Writing Competition: The Publishing Houses of Aqualon

Submit your short story until 01.03.2019 00:00 GMT and win World Anvil premium memberships as well as exclusive Aqualon subscriptions!

Welcome to Aqualon!

  Fantasy, Science Fantasy, and Science Fiction; Aqualon intersects all parts of this spectrum, presenting itself as a world both rich in magic and advanced technology if you know where to look. But while the most powerful mages will boast of their might, the most advanced technocracies hide their superiority behind cautious isolation.   In this diverse world, there is an equally diverse tradition of writing, and this is your chance to become a part of it!

 

Contest Synopsis and Tasks

 

Background

Read the Background Story
They say, all rivers of the Great Land flow into the Mighty Giranja. Not that they do, but it is a myth easily believed when one sees the grand river before them, stretching so far that in many places, the curvature of Aqualon alone conceals the opposite shore.   If you follow this great stream, it will take you past the grand city of Arkatrash, and through the Red Sands where grandiose sights such as the Pyramids of Arkamanthali or the Canyon of Khepri await you...   Move further, and you will be met by that most staggering of landscapes: the rusted ground of the great Iron Belt, which circles the entire equator of the world and separates North and South. Certainly, it is no easy task to cross it, but there are established trade routes, and whether you join a caravan or hitch a ride aboard a Steel Baron magnet roller, in time, you'll reach Blacksteel, one of the three Rusty Shore harbors. Be mindful of your purse here, for steel cutters are notorious for their nimble fingers.   Finally, you are on the Corsic Ocean, and now your goal is near: Dead ahead of your ship lie the great Anvil Islands!   They are the nations of Tai'Incus, Hammerhead, Hakkin Wajima, Adamantaya, and New Saxia, as well as the many small Spark Isles. These are wealthy nations, forgers of metal, arms dealers, and traders. Many a man or woman has made a great fortune on the Anvil Islands, and among the richest people of Aqualon ranks one of their people: A New Saxian by the name of Thomas Dean Finkelroy the Second.   With a dubious ancestry mired in piracy, Finkelroy has made quite the name for himself, investing his inheritance in the weapons industry of Adamantaya, becoming a powerful and unimaginably wealthy tycoon at the young age1

The Great Clockwork's gift of long life has elevated the average human lifespan from about 70 to 170.

of 38.   Though many criticize the way he attained his fantastic wealth, he has also become a great patron of the arts, and to the occasion of the turn of the century, he has made a great announcement:  
Three years ago, in one of my mines in Hakkin Wajima, the largest gold nugget ever found on Aqualon has been unearthed. It is the most valuable rock on the planet and the pride of the Anvil Islands: The Anvil Lode. In this momentous year, 1700 GE, the 1700th year since the Great War ended and the Great Peace began, I desire to make a contribution to the sweet fruit this peace has brought forth. To all the writers of Aqualon: Tell your greatest story and publish it this year. The story that is read more than any other will have earned the Anvil Lode from me!

- Thomas Dean Finkelroy

 

Synopsis

There are six great publishing houses on Aqualon that are large enough to print and market a bestseller, and now that the Anvil Lode is on the playing field, there is blood in the water.   This is an incredible chance for you, aspiring author, because in order to get their hands on the gold, the publishing houses are offering unusually generous contracts to any and all authors submitting works during the year of 1700 GE. Will you have to give up a good chunk of that mighty gold nugget if your story becomes a world-wide bestseller? Certainly. But you'll also be a world-wide bestseller with an unusually high percentage of royalties in your pocket.   The only question now is what to write, and which publisher to pick: Which publishing house is capable of putting your writing over the top and make it a world hit?  

Tasks

  1. Like this article here on World Anvil2

    Nearly all prizes for this contest are tied into World Anvil in one way or another, so you are going to need an account anyways. Making a World Anvil account is 100% free, and liking this article increases its visibility to the community of Worldbuilders that use this service.

  2. Write a short story of at least 1000 words length. (Upper soft-cap 10k)
  3. Choose a publisher below.
  4. Submit your short story to this publisher.
 

