1. Why do you think creators chose to participate in this contest?
Everyone has their own reasons. Personally, I participated because it inspired me with an idea for a story that would not let me go (originally I wasn’t going to participate since I have other stories I need to update…)
Some people participate because they join every contest, and then I’m sure there are other reasons too.
2. Why do you think Episode picked this theme?
Probably because it’s a theme they haven’t done yet. They usually choose a different one for each contest. And like @Annieways said, it’s a popular theme in general.
3. Do you notice any trends in the stories?
I guess in most of the stories I’ve read, the MC has fallen more on the side of the “hero” (or at least, the person with good intentions)
4. Is this theme too ‘restricted?’
Not at all. Liz specified in the original post that we weren’t limited to writing about super heroes and super villains. The theme is really “good vs. evil” which I think is just as broad a topic as “love”.
5. Is it unfair that more famous authors have a higher chance of winning?
Honestly, there is probably a bit of bias towards popular authors… but the contest isn’t actually judged by how many reads a story gets. It’s judged partly by reader retention and so the more people who give up on a story part way through, the less chance it has of winning. This goes for famous authors too. The rest of the score is assigned by the Episode team, who have to read every entry and assign scores based on fit to contest theme, use of choices, narrative flow, spelling and grammar and directing. I’ve seen stories with under 1k reads beat out stories with over 10k reads in previous contests.
6. Who do you think the audience is with this theme?
If I had to guess, it’s probably action, but my own story is in the comedy section, and I’ve seen a couple other stories in there too. Some are in fantasy, some are in adventure.
7. Is there any directing style that just blew you away?
Are we allowed to put examples that aren’t our own? Because of stories I’ve read, The Stolen Child, Blurred Lines and Wild West had some pretty amazing use of overlays and directing.
8. How many stories, do you think, should be on the shelf as winners?
I think the usual is fine. It’s a contest after all. The best entries should get the spotlight. Although it would be pretty cool if there were some “honorable mentions” in the announcement on the forums (like, stories that almost but didn’t quite make the cut for the shelf).