Posts Tagged: Stories



So in case you’ve been living under a nerdfightastic rock (It’d have to be pretty nerdfightastic to distract you from what’s going on right now), you probably know that today and tomorrow we are in the midst of “The Project For Awesome”. Most of you I expect know what to do and what’s going on. YouTubers from all around the world are making videos about charities, we’re liking, rating, commenting and generally paying these videos attention so that they get up there in the YouTube Homepage’s face. And we’re voting on which of these charities we like the best, so that we can choose where the funds from the foundation to decrease world suck goes.

And just so you know, so far, we have sold 10 copies of the anthology through Amazon, and 4 through Smashwords, and although Smashwords won’t be paying us in time, we have thus far raised $10 through Amazon, which has gone to the foundation to decrease worldsuck, so go us!

But back to the P4A specifically, and I’d like to take this opportunity to support some videos that all focus around a specific cause. The cause of books. If you’re a follower of this tumblr, or if you’re a nerdfighter in general, chances are you love reading and writing and you want to give that ability to as many people as possible. I agree, that would be a most excellent thing, which is why I think we should support the following charities

Books For Kids

Book Aid International

The Book Bus

Books For Africa

First Book

Book Cycle

Reading is Fundamental

Room to Read

Kids Need to Read

Local Libraries

As you can see, there are a lot of reading and book charities out there, all of which more than deserve your support. So get out there, and lets get people reading!

God Bless, Best Wishes and DFTBA

PS. Here again is the anthology link for Kinde and Smashwords.


Yes, its finally here! You’ve all been waiting patiently, (I know I wanted to know how I did!). We started this eleven months ago, we got some great judges, we’ve had a logo design contest, we sold thirty tickets, received twenty one stories, raised 150USD for the foundation to decrease World Suck, and now finally, we’re ready to tell you whose won… Ready? We’re going to get to the big main prize, and the list of anthology accepted stories later. Right now though, we’re going to have some of the other prizes.

The judges were asked, when they made their deliberations, to consider several different categories. You may remember them from the rules list. SPAG WC (Spelling, punctuation, aesthetic, grammar and word count), format, style, characters, plot, originality, interpretation of the plot, and judge’s discretion. Making an award out of SPAG WC or formatting seemed kind of redundant, and questions of style or judge’s own discretion seem too subjective to be included on their own. So instead, we’re going to have awards for the following categories

Best Plot

Best Characters

Most Original

Best Interpretation of the Prompt

And in each of these categories we’ll be giving the top three stories, and their scores. We don’t have any specific prizes for these people, other than honourable mentions of their victories in the Anthology, but we’ll be e-mailing people some lovely certificates in the coming weeks.

And now, onto the first award

Best Plot

In joint third place, with scores of 35/50 each, “A Twist of Fate" by Luzia Leifheit and “Still Reading" by Alissa Charvonia

In second place, scoring 37/50, “The Machines are Talking" by Jerry Patton

And in joint first place, with scores of 39/50, “Indianapolis Awaits" by Jack Tindle and “The True Spirit of Christmas" by Michael Trimmer

Well done everyone there. Now we move onto…

Best Characters

In third place, with 36/50, “To Live Forever" by Dan Taflin

In second place, scoring 41/50, “The Machines are Talking" by Jerry Patton

And in first place, totalling 43/50, “Indianapolis Awaits" by Jack Tindle

A hearty congratulations to everyone there! Now, the next category

Most Original

In third place, with a score of 40/50, “Still Reading" by Alissa Charvonia

In second place, scoring 43/50, “The Machines are Talking" by Jerry Pattona

And in first place, managing 44/50 “The True Spirit of Christmas" by Michael Trimmer

Close fought there! Now onto our final category before the big two!

Best Interpretation of the Prompt

In joint third place, each scoring 42/50, “A Strange Kindness" by Lily Stanicek, and "Still Reading" by Alissa Charvonia

In second place, with 43/50, “The Machines are Talking" by Jerry Patton

And in first place, with 44/50 (our closest contest!) was “Indianapolis Awaits" by Jack Tindle

That was very very tight! And now, we’re about to move into the final overall prize, where we see the top three stories, when considering everything we’ve mentioned here, along with style, formatting, spelling, and of course the judge’s own discretion. So here we go, the winners of the DFTBA Short Story Contest, 2012…

In third place, with scores from each of the judges of 64, 70, 70, 80 and 86, totalling up to 370/500, we have “Indianapolis Awaits" by Jack Tindle. A marvellous first person piece, dealing with questions of terminal illness, people we leave behind and life’s many moments of “What If?”

