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Silver medal
End of an Era
FiM Short Story
Solitude for the Modern Businessmare
Bronze medalConfetti
Rising From the Ashes
FiM Short Story
Sombra Visits the Optometrist
Bronze medal
The Long Road Home
Original Short Story
Confines of the First Law
Eye of the Storm
Original Short Story
The Skies in Their Fury
Bronze medal
It's a Long Way Down
Original Pic
Stay Aboard
Written in the Stars
Original Short Story
The Sisters Three
That Winter Feeling
Original Short Story
Guard and Assist
Silver medalMortarboard
Look, I Just Want My Sandwich
Original Minific
My Kingdom for a Snack
Bronze medal
Like the World Is Ending
Original Minific
My Lady's Gown
Bronze medalConfetti
But First, We Need to Talk About Parallel Universes
Original Minific
Fears Are Like Dogs
#10580 · 7
· on Sombra Visits the Optometrist
>>bloons3 >>Novel_Idea >>Fenton >>FrontSevens >>Posh >>Rao >>Monokeras >>AndrewRogue >>CoffeeMinion >>eusocialdragon >>horizon
Sombra Visits the Optometrist (and a bunch of other stuff also happens):

Many thanks to Not_a_Hat for providing such excellent inspiration. I had convinced myself that I was done with the fanfiction rounds, and then I saw his entry and something in my brain went lol wouldn't it be funny if u interpreted that as Sombra being at the optometrist. And then I was like "lol that would be funny" but then I accidentally played it straight and the result is a complete mismatch between the comedy-implying title and the comedy-lacking interior. Oh well. Drama happens.

Thanks for leaving your thoughts, comments, and criticisms. It's fairly apparent that this story is completely lacking an emotional component because I've been waiting to hear back from grad school for a month and have had all my emotions scraped out of me with a red-hot scalpel of anxiety, and also that there are plenty of loose ends that need trimming--things I'll keep in mind should I revisit this for fimfic publication (which is unlikely--this was mostly a joke for the art).

As usual, the amount of talent, skill, and creativity on display in the Writeoff is nothing short of remarkable. Congrats to Cold in Gardez and AndrewRogue for their lovely entries, and a great job to everyone who managed to submit something within the time constraint.

#1647 · 3
· on Spectrum
Belated acknowledgements: Spectrum

>>Bradel >>Cold in Gardez >>Monokeras >>Ratlab >>Remedyfortheheart >>Icenrose >>horizon >>TitaniumDragon >>georg

Thanks for your thoughts/advice/critiques, everyone. It was a bit of a struggle to scrape an entry together this round--had three tests right before the prompt drop, faulty technology that threw off my homework schedule, a really inconvenient 20th birthday (which likely makes the inspiration for the story painfully obvious), yet another test the morning after the deadline, etc. Spectrum quite literally never saw the light of day--it was written in the late-night lulls between chemistry and neuropsych. Judging by some of the reactions I received, the lack of fully lucid writing time shows.

Still, like every Writeoff, this was a learning experience, and I greatly appreciate each of you taking the time to leave your comments. The raw skill and technical finesse displayed in these competitions consistently leaves me wowed. Congrats to the finalists/medalists!
#3578 · 3
[Can't make it; adds to chorus of distressed writer noises]

Good luck to everyone else!
#4224 · 3
· on Solitude for the Modern Businessmare · >>Posh
I'd like to say thank you to everyone who read and enjoyed Solitude for the Modern Businessmare. I've read all of your comments, and I will carefully consider each of your suggestions as I push this through editing.

I've been stretched rather thin lately, but when I saw the writing period fell over the weekend I'd set aside to study for the GRE, I figured this might be a good way to blow off some steam in between practice sections. I've wanted to write a Rarity piece for a while now, and her tone of narration was exactly the sort of relief I needed from the oppressive sterility of academic writing.

I put off reading any of the reviews until after the final results rolled out, so the ranking came as a bit of a pleasant surprise. I'm quite glad so many readers were able to enjoy it, because I haven't had this much fun with a Writeoff entry in a long time.

Congratulations to Posh and horizon for their excellently-written pieces, to the other finalists for making it into the second round, and to everyone for managing to write something they were able to share with the crowd.
#3539 · 2
· · >>Baal Bunny >>CoffeeMinion
Monokeras for best Writeoff announcer.

