As you may be aware, every year MNFF host the Quicksilver Quill awards which aim to celebrate the best writing that the site has to offer. For several months, users nominate their favourite stores and teams of dedicated judges discuss the stories and vote for the winners. I am please to announce that the 2012 awards have come to a close and the winners are ready to be announced.
All winners will receive a personalised version of this banner, sent to them either by forum PM or email over the next few days. If you head to the beta forums you can also view the list of winners in the community awards which include categories such as Best Reviewer and Best Beta.
The winners for the 2012 awards are as follows:
One-Shot - Reveries & Butterflies by lucca4
This is an absolutely beautiful story, with an interesting and unusual viewpoint. Neville is also well-written here, with a good mix of good old Neville and grown-up Healer Longbottom. Stunningly original and heartrending.
AND - Maps by the opaleye
So stylish. I could happily drown in this prose. The story was beautifully written and really sensual, too. I loved the brief snippets of all four couples. They just flowed together so well, that I was sorry to see it end. As someone who doesn't think Neville became an overnight star after his bravery (he was so diffident in the books and that doesn't vanish overnight), I think this story captures him perfectly.
Chaptered - The Unbreakable Curse by Karaley Dargen
The author wove a very good mystery that kept me guessing (and I read a lot of mysteries). What brought the story to life was the characterisation, in fact, as well as the wonderful mystery plot. I also liked the setting of the story and the amount of research Kara must have done to make this believable; the mention of the heliographs, describing the way the curse-breakers worked; it all added to the sense of story. This is such a well-plotted fic, showing great characterisation of both canon characters and OCs, amazing world-building and rather sensational smut.
One-Shot - Hangman by littlebird
The characterisation of Ron is truly exceptional in this fic. This period of time, when the trio is searching for Horcruxes, is a very difficult time for the three of them, but yet, we never really see Ron’s conflicts, especially before he leaves. The author has managed to characterise Ron perfectly, all while in first person. Instead of being told what Ron is feeling, it is incorporated into the narrative, so the reader is never getting the information just thrown at them. The reader really feels as if they are Ron in this story.
Chaptered - Inner Demons by lucca4
This story is so beautifully written. This story manages to draw emotion from the reader without it feeling forced. The characterisation of Draco and Katie and the way that their relationship develops over the two chapters is so well-paced. The tone of desperation and lust is always there, whether it be simmering below or bursting to the surface. The story is intense. The pain that Katie and Draco feel is so well done. It also ends on a hopeful note, which makes it all the more powerful, because otherwise the dark and angst would be too much.
One-Shot - 'i' Before 'e' by Equinox Chick
The characters in this story were rich and real, and the panel loved the unique take on the Percy/Audrey dynamics. And Percy Weasley? Funny and in-character? You really must see this.
Chaptered - Much Ado About Nothing by Argelfraster
This story charmed the judging panel with its clever mesh of Potterverse and Shakespeare, but without taking away from the power of either. It takes a brow-raising pairing in the form of Filch/Pince and really makes an audience believe in them and want them to be happy, all while sporting snappy, witty dialogue. It was the clear winner.
Quiet In Our Town by the opaleye
Julia, we’re giving you this award only on the condition that you write more! I’m not sure any of us thought we’d be saying we needed more zombie apocalypse but we absolutely do! It's original and fresh, and it's everything AU should be. It was a really brilliant piece of writing. Writing in reverse worked perfectly and I think gave the story even more impact than if we'd seen it in chronological order. When I first heard of the zombies in HP idea floating around I could only picture something slightly ridiculous And yet this worked. It worked really well. It was serious and moving and believable. Wow.
Henry Tstosie from Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above by Inverarity
Though not a major character in the story for which he was written, Henry has the feel of a character who is a rich, fully-realised human being and leaves readers wanting to know more about what stories he has to tell. His life has meaning and scope outside of the realm of the story and the main character. Also, the art of portraying an antagonist who is on the side of good is a difficult one, but Inverarity succeeded with flying colours in the form of Henry Tstosie.
One-Shot - Vendetta by lucca4
Vendetta was effing amazing, so chillingly violent and showing the very much darker side to Bellatrix's character. It’s such an impressive insight into Bellatrix; she is made understandable, almost, by her past, but you can still see the insanity building in her. The writing is gorgeous, too, with lovely imagery throughout. As an example of skill in writing, Vendetta takes it. Bellatrix is not a character that I can give my sympathy to, but Ariana made her seem real. I am completely in love with the style and flow of this story. It works so well and makes the story itself and the plot very strong.
Chaptered - Defiance by Gmariam
The plotting was fantastic, and I just think all the characters were really well-rounded and beautifully characterised, particularly James and Lily. I couldn't forget Defiance. The plot was so jaw-droppingly amazing. The characterisation in this fic is outstanding and I loved the twists and turns in the plot. The prose was full of tension and a darkness that was so apt for the plot. It was extremely brilliant and well-thought out.
One-Shot - The Latecomer by halfaslug
This story had me laughing one minute and nearly crying the next - I genuinely don’t think any piece of writing has made me go through emotions so fast before. The characterization is so...perfect. I love the little portraits of grief, and I love Fred and George's trademark silliness. It was a marvelous way to bring closure. I was truly blown away by this, it is so well-written. In addition, despite being quite humorous, it still deals with the subject matter sensitively. Even though I've read tons of fics about this period before, this one still kept me interested and I still evoked strong emotions in me which is a testament to just how good the writing is.