In second place, with the judges scoring it at 65, 69, 74, 80 and 90, giving a total of 378/500, “The True Spirit of Christmas" by Michael Trimmer. A science fiction piece asking the question of just how we would go about explaining the concept of charity to a totally alien mind.

But the winner, with the amazing scores of 66, 69, 71, 90 and 94, arriving at an overall score, head and shoulders ahead, with 390/500, was the excellent “The Machines are Talking" by Jerry Patton. A superbly original, emotional, descriptive and inventive tale dealing with themes of old age and autism that leaves you at its end with a wonderful haunting twist.

Congratulations to all the victors in all the categories, and a special congratulations to Jerry Patton for a brilliant work of written fiction. Special thanks to all the judges who put in considerable time and effort into their deliberations (and a personal thanks from myself, for their high praise of “The True Spirit of Christmas”)

But we’re not done yet, oh no! There’s still one very important part remaining.

The Anthology!

That’s right! The time’s come. We’re going to reveal the final list of stories that have made it into our illustrious collection. Each of these stories will soon be available to read on an e-reader near you!

Before we release the list, a word about the process. The judges, as you have probably noticed from the scores given in the top three positions, have had lots of widely differing opinions about the collection of entries we sent to them. To give you some idea of just how differing some of there thoughts were, here’s one particularly interesting fact. The story with the highest score from a single judge didn’t actually make it into the top three. Although one judge gave it a whopping 95, another gave it 47, and yet another 35, putting it second from bottom in their own personal listing.

Now this is the very reason we have multiple judges. If we only had one or two, things could be missed, and true value potentially ignored. But it also means that when it comes to selecting potential members of an anthology, my task becomes very difficult. A simple mathematical cut off point wouldn’t do justice to the complexity involved in making these decisions, but at the same time, at some point, that cut off does have to come. So I made the decision to put it to a vote, after a fashion. A story would only be accepted into the contest if a majority of the judges believed it should be entered. Each judge had a “y/n” section of their judging sheets, and cast their vote that way. This was as fair as I could manage, being both reasonably accepting and appropriately discerning. As an interesting point, only two stories in the entire collection received a unanimous approval from all five judges, “The True Spirit of Christmas" and "The Machines are Talking

So without further ado, and in alphabetical order, I present to you the list of entrants to the 2012 DFTBA Short Story Anthology. Fifteen wonderful stories that I’m sure all of you are looking forward to reading. They are:

A Strange Kindness" - By Lily Stanicek

A Twist of Fate" - By Luzia Leifheit

An Evening in Soledad" - By Ali Zayaan

Blind Hope" - By Jenni Herd

Indianapolis Awaits" - By Jack Tindle

It Goes On" - By Anni Clark

No Good Deed" - By Nicole Sherman

Reformation Through Deception" - By Emily Unger

Squaring the Circle" - By Josephine Arnoux

Still Reading" - By Alissa Charvonia

The Body" - By Emily D’Elia

The Machines are Talking" - By Jerry Patton

The True Spirit of Christmas" - By Michael Trimmer

To Live Forever" - By Dan Taflin

Your Story" - By Alex Suggs

A really big thank you and congratulations to everyonethere, and I look forward to seeing your names in the overall publication. Commiserations to those of you whose stories didn’t make it, but thank you so so much for taking part in what’s been a really amazing enterprise.

But it’s not over, oh no!

This contest is only the beginning. Not only have we got the anthology on the way, but there’s next year to think about to. And the next, and the next after that. What wondrous prompts, crazy logos and intrepid authors will come our way. Who knows, and who dares dream! Me! That’s who, and I bet plenty of you out there along with me! So let’s dream big and go on together. Because as they say, the best, is yet to come…

God Bless, Best Wishes, and of course DFTBA!


Greetings all, this post is going to come to you in three parts. Let’s go

Part one: New members!

So I’ve noticed a steady influx of new followers over the last few weeks, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to say welcome properly! We’re very glad to have you all on board here, and I’m very excited to have as many followers as possible, because the more followers we have, the more people (I hope!) will be taking part! And receiving great stories is what we’re all really looking forward too, so thanks for coming out!

Part two: Countdown…

As many of you may have noticed, October 2nd, the final deadline of the contest, is now only a few short weeks away. Thus far, we’ve got fourteen tickets bought (including my own) and two people (neither of them me) have submitted their stories. So if you’re like me, and you haven’t started yet, get cracking!

