Welcome to the 2009 Merlin Big Bang Challenge at boxofmagic! Some helpful information (and please read before you check out all the amazing stories and artwork on this site!)
What is the Merlin Big Bang Challenge?
Originally, we decided to try out a tiered Big Bang, something your faithful mod had never seen done. Tiered, wot, you say? Why, tiered in the sense that there'd be four different word count ranges for writers to go for, and artists would get assigned based on whether one made it to that ultimate goal of 35,000 words, to ensure that we'd have enough artists.
However, we wound up having a wonderful amount of artists sign up, so we opened up all the word count ranges to art, with one artist assignment for the original first two sections of the challenge, and two artists assigned to the writers who reached the Pinnacle Word Count of Merlin Big Bang. We had 23 writers complete this challenge - seven with stories ranging from 15,000 words - 30,000 words, and the sixteen remaining who wrote over 35,000 words. (And some overachieved. Some overachieved by a *lot.*)
Then artists selected a story that piqued their interest by picking from the various story summaries. We also wanted to be as all-encompassing artistically as possible, so vids, manipulations, drawings and essentially any art form was permitted; all of our stories have at least one art submission.
127 writers initially signed up for this challenge. 23 of them finished. We had 72 pieces of art submitted to this challenge.
The Final Word
Final wordcount: 945,736. If you're a little overwhelmed by all the choices, we invite you to take a look at the story previews many of our authors provided on our LiveJournal community.
How to Navigate the Site
You can change the layout of the site by selecting one of the skins listed in the skins menu in the upper right corner. Check out our gorgeous banners, made by glockgal, lizardspots (skin 1), elli (skin 2) and beeej (skin 3)! \o/
The easiest way to find something in the site is probably to look through the participants section, the titles section or better yet, the categories section. You can also check out the feedback posts to get direct links to everyone's work. Please note that in some cases, a single thumbnail on a feedback post might link to multiple pieces of art - we don't want you to miss anything!
All of the artwork is in a series (under Artwork on the navigation bar), based on what author the artist was assigned, so you'll be able to see everything for a given story by looking through the series links.
You will find a link at the bottom of every submission to a livejournal entry where you can leave your comments on any of the stories and artwork. A personal plea: Please feedback. Don't keep the magic secret, in this instance! We have a lot of stories and art going live at once, and we're really hoping stories and art don't get lost in the shuffle. This is an extremely difficult challenge, and we'd really like to encourage the efforts of those who have managed to pull this off.
Any questions or comments, please feel free to comment in this post, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Final Word (For Real This Time): Acknowledgments
Thanks to the artists, writers, beta readers, cheerleaders and site team - there obviously wouldn't be a challenge without all of your efforts. HUGE HUGE thanks goes to estioe (Chris) - without her, there literally would not be a site. She's been completely amazing, and I'm so glad she took this project on. This is the girl who, after coding the whole night, was all, "I think I'm going to take a nap before I finish the rest!" Thanks also to blue_meridian, stellastars and galanthus for their help with the website, and of course the ever-fabulous elli for heeding the call of a desperate mod in the twilight hours of her challenge.
Thanks to all the people who stepped in to help with feedback posts and asking generally "hey, what needs doing?" in recent days - you all have my gratitude.
IN CONCLUSION: IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO MAKE A MERLIN BIG BANG CHALLENGE.
CLICK HERE TO ENJOY THE SITE!
PS: Make sure you check out the fantastic image cloud on the site index page. PRETTY.