August 22, 2019, 12:11:58 AM

Poll

Should the stories for the October Writing Contest be submitted anonymously?

Yes, let's try this out! (Submit the stories when you get them.)
10 (47.6%)
Yes, let's try this out! (All stories should be submitted on the last day of the contest.)
3 (14.3%)
No, the contest is good as it is and the option to anonymously submit exists for those who want to.
8 (38.1%)
I don't care.
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Voting closed: September 29, 2016, 05:47:37 PM

Author Topic: Anonymous Submission  (Read 17856 times)

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2016, 05:48:39 PM »
heh.  while i like the sentiment, i'd probably find a different quote author.

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/09/marissa-mayers-legacy-at-yahoo

for the non-nerds in the group, marissa mayer took yahoo from 'on the decline', to 'a smoking crater of utter destruction'.  she's no susan wojcicki tho, fo' sho'.

Offline Nora

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2016, 11:47:31 PM »
Just because something seems bad doesn't mean it's going to be good just by forcing ourselves through it.
Maybe the people who believe in it will like it, and the newbies who have never known anything else won't know any better, and maybe others will dislike it and not join in it. No pretty quotes will change that outcome, or make me feel more upbeat about it.
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Offline xiagan

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2016, 08:44:42 AM »
I don't understand why you are so negative about trying out something for one month?
It's nothing with a permanent impact and I don't think being experimental is a bad trait in a writer...

We are talking about anonymous submissions for years (not continuously of course), and can't know how it will be unless we try it. It may not work at all and everything you said may come true and it will be boring and/or a disaster - well, that's something that can happen with a bad theme too - and it doesn't matter much because next month's theme will be different.

Your arguments are well reasoned for a permanent change but in my opinion they are a bit over the top for just trying something out.
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Offline Arry

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2016, 10:10:53 AM »
Just because something seems bad doesn't mean it's going to be good just by forcing ourselves through it.
Maybe the people who believe in it will like it, and the newbies who have never known anything else won't know any better, and maybe others will dislike it and not join in it. No pretty quotes will change that outcome, or make me feel more upbeat about it.

Convincing yourself how bad it will be before even giving it a shot doesn't mean it will actually be bad (for those that are open enough to give it a fair shot) or that it is a poor decision to try the format.

Xia is right, this format has been discussed/mentioned for years, I remember it being mentioned when I used to enter the contests (which is maybe 4 years ago?), and I've seen it proposed since then as well.

If the trial month is so stressful, you could always sit out a month and see how it goes for everyone else.
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2016, 10:49:23 AM »
How can you improve your craftsmanship if you keep your work private for the whole month? Would you still be able to ask for advice from other writers because if you do the anonymous would go wouldn't it?

I don't mind anonymous for a few months a year but I don't think I would like it permanently.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 10:51:24 AM by Eclipse »
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Offline Raptori

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2016, 11:55:09 AM »
How can you improve your craftsmanship if you keep your work private for the whole month? Would you still be able to ask for advice from other writers because if you do the anonymous would go wouldn't it?
Are you asking whether it's ok to ask someone for feedback via pm/email/whatever? Don't see why that'd be a problem! Not sure what that has to do with writing craft though.

Sorry if that's not what you meant.  :o
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Offline Nora

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2016, 12:50:32 PM »
How can you improve your craftsmanship if you keep your work private for the whole month? Would you still be able to ask for advice from other writers because if you do the anonymous would go wouldn't it?

I don't mind anonymous for a few months a year but I don't think I would like it permanently.

I think Eclipse is referring to talking about your story in the general chat thread, which I maintain would probably be a bit weirder if we were kept from making references to our stories there.

I don't believe that anonymous publication would alter the way I write. I've sent things to magazines. I compete against people I don't see or know, I don't see the votes, all I know in the end is that I didn't win. It doesn't alter the process of me writing a short story, it doesn't make me a better writer, it doesn't make me experiment. It makes you guys experiment as contest organizer though, for sure.
Which can be good anyways. People seem pretty divided about it, best way to find out how we feel about it is to try it out.

Again, to answer you both, I've said several times that I don't mind a month trial, and my arguments are only directed at the prospect of a permanent change. Of course doing things different for a month can't hurt!
My last post here was only in answer to the motivational-image posted, so was mostly me being mildly irritated, sorry I didn't want to sound like I was rehashing it all. 
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Offline Raptori

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2016, 12:59:56 PM »
my arguments are only directed at the prospect of a permanent change
A prospect you've invented entirely on your own.
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Nora

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2016, 01:21:29 PM »
my arguments are only directed at the prospect of a permanent change
A prospect you've invented entirely on your own.

Well, thanks for making me sound like a paranoid member of the forum. I'm sorry, we were all talking and voting about a change to the contest that ought to be at least several months to appreciate, since it involved keeping people from winning over a certain course of time. Then we digressed and talked about making the contest anonymous, with several people, besides me, having arguments that were directed toward the "general" idea of anonymous posting. Only when we opened this topic did things become about trying it out for "October".

