Everything you need to know about the Scribe's Contests

Everything you need to know about Scribe’s Contest

What is this contest?

This competition is run irregularly on CDO. It is run in between Golden Hat and Artisan’s Contests, but never in parallell.

The Scribe’s Contest is a background (usually referred to as “fluff”) writing competition. The writing includes songs, famous quotes, legends, short stories etc.

Additionally, Scribe’s Contest will eventually include one or more audio recording competitions for reciting, singing or the production of background music.

The winners of this competition gets a medal and a number of slaves according to how many people have entered. There will always be Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for Scribe’s Contest.

The competition is always announced in the Website News section. We officially announce the contest, with a deadline. After this has closed we start a thread with the entries and a request for people to vote, then after the voting has closed we start a third thread announcing the winner(s).

Unlike Golden Hat and Artisan’s Contest, the Scribe’s Contest is not a standing part of Chaos Dwarfs Online, but run with a particular aim: To bring the world and culture of the Chaos Dwarfs to life and allow for the future “release” of a fully-fledged package of background texts and even sound files.

View it as a fluff marathon.

Previous Scribe’s Contest Winners will be displayed in the CDO Contest Galleries.

What can I enter?

Each contest will have a specific theme. An entry that bears absolutely no relation to the theme (unless it is called an ‘open contest’) will not be allowed. Texts have to be fully written by the person entering them.

Likewise, audio recordings have to be fully performed by the person entering them. Note that you can use texts written by someone else for the audio recording, so long as you receive permission from the writer for doing so. You have full permission to use any of @Admiral 's and @MadHatter 's texts for Scribe’s Contest entry audio purposes.

The Scribe’s Contests are always Chaos Dwarf related, you cannot enter texts which does not deal with Chaos Dwarfs in any way (like a Wood Elf song about flowers for instance).

You are of course free to write about Chaos Dwarf-equivalents in whatever setting you want, be it an official one from some organization, or a homebrew setting of your own.

When can I enter?

The deadline will always be clear in the announcement thread. It is always based on Eastern Standard Time. So regardless of where in the world you are you need to look up how far ahead or behind this time you are to make sure you get your entry in on time.

No entry regardless of how cool will be allowed to enter after the deadline. If someone has made a valid attempt to enter before the deadline but have had technical issues (such as links being invalid), they will normally be allowed.

How do I enter?

There are three ways to enter a Scribe’s Contest, the one required will be made very clear in the announcement thread.

> Entering links by Personal Message
To enter by personal message, you first have to upload an audio file of your entry to a hosting site. For instance any of those found here: http://www.audiohostings.com/ All of those listed are free hosting sites. For the purpose of anonymity your audio host account name must be different from your CDO account name.

To enter the contest all you need to do is simply click the link provided (it will always be to the ‘GoldenHat’ account) and/or to chaosdwarfsonline ( at ) gmail.com and send the link to the audio file. If you do an album link I will try and ask which ones you want.

> Entering text by Personal Message
For most of the Scribe’s Contests you can just copy and paste your story into a personal message to GoldenHat and/or to chaosdwarfsonline ( at ) gmail.com.

> Entering by email attachment
Sometimes uploading big audio files onto free hosting sites can distort them. So for any like files we always say you can enter by sending an email to chaosdwarfsonline ( at ) gmail.com instead. Do not forget to notify the contest organizer about this via PM. Note that we will need to know your username if you send it by email.

What happens after I have entered?

The personal messages all sit in the @GoldenHat inbox until after the deadline has passed. After this time one of us will look through them all and start to save all the entries to our computer. It is expected that people will answer any and all questions about their entry (and do what is required) within 48 hours of the competition closing. If they don’t, perhaps because they have not logged in since, the staff member will either make a decision themselves or potentially disallow the entry.

Once we have all the entries, the staff member will do some editing to make them look pretty for the site, and to make sure they all have a similar formatting to make things fair. See rules below for more on this.

The staff member will then make a thread with all the entries and request people to start voting (see how to vote below). After the voting has closed the staff will collate all the votes into a spreadsheet to find the total votes for each entry. Note that this is something all staff members can check, there is no vote rigging here! :wink: Finally we announce the winners, the voting key and assign the medals and slaves.

