Here we are, at long last, the much-anticipated results of the GrowthJuly18 writing contest!
Did everyone enjoy it? This round boasted 30 never-before-seen stories about beings getting larger than Nature intended. The 21 writers involved thought of surprising new twists and explored the implications of growth, everything from the devastation of civic infrastructure to the damage it can do to relationships. In that sense, this contest was like any other: earnest writers amping their imaginations to go far beyond the expected.
One shadow upon this event, however, was how few people evaluated the stories—15, to be precise. And if all of those responses were from writers, that means that six writers who submitted stories did not contribute to the evaluation. They want feedback on their stories, but they don’t feel it necessary to offer it in return. And if any of those evals were from readers from other social media channels, that means even fewer writers offered that which they expect. There’s no way for me to know how many people read these works and deigned not to offer any feedback at all, for that matter. I’ve stressed on the site and in promotions that writers are permitted to vote, so I’m not sure why they let themselves off the hook. Because only a dozen votes are spread out over 30 stories, I’m only going to list the titles that received more than one vote. If your story’s not listed, you can assume one person voted for it anyway!
Changes for future contests: I’m thinking of doing away with the “who wrote which story” section, because it makes the evaluation that much longer. I thought it would be fun in the beginning, to challenge readers to identify the telltale marks of their favorite authors, but many writers purposely cover their tracks in these contests in order to be reviewed in a fresh light, without the benefit/burden of their legacy. Also, some readers don’t pay attention to that aspect, so it’s just a lot of noise that can be cut. On the flip side, I’m going to make the feedback section mandatory: everyone can toss out a couple words to explain their answers. That may preclude people from evaluating altogether, I understand, so we’ll have to see how this goes. And as I stated on Twitter, I will publish the evaluation form before the contest, so readers know what to look for and writers can be mindful of the standards (though they can review past contests, too).
Also? Strict deadlines, no more extensions. This contest was a poor display on my part, disorganized and standardless, and much confusion ensued. I’ll do a better job of announcing deadlines in the future, but there will be no more extensions for any reason: everyone gets the same amount of time. That’s only fair.
Lastly, here’s the big surprise for the October contest. I’ve hinted at it, and I even revealed it to a couple insiders, but now it may be known: the topic of the October contest will be decided by the writers of the previous contests. This decision is in response to certain fetishes and focii reliably getting the spotlight and certain writers feeling unchallenged or uninspired. It is therefore hoped that the writers themselves will produce interesting topics. If you’ve submitted stories for three of the previous seven contests, then you get to nominate a topic that everyone else will vote on.
I’ll break it down for you: the writers who get to nominate October’s Size Riot topic are bizyboy00, brainwashedMZ, CrushedBoyWonder, Giantess Tina, MoonlightUmbry, Nat Edgecomb, Nyx, Ryan the Rebel, Taedis, Undersquid, Versusterminus7, and myself. I’ll reach out to each person for their selection.
Are you ready for the walkthrough? You’re more than ready, and you’ve let me know: without going into detail I’ll only say that life has a way of rising up and demanding our presence, as many would-be writers of these contests have experienced. Without further ado…
Which Growth story hooked you immediately?
First place for the story that grabbed the reader’s attention right off the bat goes to “Delayed Punchline” by Wits Aimwell, getting one-fifth of all votes. Tied for second place are “Inhibition” by Aphrodite, “Hero” by Omnishambles, “Empowered” by Aborigen, and “Upbraided” by Grildrig.
Which Growth story surprised you with its interpretation of the theme?
With one-third of all votes, the clear winner here was Omnishambles’s “Hero.” “Empowered” tied with Happyguy729’s “Anniversary” for second place, and “Isle for Two” by MonyaMonya received two votes in fourth.
Which Growth story had the best lead character?
“Isle for Two” took this category with five votes, and readers were complimentary of Sam and Hallie as especially developed characters. “Safe Word: Snape” by Taedis and “Empowered” settled into second place.
