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Game Over. Restart?

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please. With great pride and mild relief we announce that the (first?) Postmodernize Writing Contest has concluded and the results are in. You have honoured us and each other with your thoughts and texts. Judging was no easy task, but after discussion and deliberation, the winners are as follows:

First place: The M1 by Eric Thornton

Second place31st Century Schizoid Man – Futurama as a guide to post-modernism, parts I – V  by fabius|surth

Third place: Selfies as Self Declarations: What happens now? by theplankt

Congratulations to you all!

Although these are the submissions that truly excelled, and I must fight the temptation to pour out reams of interpretation right here (must … save … for … comments … section…), many others were far too good not to be published. What to do with so much generosity?

The winner, The M1, is epic (as a Word document, it would be around 50 pages – but worth every minute). The author has kindly divided it into 4 chapters. We will be publishing these chapters one at a time, every few days. We encourage you to savour it, think about it, and share your thoughts with us and each other in the comments section.

Then we will publish the second and third place entries, both of which are excellent (and shorter, it must be said) and provide plenty of material to think about and discuss.

As for the rest, every author will receive comments from the editors and notification that we are either ready to publish the work as is or suggestions for improvement and an invitation to resubmit. We will publish these other entries at a steady rate over the coming weeks in more or less random order.

But what does it mean?

The contest is over and the prizes are being shipped, but is still just beginning (and there was always more to it than cleaning out Operator’s attic). The contest showed us something very important. Allow me to look forward by looking back for a minute.

Growing up ages ago in the Carpathians, we had nothing but dire wolves and glaciers to play with. With all that ice, we spent most afternoons playing pond hockey on the frozen mountain lakes using skates made of melted down artillery shells and pucks made of old distributor caps from burned out Soviet ATVs. Since there was nothing else to do, everybody played at once. The only restriction was how many serviceable skates we had on hand that particular day. Some players were better or more experienced than others, but none of the veterans let any of the others beat on the rookies too hard, and those who spent most of the afternoon on their behinds got pointers and some room to practice, so everybody got the chance to improve with minimal bruising and lost teeth. Often there was no audience but the mountain goats and brown bears, but that didn’t matter.

When we got together to launch this site, the idea was always to get a sort of community going with different people writing about different subjects and sharing their ideas for discussion, improvement and elaboration. It’s hard, though, because people are shy and insecure about what their ideas are worth and how people will react. The contest confirmed to us that there are lots of good ideas out there, and you’re sure to agree. It will also hopefully confirm to all of you that nobody is going to show up at your work or birthday to laugh and jeer at you. You can register with a pseudonym, and nobody is going to track your IP or anything. We only care about your ideas, and your life beyond the site is your business. Don’t get something? Ask. Disagree with something? What? Why? Think this particular idea changes the world for the better/worse. How? Got a better idea or an itching in your brain you just gotta get out? Do.

So keep submitting, try commenting and we look forward to rapping with you. There are skates enough for everybody.

Categories: 2013 Winter Writing Contest, Announcements, Contests.

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3 Responses

  1. JamesVagabond2013-03-26 @ 15:10

    You know, it’s not always about being shy or doubting the worth of your ideas. Personally, when writing stuff, I’m mostly haunted by questions like “When I finish writing, how much sense will this text make on the receiving end? Will I be understood? I wonder, how many typos are there? How many times have I vandalized grammar? How often will my potential readers want to stop reading the text, say ‘meh’ and go read something else?”, followed by mandatory final thought: “The world shall not see this abomination. Farewell, words. You will not be missed”. In other words, I’m more worried not about the essence of my work, but about its presentation. I humbly think that I have something to say, but I’m not sure if I have enough skill to properly express my thoughts. And English not being my native language certainly doesn’t help. Oh well.

    Anyway, congratulations to the victorious ones! I’m looking forward towards reading their works.

  2. it’s not always about being shy or doubting the worth of your ideas.

    You say tomato, I say tomahto. Whatever reason there is for you to doubt your work, remember that there are editors to help you assess it. We even send posts to each other for second opinions often. If it’s really awful, we’ll reject it anyway before the world can see the abomination. But in order to make the words real, you have to share them. The dreams you have in your head are just pipe dreams.

    As for writing in a second language, I sympathize. Really. (!) But your written English is better than that of many native speakers, so don’t worry so much. And if the best criticism someone can think of in regard to your ideas relates to the grammar, who cares? That’s a statement about their pettiness, not your inadequacy.

    BTW, before you write yourself off, check your email in the next couple of days. ;)

Got insight?

Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] winners of the contest are as listed here. However, due to sunspots on Alpha Centauri, the price of antifreeze in Nauru, and various […]