How do I vote?

The voting will be done by personal message. Send a pm to the @GoldenHat account (as described above) with the 3 entries you consider best, whatever that means to you. You don’t need to rank them, or give reasons why. You must place three votes, don’t know who deserves your last vote? Choose one at random.

You are not allowed to vote on your own entry in competitions.

Participation Medals for Scribe’s Contest

Participating in Scribe’s Contest will not count toward your secret veteran medals tally. There will however be a special Scribe Contest’s participation medal tally for veterans who have entered into 5, 10, 15 and so on Scribe’s Contests.


Scribe’s Contests will always be judged by CDO members who PM 3 votes to @GoldenHat .

We will not instruct people what to consider when judging. It is entirely up to them to judge on whatever grounds they want to determine the winner(s). We may give suggestions to help people.


General Rules

Each member may only enter once. Any member of CDO may enter.

Staff will likely not do any editing for grammar, punctuation or spelling. Any winning entries that appear in the CDO webzine may have these edits. The top three entries will be displayed in the CDO webzine.

No entries submitted after the deadline will be allowed, no matter how cool it is.

Unless by specific permission, nothing can be changed after the deadline.

No text that has been posted or entered into another competition may be submitted.

If the entry breaks forum rules by its content it will not be allowed.


Entries are made by email attachment or by PM, though formatting may be lost by PM.

Each member may only enter something they have written themselves.

The CDO staff claims full permission to post your entries on the forum and in CDO webzines after the contest if you do not do this yourself. Likewise the Staff claims full permission to use your entries in PDF and other formats in the future. By entering the contest you agree to this arrangement.

> Anonymity Rules

The competition is supposed to be anonymous, so please do not post your entry online until after the voting has ended. Do not start a WIP blog of your entry as you make it, we may not allow it to be entered.

If you have just finished a piece of writing or audio recording that is ideal for the competition, but have already posted it in the forum just ask one of the staff if it is ok to enter it still. Preferably people will not say which entry is theirs until voting is over, but this is not ‘rule breaking’.

> Staff discretion and editing

If the texts or audio files provided are in very poor condition you may be asked to improve your entry.

The Staff decision is always final on any matter, it is not open to public debate (unless we ask it to be).

> Artistic interpretation

We encourage creativity, so when we say (for example) ‘the theme is a Chaos Dwarf nursery rhyme/children song’, this means people are free to interpret this however they want, as long as it still looks Chaos Dwarf themed and conforms to the theme specific rules.

Bear in mind that people will be considering how well your entry fits the theme when they are voting.

If you are in doubt please ask the Scribe’s Contest organizing member of staff, otherwise you risk having your entry disqualified if it is too far from the theme.

> Writing Rules

Entries must be written:

  • either “in-universe” (written as if made by an actual Chaos Dwarf or Hobgoblin, including poetic stanzas),
  • or describing something in the setting, akin to the background found in army books outside of 6th edition WHFB,
  • or prose fiction story, like that found in a Black Library novel.

The theme rules for each specific contest will detail which of the three above styles are allowed.

This means that texts about D6s, re-rolls and miscast tables are not allowed.
Note: You are, however, welcome to convert tabletop exploits into songs, quotes etc. so long as no allusions to game mechanics, Games Workshop or the modelling and painting of miniatures are included.

Entries must be written in intelligible English. No netspeak. Please spell-check your entry before submitting it.

For audio recordings, just exchange “writing” above for “voice performance”.

> Short Story & Legends Scribe’s Contests

You can write your entry in the form of a story OR as a description. When it comes to judging people must remember that we have said both are equally good.

There is a maximum word limit of 2250 words, and a minimum word limit of 500 words unless stated otherwise, so please double check before sending it. It’s so easy to check that there isn’t really a reason not to. It would be handy for people to state their word count on submission.

People will be contacted after the deadline if they are over the limit. They will have 48 hours to delete and rework, but if they don’t get back to me by then anything over the word count will be deleted.


