Announcing the Talent or Curse Contest!

Hello Episode Authors,

It’s time to start the next Writer’s Contest! This time the theme is Talent or Curse!

Contest Intro

Your Main Character has a talent or supernatural ability that while bringing some gifts, also makes life more difficult (or interesting) for them. This story should be romance - fantasy in genre.

Story Guidelines

  1. Your story must have “ToC” in the title. Stories without “ToC:” in the title will be disqualified. While not required for entry it is strongly recommended that you format your title like this - “ToC: TITLE HERE.” This will help readers search for your story and identify it as a contest entry.

  2. Your story must be written in either romance or fantasy, but romance should definitely be a main driver.

  3. You may write in either Cinematic (full-body, animated) or Spotlight (animated upper bodies) Styles or a combo of the two.

  4. We love to see diverse characters in your stories! For example, characters who are people of color, non-heteronormative, or are of varying religions and socioeconomic backgrounds, just to name a few! Fables and legends from all cultures are welcome and encouraged!

  5. You may NOT use or re-title a previously published story. This must be a new, original work not previously been published to Episode or other platforms. Sequels, prequels, spin-offs, etc. are also not allowed.

  6. If you are an official Episode Director or Writer, you may enter the contest, but only with original work created outside the scope of your contract with us.

  7. Be sure that your story follows our content guidelines. Stories that do not follow or which violate our Content Guidelines may be disqualified and/or have their story removed from the app. If you have any doubts or questions about whether elements or themes of your story fit with our Content Guidelines please contact the Episode Review team here.

Please be aware that our team will not answer any questions regarding specific plot points and whether they meet the requirements of the contest.

Story Requirements

  1. There is a length requirement for this contest. You need to have 5 completed chapters published by the entry deadline. Your story may be a complete short story or can be continued once the contest is over. You CAN publish new chapters during the judging period; however, you may not substantially alter or change your (first) 5 published chapters after the deadline (other than to make minor corrections).
  2. Gem choices are not required unless you are going for the new prize as detailed below. Please see the New Contest Prize section for more information.

Entering the Contest

  1. You must completely fill out this Google form to enter. In the event that you send the wrong link or make a mistake on your entry form, please send your story title, email address and the correct link in a support ticket so we can update your entry.
  2. The submission window is 12 weeks. Your story must be published no later than 11:59 pm Pacific Time on Tuesday, December 19th, 2023. To find out what time that is in your time zone, go here!
  3. Remember to allow at least 3 business days prior to the contest deadline for your backgrounds, overlays and story cards to be reviewed. This means you should plan on submitting them no later than Thursday, December 14th, 2023. You may not add, change or modify story cards, backgrounds, or overlays after the entry deadline until the winner’s shelf is announced.

Editing During the Contest Period

  1. Fixing typos and errors are allowed after the deadline for contest entries. This includes things like character or speech bubble placement, spelling / grammatical errors or typos. You may not: add options to your CC, change or update your cover art, change your story’s genre, add to, edit or change your story description, add additional scenes, choices, dialogue, backgrounds or overlays. When in doubt, ask Support before making any changes. Once the winner’s shelf has been made public you are free to make changes or updates to your story.

Determining Winners

  1. Winners are determined based on the highest levels of reader engagement, rubric score and fit to contest theme. Check out our Episode Explained articles on Creator’s Contests, the Grading Rubric and Reader Retention for more info on how they all work. As well, we recommend using keywords to your advantage, to help interested readers find your story quickly! For more information on how best to use Episode keywords, check this article out!

Winners of this contest will still be featured on the Winners’ Shelf in the app. Continuing on from other contests, we will be offering authors on the winner’s shelf who meet the gem choice requirement the opportunity to enter our Commissions Program!

The Commissions prize does come with a separate requirement that will affect your eligibility to win.

To be eligible:

  1. You must have at least 2 story-related gem choices in each of your first 5 chapters, for a total of 10. The gem choices included should be narrative driven and make sense based on the story.

Gem choices that meet the requirements include:

  • Bonus Content/Scenes
  • Outfits
  • Dialogue choices

Gem choices that will NOT meet the requirements include:

  • Support the Author
  • Skip the Wait
  • Topping up Points

Contest Winners

Winners from this contest will be showcased in a special event shelf in the Episode app and get a shoutout on our social media account! Winners will be announced 3-6 weeks after the submission deadlines pass as the stories need time to gain reads in the app and for our staff to review them.

Our special prize winners will be contacted separately by the Episode team to discuss further details of their win!

Gem Choice Guides and Checklist Links

Gem Choice Guide

Sample Gem Choices Slides

Gem Choice Checklist

Happy writing!

The Episode Team

51 Likes

Is anyone entering this?

2 Likes

Is it OK if the story has no fantasy or supernatural plot points and it’s just about human talent but a romance story?

5 Likes

Honestly, I thought the next contest would have a horror theme or something spooky for Halloween.

30 Likes

Same. Kind of upset about that

10 Likes

i wish it was something spooky and not… romance… :unamused:

20 Likes

I was honestly hoping and rooting for that, but well…

12 Likes

I like the idea, is it possible for the next art release to have some backgrounds and outfits for the fantasy genre? I feel like our options are more limited in this genre with outfits and backgrounds. Please and thank you!

27 Likes

Yes this would be a good idea, it’ll be rather hard to make outfits or good scenes without more fantasy related items.
@Liz

4 Likes

this sounds fun!!

1 Like

Write a dark fantasy!

8 Likes

awhh another romance/fantasy?!

i’m still excited to read entries though, good luck to everyone entering!!

keeping my fingers crossed for the next contest

6 Likes

You can always do modern fantasy!

4 Likes

:unamused: another contest where romance has to be involved. As someone who doesn’t write romances, this is yet another contest I won’t be entering. I really wish they’d switch up their contests because seriously every one of them have romance as a required plot point.

Anyways, good luck to the people entering!

16 Likes

@episode this is how you lose your fellow readers or authors when romance is added. Truth be told romance doesn’t have to always play a big part stories these days. Some of us are tired of the same thing over and over lol :sob: give us something new pls :smiling_face_with_tear:. Overall hopefully you guys can take this into consideration :face_holding_back_tears::smiling_face_with_tear:

14 Likes

I see people are displeased about the romance aspect but I think what it boils down to is episode is using these contests as a way to find authors for their commissions program and a commissioned author must write romance

25 Likes

Another 5 chapter story contest that requires romance once again. I was expecting something else like Horror, Thriller, etc. since Halloween month is coming. Come on Episode, think outside the box. And we need more fantasy stuff for the next art release for this one. :sob::skull:

But…I AM SO TEMPTED TO WRITE ANTHER STORY CAUSE IT IS FANTASYYY. :star_struck::sob::pleading_face:

24 Likes

Awww fun theme!! :blush:

4 Likes

Could’ve been an interesting theme if it wasn’t limited to romance smh please announce some interesting contests

7 Likes

Can we please get more fantasy items? Maybe like mermaid tails, I have so many ideas for mermaid stories but there are no mermaid clothes! :weary:

However, I am super excited about this theme!!

8 Likes