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While searching for news about fanfiction on the internet, I came across this contest over at Blizzard Entertainment. Check it out…

Blizzard Entertainment is proud to present the 2010 Blizzard Global Writing Contest!

Once again you’re called to action, to use your wits and strength, to compete for the ultimate prize.

Your weapons? They seem to be but a musty tome and quill*, but know that their power is far stronger than the armies of the Scourge, far craftier than the zerg Swarm, and far mightier than the Burning Hells. Ready your tools, scribe, and prepare for combat with the inky beast called fiction!

Whether you’re an accomplished writer or you simply fancy writing as a hobby, we encourage one and all to submit their creative works to our judges of official Blizzard writers and masters of lore. Their eyeballs are glistening and ready, their ocular fortitude intensified by the 2009 Blizzard Global Writing Contest.

Yes, last year’s contest was a marathon for the retina. After poring over story and ballad, adventure and romance, the judges ascended from their drool-covered keyboards to proclaim that they had succeeded in their charge: the 2009 winners had been chosen. News delivered, they then heroically passed out.

Do you dare test our judges’ optic mettle, laying your ideas and dreams beneath their unblinking gaze? If so, submit a 2,500- to 7,500-word short story written in English and set in the Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo universe by August 23, 2010, and earn your chance to visit the Blizzard headquarters and meet the writers and staff behind the lore of Blizzard’s games and books.

See below for details about prizes and frequently-asked questions. You can also check out the official rules for more information.

(*Please see the FAQ regarding the submission of musty tomes.)

Award Categories

Grand Prize: The grand prize winner will receive a trip to Blizzard’s headquarters in southern California, where you’ll meet and eat with the Blizzard writing staff. You’ll also receive your choice of a Diablo III “OVERTHROWN” barbarian diorama or a Frostmourne sword.

Runners-up: Seven runners-up will each receive a prize package of the Diablo Archive, the Warcraft Archive, the StarCraft Archive, and the Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archive, all signed by Chris Metzen, the cover artists, and Blizzard’s writing staff.

Q: My story is too long or too short. Is that a problem?
A: No story may be shorter than 2,500 words or longer than 7,500 words. Most word processors have a word-count feature that can tell you your story’s length. To avoid disqualification, we encourage all entrants to ensure that their stories’ word counts are within the acceptable range.

Q: English is not my native language. Is that an issue?
A: No, as long as the story is well-written and grammatically sound. If you’re unsure of your abilities in the English language, we encourage you to find someone with good knowledge of grammar to copy edit your story.

Q: So if I’m a native English speaker, I’m in the clear?
A: Maybe, but we highly encourage all of you to copy edit your stories just the same. Although you can do this yourself, it’s recommended that you ask for help from someone you know who is well-versed in the rules of the English language.

Q: Does my entry have to have a title? Can I just call it “Untitled”?
A: Every story must have a title. And no, “Untitled” does not count as a title.

Q: My story is more of a poem or free-flowing parade of thought. Is that okay?
A: This is a contest for short fictional stories; poems or other non-structured entries are extremely unlikely to win. Look at last year’s winners for guidance.

Q: My entry is more of a moment-by-moment account of what my character does in-game. Is that okay?
A: We’re looking for complete literary works of short fiction based on the Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo franchise. Accounts of in-game events or works that detail game mechanics are not literary fiction. Again, we highly encourage you to take a look at last year’s winners for guidance.

Q: I’d like to add some stylistic touches like a nice font or a cool background image. Any ideas?
A: We urge you to stay away from these sorts of artistic elements altogether. Your primary focus should be on making your text as easy to read as possible, so we advise you to stick with plain fonts and white backgrounds.

Q: Are .PDF, .RTF, or other file formats accepted this year? Can I mail you a musty tome?
A: We require that all submissions be in .DOC format. If you do not have Microsoft Word, there are a number of other free utilities that can convert a text file into .DOC format. Tomes, no matter the quality or quantity of must they contain, will not be accepted as valid contest entries.

To read the article at the Blizzard Entertainment site and enter the contest, click HERE

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