A Bittersweet Goodbye…

A Bittersweet Goodbye…

So this week something very special and dear to my heart ended. Ever since August of 2015, I have created and hosted my own writing competitions called Author’s Games. I didn’t invent the concept, but I was one of many writers on wattpad who used it to connect with other writers.

The idea around these competitions was structured around the Hunger Games. Typically, 24 writers would get together, make characters within the 12 districts of the Hunger Games world, called Panem, and then the host would create writing prompts called tasks that the writers would have to write from their character’s perspectives. Each round, every writer would be scored and the lower scorers would be eliminated, until there was one winner at the end. Over time, people became bored with the same Hunger Game storyline, so I was one of the first writers to branch away from that storyline.

I tested it first by doing a typical Hunger Games storyline for myself, just to get used to the idea of hosting. After that, I immediately moved to my second Games, called Magi. I invented a world, Castre, that had to be detailed enough for other writers to write in it and feel comfortable creating characters from there. I made the villains and created a storyline that was similar to the Hunger Games to where the writer’s characters were still thrown into an arena to fight to the death, but this time, they had magic and fantasy creatures, which added a whole different level to it.

I wrote along with them as examples to help new writers and they fell in love with one of my villains, Kyren. This year, I actually took all the entries I wrote for him, put it together and went through several rounds of extensive editing and now it’s a book called Dark Magi that will be out on November 19th in a few days!

I created all kinds of Author’s Games, from historical fiction, called samurai, set back in feudal Japan of 1500s to a Star Wars themed Author’s Games, and even two Games called Fandoms where every fandom you could ever love crossed over with each other. With each Games, I pushed the limits and tried to add a new aspect to the Games. With AG: Samurai, I created something called Battle Tasks, where in between the main tasks, the writers would go head to head, writing the exact same scenario, their characters’ armies battling each other and then their writing skills alone would determine which army defeated the others. In AG: History, an evil man traveled through time and kidnapped historical people from all across time—these were the writers’ characters. Their characters were tasked with going back in time to fix history so each task was a new period of history. With that one, the more historical details they included in their entries, the more their characters filled up their “database” and fixed history.

In AG: Fandoms 2, writers were able to create more characters by buying new characters, villains, and more from the Shop. They paid for these by adding details about the fandoms they wrote about and each detail gave them a Fandom Point. Each character cost a certain number of Fandom Points.

Over the years, a group of writers enjoyed my Games that they stuck with me and joined each and every one. Each competition had those few who would randomly come in for that Game and then leave, but this particular group stayed with me for every single one. Eventually, we formed close friendships with each other, made many different characters and stories together, became used to each other’s writing styles, and became friends.

When I did AG: Star Wars, I remember a few of them loved the idea so much that they wanted to join but they didn’t know Star Wars. They decided to challenge themselves to see if they could write something this extensive within a world they barely knew.

The more I hosted, the more I had to edit and critique people’s work, so it really developed my editing and critiquing skills. A few of the writers who continued to came back for my Games started off as new writers with minimal skills and over time with critiques from me, the more they worked at it, the more their skills developed. I’ve been super blessed to see several writers grow and learn and change.

Why am I telling you about this and writing an article about it? Well, because this week, my final Author’s Games—Author’s Games: Fandoms 2, ended. The winners were selected, the final award ceremony was posted, and I said goodbye to those writers who are dear to my heart.

It’s the last one I’ll do. Overall, it’s very bittersweet. I’m content and me and the other writers feel it ended on an epic note. This was my best games yet—fun, action-packed, with loads of characters we came to grow, love, and adore. I’m sad to see it go, since creating these Author’s Games and hosting them took up a huge portion of my time. Now, my time will be spent focusing more on my own personal writing and my career and publishing, but I will miss these competitions.

I mean, I started the first one in August of 2015. This one just now ended in November of 2019. I hadn’t realized these Games had been part of my life for four years. That’s a long time and the friendships I’ve made from it are some of the best ones I’ve ever had.

God has used these Games to shape a lot of who I am as a writer. My outline structure stays the same as these, I’ve learned to edit, and all these writers were so talented, they allowed me to push myself to become better, even though I was their host. It was a part of my life that I think God wanted me to have and I feel so blessed to have been part of these writers’ lives in some way. I’ll never forget this time period and even though I’m sad it’s ending, I feel content and that it’s time to say goodbye.

Most importantly, what I’m taking away from this is that nothing in your life happens by accident. Everything is a part of God’s will and His overall plan for your life. Even something that seems small—like these writing competitions—can be used for His plan and purpose in a way, even if you can’t see it. God opens doors no one can open and sometimes He closes doors. Those closed doors are because He is leading you somewhere else to something that’s better.

If it’s time for you to move on in your life, seek God’s guidance. Letting Him lead you is the most important thing in your life. No matter what your career is, let Him lead you. Pray and seek Him and ask Him what He wants you to do. I promise you, He will lead you where He wants you—where you are needed the most. I learned this through these Author’s Games, and I hope that this can be an encouragement or inspiration for you.

Never doubt yourself. I had to take a huge bold step forward in faith by creating these. The first several Games I hosted, I created a rule for no one to include homosexual characters, or cussing, or sexual content and the main Author’s Games community boycotted my Games and all refused to join. I wanted to give up and almost did. But then, God sent the most amazing writers into my life and they joined when no one else did. They stuck with me when no one else did. They pushed me and I stuck with it and never gave up and look how much I was blessed because of it.

So never give up, no matter what opposition you’re facing. Especially if you’re standing up for your beliefs. Stand up for your beliefs and your morals and values and God will bless you and pay you back for it.

I hope that these lessons I’ve learned can maybe help or bless you guys in some way. I also wanted to write this article because this was an important part of my life and I wanted to say a proper goodbye to the Author’s Games competitions and to the wonderful writers who made them all possible.

To the new writers, who came in for AG: Fandoms 2: LostNeverland4, 00VesperFangirl, KaturaBayliss, alice_may_johnson.

And finally, to whom I like to call my AG Veterans:

MusicgirlXD, Sara_R_Stark, Several7s, JesterheadJohnSnow, ariel_paiement1 thank you all for sticking with me. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without you.


Joanna White

I'm a Christian author with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing for Entertainment. I love God and my family and am passionate about writing Christian Fantasy. I'm a total nerd; I love Star Wars and video games and many other TV Shows.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Ronda Rayl

    Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your writing competition, I had alot of fun

    1. Joanna White

      You’re welcome. Thank you for being part of it!

  2. Ariel Paiement

    It was definitely a lot of fun! I learned a lot about writing with prompts from these Games, for sure. And I was one of those who didn’t know Star Wars very well at the beginning of the Star Wars Game. But now, thanks to that, I know more than I ever meant to. XD

    1. Joanna White

      Haha oh man I totally forgot that you were! That’s amazing and I’m glad you learned something from them 🙂

  3. Ericka Zagorski

    Thank you for guiding Sara_R_Stark for these last few years! She has loved Author’s Games, and she has grown so much as a writer. She was so dedicated (although not always timely). I have a picture of her sitting on our room’s small balcony in the middle of Germany last summer (a place with very limited wifi), feverishly trying to finish one round from the last competition. Blessings to you on your next endeavors. -Ericka

    1. Joanna White

      Aww well you’re welcome. I loved reading her stories and working with her! She’s an amazing person.

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