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This is the name of the underground civilisation at Hetalia High. The civilisation is run by the Class Dwellers, who are spread across the different classrooms of the school, with their subgroups being known as the 'Subjects'. Each Subject's Class Dwellers play a different role within this society, which essentially allows for the Class Dwellers to run a small city within Hetalia High. Each Subject has a different version of the same uniform for its Class Dwellers, which allows each member to know who belongs to which Subject (and further allows everyone to know each other's special role). The most important thing to note about Class Dwellers is that they are Nocturnal, so they sleep when the Giants are at school and they are awake when the school has been closed off to Giants for the night.

Elementary has an underground beneath Hetalia High, that can be accessed by the Class Dwellers. The more elderly Dwellers tend to stay down there, and the underground web can connect up to the Subject's 'work' locations. While Dwellers could do their work down there, it's impossible to take all the resources from the school down to the underground, not without causing trouble. Also the tunnels aren't always ideal, with pests such as bugs and rats and so on getting into them, as well as the tunnel itself collapsing at times, particularly during earthquakes and other natural disasters that could potentially occur. The 'network' is also pretty difficult to navigate as there's hardly any light except in the main headquarters - however, there is no threat from humans themselvs here. The Subject areas can be thought of as 'the Dwellers going off to do their work', with their work areas being stationed within the school itself instead of underground.


Hey there! It’s time for the contest you OC creators have all been waiting for! It’s the OC Contest. In this contest, you have a chance of getting your character a role in ‘Elementary’! So if you want to know what ‘Elementary’ is all about, here is the information:


Lovino Vargas is a new student that is in his Senior Year at Hetalia High School, having spent previous years at different schools due to his family moving around lots. While other students are looking forward to bright futures and amazing new opportunities, Lovino is rather fed up with the world around him. He feels like he's seen it all and nothing is worth getting excited over anymore. The only person he really knows at this school is his annoying classmate Gilbert Beilschmidt, his annoying little brothers Feliciano and Serafino Vargas, and the rather mysterious Kiku Honda. As he spends more time at this school, he hears of rumours of things here and there being taken from the school and the idea that there are 'little people' running around the school. However, no proof has been given to really support these rumours, and Lovino himself is quick to dismiss the rumours as nothing more than stupid ideas.

But one day, this changes. After cleaning up the classroom on his own at the end of the day, Lovino somehow falls unconscious. When he wakes up, he's nowhere near the size he used to be. He meets a girl named Maricela, who welcomes him as the newest 'Class Dweller' in the world of 'Elementary'. But this world he's been introduced to... it's his own high school! This time however, he's experiencing it from new heights. Lovino isn't wanting to stay like this forever though, so Maricela offers to help him return to being what she calls a 'Giant'.

Bullet; RedBullet; RedBullet; Red

So what about the OC characters? Here’s the lowdown:

- Your OC will be some kind of Dweller. This means your character will either be part of a Subject or a Mall Dweller.

- If your OC counts as a Latin American, then the specific Dweller your character will be is a Mall Dweller. Click here for more details on Mall Dwellers. Also click here to see the mini description of Catarina, the owner of the Mall.

- Otherwise, your OC is a part of the civilisation known as ‘Elementary’. Click here for more details on ‘What is Elementary?’

- Everyone in Elementary is part of a certain Subject. Different subjects play different roles that keep the society going. Each Dweller is in a subject that best uses their attributes and strengths. You must know about the different subjects in order to decide which one suits your OC best. Do not base it off ‘which other characters are in this subject’, base it on your character as the individual. Click here for more details on the different Subjects. Clicking the link will also tell you about which Subjects the canon characters and my (:iconmelonstyle:)’s OCs belong to AND what design to use for your character, depending on which subject they belong to!

- It is important to note that none of your Dweller OCs will be interacting with ordinary humans (known as giants), with the exception being Lovino once he transforms into a Dweller. Know who are ordinary humans here!

Bullet; RedBullet; RedBullet; Red


You must read through this section carefully, as well as the rules. They are vital to your success in this contest.

Another helpful link would be this: the events that occur before the beginning of the doujinshi


  • You must draw a full body reference of your character. Go to the journal about Mall Dwellers to see the sorts of designs the characters have. The Mall Dwellers have more freedom with what they wear, so there is room for creativity here.

  • You must draw a panel in your fanart of your character interacting with either Carmen, Elisa or Manuel (at least one of those three). You can find references for their designs via the journal on Mall Dwellers - and the descriptions should be useful to check too, in terms of their personalities and stuff.

  • In the description, you must include your character’s name, nicknames (in case of multiple Maria’s or other popular names, etc), country/city/state/region name, age, personality and relations. (feel free to put the description on the image itself if you feel it looks better that way. Otherwise, put it in the description).

  • Personality: Give some detail. Tell me your character's strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, quirks, talents, flaws, etc. The more fleshed out your character is, the better. I want to get to know your OC as an individual. Do not put any mental disorders to your character, I find that sort of thing offensive for an OC that represents a place in the world, be it country, city, whatever. Just no. Just uh, no Mary Sues or Gary Stus, please.

  • Relations: Must include Cuba/Carlos, Colombia/Carmen, Venezuela/Elisa and Ecuador/Manuel. Feel free to use real life country relations to determine how well your OC would get along with these characters. Also feel free to include other Latin American country relations as I may get entries for other Latin American OCs. Also look up relations between your character and Portugal, as female Portugal Catarina owns the mall and knows all of the Mall Dwellers. Otherwise these Dwellers have no relations with humans. See the journal about humans/giants here.

  • OPTIONAL: Do you have any shippings you support for your OC? This can include shipping with other OCs, or with Canons. Just note that putting this doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily get the ship you want happening in the doujinshi, but I’m just curious to know.


  • You must draw a full body reference of your character. Go to the journal about the Subjects to find out which uniform your character would wear. (eg. England/Arthur is a member of Science, so his uniform colours would be the Science uniform’s colours).

  • You must draw a panel in your fanart with your character interacting with Maricela, my Philippines OC. Her reference is here. As she is in the Reception Subject, she can visit any of the other Subjects to do deliveries/passing on messages/etc.