Submissions

  • Send your submissions to: [email protected] before the 01.03.2019 00:00 GMT. Please use the exact header "The Publishing Houses of Aqualon" for mailbox filtering purposes.
  • Submissions may be document files of the types .docx, .rtf, .pdf, or links to Google Doc files or pages suited to display your short story, such as World Anvil. If you wish for in-depth critique and feedback, please submit your short story in a form that allows to make comments and suggestions like Google Docs.
  • In your submission, you must specify to which publishing house of Aqualon you want your story submitted. I will relay it accordingly. You should also specify your World Anvil user name to make the process for handing out prizes easier.
  • All submissions must include a synopsis. If the number of submissions exceed my capacity, I will judge synopses first and compile a shortlist before issuing the final assessment. Please compose your synopsis with diligence.
 

Discussion and Questions

There is a special channel for this contest on the Aqualon Discord. You can direct any questions there, or use the submission e-mail to contact me.

discord.png

 

Prizes

    

Rank

Badge

Prize

1

Masterpiece   This badge's design will be based on your publisher. - 1 Year of free access to "Technocrat of Miyako Fluxum" tier (9$+/month) secrets, exclusive articles and podcasts, and audio commentary on Aqualon
  - 6 months "Grand Master Worldsmith" level Guild Membership for World Anvil, the amazing tool used to organize this world, worth 54€.
  - Merchandise based on submission category worth up to 30€
  - 15 bricks in the Aqualon Builders Guild, enough to build a house on Aqualon!
  - Your story and a link to your project will be prominently featured on the Publisher Portfolio to which you submitted.
  - The publisher to whom you submitted your story will write you a personal reply (in their own in-world voice!) to your submission and why they are printing it!

2

BestsellerBadge150.png
- 6 months of free access to "Magus of the Academy" tier (3$+/month) secrets and exclusive articles and podcasts on Aqualon
  - 6 months of "Master Worldsmith" level Guild Membership for World Anvil worth 27€
  - 10 bricks, half-way to a membership in the Aqualon Builders Guild!
  - Your story and a link to your project will be prominently featured on the Publisher Portfolio to which you submitted.
  - The publisher to whom you submitted your story will write you a personal reply (in their own in-world voice!) to your submission and why they are printing it!

3

BestsellerBadge150.png
- 6 months of free early access to "Ferry Trainee" tier (1$+/month) early access articles and podcasts, as well as access to aecrets on Aqualon
  - 6 months of "Master Worldsmith" level Guild Membership for World Anvil Worth 27€
  - Your story and a link to your project will be prominently featured on the publisher portfolio to which you submitted.
  - 5 bricks in the Aqualon Builders Guild!
  - The publisher to whom you submitted your story will write you a personal reply (in their own in-world voice!) to your submission and why they are printing it!

4-10

Up-And-ComerBadge150.png
- 1 month of early access to "Ferry Trainee" tier (1$+/month) early access articles and podcasts, as well as access to secrets on Aqualon
  - A chance to win a 6 month "Apprentice Worldsmith" level Guild Membership for World Anvil equal to a "Journeyman Worldsmith"3

Apprentice and Journeyman Worldmiths have different roles and privileges on the World Anvil Discord chat server.

level Guild Membership worth 16.06€ (this prize will be raffled out between the 4th and 10th place entries)
  - Your story and a link to your project will be featured on the publisher portfolio to which you submitted.   - 3 bricks in the Aqualon Builders Guild!
  - The publisher to whom you submitted your story will write you a personal reply (in their own in-world voice!) to your submission and why they are printing it!
 

Choose Your Publisher!

 

The HJT Gazette

The HJT Gazette
Organization | Feb 5, 2019

The HJT Gazette is one of the most influential publishing houses of the Corsic Ocean, printing the same-named news paper and a popular magazine. ~ 393 Words

Genres

Popular Tropes

Action / Adventure Ferries4

Ship's mages for hire employed by the Hank & Jordan & Tenzer Corporation of the Corsic Ocean. They are mentioned in several daily facts on the Aqualon Discord and a central theme in the short story the Black Priest of Rastrowel.

