Event E2/Proposal lizperk23

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Sea Shanty Sing-Along
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Pirates will compete in a two part process to create original Sea Shanties and take them to sea, in a combined writing/screenshot contest.

Player Profile Timeline
Audience All pirates of all oceans, with specific appeal to writers and artists. Elapsed time Three weeks plus two days (February 24-March 19)
Unit of Entry Individual Entries Participant Time Varied, dependent upon how much time individuals choose to put into their entries; individuals will have two weeks plus two days to submit their entries. (February 24-March 12).
Expected Participation No limit on participation, likely between 15-40 Judging Time Judges will have five days to complete their individual assessments of entries (March 13-17), after which point the Event Planner will tally the scores, and post results on either March 18 or 19.
Platform Forums


Event Description

Pirates will first write original Sea Shanties, using the traditional “Call and Response” scheme of the Shanty. The initial forum post will offer Pirates historical information about Sea Shanties, including links to relevant articles. Pirates will also be given the specific rhythmic/meter information that differentiates Sea Shanties from other songs and poems, as well as an example. Shanty entries should be between five and fifteen stanzas.

But Shanties aren’t sung in a vacuum! After writing their shanties, Pirates will logon and take screenshots of themselves singing their shanties on a boat that is at sea. (The entire shanty need not be represented in the screenshot—one chorus or one verse is acceptable). The Screenshots may be presented as taken directly from the game, or they may be doctored/edited using photo editing software*, but they must be full, complete screenshots so that judges can verify that Pirates are aboard ships at sea. The window in the upper right corner of the YPP client shows a ship's position at sea (or port). Pirates are welcome to “teach” their shanties to crewmates, hearties, etc. to help them create their screenshots. Creativity will be rewarded by the judges. Screenshots may be taken on any type of boat, and these boats need not be owned or commanded by the entrant, but the boat must be at sea. Navy boats are perfectly acceptable. Once they have completed both parts of the task, Pirates will post both their lyrics and their screenshots (within the same post) to an entry thread in the Mariner’s Muse section of the YPP Forums.

  • Please see notes under workshop coaching about this, because I’ve been debating back and forth.


Judges will independently score each entry in four different categories. Judges will award a score of 1-5 for each of the following categories: Rhythmic structure of the Sea Shanty (Shanties were used primarily to help sailors find and maintain a group rhythm when faced with strength tasks, i.e. hauling rope, so the rhythm of the lyrics is of utmost importance to the form); Overall effect of the Shanty (Creativity, Grammar, Spelling, Imagery, Story, Use of Refrain, etc.); Overall effect of the Screenshot (Creativity, Use of Shanty lyrics, subtlety of photo editing, etc.; Overall combined effect of the Shanty and the Screenshot (How do the lyrics of the shanty inform the screenshot? How well do they work together? How well has the Pirate merged both parts of the contest into one overall entry?)


Ideas for prizes: First place—Conch Trinket, to demonstrate musical superiority; Second place—Renamed Sloop (Singing Jobfish), upon which to sing shanties and haul ropes; Third place—Anchor, to represent all the ropes hauled at sea; Fourth place—Scroll and quill, to practice the scribing of sea shanties; Fifth place—Plain chair, upon which to rest after such hard work.

Help Required

Volunteer Assistance

I will need to find a panel of 4 (possibly 5) judges, who will score entries based on the categories above. Ideally, this panel of Pirates would span the four oceans.

OM Assistance

Providing stickies for relevant threads throughout the Event (one in Events, and one in the Mariner’s Muse); if deemed OM-worthy, assistance with trinket prize, and possibly ship rename.

Workshop Coaching

I have a couple of questions/areas in which I know I need help from the Mentors (and anyone else with an opinion). First, with regard to the screenshot portion of this contest: I have been debating as to whether the screenshots should be straight from in-game, or whether photo-editing should be allowed. My original concept for this was for screenshots to be originals, because I want this event to be a merging of a literary Forum event with an in-game application. I realized, though, that I for one wouldn’t necessarily be able to identify a screenshot as original or doctored. Furthermore, when I saw the picture created by Benzene265 in the Shore Leave thread “So Cleaver Did Ye Really Say This?”, I realized that there are many Pirate artists out there who have photo-editing skills who would enjoy the artistic challenge of manipulating screenshots. My questions is, does this reasoning make sense, and how can I continue to clarify this section?

Secondly, with regard to judges: I would like to have a panel varied by ocean, ideally consisting of pirates who have some knowledge about poetry, in order for them to be able to aptly judge the Rhythmic Structure category. My personal contact with Pirates from oceans outside of my home ocean (Viridian) is rather limited, so I might need to request help from the Mentors in suggesting appropriate judges.

Finally, with regard to prizes: The prizes I have listed are just my first ideas, and I would welcome any other insights and ideas of prizes to award. If selected to run this event, I would also have some practical logistical questions about how prizes are awarded.


Previous Similar Events

My forum search did not reveal any event like the one I propose. I was unable to find a substantive Shanty Lyrics contest, and the Screenshot contests I found (most notably, Cleaver’s, Nemo’s, and the Halloween Contest), were rather different from the Event I propose here, since the screenshot depends entirely on the Shanty that has been written by the entrant. If I’m incorrect, I would appreciate links to the previous events, and possibly ideas to help me make my event unique. Since I’ve only been playing YPP since July of 2005, and on the forums since September of 2005, I don’t have the historical knowledge to rely on.


I have not run any events within YPP to date, though I have covered logistics in RL for various events. I have participated in a variety of forum events since September 2005, which have provided insight as to the necessity of clarity with regard to the event itself as well as the way the event is communicated (rules, etc.)