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The Carol Challenge!


So whether you are getting ready for a summer of pavlova and days at the beach like me or you're up in the wintry North, Christmas is only a couple of weeks away and we are bringing the festive cheer to MNFF!

This month we are taking some classic (and modern) Christmas songs and giving them a Harry Potter twist. Check out the list of titles below and choose one (or more) to base your poem/song on. You can go with the original music or just write a completely new poem to fit the title. The choice is yours. I have provided the original carol/song title in brackets. I'm sure there is something to suit everyone.

Please do not use more than 4 consecutive words from the original song.

  • An Azkaban Midwinter [In The Bleak Midwinter]
  • Dumbledore’s Message [Gabriel’s Message]
  • Hogwarts for the Holidays [(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays]
  • Light Of The Lonely Wizard's/Witch's Heart [Light of the Lonely Pilgrim's Heart]
  • Wizarding Winter Hymnal [White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes]
  • Red Ribbon Kneazles [Red Ribbon Foxes by A Fine Frenzy]
  • Molly’s Jolly Christmas [Holly Jolly Christmas]
  • The Seeker’s Carol [The Sussex Carol]
  • Yule Ball [Cool Yule]
  • Ted’s Carol [I’ll Be Home for Christmas]
  • Chestnuts Roasting on a Hogwarts Fire [The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)]
  • Carol of the Elves [Carol of the Bells]
  • Dragonhide Boots [Boots by The Killers]
  • Goodbye, Hogwarts (covered in snow) [Goodbye, England by Laura Marling]
  • I Heard The Nymphs On Christmas Day [I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day]
  • Lumos Merrily On High [Ding Dong Merrily On High]
  • The Holly and the Nargles [The Holly and the Ivy]


This challenge is open until December 25th, 11:59pm GMT. For more information click here.

Please post a link to your entry in the comments below or the challenge thread in the Great Hall on the Beta Boards. Use the form below:

Username:

Chosen Title and link:

Author’s note:

Posted by the opaleye on 12/09/14 4:59 (0 Comments)

2014 Quicksilver Quill Awards - Results!


As you know, the Quicksilver Quill Awards are about awarding the best writing MuggleNet Fan Fiction authors have had to offer for the year. Nominations are received across twelve categories and separated in one-shot and chaptered stories. This year, we have fifteen winners in total.


I would like to profusely thank the judges, who made this all possible. This literally could not have been done without them, and having winners chosen by our members and for our members really reflects how our community works and what sets it apart from other sites out there.

As the number of nominations was small this year, we do have fewer winning stories than in the past, with most categories having only one winner and one category none at all. However, to preserve the integrity of the QSQs, we still judged to the standards we have held for nearly a decade, and the results are truly reflective of how our fandom has carried on for so many years and still produces fine, well-honed literature after all this time. Always.

Like in previous years, winners of the awards will also receive a personalised banner, created by one of MNFF's finest bannermakers and chosen through a special competition. This year's winning banner was created by the most excellent Julia/the opaleye, and you can view a sneak peak by clicking here. Banners will be sent out to winners in the next few days. But now, on to the moment you’ve all been waiting for!




QSQ Winners 2014



Best General Story

One-Shot - Tea Behind Bars by WeasleyMom

There is a great deal packed into this very short story: beautiful prose, spot-on characterisation of Draco, and apt symbolism. Draco is as complex here as in canon. The lustre and thoroughness of the characterisation give this story more steam than many five times its length.

Chaptered - Exile Vilify by the opaleye

We enjoyed seeing the story of other characters on the run from Voldemort. Nell is an abrasive and ambitious character, but it’s obvious there are layers of hurt and caring in her - perfect characterisation for a Muggle-born Slytherin, who has been an outcast in and out of Hogwarts. Though currently incomplete, the smooth intensity of the writing, the set-up of the premise, and the mysteries and secrets hinted at make us look forward to reading more.



Dark/Angsty

Sybill Trelawney and the Unexpected Gift by Squibstress

This story gives so much vivid and aching life to why Trelawney is how she is, and what brought her to the places she'd been. At first, it isn't quite dark enough, but gradually, it sinks into the mire, and then maintains that through to the end. It's got exactly what we were looking for in a winner - great characterisation, interesting plotline, growth, appropriate atmosphere, and really great pacing.


