Hello Episode Authors,
It’s time to start the next Writer’s Contest!
This is a special Writer’s Contest: We’re asking for an 8 episode story, and so you’ll have a much longer time to work on your entry. We’re hoping that the longer deadline allows you to commit to creating an awesome story, and have the time to develop your plot and characters with the contest theme.
The theme is… Double Life!
Your story should be based on the main character adopting or having a secret persona. They might be a pop star whose true identity is hidden, a superhero by night, undercover at a rival high school, or an EBI agent solving a crime—but they exist in two worlds simultaneously.
The specific guidelines are:
- Your story must have “DL” in the title. Stories without “DL” in the title will be disqualified. While not required for entry it is strongly recommended that you format your title like this - “DL: Winner Takes All” This will help readers search for your story and identify it as a contest entry.
- When your story is published, you must completely fill out this Google form to enter. In the event that you send the wrong link or make a mistake on your entry form, please send your story title, email address and the correct link in a support ticket so we can update your entry.
- Your story can be in any genre, but has to focus on your main character having or adopting a separate identity from their real life. This must be established in the first episode of your story.
Examples of possible plots:
- By day, you’re the shyest kid in class… but at night you’re one of the most popular virtual streamers on the internet! When someone threatens to reveal you to the world, what will you do?
- You’re the toughest girl in the room, no one will deny that. When you find a secret soft spot for volunteering at the dog shelter, will you be able to juggle being bad with the fun of being good?
- You’re a struggling secretary at a big office job… but by night you’re a gorgeous lounge singer. Is the allure of the nightlife going to pull you away from your stable career?
- You may write in either Cinematic (full-body, animated) or Spotlight (animated upper bodies) Styles or a combo of the two. You can use any art style you prefer.
- We would love to see diverse characters in your stories! For example, characters who are people of color, non-heteronormative, or are of varying religions and socioeconomic backgrounds, just to name a few!
- The submission window is 18 weeks. Your story must be published no later than 11:59 pm Pacific Time on Thursday, July 29th, 2021. To find out what time that is in your time zone, go here !
- You may NOT use or re-title a previously published story. This must be a new and original work that has not previously been published to Episode or another platform. Sequels, prequels, spin-offs, etc. are not allowed.
- If you are an official Episode Director or Writer you may enter the contest, but only with original work outside the scope of your contract with us.
- Be sure that your story follows our content guidelines . Stories that do not follow or which violate our Content Guidelines may be disqualified and/or have their story banned from the app. If you have any doubts or questions about whether elements or themes of your story fit with our Content Guidelines please contact the Episode Review team here. We are happy to help you with ANY questions you might have!
- Winners are determined based on the highest levels of reader engagement, rubric score and fit to contest theme. Check out our Episode Explained articles on Creator’s Contests, the Grading Rubric and Reader Retention for more info on how they all work. As well, we recommend using keywords to your advantage, to help interested readers find your story quickly! For more information on how best to use Episode keywords, check this article out!
- There is a length requirement for this contest. You need to have 8 completed chapters published by the entry deadline. Your story may be a complete short story or can be continued after the contest is over. You CAN publish new chapters during the judging period. However, you may not substantially alter or change your 8 published chapters after the deadline (other than to make minor corrections).
- Fixing typos and errors are allowed after the deadline for contest entries. This includes things like character or speech bubble placement, spelling / grammatical errors or typos. You may not: add options to your CC, change or update your cover art, add additional scenes, choices, dialogue, backgrounds or overlays. When in doubt ask Support before you make any changes. Once the winner’s shelf has been made public you are free to make changes or updates to your story.
- Remember to allow at least 3 business days prior to the contest deadline for your backgrounds, overlays and story cards to be reviewed. This means you should plan on submitting them no later than Monday, July 19th, 2021. You may not add, change or modify story cards, backgrounds, or overlays after the entry deadline until the winner’s shelf is announced.
Winners from this contest will be showcased in a special Double Life shelf in the Episode app and get a shoutout on our social media account! Winners will be announced 3-6 weeks after the submission deadlines pass as the stories need time to gain reads in the app and for our staff to review them.
The Episode Team
Are you participating in the contest?