Story of the Year Contest


While creative writing is not everyone's finesse, I had the idea to challenge all cardsmiths to write and submit a story that's illustrated with MTGCS cards throughout.

You will submit one story. Submit to one of the following pools below.

Stories written entirely with flavor text on cards.
  • Pool A: Any number of cards.
Stories written and illustrated by post.
  • Pool B: <1,000 words
  • Pool C: 1,000-1,999 words
  • Pool D: 2,000-3,000 words
  1. Your story must be less than 3,000 words in length.
  2. You can have as many cards as you'd like in your story.
  3. No plagiarism. Create your own work!
  4. Write about whatever you'd like.
  1. I'm not a teacher, so just do your best on grammar and stuff.
  2. If you'd like, you can submit your story anonymously by sending it to me in message, and I'll post it anonymously for you.
  1. We'll invite the community to vote for their top 5 favorites on a poll after the deadline.
  1. I may make a few grammatical proofing corrections, but won't change your story.
  2. Depending on my free time, your story may be pasted into word or PowerPoint, where I can record my screen and audio and do a read along.
  3. I'll upload these videos to YouTube. I'll try to feature as many stories as I can, but I don't know how many I'll be able to feature before the voting starts.
Stories due 10 weeks from today on February 3, 2022.


  • Am I allowed to use real cards as well as my own?
  • Class B, even if flavour text and card names count towards the word total.
    This story is told in the form of an ancient manuscript. It also coincides with my colonisers act 2 season 1 faction, as it outlines a piece of story happening in the background to my main one. 

    The land became barren, and we saw orbs of flame fall from the clouds, and we saw a city in the distance, a city of stone and copper, and we saw the gods of that city around it, like lords of a mountain.

    And we turned to the jungles to travel through, and there lived primitives, with strange tattoos and pointed ears, and they did not let us pass, but killed many.

    We turned back, and some saw the city again, and the jungle was behind us. And we traveled across such barren plains as could not support even the hardiest goats, as we must turn back across our home.
    And we found ruins, and strange men met us, with great powers and strange minds. They speak of being lords of the heavens, and that soon they could travel among the stars and conquer. 

    And we told them of our city, and they spurred us away in disdain. Yet we went on, past them, and further about the plains. For the men of those ruins were monstrous, and praised beings unlike the true gods. Yet they were powerful, and we would not defeat them.

    And we saw the city again, as a vision, and there were men in it of many sorts, like to giants and heroes, but we were stopped by a demon, who was the idol of the people there, and there was a bridge, and the barbarians came behind us, yet one among us channeled magic of the gods of the city, and he banished the demon and we crossed the bridge to the city of the gods. 
    So the temple of city was before us, like a city of the gods, and we joined the honourable people there, some of whom were wise and powerful, and who lived in glory.
  • edited November 2021
    This could be an opportunity for me to write the backstory for one of the characters in the set I'm working on. The problem is, I don't really want to skip to making one or more legendary creature cards when I just finished making my first draft of commons. Would it be ok if the cards of important characters/items have no effects?
  • By the way, the Ruin Haunters are one of the species from C.M Koseman's All Tomorrows. It's a good book and available for free (legally) online. I recommend it to all sci-fi fans. 
  • @KorandAngels
    I really like your story. I'm going to try to find time this week to feature it.
  • edited November 2021

    I've separated my story into parts, partially because it feels shorter to read that way (I personally have a short attention span when it comes to reading), and also because the first part is more of an introduction to the world and its history, which is like 1,000 years in the past. The rest is the backstory for Nyle, one of the main characters in the set. I might edit it a little later, but I don't think I will add more parts.

    Part 1

    Long ago, the kraken god Icalidar ruled the plane of Nerotomea, a world almost completely submerged in water. The kraken god's power was unrivaled, and everyone, willing or unwilling, became his servants. Those who were unwilling were mostly surface dwellers. They lived in fear, scared of being torn from existence by the terrifying powers that Icalidar possessed. If the fear of a kraken god wasn't enough, those who lived on the surface were also confined to the only piece of land above water, and had to struggle to survive. Those who were willing to follow Icalidar were mostly merfolk. Out of their devotion to the god, they formed a cult, and would follow his every command until the very end.

    Icalidar Catalyst of Despair

    Eventually, a group of surface dwellers had enough of living in fear, and decided that they would fight back against the God. They suspected that Solinite, a metal that Icalidar avoided, had the properties capable of slaying the god. This metal was only found at the deepest depths of the ocean, so by trading with merfolk merchants who had easy access to it, they had gathered a large amount of Solinite, and forged weapons to slay the god.

    After a battle that lasted days, the surface dwellers plucked out one of Icalidar’s eyes, and drove a solinite arrow through his heart, killing him instantly. The inhabitants of Nerotomea became free, and over time, people started to forget about Icalidar’s existence, the cult that followed him, and all events related to the kraken god, including the heroes that saved them from eternal despair.

