Thursday, December 13, 2012

JABA: JA Fanfiction Short Story Contest

Old-Fashioned Charm
Listen up, Janeites and writers, here is your chance of a lifetime!  Well, perhaps not quite.  But it may be of interest to you.
Have you ever wondered what happened to some of the characters in Jane Austen's novels who never really had an ending?  What became of Elizabeth Elliot... did she ever marry?  What is Georgiana Darcy's story? 
Well, my dear friends, here is your opportunity to decide.  To play Jane Austen.  To make up an ending for any unmarried Jane Austen lady that you choose.
I'd better quit rambling in this fashion and give you details.  I think I'm better at rambling than details, so the details will probably be rambles too, but here goes.
  • To rehash what I've said above, this is a short story contest, and the tale is to be Jane Austen "fanfiction," finishing up the story of one of the ladies in Jane Austen's novels. (So they should be single.) It could be someone like Nancy Steele or Mary or Kitty Bennet... it could be Isabella Thorpe or Mary Crawford... hey, it could even be Robert Martin's sister, if you like. There are a lot of possibilities out there so I'll let you think of some instead of listing them all. (But feel free to use any of the ones I've listed, too. We wouldn't mind. Not that it would improve your chances of winning or anything, it would be the same either way--um, anyways. I should stop while I'm... whatever I am.)
  • As for word count, it may be any length you like as long as it is not more than 1,500 words. ;)
  • The contest is open as of now, and we will be accepting entries through December 18th. The contest closes at midnight--we'll say any time zone, so I guess that means Pacific, since they get midnight the latest. (I need to quit stating the obvious, I think.)
  • To submit your entries, we have come up with a Plan. It's called the Anonymous Submission Plan. Well, obviously you can't stay incognito from the person you're sending it to, but the person you're sending it to will send it to me anonymously, and so none of the judges (there are more than one, but I'm getting to that) will know who wrote what until after the decision has been made.  You will direct your entries to Miss Elizabeth Bennet: her e-mail address is elizabeth.bennet.elegance[at]gmail[dot]com.  
  • With your story, please include which novel the character you're writing about is from (we'd figure out out soon enough, but it's nice to know ahead of time), the title of your story, and your pseudonym. That is, you get to make up a Jane Austen Character pen name... just for fun. The judges will see that, so I recommend you not choose anything obvious. ;)  Remember that Miss Elizabeth is supposed to know who you are, though. Just don't include it in the document (if you're attaching a document--pasting into an email would be fine too). 
  • Now for the judges. I shall tell you up-front that the judges will be myself, the renowned blogger and Janeite Miss Laurie, and the brilliant and illustrious authoress Miss Amy Dashwood
  • What we'll be looking for (besides the obvious Best Story and Good Writing) is something that has a Jane Austen-y feel to it (I don't recommend you actually try to write like Jane Austen as far as style goes, because that would be impossible... but it could still be Jane Austen-ish), faithfulness to the original story (you may take some liberties including making up brand-new characters, of course, but we don't like things in the already-existing story-- carefully crafted by Miss Austen herself!-- to be changed, at least not... you know... drastically), and general accuracy to the time period. As to the storyline itself... well, you may do anything you choose! It could be sentimentally sweet or ridiculously hilarious... whatever suits your fancy.
  • Oh, and as to style. You may do anything you like there, too; you may want to consider going epistolary style--that is, writing a story that is made up of letters (as in missives... epistles... you know, mail). Most of Jane Austen's early works are written this way, and it's sometimes easier to make things shorter this way (it could even be one letter!), because the narrative doesn't have to be as detailed. But then, the novels you are continuing aren't that way, so... well, it's completely up to you!
If you have any questions, do leave me a comment.  

Oh, la! I almost forgot. The winner will be announced on December 20th. Her award will be fame and glory... that is, the winning story will be posted for everyone else to read and enjoy. Oh, and the winner will get a button to proudly display on her sidebar.

So for now... happy writing! I really look forward to seeing what you come up with!

12-22-12: This contest has been concluded. You can read the results here.


Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Huzzah! I'm so looking forward to helping judge the entries!
Wonderful job Melody, thanks so much for heading this contest up! :)

Maria Elisabeth said...

I barely saw the title of this post before I knew what I'd do. It's a bit of fanfiction I planned and partly wrote long ago, and with a little shortening it would be just the thing. But I can't tell you about it because, you know...

Would you rather hear the story...

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