The entries should be written true to the spirit of Chaos Dwarfs, as their background image have evolved over the years.

Apart from “in-universe”/describing/story writing, we do not encourage you to write your entries in a particular way to conform to e.g. how someone else has written a Chaos Dwarf song before. In fact, we encourage variety, originality and your own take on it!

If you are starved for ideas, then these core concepts of what Chaos Dwarfs are all about might be of use:

You might find these sources of inspiration useful:

Official Sources of Inspiration

Realms of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned/Slaves to Darkness (3rd edition)

White Dwarf Presents: Chaos Dwarfs (4th edition)

Tamurkhan: Throne of Chaos (8th edition)

Hellcannon entry in Warhammer Armies: Warriors of Chaos (8th edition)

Lammasu and Great Taurus entries in Storm of Magic (8th edition)

Black Library novel Grudgebearer (2005) by Gav Thorpe

Any other Games Workshop publication concerning Chaos Dwarfs

Reference list

Unofficial Sources of Inspiration

Thommy H’s Chaos Dwarf army book

Nicodemus’ Warhammer Quest Chaos Dwarf Expansion

Grimstonefire’s WIP Liber Chaotica: Hashut

Other Unofficial Sources of Inspiration

The Khaozalid Dictionary

Chaos Dwarf Stories & Background (WHFB), currently in the Archive section

CDO Discourse Stories & Background forum

Posting your entry after the contest is over

You are encouraged to post your entry not only in your blog, but in the stories and background forum section as well.

Since the aim of Scribe’s Contest is to build up a collective community pool of background pieces you are likely to get contacted by a a staff member suggesting you to post your entry in the background forum section some days or weeks after the contest.

If we are unable to contact you about it, we have full rights to copy-paste your entry and post it ourselves with the author’s account name clearly written out.

These individual post-contest entry posts will then sooner or later be collected into compilation threads, and likely reused in PDF or other format later on. By entering the contest you give us full permission for this.


Does Scribe’s Contest mean Artisan’s Contest will never have a writing competition again?
No. Scribe’s Contest is of an as of yet unspecified limited life span, created for the purpose of bringing the world and culture of the Chaos Dwarfs to life. Though it is unlikely Artisan’s Contest will have writing competitions whilst Scribe’s Contest is still “active”, it will certainly have them again once Scribe’s Contest have run its course.

Where did I come in the ranking? How many votes did I get?
Both of these are done by private message for whoever asks. We don’t list where people come publically, unless they are in the top three. Occasionally we say who came 4th/5th.

Why doesn’t CDO have a judging panel?
This is something that has been asked a few times. CDO is a community for the many, not for the few. Because of this, we think it is vital that the community decide what entries are best by a majority vote and it’s not done subjectively by a small panel of people (who cannot obviously have entered themselves).

Why doesn’t CDO have multiple categories depending on skill?
This is more work than it’s worth really to be honest and the current system of voting doesn’t always favour the same people over and over. Having a category that only one person wanted to enter would be stupid and people would resent being moved into that category if they knew they would lose. At the end of the day even an professional author could only enter one model, leaving the other medals up for grabs.

What happens if we get a draw?
For a competition where we are voting by pm (as there are more than 10 entries, note the following is somewhat different from other CDO contests):

Draw for Gold = 2+ x Gold, Silver and Bronze awarded
Draw for Silver = Gold, 2+ x Silver and Bronze awarded
Draw for Bronze = Gold, Silver and 2+ x Bronze awarded

Multiple draws = vote off on all of them by public poll.

For competitions decided by a public poll (less than 10):

Draw for Gold = 2 x Gold

I never seem to win :frowning:
Not a question as such… We may not all be great writers or singers, but the taking part is what counts and not only do you get to improve your skills but you also get a background piece at the end of it. Remember that we will try and build a collective pool of these background pieces for future “release” in a bundle, where your name will be presented with your entry. So all the effort is not wasted !

Are there any free audio recording program?
Yes, Audacity.

How do I take good audio recordings of my voice?
There is a basic guide here people may find helpful.