Remember also, and this is an important point. You MUST send your ticket in with your story. You can’t submit your story and then retroactively buy a ticket. The ticket has to come with the email you submit your story in. There are more details about the exact format etc in the submissions section. This is one part of how we’re going to be raising money for the foundation to decrease worldsuck (the other being sales of the anthology).

So here’s a fancy free HTML countdown timer to let you know just how long you’ve got! Hope it encourages you along! Looking forward to seeing submission emails soon!

Part three: My submission

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I myself do intend to be taking part in the contest, but I felt like it deserved talking about out in the open. Let me be very very clear on this point. I don’t intend to give myself any advantages at all as the organiser of this contest. The rules have been designed very very specifically so that the contest is judged blind. No one will know who wrote which manuscript during the judging process. Although I have personal associations with some of the judges, no one is going to know which story is mine. I am not looking for any special treatment of any kind, and I wanted to lay that on the table. Each story will be judged on merit and merit alone.

That being said, this is a community project, and I don’t want to do something against the will of the wider group of nerdfighters who make up this project. If a substantial number of you have issue with me taking part in the contest directly, I’ll not enter. I’ll still leave my ticket money in the pot, but I won’t write something to go into the anthology. If people would be more comfortable with that, please let me know (although I would request that you do not do so as an anon, simply because it makes it easier to respond to your issues directly). Of course, if you have no problem with my participation, let me know that too, so I can judge the balance of opinions!

Thanks for your attention. I look forward to hearing from you all, and God bless as you go forth into your writings!

Best wishes


PS. My personal website is under redevelopment atm, so if you go to the previous links I posted, you won’t find anything. It will hopefully be sorted soon!


Hello all! I promised a news-post, and so I shall deliver. Today’s news-post comes to you in SIX parts, so lets get to it.

Part one: Entrance fees

So we have several pieces of news on the entrance fee front. I can tell you now that the entrance fee will be…


Now if you’re wondering why it is that rather specific amount, you’re probably not alone. The reason is to do with the service that we are using to make the entrance fee possible. That service is Eventbrite and they are charging us $1.12 per sale to make use of their service. So for every person who enters, we are donating $5 to the Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck. Given my initial prediction of the price being somewhere between $4-$8 USD, I think this is a reasonable compromise. What will happen when it comes to submissions is that in order to confirm, when you do submit, that you have indeed contributed, you’ll be asked to send in your email, a copy of your Eventbrite receipt for the event. You’ll be pleased to know you will be able to buy tickets very soon. Specifically, they will be available after the conclusion of the logo competition, which will be over on the 15th February (I’ve decided to shorten it to one week of voting).  Also, to make this easier for everyone, the payments will be received via the magic of

Yes! I figured this was the easiest way for everyone to get involved. Its a system everyone is used to, familiar with and thus will make it the best way for as many people to get involved as possible.

Part two: Thank you

This is a small part, but just a brief thank you to the people over at FrenchThePodcast for giving our contest a shout-out on their show. I’ve been in contact with them over a couple of messages, and they’ve said that we will probably talk more soon and again when more details have been finalised. There are of course, many many more people who we need to thank for the many and various things they are doing for this contest, and at apropriate moments, such thanks will be given out. Expect this section to become a regular part of the news feed on this tumblr!

Part three: Judges

So since my last news-post our numbers have gone up rather a good deal and I wanted to give a brief refresher on the people that the panel of judges currently consists of. In order of their arrival on the panel, they start as follows.

Marcy Collier - A professional critic for the Western Pennsylvania branch of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators as well as being the editor of the Golden Penn newsletter (a blog she regularly contributes to can be found here and her twitter is here).

Katie Biela -  English Literature teacher in one of America’s top ten preparatory schools.

Sean Totterdell - Co-editor in chief of DFTBA News a tumblr with such accomplishments as an in-depth and intriguing interview with Hank Green on the subject of Education.

Jonathan David Lim & the Bullet Reviews team - The writers and editors of a website providing insightful, succinct and clear reviews of books, films and games.

Now I think you’ll agree that this is a rather stellar list, but I am looking for more people. I’m thinking we have a maximum of three more slots available. Before I had said I wanted twelve, but on reflection that seemed too unwieldy. Now I’ve had some very interesting applications from several very interesting people, but I am once again reminding people to say that, if you want to be a judge, send an email saying why you think you would make a good judge for this contest to


Previously I have said that I would be accepting these emails until the 8th April, but to speed things along for various reasons, I’m going to cut that time down. You have until the new end of the logo competition, that’s February 15th, to be sending me your Nerdfighter judging CV/Resume!

