Amph SFF Writers' Guild Writing Contest Discussion

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by droideka27, Jan 9, 2006.

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  1. JediNemesis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4
    Well, the discussion seems to have died down . . . Being on UK time makes me late for everything :p

    Summarising my own views, I'd say: yes to a separate thread for the contest. Certainly it should be Guild-sponsored, but let's not make posting in the Guild thread a criterion for entry. At least a couple of people here have said they'd enter a contest, but not participate in Guild stuff. Fine by me. :)

    No to a third thread. Can we just see how this pans out for the moment? Two healthy threads are great now, because there's a lot of debate and discussion going on.

    YES unequivocally to anonymous stories. Someone, perhaps the co-host if they're not voting, receives all the stories, pastes them into one big file and sends them out to the judges as a package. Judges send the scores back, the co-host adds them up and takes care of posting them up or sends them on to the host.

    *

    I think we need to agree on a grading system. Say a combined one of straight opinions and scores? 1-10 or 1-20 (10 seems a little narrow) from each judge, added for a mark out of 70/140/whatever. Judges should be required to give at least three (five?) reasons for their opinion with the score, and should then be required to give in-depth critique if requested ( both again anonymously, through the co-host, if they want - though I'd hope that everyone here can take small amounts of criticism as long as it's constructive)

    Is that a workable idea? Basically I was trying to combine as many of the things people have suggested as possible :)

  2. Darth_Ignant Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 7
    I think scoring should be on a scale of blaktars. Obviously, this makes things more difficult than the regular decimalised system, but I think we cann agree that thirst for a perfect grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr nik nik pop Blaktars will spur all writers onto their best work.
  3. JediNemesis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4
    How many blaktars would you give Harry Potter?
  4. Darth_Ignant Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 7
    Overall so far? I'd say it's a solid gagagagagagagagaa jibber jibber glakitty bakkity blaktars, but if book 7 is really good, I can see it going up to a bib blaktars.
  5. Dark_Lady_Jada Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2004
    star 5
    I'd like to be considered for a Judge! :D

    And I like the idea of the stories being sent to judges anonymously. That does leave out any "bias".
  6. Darth_Ignant Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 7
    So let me see if I have a handle on the general rules agreed upon so far.

    1. The Writer's Guild MUST be given credit.
    2. There will be a host, who'll also be a judge, but cannot submit an entry.
    3. The host is to be nominated and voted in.
    4. There will be a co-host, who can submit an entry, but cannot be a judge.
    5. Co-host's duties include gathering the entries and distributing to judges.
    6. There will be 9 judges.
    7. Entries will be distributed anonymously.
    8. Entries will be posted publically after the entry date ends.
    9. The contest will be held once a month, to rotate between sci-fi and fantasy.
    10. At the hosts discretion criteria, such as certain phrases, settings, character names, can be used.
    11. If a contestant wins two months back-to-back, they cannot enter the following month.
    12. Judges rate the stories on a yet to be determined scale.
    13. Final scores to be tallied by the cohost.
    14. Winner gets colours for a couple of days.
    15. The Writer's Guild MUST be given credit.

    Anything I'm forgetting?

    I think 9 judges may be hard to come by, so rather than nominations, I'd suggest taking the first 9, or making a 24 hour window in which people can volunteer. If it's less than 9, go with that.
  7. JediNemesis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4
    I think 9 is too many - like Ignant said, there may well not be enough volunteers. Five would be enough for tie-breaks, and as long as they're willing to do it thoroughly we could probably even cope with 3.
  8. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    We definately need to go with anonymous entries.

    Although I don't have any major interaction with anyone who posts here (Except maybe Jairen) I think anonymous posting is definately the way to go to eliminate any possibility of bias for future entries if the Judges continue to be the same group of people. Likewise even if the judges the post entries and and they rotate with players then bias could start building up as we all start getting to know one another better.


  9. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    Anonymous posting won't necessarily help if two users are friends. One can simply tell the other one which story is theirs. I suppose it might help keep some of the other identities secret though. However, I think that after a while, it won't be too hard to figure out who wrote which story based on style alone. I could be wrong though.

    Also, looking at the summary Ignant posted, it looks like the co-host does a ton more work than the actual host. They do the gathering, distributing, tallying, etc, while the host seems to just be in it for the title.
  10. Darth_Ignant Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 7
    Yeah, the problem is with the host also being a judge. Of course of he or she isn't, that eliminates the need for a cohost. The host wouldn't actually get a title, per se, but use of the host sock. The only real work for the host outside of judging, is coming up with any restrictions.
  11. LordNeo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2004
    star 5
    I definately want to join in on this


    1. Coruscant
    2. malcolm-darth-am-i
    3. JediNemesis
    4. -RebelScum-
    5. Sanctimoniously
    6. Andalite-Bandit
    7. DKT
    8. Kartanym
    9. Jairen
    10. Sniper_Wolf
    11. LordNeo



    When would this start?

    and what does The Writer's Guild must be given credit exactly mean?

    thanks

  12. -RebelScum- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2004
    star 6
    The credit thing is Ignant's polite way to say we are trying to control the contest and take all the credit.

