The Royal Academy of Bards Challenge #28
January 29th, 2013
Added Part 15 of To Mend A Wild Heart by Mikaeli Hooper [Classic/Alt/Incomplete]
The Long Trip by Phineas Redux [Uber/Alt/Complete]
January 27th, 2013
Added Part 4 of A Fine Gray Dust by Geonn Cannon [Original/Alt/Incomplete]
Added Part 19 of Hollywood Dreams by Fiur & Vlamme [Original/Alt/Incomplete]
January 25th, 2013
January 22nd, 2013
Added Part 18 of Hollywood Dreams by Fiur & Vlamme [Original/Alt/Incomplete]
Added Part 14 of To Mend A Wild Heart by Mikaeli Hooper [Classic/Alt/Incomplete]
Added Part 3 of Afterglow by Sten Willard [Original/Alt/Incomplete]
A Fine Gray Dust by Geonn Cannon [Original/Alt/Incomplete]
January 18th, 2013
Alone (Once In An African Blue Moon) by Jennifer Alexander Robinson [PostFIN/Alt/Complete]
Announcement from Blue Feather Books
How hard can it be for the outstanding Private Investigator Elizabeth Taylor to find the research papers of a man who killed himself? A man who was the fiancé of her housemate? Figuring it should be a breeze, Taylor (her preferred moniker) jumps at the job. Uh-oh. Turns out the police can't rule out foul play, and Taylor, being Taylor, can't rule out getting involved.
With high hopes of finding Stan McCormick's notes, she travels to Grafton Island in Chesapeake Bay, where Stan was in the middle of a land dispute. Upon her arrival, she meets the attractive and beguiling Priscilla Stewart. Could it be love at first sight? Leave it to Taylor to fall for a murder suspect! Priscilla got smashed the day Stan died, and she can't remember anything that did or didn't happen. Taylor's mission has expanded from locating Stan's notes to finding Stan's killer, thereby proving Priscilla's innocence.
Taylor noses around and asks questions that put her right in the middle of problems centered on Grafton Island: farmers against the watermen, newcomers against the old-time residents, and environmentalists against the questionable real estate dealings of developers.
The more investigating she does, the more people she finds with motives to have murdered Stan. She receives threatening notes and has several close calls that rattle her to the bone. She finds Stan's research papers, but can she find the killer before he makes fish bait out of her?
January 15th, 2013
Added Part 17 of Hollywood Dreams by Fiur & Vlamme [Original/Alt/Incomplete]
In the middle of it all are the Parkers and the Stuarts, two rival families. Torn between heart-wrenching romances and deadly hate, their feelings are whirling in a never-ending chaos of misunderstandings and coincidences. Mistakes and confusion add more trouble and problems to their daily lives until eventually they all might experience a happy ending... or won't they?
A Brush With the Enemy by Phineas Redux [Uber/Alt/Complete]
Added Part 4 of Parcel of Trust by Kerry McNair [Original/Alt/Incomplete]
Announcement from Jenny Frame
A big thank to the cover designer, Lilien Hoffman. I f you are interested in Lilien's designs, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org Or check out Lilien's website here - http://lilienhoffman.wix.com/graphicdesign#!home/mainPage http://www.jennys-storybook.com
January 13th, 2013
Lost and Found by Akiela Xal [Classic/Alt/Complete]
Added Part 13 of To Mend A Wild Heart by Mikaeli Hooper [Classic/Alt/Incomplete]
Added Part 3 of Parcel of Trust by Kerry McNair [Original/Alt/Incomplete]
January 11th, 2013
Message from OZ:
I would like to announce the winners of Bard Challenge #28. This one was something. Each round was won by a different Bard, which I think is kinda awesome. The overall title was decided by where each Bard placed in the rounds they didn't win.
So in Bard Challenge #28: You've Been Chopped, the winners are:
Round 1: Appetizers-- Christmas on the Fourth of July by The Bard of New Mexico
Round 2: Entrée-- Fae Rye by Geonn Cannon
Round 3: Dessert-- The Breaking Point by Catrina Wolfe
The Chopped Bard Champion title goes to Geonn Cannon who finished first in Rd 2 and 2nd in Rds 1&3.
In our PunZle…we have a tie: Both Dawn Gerrets of Team Fly Big D and Claudia missed three. I had picked a couple of the pictures to be my (if necessary) tie-breakers. They both got the first one and missed the second one. LOL
So let's just call them both WINNERS.
BTW, I found it highly amusing that just about everyone missed the Cat Cora picture.
I will be contacting you individually to get shipping info for your prizes.
Now to the announcement I hoped I never had to make -
It started over a decade ago with the words:
"Steph, I have an idea. Can I...?"