  • In the description, you must include your character’s name, nicknames (in case of multiple Maria’s or other popular names, etc), country/city/state/region name, age, subject, personality and relations. (feel free to put the description on the image itself if you feel it looks better that way. Otherwise, put it in the description).

  • Personality: Give some detail. Tell me your character's strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, quirks, talents, flaws, etc. The more fleshed out your character is, the better. I want to get to know your OC as an individual. Do not put any mental disorders to your character, I find that sort of thing offensive for an OC that represents a place in the world, be it country, city, whatever. Just no. Just uh, no Mary Sues or Gary Stus, please.

  • The Subject: Pick the subject based on your character's strengths/weaknesses. Do not choose subjects based off the canon characters present in said subject, especially since Mel will easily detect the shipping bias you might be trying to pull, lol. Also, your character's uniform colour will depend on the subject chosen, so please see the journal on the Subjects to know which uniform colour to go with. You cannot apply for your character to be in the Geography subject.

  • Extra Subject: See the Subjects' page. It is optional for your character to do an extra Subject, which is essentially the 'extra curriculum', the jobs less necessary to fill.

  • Relations: Include the relations your character would have. Bear in mind what other characters are in the subject your character is a part of. Research real life country relations if it helps you work those out. Feel free to include relations with characters from other Subjects. By the way uh, cuz I know popular Canons are featured among the Class Dwellers, such as America and England, I don’t want to hear anything like ‘AMG ENGLAND IS IN LOVE WITH MAI OC!!!!111’ because otherwise I will burn your bedroom to the ground. 8I Aside from a few already decided exceptions, the Dwellers will not interact with humans - Lovino is the only 'human' they will end up meeting.


  • OPTIONAL: On the other hand, you are allowed to say something like ‘My OC has a crush on _____’ or ‘I like the shipping of my OC/Canon’. That doesn’t automatically mean your shipping will happen. Maybe onesided at the most? Also you can include OC/OC shippings, even make reference to my own OCs, seeing as they’re among the established cast.


  • You have a maximum of three entries. And yes, twin OCs count as two separate characters.
  • Only one entry per deviation. So if you enter three characters, you do a separate deviation for each, no chucking it all together.
  • You must make sure your entry is fully coloured!
  • You mustn’t enter other people’s OCs. Only your own characters!
  • Country OCs are allowed
  • City OCs are allowed
  • Region/State OCs are allowed
  • Fictional Places are not allowed! This is because people may try to just make up OCs and slap on a random name to pretend it's an APH OC, and I would rather be more definitive in these OCs being suited to Hetalia.
  • I refuse any OCs that have some kind of mental disorder. My personal belief is that it’s a really offensive trait to include. All other triggering traits in bios are to be avoided. Feel free to ask about this for further explanation.
  • Follow the guidelines for what you need to do for your entry. You can ask me if your entry has followed the guidelines.


I am only accepting a maximum of three characters per country! This means that because I have some of my own OCs in the project, there will be certain slots already full. The following character slots available are:

Luxembourg: TWO SLOTS LEFT
Philippines: TWO SLOTS LEFT

However, when it comes to city/region/state OCs, I will only accept one OC from each... so you better make your entries good. This means only one Alaska, one California, one London, etc etc, you catch my drift?


I really want the characters to be dynamic - so if your OC has a really interesting personality that could create interesting relationship dynamics with other characters (good or bad), then I will be taking more interest in those sorts of characters.

Bullet; RedBullet; RedBullet; Red


Here’s the lowdown. If your entry is great and the character is set to my standards enough, they will be accepted into the doujinshi. However, because of the Character Acceptance slots as described above, your character may miss out purely because other OCs of that nation had a better made entry. If I feel your character is problematic and therefore not the right fit for the doujinshi, I will not include them. So that means you really want to put effort into your entry.

Read the rules to make sure about certain things, like if your character is mentioned to have a disorder or whatever, because those characters will not be accepted.

Now, there are extra prizes to be won! You see, I will be choosing the top five entries to get the following prize:

- A starring role in the doujinshi! (aka your character will get more of a significant role for sure)
- 20 deviantArt points (could increase to a higher number if I get more cash to freely spend on points, ahaha)


The deadline for your contest entry is 31st December 2013. That means you have from now to the end of the year to complete your entry. Submit all entries to the 'OC Contest Entries' folder!


A huge thanks to all who entered, it was a really tough choice. But I felt these designs allowed me to get a pair and show similarities between the male and female designs, they're unique without being too complicated, and for the dwellers who'll be moving around a lot I think they'd work well with it. Also I can alternate between different uniform colours easily! CB
First of all, in case you haven't suspected already, I am about to begin another rant. So be prepared. This time, it's about the infamous BBC Sherlock American ripoff called "Elementary."

I must say that I am usually quite proud to be a citizen of the United States of America. I'm proud to be in this country: even if its citizens can sometimes be stupid and ridiculous. But I also have to admit that I have never been more disappointed of a handful of my fellow Americans until this day. I mean...really...what is this crap?

Here, this is the first CBS trailer for "Elementary" on YouTube. You should go and watch it if you haven't already:…


Ok, now that you're back, we can begin. I'm going to go through every single bit of this trailer...I'm literally going to comb through it, and point out every single thing that I find wrong with it. This is not gonna be in any order of importance...or, I guess, of the strength of my offense. It'll just be as the problems come up. Here we go.

1. The Music
Yes, that's right, people. Before anybody in the trailer even BEGINS TO SPEAK, I have already found a problem with it. The beginning song - the violin melody - is too reminiscent of BBC Sherlock, ACD Sherlock, and ENGLAND IN GENERAL. They wanted to transpose it to America, right? Well that is definitely *not* American music, I can tell you that. On top of that, it's corny and strange. But it doesn't end there. A few scenes later, the music abruptly switches to some 80s hard metal rock song. Which is American, but not at all even remotely Sherlockian. Really. The changes in their theme is giving me whiplash already.

