Hello geeks and gingerbread lovers everywhere!
I have splendid news; this year I’m starting and hosting an online geeky gingerbread competition! I’ve been toying with the idea for the past year, and I’m so excited to finally open the doors for this! (Although I’m also a tad scared, because let’s face it; many of your entries will probably be a whole lot prettier than most of mine, and I bet there’s a golden rule about not featuring things on your site that will make your own work fade in comparison, but whatever; geeky gingerbread is the absolute best, and you should all join my secret club.)
This competition is open internationally and to all skill levels, and since it’s online, you can eat the whole damn thing the minute you finish, if you so desire, as long as you make sure to snap a few pictures beforehand. Sounds fun doesn’t it? Yes. Yes, it does. So if you’ve always wanted to bake and build The Burrow, The Iron Throne, or a gingerbread army of Cybermen, now is the time!
What are we making? Any kind of gingerbread construction, inspired of whatever geeky things you are into. It can be any shape and size, and you can use as many extra edible elements as you want in your construction; bucketloads of candy, marzipan, chocolate, fondant, or whatever else you can think of. Just make sure gingerbread is the main attraction.
When are we making it? Before December 18th! Did you make a cool gingerbread thing last year that you never showed anyone on the Internet? That will do, too! It’s not like we’d know.
To participate, send me an email at gingerbreadsagas(at)gmail(dot)com and include:
- 1-4 pictures of your gingerbread project; 1 picture of the whole thing, and 1-3 pictures of details you are particularly fond of.
- You are creating art (just roll with it!), so you’ll have to include a name for your piece. (And if you are particularly creative on this one, you might even get an extra point for it, just saying.)
- A small description about your project and/or your process. I will share this in a blog post, when I share your pictures. Also, please let me know how much is made from scratch and how much is bought ready-made (and state if you wish me to include this particular bit of info in the blog-post, too, or just share it with my co-judges. Yes, that’s right! You get to decide.)
- Social media links and/or whatever else you want me to link to (that are somehow related to you. We all like Pottermore, but that’s not really relevant, unless you are J.K. Rowling, and if you are, then OMG, my life is complete).
By entering this contest, you give me permission to share your pictures here on this site, and on Twitter; I will of course let everybody know that you are the artist, and will in no way claim I’m the creator. I’m pretty nice about that. Oh, and on that note; don’t be a douche and send in gingerbread you yourself haven’t made. You have to be the creator yourself, but you are allowed to get all the help you could possibly fit into your kitchen. (But y’know, maybe share the prize with your helpers if you win or something.)
Deadline is December 18th (any time before midnight, wherever you are), and the winners will be announced December 23rd. I will also be sharing all the entries on my blog sometimes after that. (Or some of our favourites, depending on the amount of entries.)
I will crown (not literally, unless you travel to Denmark, but in that case, sure) three winners with the help of my co-judges, and yell loud and often about your spectacular talents. Oh, and you can also win prizes! You know, if you are into about that sort of thing.
The prizes are digital Etsy gift cards (and thank you so much to my fellow judge Katharina for chipping in). I have decided on Etsy for three reasons; first of all, I like to support independent stores and artists. Secondly, Etsy has something for everyone, so I have no doubt that you’ll be able to find something you love; geeky wall art, decor, jewelry, baking supplies, apparel, whatever you can imagine, it’s probably there. And thirdly, it’s very shipping-friendly; no matter where you are located, you should be able to find stores close to home, so you aren’t forced to use half your winning amount on ridiculous shipping costs. (And as someone who once won a gift card to Amazon, and had to pay more shipping than the card was worth, I prioritize that.)
There will be three categories, so you can choose to go in whatever direction best suits your talents. Your entry might qualify for all three categories, but we will pick three different winners. The prizes are listed in Euros, because of my location, but Etsy will automatically translate for you, and you will of course be able to use it in all shops accepting Etsy gift cards, no matter their location and valuta.
The categories are *fanfare*:
The Sherlock: This award goes to superior baking- and construction skills. You are to gingerbread building what Sherlock is to crime solving; brilliant and meticulous. Whoever wins this award, wins a 20 EUR gift card to Etsy.
