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Leland Bishop & Della Vetri Are Writing Challenge Runners-Up

Many congratulations to the writers behind Ensign Leland Bishop and Ambassador Della Vetri! These writers’ stories were selected by the judges from the September & October Writing Challenge, “Run Shivers Down My Spine,” as co-runners-up, a very unusual honor indeed! Their stories — “The Last Night on Lookout” and “The Touch of the Sleeper,” respectively — stood out for a variety of reasons. I’ll let the judges’ comments speak for themselves! In response to “The Last Night on Lookout,”

The morbid images, crafted so subtly by the author, are what stuck with me: Whether it’s the final sentence of the opening paragraph that so wonderfully plays with language and image (“choking … on Lookout”) or it’s the final line (“How sad it was that the poor man beneath him hadn’t had time to shave”), this story refuses to sit down quietly and instead forces the reader to consider it head-on. That’s really a fancy way of saying that I was hooked…!

In response to “The Touch of the Sleeper,”

This is a solid story, a double-braid that considers two archaeotechnology specialists on the one hand and their subject on the other. Perhaps it’s the theme or the time of year, but I saw this as a nice riff on Frankenstein’s basic territory, and it was a pleasant little riff! There’s a good escalation of tension throughout the piece, and it’s handled well: I felt the sort of full-body realization of my heartbeat that means that what I’m reading is doing a good job of scaring me — or at least signaling to me that it’s about to do so.

Well done, you two! Please offer these talented writers your congratulations if you haven’t done so already!

The year’s final Challenge, “Love & Betrayal,” is currently ongoing and will end on Friday, December 26th, so be sure to hurry over to the Writing Challenge Forum for guidelines, deadlines, and inspiration!

As always, don’t forget that you can pick up a complete collection of all this round’s short stories, in PDF format, for free. Get yours here!


How can I be a Writing Challenge guest judge?

You may have noticed, at the end of every announcement of Writing Challenge winners and runners-up, that there’s a short paragraph thanking each of the judges. While many of the judges are the same from challenge to challenge, there’s also usually a note thanking a special guest judge. But who are these guest judges? How are they chosen?

Winning a Writing Challenge comes with a fair number of perks: You not only get to choose the next challenge and request a snazzy winner’s banner, you can also serve as a judge for the next round. Because the previous round’s winner picks the next round’s theme, s/he won’t be able to enter a story, so acting as a guest judge for the round is an extra bonus: You not only get to pick the theme, you also get to judge how close to your vision the round’s writers interpreted it!

However, guest judges aren’t made up solely of the winners of previous rounds. Starting in mid-2014, runners-up were also approached about being guest judges, though it wasn’t until the current round that any of them decided that they would like to do so. However, the result will be a great panel of judges for the November & December Writing Challenge: Not only the usual judges, but also the writers behind Ensigns Nathaniel Wilmer and Leland Bishop and Ambassador Della Vetri. It’ll be wonderful!

Don’t forget, the November & December challenge, “Love & Betrayal,” is now open! Head over to the Writing Challenge forums to learn more and submit your own entry.


Here come the brides!

Lt. Commander T’Lea and Ambassador Della Vetri are now officially married! The entire event took place on the picturesque beaches of Telrin Archipelago on Trill. The event was filled with family, friends, the Embassy Senior Staff and many special guests from across the fleet including: Nugra and Eerie from the USS Victory, Marcus Dickens and Anora Manar from the USS Atlantis, and Rune Jolara from the Apollo.

Ambassador Vetri looked stunning on Trill’s slightly bluish sands in a sleek, form-fitted pale red dress. The subtle red tones of her dress were accented by a vibrant Romulte green pendant. The look was finished off with a glamourous upswept hairstyle. Commander T’Lea was like an elegant beach princess as she made her way down the aisle in a satin, seashell white gown embellished with delicate silver embroidery along the hemlines. Her look was completed with long tendrils of hair interwoven with tiny decorations and pale ribbons.

The wedding itself included heartfelt personal vows and a simple, yet moving, candle lighting ceremony. A banquet was held after the ceremony a short walk down the beach at a second area. There was an obvious variety to the food and drink offerings and was something to suit any tastes. The evening was filled with congratulations, gifts, friendship and celebration. The whole ceremony was a perfect reflection of the couple – personal, elegant and meaningful.


June plot summary for the Duronis II Embassy and USS Thunder-A

The crew of the Duronis II Embassy and USS Thunder-A, NCC 70605 has been on shore leave for the past month while the new crew members who recently transferred from the USS Vigilant acclimated themselves to Embassy life.

While on a trip to DS6, Fleet Captain Toni Turner and Lieutenant Brayden Jorey saved a Zalkonian man (Malon) from death, just prior to his ship exploding. Before taking him back to the Embassy for medical treatment, they found out he was a member of the Zalkonian Evolutionist Movement (ZEM), a process of transformation into a non-corporeal being, and he was showing signs of isoelectric bursts.

Shortly after admitting Malon to the Medical Center, he went into a healing trance, and Turner and Ambassador Della Vetri are now waiting for him to awaken to find out more about him, speculating that he may want to contact with the Laudeans to reopen the Zalkonian Embassy in Lokesh City. Until they talk to him, no one knows what the future holds.


Someone to Watch Over Me

Writing Challenge LogoAs part of Starbase 118’s Writing Improvement Month, we ran a special Writing Challenge in which we asked participants to take the title of a Voyager episode, “Someone to Watch Over Me,” as their theme. The contest winner, for the first time in the history of 118’s Writing Challenges, would receive a prize — fitting, as this Challenge was also the first contest open beyond the membership of 118! Judges were the writers between Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx and Captains Diego Herrera, Kali Nicholotti, and Aron Kells, and they are pleased to bring you feedback from the judging table as well as an official announcement of winner.

Please join the judges the staff of Starbase 118 in congratulating the writer behind Captain Della Vetri for his story “We Who Remain.” Well done!