November is NaNoWriMo - or National Novel Writing Month.  It is "a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.  On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.  Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel."

Jared Fulcher is a Mantic pathfinder from Idaho, and has also been involved with rewriting some of the first edition Deadzone supplements for 2nd edition (and maybe I'll eventually get him the feedback he asked for on the "Contagion" update (now that most of it has gone to print in the new version of "Nexus Psi".)

Jared hard at work error-checking the Firefight rule book.  (this is what you get for posting pictures of yourself on facebook :-))
Jared has graciously agreed to give me an exclusive interview on Mantics NaNoWriMo writing competition, so without further ado let me put on my interview font and get started.

Please introduce yourself to my readers out there ( both of them :-) )
Hey everyone, I am Jared Fulcher, Golden to my friends. I turned 40 last June but don't feel a day over 39 and 16 months :). I graduated in English: Creative Writing many moons ago, currently own a Laser Tag center and am an officer in the Idaho National Guard. I am married to my wife, Sonya, and have one boy, Jared Jr. I love reading and writing for all different eras, but if there isn't a laser gun, or a magic sword somewhere in the story, it gets boring fast!

What is NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo in short for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place during November and is a challenge to all writers to pen out 50,000 words in 30 days. Crazy right?
For the Mantic NaNoWriMo Competition, we are not quite as ambitious (or insane) but at the same time want to give recognition to this part of the hobby.

So what does this have to do with Mantic?
I'll get to how Mantic became involved in all this further down, but for the Mantic Writing Competition, they are generously supplying some really nice awards to encourage and foster interest in this part of the hobby. They know there are things they can offer that money can't buy, that is why they are also giving each submission a chance to be published by Mantic!

How did you get involved with it for Mantic?
Now the real story comes out. I created (With Ronnie Renton's blessing) and run the “Ronnie the Bard of Mantica” group on Facebook. It initially was a place for customers to talk about, and sometimes get help for, their interactions with Mantic as a whole. That ran great for about two weeks and then died :( .

Back in the middle of Summer, I decided to change to purpose of the page (again, with Ronnie's blessing) into a gathering spot of sorts for people who like to write, specifically in the Lands of Mantica and abound in the War Path Universe. Several people jumped in on this and a small community was born.

Yes, I know this is droning on. Sorry.  (because I NEVER do that here on my blog :-) )

In early October, one of our members brought up NaNoWriMo and was curious if any one was interested in it. Talk progressed to doing a Mantic-centric (“Mantic Centric” that just sounds like a cool metal band name ;) themed NaNoWriMo challenge and that is when I got the bright idea to see if Mantic would support a writing competition. Ronnie said yes... :D

How much does this cost?
Free-ninty-free! There is no entry fee, no donations asked for, nothing like that! Mantic is springing 100% for all the rewards for this competition.

Do I have to be a published writer to enter?
Not at all! In fact, I'm hoping this competition will help aspiring writers who have been waiting for the right inspiration to hit them to get on this and start using their craft!

Which game systems can I write about?
This time around we are covering all games within the realms of Mantica and the War Path Universe so nothing taking place in “The Walking Dead: All Out War” or “Mars Attacks” franchises.

Can I write about existing characters?
Yes! You'll be able to do so in two ways. Each category will have one packet centered on a specific character that you can explore and expound upon. Also, Each category will have a “Living Battle Report” packet allowing the author the chance to bring one of their favorite battles to life! This includes any Heroes you may have (or wanted to have ;) in your army.

Are any characters off limits?
Not really, but writing about a named character will require more research (or imagination) to keep it in accordance with Mantic Fluff. A good example is the packet, “The Life of the Green Lady.” I poured so much more information into that packet than any other because I'd hate someone to write a great story about her but get several points wrong, thus making it able to possibly win an award, but have only a slight chance of getting published.
Stephen King: When asked, how do you write, I invariably answer, one word at a time.
So is Mantic actually looking for novels?
From this competition? No. In fact we are capping the stories at 10 pages to keep them manageable and useful if any are selected for publication. That being said, Mantic really tries to be a company for the people, so who knows what connections will be made? ;)

How many stories can I submit?
You can submit up to two stories this time around. They can even be on the same subject, but you would still have to send them in two separate submissions. If you do this, having different titles would be a plus so we don't get confused. ;)

What happens to these stories after I submit them?
They will be handed out to the judging comity who will read through each one, take notes, compare notes, and then vote on the top three. Okay, that sounds really easy, but I have a feeling there will be several debates involved because we all have differing views. So after the announcement of the winners, don't expect any pictures of us until gashes are healed and ears can be sewn back on.

Do I retain copy right to my story?
As part of the application form, we do ask the author to sign over the rights to their story. Now before you get too riled up, it is only so that when we do find stories that Mantic wants to use, they already have the rights, “FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF EDITING, COPY RIGHT RETENTION, AND PRINTING OF THE ATTACHED SUBMITTED WORK.” (Copied over from the “Competition Application Form”)

What if my story is NOT picked - could I resubmit it somewhere else ( say Iron watch? )
Yes! As mentioned above, Mantic only holds onto the rights if they are wanting to use it themselves. If a story is NOT selected for publication the copy rights for stories not selected will be released back to the owner 24 hours after the awards are announced.

When are entries due, and what is the schedule for notifying winners and other entrants as to their status?
All entries are due Dec. 1st, 12 Noon GMT. The penciled schedule for announcing winners and stories selected for publication. I say penciled because this is the first time this is being done and we may need more time dependent on the number of submissions.

What else do I need to know before writing a story?
I guess the only thing to keep in mind is that this competition is organized in the spirit of unity over a common love for the games, so don't let it bog you down, drive you crazy, or give you sleepless nights. Have fun with it! Also, sign up for the Ronnie the Bard of Mantica Facebook page, that way you can receive the friendship and support of fellow writers like yourself.

Thanks for answering my questions, any last words?
We at Mantic love you and wish we could give each of you a big hug and a warm cup of milk. Did I mention before that I'm not officially employed by Mantic? :D

All kidding aside, we are all excited about this event and wish everyone the best of luck!

Thanks again Jared, and I (oops, I guess I can talk in my normal font now) expect many people to be interested in giving this a try.  A part of me even wants to give this a try myself (a very small, stupid part, that is overwhelming outvoted by the majority of my brain shouting "Do you see how much painting you have that you can't be bothered to get off your butt and work on, and you think you have time to try to write a story?  You can't even think of topics for your blog most of the time!")

The guidelines for the competition can be found here.

Because it is all fun and games . . .