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WatchingStone AnthroStory Contest - 1 Year Anniversary & New Season

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Well, here it is, a year after I created this contest off the top of my head. Did I hope it would continue successful this long? Yes, and longer. Did I think it would? Well, to be honest, I wasn't sure. You authors and voters have made this thing a success, so thank you everybody. I know you're wanting the details of the new season, so I'll spare you the entire thank you letter I prepared (which was sent out on the mailing list. If you want to be a part of our mailing list, please email me or send me a PM message here on planetfurry.) Several changes have been made this season, including a little change as to how stories are judged. For details, check out the contest page here at www.watchingstone.com/contest.html .
You might see that the deadline for stories this season has been extended. Two full months for writing. Why would I do such a thing? Last year all our themes were tangible: butterflies, beaches/oceans, apples. This season the theme is much harder to pin down and might take a little research. What is it? "Foreigners."

"What!?" you ask with double punctuation.

Yes, foreigners. Everyone has a culture. What is the culture of your anthros like? Does a single race have many cultures, like humans do? Or are they more uniform? How does their biology and history affect their way of thinking and way of life? Now, pick them up and put them in a strange place, or put a stranger in their midst. How do they react? That's what the theme is this season. That's why you have two months.

Still, the word limit is 3500. I found it very hard not to go over on the sample story. It just goes to show that even if you do all the background thinking and planning, it doesn't all have to be in the story (it won't fit anyway.) If you make it real to you, it will show in your writing. The cultures you create will be strange, but strangely familiar. With effort you can convince us that these races are plausible, and make your reader willingly suspend disbelief. This, as one writer said, is the mark of truly great fiction. And, as I said, is hard and so worth it. Tips on how you might get started are featured both on the contest page (linked above) and in the mailing list newsletter.

So welcome to the Spring '06 season, everybody. I know that, as usual, you will dazzle and excite your readers here.

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