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  1. #1
    jenny b

    March Activities 2011

    Our featured author for February is Ariana/lucca4!

    Her author’s page can be found here.

    • You must review the featured author for it to count as your monthly activity requirement.
    • Post the link to your review here - you may also post it in the March review thread for credit as a review.
    • Questions in this thread are not part of the monthly requirement, but they are greatly encouraged. Also, they must have something to do with the subject of writing.

  2. #2
    jenny b

    March Drabble Challenge

    Write about the Wizarding World from the POV of a Muggle looking in. Be creative - you can do this in any way you like, using canon characters or OCs.


    • Drabble can be between 250-800 words.
    • Content should not be any higher than a 3rd-5th Years rating.
    • All content that would require a warning on the MNFF Archive should be labelled appropriately.
    • This thread is for responses only. If you have a question, PM me.
    • Responses must be posted by March 31st.
    • Please post using this format:
      Word Count:
    • As with all activities within the SPEW forum, this challenge is open only to SPEW members.

  3. #3
    Title: Harry
    Word Count: 281.
    Author's Note: Lame title, I know. >.> This is the scene in OotP, when Harry and Dudley get attacked by the dementor. It was actually a lot of fun to write. Thanks for the prompt Jen!

    Cold. He felt inexplicably and mind-numbing cold. Harry was standing near him, his wand out. Harry, his skinny little cousin. Harry, who his parents had taught him to hate. Harry, who had never done anything but get on his nerves. All Dudley could think about was Harry and how much he hated him. He had a sinking feeling that all he would ever be able to think about again was things he hated, things that made him miserable.

    Dudley had to get away. He had to get away from Harry, whom he hated so much. Harry, who was making him feel like this with his little brown stick and his “magic.” Dudley turn and ran, he heard Harry yelling, but Harry could only be cursing him because Harry hated him too.

    He tripped. There was nothing to trip over, yet there he was lying on the ground, getting colder by the second. All he could think about was Harry, the only thing and the only person he’d ever hated. The only one who had ever stood up to him, had made him feel stupid, had made him feel like sh*t.

    A weird sensation pervaded the cold, almost like he was being separated. Like part of him was leaving. Part of him that he needed –the part that knew who he was. Or was he leaving with it?

    Harry was yelling again. Stupid, skinny, magical Harry.

    Then it stopped. He was not separating; he was whole. He was not cold, but he was shivering. Harry made it stop.

    Harry was next to him. Talking to him. Pulling on his arm. Dumbly, Dudley stood up and collapsed on Harry.

    Harry, who saved him.

  4. #4
    Fifth Year Gryffindor
    I See Dead People... In Mirrors
    lucca4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    With Teddy <3
    Title: The Good Daughter
    Word Count: 530
    Author's Note: I'm really just adding this to meet the fifty characters requirement. And to say that Petunia wasn't as much of a b**** to write as I thought she was going to be.

    When she was eleven years old, Petunia brought home a Certificate of High Achievement in Academics — the only girl in her school to do so. She had gone out to dinner with Mum and Dad and Lily and turned red with embarrassed pride as she listened to their praise. In the back of her mind, a small, arrogant side of her had thought, I’ve left some big shoes to fill.

    When Lily was eleven years old, she had found a letter in her mailbox, formally inviting her to the school that Petunia had only heard whispers about from the shifty boy that always watched them in the park. Their parents had taken Lily out shopping, buying her special equipment for her special school with more money than they brought home a month. They had been glowing as they told Lily how wonderful she was, how bloody unique she was to be accepted to a school like this.

    That weekend, Petunia had stayed home in her room, rereading Jane Austen’s Emma. She soothed her hurt pride with the fact that Lily would most likely fail out of that school — she had always been rubbish at maths and history, after all. Perhaps the new school would reject her once they saw that she was not a serious student. She had kept her fingers crossed as she turned the pages of the book; though she knew in her heart it was only a silly superstition, she hoped for a higher power to make her wishes come true. For what would her academic certificates mean if Lily could perform the impossible?

    Lily had promised to write every day that summer, and though Petunia had brushed it off as though she didn’t care, she was irked when the letters began to grow fewer and fewer. She wondered if the teachers would query about Lily’s family life… when she closed her eyes every night, the conversation was visible beneath her lids.

