“Play with the Prose” is a pure writing competition without eliminations where each competitor writes a short story each week. Joseph “punmanbowler” Rakstad came up with the name of the game (I asked for something that sounded related to sports, since there’s a playoff system at the end).

Sixteen people play per season, and six make the three-challenge playoffs (the top two in the regular season receive a bye into the semifinals).

Season One
August – October, 2012
Judges: Kelly Wells, Pete Bruzek

Season one was too stacked, frankly. A nonsub marred the playoffs, but we had a fun little Cinderella story instead and a champion that nobody could deny. Centipedes unite!

I also kicked ass at coming up with prompts during this season, if you’ll allow me to pat myself on the back for a moment.

Shawn Ashley, Dean Carlson, Matthew Gilman, Bret Highum, Sarah Johnson, David Larson, Brooks Maki, Andrew M, Matt Novak, Ian Pratt, Joseph Rakstad, AMR, Eric Schapp, Erik S, Cathy Wells, Colin Woolston

1: Competition (200)
2: Prison or Captivity (200)
3: Superpowers (300)
4: Little People (200)
5: Halfway Point (300)
6: The Consequences of the Wrong Decision (200)
7: Family Reunion (300)
8: Denouement (200)
9: Taste of Power (300)
10: Life’s Defining Moment (200)
11: Blind Protagonist (300)
12: Tribe Chooses New Leader (200)
13: Happened in a Restaurant (300)
14: Former Animal (300)
15: Protagonist is a Watcher (200)
16: Saying Goodbye (300)
Wild Card: Small Decision, Big Consequences (500)
Semifinals: A Month to Live (500)
Final: Explorer’s Greatest Find (500)

Season Two
October – December, 2012
Judges: Matthew Gilman, Matt Novak, Andy Rustleund

Season Two is…interesting. A season full of fiction 59 stories is very cool in theory, but at times the difficulty caused fatigue. Also, a round-robin season is very cool in theory, but non-submissions have a much bigger impact in this forum, and there were a lot of them. Oh well. Despite all that, it’s been a lot of fun, and as a delightfully surly mod, Gilman’s a man after my own heart.

1: Showdown
2: Private Journal
3: Love Story
4: Playground Equipment
5: Jerk
6: Apology
7: Rock Concert
8: Conflict Resolution
9: Re-Purposing a Joke
10: Making an Excuse
11: Mall Santa
12: Foreign Language
13: Firing a Gun
14: Tall Tale