fiction based in that realm.


Of course, when I submit, my mind goes from the glimmer of hope offered by having judges read my work to actually winning the competition. From there it is really easy to imagine myself a famous writer being petitioned from all over the country to submit all of my novel ideas, making me rich, famous, and as well known as Neil Gaiman, perhaps even getting invited to his house for tea. Its only logical, therefore, to imagine myself owning Blizzard, and after that, the world itself. Since I have very little in the way of shame, I use this time to give myself the courage to do other things while I still have the gumption to do them without the crushing disappointment of having lost the competition (not even to have been named among the honorable mentions). This year, in attempt to rein in my overreaching sense of worth, I have decided to just be happy that I live in a country where the everyday writer has a chance for judges to read their work. Having been peer reviewed is very important, and how can you win if you don't even try. This is a very important time for me, but it is also important for me to keep my head...Pray for me.

It will come as no surprise to my readers that I have chosen to submit a much truncated and--astoundingly--completed version of "A Warlock's Work is Never Done." At the moment, it is no different in substance than the original except that it is much shorter at 7,200 words (a womping 300 words shy of the limit) and actually has an ending. Of this I am very proud. At its current standing of eight installments, "A Warlock's Work" is uncompleted at 55 pages and over 32,000 words, to which I am adding every day. I feel it only fair to say  here that on the slim--very, very slim--chance that the work is accepted, even as an honorable mention (still very slim) I may be asked to remove "A Warlock's Work" from the blog in order not to detract from Blizzard's ownership of its revised midget cousin. If the work is not accepted, all is not lost, for I will be happy to post it in addition to its fanfic brethren here as soon as I receive word of the actual winner of the contest.

The revised version of "A Warlock's Work" that I will submit next week is called "Zul'Ftagn: The Barrow-Caller". The new title focuses on the Staff itself, which has many epithets including The Staff of Death. I won't give away too many details, but the plot has been broken up into flashbacks, beginning en medias res instead of at the beginning. This, I hope, will focus the story more on Zennith's decent in darkness rather than on the humor which it currently presents as a false facade to a world being torn to pieces from the inside and the outside. I hope you will all join me, as I join all of you, in keeping our fingers crossed that I--or anyone in my acquaintance--is picked as the contest winner.

Zennith Wants You!
Heed Him!
The contest began, as I said, Monday the 15th and will end October 15, 2011. Anyone wishing to submit must have done so by the deadline. I strongly, strongly encourage everyone who hopes to submit to read and re-read the submission guidelines. Blizzard, like any other publishing company, has no time for shinnanigans, and will reject a piece before it even hits the slag piles if it does not follow submission guidelines. They have a lot of submissions to go through. Don't be the guy that gets kicked because you can't follow directions.

For more information and for access to the "submit" button, go to http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/community/contests/writing2011/. Here at The Squealing Nerd I invite everyone to get their geek on and submit something to the Blizzard Global Writing Contest. Also, for anyone interested in what the first few pages of "Zul'Ftagn" look like right now, visit the June archives of this blog for "A Warlock's Work" Chapter 1. I hope to meet a lot of people on the field of battle...of the slag pile.

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