2. The Accents
Even though these people claim to want to put Sherlock in a modern, American setting...HE STILL HAS A BLOODY BRITISH ACCENT! HE IS STILL FROM ENGLAND! ...What the--? You cannot even imagine my reaction to this. There is many levels of hypocrisy to this fact that I don't even know where to begin with peeling them off. If Sherlock is still British, then everything CBS has been trying to do has been a stupid lie! Throughout the entire trailer, they say, "We want to make an American Sherlock." Guess what, idiots? If you grew up in England, and you have an English accent, and you WORKED FOR BLOODY SCOTLAND YARD (which, by the way, I will get to in my next point), just because you moved to America for a handful of years does not make you American. We do not even know if Sherlock has citizenship! And he obviously still thinks of himself as British. When I thought of an American Sherlock, I thought of one with an *American* accent. Not a British one. It's like, they're blatantly copying off British TV, then they try to say that their idea is original, and then they go and make one of their main characters British again. It's like, WTF?

3. Gregson, Sherlock, & Scotland Yard
Like I mentioned before, Sherlock - and now Gregson (and I assume Lestrade will come in at some point) - is more British than American in this show. This completely throws their entire point off course. Not only are the 2 of them *British,* but they also worked for Scotland Yard. Just like canon, and just like in BBC Sherlock. Do I really need to say anything else in this point? No? Yeah, I think you got it.

4. The Coat and Scarf
Yeah. It's true. The bastards took the Cumberbatch Look. They have blatantly stole the black, swooping overcoat - it is exactly the same, I swear. And instead of having a *blue* scarf...they have a red one. Aww. Isn't that sweet? The cute little Americans are original! :iconjohnhahanoplz: I am not amused.

5. Watson's Gasp
When the body in the safe-room is revealed, a woman who is clearly Watson turns away with a horrified gasp. *sigh* Even in this convoluted version, it's been established that Watson is a doctor - a surgeon who went to med school, if not a practicing doctor. From what I can assume, they also made her an army doctor. That means that she has seen her share of bloodshed. In canon - and BBC Sherlock - Watson is rarely fazed by dead bodies: and especially not violence and blood. He's a doctor, for God's sake! Shouldn't it stand to reason that this shouldn't unnerve the fem!Watson (as I've dubbed Lucy Liu's character) as much as it did? This may not seem like such a big point, but it could foreshadow a "weak, helpless, feminine Watson," who just falls into Holmes's arms because he's the masculine, distant hero and all that crap. Which is just ridiculous. Watson needs SPUNK to deal with Holmes - whether that character is male or female, it doesn't matter. They need to be strong. And I really don't know how the hell fem!Watson is gonna deal with her new life with Sherlock Holmes when she can't even handle a little blood. It certainly won't be easy. I mean, come on: I've seen fem!Watsons in FANFICTION who have been tougher than this version.

6. "Sometimes I Hate It When I'm Right"
...In what universe would Sherlock Holmes EVER say this line. Please. Somebody tell me that. Sherlock is famously - or sometimes infamously - a character who is arrogant, cool, collected, brilliant, and above everybody else. And he takes no shame in having absolute glee when he is right and somebody else is wrong. So, tell me, what in God's name would ever make him say a line like this? I mean, really? A *modest* Sherlock? What the--? I can't even...ugh. Sherlock is a show-off! And he prides himself on being so! End of story.

7. The Font
Yeah, that's right. I'm even gonna take a hit at the font of the title of the show. I mean, come on. It's almost the exact same way that "Sherlock" for BBC is written! They probably, legitimately used the same font. The only thing I can seen that is different is the L, and if you think about it, that could just be a ploy (and probably is) to make it seem that they AREN'T copying BBC Sherlock in everything. Which they are, by the way. Also, the whole background of that "title page" looks suspiciously like the pictures in the theme song for Sherlock. The microscope...petri-dish...etc. Coincidence? I think not.

8. Their Attempts To Make it Sound Original
During every single interview of the cast and crew, there was a distinct emphasis on the fact that it was modern day Sherlock IN AMERICA. I checked. Every single one of them said it. The director, the crew members, the cast...every single one. If you just ignore the utter hypocrisy for a second, you can see that the reason for this is because they're defensive. Because they know that they're copying a better show, but they keep trying to shove the supposed "originality" down our throats. The actor who plays Sherlock repeatedly claims that the fact that Watson is a woman makes this COMPLETELY different from any other rendition of Sherlock. Which is, of course, bull. If you just forget about the fact that Elementary is obviously a ripoff of BBC Sherlock, this is not the only rendition of Sherlock Holmes with a female Watson. Take the show Monk, hmm? Sharona Flemming and Natalie Teeger? They were so obviously the female Watsons to Monk's Holmes. For God's sake, Natalie even goes out and blatantly SAYS that in the series! And look at House as well: Wilson may obviously be the Watson character, but there are around 6 other main, supporting female characters that could also be considered a Watson figure. Cuddy, Thirteen, Cameron, Adams, hell, even Chi! And BBC Sherlock? Watson may obviously be a man, but there's also the character of Molly, who could also be considered a strong supporting, "Watson-like" character. The point I'm trying to make is that having a female Watson DOES NOT make their show original.

9. Sherlock Shirtless: A Blatant Plea for Viewers
You see this ploy everyday. You take a man that's relatively good-looking, and then you abuse that attractiveness by taking off his shirt in every scene. You try to lure the teenage girls in with muscles and a rough face. You know what? For half of BBC Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch has nothing on but a purple bath robe. And so many people - teenagers and adults alike - are in love with him and his character. Half of that love is because the man is just a plain god in his sexiness. But the other half is the brilliant way in which he plays the character. I mean, if BBC Sherlock asked me to go out with him, I would probably just die right there: partly from those cheekbones, and partly because of the harshness and depth of his eyes. But I digress. My point is that other adaptations of Sherlock - including ACD's canon - don't need a good-looking Sherlock for people to love him (although I have to admit, it does help). Obviously the producers of "Elementary" think that their version *does* need to be good-looking for him to succeed (which means that they probably haven't developed his character correctly, from what I can tell). And if he's good-looking, American logic dictates that he therefore MUST have his shirt off in the very first trailer that they air. We've seen this with Jacob in the Twilight Saga, for god's sake. I mean, yes, the man is buff. Yes, he is hot. But in the first 5 seconds of Breaking Dawn: Part 1, he already has his shirt off! That's just metaphorically beating the dead horse: and I believe that this is what they're doing.