    “I wonder if talent like this runs in the family. Have you any siblings, Miss Evans?”

    “Oh, I’ve a sister, but she is rather boring.”

    “Tut tut. Boring is what makes a good student. What is her name?”


    “Petunia…that name rings a bell. Perhaps we ought to enroll her immediately, in case we’ve overlooked her magical abilities thus far.”

    Sometimes, it was so real she would wake up and wonder if her letter had been sent yet.

    She waited four years, but it never came. She had given up being a good student by then. Only half of her heart went into her studies, perhaps a fifth of her time was spent studying. The other four-fifths were spent doing things that she would come to regret, things that she scorned later in life and tried hard to protect her dear Duddy-kins from. She had stopped trying to earn her parents’ pride, for she knew well that it was foolish to try for something that would never happened. The absence of a letter had taught her that much.

    And who was she to try to be the good daughter, when it seemed as though Lily was good enough for the both of them?

    Thank you to Hokey for the beautiful banner. And thank you to everyone who nominated and judged --I'm so grateful to you <3.

  5. #5
    jenny b

    March Discussion: Your Own Awards

    So we did this back in April 2009, and I was stuck for ideas this month so I went back and raided Jenna's old post. And since I'm too lazy to even reword and retype:

    Quote Originally Posted by GringottsVault711
    So, this month I want you all to pick 4-8 award categories - you may use the QSQ categories as inspiration, or you may choose your own - and award them to authors or stories from the MNFF archives. Post them along with a link to the fic, and an explaination of why you chose this story/author for the award. The explaination should be along the lines of "SPEW-worthy", meaning I want to see some substantial reasoning. Pretend that you're fighting for it in front of an awards committee. It doesn't have to be long - one, two paragraphs should do it. But, it should be more than "BECAUSE IT'S MADE OF SEXY WIN!!!ELEVENTYONE."

    Please use the following format for each "award"

    Go for it!

  6. #6
    'Til the end of the line Ravenclaw
    Kill the Spare
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Forever and always in rarepair hell
    *cracks knuckles*

    This shall entertain me greatly.

    Award: Best Major Character Portrayal
    Author/Story: Memento Mori by Liandrin (featuring Draco Malfoy)
    Reason: One of Lia's favourite things in the Potterverse is Draco Malfoy, and the way she paints him in this story, the slightly cowardly old man who carries a healthy dose of remorse and bitterness with him, is utterly fantastic. There is also a more serious element which addresses one of many theories on afterlife, and I think Lia did this without stepping on any toes, and the whole of it is just inspired -- especially for a plot bunny picked up in Fiction Junction. I knew this when I nominated it for the PH QSQ, and I knew it even more when it won.

    Award: Best Minor Character Portrayal
    Author/Story: Becoming Rita by hestiajones
    Reason: No one ever takes the time to make us feel bad for Rita Skeeter, and not many feel the need to show us how she became the loathsome individual who maligned a fourteen year old boy in GoF, but Natalie delivered in beautiful form. You will feel like you KNOW Rita after reading the story. There are also a beautiful cast of OCs that fill in the missing pieces of Rita's life, and their presence enhances the Ritalina experience so well.

    Award: Best Smut
    Author/Story: The Bookshop Owner's Gift by h vic
    Reason: This is some of the best, un-cliche Scorose smut I've ever read. It overjoys me that there is an even smuttier version to be found on LJ, as well. It's so original in its characterisation, and the story is just so sensual. This was the first thing of Hannah's that I'd ever read, and it made me literally go to her author page and read every single fic (I'm not even joking)... all 24 of them.

    Award: Best Angst
    Author/Story: Oblivion by Nitwit Blubber Oddment Tweak x
    Reason: Holy crap. Just... wow. There is nothing about this story that I don't adore. I felt like I was really there inside Alice Longbottom's head as her illness mocked her every time she might have an idea of who she is and who she was. It's simply splendid. Often the subject of mental illness is not done very well, or it's done with little or no understanding of the actual illness, but Emma did right by Alice -- told her story to the point where one can't help but think that it's a piece of canon that fell right out of JKR's notebook.

