Thursday, November 19, 2009

AngstGoddess003 talks about her favorites...

AngstGoddess, one of our judges (and the one responsible for taking all of Nami's lovely Jasper artwork and making fabulous banners), talks a bit about her favorite FLJ entries over on TYLDF.

Check out her article: Admin Essay: Judging Jasper.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Announcing: Honorable Mentions

To say that we were overwhelmed by the response to the contest would be an understatement. 

As a result, as time ticked on and we drew closer to tallying votes and judges' scoring, we decided to honor a few additional entries and authors, in addition to our four main winners.

Tonight we will be announcing a series of "Honorable Mentions."  Entries that did well with the judges or voters - but didn't quite reach the top - or entries that stood out for another reason.

Below you will find honorable mentions in the following categories:

Judges' Mention (general) - 3
First Time Writer Mention - 2
Host Mention: Favorite Jasper / Bella - 1
Host Mention: Favorite JILF - 2
Host Mention: Favorite JILS - 2
Host Mention: Favorite Use of Edward -1

Thanks again to all of our entrants for submitting such amazing works.

Interested in which entries made us cry the most?  Which ones we loved even though they had the strangest pairings?  Our thoughts on anonymous judging versus open voting?  Elle and LVP will both be posting entries in the next couple of weeks, highighting some of their personal favorites and thoughts on the contest in general.

Judges' Mention: Leaving Her by CherBella

This entry begins with an ending, with Jasper leaving. His dream was always to follow his family's legacy and be in the Army. He and Bella meet while he's still at West Point, and they fall in love and get married shortly after Jasper is given a huge career opportunity... one that comes with a high-risk job.

I couldn't help but fall in love with this Jasper, even though military men aren't usually my thing. This story is like one long, drawn-out angst fest. He's always fucking leaving. How much more angsty can you get? He leaves her these sweet, beautiful, sometimes dirty, notes that just rip your heart out. You can really feel the agony and impact of him leaving each time.

The lemon was painful, sad, after the deterioration of their marriage, it feels like it might be one last reconnection and then perhaps a permanent goodbye.

I don't want to ruin the ending for you, suffice to say, I sobbed buckets. Like, sobbed and sobbed, then thought about it and sobbed more. I'll let you read and figure out if they were happy or sad tears, just go and read it.

- MsKathy

Link to story: Leaving Her by CherBella

Judges' Mention: Ten Seconds at a Time by InstantKarmaGirl

When I first read “Ten Seconds at a Time” by InstantKarmaGirl, I was immediately struck by the sincerity of the characters. They aren’t perfect or necessarily pretty, but they are honest – and for this Jasper, that honesty was a long time coming. After being asked to write this blurb, I went back to check my notes on my first reading – just to be sure I was giving a fair account – and I still agree with my initial assessment. It is a beautiful, touching work that left me really feeling for the characters, which is a challenge in and of itself. Too many fics fall flat or leave me emotionless, especially when so much has to be expressed in so few words. (Shut up. For me, 6,500 is a very few words.)

The premise of this story is that Jasper is a recovering drug addict who is working through his twelve steps. He’s moved back home to Washington to face those people he ran away from when his life spun out of control years earlier. The reader doesn’t know until near the end what, exactly, he did that was so horrible, but I got the sense that it haunts him from the beginning. During one of his initial meetings in Seattle, he meets a woman named Alice he feels drawn toward – in many ways, because she is an addict just like he is.

The canon characteristics in this piece are rendered wonderfully. The idea of Jasper as a junkie is becoming more widespread, but I like the way this one isn’t just a hopeless addict. He struggles, he considers turning back, but he is facing his demons and trying to become a better man – all of which are traits of canon Jasper. Alice, likewise, is heartbreaking, a self-medicating hyperactive woman who has lost her family. I found that even Edward and Bella maintain so many of their canon traits – Edward is overprotective and a little domineering, completely in love with Bella, who has no sense of her own fragility but an amazing – and sometimes infuriating for Edward – capacity for forgiveness. All of these characters combine with beautiful writing and a plot that could be melodramatic but avoids it to make a fantastic, enjoyable tale.

