May 21, 2019, 07:57:34 PM

Poll

Should contest winners be ineligible to win the next one or two contests?

Yes, two months is fair
0 (0%)
Yes, but one month is enough
1 (5.6%)
No, there is no reason to change the rules like this
15 (83.3%)
I don't care
2 (11.1%)

Total Members Voted: 18

Voting closed: October 20, 2016, 01:09:22 PM

Author Topic: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?  (Read 11485 times)

Offline xiagan

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Hey all,

@tebakutis approached me with some thoughts about the contest.

One thing I have noticed (and in some cases, people have actually asked about on voting threads) is that, because we have some very talented writers as regulars, we already have some cases where people have won the contest multiple times. My concern with this is that people who notice this trend, consciously or unconsciously, might be discouraged from writing a story or entering because they think "Oh, so-and-so is just going to win again". I worry new people might become intimidated if we have too many regulars, who are also talented writers, piling up multiple wins.

So! My suggestion would be a simple rules update: basically, when someone "wins" the contest, they become ineligible to win the next two contests. They are still absolutely welcome to submit a story [...] but these stories would not be an option in the voting thread [they would be a bonus]. Only [stories submitted by] authors who hadn't won in the past two months would be eligible for voting.

I think this would do a couple of things. People who do the contest mainly because they simply love writing could always submit, even if they won previously - and to make this more palatable, getting pitched as a "bonus" story is a nice way to congratulate them again for winning the prior month. However, this would also "open up the field" a bit and (hopefully) encourage folks who might not be fully confident in their own writing to take a shot. I'm thinking a case like "Hey, Rukaio_Alter" won last month, and he's off the ballot for two months, so I'm totally going to write that humor story I've always wanted to write and submit!

The reason I suggest a two month cooldown for the winner, instead of a one month, is to further spread the thrill of winning around to more writers. As an example, let's say Jmack last month's contest (potions!) and Lanko wins this month's (pirates!). That would mean both Jmack and Lanko would be out for the next one, hopefully giving another new writer [...] additional incentive to submit.

I agree that this may motivate writers who haven't won a contest yet but I'm not sure if it would demotivate those of you who did.
Since I'm a fan of democratic processes, it's a poll again! :D

Note: The poll is only to get a general picture of your opinions. Since everybody (even people who don't write, read or vote in the contests) can vote, I'm giving more weight to the discussion below.

Thank you, Eric, for thinking about ways to improve the contests and for participating in them! :)
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 01:22:46 PM »
I voted no
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Offline Raptori

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Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2016, 01:27:33 PM »
We haven't won a contest, and while the idea does have some merit I think it'd be a negative overall for us. Then again, I'm always in favour of fair and equal competition, and anything involving handicaps automatically makes me less interested.

The only potential unfair advantage that could possibly exist in the contest as is would be people voting for the writer rather than the story, and to be honest I highly doubt that happens at all (incidentally, still think it'd be cool to have all stories anonymous for a month to see how that feels).

Keep it as is for me!
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Offline xiagan

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Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 01:30:33 PM »
Forgot to mention that the last five contests were won by two users.
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2016, 01:36:23 PM »
Still no, the other writers should just see it as an extra challenge plus when there do win it be more satisfying.
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Offline Raptori

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Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 01:48:16 PM »
Yeah doesn't change anything for me.

What percentage of regulars have won at least one contest? Pretty sure it's rather high!

Edit: according to this thread and this thread, it breaks down as follows:

Number of regulars: 25
Number of regulars who have won: 13

So roughly half.  :)
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 01:54:39 PM by Raptori »
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Offline Peat

Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2016, 02:09:04 PM »
Nah.

Although it would be intriguing to see if there was any change if every story was posted anonymously.
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Offline night_wrtr

Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2016, 02:10:27 PM »
Interesting idea, but I lean toward Eclipse in that it makes me want to try all the more to beat someone who may be a regular winner. If I were to win a contest(  ;D haha... :'( ) in which someone was not allowed to win, I would have mixed feelings because I would wonder if I really would have won had that person's story been in the running.

I would rather let them enter to challenge us all to grow as writers. It forces us to give it our all. The contest is full of so many talented folks and I give credit to them all for helping me to get better.

Offline night_wrtr

Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2016, 02:12:53 PM »
Nah.

Although it would be intriguing to see if there was any change if every story was posted anonymously.

Agreed, and this is part of the reason why m3m is a rockstar and makes a version of the kindle e-reader with titles only so that you can't tell who submitted each story.

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2016, 02:14:30 PM »
Nah.

Although it would be intriguing to see if there was any change if every story was posted anonymously.

It be fun but we would all know Arcane and Nora entries ;-)
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Offline Nora

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Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2016, 03:23:44 PM »
Nah.

Although it would be intriguing to see if there was any change if every story was posted anonymously.

It be fun but we would all know Arcane and Nora entries ;-)

Whoa. I don't know if I should feel honored or offended. I mean... I'm flattered to have a recognizable voice, but I somehow have the feeling that this is a simpler reference to Jmack's quote signature?

 ;D

Anyway, I voted no.

Not because I don't find regulars over-winning frustrating, but because I think it'd be utterly unfair, and not a rule you'd find in any other larger tournament.
Competitions out there with prize money and publications tend to prevent you from submitting if you're too famous. So if we wanted to keep this amateur only, we could request that people don't enter if they have had enough serious pubs and maybe have a book published conventionally.
But then, ours was never an amateur contest but a community one. So why change that?

