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Evening moon by Yakovlev-vad

Good evening, everypony!  Well, after a splendid bit of competition in our latest contest in which we saw a grand total of 11 stories submitted for it, it gives me great pleasure to announce the winners of the Poniverse Summerpalooza 3.0: Family Is Magic Contest!  All of the entries were enjoyable to read, and I want to personally thank each and every author for taking the time to write and enter your submissions.  We hope that many of our members and other bronies throughout the fandom have enjoyed them as well as much as we did, and if you haven't read any of them yet, folks, I would highly recommend you to check them out here, they are well worth your time.

Now that that's out of the way, let's begin.  Without further ado, here are the winners of the Poniverse Summerpalooza 3.0: Family Is Magic Contest!!!

Winners

First Place: Thankfulness and High Society by CategoricalGrant

Out of all the entries we received in this contest, none handled the "Family Is Magic" theme of it better than CaterogicalGrant's outstanding Thankfulness and High Society.  This one shot, clocking in at just over 5,000 words, actually felt like a story which, aside from a few adult elements and jokes, could easily feature in the show itself.  The story revolves around Rarity who, while attending what is presumably Equestria's most prestigious designer awards show (as a nominee herself, at that), has to struggle with her family's presence and their inability to behave with the proper decorum around the high fashion and Canterlot crowds.  The handling of her parents, Hondo Flanks and Cookie Crumbles, is especially delightful and, for characters who have only ever truly featured in one scene of the show, feels spot on for their characters, but every member of Rarity's family, including Rarity herself, is great here.  On top of that, the pacing is also fantastic, featuring far more scenes than one would think would feature in a fic this short, none of which are underdeveloped or overstay their welcome.  Finally, in addition to the multitude of scenes, there are a multitude of fan favorite supporting characters from the show as well, again, surprising for a fic this short, but all of the characters themselves make delightful appearances that do not take away or distract from the main narrative.  Overall, this is a fic that is beautifully organized, has a wonderful story, lesson, and characterization, and is well worth a read from anyone who has the time.  Congratulations, CaterogicalGrant, on the well-deserved win! :D

Second Place: My Wings Will Keep You Safe by Brony250

Our second place entry comes from Brony250, an author that, if you've been on Fimfiction for long, you are probably familiar with to some extent.  Brony250 has been writing on the site for a long time, but surprisingly, this is his first ever one shot.  Well, thankfully, I'm pleased to say that for his first ever one shot, Brony250 has given us a delightful read.  The fic features Apple Bloom hunkering down at Twilight's library (back in Season 4, so Twilight is a princess by now but still is living in Golden Oaks Library) in the middle of a ferocious storm.  Unlike our winning entry, there's not much of a moral lesson at play here; instead, it's a very slice-of-life story in every sense of the word.  That's certainly not a bad thing, but do not go into this fic expecting it to build up to a clear cut climax.  It's more like a nice, quiet chapter in both Twilight and Apple Bloom's lives where they share in a nice moment with each other, where Twilight spends the night looking out as best as she can for the frightened young filly.  The most endearing aspects of this fic are Twilight's interactions with Apple Bloom, as well as the ways in which we see how special Twilight's relationship with the Apples, the first family to welcome her to Ponyville at all, is to her and them.  You'll definitely come away from this fic wishing to see a story like it in the show itself, so I would definitely recommend you check it out if you can.

Third Place: The Patter of Rain by NavelColt

Third place goes to NavelColt's quiet, relaxing fic The Patter of Rain, featuring a pair of OC changelings along with everyone's favorite changeling monarch (or as I like to call him, King Deer Bug Pony) King Thorax.  As with our second place winner, this fic also takes place in the middle of a storm, although whereas that fic has a certain level of tension given Apple Bloom's consistent terror at the raging storm outside, this fic will make you want to curl up by a fire with a cup of coffee and hot cocoa, even if it isn't raining outside.  The one word that especially comes to mind with this fic for me is serenity, it is a very serene, calm, relaxed fic.  We get a little insight into some of the tensions that some changelings may feel about their abrupt transformations and reformations, but also a fun, cute look at what Thorax could be like as leader of the changelings: that being a very cuddly, calm, loving, serene parental-like figure.  While not much overall happens in terms of the story itself, this fic will put you in a very relaxed mood, and is well worth a look.

Honorable Mentions

While all of our other entries deserve commendation, two in particular, while not in the top three, deserve special praise as well.  First, Chicanery by Silver Letter may well have been our most unique entry out of all of them, at least in terms of its story.  It tells a story which, believe it or not, involves time travel, land disputes, and, of all things, has an open-ended, ambiguous ending at that.  All of this is very deliberate, and in less qualified hands this story wouldn't work, but Silver Letter is a highly talented writer, and as a result what we've gotten instead is a very fascinating fic.