- SorceressCirce

Link to story: Ten Seconds at a Time by InstantKarmaGirl

Judges' Mention - Author: letmesign

Not knowing who the authors were as we read the entries, I had no idea that entries 50 and 91 were written by the same author. I enjoyed both entries, and now that I know the same person wrote both, I'm even more impressed. The author has taken on canon and AH, M-rated and T-rated, and done both beautifully.

I had the pleasure of reading FLJ_050 in the preliminary round, and it was one of my selections to go through to the finals for the Judges' Selection Round. This entry captivated me the first time I read it. Jasper is a homeless musician, his most prized possession an inherited violin...and the hopeful sentiment that came with it. His playing draws the attention of a crowd, and he is relieved earn enough money to eat that day. His playing also captures the attention of a homeless woman, Alice; he notices and follows her. He doesn't trust her immediately--the author beautifully conveys the cynicism of the marginalized and disadvantaged--but her directness wins him over. The ending of the story is sweet and hopeful, perhaps best summed up by this line: "'I don’t know you,' he murmured, bringing his hands up to frame her petite face. 'But I want to.'"

The author's descriptive writing is what really drew me in. I could feel the chill wind of Minnesota, where the story is set. I could hear the plaintive cry of Jasper's violin. I could feel the hope in his heart as he finally found someone he could trust. Thank you to the author for crafting such a lovely and engaging piece.


Like Legna, I had no idea these were written by the same person! They are such vastly different stories, appealing to what feels like very different audiences. “Cadence” is a T-rated human Jasper, while “Identities and Shadow” is an M-rated vamp fic.

This story takes us through a brief moment of Jasper's human time, his time with Maria, and beyond. The author so beautifully and clearly conveys the weight of emotion Jasper is under in brilliant sentences like this, "So when I am immersed in my past, I become immobile, standing still for days at a time as I wait for over a hundred years’ worth of agony to subside."

Jasper meets Alice, and very canon-like, his whole world is turned around. Their lemon is powerful, beautiful, and the tiniest bit funny when Alice says something cheeky to him -- just as I expect them to behave.

We're carried through Alice and Jasper joining the Cullen clan, Jasper's camaraderie with Edward, his bonding with Carlisle, the strengthening of his bond with Alice.

Even though this was "just" a one-shot, I felt like this was one of the most complete pictures of Jasper I've ever read.

- Legna989 and MsKathy

Link to author: letmesign with Cadence and Identities and Shadows

First Time Writer Mention: daisy3853 with Underexposed

Every time we got an entry from someone who hadn't written anything before, I did a silent little squee of excitement and pride. It's kind of like all those fics you read where Bella has saved herself for Edward and when they finally get together it's beautiful and wonderful and Edward is all giddy because she's never been with anyone else, and so no matter what, he has solidified himself as numero uno in the story of her life. That's what it was like for me, knowing that writer saved herself for this contest, and it's like this magical beautiful thing and we were her first, well, or Jasper was I guess. I guess it's kind of like the writer's first time ends up being a foursome with Jasper, Elle and me, and well...with a whole lot of people watching. Actually, I guess that's kind of skanky, so I don't know why I ever thought it was so special...

Wait, no. It's amazing because here we thought we were going to be this little dinky contest and then boom all these people decide to write their first-ever story for us, and about Jasper. And since we love Jasper, we love that he inspired so many people to write and that we could provide a vehicle for them to get a little extra attention for it. So yeah, it is magical how many amazing entries we got, and how many of those were from folks who never posted a story before. "Underexposed" by daisy3853 is an example of one of the best from that category.