And away we went. We started out primarily as an XWP writing challenge. My original purpose of the Challenges was to entice new wannabe writers to give writing/posting a try on a fun, safe, even playing field (anonymous competition). If you go back and look at the results of Challenges past, you'll see that not only did we hit that goal but that the new writers found much success as well. We quickly added ubers and originals into the mix and then more recently, other fandoms. The writers got a little more variety and leeway to show their stuff.
But alas, it didn't last. The BCs began slowly dwindling in popularity (to writers, not readers). Many established writers are now focusing strictly on publishing endeavors and newbies have infinitely more places for them to go to 'get their feet wet'.
In an effort to lure back a few of the past challenge competitors who were now published writers, we added a “participating but not competing” category to the Challenges. In this category, a writer could use their own readily identifiable characters and have it posted under their name, not anonymously, as the normal challenge Roools required. I had hoped that they would use the Challenges as a showcase to introduce new characters of their soon to be published books in a short story or give readers a reminder of their previous established characters (ie: a glimpse of what their characters had been up to since we last read them). To me it was a win-win situation. The readers would get more stories and a chance to meet characters before they bought the books. The writers got to hype their current or past books.
So much for that idea.
A few years back I set a goal of six entries. I said that if we ever dropped below that, I would end the challenges for lack of writer interest.
BC #28 received 3.
Now mind you - while the quantity faltered, the quality increased. Voting (the number of folks casting their votes) on the stories was at an all-time high. Each successive challenge generated new voting records.
BUT I guess the idea of Bard Challenges has run its course.
This is a sad day and it's ironically appropriate that it ends on this one. I've always looked at the Challenges as a bit of a cook off with the Bards taking on the Chef role and having to take all the mixed bits and pieces I throw at them and turn them into stories. On more than several occasions, they have managed to create masterpieces that have become stories that get saved and read again and again (see the Academy Hall of Fame).
I want to thank all the Bards, especially those who have turned out to be my stalwart regulars. You are the BEST OF THE BEST. Even though many of you have other priority writing projects, you still take the time to play in my Challenges. You gave my whacko premise ideas credibility every time you wholeheartedly took up the challenge. I am so, so grateful to you.
I want to thank my best buddy, D. The one I relentlessly bounced ideas off of and who always helped me tweak everything so that it made sense. The one who regardless of any number of on-going writing projects would still take the time to answer my request for a participatory story for the current Challenge. And she still hasn't killed me yet even though a few of those little “participatory” stories, much to her chagrin, turned into future epic writing projects for her. You ROCK, dear.
I want to thank our readers. I hope you enjoyed all the stories and will continue to support Bards no matter what their writing experience. Keep reading and please keep feeding. Take a few minutes to let them know you enjoyed their efforts and/or to offer constructive critiquing. If you liken yourself to be the “grammar police,” then offer your services as a beta for a writer. Encourage writers. The result is an endless supply of stories.
I want to thank all the hard working Munchkins who have kept the Challenges running so technically smooth over the years. I may have the ideas but they are the ones who do the work of coding/posting and making it look easy and the pages beautiful.
I have special thanks to my buddy in graphics, crime and PUNishment...EVIL J. Couldn't have done it without you. We share a similar sense of humor (I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing). You always dazzled me by being able to take a list and put a unique spin on it graphically. Doing these PunZles were the most fun for me.
Lastly, I have to thank Steph. For her faith in my ideas and giving me the free-reign to bring them to life.
Never say never or so I am told. The Bard Challenges may possibly return in the future. Who knows? It's really up to the Bards. For now though, our Bardic Kitchen Stadium is closed.
January 9th, 2013
Added Part 12 of To Mend A Wild Heart by Mikaeli Hooper [Classic/Alt/Incomplete]
January 6th, 2013
A new bard joins us today. Please welcome Catherine Burke!
America's Sweetheart by Catherine Burke [Original/Alt/Complete]
Opportunity Knocks by Catherine Burke [Original/Alt/Complete]
Rain Delay by Catherine Burke [Original/Alt/Complete]
Three Days by Catherine Burke [Original/Alt/Complete]
With All of My Heart by Catherine Burke [Original/Alt/Complete]
The Shetland Bus by Phineas Redux [Uber/Alt/Complete]
January 4th, 2013
Pride and Passion by Stein Willard [Original/Alt/Complete]
Added Part 11 of To Mend A Wild Heart by Mikaeli Hooper [Classic/Alt/Incomplete]
Announcement from Bedazzled Ink
January 2nd , 2013
An Areal Taxi by Phineas Redux [Uber/Alt/Complete]
Added Part 2 of
Queens Tarranna and Chandral by Denise Ann [Uber/Alt/Incomplete]
Guardians of the Mother (Book 3 of
Tarranna series) by Denise Ann [Uber/Alt/Complete]
Announcement from Bedazzled Ink
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