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2017 Fanfiction Awards: Discussion and Planning Thread

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by Dragonfree, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me Staff Member Moderator

    The 2017 Serebii.Net Forums Fanfiction Awards
    Hosted by Dragonfree and The Great Butler

    Hey, everyone! Yet again, it's time to start thinking about our annual fanfiction awards, which starts by discussing whether we want to make any changes to the rules, format or categories. Here's how things ended up last year, with dates adjusted:


    - The nomination phase of the awards lasts from January 1st, 2018 to February 13th, 2018. If necessary due to low nomination totals, an extension to February 26th, 2018 will be given.

    - Any member of the Serebii.net forums may nominate for the Fanfiction Awards. Nominations should be submitted through the special 2017 Fanfiction Awards website, located here; to register, go here, and to nominate, go here. You will have to verify that you control a Serebii.net forums account in order to nominate or vote, either through an automated process involving editing your user profile or by PMing Dragonfree here on the forums. Further instructions can be found on the site.

    - Broadly, anything posted in the Fan Fiction, Completed Fics or Non-Pokémon Fics forums in 2017, defined as the period from January 1st, 2017, 00:00 UTC to December 31st, 2017, 23:59 UTC according to the forum's post timestamps, is eligible for nomination. Specifically, for the "Fic Moments" awards, the nominated moment should be from an installment posted in 2017; for more general story awards, at least one installment of it must have been posted in 2017; and for author/reviewer awards, the member in question must have posted at least one fic/review in 2017. The site will automatically enforce this as far as possible.

    - When nominating, you may place up to two nominations in each category. You must nominate at least four different authors or their works in all. You may not nominate the same story more than five times total, or the same author more than six times total. Additionally, you may not nominate yourself or your own works in any category. The awards site enforces these limits automatically.

    - Explicitly asking other people to nominate your work is not allowed. It is up to your readers to decide whether they want to nominate you.


    - The voting phase of the awards lasts for approximately two months after the end of the nomination phase. If necessary, an extension may be given.

    - Any member of the Serebii.net forums may vote in the Fanfiction Awards, regardless of whether they submitted nominations. Like nominations, votes are submitted on the 2017 Fanfiction Awards website.

    - In each category, you can vote for one of the submitted nominations, or you can pick 'No Vote'. However, you must place an actual vote in at least half of the categories in order for your ballot to be valid. Additionally, you may not vote for yourself or your own work in any category. The awards site enforces these limits automatically.

    - Again, explicitly asking people to vote for you is not allowed.

    Award Categories

    Overall Fiction Awards
    Best Pokémon Chaptered Fic
    Best New Pokémon Chaptered Fic
    Best Pokémon One-Shot
    Best Non-Pokémon Fic

    Other Fic Awards
    Best Plot
    Most Original Overall
    Best Writing Style
    Best Description
    Best Setting
    Best Expansion of Canon
    Best Character Development
    Best Characterization in a Short Story
    Best Character Relationship/Interaction
    Most Suspenseful Fic
    Most Heartbreaking Fic
    Most Heartwarming Fic
    Funniest Fic

    Pokémon Genre Awards
    Best Trainer Fic
    Best Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Fic
    Best Pokémon-Centric
    Best Canon Character-Centric

    Character Awards
    Best Human Main Character
    Best Non-Human Main Character
    Best Human Supporting Character
    Best Non-Human Supporting Character
    Best Human Antagonist
    Best Non-Human Antagonist
    Best Minor Character
    Funniest Character

    Fic Moments Awards
    Funniest Scene
    Most Frightening Scene
    Most Heartbreaking Scene
    Most Heartwarming Scene
    Best Action Scene
    Best Cliffhanger
    Most Memorable Quote

    Author Awards
    Best Established Writer
    Best New Writer
    Most Dedicated Writer
    Most Improved Writer

    Reviewer Awards
    Most Helpful Reviewer
    Most Dedicated Reviewer

    Awards System

    The 2017 Fanfiction Awards website is run by me and open-sourced on GitHub here. Feel free to make feature requests in this thread or, if you program, contribute by forking your own copy and making a pull request (don't just make some significant change without discussing it with anyone first and expect it to be accepted, though!).