Man, this one spans the categories. It's got a JILF, a JILS, hell, a BILS, and even a damn RILS (that would be Rose). It begins in a photography class, ends in a darkroom and everything in between is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching, beautifully written story of two people who fall in love, while sharing a love for the camera. Jasper and his little sister Rosie have a lot of pain in their lives and Bella picks up on it instantly. She's no stranger to it, having lost her mother just shortly after she gave birth to Bella, and knowing she is a constant reminder of that loss to her father. Bella is instantly drawn to Jasper and feels an almost immediate desire to dissolve, or, at the very least, shoulder some of Jasper's pain. They get to know each other in photo class, and as Bella learns more about Jasper, she falls deeper in love. The feeling is far from one-sided but before Jasper can give himself over to Bella, he must learn to let go of his darkness and let her in.

Daisy does a beautiful job weaving the beauty and power of photography into the story and using it as a tool to show the deepening of Bella and Jasper's relationship and affections. Her love for the art shines through clearly in this story and yet it never becomes boring or instructional - not even close. As I read, I often found myself wide-eyed at the sheer beauty of some of her words and images, and I was deeply impressed at how fluidly she tells the story. I read the end again, to write this blurb, and again my jaw dropped and my eyes teared up. That her first endeavor could be something so masterful and moving is insanely impressive. I truly hope you'll give it a shot, if only to read that wonderful ending.

So thank you, Daisy, for making us your first. Jasper, Elle and me. We think this may be the start of something beautiful.


Link to story: Underexposed by daisy3853

First Time Writer Mention: SandraLies with Lone Star

By our count, we received fourteen entries from First Time Writers (plus one from a judge, as well). For a little insider information on what these First Time Writer entries meant to us, please see LaViePastiche's enthusiastic exposition above. We have selected two of these authors to note: one who caught the attention of the judges and one who caught the attention of the general public.

SandraLies blipped into our awareness with "Lone Star." The first thing that crossed my mind when I saw this entry hit my validation queue was that it would be a story focusing on Jasper's Texas upbringing - Texas is the Lone Star State, you know? But when I started reading, I realized that wasn't at all what the story was about, and, in fact, the title was rather a clever play on canon Jasper's Texas heritage.

In "Lone Star," Jasper is an astronaut. From an early age he displays an infatuation with space and the stars. At age sixteen, while stargazing in a field, Bella asks Jasper - for what is probably the hundredth time in their short lives - why he is so interested in the sky. “I think I like the promise of more, of something greater. I want to discover something. I want to make history,” he responds. “So why do I have to come along for the ride?” she asks.

“Because you’re my own, real life, personal star. My private discovery.”

Now, I'm not a swooner by nature, but that line got me, which made it tough to read about the distance that has developed between Bella and Jasper (now married) over time. Jasper is still focused on the sky and Bella doesn't understand why he isn't happy on the ground.

When Jasper finally has the chance to visit space, we watch as he comes to some realizations about his life.

"Lone Star" is technically sound, and demonstrates solid plot development and well developed characters. In the end, it comes to a satisfying resolution that had me happily sighing.

I loved it and hope to see more from SandraLies in the future.

- ElleCC

Link to story: Lone Star by SandraLies.

Host Mention - Favorite Jasper / Bella: Camels and Cloves by Chicklette

Since this is our contest, we figured we could, just once, go all Veruca Salt and make an Honorable Mention category for our favorite pairing: Jasper/Bella. We wanted to pick one Jasper/Bella story that we really loved (and - in the case of the story we ending up choosing - that also happened to be loved by the judges and the public voters) because...well, because we can.

This wasn’t easy. We received a total of 42 stories that were labelled as Jasper/Bella. There were more than a few that we really, seriously loved, but life is all about tough choices so we decided to limit ourselves to honoring just one: "Camels and Cloves," by Chicklette.

I personally loved this story because it has all the elements I like to see in a J/B one-shot: Red-hot JILF? Check. A cool, kind-hearted Bella? Check. Edward? Nope. Alice? Nope (I am told this makes it easier for queasy canon shippers). Some intrigue? Check. Some cool musical references, some slow building UST, leading into some sweet, sweet loving? Check, check, check. Like I said, Chicklette gave us all of that and wrapped it up in a lovely, well-written package replete with wit, humor, attitude, a bit of angst, and a lot of “awww” moments that ultimately make this Jasper very JILSy too.

