Blizzard Entertainment is proud to present the 2011 Blizzard® Global Writing Contest!
You sit at your typewriter, hands frozen in fear by the sound of crumpling paper from the darkness behind you. Shadows of broken quills encroach on your sight's periphery but slither out of view when you turn toward them. Summoning your courage, you lash out at the apparitions before they fade, only to awaken in a cold sweat with pencils and pens gripped tight in your clenched fists. You know what this dream foretells: the 2011 Global Writing Contest is upon us!
The Prophecy of the Unblinking Eye portends of a time when writing contest judges, mad with ocular fortitude from judging the 2009 and 2010 Global Writing Contests, would brazenly unleash the powers of the Ocunomicon. Seeking rituals to infuse themselves with the twisted souls of fel ocularians, they look to wield powers not meant for this or any other contest. But the sacrifices of semicolon keys and left-handed quills have only just begun, their Inkwells of Despair not yet depleted—there is time yet to save this contest!
Is your prose pulchritudinous enough to save this contest from eldritch powers that no eye should possess? 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 October 15th, 2011, and earn your chance to visit the Blizzard headquarters and meet the writers and staff behind the lore of Blizzard's games and books. (And probably save the world, too!*)
See below for details about prizes and frequently asked questions. You can also check out the official rules for more information.
(*World saving not guaranteed.)
FAQQ: My story is too long or too short. Is that a problem?
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 knowledge of English 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 entrants to copy edit their 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," "No Name," or other variations on that theme do 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 non-structured entries are extremely unlikely to win. Check out the 2009 and 2010 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 the 2009 and 2010 winners for guidance.
Q: I'd like to add some stylistic touches like a nice font or a radical 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? What if 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 free utilities that can convert a text file into .DOC format. Musty tomes will not be accepted as valid contest entries, but may be used to keep our judges pacified.
Q: What's an ocularian?
A: That is not seen which can eternal spy, for in strange aeons even sight may lie.