Mystery Pirates and Great Pirate Houses
Horror The Jamphel Yeshe Cartel
Historic Fiction Ships of The Hank & Jordan & Tenzer Corporation
Swashbuckler Islands of the Corsic Ocean

 

Akagitsune Shuppansha 赤狐出版社 ("Red Fox Publishing")

Red Fox Publishing
Organization | Feb 6, 2019

Red Fox Publishing is one of the most influential publishing houses of the Yamato Kingdom and beyond. ~ 1242 Words

Genres

Popular Tropes

Fairy Tale Yasha as Villains
Historic Fiction Kamigami5

Kamigami 神々 ("Various Gods") is a sect of the ur-soulism religion that is practiced widely in the Yamato Kingdom. The general belief that people and sometimes even animals that die with intense negative emotions or great enlightenment may have their soul become stuck between this world and the Daihô is held very deeply in Yamato culture.   This is also why Yamato people are considered to be very superstitious since it is natural to them to believe in the existence of incorporeal spirits that sometimes influence their lives and, in rare cases, great amalgamations of contented souls that form powerful entities that can be benedictive or vindictive, depending on their narrative.   They are often attached to pieces of lands and are called "kami". Often the Yamato people will construct shrines to honor them and bring them offerings, a custom attached to the ideas of ur-soulsim, which also enshrines the five ur-souls of the elements.

Horror Ghost stories
Intrigue Moth encounters
Mythology The Clans of Yamato

 

Command Tower Entertainment

Command Tower Entertainment
Organization | Feb 5, 2019

Command Tower Entertainment is one of the most influential publishing houses of the Great Land. ~ 523 Words

Genres

Popular Tropes

Fantasy Two Opposing Factions
Mythology Epic Battles or Competitions
Historic Fiction Weltenwandlers
Science Fiction
Science Fantasy

 

Arc Light Press

Arclight Press
Organization | Feb 5, 2019

Arclight Press is one of the most influential publishing houses of Fulgrath. ~ 739 Words

Genres

Popular Tropes

Crime Fiction The Yamato Black Market
Drama Crime Families in the The Middle Lands
Noir Investigations with a personal stake
Hardboiled Detective Forbidden Love
Romance Political Drama
Trashy Romance

 

Amber Sun Productions

Amber Sun Productions
Organization | Feb 16, 2019

Amber Sun Productions is the most influential publisher of the city of Miyako Fluxum, publishing novels and magazines alike. ~ 668 Words

Genres

Popular Tropes

Science Fiction Inward Journeys
Science Fantasy Soulscapes
Philosophical Fiction Apotheosis / The Prosthesis God
Parables Man vs. Fate
De Vries Field Fiction6

(Often ordinary) people discover unknown properties of or a personal connection to the De Vries Field and gain unusual powers or access to clockwork or legacy magic but become a victim of the "man vs. fate" trope at the same time as the Great Clockwork turns against them.

 

Spiral Cloud Publishing

Spiral Cloud Publishing
Organization | Feb 5, 2019

Spiral Cloud Publishing is a collector and distributor of content from the Borealis Creative Cloud, allocating fantastic short stories and novels from the CC in a weekly digest for Borealis citizens. ~ 961 Words

Genres

Popular Tropes

Historic Fiction Magic
Urban Magus Academies
Fantasy Middlish Cities
Mythology The Age of Heroes
Tales of the Old Gods
The Angel Saxons
The Grand Magus Tournament
The Brotherhood of the Null

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
5 Feb, 2019 20:34

Wow. There's a lot of love, work and effort put into the article! From the tables used to explain everything to the various videos with multiple voices put there! I honestly am struggling to find anything to give critique on...Though maybe

The only question now is? What to write, and which publisher to pick...
— Synopsis
Is that question mark intentional? It seems a bit out of place.   Additionally, I don't know your voice or anything, but are the videos done by different voice actors? Or are you somehow able to do voices for all of them?

5 Feb, 2019 20:58

Thanks so much for the praise! And you are right, that sentence works better with a colon, thanks for bringing it to my attention! <3   All of those videos were recorded and edited by me, and they all use original music I composed ^-^ I used voice acting, accents, and individual mastering to make them sound as individual as possible.

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