The Mabel: This award goes to creative ideas and execution. Just like Mabel Pines, your gingerbread will bedazzle us with its originality and creativity, and would get an A+ in any Arts & Crafts class. Whoever wins this award, wins a 20 EUR gift card to Etsy.
The Marauder: This award goes to a particularly funny entry. In true Marauders style, your aim is to make us laugh and wish for a prequel, when we behold your magical gingerbread piece. Whoever wins this award, wins a 20 EUR gift card to Etsy.
But wait, there’s more! If you enter this competition, and don’t win any of the three (I assume) coveted prizes, your name will be put into a random drawing for another (arguably a lot less coveted) prize; a set of cookie cutters for your future gingerbread adventures. See, there’s plenty of reasons to participate, and help me take over the world with my gingerbread empire.
Does it have to be an actual gingerbread house?
No, not at all. It can be any shape and size, as long as part of it is made out of gingerbread. But if you are into houses, go for it, and don’t be afraid your piece is considered less original! I mean, we all wished there were more gingerbread Hobbit-holes in the world.
Can I use a gingerbread house kit or other store-bought ready-made supplies?
Sure! I want this to be open to all gingerbread enthusiast or future gingerbread enthusiast (there’s no going back, I’m warning you), so you can bake as much or as little yourself as you are comfortable with! Baking skills are just one of the things you are judged on, so you still have a chance of winning, even if you don’t bake everything (or anything) from scratch.
Does everything have to be edible?
Let’s say yes to this, or at least as close to everything being edible as we can get. I won’t frown at necessary helping tools, should disaster happen. Let’s say your Death Star roof is caving in; you can either decide to rename it to “Half-exploded Death Star” or you can hold the roof up with your favourite Christmas mug hidden inside. (And in case this will be your first gingerbread adventure; disasters will happen! You just have to go with it.) I also know some people (and ready-made gingerbread house kits) use actual glue to hold their pieces together, and while I think it’s a shame that it makes the house inedible, I don’t really think it’s my place to tell you how to live your life, so let’s just say that all the visible elements of the piece should be edible. If you are entirely in doubt, you can drop me a question, but chances are my reply is as good as yours. It’s not like I make the rules or anything.
Does it have to be based on a book/movie/TV-show?
Nope, you don’t have to be into that, just because I am. Whatever your definitely of “geeky gingerbread” is, it’s good enough. So if you want to make your iPhone, a telescope, your own version of the zombie apocalypse, or you are so into gardening, you want to recreate your vegetable patch, it’s all good. Geekery is for everyone, after all!
Can I decorate with fondant? Candy? Lettuce? Goat cheese?
Yes, absolutely! There are no limitations on ingredients whatsoever (apart from international laws and such). I don’t recommend lettuce, though. Been there, done that.
May I include gore and galleons of (strawberry jam) blood?
Um, do you really have to ask? (Yes, you may.)
What will my gingerbread creation be judged on?
As I said above, baking skills are one of them, but the others include; creativity, ideas, execution (of your ideas; you
won’t might not get extra points for gingerbread beheadings), personality, LOL-factor, whoa-factor, a bunch of other factors, originality, and the very vague immeasurable concept of how your creation makes us feel, when we behold it in all its glory. And even though we split the prizes into categories, it doesn’t mean that that we’ll judge on that characteristic alone; it just means that we’ll value that trait extra high, when we sort your entries into one (or more) of the three categories.
Who will judge the contest?
I’m glad you asked! For one, I will. And I’ve also talked fellow fandom food-bloggers Diana of Fiction Food Café and Katharina of A Pretty Cake Machine into helping me, along with my baking- and cupcake-loving friend Em of Em Somerville Illustration. You can see some of Diana’s amazing work here, here, and here, Katharina’s delicious creations here, here, and here, and some of Em’s yummy cakes here, here and here. We all know how to bake, and we are pretty cool people besides, so there’s that. You just have to trust (or at least accept) our judgment.
Lastly, I just want to say that I would greatly appreciate it, if you would spread the word of this contest (even if it does diminish your chances of winning). Also, I’m calling dibs on the hashtag #geekygingerbread2016 for this, so feel free to use it to share your creations and/or frustrations! (What do you mean you can’t call dibs on the Internet?)
I’m so excited to see what you come up with! Happy Gingerbread Season!