Blog or Die! The Manifesto’s First Contest

Copy of Rock Night Flyer(1).jpg

Tell Your Story” image courtesy of Chris Maddison

Constant reader, the time has come for the Manifesto’s first ever writing contest.  So if you’ve been too shy, too busy or too lazy to join in on the action, now is the time to live your blogging dreams on this… the smallest and shabbiest stage in all AFOLdom.  Yes, this is your chance to join the vaunted brotherhood of Liu, Hoffmann, Andes, Rutherford, rountRee, Prasad and Oohlu.  Tell your story…blog or die!


+ All entries must be submitted to with “Blog or Die!” in the subject line.

+ Original material is required, no previously posted work will be permitted.  Plagiarism will result in disqualification and rigorous public shaming by multiple parties.

+ All entries must be submitted no later than January 15, 2018, 11:55pm (Pacific Standard Time).  Late entries will still be posted to the Manifesto, but they will not be eligible to win a prize.

+ There is no limit to the number of submissions a writer can enter.

+ All submissions will be posted on the Blog as they come in.

+ Editing will NOT be provided.

+ I reserve the right to disqualify any post that I find to be offensive or abusive.

+ There is no required format or program you must use, I can work with just about anything, although I prefer MS Word.

+ Please provide working links for each photo or video you include in your entry.

+ Rutherford is prohibited from entering the contest, I think we can all agree that he has said quite enough at this point in time.  Also, 1000 words won’t even get him to his thesis.  The other previously contributing Manifesto authors are eligible to compete and encouraged to do so.


Article:  Write a LEGO related article with a minimum 1000 word count on a topic of your choosing.  Topics include, but are not limited to anything you’ve seen posted on the Manifesto: convention coverage, constructive criticism, personal narrative, history, hot take debate, the online community, LUGs, omnibus, model spotlight, etc.  Please NO PRODUCT REVIEWS of anything that is currently for sale through LEGO.  If you can manage to wax eloquent about an out-of-production set without boring everyone, then have at it.

Interview: Select a subject and conduct a written interview with a minimum 1000 word count (you may include the questions in the word count).  Subjects include, but are not limited to: fellow builders, LEGO employees, LUG officers, convention directors, BrickLink vendors, bloggers, brickfilms producers, 3rd party manufacturers, etc.

Comics: This category is unique in that it requires both building and writing.  Construct a 3 panel (minimum) Lego comic using LEGO elements only (no clones, no custom parts) and at least some text to go along with it.  Unlike the first two categories, there is no minimum word count, because as Polonius teaches us, “brevity is the soul of wit”.  So if you can say everything you need to in a single sentence, or even a fragment of a sentence, by all means go for it.  Digital entries are permitted.

Prizes: Each category winner will receive…

+ A SWAG pack of Manifesto promotional materials including a T-shirt, stickers and Vegas-style poker chips.  I will post photos of the SWAG in the coming weeks to inspire the contestants to greater heights.

+ A copy of Jordan Schwartz’s The Art of LEGO Design: Creative Ways to Build Amazing Models, with chapter 12 personalized by yours truly.

+ A $50 e-gift card for use at LEGO.COM.

Judging:  As your host I will be the single judge for the competition.  I will take into account the comments each entry generates, but the final decisions will be mine alone.  At the end of the proceedings, each contestant will be provided with a written review of their entry that will (in theory) help to explain my thought process.  Bribes will be casually entertained but likely NOT accepted unless they are uniquely tantalizing.  I will be judging purely on the content of your writing, so unless your grammar is abhorrent, it won’t count against you.

There are many paths to victory: be funny, be insightful, be inspiring, be contrarian, be yourself but above all, be entertaining.  Good luck!


If you have any questions, the commentarium is open…


43 thoughts on “Blog or Die! The Manifesto’s First Contest

      1. There’s no way I can resist a contest (let’s face it, I’m still on mocpages for that). So, yeah, I’ll probably make a fool of myself. Worst case scenario, I’m only doing the comic category. A bunch of times. Also, Rutherford can always send me articles, I’ll just modify them to appear written by a 4 year old with no cohesion and enter them.

