On behalf of the team at Zurn Central, I am pleased to announce the first ever Zurn July Writers Month (or #ZuJuWriMo), running from July 1 - July 31, 2016!
Some of you are probably familiar with NaNoWriMo, the National November Writers Month, where people across the country write stories and submit them, potentially for publication. The ZuJuWriMo is kind of like that...only, not really.
The formal announcement graphic will be on our Facebook Page later this week, but for now, here are the juicy details that you need to know (along with advice for writers as you read this post):
1. Original Work: The piece of fiction must be an original work, herein defined as 1) being both a piece that was started and completed during the month of July 2016, as well as 2) being written by the author (editorial commentary and proofreading by others is acceptable, but the writing and final decisions for revisions should come from the author).
2. Length: The piece may be up to 5000 words or shorter, not including the title page (if desired) and any citations, footnotes, endnotes, etc. (we...don't think these are needed in your work of fiction, but just in case, we're covering our bases).
3. Short Story Fiction: We are specifically looking for fiction in this piece. While we love non-fiction, poetry, song lyrics, etc., we are specifically looking to build the canon of legends and lore in Zurn, and you get a chance to be a part of that! So as a "high concept" for the competition (and for ease of comparison), we are looking for short stories, not to exceed 5000 words.
For the poets and lyricists among us, keep watching this space! We intend to offer other competitions in the future, so check back with us as we go forward!
4. Medieval Fantasy: While we intend to take Zurn into the Colonial, Western, Steampunk, Modern, and Futuristic Sci-Fi eras, we are building legends in this competition for the Medieval Era. All stories should be set in a medieval timeframe (so assume the 1200s and before in Earth's history).
In Zurn's timeline, the primary shift between the Medieval Era and the Colonial Era is the discovery of gunpowder. So gunpowder should not appear in the story.
5. Zurn as Mythos: We will be releasing over the next two weeks a few guides that will help to give you an idea of the setting for the world, but what you need to know about the Zurn mythos is this: it is a world that serves as the "meeting of the mythoses."
This means that you can find almost any mythical creature from almost any people group in Zurn. Our first core sourcebook, The Warriors of Zurn, has a very strong Greco-Roman, Norse, and Traditional High Fantasy feel to it in regards to the mythos, but our subsequent works will be featuring Eastern, Near Eastern, Hebraic, Hittite, Gaelic, Polynesian, and other ancient mythoses as well. Add in a bit of Manga and Anime, and you have yourself a very vibrant world.
Zurn also has some of its own creatures that are unique to its mythos: those creatures will be mentioned in the information released to you all later on this week.
6. Creativity with Class: Zurn Central is a family-friendly zone, and we intend to keep it this way. From our social media content to our blog posts and everything in between, our hope is to create a place where players as young as three years old (yes, we have beta testers as young as three years old!) and everyone above that age all feel like it is a place that they can visit without being accosted by inappropriate content.
Due to this nature, we are looking for stories that, if rated like a movie, would be rated "PG" or "PG-13" at the very most. Content that would compromise this standard will be grounds for not publishing the piece.
7. Creation of Lore: Our aim is to approach more than just the top winners of the competition for publishing, so we look forward to potentially hosting your work here at Zurn! Should a piece be selected for potential publishing (and thus adding to the Zurn canon of legend and lore), we will contact the writer directly to discuss any edits that need to be made to the work before publishing to make sure that we are all in agreement on the final version of the story for publication. Expected contact date: the fourth quarter of 2016.
8. Entry Fee and Prizes: Contestants should email their final work directly to the CEO of Zurn Central, Aaron Kamakawiwoole (firstname.lastname@example.org), no later than 11:59:59 pm on July 31, 2016. Submissions that have a time stamp after the deadline may still be considered for publishing, but not for consideration for the grand prize.
The First Place Winner of the competition will receive a $50 Visa Gift Card, while the Runner-Up will receive a $25 Visa Gift Card. There may also be additional Honorable Mentions for exceptional work.
9. Grading: Submissions will be graded on the following formula: 50% Content (i.e., how dynamic the story is, whether the plot is well-developed, cohesion of the plot elements, the strength of the climax, and the completeness of the resolution), 30% Characters (i.e., how believable, personal, and developed they are, dialogue between characters, etc.), and 20% Mechanics (strength of the writing, use of literary schemes and tropes, etc.).
10. Rights and Copyright: By submitting a piece to Zurn Central, the writer is giving possession and copyright of the fiction piece to Zurn Central. The writer may still retain (and use) the story for their personal portfolio if desired, and Zurn will give author credit on all sites, books, and other platforms that the story is used.
We look forward to seeing what you all have to offer! Keep an eye on this space later on this week, as we prepare to bring you some of the background on the world of Zurn to inform your mind as you prepare for the month of July!
May ideas flow gently and steadily through your fingers,