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Hey friends, Dubs here! I didn't fuck Posh, I didn't fuck Hat, all my life man FUCK'S SAKE
Gold medalMortarboard
No Prompt! Have Fun!
Original Short Story
1st
100%
591
Don't You Cry For Me
Ribbon
True Colors
FiM Short Story
4th
84%
475
Don't Leave Me With Myself
Ribbon
Look, I Can Explain...
FiM Short Story
11th
79%
430
The Nightmare I Need
Ribbon
A Matter of Perspective
FiM Short Story
16th
73%
365
Home, Sweet Home
Silver medalConfetti
Why Can't You See Me?
She-Ra Short Story
2nd
80%
280
The New Adventures of Old Dryl
Ribbon
Rising From the Ashes
FiM Short Story
10th
57%
246
Putri Jaran
Ribbon
Written in the Stars
Original Short Story
13th
56%
244
In Living Color
Ribbon
Great Expectations
FiM Short Story
20th
54%
222
Great Pecs-pectations
Ribbon
Best Laid Plans
FiM Minific
12th
90%
218
A Reliable Fear
Ribbon
Here at the End of all Things.
FiM Short Story
17th
54%
217
Shoot for the Stars
#22942 · 17
· on Eternal
>>Trick_Question
Please stop acting like a martyr because you can't stop writing about kids being raped
#19688 · 13
·
>>BlueChameleonVI
Personally, I’m fine with you submitting loads of entries. I just want to see you do more reviewing.
#16071 · 11
·
It’s been this way from the start.
It’s like they’re always trying to tear us apart,
But we will stand strong, stand true,
And everybody’s gonna watch what we do.
And they’ll be awestruck, saying “Aw, shucks!
They either got real good or they got real good luck.”

And I’d be lying if I said that I could take any more,
'Cuz I’ve been on my own, trying like never before,
And I was lying on the couch and there’s this knock on the door,
And it’s like—

All my friends,
Woah, come right in.
Woah, all my friends!
We can take it all back again!
Woah, put your hands on in
And lemme hear you say
Oooooooooh yeah!
Lemme hear you say yeah!

Another day, another chance.
We got our card and we’re going to the dance.
We’re gonna stay strong, hold true,
And everybody’s gonna watch what we do.
And they’ll be awestruck, saying, “Aw, shucks!
They either got real good or they got real good luck.”

And I’d be lying if I said that we could take any more,
'Cuz we’re about to light a fire like never before,
And if you’re lying on the couch and there’s a knock on the door,
And it’s like—

All my friends,
Woah, come right in.
Woah, all my friends!
We can take it all back again!
Woah, put your hands on in
And lemme hear you say
Oooooooooh yeah!
Lemme hear you say yeah!
Woo!

All my friends,
Woah, come right in.
Woah, all my friends!
We can take it all back again!
Woah, put your hands on in
And lemme hear you say
Oooooooooh yeah!
Lemme hear you say yeah!

We’ll always be young at heart,
And nothing’s ever gonna tear us apart because we
“Stand strong, stand true!”
And everybody’s gonna watch what we do.
And they’ll be awestruck, saying, “Aw, shucks!
They either got real good or you know what!
#7330 · 9
·
>>Monokeras
You can even feature magical reindeers that glow in the night (such as those living near Chernobyl).

I think I had a dream like this once.
#14394 · 9
· on Epithalamia · >>Ranmilia
>>Ranmilia
Not to be rude, Ran, but—what the hell kind of comment is this? How in the world does something being poetry make it "not an appropriate entry"? There's nothing in the rules against it. We've had verse/poems in past rounds that have done extraordinarily well, even winning past rounds, not in spite of their form, but because of it. You even admit yourself that you enjoyed it. How is it fair to anyone, especially the author, to bottom slate it because of some bizarre idea you have for what constitutes an "appropriate" entry? "It can't be compared fairly to prose pieces"... why not? We compare prose pieces from wildly different genres with wildly different expectations and standards and even formats all the time. Start Recursion, to use my favorite example, was most certainly a differently formatted and written story than any other prose piece in the round it competed in, but we still treated it with the same amount of respect. Would some extra lineation have changed that?

I'm not usually one to suggest abstaining, but if you really have such a reaction to an entry that you can't judge it on its merits and simply by its existence, I think that abstaining would be a much better option than penalizing the author for writing something you admit is good.

The Writeoff, especially minific rounds, have always been praised as and used as a place for experimentation. The thought that a format—poetry, no less—can be an "inappropriate" entry is both insulting and detrimental to the whole contest.
#1651 · 7
·
Hello, friends! Another round come and gone, and what a round this was!

As you probably know by now, I wrote Don’t You Cry For Me. And, as you also probably know, I got first place! Like… holy shit! I’ve never gotten higher than seventh place before this. If you were in the Discord chat last night in the last few minutes leading up to results, you know how terrified I was. The reviews were going good, yeah, but I was completely expecting the rug to be ripped out from under my feet at the last second.

