Thanks go to all the eleven participants who entered the Young Amanda short story writing competition. The task was to come up with a short story based on this picture:torqual3d.deviantart.com/art/Y…
The results are as follows:1st Place Gwarmadillo
2nd Place Mad-Man-with-a-Pen
3rd Place perilsofdawn
I will now be getting in touch with Gwarmadillo to discuss an illustration for the prize winning story.
Sorry it's taken so long to get back on this, but I had eleven great stories to read and mark! Thanks to NoComeupance
for being my co-marker. We each reviewed the stories on multiple criteria, then added our scores together for a total score.
The criteria for scoring the stories were not known in advance, as I didn't want people 'writing to the test', however, they are as follows...
1) Overall quality of the writing (0-2 points)
2) Fit with Amanda's back story (0-2 points)
3) Build up to the KO scene (0-2 points)
4) The KO scene itself (0-2 points)
5) Aftermath of the KO scene (0-2 points)
I hope you all enjoyed writing the stories and reading the ones submitted by others. It's always a pleasure and a privilege to read anything written for my characters.
As you all took time to put pen to digital paper, I thought I would post some comments on each story, in the order they were submitted.superman1764
Sorry, we had to discount your entry as it was way too short.neekho
Pretty short and to the point. We don't really know much about how Amanda got into this sleuthing-gone-wrong situation. The KO itself is not described, indeed the whole scene was aftermath. We found out that Amanda was faking - bonus marks for that one!perilsofdawn
Beautifully described as always. Good fit with Amanda's Young Sleuth career, as I'd expect from the author of her CYOA stories. A very nice build up with a well-written 'faked KO' (again). Seems like my affinity for such scenes has become picked up on! A delightful little bit of 'searching' followed, but then things ended somewhat abruptly. Scored very highly but just outstripped by the two epics that came 1st and 2nd.robopope25
A very short entry, with a crossover between Amanda and one of R25's own characters. I need to make it clearer that Amanda was never a cheerleader. Not a lot of backdrop to this story; Amanda simply stumbles into a basement and gets punched out. Cue a typically Robopope ending!Gwarmadillo
We both liked this one the most. It's well-written with interesting characters and a nicely described setting. We get to see Amanda's inquisitive side as she investigates a historical puzzle. Amanda falls victim here to some chloroform (as always a popular method!) The aftermath is very well done, with a nice bit of carrying and lost modesty. Thankfully, in the end, Amanda is not seriously hurt. Lovely story, it actually scored a perfect '20'.pizzanerd1
I enjoyed the start to this, where Amanda was investigating a pet-napping conspiracy. It was the perfect kind of small-time crime to attract the attention of a teen detective. The build up was really good as Amanda snooped around and went underground. Unfortunately Amanda got a little over-confident telling the bad guys she would go to the police (d'oh!) leaving them no choice but to drug her, presumably like they did all the pets. This however was described very briefly and we didn't really find out what happened afterwards.Greeneyes80a
A tie in with the recent Second Life based picture story on Greeneyes' own page, teaming Amanda up with her own character Kimberley. The story started with Amanda waking up, so we didn't really see her getting into the peril initially, nor was the KO itself described (only the after effects). The story had Amanda and Kimberley investigating a Cthulu cult - imaginative enough! - but couldn't score any marks for fit with Amanda's back story (I have always placed her in a world without the supernatural or monsters, however strong the temptation may be!)gundam20012005
An experienced Amanda-writer so my expectations were high. This was perhaps the best-described KO of all the stories... a kind of sleepy spray developed by two geek students in their chemistry lesson. The reasons why this story did make the top three were as follows. First, Amanda is not really on an adventure and is just sitting in the school library (nice enough but it can't score above the castles and dungeons described by the others). Second, Amanda doesn't do a hell of a lot and is just a damsel waiting to be rescued - really the story is written from the viewpoint of her would-be assailants. Finally (and I had to knock you down for this), St Hilda's is an all-girls school!Mad-Man-with-a-Pen
This story was the runner-up, but my co-marker's joint favourite. The build up was nicely described with Amanda investigating a rogue teacher who, it turns out, is being blackmailed by her nemesis, Rachel Fox. Cue a struggle and a dose of chloroform. It was all very nice, and this story could have won, only I wouldn't let it for a couple of reasons - actually three. First, and I have to be strict about this, Amanda doesn't meet Rachel until university, in the story Outfoxed. I know they appear in the 300k page views picture together but that was just a bit of fun. Secondly, Amanda and Rachel are very closely matched - and here I felt that Rachel beat her too easily. And finally, I don't think many students carry chloroform around with them, however hot that might sound, it's probably not believable. Still, a worthy second place!yellowplasma
I'd been looking forward to seeing what YP would come up with as such a stalwart follower of all things Amanda. This was short although well-written (as expected), and fitted nicely with Amanda's back story. Overall it was good, although it did fall foul of the marking criteria. The scene started with Amanda waking up post-chloroforming. She found herself in a kind of cell with her antagonist. Amanda didn't really get to do much except argue with him before a 'white flash' seemed to leave her unconscious again. And then it finished. This read like it could be the start to a really good story. Maybe one day I will get to read the rest - would certainly love to!grimweird
What an epic! This was the only story to feature a full-on gun battle (I wasn't all that surprised, actually!) Nice build up in this one, well-woven into Amanda's back story with her investigating a cult on the campus of St. Hilda's. When Amanda did get in trouble, exactly HOW she became KO'd wasn't particularly clear, being some combination of what seemed like a nerve pinch and a stun gun? It was a little bit on the cruel side for a Young Amanda story. The immediate aftermath however was pretty cool with Amanda being lifted onto an altar and bound, only to stretch credibility a bit when she was rescued by some kind of special forces in a deus ex machina ending(!) Still, an enjoyable read and not quite as 'grim' as I had feared.TH56ma3LZ
Well this must get the prize for the oddest story (or at least ending). The setting seemed to evoke 60's camp such as The Prisoner and The Avengers. It didn't fit too well with Amanda's universe except for the part about her having English relatives, which indeed she does. The parts I enjoyed were the description of Amanda exploring (while being watched on camera by a sinister computer) then put to sleep with gas, which was gorgeously described. The ending however was pretty abrupt and unfathomable, being a joke about HMRC which (although I totally got it!) was pretty incongruous with the story.
And there we are. I would say this has been quite a success and it's pretty likely I will hold another writing competition in the future. Thanks all once again for your entries!