December 04, 2020, 11:13:01 AM

Author Topic: What to do about the writing contest?  (Read 31678 times)

Offline Carter

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2020, 10:35:22 PM »
It's been a fair while since I've posted at all (I have been voting though), and longer since I entered the contest, but I really can't ignore this thread. 

The biggest thing for me that attracted me to this site and the contest (I would say forum but I've been exceptionally guilty of rarely posting anything beyond contest-related stuff - but that's just me) was the exposure.  What kept me going through story after story was the excitement in the threads over topics, ideas, and the informal (and more formal) feedback we would get. 

Some of this seems to have dwindled.  The exposure is quite a stark one.  Beyond the handful of voters (I assume mainly the writers but I know there have always been several avid readers), there's little sense that anyone reads the stories.  And some of them are frankly amazing.  I doubt there have been (m)any I would consider undeserving of a vote.  As others have already mentioned, getting more attention to the contest would go some way to reinvigorating it. 

As would a much quicker turnaround on publishing the winners on the main site.  I have not checked when the last one was, but I believe my story from 'Ships' along with Jenny HJ's that tied with it, has not seen the light of day.  And that was a considerable time ago.  I think there's plenty from before that too. 

Cross-platform promotion of it would help massively with this.  Encouraging some level of feedback might also be helpful (but we'd have to be careful with this one).  After all, we all have egos and feeling like we have written something worth reading can be a significant boost in itself - even if you've not managed to sway a vote. 

On a personal level, it would be a massive shame for the contest to wither away.  It's gave me a significant personal boost in my writing - and at times when I have really needed it.  If not for the fact that writing has felt like pulling teeth for probably around 18 months, if not for some personal issues with it that I am struggling to work through, I would (hopefully) be entering regularly again - regardless of what I feel about the topic.  If anything the ones I thought I liked the least gave me the greatest challenge and pushed me.

So on a side note - if there's anything I can do to help keep this going, in whatever format is decided, I will do what I can.  Even if it means creeping out of my cave and back into sunlight.

Offline bdcharles

Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2020, 10:22:05 AM »

As would a much quicker turnaround on publishing the winners on the main site.  I have not checked when the last one was, but I believe my story from 'Ships' along with Jenny HJ's that tied with it, has not seen the light of day.  And that was a considerable time ago.  I think there's plenty from before that too. 


On a related point, I think a quicker turnaround in the contest in general would help. A month to write is fine (if on the long side) but another month to vote seems excessively ... umm ... tardy (see what I did there? ;) ). Most of the votes seem to happen in a week anyway. Waiting for a response for a month makes sense if it's a publisher but, I feel I must be honest, I'm never too sure what the delay is here.
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Online ScarletBea

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2020, 10:34:31 AM »
I just have to say, thanks a lot for all your replies: you're giving @xiagan and I a lot to think about :)
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Offline bdcharles

Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2020, 11:05:08 AM »
From my own perspective and experience, I wouldn't necessarily say a contest winner should automatically go on the main site, but it would be nice for it to be considered (and a reply sent either way). JMO though :)
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Offline Nora

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2020, 11:25:59 AM »
Since this Thread is still going, I'd like to argue against everyone who has offered to make this a flash fiction contest.
The rules stipulates a maximum of 1,500, but nothing stops anyone from doing an 800 or 1000 submission. I've rarely managed to fit my stories under 1500, and I'm not good at flash fiction. I genuinely feel that if the maximum cap fell down to 1k I would simply stop participating. It would be too much of a struggle as a writer.

I think keeping it a free format with a minimum and maximum word count is the best option. Others may disagree, it's just my opinion on this specific matter.

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Offline xiagan

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2020, 04:48:24 PM »
I haven't answered yet because I don't have the time to do it properly atm (renovating our home, my oldest has his fifth birthday tomorrow, ...) but I'm reading everything and it's cool to see so many replies. :)
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Offline Bender

Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2020, 05:36:05 PM »
my oldest has his fifth birthday tomorrow

Party Time!

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Offline xiagan

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2020, 06:44:38 PM »
my oldest has his fifth birthday tomorrow

Party Time!

Tell him Bender wished a Happy Birthday!
Said the guy with the 'kill all humans' avatar.  ;D
Thank you! :)
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Offline Ned Marcus

Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2020, 02:01:49 AM »
On a related point, I think a quicker turnaround in the contest in general would help. A month to write is fine (if on the long side) but another month to vote seems excessively ... umm ... tardy

I agree with this, but I suppose the long wait could be because not enough people are reading and voting.

Offline ryanmcgowan

Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2020, 04:26:55 PM »
I’m a seafarer and have only a few close friends and not such a wide social circle.  What attracted me was the possibility of joining a writing community, feedback, critique and the chance to explore writing with with others on the same journey, all be it at different stages.
I love the writing contests though I’m not always inspired by the subjects, it’s already been suggested but I thought I’d help double down on the possibility of the writers voting for the monthly subject.

Otherwise I tend to miss submission dates quite often as I’m out at sea for 6 weeks at a time without internet access, it’s quite specific to me I know, but knowing more than a month ahead of time what the subjects will be would help me submit more often (more than the handful of times I’ve managed in the last six years 😂😂 )

I also agree with shortening the voting time, this would also mean we could give/receive critiques sooner without influencing votes, it can be a long wait from submission to feedback otherwise.

Lastly I’d just like to say that though I don’t post often and yes I’m also bad at remembering to vote, I have always enjoyed lurking and dropping in and out of the submissions page to have a read every month when we pass close enough to land to catch a few bars of reception.  I’d really like to see the competition continue.

A lot of good suggestions from everyone, maybe we could start a writers Facebook group to update and encourage people to write each month?
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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2020, 09:14:32 PM »
Hey all! I've been watching jealously from afar for the past few years while in grad school. But I'm a graduated person now and would love to see this contest continue in some form. I don't have any ideas better than those already stated, but I'll stick around to see what happens! I'd love a chance to contribute. This community and contest are definitely worth the wait.  ;)

Hope you peoples are having a great day!  :)

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2020, 09:32:38 PM »
By the way, we'll have a new theme for March, not yet doing any changes.
We'll see where we go afterwards.

Xiagan is just a tad busy, but it should be coming soon.

(as for my extra privileges/abilities, still waiting...)
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Offline Alex Hormann

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2020, 09:45:35 PM »
Will we get a voting thread for the last contest too? :)
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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2020, 10:04:18 PM »
Yep, we might as well!
I'll create it tomorrow.
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Offline xiagan

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Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2020, 10:09:30 PM »
By the way, we'll have a new theme for March, not yet doing any changes.
We'll see where we go afterwards.

Xiagan is just a tad busy, but it should be coming soon.

(as for my extra privileges/abilities, still waiting...)
I thought I were able to open the March contest today but oh well, today is almost over on this side of the globe...
I'll have it up tomorrow!

And yes. We'll do business as usual for March and take that month to decide (with you) how to proceed.
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