Which Growth story makes you want to read the author’s other work?
Three-way tie (which wouldn’t have happened with more voters, *ahem*) between “Empowered,” “Hero,” and “Safe Word: Snape.”
Aside from the topic, which was the most satisfying story to read?
This is a difficult question for some people to answer, because what makes a good story? Are we stuck thinking about giant people, or can we separate the month’s theme from a tale well told? Is that even important to do?
With four votes, “Isle for Two” won again, followed by “Hero” with three votes and “Delayed Punchline” with two. Readers cited surprise endings, emotionally evocative plot, and characters to care about.
Which Growth story was the most stimulating?
We’ll leave the interpretation of this standard up to the reader, without asking too many questions. In the future, however, this might be restored back to “sexiest story,” since we do get several of those each time. Certainly, there were some strong opinions about what made these stories sexy, too…
The most stimulating story here was “On the Edge” by masked collager. Tied for second place were “Safe Word: Snape,” “Empowered,” and Aphrodite’s second submission, “Sonata.”
Which Growth story fulfilled this theme the best?
This is the ultimate question, but really, the other categories may be more important to different readers. The story that lived up to the theme of growth, according to one-fifth of all evaluations, was Grildrig’s “Upbraided,” with his “Cocoon” sharing second place with “Isle for Two” and “Hero.”
And now we have the long list of reader feedback. I personally feel bad that not every story got commented on, but that’s part of what happens when we solicit a random audience. We can’t help that. If anyone can think of a better way to solicit feedback, or to share it rather than this long, scrolling list, I’d love to hear it.
I wish there were some way to give an award for Best Comments, I’ll tell you now.
Surprised: “The varying size with emotion was a great concept. It surprised me by being super effective as a plot device.”
Surprised: “I enjoyed the idea of size correlating to emotional state, very creative. Lots of potential for fun there.”
Surprised: “Right off the bat, the branch to the head was a surprising introduction to a relatively unusual and original mechanic. A ridiculous one, but on that was played off well given its absurdity. Possibly the most outside the box (alongside Sonata). I should note that I found Isle for Two’s interpretation of growth as a liability perhaps the most engaging, but not the most surprising.”
“Big Impression,” Njord
Best lead: “I liked the conflicted Fainan, pursuing his passion and finding himself manipulated by women exploiting that.”
Author’s other work: “Great world-building with interesting ideas and powerful, colorful characters.”
Most stimulating: “The back and forth of the size changing was pretty interesting.”
Fulfilled the theme: “The growth was the primary plot point and handled well. The velocity of escalation made it riveting.”
“Delayed Punchline,” Wits Aimwell
Hooked immediately: “It started as a fetish exploration of a world where it was normal to grow…then it turned into something else.”
Hooked immediately: “The fact that the giantess was a ‘call girl’.”
Best lead: “I like the idea of being able to hire someone so I can watch them grow.”
Author’s other work: “[I’d like to see] More with the giantess character.”
Author’s other work: “[I’d like to see] The sense of humor shown in this story.”
Satisfying: “The fact that the ending was a true surprise.”
“Diary of Growth,” Prophetofgreed
Author’s other work: “[I hope to see] More of those unexpected twists that completely change the tone of the story! The ending on ‘Diary’ gave me chills.”
Fulfilled the theme: “It kinda says it on the tin. It did it too. Growth, quite specifically, was heavily documented throughout, and wholly relevant to everything that was going on.”
“Do It for the ‘Gram,” Njord
Satisfying: “It felt like the most fun without going overboard in any particular direction.”
Hooked immediately: “The idea of a tiny man growing to be less tiny.”
Surprised: “Because! I just told you why. It’s about a tiny man growing a bit. I LOVE THAT.”
Surprised: “I’d thought about doing a ‘tiny person grows to normal size’ story, but didn’t expect to see someone submit one.”
Surprised: “The cute, funny notion of someone for who being normal triggers the same power fantasies as we get from giants.”