But then results came out… and not only did I win, but if >>horizon and Roger are to be believed, I won by the highest margin in WriteOff history. And that’s not even mentioning prelims, where I had a relative score of 8.94 (!!!) compared to the next highest’s 2.33. Again: holy shit.

When I saw that, I swear, I nearly cried. I held my head in my hands and just shook, thanking God for granting me the grace to write a story all of you loved so much.

I’ve been worried over the past day or so that I’ve sounded like an egotistical ass talking about my win. So, right here, I just wanna say to all of you: thank you. Genuinely. Thank you with all I have. I’ve competed in nearly every single WriteOff since January 2015. These competitions are a massive part of my life. So for you guys to grant me the honor of winning like this is just… thank you. I wouldn’t be anything without all of you.


When the prompt (or lack thereof) was released, I had no ideas. I wasn’t even planning on entering, actually. But then I had a conversation with Monokeras, and he made a bet with me that I would score somewhere within the top five—I denied it at the time, but it looks like you were right, buddy.

Anyway, yeah, I had no ideas. What I did have, however, was a memory. On my last bus ride back up to Geneseo, I happened to pass through a tiny town near the center of New York State called Westover. Specifically, the highway crossed through a neighborhood in town called Glenwood.

Glancing out the window, I found myself immediately struck by the image of Glenwood. In the few seconds we spent passing, I saw a row of tiny brown houses, all sitting next to a massive graveyard, which went up the hill. In my mind’s eye I saw a vision of two kids climbing up that hill, weaving between trees and graves, and I knew that I wanted to write something about that someday. I wrote down a few notes about the town and moved on.

Then came this WriteOff. Looking through my ideas document, I stumbled upon the notes I had taken about Glenwood, and made the decision to write a story about it. The first paragraph I wrote was this:
It had been four months, but I still recognized the thud of Dad’s boots against the steel steps outside. Still I recognized the way he slammed the front door, the shuffle of fabric as he threw his jacket over a chair. For a moment I became one of Pavlov’s dogs, curling deeper into my sheets and waiting for the brush of his hand against my hair, the smell of his kiss on my cheek.

I wrote this completely randomly, with no plot in mind. I then spent a little while trying to think of what sort of story this paragraph could fit in—and the story I ended up writing was Don’t You Cry For Me. I spent the next two days writing. Nearly the entire second half was done on Sunday night as I was watching WrestleMania 32, and the fic itself was submitted about five minutes before the deadline.

I was absolutely floored by the positive response. Submitting it, I hated this story for so many reasons… so seeing you guys love it was fucking awesome.


So, what’s next, then? I definitely wanna fix this up a bit using the comments I got. I already have one new scene planned out—I’m gonna better develop on the comment I made in passing about Mom taking May and Claire to church, and May sneaking out. In all, I really need to better introduce the surreality and magical realism elements, so the ending doesn’t feel so out of place. Thanks to everyone for their comments.


>>Ferd Threstle
Thank you very much! I dunno about publication just yet, but I’m honored you think this is good enough for that. Thanks for reading!

>>Lucky_Dreams
Yeah, when I first came up with that image of the two kids climbing up the graveyard hill, I kept imagining them as characters out of Coraline.
I’m really glad you liked the family interactions. Many of May and Mom’s arguments and interactions were heavily based on arguments between my own older sister and mother.
Yikes!! May, for goodness sake, ditch your friends and make new ones!

In the rewrite, after the line about Kurt Cobain being overrated trash, there’s gonna be a short moment where Claire notes May emphatically agreeing with her friends… then going home that night and tearing the Cobain poster off her wall.
Thank me for writing? Thank you for reading! You have no idea how much this review lifted my spirits.

>>Solitair
Thank you, sweetie! Yeah, as I talk about a lot with Hat, genre fiction isn’t really my thing. Call me pretentious, but I’m a litfic guy through-and-through.
…Now watch as my next WriteOff piece is high fantasy. :V
Thank you for reading!

>>Oblomov
Я ношу его с гордостью.

>>Baal Bunny
That’s an interesting thought, and not one I had considered before. Hm.
Thanks for reading! And congrats on third! :D

>>KwirkyJ
Sorry it couldn’t quite connect with you. Thanks for reading, regardless!

>>Icenrose
My own Dad was very interested in how I was gonna answer this review. The truth is that no, I haven’t ever experienced something like this, or even anything close. Part of me feels a bit guilty for leading you on like that… and another part is cheering because apparently I got the emotions just right anyway.
I’m sorry for whatever loss you experienced that let this story strike you so hard. But at the same time, I’d be lying if I said that this review wasn’t a great confidence booster. :P
Thanks for reading!

>>Bradel
Hey, Miley.
I may be a little neurotic, but I'm really disturbed that nobody cleaned up May's stir fry that was leaking on the floor.