I don't think anyone would truly mind trying things out for a month, if it was only for the sake of the one month. I'm pretty confident in saying that all people who voted no are mostly doing so out of concern that such a trial might be adopted after that, like the absence of liking was, for several months.
But I believe we all may rest our fears, now that we know that they are only the product of my personal delusions.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Raptori

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2016, 01:30:00 PM »
my arguments are only directed at the prospect of a permanent change
A prospect you've invented entirely on your own.

Well, thanks for making me sound like a paranoid member of the forum. I'm sorry, we were all talking and voting about a change to the contest that ought to be at least several months to appreciate, since it involved keeping people from winning over a certain course of time. Then we digressed and talked about making the contest anonymous, with several people, besides me, having arguments that were directed toward the "general" idea of anonymous posting. Only when we opened this topic did things become about trying it out for "October".

I don't think anyone would truly mind trying things out for a month, if it was only for the sake of the one month. I'm pretty confident in saying that all people who voted no are mostly doing so out of concern that such a trial might be adopted after that, like the absence of liking was, for several months.
But I believe we all may rest our fears, now that we know that they are only the product of my personal delusions.

Right from the beginning of the previous discussion:

incidentally, still think it'd be cool to have all stories anonymous for a month to see how that feels

Nobody was talking about changing things permanently. Just about trying different formats for the contest to see whether it makes it more fun for people or not. As the others have mentioned, the idea has come up multiple times in the past, and it's always been referenced as a "we could try it for a month or two" thing.
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2016, 02:27:21 PM »
also, we should note:  anonymous doesn't mean top secret development.

sure, if you tell everyone which story is yours, that's kind of violating the spirit of the exercise, but so does asking for suggestions from the other competitors for an entry to defeat them during a contest.  i guess what i'm saying is that since we've all been treating this writing contest (to my absolute pleasure) as a giant, super-inclusive writing club exercise each month where everyone helps everyone, i don't see why that would change.

we do this for fun!

if people figure out which story was yours?  meh.  that's just fine!  if you don't care?  meh.  that's just fine, too!  if you want to throw out dodges and misdirection?  bwahaha -- you're evil!

besides, it's not like we can't identify your writing if we REALLY wanted to.  i just did some lexical analysis on stories from me, jmack, and tebakutis to see if it could tell us apart.  short answer?  yup.

Spoiler for Hiden:

as an example, this is one of the results comparing jmack and tebakutis.  both author1 and the "super-secret unknown anonymous" author was jmack.  author2 was tebakutis.



so, i'm fairly sure that if you've ever entered a contest, i can apply objective data analysis and figure out which story is yours.


also, as a selfish side note, i personally can't submit an anonymous entry unless i con a bunch of other people into doing it too.  it'd be SUPER-CONSPICUOUS if the guy who's entered (does a quick count) 16 contests in a row(!) suddenly dropped out for a month.  but, hey!  look!  some anonymous entry showed up that has lots of exclamation points in it!

*shrug*

just sayin'.

Offline xiagan

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2016, 02:51:06 PM »
I might have misunderstood you, Nora, and am glad that you are not opposed to trying this once!

Be assured that a permanent change to anonymous submission would need lots of strong voices for it and a poll with at least a 2/3 majority. Not gonna see this happen. :)
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Peat

Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #42 on: September 26, 2016, 03:20:17 PM »
When I made the suggestion post-Raptori's post in the other thread, I was thinking permanent actually. I can't bring to mind what everyone has said on the subject but a quick scroll down and Arry refers to it as a trial month - apologies if this is putting words in her mouth, but that seems to point to the idea of there being more, or even a permanent change, if there is a success.

I certainly don't get what the point of doing it for a month is if there is no prospect of adopting it. That seems to be change for the sake of change, not change for the sake of making the competition more newbie friendly. I don't see how you can draw a reasonable conclusion one way or the other just from a month.

In any case, I voted no.

Offline Raptori

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2016, 03:33:09 PM »
When I made the suggestion post-Raptori's post in the other thread, I was thinking permanent actually. I can't bring to mind what everyone has said on the subject but a quick scroll down and Arry refers to it as a trial month - apologies if this is putting words in her mouth, but that seems to point to the idea of there being more, or even a permanent change, if there is a success.

I certainly don't get what the point of doing it for a month is if there is no prospect of adopting it. That seems to be change for the sake of change, not change for the sake of making the competition more newbie friendly. I don't see how you can draw a reasonable conclusion one way or the other just from a month.

In any case, I voted no.
IMO, if the trial month is good fun, then it should become a regular thing - an annual anonymous month for example would be pretty reasonable, similar to the annual fanfic month and possibly an annual flash fiction month - but not permanent in the sense that it completely replaces the normal way of doing things. The only situation where it should replace it completely would be if everyone wants it to, and it had proven to be a huge improvement in general, which just isn't going to happen!
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Anonymous Submission
« Reply #44 on: September 26, 2016, 04:38:47 PM »
@m3mnoch, have you done your analysis thing on the anonymous submissions of the last couple of months?
I'm just wondering if those were regulars or newbies...
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