The story is written in Jasper’s POV and begins with the first time he meets Bella, the new kid, when the two of them are taking a smoke break outside at a party. Quickly we learn that Jasper has a secret, one that many of the kids at school have already filled Bella in on.

“You’re Jasper Whitlock,” she says. I nod, but don’t say anything else. If she knows my name, then she’s heard the stories.

But of course, our gal Bella would not judge lest she be judged, and we eventually find out that there are some rumors about her swirling at school, as well. We watch as Bella persistently tries to break through Jasper’s many barriers and gets to know the truth behind the crazy stories, and they soon discover that they can relate to each other on many levels. At its core, "Camels and Cloves" is a charming high school love story about perception and its impact on relationships: how they are dissolved, formed or strengthened due to it. Chicklette is a great appreciator of Jasper and of the Jasper/Bella ship and it is clearly evidenced in this fantastic entry. I urge you to check it out. Go. Now. *indignant pout and foot stomp*

- LaViePastiche

Link to story: Camels and Cloves by Chicklette. As a note, Chicklette also entered a second Jasper / Bella in the contest: Unbroken

Host Mention - Favorite JILF: Into Strangers by mopstyle

J.I.L.F.... What does that stand for? Well, exactly what you think. Jasper I'd Like to... be Friends with. Yeah, that's it.

This was a difficult category because it turns out we're pretty indiscriminate when it comes to... wanting to be friends with Jasper. We more or less want to befriend 99% of all Jaspers out there. But after oohing and aahing our way through the entry list for the 55th time, we finally decided on two entries to highlight. One human and one vamp. “Into Strangers” by mopstyle is our choice for favorite human JILF.

We’re introduced to Jasper as Bella’s “nemesis” who “ruins” her (as so eloquently described by a very blunt Rose). Through an agitated phone conversation between Rose and Bella, we find out that Jasper and Bella have been friends for a long time but Jasper is an ass who, Rose feels, uses Bella only when he needs something. On top of that, something is wrong and they’re not currently on speaking terms. We also find out that Bella is engaged to Edward.

So, what makes Asshole Jasper so friendable? Is it the bad-boy attitude Rose describes? The thoughtfulness Bella recalls, even if it has now waned? The tattoos Bella mentions in passing?

Well, mopstyle’s descriptions of him definitely don’t hurt: “The veins in his muscular arms still stood out, raised and flowing, carrying the mercury that tempered his searing body. His plain black T-shirt had a corner torn into it just to the left of his bellybutton. His washboard abs were peeking out, as were three whips of the tribal tattoo that flanked his long torso.”

As well as Bella’s obvious – if hidden – attraction to him: “I rested my cheek on his chest and he wrapped his arms around me. They were hot and smooth as they glided over my arms and back. I inhaled him and nuzzled into his neck… We never could be this close for long. Too much of me was on display. My want was easy to hide from the other side of the room. There was a time bomb in me and he was the detonator.” Me, too, bb. Me, too.

One more example, because... yeah: “He was leaning back on two legs of the chair, his arms slack, not looking at me. He had a new shirt on, a dusty red cowboy style. It was tight and the sleeves were rolled, revealing his thick tattooed arms.”

I’ll leave you with that and tell you there’s a lot more where that came from (in addition to a hell of a story wrapped around the Jasper yumminess). For a look into one of the hottest Jaspers in the contest, you’ll need to read the rest for yourself.

Bring a fan. (And maybe some kleenex, since Jasper does not exist in fluffy stories. Sigh.)

- ElleCC

Link to story: Into Strangers by mopstyle

Host Mention - Favorite JILF: Promises by einfach mich

In the world of fan fiction, we are lucky enough to get two forms of Jasper - Human and Vamp. My JILF is a Vampysper and, specifically, the Vampysper from the story "Promises" by einfach mich. Actually, in all honesty, he's really more like a JILFOAOAO. (That last part means "over and over and over," just so you know.)