    Award: Best Original Plot
    Author/Story: The Bacchus Book by Equinox Chick
    Reason: The whole concept of the story is brilliant with drunk!Hermione and how she got that way. The twists and turns (not to mention the twisted turns, lol) are fab, and the ending made me l-o-freaking-l. So often, humour gives author the perception that torching characterisation is a good idea or okay, but this story retains such a lovely balance between humour and canon portrayal that you can't help but think that Hermione WOULD act this way in this situation. Please read.

    Award: Best Epilogue Alternative
    Author/Story: Shattered by Gmariam
    Reason: The idea that Harry could have a mental illness wrought from his resurrection in the forest makes perfect sense, and this story deals with it. While thinking of Harry as weakened and dying as I watch causes me immense sadness as a reader, Gina really gave me a vested interest in the story by telling it in the perspective of someone who loves Harry a great deal. I found the aspect of the violent mood swings to be realistic and fascinating all at once, and it rapidly went from being a fan fic to being a study on humanity and how we react to things that upset us.

    Award: Best Infidelity Moment
    Author/Story: The Colour of Distance by the opaleye
    Reason: Holywowmangeez, I have to invent a word to describe the overt hotness of this bit of Harmony infidelity. It's so sexy and so wistful and bittersweet; I could read it over and over. It isn't just that it's my favourite ship or that it's smutty (which it's not); there is such an elegance in the way Julia wrote Harry and Hermione's descent into the madness that is cheating on their 'soul mates'. Even a canon shipper could appreciate the soul-melting writing that went into this story.

    Award: Best Prose
    Author/Story: The Two Left Behind by the opaleye
    Reason: This fic could make me cry with its gorgeousness. Seriously, I want to read it every time I need something beautiful in my life. It makes me weak at the knees. I have this problem every time I read Julia's writing; I can never think of what to say. Sometimes it could take me up to an hour to think of something coherent to say, and it ends up being about four or five lines. Really, just read the story, and you'll fall in love with it and maybe even not hate the Harry/Hermione dance scene from the DH movie.

    This was immensely fun! I know it seems like my f-list swept the board for me, but considering their general level of amazing-ness, it's to be expected. Just... gah! READ THESE STORIES!!!
    Jess WritesJess DrabblesJess DuelsJess PoetsJess Draws

    Gorgeous banner by Dinny / Evora.
    I'm no longer active, but my inbox is always open. I'd love to hear from you!

  7. #7
    Fourth Year Gryffindor
    Swallowing the Golden Snitch
    Evora's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    In the Wishing Well
    Award: Best Poem
    Author/Story: Harmony by hestiajones
    Reason: It was like a window into two lovers’ lives. The simplicity (it’s only 100 words) of it was so beautiful. The twists in words and the heartfelt expression for passion was truly one of a kind. I loved every single thing about it despite it being Harry/Hermione. I don’t even ship that pairing! There really isn’t much to say since everything I would describe it with is synonyms of ‘beautiful’ and ‘perfection.’ Poems are meant to be subtle, piercing waves that gather around the ankles, drowning a part of ourselves that we may never have known to exist. I think that this poem absolutely qualifies for it.

    Award: Best Tear-Jerker
    Author/Story: I Love You This Much by MagEd
    Reason: It’s a pretty old story, but I just can’t let this one go. The first time I read it, Severus stayed in my mind for a whole week. Whenever I think of him then, I felt sad. Unbearably sad, really. Maggie’s writing struck me so bad that there are more than two times that I cried from just remembering the story. She wrote Severus wonderfully, and reading about how he thinks and feels convicted me. His growing heartbreak was breaking mine. The story left such a great impression to me that even after two years, I still remember how it felt when I read it.

    Award: Best Minor Character-Centered Story
    Author/Story: What Lies Behind by C_A_Campbell
    Reason: A quiet Slytherin’s mind is one of the most mysterious places in literary fanfiction. Chante delivered the story of Theodore Nott. I think that’s the best explanation I can give. She wrote the story of Theo Nott. His character was so pronounced, exceptionally fleshed out, and just so alive. Not to mention that the narration was completely remarkable along with the plot. The whole thing was incredibly moving. It showed a lot of insight in war and family. Gorgeous story.