Second, Symphony in Green by ThunderGust, one of the only fics entered into our contest to feature, instead of a main show character or an original character, a background character!  This delightful little read features Lyra Heartstrings just hanging out with her grandparents on her birthday; if that sounds like a very simple slice-of-life premise, trust me, it is.  But simple slice-of-life is great when it's executed well, and this is most definitely executed well.  It's basically just a day in the life of somepony celebrating their birthday, but hey, birthday celebrations are tons of fun, and what we have here is very fun and heartwarming indeed!  Check it out if you get the chance.

Well, that's about it for this contest everypony!  Once again, a very big thank you to everyone who participated, and to anyone looking for a good read, I'd highly recommend you check some of these stories out!  Till next time everypony, this is Batbrony signing off.  I'm off! *cue dramatic exit*

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Grats you beautiful Ponies. :catface:

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I had the honor of reading one of these in advance and it's awesome to see Navel Place. I also read the other two entries that won -- and I enjoyed the others immensely for completely different reasons. Thankfulness displays a near perfect grasp on character dialog, My Wings has a side to Twilight that the show only recently hinted. As far as the Patter of Rain goes ...

50 minutes ago, Batbrony said:

The one word that especially comes to mind with this fic for me is serenity, it is a very serene, calm, relaxed fic.

Yes! I'm certain the author will agree that was something he was trying to achieve. 

For me this story (and the other winners) highlight some of the better aspects of short form fiction. You can tell a narrative that is driven by mood and emotion far easier than a full novel. This is where fan fiction in general tends to shine -- when it is at its best. The short story has been on the wane for decades, and thank God we have fics like the above to keep the spirit of London, Updike, Chopin, Poe, and Melville alive. 

Congrats all. 

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Spoiler

For Newbie Ponies not here from the Days of Ye Olde: ~Chaotic Discord~ and NavelColt are one and the same!

Credit where credit is due, I entered this contest on a whim almost entirely because that fellow with the Rarity avatar above linked me to it and persuaded me to his will with his mind games and told me of its theme of cuteness and family things. Naturally, as a fluff connoisseur I could not pass up such an opportunity, seeing as I'm still full front on writing horse stories while we're on-season with the show. More credit where credit is credit, Rarity Avatar Fellow also helped me with some editing and brainstorming. Very thankful.

As always Bat, you are extremely detailed and heartfelt with everything you do. I very much appreciate the lengthy review you gave not only on my story itself, but the kind words and summary of the story you gave here, as well. I'll be the first to admit that my story has a very loose, obscure connection to the 'family' theme, but I'm delighted that aspect of the story spoke to you, and that you were able to so eloquently explain it here.

Naturally, congrats to the other finalists, and to those who did not place this time, use it as inspiration to show ponies what you can do, next time. :grin:

I look forward to writing many more a cute thing in the future, and if any further contests strike my fancy, you may find me again on such a day. :umad:

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Congrats to all the participants, whether you won or not. Having contributed my first ever fanfic, or first story at all for that matter, I can say I have a much better idea for how much skill and hard work it takes to write a story. My hat is off to each and every one of you. I hope to participate again in the future, but 'til then keep up the great work!

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Woahhhhhhhhhh... @Jeric and @~Chaotic Discord~ in the same thread?!  Drink it in, children, this is a rare sighting indeed... :orly:

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Don't mind us, just a bunch of young whippersnappers taking pictures of ya old kooks! :umad:

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Ah, beautiful, you two look GREAT!!! :D

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Anyways, in all seriousness, it was a pleasure getting to interact with you more again, CD! :muffins:  Missed the chaotic revelry (see what I did there? :toldya:) you always brought to the forums, but it's good to see you've been making a mark for yourself on Fimfiction, and I look forward to checking out more of your work when I get the chance.  Thank you again for your lovely entry, as well as your kind words about my own work with judging the contest, and I will be sure to keep you apprised of future contests! :wub:

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I smell off-topic shenanigans and memes... :P

... Grats again for all yer hard work, ppl! :fluttershy:

 

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Oh well, wasn't enough for me i guess. Maybe the general premise was a bit too weird :P

Still, congrats to all you wonderful people. :)

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3 hours ago, Mesme Rize said:

Oh well, wasn't enough for me i guess. Maybe the general premise was a bit too weird :P

Still, congrats to all you wonderful people. :)

Nah, trust me buddy, it wasn't the premise.  The premise was perfectly fine and I'd certainly never refuse giving a prize to a fic just because it starred a lamia pony.  Just wasn't one of the top three fics this time around, but it was still a lovely story all the same.  Keep practicing buddy and feel free to compete in future contests!  Thanks for your entry!!! :muffins:

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Aww, didn't make it, but understandable, my grammar isn't the best, english beeing not my first language, but I hoped it still took some tears from you of those who readed it^^

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I am glad to have participated, and was very exciting despite my poor writing skills. Too bad the OC's I used were pulled, I thought they were a cute idea.FB_IMG_1474166224744.thumb.jpg.d292a09244c54e2ded9def77404141a1.jpg

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6 hours ago, Foxy Socks said:

I am glad to have participated, and was very exciting despite my poor writing skills. Too bad the OC's I used were pulled, I thought they were a cute idea.

We're very thankful you did too, keep practicing, you can only go up from here! :muffins:

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