10. The Tattoos
Also in that scene with the shirtless Johnny Lee Miller/American!Sherlock, it shows that he has tattoos. Many tattoos. As in, all the way up and down the shoulder and back tattoos. Now, I don't know if the actor has tattoos, and he just didn't want to cover them up with makeup, or if it was too difficult, or if it was a decision by the producers. But I must ask you this: can you see Sherlock Holmes going somewhere as rundown and pointless as a tattoo parlor? To get such a ridiculous thing? I mean, really? I can't see it at all. And CBS, if you're trying to make your Sherlock out to be a "bad-boy," I'm gonna tell you right now. It's not going to work.

11. Watson's Medical Malpractice
Now, this isn't stated directly in the trailer linked above, but I do know from another review of someone who read the script that in this version, Watson received a dishonorable discharge because she committed medical malpractice. This is why she says to Sherlock in the trailer, "I'm not a doctor." ...Now, do I really need to explain why this is terrible, horrible, and just all around bad? I think not.

12. Phone vs. Camera
In the BBC version, Sherlock constantly uses his phone for many reasons. To look up information, as in A Study in Pink, or to text John, also first seen in that episode, and for various other reasons. He also uses it on crime scenes. Now, in a scene at approximately 1:50 in the video, i noticed that Sherlock is carrying a digital camera. A ripoff of BBC's phone idea? Obviously. An attempt to incorporate modern technology into their version that hasn't already been taken by Moffat and Gatiss? Definitely.

13. "Detective Javier Abreu"
This character is obviously another ripoff of BBC Sherlock. This time, of its well known and hated character, Anderson. The actor who plays this man states outright that his character doesn't like Sherlock. And we can assume that Sherlock doesn't like him in return. Remind you of anybody? Yeah. I thought so. Now, Anderson has appeared once as a minor character in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories by somebody could argue, I suppose, that they got their inspiration from there. But this Detective Abreu is obviously a pretty major character, like Anderson in BBC Sherlock. And the Constable Anderson in ACD's canon was nowhere near as important: he appeared in only one story, after all.

14. The "I'm Sorry," And The Strange Interpretation of Sherlock's Emotions
After American!Sherlock is arrested for supposedly busting Watson's car, he and Watson are on the phone in the jail cell, and he not only apologizes for doing it...he's EMOTIONAL about it. Again, I say, in what universe of believable Sherlock Holmes adaptations would this happen? I mean, in BBC Sherlock alone, it took Sherlock 5 episodes - which spanned like, a year, basically in the show time - to admit that Watson was his best and only friend, in the Hounds of the Baskervilles. And before and after that, he still was rather harsh and cold to Watson...yet in a way that still clearly spoke of their friendship. They're polar opposites...yet they compliment each other so well. Sherlock is cold and distant; while Watson is emotional. They're the perfect balance for each other. In the American version, it's completely different. It seems as if Sherlock is the emotional one who's almost begging for forgiveness...and Watson's the cold and distant one. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? I mean, there is no way that is not weird. How can you have a modest, emotional Sherlock Holmes? It just doesn't work.

15. The Feel of the Show...It's Just...Off
When I watched BBC Sherlock for the first time, I felt something click inside me. I watched that first episode and said to myself, "This is absolute genius. The writers are amazing, the characters have been adapted perfectly, the actors and actresses are completely brilliant, and the modern twist has been applied superbly." I literally fell in love with this show at first sight. Everything about it is just...right. And when I first read A Study in Scarlet, the first one of ACD's canon...I again felt something click deep inside. And the same when i saw Jeremy Brett's movies, and even Robert Downey Jr.'s American films. There's something perfect and loyal and beautiful about every single one of them. But as I watched this trailer...everything just seemed...really off and odd. At first, this perplexed me. I thought that it was just my judgment about all of the things I found wrong with it - including all the other 14 points above, and the fact that they stole it from Moffat and Gatiss. So I went back and watched the trailer with no bias whatsoever. I just tried to imagine this being a show that I have no prior knowledge of the premise whatsoever - a "Sherlock Holmes never existed" scenario, if you will. And I still got that same feeling. So I went to a friend of mine who is well-versed in ACD canon, but hasn't gotten into BBC Sherlock yet (I've been waiting until summertime to "break her in," so to speak). I showed her the trailer. And she agreed with me: there was just something *off* about it. It doesn't have a "Sherlock" feel to it at all! This point is difficult to explain...because it's something that you'll have to feel for yourself. If you take all the points I just made away...if you just look at it as a TV show in its purest form...I still don't like it. I still hate it because it's just plain bad. There's no other way to say it. If you take everything else away...I still truly wouldn't like it, just because it's not good in a general sense. The actor who plays Sherlock isn't very good, and while I have a great respect for Lucy Liu, I just don't think she plays this character well. And they don't have any chemistry at all! And the deductions that Sherlock makes? They don't seem very good as well. He's too calm while he's deducing. He's supposed to be excited, happy, smug, ANYTHING. But in that first scene...all he does is drop a marble, calmly say some things to Lestrade, and then say that he sometimes hates when he's right. How does that make any sense, I ask you.

In conclusion, my fellow Sherlockians say it all: on YouTube, the trailer has already gotten 3000 dislikes. Which definitely overpowers the mere 1700 likes it got. In addition, I'd just like to name a few Facebook comments I saw on the show's page:

~ "Unfortunately, this is rather dull. There is no chemistry between Holmes and Watson. I don't see anything that other detective shows haven't already done. Will be skipping this."

~ "They don't seem to play off of eachother at all. Also, why isn't Joan the tough millitary professional we all have grown to love? Y'know that women can be tough too, don't you CBS?

~ "'Sometimes I hate it when I'm right', said no decent adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, ever."

I rest my case.

~ YecatsCullenLOTR
  • Mood: Repulsed
In this news article: Results of LaMonaca’s Workshop:  Punctuate with Purpose|:star: poprocksandcharlotte’s Workshop: ‘It’s elementary, my dear Watson; Crime writing and formulaic principles’ :star:|Happy Birthday Writers-Workshop! |First time you have heard to Writers-Workshop? This section is for you!

Results of the LaMonaca’s Workshop!

A word from Writers-Workshop ...