Why? First of all, I am partial to an AU Vampsper that maintains most of his canon qualities. While in AH I love the wide variety of Jaspers - many of who bear almost no resemblance to Canonsper - in AU I like my man to resemble the one I fell in love with while reading the original series. Einfach mich stays true to Canonsper but gives us an AU back-story that is much more fun. Jasper is all kinds of hot and manly, all kinds of tortured and soldierly, all kinds of poly and slashy. Oh yeah, you heard me.

The story is set during Jasper's time with Maria, and also much to my giddy delight features a PILF, too. That's a Peter I'd Like to...yeah. Anyway, Bella completes the PBJ and she's a newborn that Maria has ordered Jasper and Peter to get rid of. Peter is in love with Bella and refuses to do the job, so he instead tries to escape with her. When Jasper finds them, he threatens to take care of business himself, but when he feels the love between them, he can't bring himself to destroy it, or the curious little newborn. He intends to let them go, but Peter asks him to join them, and after a hot kiss (yes, apparently Maria liked to watch some P/J action, just like I do), Jasper reluctantly agrees, though he knows they will be hunted. After bailing on Maria, the three of them become close and while originally Bella shares Peter with Jasper, eventually the lines disappear and it becomes a true PBJ. All JILFY silliness aside, this is a very sweet story of three vampires in love, against all odds. Jasper and Bella's relationship is adorable, and though the one-shot is on the short side, einfach develops all three characters beautifully.

I should also mention that the story does not contain a lemon, or anything close, really, so if the poly or slash aspect of it has you nervous, don't be - it really is very innocent and beautiful, more hinted at than anything. To be honest, I wouldn't have turned down some serious PBJ action, but I am hoping that if I plead and bat my eyelashes, einfach will continue this baby. If not, I am more than happy with what we have of this very sweet and touching little story that gave me both a JILF and a PILF to enjoy.

- LaViePastiche

Link to story: Promises by einfach mich

Host Mention - Favorite JILS: Copper Lily by s.meadows

Okay, unlike Elle, I am not going to make up some silly euphemism or whatever to explain what JILS is. Nope, you're not children, I am just gonna go ahead and lay it on the line, I'm gonna tell it to you straight: JILS stands for Jasper I'd Like To Snuggle. Yep, that's right, the Jasper you just wanna grab and squeeze and say, "Aw, don't worry boo-boo, it'll all be all right." And then, if you're like me, after he's all snuggled and feeling better he ends up turning into a JILF again, but whatever, we're not focusing on that part...

The human Jasper from s.meadows' "Copper Lily" was a JILS because, dang, boy has it pretty rough from beginning to end, but his pain is so subtle that, somehow, it kind of makes you feel worse. This is a Jasper/Maria fic and before you groan or get all scared about what a puta she is, this Maria will make you forget every notion you've attached to the name, at least in relation to Jasper and the Twi-world. This Maria barely speaks English, she is cute, demure, and smitten with her Yasper (omg is that not totally awwww?). They take baths together and he teaches her English and God, just writing this is making me misty. The story is incredibly engaging and when I first read it I thought it was very reminiscent of a Cormac McCarthy novel; when I re-read to write this blurb, I saw that she mentioned in her AN that she had been reading a lot of him before writing this, so I suppose that makes sense. She's rather brilliant with the imagery and dialogue - making it folksy and realistic and yet not totally annoying to read - and while her Peter is about the furthest thing from a PILF, he is rather hilarious in his...simplicity. His verbal gems, such as, "Jasper, I never thunk to ask you this before, but how come you speak Mexican so well?" had me giggling hard.

Of course this is a JILS story, which means there were more tears than giggles. S.meadows' Jasper, like Canonsper, is a man of few words and deep emotions - he is a man in love with a woman that his father, and society at large, I suppose, won't allow him to be. He cares not about the opinions of others and his devotion to Maria is unrelenting, even when his father makes it impossible for them. The story is a fantastic tale of love and the many ways it manifests itself, and I guarantee by the end you'll be wanting to snuggle this Jasper something fierce. Maybe even Peter too, dumb little guy that he is.

