It's the moment I know you've all been waiting for - the QSQ winners are ready to announce. Although we had some issues before the QSQs got on their way, I am extraordinarily pleased to announce our very diverse and enjoyable set of winners. I hope this is a sign of buzzing life in MNFF!
As always, I would like to profusely thank the judges, without whom we would have nothing at all. I would also like to thank those of you who took the time to vote in the various polls and FQSQs. As this year's nomination list was smaller, we do have fewer winners, but all of this year's winners are extraordinarily good, and I can't wait for you all to see the results.
Before I get on to the list of the winners, we have the annual banner reveal. This year's winning banner was designed by the very talented...um...me. Here is a preview:
All winners and judges will receive their banners soon after I post this. All three banners are extremely similar.
Now, without further ado, I present to you, the winners of the 2015 Quicksilver Quills!
Tiny Animals by Oregonian
This is a wonderful Missing Moment...absolutely beautifully written. It gave us chills and made us think hard about the British social services system. It is thought provoking, stays with us, and is so sad...totally different from the other winner. They are both stellar examples of what their categories should be. We can't even make a meaningful comparison because both stories are so good.
The Not-So-Fast And the Furious by minnabird
We thought this story was hilarious. The two winners are so different it's like comparing apples and oranges. Neither is of higher quality than the other, and The Not-So-Fast and the Furious was excellent. Although we didn't need to read previous stories in this timeline, we definitely want to now. The characterization is great, it felt good to read, it was funny and it made us throw back our heads and howl...uh....we mean laugh.
Astriferous by Padfoot11333
This story has everything dark/angst requires: romantic angst, parental angst, existential angst, overwhelming doubt, and rough struggles. At the same time, it radiates stardust and there is a strength in Merope that is not often mentioned: the hopes for her son. There is also very vivid language that captures the raw textures of Merope's world, leaving us as readers in no doubt of what is happening to her.
One-shot - Now and Forever by Northumbrian
This unique story was full of creative ideas and contained some seriously cool magical elements. The thought of a statue deciding where it wants to be and then to travel to that place is very funny, although the main thread of the story is rather sad: how important is to those involved that only the fallen be memorialized at Hogwarts. We’ve never read another story like it, but it fits right into the Wizarding World; it feels like it could’ve sprung from Rowling’s own imagination.
Chaptered - Friends and Foes by Northumbrian
This story is great fun: the characterisation is golden, the writing is crisp, enjoyable and engaging. It has plot in spades, a good balance between plot and exploration of family as a theme, and OCs with drew us in. A major asset of the writing is how grounded it is in both Britain and Rowling's world. It's well-paced, well written and, most importantly, enjoyable to read.
Allegiance by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
This dark story moves seamlessly between past and present in a way that is not a device but a definite strength. The plot is promising, the writing is powerful, and no characterisation can compare to what has been done with Draco here: the story has delved into aspects of his character that are complex and beg for sympathy without straying from the character we know in the books.
Early, Early Spring: Professor Sinistra Reflects by Oregonian
I absolutely love the imagery in this piece. The clear picture it painted hooked me and the kaleidoscope of shifting springtime images and the easy rhythm carried me through. The language flowed well from one thought to the next, and the rhyme scheme seemed effortless. It stuck in my head because it gave me a surprisingly good idea of Sinistra's character, and a convincing one. Far from being confined to her Astronomy Tower, she is a woman deeply in tune with the beauty and order of the world around her. Everything, in its way, serves not only to be beautiful but to characterize Sinistra and show how she sees the world. It’s a subtle and lovely character piece.
James and Me by Northumbrian
This story amply demonstrates Neil’s solid craftsmanship with his accustomed complexity of plot unfolding in his straightforward, unaffected style. The smoothly flowing narrative treats us to a friendship developing slowly and cautiously into a romance, built on the ruins of previous relationships of both characters, in a setting of forgiveness and redemption. The story springs from a rich background of Neil’s extensively-chronicled head canon, with a broad cast of well-developed canon and non-canon characters and carefully detailed scenes. The theme of budding romance is interwoven with the tension of straddling the line between the Muggle and magical worlds, and a hint of startling revelations about the legends of Robin Hood and his merry men.