Firstly a HUGE thank you to LaMonaca for hosting what has been a rather encouraging and thought provoking workshop. In fact, as you will see below, LaMonaca has written two extensive discussion guides based on the results of this workshop. They’re an excellent read for anyone who writes poetry, no matter where your strengths lie.

The was a wonderful slice of critique again, in particular GrimEden deserves a mention having commented and critiqued on a large percentage of the entries with some quite in depth critiques. We would also like to thank everyone who did take the time to critique- we do try to encourage those who submitted to look at everyone else’s work too because that is kind of the concept of a ‘workshop’.


LaMonaca’s responses  

I commented directly on a few of the pieces, and I wrote up this two-part guide based off the submissions:

Punctuating Poetry Part One


Punctuating Poetry Part Two

Insofar as the "official" results are concerned:

I couldn't have asked for a better, more diverse pool of submissions to choose from when creating a general commentary on punctuating poetry.  There aren't any official rules for punctuation and poetry, and there aren't even any set guidelines, so I've found the most success by erring on the side of practicality - and that's the way I teach.

That said, there were several spectacular submissions, and I'd like to congratulate Imperial-Obsession for really taking some risks with punctuation, KrystalIce for keeping it interesting and reminding us that punctuation can be fun, CyberPhantom for a little bit of grammar humor (Go Gangsta'!), and Drunken-Splice for digging deep and experimenting with formatting options that really challenged how certain lines could hold or lose their punctuation.

However, I felt I hate chicken wings, by ilutiern, was the strongest entry in regards to practical punctuation.  That doesn't mean there weren't other strong entries - because there were - but I found the least to say and the most to praise when reviewing ilutiern's choices.

Thank you to everyone who participated.  It was a wonderful experience, and I hope the writers (and the watchers) got as much out of the workshop as I did.



poprocksandcharlotte’s Workshop: : ‘It’s elementary, my dear Watson; Crime writing and formulaic principles’



poprocksandcharlotte started writing when she was eight, encouraged by her second form teacher to embrace the words  and challenge her reserved nature.  Language and expression faced the back burner, making appearances in the sixth and eighth form, due to her perusal of the traditional arts (she was accepted into an advanced art program at twelve).
An avid reader and occasional prose writer/poet, she sped through educational course work and finished her HSC English with a band 6 grade (Top 5% percentile) and several tongue in cheek references from year advisors.

Maikaduriel introduced Jes to the world of deviantArt and so, Eroala was born; to this day, she is still undecided on how to pronounce her first incarnation. Her first station was PoetryPlease (Poem-of-the-week)as a general poetry critic, Eroala gained momentum as a decent critic and a PoliticsForum regular; later on, she became affiliated with LitFFS.

poprocksandcharlotte was originally an alternate prose account and transformed into a fulltime handle only after some encouragement.  Jes was one of the main patrons of damnLit until its closure by a third party and is now the proud co-owner of Trashrock.

Jes works as a customer service representative and part time academic tutor. She has just completed the penultimate year of her undergraduate degree. She lives on the East Coast of Australia, in a beach shack with male like people and a nest of magpies that wake her up in the morning.  She has had over twelve different jobs in her relatively short life, ranging from assistant horse-riding instructor to McDonalds drive through.

She also babbles. Alot. ;)

It’s elementary, my dear Watson; Crime writing and formulaic principles.

When one mentions the formulaic genre of crime, it is generally greeted with varying reactions that range from toffee nosed scoffing to giddy excitement.  But this is not a discussion about what is considered high or low culture.

The purpose of this workshop is to develop your understanding of what crime writing is and the various sub genres that it encompasses. Hopefully, by the end of this relatively short tutorial, you will have some understanding of the differences between hard boiled crime fiction or say, gangster crime; we will even cover aspects of writing a thriller.
Now, crime writing does not refer to any book that contains aspects of crime writing within it; I should say, conversely, that crime writing includes specifically pieces that centralise around a particular crime(s) and its eventual resolution (or no resolution at all, depending on your approach and whether you intend to subvert the genre). The transgression needs to be central to the plot and furthermore, the structure of the piece itself.

Crime writing is essentially plot driven, like most formulaic writing (think of pieces like, The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – essentially a detective piece).  Since crime writing is plot driven, it follows this structure:

:bulletblue:Set-up (identifying which crime has been committed and introducing the main
characters and protagonist, usually a detective of some sort),

:bulletpurple:The story progression (the investigation, complicated by various sorts of

:bulletblue:The crisis and denouement (the revelation of the perpetrator and what happens to
him or her, plus any necessary extra explanation), dictate the other elements of
the narrative.

However, take into account that within this frame work, there are other conventions that apply to both traditional crime stories, and modern crime writing. Your piece begins with a central event that is absolute; the crime. Imagine now, that your story starts to zoom out like it does in the movies, as the suspects walk into the scene, giving your story more layers and introducing intricacies. This can be as complicated or as simple as you like, depending on your piece. This continues as more information comes to light, the picture becomes clearer and the audience is able to connect a few strands of evidence if not all until it comes to a final and another absolute factor, the criminal or criminals are found and assumedly, persecuted.

Remember: Plot conventions are not exclusive; even the most stringent formulaic writing carries within it the potential to create webs of intricacies. The only limit, is your imagination and ability to write with continuity.

By now, you’re hopefully thinking, I can do this! Bring it on, and all of those other enthusiastic catch calls. Great, but before you off on your hunt for clues, let me draw your attention to a deviation dedicated to exploring in brief the  main subgenres of crime writing, so that you can select which one you will be writing within for my workshop. I will expect you guys to actually read this, as it is essential for the task I am about to set you.  Yes, there is homework and you will be tested :P

Deviation Link: poprocksandcharlotte.deviantar…

Your Mission, should you choose to accept it:


Write a prose piece that employs at least one of the formulaic genre’s outlined in the deviation, identifying in the author’s comments which genre(s) you opted for and why. Describe how you think you succeeded and failed in your task and the best/worst thing about writing in a formulaic convention. If you decide to purposefully subvert any of the genres, describe how you think you’ve achieved this.
Everything is up to you. Twist me around and turn me on my head, thrill me and keep me guessing until the final words.
Length: Up to you. Ideally, submission of 800-1500 upwards would be grande.


