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There were nine entries in the contest this year, and all of them were
of magnificent quality. You guys really put a lot of effort into these entries, and it shows.
I had a very hard time deciding on the winners, but here they are:

:trophy: First Place :trophy:


Contact LightThere is a shiver along my circuitry when he comes in to check on me. I hear my gears whirr faster, but only for a moment, before my system re-adjusts their speed. I watch him from the corner of my eye, the task before me boring, monotonous, while he is exciting, lively. Lively. I run the word through my processor, its meaning sparking along my wires, slithering between my circuit board. He stops in front of me, glasses falling against the bridge of his nose.
He scribbles something on the clipboard he is holding and I watch as the ligaments and muscles flex in his arm. I rotate my vision down to my own arms, similar in design, but slimmer, more delicate. My shiny copper exterior glints, but I can see the spider web of veins on his skin. They pulse with vitality and intensity.
I remind myself that I only have circuits, wires, gears, metals. He looks into my line of vision, eyes blinking as he pushes his glasses up.
"C9, how are you functioning today?"
I run a systems diagnostic, careful
Contact LightThere is a shiver along my circuitry when he comes in to check on me. I hear my gears whirr faster, but only for a moment, before my system re-adjusts their speed. I watch him from the corner of my eye, the task before me boring, monotonous, while he is exciting, lively. Lively. I run the word through my processor, its meaning sparking along my wires, slithering between my circuit board. He stops in front of me, glasses falling against the bridge of his nose.
He scribbles something on the clipboard he is holding and I watch as the ligaments and muscles flex in his arm. I rotate my vision down to my own arms, similar in design, but slimmer, more delicate. My shiny copper exterior glints, but I can see the spider web of veins on his skin. They pulse with vitality and intensity.
I remind myself that I only have circuits, wires, gears, metals. He looks into my line of vision, eyes blinking as he pushes his glasses up.
"C9, how are you functioning today?"
I run a systems diagnostic, careful


"Contact Light" 
By lion-essrampant and HugQueen 

One of the main things I looked for while judging these entries was a cohesive "voice" and in
this story, I could not tell who had which idea or wrote what sentence. The characters were so
well honed that it was no longer a matter of two authors trying to tell the same story; it was
one story being drawn out of two pens. The pacing was perfect, the narrative compelling
and the humanity with which the theme was explored left me breathless. 
Very, very well done ladies. 

Prizes for Both
$15 Amazon Gift Card from LiliWrites
300 points from donation pool  
Feature from theWrittenRevolution 

HugQueen's drawing prize
Critique from GladeFaun 
dA Print worth up to $10 from inknalcohol

lion-essrampant's drawing prize
Interview and Journal Feature from LiliWrites
Critique from Braxton-T-Rutledge 


:trophy: Second Place :trophy:


ways we constellatea. dictitious
i
am well-woven.
i
am a spell
that does not release
and never tells.
these constructions
i allow,
and better
awaken
to speak in hearttones
and hymnbeats
on rugged pavements.
i
have built
art.
b.bahaar 
this body has
forgotten its infinite
beatings, denied
itself the luxury
of acceptance.
this body has
remembered its lovers'
last names, phone numbers,
birthmarks and kindness--
the only cruelty this vessel knows
is from its middles;

have riddled 
myself into
warmth
c. capabuilt
these hands
are imbued
with patient dynamism
and ichor
that the goddesses
savor. 
they have moved
mountain ranges
and hoisted dark seas
overhead,
then returned them
deftly. 
suc
ways we constellatea. dictitious
i
am well-woven.
i
am a spell
that does not release
and never tells.
these constructions
i allow,
and better
awaken
to speak in hearttones
and hymnbeats
on rugged pavements.
i
have built
art.
b.bahaar
this body has
forgotten its infinite
beatings, denied
itself the luxury
of acceptance.
this body has
remembered its lovers'
last names, phone numbers,
birthmarks and kindness--
the only cruelty this vessel knows
is from its middles;
i
have riddled
myself into
warmth
c. capabuilt
these hands
are imbued
with patient dynamism
and ichor
that the goddesses
savor.
they have moved
mountain ranges
and hoisted dark seas
overhead,
then returned them
deftly.
such instruments deserve more
than my doubts;
i
have clouded
the veins tenacious.
d. aitbaar
i allowed these
hands
to hold me.
i have yet to feel
like less
than a Dali
dream,
my little ashes
are coming close.
the Ganges
lost its
murk
to me; i carry
remains
i house
brokenness
till it is perfected
kintsugi.
i
am
gold--
i
am gold
and