    Award: Most Promising Author
    Author/Story: lucca4
    Reason: I’m not just saying it because I’m friends with her. I do mean it when I say that in the present group of newbie writers, Ariana is the most promising one. If you read her stories according to the dates published, you would see how earnest she is in improving and delivering an amazing story. Her writing as of now is growing to be lyrical and captivating. Paragraph by paragraph, her narrative grows in its intensity, captivating the reader more and more. Her stories are becoming excellently pronounced in plotline (well, she has mostly one-shots now, but still) and most especially, characterization. I honestly would love to see more from her.

  8. #8
    Here's my review for Doubt: clickity click!

    I just want to say what a great author you are, Ariana, if I didn't mention that in the review. Erm, if I'm allowed to post questions to the Featured Author, I'd just like to ask a couple of questions to you, Ariana:

    Jess said in her review that you're a younger writer. I'm fifteen. Are you a lot older than me? Your writing style is very mature!

    Do you plan on writing any more Scorose fics? (Maybe a chaptered one...*hint hint*)

    Do you think that in retrospect, it was possible for any of the Marauders to be the traitor? Or did you think it was inevitable Peter was the one?

    Once again, thanks so much for writing!!


  9. #9
    Review for Defiance, which (just in case you couldn't tell from the review ) I loved.

    So a few questions:

    Where do you get your inspiration from?

    What do you think is the greatest strength to your writing? What about weakness? What do you find hardest? Easiest?

  10. #10
    Fifth Year Gryffindor
    I See Dead People... In Mirrors
    lucca4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    With Teddy <3
    …I think I'm allowed to post here now? Hopefully.

    Anyway, thank you both so, so much for your reviews. They really meant a lot to me, since I rarely get new reviews for my stories anymore. Thank you very, very sincerely .


    Jess said in her review that you're a younger writer. I'm fifteen. Are you a lot older than me? Your writing style is very mature!
    Thank you! I am sixteen, so I'm not that much older than you. But it's really my goal for my writing not to be reflective of my age. I want people to read my stories and I don't care too much if they like them/dislike them but I don't want it to be judged on my age.

    Do you plan on writing any more Scorose fics? (Maybe a chaptered one...*hint hint*)
    Haha, no, I don't think so. I prefer Scorpius/Lily or other rarer pairs -- so if I wrote a chaptered it would be about that pairing probably.

    Do you think that in retrospect, it was possible for any of the Marauders to be the traitor? Or did you think it was inevitable Peter was the one?
    Hm… it might just be my personal bias against him, but I think that if one of the Marauders was going to be the traitor it would be him. He's weaker than his friends -- not physically, maybe, but the depth of their friendship never meant as much to him as the others, I think. His sense of self-preservation always overruled his loyalty for them. War really shows their true colors in this aspect. Sirius and James and Remus were ready to fight for a greater cause, but Peter just wasn't. I think he would have been content to sit and stay safe until the storm passed, but since his friends were fighting he felt obligated to fight, while still trying to keep himself as safe as possible. I don't think any of the other Marauders felt like this, at least not constantly, and so in this way I think he was set apart from the rest of them.


    Where do you get your inspiration from?
    Random, everyday things. I can be eating cereal or driving to school or taking a math test and my mind will start to drift and I'll start to think about something that I would have so much fun writing. That being said, it's really hard for me to make myself get inspired…when I was writing Defiance, for instance, it was for a class prompt and it took me so, so long to think about what to write.

    What do you think is the greatest strength to your writing? What about weakness? What do you find hardest? Easiest?
    My greatest strength… maybe dialogue? It's also the easiest part for me. I love playing out in my head what I think the characters would say. I think my greatest weakness is definitely plot. I'm not very good at thinking of big, elaborate plots that make readers want more and more. It also ties into what I think is hardest about writing: writing something interesting. It's difficult for me to think of what people would want to read more of…and finding the fine line between an intriguing read and an eye-rolling soap-opera. .

    Thank you both so much for the questions/reviews!

    xx Ariana

    Thank you to Hokey for the beautiful banner. And thank you to everyone who nominated and judged --I'm so grateful to you <3.

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