AND - Steel Hearts by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
This was a wonderfully written story focusing on two characters we don’t hear about that often. The perspectives of one person just few years younger than Harry and one just a few older were interesting, different experiences of the war than we saw in canon. Romilda Vane is not a likable person in the books, but Jess shows how her actions towards Harry were just the result of, well, being a teenager, and that actually she's a nice person. The characters have complex, sometimes conflicting, motivations for continuing to meet with each other. It feels very…human. Their characterization isn’t sacrificed to bang on about the themes of the story. It’s just a brilliant story!
Chaptered - Uncommon Friends by Gmariam
I liked this forging of an unlikely friendship, and the ways Draco and Neville been there for each other over the years. They're both well-characterized, and Gina made it work very well. This fic also tugged at my heartstrings. It showed not only their friendship, but what Draco and Neville made of their lives after Hogwarts, and I liked the details of their lives, from Neville's studies to Draco trying to cut out his Dark Mark and the subsequent drug addiction to their wives and families. Gina does a wonderful job in creating circumstances under which Draco and Neville might conceivably be friendly. Her evolution of that friendship shows us how people really can change.
One-Shot - Today Is Victory Day by Maple_and_PheonixFeather
It's a touching and powerful story, which is about more than characterising Next Generation characters in a believable way and with an interesting plot, but tapping into something deeper than that. It’s also a very universal fic in that Maple captures something which is so relatable to real life. It's elegantly written, and Lily's characterisation is so well done, without seeming overbearing, something that's so easy to do in the first person, as well as the present tense. Her internal monologue gives such a strong impression of a very clever, thoughtful teenager, without that seeming unrealistic.
Chaptered - Stars or Carousels by Equinox Chick
As a Next-Gen story, it is exemplary of what this category can offer. Nothing is typical about it. James isn't the usual James-The-Marauder-Reincarnated; he has some of Harry's hesitancy and doubt. Dominique isn't a carbon copy of her mother, either - she's more down-to-earth, and she has some of the same doubts that James does.The canon details are firm and it feels very much a part of the Potterverse. The way the author unfurled Dominique and James's relationship - from the humorous opening scene to the heartbreaking last section - was perfect. The structure is so beautiful, slipping backwards and forwards in time very easily, and never feeling over-worked or complicated. The central image of the stars or carousels is so powerful, and memorable long, long afterwards.
Enterprising Young Men by Equinox Chick
Reading this poem is like taking a walk through the twins' life. It is by far the greatest tribute to the twins that I’ve had the good fortune to experience. It’s also a wonderful example of prose poetry, equipped with a particular rhythm that carries me like a tide. Enterprising Young Men has stayed with me ever since I read it for the first time. I remember being in awe of it then and I still am. It still hits me in the gut each time I read those final two lines, and that is the mark of a truly powerful poem - when you can read it over and over and still feel like it’s the first time.
One-Shot - Another Horcrux Down by WeasleyMom
Every emotion, every word, every moment was just so perfect. It had a great feel to it without being overbearing, and it really allowed the reader to get into the mood of being down in the Chamber. The language is beautiful, I loved the characterisation of both Ron and Hermione, and Lori built up the tension so beautifully in such a short story. Ron's sense of humor, Hermione's deep-down insecurity, the whole scene with the Horcrux, their interactions, everything is just pitch-perfect.
Chaptered - Raindrops by Gmariam
The characterisation of James and Lily was wonderful. They have that canon feel to them, but there is so much more that Gina added to make them fuller and more alive. The author also presents what is probably the most prolific type of story in the fandom - a seventh year Lily/James fic - in a way that is fresh and solid enough that it reads as if this were the only way it could've happened.
One-Shot - Love is Like a Wrong Turn on a Cold Night by lucca4
This story was just breathtaking, packed with intense emotion and with so many twists and turns that each one was a fresh blow. In so few words, Ariana has created complex, 3D characters who really work in the situations they're put into, particularly how their self-loathing kept them from really being happy together. There’s something very much unconventional about the story that makes it impossible to stop reading.
Chaptered - Where We Started From by Equinox Chick
There were so many little touches in Carole’s characterisation that made everything fit so well into canon. Ginny was both the girl we know from the books and a character who has matured and changed because of the conflicts of her sixth year, and Dean was very much a likeable character. This, therefore, is a perfect example of a non-canon romance story. The relationship works without breaking canon characterisation. It picks up the characters from the books with the backstory they share and builds something from there. Also, the deviation from canon feels natural, rather than forced, and that's what makes this story a winner.
Same Sex Pairing
One-Shot - Truth or Dare by Equinox Chick
Carole did an amazing job of taking two disliked characters from the books and turning them into, perhaps not loveable, but endearing characters. Both Cormac and Zach are very well portrayed here. They are completely in character from what we saw in the books, but they have still matured to where this story takes place. The way that these two people who never interacted in the books and are two of the most despised characters in the series bounce off each other and relate to each other is fantastic. The truth or dare motif was never too much, too forced, but ran through the story smoothly, making it more coherent.
Chaptered - Shadows Deep by Equinox Chick
What amazed me was the style of writing. There was the correct formalness of the era, but the intense moments were so intimate and well-written. This story was a mastery of twisted logic and devious games. Their relationship was so interesting and used as a springboard for the plot so well; it kept me hooked all the way through. The plot in it is good and highly believable, the characters in it are rich (both canon and OC), the world-building is terrific for a shorter piece, and nothing felt anachronistic. It just felt so heavily like it was canon.