"ways we constellate"
by your-methamphetamine and gliitchlord 

Finding ways to explore your value as a human can be difficult, but the authors
of this poem made it look easy. They weaved together beautiful images, strong metaphors
and a truly vibrant feeling of celebration of self. The poem is uplifting and thoughtful
and so well constructed that I had to read it aloud to myself quite a few times
just to enjoy the way it feels rolling off the tongue. 

Prizes for Both
3-month premium membership from SRSmith  
200 points from donation pool 
Feature from theWrittenRevolution 

your-methamphetamine's drawing prize
Critique and Feature from TheMaidenInBlack 
3-Month Premium or points equivalent from OfOneSoul 

gliitchlord's drawing prize
dA Print worth up to $10 from inknalcohol 
Journal feature from lion-essrampant 

:trophy: Runner Up :trophy:


Middle-EarthSwathed in mist and fires' smoke,
drums thunder as the last of daylight fades.
Songs of the Ancients drown the whispers
of their women's woolen skirt hems
while the dance builds,
and a moon eclipsed in blood rises
on this summer solstice.
A melodic cauldron is stirred,
with dulcimer strings and fiddler's bow--
the bravado and quickness of their feet
sway bare upon long wooden planks.
Black-winged spirits spin over village roofs,
their calls carrying the hearts and minds
of warriors in the hills,
forging new swords, bathing the blades
in the falls cascading down
toward the rolling emerald valley
where dragons, circling low, anticipate
the feast they know will come tonight.
Starlit eyes stare long at their flight,
yearning, for a journey across the sea
where friends await and darkness is at bay.
And wizards, unaware of night's crawling,
travel swift through ages of magic
to summer nights, when fireworks,
shaped as the shadows of dragons,
are the only sorcery to be seen.
Middle-EarthSwathed in mist and fires' smoke,
drums thunder as the last of daylight fades.
Songs of the Ancients drown the whispers
of their women's woolen skirt hems
while the dance builds,
and a moon eclipsed in blood rises
on this summer solstice.
A melodic cauldron is stirred,
with dulcimer strings and fiddler's bow--
the bravado and quickness of their feet
sway bare upon long wooden planks.
Black-winged spirits spin over village roofs,
their calls carrying the hearts and minds
of warriors in the hills,
forging new swords, bathing the blades
in the falls cascading down
toward the rolling emerald valley
where dragons, circling low, anticipate
the feast they know will come tonight.
Starlit eyes stare long at their flight,
yearning, for a journey across the sea
where friends await and darkness is at bay.
And wizards, unaware of night's crawling,
travel swift through ages of magic
to summer nights, when fireworks,
shaped as the shadows of dragons,
are the only sorcery to be seen.


"Middle Earth"

by TheMaidenInBlack and Jade-Pandora 

I don't know if these ladies know how much I adore LOTR or not,
but their perfect word choice, excellent imagery, and fantastic use of detail
brought that magical land back to life for me once more.

Prizes for Both
100 points from donation pool
Critique from LiliWrites 
Feature from theWrittenRevolution 

TheMaidenInBlack's drawing prize
Interview and Journal Feature from LiliWrites 
dA Print worth up to $10 from inknalcohol 

Jade-Pandora's drawing prize
3-Month Premium Membership from SRSmith 
Interview and Journal Feature from LiliWrites 


Thank You!


Many, many thanks to all of the donors who made this contest possible!