Good thing that was the point, then! :D
I agree with a lot of your points about Claire’s narration. Most of the examples you pointed out are gonna get tweaked. Same with the timing—I had a fear while writing that the timeline was gonna throw people off.
And I actually made Bradel cry? What?
Thank you for reading, cutie pie!

>>TitaniumDragon
I think that’s an interesting point about the ending, but I think that my real problem is that the magical realism stuff isn’t set up well enough early enough. I’m gonna be working to fix that in the future. I definitely get your point, tho.
Thanks for reading!

>>Cold in Gardez
Cold in Gardez saying he can learn from my prose… okay, it’s official. The world is ending. (Where’s my notification in the sky?)
We already talked a bit in the chat about this stuff, so I don’t think I gotta go over it all again. The father’s body being gone was just faulty thinking on my part, and I don’t think the ending was set up well enough. I’m hoping to fix both of those problems in the future.
Thank you for all your comments, Cold. I appreciate it. And congrats again on second! 

>>Not_A_Hat
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZXUNZjWTc8
Thanks for reading!

>>Monokeras
I can testify from ongoing experience that upstate New York stays hella cold long after winter has passed.
I agree with your note about there not being much evolution. I’m hoping to fix that.
I was trying to imply that May wanted to go to the graveyard to see their father because she had finally just reached the end of her rope with their Mom. May is upset and distraught, and is willing to try anything out to stop feeling so horrible.
Thanks for reading!

>>horizon
Therefore, clearly this was written by Dubs, and this is an act of instant karma.

>.>
I’m glad you enjoyed it for what it was, at least. Thanks for reading!

>>Scramblers and Shadows
What do you mean about the graveyard being real? I’m afraid I don’t quite understand. You thought it was imaginary at first?
Thank you for your comment about the verbs. I definitely agree.
Thank you for reading!


Whew… that took a long time.
See you all next WriteOff!
#1386 · 6
· on Revolver · >>Scramblers and Shadows >>Baal Bunny >>horizon
Damn, the experiment was going so well! D:

Hey, friends. I guess I owe some explanation...

For months, even before the advent of the General Fiction writeoffs, there have been constant discussions in both threads and in chat about how the output of an average Writeoff round would compare to a professionally published work. It’s something that I was wondering myself. In my eyes, though, the only way to accurately measure something like that would be to subject the professionally published piece to the same standards as a typical Writeoff piece—in other words, completely anonymous and with its publishing status unknown.

And when I saw this round’s non-prompt, well…

A few minutes after fic writing began, I contacted Roger, asking him how he would feel about my experiment. He was apprehensive at first—after all, as far as I know no one has ever plagiarized a Writeoff story, and we didn’t want to start a precedent. But after some thought he accepted, and we set to work.

The biggest problem we faced—and the one that eventually brought the story down—was if someone found out. If another user found the original story, the jig would be up. That’s why I changed the title (the actual title of “Revolver” is “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere”) and put Anonymous in the author box (as opposed to ZZ Packer).

Of course, that didn’t remove the threat of someone having read “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” before and recognizing it, as Baal did. Part of Roger’s requirements for picking a story to post was that it had been vetted for quality by multiple sources. That was easy enough to fulfill—but a story being published in multiple places by multiple editors also increases the likelihood that someone has read it.

I had a whole anthology of short stories to pick from, and I went through each piece, google searching the first lines of each. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a single one that you can’t find somewhere online, whether it be the publisher’s website or Google Books. There was one that could only be found in a locked JSTOR database… but when you searched it, it still showed enough text to give it away.

Eventually, knowing that no decent story would be perfectly secret, I said “fuck it” and picked “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere,” which I thought people in the Writeoff would enjoy. And it seems like those who read it did! Well, except for Hat. But Hat doesn’t like anything I submit. >:V

I hope no one was/is upset by this. At no point did I ever intend to use this to cheat. In fact, I had even arranged with Roger to have the story separated from the numeric results at the end of the contest, so it wouldn’t knock anyone out of the spot they deserved. If anything, the fact that I felt the urge to do this experiment is a testament to the quality of Writeoff writing.

Love you guys. Sorry I made you waste your time on a disqualified story. :B

TL;DR: Roger and I worked together to submit a professionally written, edited, and published work to the Writeoff in order to compare it to the average Writeoff story. Peeps found out. WHOOPS

>>horizon
There are multiple versions of this story, yeah. The one you guys read is from the New Yorker. It’s also published in ZZ Packer’s own book, and the anthology Deepening Fiction (which is where I read it).

>>Haze
D:
#4765 · 6
·
So... can I just treat this prompt as "You can write any story, as long as it doesn't have a princess in it?"
#10616 · 6
·
WHO'S RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS BLATANT DISRESPECT

I'm suing
#15266 · 6
·
>>AndrewRogue
You forgot to include "Stay up so late writing that you fail all your classes and get kicked out of school and spend the rest of your life living under a bridge in Cleveland"