HistoricalJuly20: Results

It’s that time again: June was the sign-up period before the topic was announced, and then there was a vote, and I found the result of that vote problematic for several reasons, and then there was another, smaller, quieter vote, and HistoricalJuly20 was the result! As stated on Twitter, 42 people signed up for this contest, 26 stories were submitted before deadline, and 18 readers offered feedback.

It’s a great topic, honestly! Isn’t it? Look at any period in the world’s history, any continent, any prominent historical event, and introduce Size Fantasy to it. Is that concept not the Mentos to the Diet Coke of your mind? It’s an idea worthy of sitting on the shelf next to rewriting TV shows for the same purpose.

And it’s also time to iterate that not everyone can win, and not everyone can place in a category. It’s still important that you put in the effort to complete a story! Do you see that? You sat down and fabricated a world that other people can visit and experience. That’s important! Voting, as you know, is quite random: who knows who’s going to show up and read these stories? Who knows what kind of mood they’re in? If your story got panned by two thousand people, that’s a considerable matter, but fewer than 20? That doesn’t mean anything. This contest isn’t about winning, after all—though some people seem to have forgotten that. It’s about trying something new and growing as a writer, not falling back on your strengths to dominate in a category. Well, it was supposed to be, anyway. Not everyone sees it like that and, like voting results, it’s entirely out of my hands.

But you should feel good about having produced another story. You must. If you didn’t place, don’t give up: this will be part of the “rough upbringing” story you’ll tell 20 or 30 years from now, when accepting whatever award they come up with for Size Literature. Because our dreams are bleeding into the mainstream, you can see it everywhere, and when Jack and Diane Average come looking for Size Fantasy, they’re going to find your story. One day they’ll work up the courage to approach you and tell you how you opened them up and inspired them to participate in the Size community, create their own art and stories, and embrace this aspect to themselves.

Or they won’t, if you don’t write.

Hey, let’s just move on to the results of the contest.


Which stories intrigued you immediately? 

You know the routine: you’ve got a great story idea, you can picture living characters, but you need some special narrative trick to hook the reader. Drop a hint that they need to resolve, plonk them down in the middle of the action so they have to work their way out. Who showed aplomb for this?

First place: “Christmas Wanted Him Dead,” Taedis; “Ghost,” Aphrodite
Third place: “Anne and the King’s Miniaturist,” Elle Largesse; “Curiosity and the Cat,” Dan Standing
Fifth place: “Showdown at Small Springs,” Meyeel Sizechanger

Which stories presented the most surprising or unexpected concepts?

Turning any moment in history to a Size Fantasy is already a ticklish concept. But these writers found a way to add a little something extra, whatever that was. Maybe it was how the story was told, maybe it was an unexpected take. Something they did made the readers do a double-take.

First place: “Ghost,” Aphrodite
Second place: “Christmas Wanted Him Dead,” Taedis; “Curiosity and the Cat,” Dan Standing
Fourth place: “The Pestilence,” PerspectiveShift
Fifth place: “The Cursed and the Blessed,” brainwashedMZ; “Nameless,” HthereBeGt; “Of Judith,” Tiny Pissy Fairy

Which stories sounded like the writers really knew about their chosen time period?

I think we know how this went. Some writers had to hit the books and find some time in history that appealed to them. But there were also writers who have always had an affinity for some moment in the past, something they’ve studied, for fun, until they knew it like the back of their hand. And until this contest, they had no reason to inject a giantess or tiny people into it, but their time came and they were ready.

First place: “Book IV, Part VII,” Aborigen; “Christmas Wanted Him Dead,” Taedis
Third place: “Anne and the King’s Miniaturist,” Elle Largesse; “Usurping the Throne,” Vintovka
Fifth place: “Cake of Wonders,” Bobascher; “Naumachia,” Cloudjumper

Which stories do you think you could easily share with outsiders?

This whole size thing, it’s important to us. It fills our imagination, it filters our perceptions. How many of us can share these rare and exotic cravings with others? Well, some writers have a way of satisfying the Size reader while telling a story that, frankly, could pass anywhere else.

