2017 Steampunk Olympics – Writing Relay

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Writing Relay.

Presented by Peter Beerslayer & Don Dodson III.

“Creativity without discipline will struggle, creativity with discipline will succeed.”

Amit Kalantri

Victorian WriterAnyone can write, but can you write as part of a team? Finally, an Olympic event for writers and anyone with a creative drive. Teams of three will come together and compete in a timed competition to produce the most creative and engaging Steampunk story that they can. However, your Creativity will be challenged as the rules of the competition will change as you progress! Will you and your team of creative writers be able to put together a story that is both consistent and engaging? No one will know what is in store in this crazy competition filled with multiple twists.



Anyone is able to participate in the competition, whether associated with an airship or not, and teams must have no more or less than 3 members. However, Registered Airships are only permitted to field one team. Additionally, if you are not part of an airship, one of the competing airships may try and convince you to join afterwards, and therefore earn your points. This year only one set of points will be available per competition. If the winners are not part of an airship or not convinced to join one, the points go unawarded to any airship. Airships will have until 3:30pm on Sunday at the convention to claim an unaffiliated winner. The winner must announce his decision to join an airship, in person, to the Games’ MC (Peter B. Slayer) before that time. It is important to note that any Airship may recruit an unaffiliated team, and substitute them for their own. (An airship may not take more than 1 place in the standings, ie winning 1rst and 3rd place is not permitted.) Winning stories will be read later in the weekend so don’t forget to attend the award ceremony.

Equipment Needed:

  • One pad of writing paper, a pen or other writing utensil, your team, creativity, and flexibility

Relay Rules:

  • Each team is expected to supply their own writing supplies. Please remember spare pens/pencils, extra time will not be awarded in the event of a failed writing utensil. Inactive writers may sharpen pencils, but must provide their own sharpener.
  • Each team will select a team leader, the role of the team leader is up to the discretion of each team, but will be the first and last writer.
  • There will be three “twists” that MUST be incorporated into the story. The story will be judged in part by the way the twist is incorporated into the story. Failing to incorporate a twist is a serious offense and will likely affect your stories standing.
  • There will be 4 rounds, each with a writer change at the beginning. Prior to the start of the first round the first twist will be revealed.
  • Team leaders will have a maximum of 5 minutes, minimum of 2 minutes, to discuss the story with the whole team. After the minimum of 2 minutes the Team Leader, who must be the first writer, may choose to begin writing, but must be writing after 5 minutes, which is when the round officially begins.
  • The Team Leader will have 10 minutes to start the story, or up to 13 if they chose to start early. After that time the next writer will come over and have up to 5 minutes, 2 minutes minimum, to discuss the progress with the Team Leader. He may dismiss the Team Leader and get started after 2 minutes, but the Team Leader must be dismissed after 5 minutes.
  • After all of the Team Leaders are dismissed a second twist will be revealed, and the round will proceed much like the first. After 10 minutes, once the round officially starts, the next change will occur in the same manner.
  • Once all of the second writers are dismissed the Third and final twist will be revealed. The writer will again have 10 minutes to write, at which point the Team Leaders will meet with the writer.
  • After 2-5 minutes, depending on when the third writer is dismissed, the Team Leader will be given time to complete the story. This time is not to exceed 5 minutes, so remember to write fast.
  • Once the Team Leader’s complete the story, the panel of judges will review each and judge them on the following.
    • Steampunk feel
    • Incorporation of the twists
    • Consistency of plot line
    • Grammar/Spelling/Readability (Penmanship counts)
    • Quality of Story
  • Team Leaders of the top three stories will be asked to read their stories at the awards ceremony later during the event.

Victory Points for the Relay:

  • 1st Place – 30 Points
  • 2nd Place – 20 Points
  • 3rd Place – 10 Points

If you are not a member of an officially registered airship of the 2017 Steampunk Olympics, please visit the NAMI table in front of Carpenter’s Run (during vendor hall hours) to register for this contest. All proceeds from individual registrations for the contests go straight to NAMI as part of the Symposium’s charity fundraiser.

To learn more about other sessions, workshops, and special events please visit the 2017 International Steampunk Symposium Schedule.


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