Saturday, January 27, 2007

Great Big Awesome (Short) Fiction Contest Update

Full rules are here.

The only feedback I have received regarding the anonymity aspect and the retention of submissions to the contest has been along the lines of wishing I would do more to publicize the entrants once the cloak of secrecy has been lifted and the results published.

Some of you have also expressed a desire to remain anonymous even after the results are published. Unless, of course, you win something. Then you seem to want me to get a bullhorn and wander the streets shouting your names. Requests for anonymity will be honored.

It looks like we're going to get submissions from all sorts of experience levels: people who have never really written for pleasure, unpublished and published writers, and so on. This is extremely exciting for me, as the whole point was to encourage writing in general, as well as fostering a sense of community. Depending on the submissions received and on how the voting shakes out, I may implement an additional award for best debut piece.

Logistically, I have figured out how to host all the entries without losing my ability to keep up my blogging. I was worried that if I got a lot of submissions, anything I might post during the contest would get lost in a sea of contest entries. The solution is that I am pre-dating all of the contest entries by one year. This will allow me to do new posts during this time, but it will make it even more important that links to my site which are specific to the contest be links to the page generated by clicking on the contest-specific tag, which will appear with the topic and rules restatement at the commencement of the contest. I will additionally have a special part of my sidebar set aside for ease of use, and to encourage regular readers and random visitors to take part in the voting. This also helps me to track how the contest is going from a readership and site hit standpoint.

Again, each entry will be closed to comments until the voting period begins. If you have something to say about a specific entry, you should wait until then. Any comment which appears to flame a participant will be deleted immediately. If your comment is deleted, and you thought you were making a constructive point, take another look at the language used and try again.

As to submission retention, I have no problem hosting these entries on a permanent basis. I guess I just assumed you'd all like them back, which is a bit silly, since a story appearing here could easily be reposted by you on your own site. Once voting is closed and the winners announced, I will revise each submission post to include a link to the author (where applicable) and also shift it back to the current year.

Entrants who wish to remain anonymous or who wish to have their entries removed from the site after the contest closes should make these things clear in their submission email.

For entrants who wish to remain anonymous: it is not necessary to create a dummy email account. The anonymity is within the contest, but it will help me greatly if the email you use is the one you use to sign in to Amazon.com. Otherwise the prizes start to get tricky.

Only a few days until this thing kicks off. Are there still any unanswered questions?

5 comments:

caveblogem said...

Sounds great, Maht. I take back what I said about hosting one of these myself along the lines you have laid out. The new wrinkles to the whole thing seem to exceed my blogging skill level.

You can backdate your entries, Hm? Does this mean that you can tell who will win? Can you control space, or just time?

Looking forward to the contest, Maht!

mutleythedog said...

Can I enter?

The Moon Topples said...

Caveblogem: Sadly, I cannot control space, else I'd likely be living in London. But time is of course within my powers.

Mutley: of course you can. We're friendly here. Open to all who wish entry.

kyklops said...

Hi Maht,
A quick question about formatting (assuming I come up with something I think is fit to be read!).
I was thinking of just writing it up as a simple text document (ie. not Word, etc.). That way you could just cut and paste it into your blog and any html (italics, blockquote, etc.) would remain intact.
Would that be ok for you?

The Moon Topples said...

kyklops: this is exactly the formatting I'm hoping for, although italics and other specialized formatting seems to fall out in the Blogger interface. I'll try to catch these things myself, but let me know if I miss something on your entry. Ooh. I see what you're saying now. HTML formatting should remain intact, yes. This would be great. I'll add it to the rules when I repost them on Thursday.