Humour

Wood by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor

Jess's story is novel, funny, and definitely connected to the spirit of the Potterverse, in an outrageous but hilarious manner. The characterizations are stretched for comedy, but the voices of Marcus Flint and Oliver Wood are well-differentiated and believable. It also manages to be a good parody without the benefit of a bigger word count. And of course, the most important thing in this category: it kept the judges grinning.


Alternate Universe

Four Secrets by hestiajones

This story takes everything that has become stale and overdone about Marauder Era stories and turns it on its head. The subtle changes made to canon are intricately considered, and one cannot help but be riveted as they all play out and blossom into a new identity for the Marauders.


Original Character

Beatrice Avery from Tom Riddle and the Chamber of Secrets by CanisMajor

Though it is difficult to pull off a fascinating character who is so mired in shades of grey, Beatrice Avery fits the bill. This Riddle Era story really sheds light on the dynamics between Gryffindor and Slytherin, while really carrying an authentic, period feeling. Beatrice’s perspective shows who she is in the barest, most unapologetic light, but her astuteness lends a lot to both her own characterisation, as well as for the surrounding cast. In other words, Beatrice is everything you could want in an original character and why she is this year’s best and brightest.


Post-Hogwarts

Crocus by Equinox Chick

This story exemplifies the Post-Hogwarts category, tying to events that link the story to wizarding history. At the same time, it's a refreshing change reading a romance story that does not involve teenagers! Crocus is extremely well-written, with a wonderful exploration of Andromeda's character after the war.


Next Generation

Pat-A-Cake
by foolondahill17

It's original, touching, and we get to see a good deal of the Next Gen world through the eyes of a Squib - and a Weasley one, at that. There was a real pathos to this tale, especially in Molly “Pat” Weasley's struggles with her lack of magical ability. Through Pat’s eyes, there is so much to see about the Potterverse’s most beloved family by how they perceive one of their own who doesn’t fit the mould, and it's easy to empathise with Pat because we don't have the barrier of magic to isolate us from the character.


Poetry

Red Squirrel/Sun Rises
by hestiajones

This poem is thoughtful and beautifully structured. It has a different take to the Fred/George tragedy to many other poems, because it has that element of narrative and the future to it. George with his son, George without Fred, and then ugly crying from the entire judging panel. The writing is very evocative, particularly the use of ‘half’ and the theme of red, and it carries an aura of hope you sense at the end, even through George’s grief and hopelessness.

AND

The Cookie-Cutter Life by minnabird

The language of this poem was just one of the many things that draws you to this tale of Dudley Dursley and his perfect suburban life. It carries a hard-hitting moral, which rounds off the poem fittingly, and fantastic use of rhythm, phrase and structure add to its charisma. It really feels like Dudley has grown immensely.


Canon Romance

A Light in the Gap by WeasleyMom

Lori's story encompasses so much that's at the heart of a great canon-romance. It tells the story without being over sentimental. A missing moment from the books turned into something golden. The language of the story is fluid and easy to follow. This is definitely a story that could reach all audiences.


Non-Canon Romance

One-Shot
- Glass over the Flame by the opaleye

There is a beautiful and subtle intimacy to this story, which is essentially one of what-if. Glass over the Flame has that aching slow burn version of Harmony that remains loyal to canon, to the point that we as judges were rooting for them the whole way through. The imagery is gorgeous and lyrical, and the author artfully explores just how much Harry and Hermione have been through together, to the point that even the most cynical reader would be convinced those buried feelings existed.

Chaptered - Serenade by Equinox Chick

Carole takes us through a romance that is so much more than just two characters getting together. It’s plotty, redemptive and sensual, adhering to what we know about Pansy and Terry in canon and also adding some intriguing personality attributes to them both. The way the narrative alternates between flamboyant parties, corporate settings and romance is effortless. And Pansy’s redemption arc is made all the better because it doesn’t erase or excuse the character we saw in the books, the one ready to hand Harry over the Voldemort; instead, the author simply revealed her better character traits.


Same Sex Pairing


One-Shot - Sanguini, the Vampire by teh tarik

The way Eldred Worple essentially created this Sanguini persona for David means his behaviour in HBP makes a lot more sense. He is such a 3D and fully fleshed out character - intelligent, yet delusional, in a way, and also succumbing to a relationship that was intensely unhealthy. So too is David's characterisation and his acceptance that this is no love story. Rather, their relationship is both mutualistic and parasitic. The pairing is well drawn into the story without being overbearing, but still incredibly important.