Just because you’re a poetry monkey doesn’t mean you have to be left out. Simply write a piece employing the elements of any of the genres and you’re on your way to a winner.

:bulletred:Simply write your poem, submit it as you would usually and answer me these questions. What genre(s) did you adapt your poetry to and why?

:bulletgreen:Do you think you’ve succeeded? Is the tone identical to what you want it to be?

:bulletred:How does it reflect crime writing conventions?

How to Submit

After submitting your entry as a new deviation or scrap, send us a note with a link to your piece. Include the subject line "ELEMENTARY" in your note. The deadline is midnight 26th Novemer 2008. All times are set for GMT. poprocksandcharlotte will respond to the entries on 30th November.

:star: Due to the delayed start of this workshop, we will accept late entries up to an extra 24 hours.

A note from Writers-Workshop Please note that this is a Free for all workshop, meaning that we will accept both poetry and prose entries. Proofread your work before you send it in so that grammatical and spelling errors are minimal. And most of all have fun with it!

:postit: On Accepting Critique

:bulletblue: Always thank the critic. This gratitude must be as sincere as possible, even if you did not like the critique given, because the critic has taken time to offer his/her opinion of the piece.
:bulletblue: If you do not like the critique, it is not necessary to mention so. Simply thank the critic and move on. You can always ignore their suggestions, while not making a scene of it.
:bulletblue: If you are unsure of what the critique means, feel free to ask the critic what s/he meant. Building rapport with your critic is one of the best ways to survive in a workshop and to learn. If you want examples, ask. Similarly, if you like the suggestions given, mention it. Critic's have feelings too. :)
:bulletblue: In the unlikely case that a critic offers rude/sexist/racist/etc comments, feel free to contact Writers-Workshop in a note and we will try to help you. A decision regarding the rudeness of the critique will be taken, and if we're not sure ourselves, we will consult with one of the GDs or anyone else high up on deviantART.

:postitHappy Birthday to us!

Would you believe it a year ago this week, lovetodeviate and BeccaJS put their heads together and brewed up the workshop you see now? Since then we have had 26 workshops, 375 deviations submitted- that is an average of 14 deviations per workshop!

Although an official newsletter is on its way out, we would just like to take the time to thank every single one of your for your constant support, participation and even submitting, critiquing and hosting. We are forever grateful for your efforts and sincerely hope you will stick with us for the next year and beyond.

So, here is to the next year!

:postit:First time you've heard of :devWriters-Workshop? This section is for you.

Writers-Workshop is a literature community that focuses on the development of a writer. We intend to provide a non-competitive workshop environment on dA, as well as to push good, polished writing over winning prizes or "networking".

Workshops will be conducted every fortnight; prose, poetry and free-for-all sessions will be rotated. For more information, read our FAQs section or note us with queries.

:bulletblue: We have been working on a list of resources for our writers: Resources for Writers which we think is worth going through. We are open to suggestions as well. :new: This will be updated before the end of the year!

:bulletblue: Our Diary has a list of upcoming workshops.

:bulletblue: You canhost a Workshop , too! We’re actually booked for workshops up till the beginning of February, but will welcome advanced workshop ideas.


:iconbeccajs: :icongaioumonbatou:
I would like to take a moment to talk about the tragety that's hit the USA today. A armed suspect went into an elementary school and opened fired. 20 children and 6 adults were unnecessarily shot down today.... These things are horrible. No one should have to die like this. Expecting an innocent school day, only to go through hell. Especially Children. Children don't deserve death. A parent should never have to lay their child to rest.

RIP all you lost souls...And to the shooter, may whatever afterlife that may or may not exist have mercy on your soul.
The concept of taking the world's greatest detective out of his Victorian era setting and dropping him into 21st Century London shouldn't have worked. It should have failed as miserably as I thought it would.
Hooooo. Was I proven wrong on that one.
The scant six episodes of Sherlock contain some of the best material the BBC has ever produced and proved that the detective can work his deductive wizardry in any time period.

Which is probably why CBS have gone all Chinese and are ripping it off.

When I heard that there was going to be an "American version" of the show; the eye twitched but didn't bat. This happens, and often HAS to happen. A show must fit with the scheduling, and US series are a lot longer than those on British TV, so things have to be stretched.
THEN I learned that it's NOT a remake of BBC's Sherlock, but a brand new series called "Elementary", which is "radically" different because it's set in New York.
Unsurprisingly, the Beeb are a bit miffed by this.

In this, wholly original, modern version of Sherlock Holmes, the great detective will be played by Jonny Lee Miller, and Watson will be played by.... Lucy Liu .....

…. Wait, what?
  • Listening to: Booming Orchestral Scores
  • Reading: Edge
  • Watching: Whitechapel
  • Playing: Minecraft
  • Eating: Fajitas
  • Drinking: Water

[Assignment: 1st Semester] Elementary Division

Journal Entry: Thu Feb 26, 2015, 7:51 PM

How the Assignment came to be:

It's the first week of the new semester! The teachers were finally ready to scrape the brains of their students, dump them into a blender, and hopefully, juice them up! . Of course, that is-- metaphorically speaking.

Mr. Dante hasn't been lucky for the Month of February especially last Valentines Day. Besides the pastries he received from the highschool sweetheart "Alex Lee" (which Dante actually cried about), Dante felt gloomy for not receiving more than that---- NOT TO MENTION NOT A SINGLE ONE FROM HIS CHILDREN THOUGHT OF HIM THAT DAY. The hair teacher wailed in despair, dangling himself over a window.

"Look at them.. not caring about a single thing in the world. It's criminal to be cute and not share love to those in need (<----me)." he sighed as he watched over the students playing around the academy gardens.

And suddenly--- he realized something! "I'm a teacher now." MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA. He laughed in a maliciously manner, sending shivers to the students he was watching over. Amon-sensei scooted even farther away from Dante's ominous aura while Mr. Takei turned in defensive mode, dodging and whacking away Dante's 'deadly' flying hearts.

After the Elementary Class' daily lesson, Dante stood up and clapped his hands to get their attention.
"//grins widely// All right, my little patoots. Before I dismiss you, I want to announce a special assignment!"

Assignment for the 1st Semester

by: Mr. Dante Vargas
Alice Chocolate Cakes!

Scenario: Bake a cake that will incorporate your Alice.