    Currently none of the open issues are very high-priority, but I hope to be able to properly get the historical views up (Negrek has submitted a pull request for it but I need to import the data for the previous awards), allowing users to view the results of all our previous awards, and hopefully overhaul the registration system to be a bit more streamlined and require less hurdle-jumping before you can actually start nominating/voting.

    Questions? Suggestions for adding or removing categories, tweaking rules, or making the awards website nicer? It's your time to speak up and have your voice heard!
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  2. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    So as much as I'd love to have some input on this, the current list of rules and categories looks pretty damn well-refined. Like I remember the was some debate last year regarding the wording on some of them (like antagonist vs villain) but it got sorted out pretty much perfectly. I just have a few things:

    - I know there's always debate on whether this year will finally be the one to not need the PMD category, but we definitely have enough for it this year. So I wanna head that off and say yes to PMD.
    - I'd love a "Most Suspenseful Scene" although that might overlap too much with Most Frightening Scene? I dunno, I can never think of any scenes that literally scared me, but I can already think of like three that I would nominate for turning me into a jittery ball of nerves too anxious to scroll down and see what comes next. I know the scene highlight categories tend to get kinda neglected as-is, so adding another one seems odd, but then again, we've all been reading a lot more fic this year thanks to the Leaderboard, so maybe it'll work out?

    The awards site is honestly one of the coolest ideas ever and I'm saying that now because it was first created while I was on that long hiatus, so I never got to before. Cause damn, it just makes everything so convenient.

  3. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    I'm not a huge fan of adding more categories at this point, imo we already have too many as is, and the scene categories in particular are not my faves. Perhaps consider replacing "most frightening" with "most suspenseful" rather than adding it as a new thing? I think "most frightening" is more a remnant of when horror stories were very popular, and these days I'd say things stray more towards suspense.

    "Best Cliffhanger" also strikes me as a rather weird category, and it's pretty reliably pulled in only one or two noms a year (since 2012, I didn't bother going farther back). Perhaps cut that instead of/in addition to "most frightening."
  4. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    I would definitely prefer Most Suspenseful over Most Frightening in that case. And I can't actually think of any cliffhangers that I would nominate... and I've read a LOT of fics this year, so that's saying something. I'd be totally ok with removing it. Plus, cliffhangers tend to involve extreme spoilers so I'd be averse to nominating them anyway (I mean, mild spoilers are bound to crop up in the scene nominations, but that one in particular.)

  5. The Great Butler

    The Great Butler Hush, keep it down

    Cliffhanger needs more discussion, but I'm open to throwing my stock in with Suspenseful over Frightening if that's where everyone else ends up trending.
  6. diamondpearl876

    diamondpearl876 → soul sick.

    "Best Cliffhanger" seems to tie in with "Most Suspenseful" for me, and I think the latter category has been more successful over the years.

    As for PMD fics, I feel like they're in the same general category as best trainer fics, and there's never been a dispute about those. PMD fics cater to the concept of most spin off games, while trainer fics cater to the concept of the main games. I was never opposed to the category, really, and the popularity of the category hasn't died down so I'll just continue to vouch my support for it.
  7. Blackjack Gabbiani

    Blackjack Gabbiani Clearly we're great!

    I can't remember if I've mentioned this in the past but wouldn't "best spinoff fic" be better than "best PMD fic"? That way it covers PMD and any other sidegame that may not have trainers, like the Ranger series or the Rumble series or whatever.
  8. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine ██████████

    You have, and the response is still pretty much the same. PMD is a genre unto itself with qualities beyond the fact that it's simply about the PMD universe. It's not a category that's just about a side game. If you tried to lump in things like Ranger and Rumble with PMD, you'd be ignoring what makes a PMD a PMD—or in other words, you'd be doing the equivalent of trying to decide between a horror fic and a bunch of comedies, just because they all use Pikachu, if that makes sense.

    Or in other words, PMD is a literal genre, just like trainer fic is. There are things about PMD fics that make them what they are besides being about the PMD 'verse, and people take those qualities into consideration when determining what to nominate for that category. Expanding the category to include all the other spinoff games will force people to judge two extremely different fics with vastly unrelated qualities because what makes a PMD fic what it is has nothing to do with what makes a Ranger fic what it is beyond being about spinoff games.