    Tossed into the Ocean

    End of part 1

  • edited November 2021

    Part 2

    Nyle was backed into a wall in the hull of the Serpent’s Bane, the ship belonging to the crew he once was a part of. The crew he once trusted surrounded him, with the intent of taking his head. As his former crewmates stepped forward, Nyle attempted to reason with them.

    The Serpents Bane

    “Are you kidding me? I borrowed some gold from the captain. I was going to give it back!”

    “The cap’n doesn’t like it when people borrow things from him without permission,” said Nyle’s old friend Goldtooth, putting his cutlass right next to Nyle’s neck. “You should know that by now. Unfortunately for you, the punishment for that on this ship is death.”

    Nyle gritted his teeth, his anger was clearly visible.

    “Death isn’t so bad,” Goldtooth smirked, bringing his cutlass back, “You don’t have anyone who will miss you, and you won’t need to worry about making a living anymore.”

    As Goldtooth was about to swing his sword at Nyle’s throat, the Captain of the ship, Dreadeye, halted Goldtooth’s attack. “I think Nyle here deserves a punishment worse than just a measly death. He deserves a long and painful one. Take him to the deck, and make him walk the plank.”

    Dreadeye Merciless Captain

    Goldtooth and the other crew members brought Nyle up to the main deck, and pushed him onto the plank. As Nyle got to the end, he looked down into the deep depths of the ocean. He turned to look back at his friends who betrayed him, and before he could say anything, he felt a bullet pierce his lungs. The last thing he saw on the ship was captain Dreadeye holding a pistol, smoke coming out of the barrel. “I lied,” the captain said, “I don’t really care how you die. But if you make it personal, I will make sure you receive your punishment from me personally.”

    Nyle’s body fell twenty feet into the ocean below. As he started to sink, his vision got darker and darker. Only a few seconds of sinking, and he couldn’t see anything. Not the bottom of the Serpent’s Bane, not any fish, not even the light of the sun above the waves. In his dying thoughts, he thought about how much he hated that the friends he trusted so dearly could just betray him.

    End of part 2

  • edited December 2021

    Part 3

    Nyle was already dead when he touched the ocean floor. Water had filled his lungs and blood was flowing out of his bullet wound. Just before his body was going to lie at the bottom of the ocean for all of eternity, a mysterious surge of energy flowed through his body. A voice filled his head. He couldn't quite make out the words he was hearing, but he could tell that the whispering voice was telling to him to wake up. His eyes opened, glowing a bright blue color. He could see everything now. The fish swimming around him, the seaweed and coral around him, a glowing blue orb beside him, and the faces of everyone who betrayed him.

    Deepwater Rebirth

    As a fish swam right in front of Nyle’s face, he realized that he wasn’t drowning. “I’m at the bottom of the ocean,” he thought to himself, “How am I not dead right now?” Before he could think anything else, the whispering returned. Again, he couldn't understand what it was saying, but he knew that it was telling him to take the orb. He did so, and stared at it in wonder. For a second, he almost thought that the orb was staring back at him.

    Icalidars Eye

    “I wonder if this is what brought me back to life,” he thought to himself, “I should test that theory.” Taking his knife, Nyle stabbed a fish swimming by. After it bled out, he held the orb next to the corpse. The orb began glowing even brighter, and then Nyle could see glowing energy flowing from the orb to the corpse of the fish. Suddenly, the fish sprung back to life, flailing around, trying to bite something. All of a sudden, he began seeing the faces of those who betrayed him again. It angered him. He gripped the orb tighter. Realizing the power in his hands, Nyle began to grin. A plan to take revenge started to form in his head. A plan where everyone on the surface would know the pain of betrayal.

    Ghastly RipjawSubmerged Vengeance

    End of part 3

  • edited December 2021

    I've done!


    You've been featured!

  • 8 weeks left for submissions!
    Keep them coming in. These are awesome!
  • edited February 2022
    This took much longer than expected for a variety of reasons, but it's done! I seem to have a pattern of submitting entries for things at the last second… :sweat_smile:

    Excerpts From a Research Log

    At ~2150 words, the story is too long to post, so it can be found here. Illustrative cards are collected below.

    Krasis Incubation Trivaz Krasis Crafter Project DRG Radomov Hybrid Captain Soothing Sunlight Bred for the Hunt

  • While we did not have the minimum of 5 entries to post a poll for judging, if you left this up to me to judge, I'd rate the stories in the following order.
    1. @KorandAngels
    2. @cadstar369
    3. @feralitator
    Incredibly, I liked all three stories. So picking the stories came down to flavor and flow of the cards integrated within. I wouldn't feel bad about your efforts.

    Though I posted no rewards for this contest, I'd like to applaud the entrants for your bravery.

    If you think I should hold this contest again this year, let me know!
  • I'm suprised mine was even good. 
This discussion has been closed.