Chaptered - Under My Skin by Equinox Chick

This is a fantastically written story with great characterisation - and with characters like these, that's not something we usually get a lot of. Zach and Cormac were so distinct in their characterisations, especially the little details, like Zach being a neat freak and his aloofness, and Cormac's protectiveness of Zach and the way he was in so many ways the complete opposite of Zach. The supporting cast were so well fleshed out, as well - Romilda in particular was a standout character for us judges. More than that, unlike some romance stories, it was great that the author delved further with Zach's backstory.

Posted by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor on 09/30/14 12:45 (1 Comments)

Welcome to the Ninth Annual Quicksilver Quill Awards

Hello, and welcome to the ninth annual Quicksilver Quill awards!

Yes, that’s right, everyone’s favourite MNFF award ceremony has rolled around once again. Since 2006, the Quicksilver Quills have celebrated the best writing MNFF has to offer, last year giving twenty-seven writing awards across twelve categories. Each year, stories are nominated and judged by our members. Some of MNFF’s finest readers and writers assess each nomination and decide upon the winners.

This year, there will once again be twelve categories. In each category, there may be one or two winners, and winners may be separated into one-shots and chaptered.

 

Categories

Best General Story
Best Dark/Angsty Story
Best Humor Story
Best Canon Romance Story
Best Non-Canon Romance Story
Best Same-Sex Pairing Story
Best Alternate Universe Story
Best Poetry
Best Marauders' Era Story
Best Post-Hogwarts Story
Best Next Generation Story
Best Original Character

Nomination open today and will close at the end of the day on the 23rd July, at which point there will be a one week break in order to assign judges to each category. Judging will begin in August. Anyone is welcome to submit a nomination either via the forums or as a comment here on the archives. We are looking to find the absolute best stories from the last twelve months. They should be well-written, have engaging plots and characters, and be a good representation of the category for which they are nominated (though they don’t necessarily have to have been submitted to the corresponding archive category). In short, they should be the stories that make you go WOW.

The rules are similar to previous years but please refresh yourself with them anyway to make sure you nominate the right stories in the right categories. There is also at least one new rule for you to take note of.

 

Rules

+ Only stories written (or, in the case of chaptered fics, updated) since the 1st June 2013 are eligible to be nominated.

+ Stories do not have to be in the corresponding archive category to be nominated. For example, a story may be in a romance category but if you think it is particularly funny, it can be nominated in humour.

+ An author or story can win more than one award in the same year. We reserve the right to place a cap on the number of awards given to any one author/story at a later date.

+ An author is eligible to win in a category they have been either winner or runner up in before.

+ Winning stories from previous years may not be nominated again in any category, though with the twelve month rule, we do not expect this to be an issue.

+ Please use the form provided in the first post of each nomination thread and ensure you provide a working link. Nominations that do not follow the correct format will be removed.

+ Do not second nominations “ seconding clutters up threads and gives an unrealistic indication of how many stories have been nominated. Having more than one nomination does not increase a story’s chances of winning.

+ Any author can be nominated, including moderators.

+ New Rule: Each person may only nominate a maximum of TWENTY-FIVE stories across the twelve categories. Unfortunately, this is a necessary step to keep the number of nominations under control, as an ever-decreasing number of judges means we simply don’t have the resources to judge overly large categories. Please try and keep all your nominations for a category in one post to make it easier to keep track of how many stories you have nominated.

This is a change from last year’s rule of three per category. It does allow for fewer nominations per member, but it permits people who read more heavily in certain categories to concentrate on what they know and love best. I don’t anticipate any abuse of this policy. However, if certain categories or individuals spiral out of control, I reserve the right to re-impose a per-category cap to keep the categories judge-able.

+ The judging committees reserve the right not to present an award in any categories where they do not feel the standard of nominations is high enough. However this will only be done as a last resort.

Judging

As with the past few years, I will be opening a thread in the QSQ forum for members to volunteer to be judges. Judging can be demanding but also fun, and we really value the input of as many members as possible in the judging process. You can find more information on judging in the sign-up thread. If you would like to be a judge, please sign up in that forum. If you are not a member of the forums, it takes under a minute to set up an account and send a Sorting Hat request via PM to SortingHat. All judges must be sorted members of the forums simply because it is the only way you can see the judging forums.

Finally…

If you have any questions, please post below! Any nominations, also post below, using this form:

Nomination Category: (Best General, Poetry, etc.)
Story Title:
Author:
Character Name: (only use for Original Character nomination)
One-Shot/Chaptered:
Reason for Nomination:

Posted by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor on 06/04/14 22:18 (3 Comments)

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