Welcome to the 2009 Merlin Big Bang Challenge!
Site Info
Some helpful information (and please read before you check out all the amazing stories and art on this site!)

What is the Merlin Big Bang Challenge?
Originally, we decided to try out a tiered Big Bang, something your faithful mod had never seen done. Tiered, wot, you say? Why, tiered in the sense that there'd be four different word count ranges for writers to go for, and artists would get assigned based on whether one made it to that ultimate goal of 35,000 words, to ensure that we'd have enough artists. However, we wound up having a wonderful amount of artists sign up, so we opened up all the word count ranges to art, with one artist assignment for the original first two sections of the challenge, and two artists assigned to the writers who reached the Pinnacle Word Count of Merlin Big Bang. We had 23 writers complete this challenge - seven with stories ranging from 15,000 words - 30,000 words, and the sixteen remaining who wrote over 35,000 words. (And some overachieved. Some overachieved by a *lot.* So much, that Section 3 is very very lonely; see that big 0? *g*). Then artists selected a story that piqued their interest by picking from the various story summaries. We also wanted to be as all-encompassing artistically as possible, so vids, manipulations, drawings and essentially any art form was permitted; all of our stories have at least one art submission.

The Stats
127 writers initially signed up for this challenge. 23 of them finished. We had 72 pieces of art submitted to this challenge.

The Final Word
Final word count: 945,736. If you're a little overwhelmed by all the choices, we invite you to take a look at the story previews many of our authors provided on our LiveJournal community.

How to Navigate the Site
You can change the layout of the site by selecting one of the skins listed in the skins menu in the upper right corner. Check out our gorgeous banners, made by Glockgal (Skin 1), Lizardspots (Skin 1), Elli (Skin 2) and Beeej (Skin 3)! The easiest way to find something in the site is probably to look through the participants section, the titles section or better yet, the categories section. But if you want it really very easy, check out the Art Cloud and Story Cloud below. You can also check out the feedback posts to get direct links to everyone's work. Please note that in some cases, a single thumbnail on a feedback post might link to multiple pieces of art - we don't want you to miss anything! All of the artwork is in a series (under Artwork on the navigation bar), based on what story/author the artist was assigned, so you'll be able to see everything for a given story by looking through the series links.

Contact/Review Information
You will find a link at the bottom of every submission to a livejournal entry where you can leave your comments on any of the stories and artwork. A personal plea: Please feedback. Don't keep the magic secret, in this instance! We have a lot of stories and art going live at once, and we're really hoping stories and art don't get lost in the shuffle. This is an extremely difficult challenge, and we'd really like to encourage the efforts of those who have managed to pull this off. Any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail the mod at

The Final Word (For Real This Time): Acknowledgments
Thanks to the artists, writers, beta readers, cheerleaders and site team - there obviously wouldn't be a challenge without all of your efforts. HUGE HUGE thanks goes to Syrosis (Chris) - without her, there literally would not be a site. She's been completely amazing, and I'm so glad she took this project on. This is the girl who, after coding the whole night, was all, "I think I'm going to take a nap before I finish the rest!" Thanks also to Blue, Stellastars and Lily for their help with the website, and of course the ever-fabulous Elli for heeding the call of a desperate mod in the twilight hours of her challenge. Thanks to all the people who stepped in to help with feedback posts and asking generally "hey, what needs doing?" in recent days - you all rock.


Enjoy the fruits of our hard labor. ;)

~Madelyn -
Challenge Mod and website owner

Art Cloud:

Story Cloud: thunder, lightning, or rain?; a long way to go before we are truly divine; accidental memory in the case of death; born of magic; camelot: a romance with rollercoasters; communications in binary; defenders of the realm; deluge; dirty magic; fire and rain; flesh and blood dance; in the shadows of my heart; in time of trial; long shadow; mægencræft; on the knob training; the butcher of camelot; the course of true love; the mirror, the sword, and the shield; they howl in dreams of winter; to you i pledge; what happened when the world fell apart; while his name is still spoken