In honor of the normal-person-turned-supernatural themes of The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle series, we hosted a contest asking you to write a story about a character who has just evolved into a supernatural being or discovered that he/she has supernatural powers. You came up with some fantastic entries, and voted on your favorites. The finalists were sent over to Emilia Rhodes, an associate editor at Alloy Entertainment, who chose three winners.
Here’s what Emilia had to say about the finalists:
What a pleasure it was to read these entries! You all took on quite the challenge with this contest, to create and establish a world unlike our own. And in just under 1,200 words, no less. Each entry was standout in its own way, whether it was the beautiful scene description, the shocking twist at the end, or a paranormal power I’d never seen before (and believe me, I thought I’d seen it all!). It was quite the mix of supernatural creatures: succubi, werewolves, dragons, even girls who turned into trees. Everyone who entered should be proud—you all did a fantastic job. I loved reading every one of these entries!
Then came the hard part—the judging. Here’s what I look for when I’m reading any writing sample: Does this voice pull me in? Do I feel emotionally invested in the main character? Do I want to read more and see what happens next? These fundamentals are by no means easy, but as the beginning of a story (which most of these entries were) it’s crucial for hooking your reader!
But what I paid special attention to in determining the winners of this particular contest was the supernatural element. There are certain challenges that come along with writing about a world or a character that doesn’t adhere to our rules of reality. One is a blessing and a curse—how original is the power or re-envisioned world? When the sky is the limit, how far can you go while still feeling relatable?
I was also looking for a story with clear rules. As readers, we need to understand the basic rules that our characters must adhere to (ex. vampires who can only go out at night) and what their limitations are (ex. only wooden stakes can kill these vampires) so that we have a basic framework for our story. Establishing these rules gives your readers something concrete to follow, but doesn’t always have to limit your story. In The Vampire Diaries, a few of our key vampires have special rings that allow them to walk in the daylight. Sometimes, breaking a traditional rule can make your story more unique.
After careful deliberation, I’m thrilled to announce “Dead/Alive” by L. Rasdal as the grand prize winner! While every entry had elements of the above, to me “Dead/Alive” had it all. In an opening scene, I knew what made this zombie world unique and what being a part of that world meant for the main character, all of which was told through a voice that had that special, sarcastic sparkle. Congrats to L. Rasdal, and to all of you for entering this contest. Keep writing, I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
And the winners are . . .
Congrats, L. Rasdal. You’ll receive DVDs of The Vampire Diaries Seasons One and Two, and copies of The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters: Moonsong, Stefan’s Diaries: The Compelled, and The Secret Circle: The Divide.
Yay, Amber! You’ll be receiving a copy of each book and a coveted Figment tote!
Woo hoo, shadley! You’ll be receiving a copy of each of the books!
A big thanks to all of you Figs who wrote and voted in the contest. Keep writing!