StarCity Contest Guidelines

Wanna know how to submit an article that wins our weekly $25 cash prize? Here ya go. Ignore at your own risk!

Mechanical Questions!

Just Send The Sucker In.

Don’t ask – just send it to me here at Mail us at https://sales.starcitygames.com/contactus/contactform.php?emailid=2. I’ll look at it and let you know what I think. Generally, I’m pretty happy with it.

…But Not To Anywhere Else.

It probably seems like a real good idea to maximize your chances by sending your article to all of the major sites at once… Until you realize that we all want our own, exclusive articles. Most of the articles I’ve seen that were sent to every site never got published – and besides, to win the weekly contest it must be exclusive.

If Possible, Submit In Word Format.

I have to do a lot of cleaning and copying to translate emails into StarCity files – and as such, I am a lot harder on email submissions than I am on Word format, and am far more likely to reject them if they’re borderline. (In a pinch, I can take Works and WordPerfect, too, both of which are superior to email.) Still, if it’s all ya got, we’re happy to take it.

Do Not, And I Repeat, NOT, Do Any Fancy Formatting Without Prior Permission.

Do not use tables. Don’t do all sorts of tricks with spaces and tabs. Don’t come up with elaborate hyperlinking methods. Don’t cut and copy things off the web into Word. And for God’s sake, no pictures. Please! I’m begging you.

So Now I’m A Published Writer – What Do I Do To Win The Contest?

How To Lose.

Here are the articles I see, week after week, that never had a chance:

  • “Here’s my decklist. This is the best deck you’ll ever see in (format X), but I refuse to tell you how this plays against (winning deck #1, #2, and #3 in format X) because I either didn’t bother to tell you or I don’t really know.”

  • “Here’s my decklist. I’ve never tested this, and in fact I just made it up as I wrote this article. It could be good, maybe, if the stars are aligned right and your opponent has a sudden, incapacitating attack of hepatitis during the match.”

  • “Here is my decklist. I haven’t tested it, either, but I do fill a lot of space with paragraph-long descriptions of each card.”

  • “Here is my decklist. I provide you with no further information.”*

  • “Here is a rant that has absolutely no point.”

  • “i amhere writing a articles wifh no spellcheckin and! no idea of punctatin.”

  • “Here is my tourney report. I was abducted by aliens shortly after the Top 8 and I can barely remember my name, let alone my opponents’ names, so all of my match descriptions are a sentence long. Mize!”

  • “Here is an article that is three paragraphs long and barely qualifies as an article. As a matter of fact, these two sentences are the entire article.”

What Wins:

Useful Deck Articles.

Articles about decks should tell you one of two things:

1) How this deck fits into the metagame – what matchups it wins, which matchups it loses, and why this deck will win given what we know about the popular decks.

2) How to play this deck – the common mistakes one makes in playing, why the cards are in the deck, and what matchups they’re critical in.

Note that both critical pieces of information require playtesting. If you haven’t playtested your deck at all, don’t bother sending it in. If you have, but lightly, run it against the gauntlet of the most popular decks in whatever format it’s for. You don’t need to try every deck, but at least check it against the top three. Every week I get three articles on rogue decks for Type II, and invariably reply,”Did you test this against Fires? It looks weak against Fires.” These people never reply, since they haven’t tested it and it does roll to Fires. Does anyone wanna read about a deck that loses to the most popular deck in the environment?


All I can say is that you can take three of the most popular writers on the Internet, as judged by The Writer War – myself, Anthony Alongi, and John Friggin’ Rizzo – and realize our collective Magic accomplishments are a single PTQ win.** Writing something weird and offbeat is sure to draw my attention. Do it.

Further Research.

Wanna know what editors like? Read former StarCityCCG editor’s [author name="Omeed Dariani"]Omeed Dariani’s[/author] article on writing, then read the second part. He’s right, even now. And then, if you want, read my article on good internet writing – it’s kind of redundant, but you might get something still.

On Becoming A Featured Writer.

If you’ve made it this far, I can only assume you are driven. The most important thing for a Featured Writer is consistency. I want writers who can provide good, constant articles week after week – because they’re the ones who draw crowds. If you send me a solid article four eight weeks in a row, I am way more likely to make you a FW than I am if you provide me with one killer, blow-the-roof-off article.

Everyone has one killer article in them… But StarCity’s relentless, gaping demand for content beckons every day.

Signing off,

The Ferrett

[email protected]

* – Followed, inevitably, by the outraged cry:”It’s a good decklist!” Yes, it may well be the best damn decklist anyone’s ever seen, chum, but unless you can give us some extra info we’re not interested.

** – I mean, I’m not saying I’m carrying them or anything, but…