• Outside Insight Summer Fanfic Contest: Judging and Prizes

    Hey, everypony! For those of you entering our fic contest, you've got 5 more days to send something in! I know Derpy's excited to see what you've all come up with!

    In the meantime, we have a fairly solid handle on how we expect to judge these contest entries and how we'll be assigning prizes. We've also got a few other cool prizes to hand out, so you can find all this information below the break!


    I must first thank Obselescence and his fic contest for helping us develop our judging methods. If you haven't had a chance to sample some of the superb entries his contest garnered, I highly suggest you check them out.

    Due to the anticipated size of the entry pool (and the corresponding depth of the prize pool), we will not be including a community voting phase for this contest. Instead, our panel of judges will do all the work for you, so here they are!

    • alexmagnet - Seattle's Angels mod and one of three Trixie enthusiasts in this fandom
    • Alexstrazsa - EqD Pre-reader and life-binder
    • AugieDog - EqD Pre-reader
    • Bradel - EqD Pre-reader and Royal Canterlot Library curator
    • Burraku_Pansa - Mod for Seattle's Angels and The Royal Guard, WRITE co-founder
    • CouchCrusader - I run this thing. Sit down.
    • Ferret - EqD Pre-reader and avid fic commentator
    • Golden Vision - Founder of The Royal Guard and The Writeoff Association co-founder
    • John Perry - Royal Canterlot Library curator and M.A. Larson's next incarnation
    • Present Perfect - EqD Pre-reader and Royal Canterlot Library curator
    • Professor Plum - Seattle's Angels mod, World-Building Alliance mod, and everything else holy crap
    • Wanderer D - FimFiction moderator and founder of the World-Building Alliance

    Disclaimer: Judges may react explosively if provoked. So, do it. Also, judge list is not necessarily finalized.

    Judging will be split into two different phases as follows:

    Phase 1: Group Stage

    The finalized entry pool will be randomly split into groups and assigned to pods of three judges each. These judges will assess each entry and vote it up or down, with a majority verdict determining the entry's fate. Much as we appreciate the effort each and every one of you have put into your fics, our goal here is to reduce the size of the entry pool for the second phase as much as possible, so authors should not expect feedback on why their entry moved on or was relegated during this phase.

    Unlike the World Cup, there is no limit to the number of entries that make it out of each group: some groups may yield two stories that move on out of thirty, while others may have fifteen or twenty move on. For those of you keeping score at home, do not worry about being placed in a "group of death" next to "superstar" entries, because their success has no bearing on your own.

    We will continue to iterate on this process (splitting and voting, splitting and voting) until we get down to a reasonable pool size. From there, we head into...

    Phase 2: Voting Stage

    All judges will convene here and read through all entries in the finalist pool. Because we have ten artists providing prizes for this contest, each judge will assign a unique score from 1-10 to their top 10 stories from the pool. This means that, in a hypothetical finalist pool of 20, ten entries will receive a unique score from 1-10, while the other 10 entries will not receive a score.

    Regarding how each entry gets scored, or what we're looking for in each story? Our judges are all very well-versed in what makes for good storytelling, and we have enough of them to minimize the impact of outliers. The best entries, in my opinion, will take both parts of the original prompt and take them somewhere honest, thought-provoking, and (because we're writing fics, after all!) fun.

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

    I must re-iterate that an entry that does not receive a score has still been read all the way through by the judge making that decision. The objective here is that each story in the finalist pool will be read by all judges to ensure the most consistency in scoring and to account for the certainty of scoring outliers.

    Scores for each finalist entry will be tallied up, and the top 10 entries will be named as winners. We reserve the right to withhold the actual scores each entry received from contest entrants and the public.

    Now that that's out of the way, we'll move onto...


    Pretty simple: 10 artists, 10 places.

    Artist assignment will be handled by draft: first place gets first pick of which artist they would like to receive art from, then second place, and so on down to tenth.

    To save time, each winner will rank their desired artists 1-10 (1 being their most desired) and submit those lists to me. Winners will receive art from their highest-ranked, available artist, so there is no correlation between your place in the contest and which artist you are eligible to receive art from. For example: if you placed sixth but your first-ranked artist is still available, you will receive your first pick.

    We'll have some more prizes to announce at a later date as I finalize them!

    That's all from me for now! As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the above! I'll also be posting this information on our FimFiction group, so head on over there to join up if you aren't already a part of it!