Part four: The logo contest

If you’re a regular follower of this blog then you may be possibly getting a little tired of hearing about this now, since it’s practically all the blog has consisted of for the last few weeks. But I’d just like to say that I’ve been really amazed and impressed with everyone’s entries and also just the sheer number of people who have taken to their pens and graphics editing suites to take part. I’m really glad of everyone’s involvement, and it’s been a really great part of the contest. Thank you very much. I’m looking forward to the final result. Remember though… YOU STILL HAVE ONE DAY LEFT! Just over in fact! If you’re wanting to take part, click here!

Part five: The dream of a physical book…

From the begining of this project, I’ve made it very clear that this will be, when published, an anthology on the format of an E-book. The reason being is that I know for a fact it is something I can do. Using formats like Smashwords and Amazon, I can very simply arrange it so that I can publish this anthology as a Kindle E-book. However… it would be really great if we could… possibly… maybe… just… get this published some way or some how, as a real world physical book to go into bookshops around the world.

With that in mind, I’m proposing another e-mail campaign. Specificly, one to John Green’s literary agent, Jodi Reamer (who interestingly, is also the agent of Stephanie Meyer). My thinking is that if she represents John Green, she might be quite happy to also represent Nerdfighteria and it’s literary creation, if enough people expressed an interest in her doing so. If you too would like to see the DFTBA Short Story Anthology 2012 become a physical book also


And put as the subject of your E-mail “DFTBA Short Story Anthology 2012”, and in the body of your message, tell her about the contest, about what it’s trying to do, and that you would think it would be great if it is made into a physical book!

Also, while we’re on the subject of e-mail campaigns…

Part six: Operation John Green!

We’re still looking for the possibility of John Green being a judge on this contest. I’ve contacted him, and I suspect others of you have too, but we have still not heard anything like a yay or nay on this prospect. If you want to tell him you’d like him to be involved, please e-mail him at


If you’ve read all the way down to here, I thank you very much for your patience and interest! If you have any questions about anything I’ve posted here, please leave me a message! Best wishes to one and all, and, of course…




So after some expression of significant interest from both the Nerdfighters ning, and the Your Pants forums, I thought that I should set up a Tumblr dedicated to chronicling how we are getting on with the organisation of the first Nerdfighter short story contest. Thus far we’ve got several things discussed and agreed upon, though some of these may possibly change: -

  • This project is definitely for charity.
  • The revenue will be generated in two ways. Firstly by an entrance fee for the contest, and secondly by sales of the anthology containing the winning entrants. All of the money from both of these will be going to the charity that we choose.
  • There will be a first, second and third prize, and then a larger number of stories that reach the accolade of being published in the anthology.
  • The anthology at the end will most likely be an E-book for Kindle and other platforms. Although we would like there to be a physical book published, there is a good chance that doing so would cut far too deeply into the charity revenue.
  • The story length would be somewhere between 1000 and 3500 words.

There are however lots of things still to be decided, namely…

  • Which charities are we giving to?
  • What will the entrance fee be? (off hand, my guess would be between $4-$8 US)
  • Who/How will we be publishing said anthology? Shall we self publish it, or shall we go through Amazon or other means?
  • How will the contest work? Will there be rounds with different prompts, or will there be one prompt and everyone works around that.
  • Will there be any feedback from the judges? Or will we arrange it so that participants can go to a special forum and receive/give constructive criticism and general feedback

There are advantages and disadvantages to various different ways of organising this, and I’ll post about them over the next few days. However, the one thing we definitely need at this stage can be summed up in one word


Until we have people who would be willing to act as judges in this contest, we can’t really start planning anything else. We certainly have plenty of willing participants, but as for people actually who want to read lots and lots of our stories and pass judgement on them as to who is best etc, that’s going to be much much harder. As I myself actually want to take part and write a story myself, it’s really not going to be me, so we need to find some people who would be willing to do that for us. Preferably, people with significant reading/writing credentials. Of course there are John and Hank Green to approach, but they are rather busy with lots of other things right now. So if you know anyone who you think would be apt, or if you are someone who is apt, please get in touch with us! Send me a message here, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible to arrange more! In the meantime, wait for more news here.