        “I reserve the right to disqualify any post that I find to be offensive or abusive.” < I'm really looking forward to someone being able to break this rule in a creative manner in such a lax place. :))


      2. Well that’s the best lego related news I’ve had this month, I look forward to reading the efforts of our resident contrarian. Acting as a sock puppet for Rutherford is a decision I’m comfortable in saying that you’ll live to regret. Just reading his unedited thoughts have driven lesser men quite mad. Good luck to you, but I wouldn’t invoke his name in any way, shape or form.

        I kind of doubt anyone will be disqualified for content, but never say never with Lego nerds.


  1. Wow. I’m impressed. In one blog post, you:
    a) guaranteed 2 months of exciting content on the manifesto
    b) inspired all of us to actually WRITE that article we keep thinking about but never send your way
    c) got us to do half the hard work on this website
    d) opened a gateway for more discussion on the world’s best Lego forum
    e) created a T-shirt

    I wish I could do my homework that efficiently. Now I just hope there’s entries to make this comment worth it. I’ll try to get off my lazy ass and compose an eloquent narrative, but it will probably just sound like crap.

    P.S. If you don’t already have a swag t-shirt designed, I’d be happy to lend my services (although I don’t want to steal Dave’s thunder).


    1. This is a stupid contest and anybody who enters is stupid!

      That said, I really found these two rules quite tantalizing:

      + All submissions will be posted on the Blog as they come in.
      + Editing will NOT be provided.

      Wow man… all submissions? I mean, all but the ones that you deem to be flat out cray cray? I did not see that coming. I dig it. Reserving the authority to block crazy talk is just a prudent necessity of modern life. But aside from a few “enterprising authors” this clause will affect nobody. But buy posting all legitimate submissions, take away the number one excuse from procrastinators: “Meh… he wouldn’t publish my stuff anyway”. I dig it! In a way, its actually a very aggressive stance. Robbing fence sitters of every possible excuse, but also letting people know… the field is wide open. It’s almost sort of, what? Egalitarian? Liberal? Anti-systemic? Typical of your power to the people approach. I’m down.

      And no editing? Again, wow. I think your motive here is much less tactical and much more pragmatic. If this effort generates a back log of material… and you had to edit it all… you could wind up with a massive task on your hands. So this rule makes that whole notion disappear (As if your ever going to get that many entries…you looser! Because you totally suck Keith!)

      I say right on!

      Oh no wait wait… I say… Write on!

      See that? And I can’t even enter. No justice.


      1. I couldn’t agree more, the whole thing is an exercise in stupidity.

        I will post just about anything that comes through, even if it doesn’t meet the qualifications. It won’t win any prizes of course, but I’ll still put it up there. There are limits of course, but an entry would have to be pretty egregious not to get published….crazy talk, as you say. As for the no editing, you nailed it, I’m far too lazy to take on that much work (potentially), I figured I”m providing the prizes and the forum and the individual reviews for each work, that seems like enough without adding editing to the mix. I hate the process and try to do as little of it as possible.

        You can’t enter, I can abide a little cronyism from time to time but there is no way I’m giving you 50 bucks and a T shirt. No way.

        Of course the chances of you winning would be approximately…


      2. Thanks Michael, that is exactly how I feel. Props to Keith for so casually breaking the system. I feel like this isn’t a first time, too bad I haven’t known him for longer.


    2. Cheers Caleb, I hope you find the time to throw your literary hat in the ring. Now that I consider your list, I think it would have been cheaper to just pay for a few articles. Oh well, let the thunderdome commence!

      Oh and I will take you up on the offer. I’ve used Dave’s banner design for this first crop of T Shirts, but I’d like to come up with a new flavor each year so we’ll talk about it soon. I’ll contact you via Flickr, thanks again for the offer!


