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TSAT 20, contest announcement

As you've doubtless noticed, this is the 'all Sly Squirrel, all the time' issue. And since competition is a factor in so many of Sly's stories, well, we just couldn't resist the temptation to announce a new TSAT writing contest! It's our fourth, if you're counting, and feel free to check out the results of our first, second and third contests. This time around, we're looking for stories which take a known cliche -- and turn it upside-down. A 'cliche' is, of course, any story element that's appeared in three or five tales too many. Such as any of these:

Describing the TFed character with phrases which simply don't apply to his current form (i.e., a critter with hooves should 'stand up', not 'get to his feet'). Magic, magic, magic: Who needs a rational explanation anyway? Never use a product with an animal-related name or brand -- i.e., 'bunny slippers', 'Mane and Tail Shampoo', 'coonskin cap', etc.
Does any writer ever mention the phase of the Moon when it's not a werewolf story? The newly-TFed character alters his clothes in ways which don't actually help with his new form (i.e, a tail-hole in the pants that would, in reality, rub the base of the tail raw). Instant adaptation: "I've just changed sex and/or race and/or species! What's for lunch?"
"You must take the place of the creature you just killed. Have a nice life." Gods/spirits left over from ancient times, who now have nothing better to do than sit around and inflict an occasional TFish blessing/curse on unsuspecting modern victims. Auctorial lack of familiarity with the critter(s) he's TFing his character(s) into.
Instant brainwashing: TFing a character removes every last trace of his former resistance to being TFed. The viewpoint character is bleeding obsessed with one specific animal... which he will get TFed into. All humans are irredeemably prejudiced against furries -- period, end of discussion.
People are being TFing into animals for no adequately-explored reason. Retroactively editing the past, so that no one can remember that the character ever was different than he is now. "Nanotechnology": The thoroughly modern, TF-enabling buzzword!

Please note that this is by no means intended to be an exhaustive listing of cliches. If you have something in mind that wasn't mentioned on this page, great! It will not count against you, and might even be a point in your favor. Whatever cliche(s) you choose to run with, the important thing is that you not just take them at face value; instead, see what they look like when you hold them up to a funhouse mirror. For instance, take the "all humans are anti-furry bigots" cliche: What if humans hate furries because the furries conducted a genocidal anti-human pogrom? Or the "instant adaptation" cliche -- could there be a reason why the TFed person doesn't care?

What we're looking for A story in which a TF-ish cliche gets inverted. We don't even care if it's purely textual or an illustrated comic strip. And yes, it's okay for you to submit more than one story. The more, the merrier!
Why you want to do it The top three stories will appear in TSAT 31. In addition, we'll have some spiffy prizes for the creators of the First and Second Place stories.
When we want it The deadline for entering this contest is 15 Nov 2003, which (by no coincidence whatsoever) is also the deadline for submitting any and all material to TSAT 31.
Who can enter We'll take entries from anyone who is neither a TSAT staff member nor related to someone on the staff.
Where to send your entry Send it to Submissions as an e-mail attachment. The body of this e-mail should be the standard TSAT release form for writers or artists, as appropriate. We prefer written stories to be in .rtf or .txt formats; for graphical entries, we like .jpg or .gif files.
How to disqualify yourself Anything you enter in the contest must be your own original work. Plagiarism is verboten -- stealing another person's work is the shortest known route to a 'TSAT Death Sentence'. As well, we want new material. If you've posted whatever-it-is anywhere else on the Net, or if it's been published in any print venue, fuggeddaboutit!

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