Varice Maverich and the Contest of Story and Drama

Hello, folksies! Today I have got a treat for you!

Some time ago my friends and I were puzzling over a few of the strange new trends populating the YA fantasy genre. At the same time, Varice Maverich and I were puzzling over what subject his next Making Readers Cry post should be about. (The last time I let him on my blog was in February, you see, and his posts are usually quite popular, so I figured it was about time he came around again.) Then, I had a crazy idea that may or may not have been sprung from a conversation my dad and I had several days before: What if Varice Maverich hosted a writing contest for readers of the Making Readers Cry series?

A contest with the challenge of writing a story, of any genre, by overdramatizing your favorite (and least-favorite!) tropes in the world of fiction?

Well, what do you think? Keep reading for details!

The Details

Yes, you heard that right– we’re hosting a contest for writers to pick and choose any number of tropes to incorporate into a short story. The point is to turn those tropes into the most overdramatized, cliche version of it you possibly can! But remember, this is a competition, and we’ll still be judging the quality of your work: so your story has to be well-written as well as hilarious. Better yet, if you can make us feel more than laughter while reading it… extra points if you can!

Speaking of judging… Varice Maverich and I won’t be alone! Joining with us on the judging panel are my sister Susie (whom you may know from the Susie and Me blog series!), Carlye from Carlye’s Camera (she’s also a member of the Tales of the Lonely Sun team, who host their own awesome writing contests from time to time!), and Eloria from Halfway Home (we’ve done an interview collab here!).

The Fine Print (as in, rules, because every contest has rules, and i promise these ones are fun!!)

  • your story must be centered around at least one common trope in fiction (i.e. “enemies-to-lovers romance,” “amnesia plot twist,” “the plague world crisis”) and dramatizes it in the MOST CLICHE WAY you can think of.
  • your story may be from any “young adult” genre, subgenre, or genre mashup of your pleasing. Feel free to draw from the many cliches you can find in each! (looking for funny fantasy cliches? check out Tracey Dyck’s hilarious Autobiography of a Fantasy Character!)
  • your story’s title must be in this format: A Fire of Oxygen and Wood (courtesy to Jorja for creating that gem), “A/The ______ of ______ and _______.” The words that fill in the blanks should have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER. A Tale of Song and Wrath, for instance, or Voyage of Teeth and Wind (neither of which are not actual book titles, so don’t fret). Additionally, because “A Fire of Wood and Oxygen” would sound marginally better than “A Fire of Oxygen and Wood,” you’re going to mix that up and make it so that it doesn’t sound better. Syntax is everything, folks.
  • your story must be clean and not contain any inappropriate content– we’re all too aware that cussing, gore, and icky romance is practically a cliche of its own in the World of YA, but please, for the sake of us, our delicate constitutions, and our readers, that’ll be one cliche we don’t want to see. (romance and violence are allowed because ~~tropes~~duh~~ but try to keep it PG. A PG YA story, I know right, how crazy? It’s a short story, good people; it’s manageable)
  • your story must be under a maximum of 2,000 words.
  • your story must be submitted as a Word or Google document, attached to an email addressed to me at Your story should be 12 pt. Times New Roman font, double-spaced. Feel free to add a little note and explain the tropes you decided to use!
  • your story should be submitted by July 30. Results will be posted August 5, so keep an eye out for that!

And if you win…

The prizes?

  • Your story’s publication on our blogs!
  • An inevitable sense of immense satisfaction, gratification, and accomplishment.
  • Varice Maverich and three judges’ lavishing praise upon your masterpiece! Whoa. Isn’t that enough incentive to make you want to win??

Okay, okay, enough playing around, I get it. But hey, ALL 3 WINNERS + HONORABLE MENTIONS will receive the above, PLUS…

  • 1st Place: a special analysis of the tropes used in YOUR WINNING STORY (with your story as an exemplary illustration!) in the Making Readers Cry blog series  + a $10 Amazon e-gift card + Carlye’s amazing photoshop skills being put to the test to make a custom bookmark featuring a meaningful quote from your story
  • 2nd Place: a $10 Amazon e-gift card + Carlye’s amazing photoshop skills being put to the test to make a custom bookmark featuring a meaningful quote from your story
  • 3rd Place: a $10 Amazon e-gift card

So, what’ll it be, folksies? You ready to brave the challenge and dive into the Stormy Sea of Cliche Creation? Important to note: cliches and tropes aren’t the same thing! Cliches are when you do a trope in a way that makes it trite/boring/annoying-like-the-one-hundred-fifty-sixth-love-triangle-featuring-the-exact-same-three-characters.

Have fun writing, folksies!

Until next time,

~ Merie

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