As its name suggests, this account is dedicated less to writing fanfiction and more to hosting contests within our community. Scarecrow themed writing contests to be exact, relating to the villain of Gotham fame. Master of Fear, Lord of Despair, etcetera, etcetera. Odds are if you're here you already know him pretty well and therefore won't need explanations regarding psychotrophic hallucinogens, mental power versus physical, or doctors gone rogue.
Then again... maybe you do. In which case this is still an excellent place to be.
Contest #1: Sherry Squires
In light of her impressive absence from the internet as a whole, our first contest focuses on the character Sherry Squires and her relation to Jonathan Crane. Sherry makes her primary appearance in Batman Annual #19, and has a brief cameo in the five part arc Batman: Terror.
A short summary relating the events in her comic appearance can be found on Batman Wiki at Scarecrow's page, reading as follows:
Following the 1986 multi-title event Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot, Crane's origin story was greatly expanded in the 1989 graphic novel Batman/Scarecrow #1, part of the Batman: Year One continuity. In the novel, he becomes obsessed with fear and revenge from being bullied throughout his childhood and adolescence for his lanky frame and bookish nature. He commits his first murder at the age of 18 by brandishing a gun in his high school parking lot during the senior prom. Dressed in the ghoulish scarecrow costume that would later become his trademark, Crane causes the head bully, Bo Griggs, and his girlfriend, Sherry Squires, who had rejected Crane, to have an automobile accident which paralyzes Griggs and kills Squires. From this, Crane discovers a savage delight in literally frightening people to death.
In the Batman: Terror arc, this rejection consists of her luring Jonathan into the basement at a Halloween party with the implication that she would kiss or ravish him. Alas, instead he was startled by Bo in a costume.
In Batman Annual #19, this event sequence is expanded upon:
-It is mentioned that Jonathan has a crush on Sherry, who has been going out with Bo for four years.
-News spreads of Bo and Sherry breaking up, and after a week Jonathan gets up the courage to ask her to a Halloween party.
-Jonathan is ecstatic when she says yes, goes to the party, is ecstatic at the party, and gets asked by Sherry for some alone time. She coaxes him, word for word "Come on, Jonathan--don't be afraid..." This is one of exactly six lines she has.
-Sherry touches Jonathan's chest and tells him to kiss her.
-For four panels he attempts to do this without success.
-Bo jumps out of the dark with a pumpkin on his head, chases Jonathan up the stairs and outside, then throws said pumpkin at him.
-Bo and Sherry get a victory pose, with Sherry saying "What's the matter scarecrow? Something scare you?". She is stated to laugh loudest, but this is in Jonathan's POV and may be subjective.
-Later, Jonathan watches Bo and Sherry at prom, plotting revenge on Bo gleefully "and ditto to you, Sherry Squires".
-After prom, Bo and Sherry stop at "the traditional parking lot" to make-out. There are sounds of what they at first assume are gunshots (actually cherry bombs) and smoke obscures everything. Scarecrow jumps on the hood of the car, waves a water pistol at them, and presumably jumps off when Bo blindly tries to drive away and crashes into a tree. Sherry dies before dawn due to flying through the windsheild, Bo is paralyzed from the waist down.
-Jonathan expresses pleasure at this in the form of a dance.
PARTICIPANTS ARE ENCOURAGED NOT TO STICK TO THESE EVENTS EXACTLY. There is very little characterization provided for Sherry (a follower, capable of being mean, someone Scarecrow is attracted to but unobtainable) and what characterization goes to Jonathan is largely inconsistent with his representation as a whole. The snark was mostly removed from this summary before being posted here, but know that you will not be judged more critically for altering things like the Halloween party. It is available for reference in case participants want to work elements in--not as an example of what this story should be by any means.
Physically, Sherry is portrayed as having dark brown hair which reaches just below shoulder length along with light brown eyes. She can be short (Batman Annual #19) or tall (Batman: Terror), with facial features varying widely between artists. She is thin-to-average weight and doesn't wear makeup noticeably unless in costume or at prom.
The name of Jonathan and Sherry's school is not given, nor are any mascots or team names. There is complete fan freedom here.
-At least 1000 words
-Individual drabbles not acceptable, but in a unified succession are permissible. 10 minimum.
-AU is allowed, but will be judged more critically.
-Regarding characterization, embellishments are more than acceptable. However, fewer incorporations of canon elements will result in more critical judging.
-Three submissions maximum per contestant, but only one will be eligible for placing.
-Any genre acceptable.
-Any universe acceptable.
-Incorporation of Canon
-Toccata No. 9
NOTE: Judging one contest does not morally obligate you to any that might or might not happen in the future. Perfectly allowed though.