>>CoffeeMinion >>Not_A_Hat
It's worth noting that there may eventually be Writeoff participants who come from outside the MLP community. Two of my best friends from high school have expressed interest in participating in the original fiction rounds, and only one of them has any familiarity with the show. Writing pony for this round would definitely be hard mode, as Not_A_Hat said.
#4702 · 2
· on He Kindly Stopped for Me
He Kindly Stopped for Me: ( With apologies to Emily Dickinson )

>>Orbiting_kettle >>ZaidValRoa >>Ceffyl_Dwr >>Ratlab >>Not_A_Hat >>Monokeras >>Xepher
Consensus seems to be: more words, refinement of death montage, general heavy sanding. Possibly stronger utilization of the characters. Thanks for your thoughts, everyone.

Life is pain; I long for oblivion

Good job, all! This was a rather tricky prompt, and the variety and quality of stories that were submitted were, as always, quite impressive.
#6407 · 2
· · >>horizon
This is actually relevant to something that's been weighing on my mind for a while. It seems to be agreed that it's up to the individual writer to possess the fortitude to withstand the gales of criticism that accompany Writeoff rounds. But I do think that reviews can do more harm than good, when not delivered mindfully.

A few months ago, back in the spring, I had just submitted an entry to an Original Fiction round. It wasn't the best story--made use of an old idea, wrote it at the last minute, writing period fell over my birthday, had a test the next morning... multiple factors contributed to an entry that I wasn't enamored with. But hey, I hadn't missed the deadline! I could still take pride in the fact that I hadn't missed a single original round. Woohoo!

The story got shredded. A reviewer whose opinion I deeply respected disliked it so much that they couldn't even finish reading it. Reading that hurt enough--but hey, it just wasn't their thing. That's understandable. That's okay. What really hurt was seeing that same reviewer call the story pretentious. Annoying. Trite. What wrecked my confidence was seeing something I'd written used to appease other writers: "Oh, I didn't hate your story. If I was going to hate a story, I'd be more likely to hate {name of Fahrenheit's story}." I was so ashamed of writing that entry that I didn't even have the guts to thank the people who did give me valuable feedback. [Edit: Apparently I did thank people. But I definitely didn't want to.]

To get to the point, all negative reviews are unpleasant to some extent. But devoting more attention to a story's weaknesses doesn't make for an overly critical review. Being blunt and straightforward doesn't necessarily make for a harsh review. I think what's crucial is maintaining a sense of respect for the authors and stories in the round. There are a lot of very different people at various stages of their individual writing journeys here, and in this sort of situation, tact is rarely inappropriate. The fact that you're mindful enough to be concerned about this is likely an indication that you're doing just fine. Keep up the good work. :)
#7473 · 2
· on Hiemsurb · >>horizon
Agree with the previous reviews: this story's primary weakness seems to be a conflict between what it is and what it wants to be. There is a remarkable amount of worldbuilding at play, and combined with the rapidfire cast of characters (and a plot that seems to be more complex than mere weapon acquisition) the end result is an experience similar to using an iPhone to navigate websites unformatted for mobile browsing.

That being said, I hope you'll consider it worth your while to give this story a wordcount large enough for it to really breathe. I found myself struggling along, trying to unwind the action from the grammar, and then I'd see something like this:
Each gem could have easily disguised a killer explosive... How many people nowadays were walking around with Carcosan jewelry, and how many of those gems could have been secretly enchanted to go off at someone else’s command?

--and I stop in my tracks and marvel at how much you could do with vengeful, exploding jewelry. This story is positively dripping with imagination.

Super-Minor Nitpick: It's possible that Barr may be psychotic, but referring to him as a psychopath within the narration is incorrect. You've portrayed him as experiencing intense emotional disregulation (bouncing from giddy to sad and back again in the span of seconds), and one of the underlying factors of psychopathy is an inability to fully experience emotions. (Unless... Barr is trying to manipulate people by faking his emotions?)
#9734 · 2
· on The Northernlit Forge
Thank you all very much for your thoughts and comments! This story has a lot of issues (many of them stemming from my lazy refusal to write the story linearly to begin with), but it's the first piece in a long while that I've wanted to fix. I typed out a retrospective, then decided I liked the tl;dr version better, so here it is:

Repeated Writeoff participation helped me realize I want to write a book. This story will hopefully be that book.

(Because it's rather apparent it doesn't work as a flashback-laden bit of literary origami lol thanks for bearing with it y'all)
#4700 · 1
· on My Kingdom for a Snack
My Kingdom for a Snack:

>>Not_A_Hat >>georg >>Monokeras >>TheCyanRecluse
Thank you kindly for your all your insights and thoughts; they were quite enlightening. There seems to be a general consensus as to the age of the child being inconsistent, so I'll make a note to clean that up, should I ever revisit this story in the future.

>>ZaidValRoa >>Ceffyl_Dwr >>Baal Bunny
Thank you for your specific suggestions. You raise some good points.

king reacting thoughtfully to what felt like a sick burn

... brb, rewriting the story.

Thanks for comment, but latter half unclear