    (Actually, idk if even that makes sense. It's hard to explain without breaking down and telling folks to go read the PMD fics we've had this year, haha.)

    Besides, we don't really get fics about any other spinoff games around here, so even if you did expand the category, chances are you'd still only get PMD fics in it annually. Which is a shame because there's a dearth of Spark-centered GO fic in this universe.
  9. Firebrand

    Firebrand Indomitable

    I was just looking over the categories, and Best Character Relationship/Interaction stuck out to me as a bit odd. Maybe it's just the way I see it, but "Best Character Interaction" seems like it would be a better fit in the Fic Moment section. The way I read it, Interaction implies a very specific exchange of dialogue and/or action, whereas Relationship seems to be about a character dynamic that happens over the course of a whole fic, and that fits in better with the category it's presently in.

    I'm not sure if it's worth splitting that category into two separate awards, but it seems like it could potentially be worth looking into.
  10. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine ██████████

    Possibly! But before we go any further down this path, legit question: if we were to call something Best Character Relationship, would the "relationship" part of it imply romance to anyone, or would it stand on its own just fine? (I'm mostly asking because I feel like that might be why "Interaction" is there.)
  11. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Chimera Puppy

    Uh, speaking personally hearing "relationship" could make me think romance. But I usually take it as an umbrella term that encompasses romance, platonic/friendship, and familial. I feel like in the case of that award "relationship" is supposed to mean "interpersonal relationship" or "dynamic," hence the "/interaction" bit. Like, it could encompass antagonistic relationships that happen to be very strongly written. If that makes sense.
  12. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me Staff Member Moderator

    Originally there was a "Best Romantic Relationship" award as well as a "Best Non-Romantic Relationship/Interaction" award; then, a few years back, it was pointed out that the romantic category didn't tend to get a lot of nominations and it'd make sense to combine these awards into one. If I recall correctly, the reason "Relationship/Interaction" was originally used was because just "Best Non-Romantic Relationship" might imply it was necessarily about friendships, when it was intended to cover any interesting dynamic between characters. I feel renaming it to just "Best Character Relationship" would bump into both that and the usual assumption that a "relationship" means a romantic one.

    Renaming the award to "Best Character Dynamic" might make sense? Although to me that sort of implies it's asking about the fic's character dynamics in general, as opposed to a specific dynamic between specific characters.
  13. icomeanon6

    icomeanon6 It's "I Come Anon"

    I think it'll be difficult to convey a precise meaning for "Best Character Relationship/Dynamic/Etc." with any given name just because of the nature of the words. It'd probably be safest to include a sentence of clarification for potentially ambiguous award categories.
  14. Firebrand

    Firebrand Indomitable

    To be honest, a little flavor text for each category might not be a bad idea...
  15. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    "Dynamic" is the best I can come up for for that category, yeah, but indeed it doesn't make it totally clear what exactly the award's for. iirc there are more detailed descriptions/instructions provided in the awards app, at least when making nominatons. No way to double-check at the moment, though. I think it would be a good idea for those to show up during voting, too, if they don't already... again, blanking on whether that's the case.
  16. The Great Butler

    The Great Butler Hush, keep it down

    Bumping this up for last-minute discussion.
  17. DreamSayer

    DreamSayer Dreamzone Trainer

    When is the actual voting process?
  18. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Chimera Puppy

    It's in the intro post, Dream. It's two months after the nomination phase ends (so, likely mid-February to mid-April).
  19. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me Staff Member Moderator

    Apologies for being very last-minute, but I think the conclusion here is:

    - Rename "Best Character Relationship/Interaction" to "Best Character Dynamic", with a clarifying description (and yes, this is already a feature).
    - Remove "Most Frightening Scene" and "Best Cliffhanger" in favor of "Most Suspenseful Scene", which covers a lot of the same things.

    Nominations start in an hour on the awards site! I've made a few improvements to the registration system to smooth it out a little; there's now an "Edit user info" page that you can use to edit your username/password after creating what used to be a temporary account, in particular, so the easy temporary signup can now easily become a proper permanent account that you can log into later. Let me know if anything doesn't work or if anything's confusing.
  20. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Chimera Puppy

    Just thought you might want to know that I got a blank page (Server Error (500)) when I clicked "Edit user info."

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