    1. Hey man, people hate writing so you have to incentivize the action. Compared to some of the prizes I see these days (bloated Millenium Falcons), it really isn’t that much. I contest without a prize is just a challenge. I want to see blood, I want to see people come up with some good shit. We’ll see…


  2. “Editing will NOT be provided.”

    Is this to imply that Rutherford’s rants ARE edited?! I’d hate to see what the first drafts look like.


    1. You have no idea Christopher….the man has achieved an impressive rank but he can barely compose a coherent paragraph. And all the sentence fragments and SHOUTING IN CAPS!!!! His unedited ramblings would be quite indecipherable without my steady hand at the tiller.


      1. No, don’t derail him! This is good! I want to hear Werewolf’s thoughts… not more of his Dr. Sues style ramblings!

        Well… not until his second or third entry anyway!

        In the mean time hear is some new age free verse poetry to tide you over:

        Punch him and splash hot coffee on him!

        Unholy man of fest!


        Now whos a poet huh? See? It doesn’t rhyme at all… but it plucks at the heart like feasting buzzards!

        Look for a compendium of my works in recycling centers in time for the holiday season.


    1. Mike requested that he go beyond the poetry, personally I always liked it. But I think it’s not a bad idea to expand a bit; but if a limerick were to sneak in, I wouldn’t NOT smile.


      1. Yes… the best of both worlds… but a limerick INSTEAD of an article? Total rip off man! This particular cat needs to buckle down and smack us up the side of our heads with the half froze headless tuna fish of his focused intellect!


      2. LOL. I know that Wolff is capable of making us all think. He can certainly put two thoughts together as well as he can write verse. Heck, he’ll probably be solely responsible for doubling the Manifesto’s viewer rate. His writing is good stuff. Can’t wait to see it.

        I hope this site isn’t the only place on the internet where y’all have the smack talk/serious conversation hybrid down to a science. Because it’s so entertaining.


    2. What makes you think rountRee has any say where poetry is concerned? He’s just afraid of his inner poet. Bring it on man, bring….it….on. Glad to hear you’re going to enter Wolff, I look forward to it!


      1. My inner poet is a drunken whore! Oh, wait a minute. I’m the drunken whore, the inner poet is probably a classy guy. I met my evil twin and he’s a really nice guy. Hmmm.


  3. Do you people read anything? Are your monitors even turned on?

    Unholy man of fest! Oh! = Unholy manifesto!

    Nothing? That was good shite man!

    Werewolf! Write something for the contest already before lose my composure… or worse… before I compose again!

    Somebody write something for gods sake!


    1. Writing is underway, good sir. Please don’t shoot me… or compose again. Frankly, I’m not 100% sure which one’s worse…

      And it will be an article, on a subject I might actually be able to waffle on about. I can’t promise it will be entertaining, but I’ll try.

      Thanks for the praise as well guys, really humbles this young lycanthrope’s heart!


  4. Finally found where you’re all hiding! (Thanks matt, you can all blame him). I’d be very in favour of a 1,000 word poem from a lycanthrope (did I spell that right, can’t write, see ?) or I can mash my keyboard and see what happens.


    1. A thousand word poem? Wouldnt that make it an epic? Like the Rhyme of the Anciant Marener?

      Jesus wept!

      What about you man? Why dont you bang simething out? You got mad skills and such.

      Gonna throw down?


      1. I will certainly be throwing down, about what I’m not sure yet. Just ingesting your verbiage for now. This is the most interesting Lego blog I’ve seen and contributing to it in a small way would give me a kick.


      2. Nick, welcome to the Manifesto! I’m happy to see rountRee was able to execute his evil plan to drag you down to our dive bar, it’s been too long. Whether it’s the contest or the comment section, I hope you stick around and help class up the joint. Nice effort on the Formula Zero spaceship, by the way, that thing rocks and somehow completely slipped right under my radar.
        Formula Zero Gravity

        Liked by 1 person

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