As you know, the Quicksilver Quill Awards are about awarding the best writing MuggleNet Fan Fiction authors have had to offer for the year. Nominations are received across twelve categories and separated in one-shot and chaptered stories. This year, we have fifteen winners in total.
I would like to profusely thank the judges, who made this all possible. This literally could not have been done without them, and having winners chosen by our members and for our members really reflects how our community works and what sets it apart from other sites out there.
As the number of nominations was small this year, we do have fewer winning stories than in the past, with most categories having only one winner and one category none at all. However, to preserve the integrity of the QSQs, we still judged to the standards we have held for nearly a decade, and the results are truly reflective of how our fandom has carried on for so many years and still produces fine, well-honed literature after all this time. Always.
Like in previous years, winners of the awards will also receive a personalised banner, created by one of MNFF's finest bannermakers and chosen through a special competition. This year's winning banner was created by the most excellent Julia/the opaleye, and you can view a sneak peak by clicking here. Banners will be sent out to winners in the next few days. But now, on to the moment you’ve all been waiting for!
QSQ Winners 2014
Best General Story
One-Shot - Tea Behind Bars by WeasleyMom
There is a great deal packed into this very short story: beautiful prose, spot-on characterisation of Draco, and apt symbolism. Draco is as complex here as in canon. The lustre and thoroughness of the characterisation give this story more steam than many five times its length.
Chaptered - Exile Vilify by the opaleye
We enjoyed seeing the story of other characters on the run from Voldemort. Nell is an abrasive and ambitious character, but it’s obvious there are layers of hurt and caring in her - perfect characterisation for a Muggle-born Slytherin, who has been an outcast in and out of Hogwarts. Though currently incomplete, the smooth intensity of the writing, the set-up of the premise, and the mysteries and secrets hinted at make us look forward to reading more.
Sybill Trelawney and the Unexpected Gift by Squibstress
This story gives so much vivid and aching life to why Trelawney is how she is, and what brought her to the places she'd been. At first, it isn't quite dark enough, but gradually, it sinks into the mire, and then maintains that through to the end. It's got exactly what we were looking for in a winner - great characterisation, interesting plotline, growth, appropriate atmosphere, and really great pacing.
Wood by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
Jess's story is novel, funny, and definitely connected to the spirit of the Potterverse, in an outrageous but hilarious manner. The characterizations are stretched for comedy, but the voices of Marcus Flint and Oliver Wood are well-differentiated and believable. It also manages to be a good parody without the benefit of a bigger word count. And of course, the most important thing in this category: it kept the judges grinning.
Four Secrets by hestiajones
This story takes everything that has become stale and overdone about Marauder Era stories and turns it on its head. The subtle changes made to canon are intricately considered, and one cannot help but be riveted as they all play out and blossom into a new identity for the Marauders.
Beatrice Avery from Tom Riddle and the Chamber of Secrets by CanisMajor
Though it is difficult to pull off a fascinating character who is so mired in shades of grey, Beatrice Avery fits the bill. This Riddle Era story really sheds light on the dynamics between Gryffindor and Slytherin, while really carrying an authentic, period feeling. Beatrice’s perspective shows who she is in the barest, most unapologetic light, but her astuteness lends a lot to both her own characterisation, as well as for the surrounding cast. In other words, Beatrice is everything you could want in an original character and why she is this year’s best and brightest.
Crocus by Equinox Chick
This story exemplifies the Post-Hogwarts category, tying to events that link the story to wizarding history. At the same time, it's a refreshing change reading a romance story that does not involve teenagers! Crocus is extremely well-written, with a wonderful exploration of Andromeda's character after the war.
Pat-A-Cake by foolondahill17
It's original, touching, and we get to see a good deal of the Next Gen world through the eyes of a Squib - and a Weasley one, at that. There was a real pathos to this tale, especially in Molly “Pat” Weasley's struggles with her lack of magical ability. Through Pat’s eyes, there is so much to see about the Potterverse’s most beloved family by how they perceive one of their own who doesn’t fit the mould, and it's easy to empathise with Pat because we don't have the barrier of magic to isolate us from the character.
Red Squirrel/Sun Rises by hestiajones
This poem is thoughtful and beautifully structured. It has a different take to the Fred/George tragedy to many other poems, because it has that element of narrative and the future to it. George with his son, George without Fred, and then ugly crying from the entire judging panel. The writing is very evocative, particularly the use of ‘half’ and the theme of red, and it carries an aura of hope you sense at the end, even through George’s grief and hopelessness.
The Cookie-Cutter Life by minnabird
The language of this poem was just one of the many things that draws you to this tale of Dudley Dursley and his perfect suburban life. It carries a hard-hitting moral, which rounds off the poem fittingly, and fantastic use of rhythm, phrase and structure add to its charisma. It really feels like Dudley has grown immensely.
A Light in the Gap by WeasleyMom
Lori's story encompasses so much that's at the heart of a great canon-romance. It tells the story without being over sentimental. A missing moment from the books turned into something golden. The language of the story is fluid and easy to follow. This is definitely a story that could reach all audiences.
One-Shot - Glass over the Flame by the opaleye
There is a beautiful and subtle intimacy to this story, which is essentially one of what-if. Glass over the Flame has that aching slow burn version of Harmony that remains loyal to canon, to the point that we as judges were rooting for them the whole way through. The imagery is gorgeous and lyrical, and the author artfully explores just how much Harry and Hermione have been through together, to the point that even the most cynical reader would be convinced those buried feelings existed.
Chaptered - Serenade by Equinox Chick
Carole takes us through a romance that is so much more than just two characters getting together. It’s plotty, redemptive and sensual, adhering to what we know about Pansy and Terry in canon and also adding some intriguing personality attributes to them both. The way the narrative alternates between flamboyant parties, corporate settings and romance is effortless. And Pansy’s redemption arc is made all the better because it doesn’t erase or excuse the character we saw in the books, the one ready to hand Harry over the Voldemort; instead, the author simply revealed her better character traits.
Same Sex Pairing
One-Shot - Sanguini, the Vampire by teh tarik
The way Eldred Worple essentially created this Sanguini persona for David means his behaviour in HBP makes a lot more sense. He is such a 3D and fully fleshed out character - intelligent, yet delusional, in a way, and also succumbing to a relationship that was intensely unhealthy. So too is David's characterisation and his acceptance that this is no love story. Rather, their relationship is both mutualistic and parasitic. The pairing is well drawn into the story without being overbearing, but still incredibly important.
Chaptered - Under My Skin by Equinox Chick
This is a fantastically written story with great characterisation - and with characters like these, that's not something we usually get a lot of. Zach and Cormac were so distinct in their characterisations, especially the little details, like Zach being a neat freak and his aloofness, and Cormac's protectiveness of Zach and the way he was in so many ways the complete opposite of Zach. The supporting cast were so well fleshed out, as well - Romilda in particular was a standout character for us judges. More than that, unlike some romance stories, it was great that the author delved further with Zach's backstory.