Assistance from students from higher divisions/teachers is optional.

(Options: The finished product, the process of baking the cake, or a picture of the after-effects of eating your cake. But if you have something more creative in mind, go ahead.)

(Please send me your WIPs via note!)

(Assignments may be drawn or a written composition. If you're going to draw it, don't forget to write what will happen if someone eats your cake!)

Deadline for this assignment will be a week before Grading Period (12th of May, 2015)
Note me/Comment below when submitting your assignment.

Grading will be based on creativity, effort, punctuality and the amount of love you can give sensei.

If you have further questions, Please note me or comment below.

"//whispers to seatmate// Do you get it..?"

"But I don't know how to bake a cake, Dante-sensei. //teary-eyed//"

"What is... 'incorporate'"? //scratches head//"

"//squeals// Can I eat the cake??? //eyes sparkle//"

Dante claps his hands once more to silence everyone.
"Don't worry! You are allowed to ask an adult or an older student to help you!! (because I'm pretty sure most of you can't even reach the top of a sink...) And you have a lot of time to prepare a beautiful cake so put all your hearts into it and BAKE, BAKE, BAKE!"

:star-empty: - No Assignments Completed
:star: - Assignment Completed and Graded

(Only submit your works via comments on this journal, If not your exam will be considered a WIP and your grades will not be updated.)

:powerstar: by NeslugCurrent Class Cards::powerstar: by Neslug
Fujikawa,Megumi :star:
Hayashi, Ken :star:
Iyasu, Yuuka :star-empty:
Jones, Skye :star:
Katsumi, Mia :star:
Kazama, Lei-nad :star:
Kurayami, Kou :star-empty:
Mogami, Elari :star-empty:
Sazuka, Greenie :star:
Yukimura, Kiku :star:

:powerstar: by NeslugCompleted Assignments/Wips:powerstar: by Neslug

[AA] Kiku's Assignment : Chocolate Cake PT1 by GreenTeaC[AA] First assignment! by Slimi-kin[AA] Assignment: Chocolate Cake by LaraSweetHeartElemntary assignment 1 Ken's cake by Chibisasoriz1Ken's cooking puppet by Chibisasoriz1 AA: Assignment 1Skye tried her best to keep the cake mix in the bowl. The mixer in her hand was in a tight grip. She was spilling cake mix everywhere. She looked over at Vanessa who smiled awkwardly and nodded. Skye began to him softly before jumping off the crate she was standing on.
"It's almost ready~!" She said happily, taking Vanessa's hand and leading her toward the mixture. Vanessa took a good look at the mixture. It was doughy, simply from too many eggs, floor was little, and to top it off her little cousin had put whole cherries in it. "Isn't it pretty?"
"Yeah, it's so, uh, unique." Vanessa said with a nervous chuckle. Skye took this as a good sign and helped herself back onto he crate. She mixed it up a bit more, making Vanessa blanch behind her. She then jumped down with the pan and stuck it in the oven.
Vanessa had already preheated the oven for her, all Skye had to do was keep an eye on it. Skye then turned back to her cousin and smiled widely. "I can't wait to have you taste it~!" She ch
[AA] Elementary Assignment #1: Megumi Bakes a CakeMegumi stood in front of one of the counters with a small frown on her face. She wanted to try her best to complete her first assignment, but she was having some doubts because she knew this would be the first time baking on her own. She slowly rested her chin on her right hand while resting her elbow on her left hand. She seemed to be in deep thought. I have plenty of time to bake a cake. About three months... But I want to bake it today. Hm...
That's when she remembered what Dante-sensei said. "Oh. I have to incorporate my Alice while doing it..." She raised both of her arms up and stretched, being quiet to not disturb the others. She then placed her hands on each of her sides and grew a determined expression on her face. Alright, Megumi. You can do this~ Megumi slowly looked around for the things she needed to bake. Let's see... A plate, two bowls, a round pan, ingredients, measuring equipment, grease... She looked at the cabi

And we were reading this book in class.

She was talking about how if we didn't know what a word meant we could use the context of the passage.

This kid asked, "What does 'venison' mean?"

The old lady said, "Who can tell me what that word means?"

So I raised my hand and said, "It means 'deer meat.'"

But then she asked, "How do you know?"

I got really confused. "I... um... saw that word in another book?"

"Did you use the context of the passage?"

The passage literally was something like "The soup had maize, venison, and all sorts of vegetables in it"

So I said, "No."


"Well the dictionary said that venison meant 'deer meat'..."

"Well you won't always have a dictionary at hand. That's why you have to learn how to use the context of the story!"

What a perfect example of the American school system, am I right?
Welcome, welcome! I'm sure you've all been waiting very patiently, yes? Or impatiently. Gomen if you waited impatiently. I hope none of you went on a murderous rampage to pass the time while I thought these through.

Now there are just a few things I want to say before I announce the results.

:bulletred: I was judging characters on many things. Art style has nothing to do with who get chosen over others, so please don't assume that it was the biggest factor. No, what mattered to me the most was the following:

- the character's personality: did they seem interesting to me? Could I see potential on what could be expanded about the character in this doujinshi?

- how the character interacts with others: integration is the most important thing! What can also bring out a character's qualities is the way they interact with those around them. That's why I really wanted to see people talk about relations within their own subject... and I am big on dynamics.

- what is it about them that I'd want to give them more screentime in this story: do I see them contributing heavily to major plot points? Could they possibly have their own interesting subplots? Maybe they could add strongly onto the plots between the already integrated characters? That sort of thing is somehow I wanted to strongly consider, because it's not just about fitting them into the AU, but figuring out how they participate within the AU.

:bulletorange: Just because your character isn't announced as one of the 'stand-outs' or is more towards the middle of the pack...

- it doesn't mean that I dislike you or your character

- it doesn't mean your entry was bad

- because seriously, there were no 'bad entries'

:bulletyellow: In fact, I was actually really happy with the entries I got for my contest as a whole! Many of you have impressed me... I will say it now: Mall Dweller OC entrants, give yourself a major pat on the back. With less to work with compared to the Class Dwellers, you guys did fantastically. But that's not to say there weren't Class Dweller OCs that I really liked.

