April 18, 2021, 08:54:38 AM

Author Topic: What to do about the writing contest?  (Read 43808 times)

Offline Bender

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2020, 12:44:35 AM »
Do we have a say in theme?
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2020, 07:51:49 AM »
Do we have a say in theme?
Not yet this month, no, sorry. That's what 'no changes' means.
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Offline ryanmcgowan

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2020, 12:39:23 PM »
Right! I will 100% have an entry completed for this months! *Sets mind to it*
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Offline Bender

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2020, 02:27:32 PM »
Do we have a say in theme?
Not yet this month, no, sorry. That's what 'no changes' means.

Np. Looking forward to the thread!
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Offline xiagan

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2020, 09:27:25 PM »
Yeah, well. Due to the forums disappearing into another dimension for over two weeks, we couldn't use March to talk about the new writing contest. Therefore we'll have a normal theme for April and start the discussion about how to change the contest to make it better sometime in the next days. See you then and there. :)
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Offline JMack

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2020, 01:51:16 AM »
Yeah, well. Due to the forums disappearing into another dimension for over two weeks, we couldn't use March to talk about the new writing contest. Therefore we'll have a normal theme for April and start the discussion about how to change the contest to make it better sometime in the next days. See you then and there. :)

A normal theme,  heh heh. Das its lächerlich.

Darn, I missed the poll. I’m unsure what I’d say. Hmm.  A few thoughts.

I love the contest structure and themes. But, maybe some tweaks:
A. With so few stories these days, we could relax the word length rules, say to 2,500. Or do so anyway , even if we build up again.
B. Vote on the theme.
C. Maybe there’s a C. I’ll probably think of a C.

We need more folks, so we need to do some of:
A. Post in the Facebook group
B. Offer a $25 amazon card as long as we have 8 (or whatever) stories
C. Run a joint month with fantasy-writers.org or other contest sites
D. Advertise somehow (say, what? Just spitballing, here.)
E. Ask members with published books to guest judge; plus we vote

But most of all, I just appreciate you guys very, very much. Thank you for running this for 6+years or whatever.
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Offline hexa

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2020, 01:55:27 AM »
autumn2may posted in the Facebook group about this site, recently.  She posted that the site was back up again.  A few people discovered this forum

Offline xiagan

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2020, 10:33:32 PM »
Okay, we still didn't manage to discuss the future of the contest with you. Sorry for that! We are working on it, though. And when I say "we" I mean Bea is, so you know this time it will really happen. ;) Thanks for your patience and enjoy the new theme!
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Offline isos81

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2020, 10:01:39 AM »
B. Vote on the theme.

This. Most of the time I can't find anything to write with the current theme. A poll would be great :)

But most of all, I just appreciate you guys very, very much. Thank you for running this for 6+years or whatever.

And certainly this. Thanks again for the hard work.
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'Yes' said Caladan Brood. 'You never learn'

Offline xiagan

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #39 on: May 03, 2020, 11:38:32 AM »
Quote
B. Vote on the theme.

This. Most of the time I can't find anything to write with the current theme. A poll would be great :)

And certainly this. Thanks again for the hard work.
There are lots of problems with this we should discuss (in the new topic) before we try to implement this. I'm not against democratic processes but, to just name three, it blows up the whole process, it takes away the element of surprise and it gives people a different amount of time to write the story. I'd be more in favor of other ways of participation for getting new themes.
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Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2020, 03:41:04 PM »
As someone who's been away for a few years and not participated in the Writing Contest for more than that, I'll try to keep my thoughts more generalized.

What we're really trying to discuss, I think, is how to drive new writers into the contest. Yes, regulars are wonderful -- being one, I'm biased -- but new kin is the lifeblood of any social media platform. It's no surprise that forums have waned in the past five years, and this one is no different. The question is: how do we overcome this obstacle?

Yes, we could have more interaction / collaboration in the writing contest process, ie. picking the theme, changing up the word count per month, offering raffles, and commit to more readers and critiques from members. However, I think that misses the overall point. How do we draw in new writers, not to have more traffic to the contest, but to the forum in general?