First place: “Christmas Wanted Him Dead,” Taedis
Second place: “Anne and the King’s Miniaturist,” Elle Largesse; “Ghost,” Aphrodite
Fourth place: “The Pestilence,” PerspectiveShift
Fifth place: “Book IV, Part VII,” Aborigen; “Curiosity and the Cat,” Dan Standing

Which stories were “a tale well told,” you know, felt like real literature?

This is not to suggest that the other categories do not count as literature. This is only one aspect by which to regard these stories. Okay? Maybe this category echoes the one before it, in that these stories feel like you could find them somewhere else. The New Yorker, maybe, or Granta. Who knows? It’s just a matter of time, I say.

First place: “Christmas Wanted Him Dead,” Taedis
Second place: “Anne and the King’s Miniaturist,” Elle Largesse
Third place: “Ghost,” Aphrodite
Fourth place: “The Voices on the Wind,” Olo
Fifth place: “Curiosity and the Cat,” Dan Standing; “Lady Liberty,” JM Wilde; “Naumachia,” Cloudjumper

Which stories make you want to read everything else the author has written?

One of the functions of this contest is to introduce new readers to established writers, and to give new writers a boost in the readership arena. If some of these stories really spoke to you, all you have to do is chase down their authors and look up their collection. I hope a vast treasure is waiting for you. (Maybe shoot them a line and let them know you like their work. Most writers are into that; some are starved for it.)

First place: “Inherit the Kingdom,” pseudoclever
Second place: “Curiosity and the Cat,” Dan Standing
Third place: “Christmas Wanted Him Dead,” Taedis
Fourth place: “Anne and the King’s Miniaturist,” Elle Largesse; “Book IV, Part VII,” Aborigen

Which story was the sexiest?

This is the sine qua non of categories, apparently. Not everyone sets out to write a sexy story, and that rules them out here, but there is a hot and heavy competition to rate who gave us those special little tingles. Perhaps here more than anywhere else, this is highly subjective to the reader, and there’s no guessing what will turn someone on.

First place: “Inherit the Kingdom,” pseudoclever
Second place: “Anne and the King’s Miniaturist,” Elle Largesse
Third place: “Under the Fairy Tree,” Jane Doe
Fourth place: “The Great California Grow Rush,” Solomon G
Fifth place: “Book IV, Part VII,” Aborigen; “Confession,” Prophetofgreed; “Nameless,” HthereBeGt; “To Increase One’s Standing,” RobClassact

Which stories most faithfully represented the time period, with an interesting Size twist?

The final category is always meant to be the one that sums up the spirit of the contest and rates titles against each other in that line. All the stories have their traits and specialties and prominent features, but this category is for those who looked at the theme and ran away with it, at least as far as our random assortment of readers was concerned.

First place: “Anne and the King’s Miniaturist,” Elle Largesse; “Book IV, Part VII,” Aborigen
Third place: “Curiosity and the Cat,” Dan Standing; “Usurping the Throne,” Vintovka
Fifth place: “Christmas Wanted Him Dead,” Taedis


And that’s the end of this show! It’s my sincerest wish that everyone found some new stories to entice and entertain them, and that some writers attracted some new fans. I cannot stress this enough: congratulations to everyone who persevered and created a whole, brand-new story! Be proud of that, and please do post and share your work with everyone on any website or social media channel.

At this point I’d like to apologize for depriving everyone of next contest’s vote, but I like the topic and I hope you will too. The topic for the October contest will be My Blue Heaven: all writers are tasked to write out their ideal, archetypal size fantasy, their first or their favorite. If your dearest dreams came true, what would they look like? (Good luck fitting that under 2,000 words!) Signups for #MyHeavenOct20 will begin Tuesday, Sept. 1. Please not: there will be no evaluation form for this—how could anyone objectively rate one fantasy against another? All readers will be guided for notes and feedback, but there will be no competition for categories.

Lastly, #MyHeavenOct20 will be the final Size Riot showdown. If you’ve been waiting to participate in this contest, this is your last chance.


Photo by John Salzarulo on Unsplash

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