- LaViePastiche

Link to story: Copper Lily by s.meadows

Host Mention - Favorite JILS: Footfalls Echo in the Memory by inside-the-disarray

Honestly, by the end of “Footfalls Echo in the Memory” by inside-the-disarray, I wanted to snuggle everyone in sight, including Alice (and if you know me at all, you know that’s significant).

I won’t give too much away, because the uncertainty that surrounds Jasper, and how it unfolds, is part of what ups the snuggleability factor, but to give you the basics.... Jasper is a CIA operative who vanishes after a mission. Alice finds him in an alley in Morocco, and when he wakes up, he has no memories of who he is or how he – a blond, blue-eyed guy with a southern-American accent – ended up in a foreign country. Tiny flashes of his life start to come to him slowly – “I speak fluent Arabic. And French. And Farsi I believe, though I haven’t had the chance to actually test that one yet.” – but the majority of who he was is lost. He can’t even explain the “B” tattoo on the inside of his arm.

We follow Jasper (aka. Ben), Alice, and Bella, as they all deal with life following Jasper’s disappearance and discovery in the alley. Jasper’s deepening feelings for Alice are tainted with frustration about what he doesn’t know, and I found myself reading his journal entries (a smart way for inside-the-disarray to share his real worries and concerns) wondering if each tiny surfacing memory would be what would break open his world.

Bella, his fiancée, tries to contact him and is stonewalled by the CIA, and her memories about how things used to be and how things were supposed to be are heart-wrenching.

Alice’s unwavering love and support of him, even though she knows it could all go to hell at any moment if he remembers just the wrong (or right) thing, is beautifully moving.

The contest was filled with sad and broken Jaspers, and this one – who lived a dangerous life but fell victim in a completely unexpected way – deserves to be at the center of a massive #jaspersnuggle.

- ElleCC

Link to story: Footfalls Echo in the Memory by inside-the-disarray

Host Mention - Favorite Use of Edward: Shameless Developments by SweetDulcinea

There were a few stories scattered through the contest that used Edward and/or Bella, depending on the main pairing, in particularly creative ways. For example, "Riders on the Storm" by teacupsNmints - an Edward / Jasper pairing - featured a Bella motorcycle. When I read "Shameless Developments" by SweetDulcinea, I knew immediately that this would be the most creative of the lot.

"Shameless" opens as an Alice / Bella story. They have been dating for three years and have a lively and healthy relationship, both sexually and otherwise. It is after Bella first meets Jasper, Alice's childhood friend, and Bella feels an undeniable attraction to a man for one of the first times in five years, that we are introduced to "Edward."

"Edward," along with "Carlisle" and "Jake," is a featured player from Bella and Alice's nightstand drawer. He is described as a "big boy" and is brought out for particularly..... rousing bedtime sessions.

While I loved this story for many reason aside from Edward's role - and I worry the Edward gals may riot in indignation - I have to admit I was thrilled to see the sparkle peen truly in action.

- ElleCC

Link to story: Shameless Developments by SweetDulcinea

P.S. Extra kudos to AG for her brilliance with this banner. As she said to us, "you know you wanna giggle."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Announcing: Judges' Selection and Open Voting Winners

Judging and Voting for the "For the Love of Jasper" One-Shot Contest was broken into two parts: Judges' Selection and Open Voting. Judges' Selection involved four judges reading the entries anonymously. For more about how the Judges' Selection voting was conducted, please read this post: A word about JSR Judging... Open Voting was just that - voting open to all of the public.  We had wonderful turnout; thanks to everyone who took the time to read the entries and vote for their favorites.

Below you will find the four winners, a little bit about each one, and a fancy banner by AngstGoddess.  Please feel free to leave a comment for our winners!

Congratulations to the winners. We hope you enjoy these four entries as much as we did.

- ElleCC, LaViePastiche, and Jasper

P.S.  For a little something extra, tomorrow, Monday, October 26th, at 9:00 PM Eastern, we will be announcing a small set of Honorable Mentions. Be sure to come back and check those out, pretty banners and all.