Best lead: “I’ll note that there weren’t too many lead characters as such, and I’ll mention that Sam and Hallie from ‘Isle for Two’ each were the most developed (and perhaps a close shared second on this subject) in terms of their personality and motivations. However, Carlo, in all his idiotically over the top, eccentric glory, was the biggest and most memorable ‘character’ for me. Guilty pleasure, but his cartoonish cruelty to children, his enduring phobia of ‘The Beast’, and perhaps especially his fracas with the photocopier endeared him to me greatly. I also enjoyed the contrast with which he relished being bigger in relation to the world, but resented it in relation to Saundra, culminating in the last comedy moment at the story’s conclusion.”
Best lead: “The poor man cannot handle growing to meet the human world, and utter failure to adapt to a change in scale—normally meant to be a trait that inspires awe or arousal in a giantess—has never been more charming. He goes full Office Space on his work area, what’s not to love?”
Author’s other work: “[I hope to see] More of the same. Sexy tiny men doing sexy things.”
Satisfying: “Frankly, it was the only arousing story. The interaction, the descriptions: smoking hot.”
Stimulating: “The plot (‘tiny grows up to normal size’) isn’t common and it means you have to think more about it.”
Stimulating: “I’m reading about a man wriggling his legs inside a woman’s vagina. And what happens later. Just perfect.”
Fulfilled the theme: “It was the story that gripped me from beginning to end, it had a new angle, one I’ve thought of before but never seen executed. And perfectly so.”
“Final Stop,” Cascayde
Best lead: “Naomi’s focus on trying to do one simple thing.”
“Growth,” Giantess Lucy
Hooked immediately: “I’m a fan of poetry.”
Hooked immediately: “Curiosity over the situation of the main characters and their relationship. The ambiguity. Is she captured or willing etc. I want to know what’s going on.”
Surprised: “The time-honored tradition of ‘mega growth’… back to normal size from microscopic. The context lands toward the end, like a huge foot.”
Surprised: “The ending where they were in a normal garden but in miniature was great.”
Satisfying: “The mixture of sadness and mild humour. A growth interaction that loops I found intriguing.”
Satisfying: “It captured the tension of improbable growth, with the woman’s personal journey running parallel to her mission.”
Fulfilled the theme: “It thoughtfully tracked the progress of the giantess and some qualities of physics, as she transgressed to another dimension.”
Hooked immediately: “The concept of a creature somehow held in check by an oath that was about to expire. I immediately wanted to learn more about it, and her.”
Hooked immediately: “The post-apocalyptic insinuations and all the vivid, atmospheric imagery get you right in the scene, where you’re making all the right assumptions, but still wanting for answers. No messing, everyone knows what they’re in for, but there’s still plenty to wonder at.”
Stimulating: “Relatively easy choice this one. It was simply the best written of the stories which skewed more closely towards erotica. Though some of the inexplicit entries were also erotically charged at times (in ways which definitely had their own powerful appeal), Inhibition was a juggernaut of giantessery, rattling off fetish material without ever feeling contrived, routine or lesser for the fact.”
“Isle for Two,” MonyaMonya
Hooked immediately: “The imagery of the playground is beautifully expressed and dovetailed perfectly with the theme of growing up.”
Surprised: “While it didn’t fixate on the act of growth itself, it was the mental impact of the growth. The impact on a couple. I found it very melancholic and moving.”
Best lead: “I like characters who think about the ethics of their situations.”
Best lead: “Her growth made her have to give up love and her normal life. Selfless is always good for a character”
Best lead: “Quite simply, they felt real.”
Best lead: “Really two lead characters, but both tenderly written and nuanced. I immediately understood both of their points of view.”
Author’s other work: “Though it could be someone I’ve already read, I hope to find character-driven stories more interested in interior turmoil than exterior expansion.”
Satisfying: “Character first. No concession to the tropes and demands of our brand of jerkoff material, but.”
Satisfying: “This one surprised me by nearly making me cry. I cared about the characters. I can’t stress enough how impressed I was.”