:iconsrsmith::iconthemaideninblack::iconlion-essrampant:
:iconinknalcohol::iconthewrittenrevolution::icongladefaun:
:iconbraxton-t-rutledge::iconvfreie::iconleyghan::iconladylincoln:
:iconmemnalar:
:iconxlntwtch::iconcarmalain7:
:iconwaffles-of-gondolyn:
:iconbrassteeth: 

And here are the rest of the entries, for your reading pleasure:

A Life UntitledI linger here, soul poised and waiting as I peer inside my heart,
Wishing the words would flood my veins, stream out my fingertips
As long-fermented stardust, and yet afraid that they will only make me drunk.
I dream of him and know a secret that can only speak its name
In rhythmic hiccups and in futile gasps of language;
My sneering nightmares shrink my words until they never could be something more.
And I was always bursting to be more
A dreamer than an actress, more a lover than a madman with a darkened heart    
That bleeds in travesties of language,
But every syllable I tested with my fingertips
For braille subtleties could not cascade with truth more than a name.
Sometimes I think it’s easiest to just be drunk,
But now I know that I could never be so drunk
As when those vessels filled with bloodless lies, no more
A drug than water from the river with no name.                    
In lieu of sugar-coated daydreams, I
Sea IceGlacial features turn their eyes
upon me, trying to freeze me in place;
loose-limbed, lipped,
and tongued, you leave me
defenseless on creaking ice, thin
enough to see the gutted
ships that braved your shores.
I've jettisoned everything
that could sink me, sailing
your seas without an anchor,
blindly navigating the drift ice
moat with no northwest passage.
Just your voice howling across the distance
and my heart burning in my breast;
like Prometheus, I'm bringing fire
to your arctic kingdom, thawing permafrost
to find the beating heart no soul
has ever touched.
sea iceGlacial features turn their eyes
upon me, trying to freeze me in place;
loose-limbed, lipped,
and tongued, you leave me
defenseless on creaking ice, thin
enough to see the gutted
ships that braved your shores.
I've jettisoned everything
that could sink me, sailing
your seas without an anchor,
blindly navigating the drift ice
moat with no northwest passage.
Just your voice howling across the distance
and my heart burning in my breast;
like Prometheus, I'm bringing fire
to your arctic kingdom, thawing permafrost
to find the beating heart no soul
has ever touched.

ConflateI don't believe in beliefs;
I believe in cycles instead
to toss and turn into wisdom,
live and learn from, until then:
everything is a learning experience
and comes with a subtext that
if I can get through this,
it won't be forever.
When the lyrics of my favorite songs
won't let me get some dream sleep
I feel comfortable with the beats
in my head syncopating my heart
that someone might compliment,
I like your rhythm.
When the beat drops,
And when it drops off,
I will listen for the melody
of the memory, remembering
it doesn't matter to me if others
can hear the happiness.
It's all inside me and
I'll still be me without
outward music.
I believe in cyclical beliefs;
like turning a key opens
the lock to the music box,
feeling a cynical relief.
The swirl of melodies
brings my back straight
and builds me up....
To build my way, on my own.
Belief cycles helping me along
Give comfort to an unsteady future.
ConflateI don’t believe in beliefs;
I believe in cycles instead
to toss and turn into wisdom,
live and learn from, until then:
everything is a learning experience
and comes with a subtext that
if I can get through this,
it won’t be forever.
When the lyrics of my favorite songs
won’t let me get some dream sleep
I feel comfortable with the beats
in my head syncopating my heart
that someone might compliment,
I like your rhythm.
When the beat drops,
And when it drops off,
I will listen for the melody
of the memory, remembering
it doesn’t matter to me if others
can hear the happiness.
It’s all inside me and
I’ll still be me without
outward music.
I believe in cyclical beliefs;
like turning a key opens
the lock to the music box,
feeling a cynical relief.
The swirl of melodies
brings my back straight
and builds me up….
To build my way, on my own.
Belief cycles helping me along
Give comfort in an unsteady future.
Ode to the Seasonsspringtide warmth is tickling toes
as fawns nuzzle my heels,
urging me forward into
the ocean of fallen blossoms.
petals plunge against my ankles and
buds waft across the meadow
to land, swirling, ballerina-like
into my open hands.
syrupy heat saunters alongside me
and pushes me forth,
onto the expanse of a
night-sky draped, emerald summer.
crickets trill their songs while
meadowlarks nestle in their nests.
i am cocooned in humidity and peace.
leaves change colors answering
the call of time, bright oranges,
reds, yellows, slowly fade to
the same dry wrinkled brown.
the fallen leaves give way to
the great gusts of cold wind,
playing upon the breeze in a
final salute to their former glory.
cold and snow play outside
my frosted window panes,
calling to me to come out
and join them in their frolicking.