Many of us have noted the top-down problem with the forum for years. I won't go into too much detail, but overhauling one aspect (writing) on this forum might do it some good, as many of the Facebook group consider us solely readers. Again, thinking broad and not solely tied to the writing contest so bear with me, what if we introduced a board for serialized fiction? There, members could post their own writing -- outside of the writing contest limitations -- for a much larger crowd. This could integrate the reader / writer dichotomy on this forum and ease in newcomers more. I've participated on a serialized forum many moons ago, where that was the main draw, but writing permeated every aspect of that place. Food for thought, and perhaps not the best place to continue this discussion here. Still, something to think about. I've thought much about how we could drive traffic and cultivate more members without having to rely on the website or facebook page, for obvious reasons, and I keep coming back to serialized fiction.
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2020, 04:35:23 PM »
when I say "we" I mean Bea is, so you know this time it will really happen. ;)
;D

Sorry, I've also been very slow, it's getting there. Lots of optinions and ideas to filter through...
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Online J.R. Darewood

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #42 on: March 30, 2021, 08:25:16 AM »
Okay guys, so maybe I'm a year late to the conversation, but I was super excited to see all the participants from all the ages weigh in, and I got kinda jealous and wanted to throw in my 2 cents.... even if it's way too late

I was always a now-and-then participant. I'm a slow writer, have intense boom and bust cycles of workload, and have terrible time management skills, so participating *every* month was never possible for me even on the best of days.  It kinda takes up all my writing time for the month.

I dropped off b/c I came to stay with my parents at the beginning of the pandemic and they occupy every second of my time in a kind of psychotic way. Like I don't eat or sleep and when I crash from exhaustion they're like "where have you been all day".  Like weird co-dependent 100% inefficient slave labor. It's been a problem with them since I can remember, its the main reason I avoid them and always avoided coming back to where I was born for more than 1 week at a time. I've talked to them, tried to set a schedule ("give me x hours of time for me to work on my own projects each day"), had angry outbursts.... but here I am decades later and our relationship has the exact same dysfunction it always had (over Chirstmas I would go on "walks" every day so I could go somewhere and cry where they couldn't see me) and it will only end when I pick up and leave, which isn't happening rn b/c I need to help care for my mom who's recently gotten cancer and has some legitimate needs mixed in with all the crazy unreasonable demands.

So yeah, I basically have had zero bandwidth (and time really) to do *anything* and I mean *anything* Like zero things have been done in the last year. Zero. I measured it and my productivity is 10%, and it's completely and totally a result of the time-consumption of being in the orbit of the parents.  So I'm saying it's not you, it's me. Like, my life is a giant fucking toilet. When (if) I do get free of this situation/prison/hellscape, I have a commitment to getting my novel revised from the comments from the last beta, so that would put a damper on contest participation as well.

As for the why of the writing contest, lemme lay out some things that I think us writers value:

A) Fun and community.  Writing contests are a great way to make writerly friends and it's just fun
B) Skillbuilding. Writing is good practice.  That said, without a reaction/feedback element this is pretty stunted tbh. Feedback/responses are tricky b/c writers are a neurotic, salty bunch.  If you say anything other than "This was absolutely brilliant" a lot of us will either get severely depressed or angry. So not having feedback is good for peace, but bad for getting to know what worked and what didn't and growing from that.
C)  Cred.  This is a big one.   Some of us (uhhhh.... me)  have zero writing credits. Getting pubbed on the main site was a great way to say "hey someone else thought my work was good enough to publish it somewhere" which can then go into a querey as a prev publication maybe as a place your work was shown that had some kind of circulation.  That said, the big one is *paid* writing credits, in terms of having some kind of meaning. Even if it's 2 cents, having gotten paid makes a huge difference on a writer's resume.

So in terms of increasing traffic and interest.... as a skillbuilding thing I think it's important to remember that this isn't like scribophile or something with a very focused writing community of writers doing writing exercises all over the place like a gym for writers or something, so it doesn't quite have the same energy (or quantity)

I think feeling like what you've written could go somewhere and be seen by people is a good draw. There's been talk of anthologies or whatnot which I think has potential, but if you don't have some famous writers in the anthology, it's pretty much guaranteed not to sell, and even the best our winning stories I think could really use a lot more work and polish to reach their full, publication potential.

I know there was some discussion somewhere of having like an annual champion or something. One weird thought I had was something like a tournament, where the winners from x-many months (10? 6?) get to revise their pieces (maybe to an expanded word limit of 2k or 3k or something if they need it)  and there's some big high profile event where we drum up interest from the facebook page in coming over to vote on the stories.  And then maybe we could recruit one of the published authors that pop in here now and then to judge a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd from the top three, and if they like them enough maybe eventually they might be willing to post the winning story on their personal webpages after a year or two of being involved.  Okay, maybe my fantasy got away from me there. I have an active imagination.

Just some thoughts.

Late thoughts.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 08:27:39 AM by J.R. Darewood »