Monday, July 10, 2017


If you've been around the OMPR block a few times, you know that it's summer, and you know what that means: I'm going on vacation!  Specifically, I'm going on vacation in about a month's time, and I'll be gone two weeks.  I'd like to be able to spend my vacation not worrying about this site, and while building up a small buffer is one thing, getting eight posts ahead (two weeks, plus the Monday and Friday on either side) is tough.  So, time for my annual call:

I'm looking for people to write guest columns which I can post on this site, about either writing, reviewing, ponies, or some combination thereof. Write something, let me share it, and wallow in the glory of being featured on a MLP fanfic review blog!

Interested?  Intrigued?  Just plain curious?  Get the details, below!

So, every year, I try to offer up some sort of "theme" for potential reviewers; it's not in any way a requirement that guest posts follow that theme, but I think it can help fire the imagination a bit.  In past years, I've suggested guest authors try writing:

-A review of a story you particularly find interesting to dissect. It doesn't need to be written in the style of a "Chris" blogpost, as long as it includes plenty of commentary and is generally informative.

-General writing/pony writing commentary or advice.

-An author analysis; there's some details on what those are over here, and you can see a few via the author analysis (guest column) tag.

So for this year's theme, I want to throw out something that's been mentioned offhand in the past, but which I don't think I've ever gotten: re-review a story you particularly love that I gave a negative review of.  Because let's face it: I've given close to a hundred stories a single star in my Six Star and Fandom Classic  reviews, and a one-star from me generally translates to "I don't recommend the average reader seek this out specifically" [EDIT: Those links are sorted by star rating, so you can see what rating each story got at a glance!].  If you think there's a story (or stories!  But for now, just pick one) in there that I've unfairly steered people away from, here's a chance to correct the record!  

If you decide to do this, a few suggestions: first, you don't have to adhere to my review style, but you might at least want to offer up what rating you think the story "should" get, on my scale.  Even that's not required, but I guarantee a lot of readers will want to see you pick a number between one and five (ugh, readers, amirite?).  Second, you can reference my original review as much or as little as you want; you can write a review that's basically stand-alone, or one that's a point-by-point rebuttal of everything I put in my review, or anything in between.  Just make sure that you explain why the story in question is good, and who might enjoy reading it--that's the point, after all!

And if that doesn't appeal to you, I'm still happy to share any of those other kinds of guest posts I mentioned above.  It just has to be about writing, reviewing, ponies, or any combination of those three.  If you're still on the fence, just remember those immortal words I wrote last year:
the only prerequisite to writing a guest post is being able to write something worth reading. You don't need to be a fellow reviewer, a pony-famous author, or anything else (though you guys are welcome too, obviously); even if this is your first fandom foray, feel free to send me something--as long as you know how to spell and don't just send me a copy of your thesis on soybean subsidies in 19th century America, I'll take it. 
So, now that you've decided to write a guest post of some sort for me, here's what you do:

1) Pick the thing you want to write about!  Got the idea?  Good!  Still not sure?  Look up above; I've got some suggestions!  Those not doing it for you?  Try looking through the Guest column tag, and see if anything inspires you.

2) E-mail me, preferably sooner rather than later, to let me know you plan to do a guest post. If you know what you want to do already, great! If you want to run your idea past me, that's fine. If you want to do a guest post but don't have any idea what it'll be yet, I'd still like to hear from you earlier rather than later; it makes it easier to plan if I know how many yesses and maybes I'm looking at. This isn't a hard and fast rule: if you don't tell me until the week before I leave that you'd like to do a guest post, I'm not going to say no.  It just makes it easier for me to plan content if I have some idea of how many people will be sending me something earlier rather than later.

3) E-mail me again before AUGUST 7TH (that gives you nearly a month to work with!) with your finished blog. Format doesn't really matter; whether it's in a (shared) gdoc, a .docx file, written directly into the body of the e-mail, or whatever, as long as it's well-written it works for me.

And that's it!  And just to make things a little more interesting, I'm going to offer up (what I hope is) an inducement: anyone who writes a guest post for me may vote on which fic I read during my vacation.  See, I always pick a longfic that's tough for me to fit into my regular posting schedule to read while I'm on vacation.  This year, rather than just picking one on my own, I've narrowed it down to four finalists: all very long, all extremely popular, well-regarded, and/or influential:

Through the Well of Pirene, by Ether Echoes
Days of Wasp and Spider, by Luna-tic Scientist
Austraeoh, by Imploding Colon
Sunset of Time, by The Albinocorn

Want to help me pick which one to read?  When you e-mail me to tell me that you're doing a guest post, also tell me which story (or stories; you can vote for more than one if you like) you're most interested in seeing me review.  Whichever of those three fics gets the most votes gets a Fandom Classic review when I come back from my trip!

EDIT:  For anyone thinking about writing a re-review, here are the stories that are already being column-ized:

Who We Are, by Kits
My Little Dashie, by ROBCakeran53


  1. I thought you already read Pirene. <.<

    And, though I'll have to actually check the list to be sure, I find myself thinking that I tend to disagree more with your two- and three-star reviews than I do with ones. I might try this out, though. :3

  2. Interesting. Looking through your list of one starred works, I think you were probably furthest off on Who We Are and Best Young Flier. With the former, you got kinda lost in the mind control thing, which, while admittedly a valid criticism of the story's logic, probably doesn't merit that low of a rating in and of itself. Such a review would probably be more focused on the story itself, maybe alluding to that issue but staying mainly in, "Do these character interactions ring true, and why?" territory. Could be interesting, especially because there's a sense in which the story actually went unreviewed, but probably not the route I'd go.

    The other, Best Young Flier, was interesting because you might've just wrong in your analysis of it. In particular, your contention that everything in the story is a proxy for romance or sex. Arguably, the exact opposite is the case, in that romance and sex talk frequently serve as a proxy for other overarching themes. One could easily imagine a version of the story that ditched all romance. I think it'd be a worse story, but you essentially said it would cease to exist. Suffice to say, that review could be interesting. Might consider putting that one together.

  3. I'm considering an idea or two this year. Let me get back to you on that when I have something more solid.