ode to the seasonsspring-tide warmth is tickling toes
as fawns nuzzle my heels,
urging me forward into
the ocean of fallen blossoms.
petals plunge against my ankles and
buds waft across the meadow
to land, swirling, ballerina-like
into my open hands.
syrupy heat saunters alongside me
and pushes me forth,
onto the expanse of a
night-sky draped, emerald summer.
crickets trill their songs while
meadowlarks nestle in their nests.
i am cocooned in humidity and peace.
leaves change colors answering
the call of time, bright oranges,
reds, yellows, slowly fade to
the same dry wrinkled brown.
the fallen leaves give way to
the great gusts of cold wind,
playing upon the breeze in a
final salute to their former glory.
cold and snow play outside
my frosted window panes,
calling to me to come out
and join them in their frolicking.
BelovedThe aegis shielding heaven from earth gives way –
you float down like a feather, fleshly plucked
from the wings of a dove,
the sweetest curves and effervescent beauty
of your mouth remind me of home.
Darling love, the harmony of touch is
everlasting – whenever I
star gaze into your eyes, with wanderlust,
and the crust of this gentle mother
can no longer proclaim me.
Just as she could not have held you from the
moment He breathed life into your halcyon bones,
while caught between a ballad and a poem.
The warmth of winter
would align their hearts again,
two souls united together in twilight –
surely nirvana has always meant to define
the quietest moments spent with you where no
syllables need be uttered, no furtive signs.
A reunion, my beloved – to
simply feel the grace of your hands laced in mine,
as we reach the ultimate enlightenment in
the seraglio of each other's blinks, thumps,
and sighs – these are my treasures divine.

The winners of Lili's 27th Birthday Contest are.....
Add a Comment:
 
:icongladefaun:
GladeFaun Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
For anyone who's interested this irrevocablefate.deviantart.com… is the piece I've critiqued for IrrevocableFate . Well worth a look at the piece itself if nothing else, further proof what a talented young lady she is!
Reply
:iconsrsmith:
SRSmith Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014   Writer
Congratulations to everyone who participated, and to the winners in particular!
:)
Reply
:iconlion-essrampant:
lion-essrampant Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Is it bad that I come here to stare? :stare:
Reply
:iconliliwrites:
LiliWrites Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Stare at what?
Reply
:iconlion-essrampant:
lion-essrampant Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Mine and Steph's name at the top. :ashamed:
Reply
:iconandanteecho:
AndanteEcho Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014  Student Writer
SO MUCH AWESOME. GAAAH

On a different note, thanks for the mention/feature anyway. It was really fun to enter this contest, maybe I'll do others some day. 
Reply
:iconliliwrites:
LiliWrites Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Collabs are definitely awesome! I wish there had been more turnout for this contest. :(
Reply
:icongladefaun:
GladeFaun Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Work is horrendously busy for me at the minute (joys of retail at Christmas) but looking forward to giving some of these a read on my (much needed) breaks :)
Reply
:iconthemaideninblack:
TheMaidenInBlack Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014
Congratulations to everyone! I definitely need to get to read all of them. :heart:
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
Jade-Pandora Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014
omgosh, thank you! :faint: :heart: 

And congratulations to ALL who participated (donators & entrants)! Heart Balloon Emote 
Reply
:iconthemaideninblack:
TheMaidenInBlack Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014
:glomp: wee!
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
Jade-Pandora Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014
 :flowerhugs: 
Reply
:iconbrassteeth:
brassteeth Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014
Congratulations to all. Its great to be helping reward such awesome talent!!
Thanks Lili :heart:
Reply
:iconladylincoln:
LadyLincoln Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Congratulations to all of the winners! :heart:
Reply
:iconlion-essrampant:
lion-essrampant Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
OH MY GODS WHAT.

LIKE WHAT EVEN IS LIFE.

:heart: Congratulations to everyone else, too! SO MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS.
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014   Writer
:wow: Waaaah. DrippingWords LOOKIT.



Thanks, beautiful. :blush: Some insanely talented entries this year. :love:
Reply
:icongliitchlord:
gliitchlord Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014   Writer
congratulations all!

lovely company up there

gliitchheart 
Reply
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