Begins: Wednesday, May 26th
Ends: Friday, July 10th at 12:00 AM EST
NOTE: This is not a hard deadline. Entries submitted within 12 hours after deadline won't be disqualified.
-First and second place winners get to write that they won first and second place in their summaries if they so please.
-Toccata No. 9, Pierides, and this account will have first and second place winners featured on their profile pages.
-Winners will have more concrete prizes offered after judging is complete.
How To Enter:
Note the judges and identify yourself as a participant so we can watch you. When your entry is posted, you will be added both to this page's favorites list. Participants and entries will be listed on this profile page as they occur. Winners will also be posted on this profile page once judging is complete.
Question: What qualifies as a drabble, and in what context would they be permissible if both multichapter stories and individual drabbles are not allowed?
Answer: Using the strict definition, drabbles are scenes written in exactly 100 words. They are allowed if arranged in a single chapter with line breaks of some sort between each one. Order, presentation, and storytelling structure become exceptionally important if this method is used. Although the piece does not need to follow a linear timeline, it should be arranged deliberately and coherently.
Question: What qualifies as AU?
Answer: Technically, all of this is AU. For the purpose of our definition, it is anything that fully replaces part of the original story conceptually. For example: replacing the setting of Arlen, Georgia with Gotham--making Jonathan and Sherry city born-and-raised--would be considered AU, but not necessarily judged more critically. AUs that are event based (e.g. the betrayal is a complete misunderstanding rather than anything Sherry did wrong) would be, but if contestants are confident in their ability to pull it off they should not be discouraged.
Question: I haven't read the comic yet. Will my entry automatically be judged more harshly for that?
Answer: No. There is a lot of room for creative license here. Learn what you can and use what you know, but if inspiration strikes don't worry too much about whether specifics differ or not. A large part of this competition draws from alternate interpretations.
Question: What if I have a question you haven't answered?
Answer: Message any of the three judges. None of us bite, and it will be much more efficient than messaging this account.
Question: Should all entries be brand new work?
Answer: Not all entries need to be new, but there should be at least one new piece per contestant. For example, you could use two pre-existing fics and one new one, or a pre-existing fic along with a new one, but because this contest is largely to generate more stories submitting only a pre-existing fic wouldn't work.
Question: I put a Sherry chapter into a fic that could conceivably be a standalone. Is that an admissable entry?
Answer: This is perfectly acceptable. While it's possible to enter it as "Chapter X, Fic Y", it might help with presentation having it documented separately in a oneshot format. Either way, definitely eligible.
Question: Can I edit my story after posting?
Answer: Yes, but only until the July 10th deadline. After that you have to wait until judging is complete before making any changes.
The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, by The Talking Absol
Scare High, by The Talking Absol
Fourteen, by Mushi6618
Prom Night Entry, by lost soul's keeper
Childhood's End, by AZ-woodbomb
Monster, by Dreamer676
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: As decided by a vote between the two judges' choices, our winner in Scarecrow Contest #1 is Childhood's End by AZ-Woodbomb, with second place going to Scare High by The Talking Absol. Congratulations to both contestants, and thanks a ton to everybody who voted!
Comments on Scare High:
It was AU, but so ingeniously inspired. It was like a trip and as I said in my review it both horrified and humored me. Sherry was a pure character, Jonathan was still Jonathan but he had moxy that boy, and Bo was the Prom Night Murderer. I've never seen that and it was all out of jealousy, what a twist. Another is her platter of OCs that just added to the story. All of them were wonderful and none took the attention away. She wrote a wonderful story, like a movie and I stand in awe. She excelled quite well in telling the story of Jon and Sherry in a new and interesting way.
Comments on Childhood's End:
Initial read-through I was absolutely blown away by the characterization, the realism, and the stylistic excellence. While canon was incorporated smoothly with attention to detail, AZ-woodbomb also took it a step further in creating a character-driven piece. He conveyed the complexity of motives and backgrounds through details, body language, and dialogue rather than simply informing readers. No decision or plot point felt out of place because there was a believable and unique thought process driving everybody. What makes this feat more impressive to me, however, is that the only person whose head we get inside is Sherry's. Given only external cues and her opinions, Jonathan doesn't come across as simply awkward. He alternates between being afraid to open his mouth and very prickly, both of which foreshadow his adult behavior nicely while suggesting abuse he's still enduring--at school and at home. Meanwhile, Bo from Sherry's POV isn't a villain but the boy she loves who did something in poor taste. I could actually see what she might like about him during their conversation. In my view, every word was used effectively and the mechanics were impeccable. "Childhood's End", I think, stood out for being unafraid to explore shades of gray in all characters equally while portraying even potentially one-dimensional brutes like Bo with life and dimension.