• Outside Insight: an Equestria Daily Summer Fanfic Contest!

    It's been more than two months since Twilight got herself that shiny new castle in Ponyville, and we find ourselves settled comfortably in the embrace of the intra-season hiatus. I'm comfortable, at least -- these pills are working wonders.

    With summer upon us and the warm glow of our computer screens to keep us safe from the ravages of the day star, we have all the time we need to speculate on what's to come for the new Princess of Friendship and her friends (and Spike). Well, let's put some of that speculation to work, shall we? Let's do something fun for this next month, and let's do it for Equestria.

    Let's have a contest.

    The Premise

    The summer of 2011 was a good time to be in the fandom, and I'm not about to apologize for the nostalgia. Sure, that was when Princess Luna invented the sadfic genre, but internet user Midnight Shadow intervened that August to bring the world his Happy Luna story contest!

    Luna continued to be pretty mopey until Luna Eclipsed aired, but that's just the way these things work.

    The first season hiatus also saw an explosion of fan creations trying to make sense of this crazy new world where empowered horse gods raised the sun and moon while their subjects literally tamed the earth and sky. Since then, Equestria has never stopped being a playground for those wanting to delve into it, and we've learned so much about these ponies over the past four seasons. They live these idyllic lives punctuated with terrifying monster attacks and all-out magical beatdowns, and that's what we see in the show.

    This contest concerns things from other points of view. Just what are ponies to the monsters they fight?

    For that matter, what are ponies to all the other creatures that share Equestria with them?

    The Prompt

    Write a story about ponies... from a non-pony's point of view.

    The Rules

    In addition to not talking about Fight Club and NOT TALKING ABOUT FIGHT CLUB, we need to lay down a few rules to make sure this contest runs smoothly. Please read them thoroughly. Every single one of these rules is important.

    • For the purposes of this contest, ponies are 1) sentient, equine creatures, 2) are raised and socialized with other ponies, and 3) possess the potential to receive (or already have) a permanent cutie mark. If your POV character(s) lack(s) any of these traits, they're most likely not a pony.
    • One entry per person. Author collabs are fine, but can only submit one entry regardless.
    • Entries must be between 1,500 and 15,000 words.
    • Entries must be new. Please refrain from submitting stories you've already published.
    • Entries must be complete upon submission. Incomplete entries will not be judged.
    • Please keep entries rated PG-13/Teen or lower. Stories can accomplish a lot even without resorting to graphic content.
    • Write in good faith. Parodies, trollfics, and crackfics have their place, but that place isn't here.
    • No Human in Equestria or crossover stories. Take this for what it is and really dig into Equestria's mythos with your entry.

    So long as you honor the spirit of these rules, you're free to abuse this prompt as much as you like. How do you define what a non-pony is? That's up to you!

    Okay, okay. There's more.

    The Prizes

    Go ahead and buy into that "doing it for the practice" mindset if you want. No, really, that's quite the admirable attitude to have going in. But you're still allowed to look forward to winning stuff for your hard work.

    First, winning entries will receive their own feature post right here on Equestria Daily! For all the others, we'll have a wrap-up megapost for everyone to jump into for maximum fic overload. Can't go wrong.

    That not yet good enough for you? Fine. Every winning author in this contest get to have something from their entry illustrated by one of the following artists:


    (Hover over the images to see what they're offering!)

    Please keep checking this post for updates! This list is tentative, and some artists may need to change their contributions as time goes on.

    In the meantime, if you're reading this and you'd like to contribute a prize to this contest (you don't have to be an artist! Maybe you'd like to do an audio reading, or even have some Steam games lying around), please send an email to thecouchcrusader@gmail.com with "Contest Prize" or something similar in the subject line! We'll work things out.

    The Process

    Here's what our current timeline looks like:

    • July 26 — Submissions are open! Use this form to send yours in.
    • August 15 — Submissions are closed. We will begin judging at that time, but as we don't know how many entries we will receive, we will save an explanation of our judging methodology until a few days prior to the submission deadline.
    • August 29 — Judging concludes. Winners will be announced somewhere between this date and September 6.
    • October 1 — Target date for winners to receive their prizes by.

    This schedule is subject to change depending on how this contest goes.

    That's about all I have. I'm really looking forward to seeing how each and every one of you decide to tackle this prompt. There are headcanons at stake! Make yours someone else's! Go! Write!


    And please get a hold of me if you have any questions about how anything here works. Hit me up on Twitter, or send me an email at thecouchcrusader@gmail.com. I'll do what I can to address them!

    P.S.: We now have a group on FimFiction! Check it out!