:bulletgreen: Please don't go asking me questions about why I chose or didn't choose an OC as a stand-out or whatever. It's not a discussion I want to have. See the orange bullet point, okay?

:bulletblue: Remember what I said about the character limits. Country Maximum is 3, including my own OCs of whatever the countries are. Any other kind of OC gets a 1 character maximum. That doesn't mean I'm going to accept the OC though, I just didn't want to have so many OCs of a particular country and leave other countries looking blank.




Every single OC gets to exist in the world of Elementary. Yup. You heard me. So even if your character isn't 'accepted' as a notable character, you'll probably see your design used as a background character or something. Remember that Elementary is a society and thus there'll be numerous faces - Lovino definitely won't be meeting up with each and every character, you know! But I'll try and give every character a line or two, lmao.

So yeah, that's good news number one!


Now these are the characters I have chosen to accept! These characters will get dialogue, get interaction with others, maybe contribute to a subplot or maybe even a main plot!


:iconlittle-red-coat: * Puerto Rico / Maritza
:iconpoi-rozen: * Belize / Nicolao
:iconmiistessa: * Venezuela / Carla
:iconflopylopez: * Argentina / Agustina
:iconlkeiko: * Honduras / Ana
:iconneehima: * Costa Rica / Vanessa
:icontunsem: * Uruguay / Maximiliano
:iconx-i-l2048: * Costa Rica / Pacifica
:iconnerdyjones: * Mexico / Raquel
:iconrussane: * Nicaragua / Jose
:iconx-i-l2048: * Nicaragua / Luis
:iconlkeiko: * Guatemala / Iztali
:iconinahorange: * Costa Rica / Jose (in this AU, he shall be referred to as Jo)
:iconkamillyanna: * Panama / Maria
:iconnorie-tan: * Guatemala / Hermano
:iconlkeiko: * El Salvador / Angel


:iconpoi-rozen: * Vikesland / Ted
:iconadventvera16: * Spratly Islands / Yasmin
:iconkirinkv: * Timor Leste / Mirari
:iconartizonial: * Redonda / Nina


:iconfu-tatsu: * British Columbia / Alexis
:iconangelliyesmadirector: * Tuguegarao City / Aideen
:iconprettyangel93: * Florence / Florenza


:iconmerujii: * San Marino / Luciana
:iconjasminocat: * New Siberian Islands / Nikita
:iconcookiekrio: * San Marino / Sofia
:iconangelliyesmadirector: * Metro Manila / Felicita


:iconpoi-rozen: * Greenland / Aputsiaq
:iconsymphano: * Sicily / Rosalia
:icontwerkomatic: * Arkansas / Isabel
:iconsigalawin: * Manila / Jose (he shall be referred to as Ricardo in this AU)
:iconnorthmoonalaska: * Alaska / Sedna
:iconadannaya: * Andorra / Camille
:iconaph-slovenija: * Republika Srpska / Lejla


:iconms-regionnaire: * Sicily / Elvira
:iconanimafreak0714: * Owen Sound / Julia
:iconthe-alternate-rocker: * Niue / Maiga


:iconaph-repblicofireland: * Ireland / Aisling
:iconprojectsakuramagic: * Philippines / Amihan
:iconarivetti: * Sochi / Vera
:iconcolors-of-fire: * Indonesia / Kirana
:iconartizonial: * North Korea / Kyung Soo
:iconmelodic-enigma: * Israel / Shira
:iconneehima: * Macedonia / Emilija
:iconbambj: * Croatia / Tamara (but her role is going to be super secret! She won't be with this set of Class Dwellers at first, I'll put it like that)
:iconadannaya: * Montenegro / Annica


:iconyurri1234: * Paris / Fleur
:iconlullabydance: * Leipzig / Josef
:iconnorie-tan: * Faroe Islands / Eydis


I've decided not to announce the specific characters who are the stand-outs. Of course, if a username is mentioned here and they only did one or two entries, then you could probably take a guess at which OC it is, lol.

But these are the entrants whose OC/s I see potential with and want to expand more on, who are more likely to be contributing to the plots in this doujinshi! Each of them will be given 5 points, ahaha-- (sorry but I couldn't settle on a top 5, so I hope you don't mind this! quq)

so here is the list!

:iconlittle-red-coat: :iconpoi-rozen: :iconms-regionnaire:
:iconadventvera16: :iconmiistessa: :iconaph-repblicofireland:
:iconprojectsakuramagic: :iconmerujii: :iconcolors-of-fire:
:iconflopylopez: :iconlkeiko: :icontunsem:
:iconx-i-l2048: :iconnerdyjones: :iconartizonial:
:iconcookiekrio: :icontwerkomatic: :iconmelodic-enigma:
:iconsigalawin: :iconkirinkv: :iconnorthmoonalaska:
:iconbambj: :iconadannaya: :iconkamillyanna: :iconnorie-tan:

all in all, really great job, you guys! Congratulations to everyone and thanks so much for joining my contest! Who knows, maybe I'll open another contest later in the year... :iconheplz:

Gonna start my doujinshi sometime after I return home! (which will happen in less than 24 hours, ahaha)
This is a response to Uintah's Elementary School's stupid-ass policy, enforced by Salt Lake City District spokesman Jason Olsen, having school lunches taken away from children because of lack of fundings. LACK. OF. FUNDINGS?! Kids wait in line with their trays of food ready to sit down and eat because they have been sitting in classes the entire morning, and have become extremely hungry. I find it pretty fucking appalling when a cafeteria cashier or a staff member of the cafeteria takes the child's lunch, throws it in the trash, gives them milk, and a piece of fruit to eat. ALL BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T PAY?! WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO FREE LUNCHES?!! THESE KIDS NEED TO EAT! BECAUSE YOU'RE MAKING THEM WORK IN THE CAFETERIA IN ORDER TO GET THEIR LUNCHES, THAT IS GOING ONE STEP TOO FAR! I CAN UNDERSTAND IF IT WAS A HOMELESS PERSON WHO WAS WANTING TO GET SOMETHING TO EAT, AND THEY WORKED FOR THEIR MEAL, BUT NOT MAKING A CHILD WORK JUST SO HE/SHE CAN FUCKING EAT!!!

  • Mood: Pissed Off
  • Drinking: Water