1st Place Judges' Selection: Forgiven by socact

Right about now, I'm considering myself to be the luckiest of the four very lucky judges of the For the Love of Jasper Contest. Why am I the luckiest? Because I have the distinct honor of getting to write a little something about the winning entry in the Judges' Selection Round.

All of the judging for this contest was done anonymously, so even as I write this, I have no idea who crafted this amazing piece or even what the title of it is. I know it only as "Entry FLJ_020." Reading the entries without knowing who the authors were was amazingly freeing. I was able to just be affected by a story without having any preconceived ideas of what it would be like.

This particular entry affected me like no other. The author does a fantastic job of establishing an emotional connection to the characters, right from the very beginning. There isn't a great deal of exposition on the characters' histories, and yet I feel like I know them, and their connection to one another is absolutely believable. Because the connection is so well-established, what happens to the characters in the story has a tremendous emotional impact.

The author also masterfully invokes emotional responses without being overwrought. "She kept calling his name, in a language of love and regret and utter despair." That's the line that set off my tears the very first time I read this entry. And this, later in the story, so powerfully conveys the bittersweet nature of memory to a survivor: "I just ran the same route I remembered from the Forks Elementary school bus, which had stopped at my house first, then Edward’s, then Bella’s. I ran past each of them, witnesses to so many childhoods gone by. At least we had that. We would always have that."

We judged the entries on several different criteria, and this one scored high in both the technical aspects and the artistic aspects. It's incredibly well-written, with lovely language, and it hits all the right emotional notes. It features Jasper prominently and appealingly. The other characters are used well, helping us to understand Jasper without being mere accessories. It's also well-suited to be a one-shot, with a distinct beginning, middle and end, and a satisfying emotional resolution.

I couldn't be more delighted that Entry FLJ_020 is the winner of our Judges' Selection Round. I read about 70 stories for this contest, and this one stood out as exceptional from the very beginning. Congratulations and thank you to the author.

- Legna989

Link to story: Forgiven by socact

1st Place Open Voting: Fractured by DefinatelyStaying


It was no surprise when DefinatelyStaying (DS) submitted a Jasper/Edward entry for the contest. Few fandom authors create such a complex and hot Jasper/Edward pairing as she consistently does.

What was surprising was her nature of her story: “Fractured” is very much a departure from her usual genre. However, while different, it is still done with her usual flair and knack for constructing an interesting Jasper and Edward.

We meet Edward first. He’s just awoken, nude and hung-over, with no memory of the previous night. As he puts it, “order is paramount in my life,” and he starts his day’s routine to help combat the uneasiness he feels at having no recollection of the last twelve or so hours. As he showers and gets dressed, he finds more and more things that aren’t as they should be – his cell phone is out of place, his shoes are missing.... All of this leads to a panicky and paranoid Edward.

Jasper strolls into the picture next and it’s clear almost immediately that he’s not our usual Jasper. This Jasper is jaded and tired and, we discover, a prostitute. We witness his interaction with a client and learn a lot about him during that short amount of time. He does what he does for money, gets no joy from it, but is resigned to the fact that, “this is my fucking life.” He mentions that some of the other guys have plans, but seems disinclined to make any of his own – his resignation overrules any desire he might have to find a different way to live.

It is clear that neither of our guys is in a good place in his life. What isn’t clear is the nature of their relationship to one another. How will their lives intersect? Will Edward, a doctor with a loving girlfriend, seek out Jasper’s services?

This is the mystery of “Fractured.” We are pulled deeper and deeper as we find out that Edward’s sexual relationship with Bella is non-existent; that Alice, Bella’s best friend, doesn’t trust Edward; that Alice finally feels the need to follow her friend’s boyfriend one night to figure out what the hell is going on with him.

It is clear why this entry was popular with voters; the subject is one rarely seen in the fandom and it was well executed and smartly told. DS has woven a suspenseful tale that had me as anxious as Edward to solve the mystery behind his discomfort and confusion, and to find out how Jasper will enter his life. The characters are real – their plights painful – from start to finish.

We thank and congratulate DS for taking a chance by stepping outside of her norm and submitting this captivating entry for the contest.