Satisfying: “It was extremely well choreographed. It read just like a scene from a play, movie or a show, it never dropped or wasted a tender or lurching note, and it’s as careful about what doesn’t get said as what does (the exposition is as minimal as it is natural, leaving all the right blanks and silences to fill or wonder at). Easily the most emotionally engaging piece, and if a normie were to read these (god help ’em), I’d be happy to bet this would be the one they got the most out of.”
Fulfilled the theme: “She outgrows more than her clothing: Her favorite hangout, her best friend, her whole life. And growing hurts, just like in real life.”
“Mia Meets Jeff,” johnbart35
Author’s other work: “[I hope to see] a more in-depth look at size vampires in this style. World building.”
Hooked immediately: “What was it that aroused your attention? Water is a good element for the fantasy, and I liked the idea that her fantasy was imagining being among people while growing gigantic, instead of actually going there.”
“On the Edge,” masked collager
Satisfying: “It did a brilliant job of focusing on the giantess’ sensations and thoughts, but suggesting just enough that there were other things happening outside of her perception. Not discovering the aftermath until she does the next day was a fantastic choice.”
Stimulating: “Wow. Oblivious growth, powered by the deadly pursuit of the world’s best orgasm.”
Stimulating: “Sexually at least, this was the one I found to be hot. I enjoy the disregard she has for her boyfriend once she has finished using him.”
Stimulating: “It builds up well at a good pace… and that frickin’ ending! :D”
Stimulating: “Orgasms are the best excuse for growing.”
“Running Scared,” Macrofeelya
Satisfying: “The number of interactions.”
“Safe Word: Snape,” Taedis
Hooked immediately: “You can’t beat a house of unusual color for catching eyes in real life and in fiction.”
Best lead: “He was sad and sympathetic. His main struggle was between love and his weak (and yet deadly strong) flesh. I could identify with how it hurt him to do what he had to do.”
Best lead: “That he was the size of a grain of sand, and grew to be a loving giant.”
Author’s other work: “[I hope to see] More of the same wistful, melancholic tone evident here—although quite a few stories had that aspect in this contest, it came through effortlessly here.”
Author’s other work: “The author wrote the main character’s mental state well. Subtle humor was a nice touch. It remained interesting throughout.”
Satisfying: “The quality of the writing, how well it stuck to the subject matter, and enough time set aside for proper ending rather than just stopping.”
Stimulating: “I enjoyed the conflict between the wife lusting after her giant husband and teasing him, whipping him up, and the giant holding himself back from his desire even as it ate at him.”
Stimulating: “The sexual tension and fear between the characters.”
Stimulating: “A very hot core concept written with care and good word choices.”
“Size Redistribution,” johnbart35
Surprised: “I never expect new world order stories.”
Fulfilled the theme: “There seemed to be a purpose to the growth and it relied on the reader’s imagination to fill in the gaps.”
Author’s other work: “Difficult question, and I can’t help but be biased against authors who I suspect I’m already familiar with. Nevertheless, one of the biggest reasons I would like to read more from ‘Sizecrafters’ author is that I’m very uncertain about what to expect. Their approach and style was perhaps the most alien to me overall, and I’m curious about how they usually write or what topics they might touch upon.”
Stimulating: “A very hot core concept written with care and good word choices.”
Fulfilled the theme: “It had one of the more detailed growth processes, which seemed to be reinforced by the giantess’ dreams along with the real world.”
Fulfilled the theme: “The sense of relentless growth was continuous throughout the story.”
Hooked immediately: “I liked the multicultural start, how it sounded like a traditional myth.”
Hooked immediately: “The setting and the main character.”
Best lead: “Her becoming empowered and taking back her freedom from the tribe, while still being mindful of and careful with the power she now had.”
Fulfilled the theme: “It’s almost classical in its approach to being a growth story.”
Fulfilled the theme: “A clean, uncomplicated take on growth, told confidently.”