This morning I got to do one of my favorite MEFA-related tasks: emailing all the authors competing in the MEFAs who won an award, to give the good news. (Full results will be available to everyone in a few days.) So I thought I'd share my stories that did well in the MEFAs:
- "The Kindness of Strangers" won First Place in Men: Boromir.
Quite a lot can go wrong in 110 days. Boromir on the road to Rivendell.
- "Bronwe Athan Harthad" won First Place in Modern Times: General.
In the wake of a family tragedy, how will JRR Tolkien carry on with his "mad hobby"? (AU)
- "Things Unseen" won Third Place and a Smaug's Treasure in Second Place and Early Third Age: General.
It is said that, in his youth, Ar-Pharazon actually was quite awed by the Faithful. A conversation between Elendil and Pharazon on the nature of faith.
- "In Mordor, Where the Shadows Lie" won Third Place in Elves: Elrond's Household.
A pair of vignettes examining the after-effects of Isildur's refusal to destroy the ring. (Written from Elrond's POV.)
- "Things That Yet May Be" won both a Third Place and a Smaug's Treasure in Elves: Wilderland.
Galadriel warns against using the Mirror as a guide because "the Mirror shows many things, and not all have yet come to pass. Some never come to be, unless those that beheld the visions turn aside from their path to prevent them. The Mirror is dangerous as a guide of deeds." It sounds like Galadriel has had bad experiences with using the Mirror "as a guide of deeds." But when?
- "In the Beginning" won Third Place in Fixed Length Ficlets: General.
A professor, a typewriter, a rainstorm... and a beginning.
- "The Gift of Men" won an Honorable Mention in Drama: General.
The last thoughts of Ar-Zimraphel, queen of Numenor.
- "Hearts of Stone" won an Honorable Mention in Hobbits: Baggins.
"And Mr. Drogo was staying at Brandy Hall with his father-in-law, old Master Gorbadoc, as he often did after his marriage (him being partial to his vittles, and old Gorbadoc keeping a mighty generous table); and he went out boating on the Brandywine River; and he and his wife were drownded, and poor Mr. Frodo only a child and all." ("A Long-Expected Party," The Lord of the Rings)
- "Ea" won an Honorable Mention in Other Beings: General.
"What do you think science is, at its root, but the pursuit of the spark that birthed the cosmos? We would be heretics, each and every one, were there room for heresy in truth." A conversation between Celebrimbor and Sauron in Eregion.
- "Beneath a Bitter Rain" won an Honorable Mention and a Smaug's Treasure in Post-Ring War and Beyond: Elves or Dwarves.
The War of the Ring did not only affect Gondor and Rohan. A look at the aftermath of the assault on Erebor and Dale.
- "King's Men" won an Honorable Mention in Villains: General.
At the beginning of the Second Age the Valar "forsook for a time the Men of Middle-earth." For those who had fought with the elves against Morgoth they created Numenor, but the rest faced a series of evil kings, culminating eventually in Sauron's domination. What might life have looked like for people in that situation?
- "Respite" won an Honorable Mention in Villains: General.
It is good that war is so horrible, or we might grow to like it. One of the Nazgul thinks on the choices circumstance has allowed him.
The MEFAs are a fanfic writing competition where people write by reviewing nominated stories. Stories are assigned to main categories and subcategories of around ten pieces each, and they also get a point value based on the number of reviews received and the length of each review. (Each review can be worth up to ten points, with the longer reviews worth more.)
The pieces that get the most points in each subcategory are recognized. First place recognizes the highest-scoring piece, second place the next-highest, etc. Honorable mentions are given in larger subcategories, to stories that were not in the top three but still did better than average for that particular group of stories. So if there are nine stories competing in the same category, there should be at least five getting some kind of recognition. Assuming there are no ties, the top three pieces will get a place, and the next two after that will get a honorable mention.
Smaug's Treasure is new this year. It goes to the top third of all pieces in the awards - not in a particular subcategory. We decided to add this because some subcategories can be quite competitive, just like in any other competition. (If you get fourth place in one heat of a race but you would have won a less competitive heat if you had run the same time, that may be something worth accounting for.)
I'll be making a formal post later tonight over at the mefas community, thanking our many volunteers who helped pull off the MEFAs. But I want to say it now, that I really can't thank aranel_took enough. She has designed us a site more or less from scratch, dealing with my frantic "I know this particular feature goes live in eight hours, but I'm not really sure it's doing what I intended" emails, and generally doing more to keep me sane and keep the MEFAs running smoothly than I have a right to expect of anyone, myself included. Praise her, with great praise!
There are other people who have likewise risen above the call of duty, my own reviewers not least of all. (I honestly am not sure when some of them found the time to sleep!) And many other people who have quietly but reliably gone about volunteering so that no one noticed things could go wrong. Can we say "team effort"? More on all that tonight in the official post. But thank you, all of you!