- ElleCC

Link to story: Fractured by DefinatelyStaying

2nd Place Judges' Selection: You Know What You Are by shalu

"You Know What You Are" is a very intriguing alternate universe in which Alice is human, but the Cullens and Jasper are still vampires. Even more interesting is that Jasper had found the Cullens on his own, many years before this story takes place, but, without Alice, was unable to maintain their vegetarian lifestyle, and was eventually ousted, necessarily, from the Cullen coven. shalu shows the profound impact that Carlisle's ultimate disappointment had on Jasper. It seems to have been a last straw of sorts, and when the story begins, we find Jasper at Volterra.

Shalu has managed to paint a very vivid rewriting of the canon history. By doing so, she aptly shows just how pivotal Alice is to Jasper's humanity. We're always told this, and always believe it faithfully, but now we can actually see what Jasper might have been like on his own all those years. Alice's eventual introduction into this story is nothing short of captivating. Without giving too much away, I'll just quote canon and say, "Never bet against Alice." The characterization in this story is so in depth, that it almost has the feel of a multi-chapter story. We're given so much with just Jasper's internal dialog alone, that the story is skillfully weaved in lush paragraphs, particular imagery, and an especially unique and emotionally resonant inner voice.

It's some pretty angsty shit, negl, but honestly, it just kind of makes me want to hump his vampy jock.

- AngstGoddess003

Link to story: You Know What You Are by shalu

2nd Place Open Voting: Unspoken by staceygirl aka jackbauer


Staceygirl's entry, “Unspoken,” landed in Elle's queue for validation first. We alternated (as best we could) validating ALL the entries that came in before shipping them off in anonymous gdocs to the judges. Often we'd read stories from each other’s queue, particularly if a pairing or summary caught our interest. Stacey's was Bella/Jasper so I knew I was going to have to read it, but before I got to it, Elle informed me that it made her sob like a baby (on her birthday, no less). I hate it when people make me sad (even when I love it), so I put off reading it for a while. Finally, I had one of those days where I really wanted to have my heart ripped out, and so I dove in.

Elle was right, it is sad as hell. But on top of that, it's also funny, sweet, cute, and touching. It's a story of missed opportunities, of bad timing, of "what could have been." As hard as it is to stomach that kind of emotional stuff sometimes, it's also the stuff that sticks with you the most, long after you've read it.

This is the story of Bella and Jasper, who meet in college and form a deep and meaningful friendship over long lines and very embarrassing cafeteria experience. It's the story of what happens when you hide your feelings, due to insecurity or uncertainty, and what impact that decision has on your whole life. It's a story about choices and the ambiguous line between what makes any choice the right or wrong one. It's like a Choose Your Own Adventure in which a wrong choice at the first fork in the story just leads the main character down a path from bad to worse. It's not all doom and gloom though; there is something to be learned from it all, and it will certainly leave you thinking long after you've read it.

The subject matter will hit close to home for some, but whether you have a similar story or not, there is no way you'll be able to read this and not empathize - not with the very real, very engaging way Stacey has written it. She's not wordy or manipulative. You never feel like she wants you to cry, but the character development is so rich and thorough that you find yourself naturally invested in the characters and their emotions. It's the kind of story that has you giggling, screaming at the screen, pulling your hair out and eventually weeping and just wanting to pull both Bella and Jasper to your bosom for a good hard snuggle. This story is most definitely worthy of every one of its votes. I thank Stacey for writing it, and I encourage you to check it out, if you haven't already.

Just don't forget the box of Kleenex.

- LaViePastiche

Link to story: Unspoken by staceygirl aka jackbauer

Monday, October 19, 2009

A word about JSR Judging...

The Judges' Selection Round (JSR) judging was done anonymously.  Our four judges were provided with the text of a story, as well as story rating and primary pairing (when applicable), but they did not have title or author.

Open Voting Finalists

The top eight vote-getters from each Open Voting Rounds 1 and 2 comprise the final voting round.

These are the sixteen stories that moved on to final voting.