News
The Triumphant Return of Mystery Month!

Are you guys excited? We sure are! We haven’t run Mystery Month since 2022, following a community-voted decision to alternate between Mystery Month and Drabblemania for our July events. And the results were amazing. We don’t like to brag (oh, who are we kidding, we LOVE to brag!) Drabblemania 2023 was a huge success. That said, we think the community chose very wisely, because our original Mystery Month is an event like no other, and we’re excited to get back to it!

If you weren’t around in 2022, or need a refresher, here’s the crux:

For the entire month of July (with a little spill over into August), participants will create works (either text-based stories or narrative artwork) that are five chapters long. Each chapter must respond in some way to a given prompt, and the works must be complete at five chapters––no longer, no shorter––with said chapters posted within the relevant time windows (detailed below).

The prompts will be issued every week, which means you have exactly one week to write/create art and post. Is it intense? Hell yes, it’s intense. But is it fun? Considering you guys wanted to keep the event, we’ll say hell yes, it’s a lot of fun.

Your contribution can be a sequel to any existing work, but it doesn’t have to be. The only requirement, beyond what we mentioned above, is that it be brand-new, not an existing WIP, and written specifically for this event.

PROMPTS? WHAT PROMPTS?

So glad you asked!

The prompts will be provided by…*drumroll please*… You all!

In 2022, we shifted format from the EF admin-provided prompts to community-sourced. It’s more fun that way (and ensures the participating Mods don’t have the unfair advantage of knowing what the prompts are ahead of time). So you, dear EF community, will be providing the prompts that will guide the works we create.

But as we are benevolent overlords, we will provide one (and only one) prompt ahead of time. And that is the fifth and final chapter must be HEA/HFN.

HOW DOES THIS WORK?

As in 2022, you are invited (nay, encouraged!) to enter as many prompts as you like in our prompt form. These prompts can be anything – a line of dialogue, an object, a character, a color, a number, a creature feature, a situation, etc.

The only consideration we ask you to make in providing prompts is to adhere to the Spuffy wisdom of Five Words or Less for each prompt to avoid stressing out our creators. Beyond that, get as wild and creative as you like! Each week of the event, the Mods will use randomization software to pick a prompt from the list you provide us, and that prompt becomes your challenge for that week’s chapter.

Even better? We’ll save the unused prompts to source again for the Drabblemania 2025 Bingo Boards.

And yes, we do have plenty of prompts left over from 2022, but Elysian Fields has grown a lot over the last two years, and we want to provide our new members with the chance to contribute to the prompt list. It’s a great way to give EVERYONE the chance to be involved – our creators, our readers, and even our lurkers.

I ONLY HAVE A WEEK TO CREATE A WHOLE CHAPTER? BETA AND EVERYTHING?

Yes, beta and everything. 

THAT’S SCARY

We know. devil

SO WHAT IF MY CHAPTER ISN’T DONE IN TIME?

This is our most stringent time-sensitive event. The “This Story is Part of the 2024 Mystery Month Event” tick box will DISAPPEAR after the first week is behind us and any works that do not update within the specified timeframe will be removed from the event.

Should you not update in time, though, don’t worry. You are welcome (read: encouraged) to continue your work at your own pace. You simply won’t be eligible for the author award and are no longer beholden to the prompts.

WHAT IF I GET TO CHAPTER 5 AND I HAVE MORE STORY LEFT?

The intent behind this event is COMPLETED WORKS. So if you get to Chapter 5 and you don’t think your work is complete, your choices are:

  • Make it a series and continue it later, with your Mystery Month fic as the first complete work in that series
  • Remove the work from the event and continue as you would a regular, non-event work. At this point, you are no longer beholden to the prompts or eligible for the author award.

WHAT ABOUT ARTWORK-ONLY STORIES?

We thought about it, but we feel that submitting individual artwork pieces wasn’t in the spirit of the event, which is to work a narrative together through the randomness of the prompts. So, for this event, to keep the playing ground even for all creators, all pieces submitted must be narratives.

BUT I CAN SUBMIT NARRATIVE ARTWORK, LIKE A COMIC OR SOMETHING SIMILAR, RIGHT?

Of course! We hope you do! Submitting narrative artwork will make you eligible for the artist award, as will creating a story banner or illustration for any event piece.

YOU KEEP TALKING ABOUT AWARDS! TELL ME MORE!

Happy to! Wouldn’t be an EF event without awards. And this year, the awards (as well as the event banner) were designed by our good friend Trevor Carlee (for those of you who don’t know Trevor, he’s one half of EF’s favorite podcast, Another Buffy Podcast, an amazing artist, animator, and all-around swell human being).

Look how pretty!



         

AS A REMINDER: We now have the new beta/artist fields to submit with your story info. You must use these fields to make sure your betas and/or artist receives their award. Commenters will need to leave a minimum of 15 comments between the posting window (July 1 – August 4) that contain at least 5 words (for any stories here on EF, not just on challenge fics).

If you have to withdraw your submission from the event after posting the first chapter, any betas or artists who helped will still receive their awards.

SO ABOUT THOSE DATES…?

Here they are! Please note, all dates start at 12:00 am site time and end at 11:59 pm site time of the day given. Site time is currently in Eastern Daylight Time, and site time is posted underneath the Shoutbox if you ever need to check.

  • Friday, June 28: Prompt One Announced
  • Monday, July 1st to Sunday, July 7th: Posting Window for Prompt One
  • Friday, July 5th: Prompt Two Announced
  • Monday, July 8th to Sunday, July 14thPosting Window for Prompt Two
  • Friday, July 12thPrompt Three Announced
  • Monday, July 15th to Sunday, July 21stPosting Window for Prompt Three
  • Friday, July 19th: Prompt Four Announced
  • Monday, July 22nd to Sunday, July 28th: Posting Window for Prompt Four
  • Monday, July 29th to Sunday, August 4th: Fifth and final chapters to be posted

If you have any questions, please comment below!

ARE YOU READY?
START SUBMITTING PROMPTS!



--Holly and the Mods on May 31, 2024 09:09pm 4 Comments
Comments

I'm sure this will be great fun.

Is the prompt form available yet? or will it be available closer to the event?

Also, I love the awards.

hearts

Joan963z

 

-- Joan963z on June 01, 2024 04:51pm

@Joan963z: the form is linked at the end of the news post. Here it is again: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfPFiNaPa2hXw8zXcYJBpUW9KSYx2OwQVxHs-dup9M4joDSlw/viewform

-- EllieRose101 on June 01, 2024 04:53pm

So excited for the return of mystery month! ??

-- Marlisea on June 02, 2024 10:45pm

I'm so excited!  Really delightful works emerged last time!  Thank you mods!  

-- HebiC on June 03, 2024 05:26pm