This was a hot summer, across the United States and around the world, not least because of the sizelit writers feverishly refining their stories for the eleventh Size Riot contest, GiantJuly19: First Date. Topics for this contest were nominated in June by several dozen people, and just as many showed up to vote on the subjects they really wanted to see in the contest. Obviously, the two that won were giant men and first date, and it seemed like those would be fun to try together.
Writers rose to the challenge, with several signing up before the topic was even announced. Before July 1, 33 people joined the competition, and by July 31 I received 22 completely new and original works of flash fiction. These were pored over by anonymous and random readers, alerted over Twitter, DeviantArt, Giantess City, and by the newsletter, many of whom voted on the stories in various criteria and offered useful, encouraging feedback. Now August has almost expended itself and it’s time to reveal the results of the contest.
Worth noting was one recurrent observation on social media: this was an exceptional batch of stories. The writers have been pushing themselves in unusual conditions to create a coherent, engaging short story in limited time on a specific topic, and everyone shone this round. Readers found it difficult to rate one story against another when they were all fascinating and well done. That’s a good problem to have!
Writers, please remember: If your story isn’t listed below, that doesn’t mean no one voted for it! These results are only the highest responses. There were several five-way ties or greater; nearly everyone got at least one vote somewhere.
Which story intrigued you at the opening paragraph?
One trick to good storytelling is making people want to hear more right off the bat. There are all sorts of ways to hook the reader, from leading with the middle of a conversation or setting up an unlikely scene that requires explanation. This is only the start of the story, but it’s an important start.
RobClassact reports using critique and advice from previous Size Riot contests to refine his writing process: as a result, his “Common Ground” takes first place here.
Second place: Olo’s “Accommodations”; Brantlebroth’s “A Jewel on a Chain”; Chuck Murnoe’s “Our Night”; Aborigen’s “The Rebound”
Which story’s character(s) would you most like to spend time with?
Once the reader’s in the door, they’ll want characters they care about, whether they resonate with who they are or can sympathize with their predicament and want to follow how they navigate the story.
RobClassact’s “Common Ground” took first here, too, with gigantic Gerald bringing his acquaintance Mya as the plus-one to his ex’s wedding.
Second place: Undersquid’s “Mount”; Scidram’s “Swipe Left, Swipe Right, Swiped Up”; JM Wilde’s “Wingwoman”
Which story approached the theme in the most interesting or unexpected way?
If you think you know how a standard, bookend story with a giant goes, it’s up to the writer to put their individual spin on the old theme. They come at storytelling with their own experiences, values, and perspectives, and tell the story like no one else is equipped to.
Macrofeelya pulled this off with his nimbly poetic “The Bigger Man” for first place here, tied for first by Tiny Pissy Fairy’s enrapturing dialogue “Une certaine gaîté d’esprit confite dans le mépris des choses fortuites.”
Third place: MonyaMonya’s “Hope and Despair in the Milky Way”; Aborigen’s “The Rebound”; Taedis’s “The Woman Who Bled”
Which story would you probably recommend to someone not familiar with this genre?
We all know what we’re into, in the size community. We’ve been into gigantic and tiny people since we were young. It’s familiar ground for us, but it’s not trodden by the mainstream. If you were going to pick one of these giant stories and introduce it to an outsider, which writer has crafted the most accessible story?
The readers voted a three-way tie between Macrofeelya’s “The Bigger Man”; Tiny Pissy Fairy’s “Une certaine gaîté d’esprit confite dans le mépris des choses fortuites”; and Chuck Murnoe’s “Our Night.” Ten other stories got one vote each, tying for fourth place, not listed here.
If you’re into giant men, which story was the most attractive? If not, which story did a great job regardless?
And given that size is a fetish for many of us, sensuality and eroticism will creep from the edges (or kick the door in). People who aren’t into giant men are often vociferous about this, sometimes lashing out unjustly at the women in our community over this, but in defiance of this some of our writers composed sexy times between differently sized characters.
Far and away, the winner of this one was “It Begins with a Smile” by HthereBeGt with a third of all votes.
Second place: Undersquid’s “Mount”; Chuck Murnoe’s “Our Night”
Which stories best lived up to the theme of GiantJuly19?
Usually we vote on a topic for the July and October contests, leaving it up to readers and writers to nominate likely subjects. As it happened, some of the suggestions sounded like subjects to focus on, while others made great settings or themes for those subjects to work within. “Giant Man” and “First Date” were the paired winners for the contest theme, and our writers met the challenge head-on and excelled in execution. No small feat, within these constraints, and a genuine accomplishment!
The overall winner of the spirit of GiantJuly19 is RobClassact with “Common Ground.”
Second place: Olo’s “Accommodations”; Chuck Murnoe’s “Our Night”
Fourth place: Undersquid’s “Mount”
Fifth place: Oishi1’s “Arabella’s Decision”; Aborigen’s “The Rebound”; Scidram’s “Swipe Left, Swipe Right, Swiped Up”
Thank you once again to all the bold and daring writers! You’re obviously getting better, so these competitions are going to get harder. And like Wits Aimwell pointed out, at the end of it you have a finished story that didn’t exist before and might not have, without a group of peers to support you and push you forward. Thanks as well to our readers for their thoughtful feedback! I really hope you found some stories and writers to become fans of.
And now, everyone gets a month’s breather. There’s no vote for October’s topic, it’s already been decided. After two previous years of strenuous, tantalizing votes, I’m simply handing the topic over to Cocktober19. It’s just time. Signups begin Sept. 1.