Besides, I think we have the same people being voted for because their style and story appeals more to some, in a small community of voters. The more newbies arrive, the more tastes we'll have, the fairer the judgement. It's a matter of making ourselves bigger, not more restricted!

In the end, if a story wins by a pure landslide, because they were clearly the best plot, best prose, best whatever, and everyone clearly thought it was worth voting for, you'll give the prize to the person next in line, and X many votes short, for the sake of giving mental cookies?
If I were awarded best story in the shadow of a previous month winner incapacitated, I'd feel bad and probably feel no great sense of achievement. I don't want to be cheated from my wins, nor anyone else, even if it means never getting any wins at all.
Last I checked, the publishing world was a savage, depressing jungle. We can't be handing out participation prizes, we're a small community. You get the chance to have your story criticised and read and peer reviewed, you get to learn by seeing how others handled the same topic, etc.
 
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 03:37:29 PM by Nora »
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Offline m3mnoch

Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2016, 03:41:39 PM »
Besides, I think we have the same people being voted for because their style and story appeals more to some, in a small community of voters. The more newbies arrive, the more tastes we'll have, the fairer the judgement. It's a matter of making ourselves bigger, not more restricted!

so totally this!  we're inclusive around here, not exclusive.


personally, this is what i think about the options here:

1) we leave it the same -- voting feels sort of self-correcting with multiple winners.  i don't know for a fact, of course, but i would guess that voters are like "oh, they've already won a couple months now so, even tho i would totally vote for them, i'm going to vote for other people."

i can't predict the future, but i would hazard a guess that it'll be a while before tebakutis wins another.  just like jmack and rukaio haven't won another.

but, from a voter standpoint, it sure would be nice if there was no mental overhead to voting for stories based on fairness.  (because we LOVE all our writers!  not just the 'usual suspects' and want to see the succeed!)  we could just pick the ones we liked.


2) we don't let the winners participate -- this totally disincentivizes our best writers to participate or write quality stories.  if they aren't on the voting page, their stories won't be in the official annals of the contest, they might as well just post them to the critiques section of the site.

or, just not write them at all.

which, of course, will kill entry inertia which will hamper the contest over time -- especially if you acknowledge that we're basically saying, at two months penalty, "each contest will have two fewer entrants".

i predict eventually dwindling to zero entries.

also, what if we try it, and it turns out we hate it?  what happens to the stories we'll have missed out on?  what if a winner would have gone two or three in a row, but doesn't because rules?


3) we do everything anonymously -- sure, there are a few writers that have a strong, consistent voice and are pretty recognizable, but that's part of the fun.  i love reading the "no authors" version of the ebooks BECAUSE i like to guess at who wrote which.  (even tho my success rate is probably a miserable 1-in-5)

to me, this is the most interesting one.  especially now that we have the mechanism (the anonymous user) to support it.  tho, selfishly speaking, it'd mess up my automated ebook thing by making everything anonymous and making me want to re-generate the books with the correct names.

also, it's interesting because it's pretty easy to test in isolation -- just for a month -- unlike the other options, which take a few months to see how they shake out.

and, a BONUS THOUGHT!
4) eligible for voting, just not winning -- so, what if we kept all the entries, everyone could vote for whatever they wanted, but we just ignore the previous month's winner if they're in the first spot?

this has a couple effects:  a) it allows the top-vote-getter inner kudos even if they don't technically get the win and b) doesn't artificially inflate "down ballot" stories because our voting biases typically take a vote away from a popular writer and give it to a story we don't technically like more.

BONUS THOUGHT TWO!!
5) incentivizing the rest of the board to vote -- what if we offered coins to voters?  what if we bumped the member's post count for voting?  what if, for every contest you voted in, you were entered in a drawing for a book to be given away once a quarter?

even crazier?  what if all of that happened only if you picked the winner?

game theory insanity!

anyway . . .

for me?  none of the above really matters.  i look at the contest differently than lots of our writers, i'd bet.  i like the fun, the camaraderie, and especially the practice.  looking back over the past 18 months (the time it's been since i decided i was going to give this writer thing a legit try) and my writing has improved dramatically.  i've learned so very much and it's been almost exclusively due to the writing contest, the writing groups, and the rest of you writerly people.

however, this is my favorite place on the internet ever -- and i've been on the internet since 1992, back before the www and we were all about gopher and bbs -- so, i don't want any permanent changes messing things up permanently.  (tho, i honestly don't see that happening)

that being said, i love trying new things.  let's try something new and fun!  let's see what happens!

this could be exciting!


edit:  bonus thought three!  what if we enabled the facebook group to vote in the contest?
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 03:58:53 PM by m3mnoch »

Offline ArcaneArtsVelho

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Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2016, 03:45:09 PM »
I think that such a rule would demean the value of a win. (Even more so if there was a bonus entry that was clearly way better than the winning entry.) So, a firm 'no' from me.


Nah.

Although it would be intriguing to see if there was any change if every story was posted anonymously.

It be fun but we would all know Arcane and Nora entries ;-)
Please tell me what gives my stories away, so I can change it.  :)
(Unless it's because I'm almost always last or second to last to submit, in which case I'm probably not going to change it.  ;D )
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Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2016, 04:10:23 PM »
When I first heard about this I thought it might be a good idea, but after reading all your comments, I don't like it anymore, hehe
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Should a contest winner be ineligible to win the next contest(s)?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2016, 04:20:30 PM »
When I first heard about this I thought it might be a good idea, but after reading all your comments, I don't like it anymore, hehe
(sorry Eric!)

Haha, no worries! Obviously, my concerns were unfounded. :0