Yeah, “Size Riot” is the name I’ve given these writing contests. Cheesy? I’m terrible at coming up with names.
Anyway, we’ve just wrapped up the fourth Size Riot contest for 2017. That’s kind of exciting: four contests, four meetings of aspiring and powerful writers in size-fantasy literature, and four winners. Let’s review:
- CruelJan17: Nyx, “The Portrait”
- GentleApril17: Little Comrade, “Making Adjustments”
- ButtyJuly17: QuickSilver, “Today and Forever”
- UnawareOct17: CrushedBoyWonder, “Unaware”
This has been an exciting year for stories, I think. Look at all the new material that’s been produced. I’m thrilled that so many writers chose to get together for this competition every three months. The point isn’t really to win: it’s a personal challenge to write in themes we may not always choose to touch on. The story I like to retell is how I challenged Nyx to an informal and personal Cruel-writing contest. That was it: I’m not a Cruel writer, but I stepped up and tried to meet the challenge. Three months later, she joined us in the Gentle contest, which she admits was out of her comfort zone.
But that’s the point. The people who enter are determined writers who want to develop their skills, exploring themes and topics that may be outside of their familiarity, attempting to write credible flash fiction on someone else’s turf. It’s awesome. On the other side of that coin, I’ve invited writers who declined to join because the topic wasn’t among their strengths, wasn’t comfortable and familiar, held no interest for them. That’s fine too: there are writers who only want to stick to what they’re good at, and there are writers who want to see how far their talent reaches, what they’re capable of.
I’ve tried to write and rewrite that paragraph neutrally, but my words betray me, and it’s clear who I have more admiration for.
The contests were a lot of fun to host. My good friend Undersquid took over GentleApril17 for me, and she got to experience the charge of talented size-writers putting forth their best efforts, turning in original, never-before-seen work. It’s very exciting, whipping up the motivation of writers and the interest of readers, seeing these fantastic ideas, people taking the themes in unimaginable directions. If I sound overly praiseful of the event it’s because of that: these contributors have shown real brilliance and creativity in spinning familiar topics and dressing them in their original touches. It’s fantastic to witness and be a part of, and I have tremendous gratitude toward everyone who’s participated.
I’m sure the next year will turn out work just as amazing, so stay tuned for CruelJan18. And GentleApril18. And Goddess only knows what comes after that.
If you’ve been reading along with these contests, I would value your feedback for future events.
Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash
5 thoughts on “Year One of Size Riot”
I’ve been meaning to say for a while now that I think “Size Riot” is a brilliant name. It captures the unpredictable “anything goes” spirit while also underlining that this is an ongoing, performative spectacle. It also has a nice cadence.
Still disappointed that I had to bow out of UnawareOct17, but force majeure and all that (I really wanted that free commission). Already germinating an idea for CruelJan18.
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I’m glad you liked the name! I spent maybe five minutes with a thesaurus, looking for something that would… It was just supposed to be my alt Twitter handle for promoting this stuff. I was going to rename the handle every quarter, but then that would get awkward with links and RTs and crap, so I thought I’d just create a homepage, and I wanted something that would cover a breadth of size-related things, and the ideas people have been coming up with have been a swirling, majestic chaos of brilliance, so “riot” is kind of an understatement of that but it worked.
Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. I don’t feel bad at all for myself or my contest, when that happens, I feel awful for the writer because I know they feel awful or disappointed about not being able to play along. But life does what it does, and it doesn’t necessarily make space for these little happy funtimes. But there will always been more contests, absolutely. I’m also trying to contemplate something suitably cruel for January, since I’m so bad at this (unless I’m trying to write a Gentle sex story, and then it turns cruel, because WTF).
How people choose to interpret the themes is as interesting as the size shenanigans themselves. After four of these, it now seems completely reasonable that any given story can be interpreted as indifferent or contrary to its ostensible theme, even one as specific as “Butts.” One of my Unaware ideas was pretty flippantly contrarian, and I don’t expect that tendency to go away.
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Hence the “expanded the idea in a new way” category. Some writers are going to try to challenge the strict interpretation while remaining true to the letter of the rule, and I wanted to reward that or at least make the casual reader aware of it. Of course, answering that question is also subject to interpretation…
It’s giantesses all the way down.
Just read “Out-of-Towner.” Thoroughly enjoyed it. Hilarious dialogue, and very evocative in the pace of the reveal. Nice Get Out horror vibe, too.