Competitions are fun. Let's do another one.

I finally got some time to update the map. I was never really happy with it: the fonts were wrong and the colour balance and compas didn't sit right with me.

Luckily I have a student who is a bit of a calligrapher, and she helped me out with some awesome dragons. I was going to get her to do all the place names too but that seemed monumental, and she really needed to spend her time actually doing her school work. Anyway, thanks Jasmine for your help. You have been added to the long list of acknowledgements for this book.

But the point of this post is to announce a little competition of my own. I've been inspired by the blog campaign, and so my plan is to have some fun. This one is easy:

In 150 words or less, describe one of the places on the map. Be creative (of course) have fun, and don't worry about whether your conception of a place matches what it might be in the book.

One of the hardest things about writing is setting down a short concise description of a setting without eating up 1000 words, so lets see what you've got.

Post your entries in the comments below, and I will announce the winner on the 22nd of September, Australian time. Say around 8.30pm.

Oh yeah, and the winner will get an A3 full resolution print of the map mailed to wherever in the world they might be. For whatever it's worth i'll even write my name on the back and say something nice about you.

Spread the word



  1. Very nice. I really like your map!

  2. I love a good map, and I'm amazed you did this in Photoshop. Makes me wish I had Photoshop to try it for myself.
    This one is a nice improvement to the last image shown, flash without being flashy. Simply beautiful. ^_^

  3. Here goes:

    Dragons? I dunno a damn thing about dragons. The only fiery bites that’ll bother you in Yar are the midges. You can burn all the dung you like and it doesn’t do much good. That’s us in Yar, stuck on a lowland plain between the mountains, the forest, and the sea, choking on insects and cursing the day our ancestors first waded ashore though the mud. “Oh,” a fellah from the south once said, “this is Yar,” like he couldn’t get the bad taste out of his mouth. Last anyone heard of him he was telling the girls at the Footbridge Inn that he wouldn’t part with any of his hard-earned coin to pay for a guide through the marshes. He’ll turn up. Maybe in a week, and maybe in a hundred years, but sooner or later he’ll be crackling away in someone’s peat fire, keeping the midges at bay.

    (And now I feel bad because Yar is probably lovely, and suitable to visit with small children on summer holidays!)

  4. Jen, that was more awesome than I could have imagined. Can I steal "footbridge inn" for the sequel?

  5. Wonderful map. Is that Port Fun? What sort of fun does it promise?

    Every Savage Can Reproduce

  6. What a cool map! Love the names of the places you have on there.

    Hey I also wanted to let you know I nominated you for a blog award. check it out

  7. Thanks, Travis! I think i was still on a flash fiction high from the Campaign. And it would be brilliant if you used the Footbridge Inn. Then I would buy a copy of your sequel, highlight the name, and point it out to everyone I know!

  8. I like the map. I'm sure you'd tackle anything to death though. :)

  9. Hi there! I'm pleased to present you with the Versatile Blogger award - further details and fine print available at

  10. Very fine map. Hopping over as I saw your competition on the Campaign boards and wanted to try my hand at it. Here it goes:

    The wolves are our closest neighbors and allies. The hunt is strong, plenty of deer, rabbit, boar and the like to feed wolf and man in kind. The forest has yielded steady plank for our homes and reliable kindling for every Medii stove and hearth. The Endless Forest shields us, leaves and straw make our bedding and the High Archer of The Branch is our Watcher. Because of the wolves and High Archer’s ever watchful eye, we do not fall prey to an un-good night at the hands of Others that call the forest home.

    Folks of Shill and Yar look down upon us for choosing the green canopy as our sky, but they pay a pretty coin for Medii guides for safe passage to Darton. Saves them days on their journey to council and loads our woolen pockets with coin for ale and fest.

    Angela Brown

  11. Great map - it really sparked my imagination. Here's my effort:

    Deep and dangerous, the Chasm is home to the wisest beings in the kingdom. Seldom seen, the Eldrex dwell in the caves at the foot of the abyss, meditating for many moons without need for food or water. They are spindly creatures, pale and weak from lack of sun, but their minds are pure, uncorrupted by society and greed. Because of this, they are able to see the universal answers that are hidden from the rest of mankind.

    Twice a year, the High Priest descends into the dank rift from her abbey in Thaumaturge. She makes the two day journey into the darkness without light or company and is permitted to ask the Eldrex one question. This question must be perfect in every way. Once the Eldrex have given their answer, she carries the word back up the many miles of stairs to the waiting crowds.

  12. MC and Angela.... you are both awesome. I love the world you are creating with so few words. Everyone could learn a lesson here.


  13. Shill: ancestral banner home of thieves, cutpurses, rogues, burglars, assassins, brigands, gamblers, moneylenders, footpads, charlatans and mummers; this town has long disproved the legend of honor among thieves.

    Hi T.B. I found your blog from Rachael's campaigner blog, and am now following yours.

    Nice to meet you! Your map is incredible, and your book looks awesome.

  14. In the end I couldn't pick a winner as each was great for very different reasons.,. So I decided that everyone wins (I know, 'cop out!' I hear you say). I have a feeling I'm doing this wrong, but it is the first time I have run a mini competition, so shoot me.

    A full resolution, A3, signed print of the final final final (forever I promise) map will be sent out to all the awesome people who entered.... Now I just need your adresses...

    So if Jen, Angela, MC and Matthew email me at travisbmckenzie{at}gmail and send me their social security numbers, passport ID, bank statement and credit car details, I'll sort the rest out.

    Sorry I'm a day late with this announcement... had an art show for my senior students last night that went a little over time.



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