    The plan we have set up was everybody PM's the sock who then shoots the PM's to the judges.

    Publicly posting entrees is a optional thing for legal reasons and only people who request it will be posted. And it may not be once a month and we never decided to have specific sci-fi and fantasy themes. And the first contest at least should include both.

    -The Scummy-
  13. Dark_Lady_Jada Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2004
    star 5
    I'd like to see a challenge with having to include a specific object, phrase and sentence.

    In any event, I know that if I am a judge I prefer to read the entries anonymously.

    And a panel of 5 judges is pretty fair.

    At best, keeping things as simple as possible is the way to go.
  14. Coruscant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2004
    star 6
    Wait... what? I thought we all already agreed upon ages ago that we were going with 9 judges, not 5?

    At best, keeping things as simple as possible is the way to go.

    Okay...

    I'd like to see a challenge with having to include a specific object, phrase and sentence.

    This complicates things, instead of simplifying them. How can you be in favor of keeping it simple?

    I'll once again say that I'm of the mind that prompts should be very vague and simple, allowing the writers more freedom and making the entries more fun to read. I'm sure that most judges will tire of reading a dozen or so works all involving a "fishing pole" or something like that, half of which would introduce them randomly and with no point.

    EDIT: The credit thing is Ignant's polite way to say we are trying to control the contest and take all the credit.

    Which, I'll add, is not true at all. It seems I cannot stress this enough. The Guild is not trying to control the contest, anything like that.... The Guild simply desired credit for devising the competition in its wee stages. Just because it needs credit, doesn't mean it wants ownership or anything like that. Unfortunately, other people have been inclined to post misinformation and thus give users like Dorkman the completely wrong idea- those untruths that we seek to control the contest and make the Guild into some kind of elite organization. Not true at all.

    EDIT 2: Alright, no more entrants' list. If one wants to enter, he enters, even if it's minutes before the one-hour deadline window. I won't post anything concrete on the submissions process however, I think we're all still a little wooly there.

    However, there should be a Judge (bid only) list.

    EDIT 3: I think scoring should be on a scale of blaktars. Obviously, this makes things more difficult than the regular decimalised system, but I think we cann agree that thirst for a perfect grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr nik nik pop Blaktars will spur all writers onto their best work.

    Alright, I'm only going to say this once: You have twisted what I was saying and parodied something that wasn't there in the first place. I'm politely asking you to stop.


  15. LordNeo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2004
    star 5
    One hour dedline?!

    Thats tight, I for one only have a small oportunity of being able to get on the computer and actually do anything, so I probably would not be able to make that one hour deadline. So Im against that. Now I may have misread that but I hope that there is a longer time period to submit your story, like 12 hour-24 hour.
  16. REVANLORD Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2005
    star 4
    I wish to write something for the contest, but I'm not gathering how I enter or when. [face_blush]

    The Hooded Soul
  17. Coruscant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2004
    star 6
    Well, if there was a one-hour deadline submission window, it would of course be placed in a slot that can be accessed by the most people possible (it's not like we've determined what hour exactly shall be the deadline).

    Perhaps people who know, however, that they would miss the deadline, can submit the short earlier than it?

    Additionaly, let's eliminate the designation of co-host and just have the Host (Dorkman) choose a back-up or two in the event that he is absent during a crucial stage.



  18. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    A one-hour window is insane. It needs to be 24 hours, minimum. The members of the JC are diverse, and come from many countries and stages in life... things such as sleep, work, and school could easily be occupying someone during that "one hour" window. No matter when it is set for, someone will be sleeping, someone will be at school, someone will be at work, etc.

    "Perhaps people who know, however, that they would miss the deadline, can submit the short earlier than it?"

    Doesn't that go against the point of having a window? Why not just make it 24 hours or something instead?

    "Just because it needs credit, doesn't mean it wants ownership or anything like that."

    So it needs credit, yet doesn't even want ownership/responsibility?
  19. LordNeo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2004
    star 5


    thank you, thats exactly how I feel
  20. -RebelScum- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2004
    star 6
    I thought we solved that? People PM the official sock who is controlled by someone we know we can trust (a mod perhaps) and he can shoot all of the stories to the judges in that hour.

    EDIT: So it needs credit, yet doesn't even want ownership/responsibility?

    Hey, I'm not sure if that came out right. We don't want ownership but we are putting effort into it. (or at least a good number are)

    -The Scummy-
  21. Sanctimoniously Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2005
    star 5
    A one-hour deadline?!? [face_plain] That's absurd. Who is here that can actually write a 2,000-8,000 word story in one hour?
  22. Jairen Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2000
    star 4
    Why have a window at all?

    Surely you simply set a deadline. i.e. the theme is announced, and the deadline is set two weeks (or however long it is) later. All entries must be sent in by that date. Full stop. Then, they can enter it as soon or as late as they want up to that deadline.
  23. -RebelScum- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2004
    star 6
    The worry is that a judge might leak a story or something, that is why I think the idea to PM the official sock (run by a very trusworthy person) by the due-date and then he shoots all the stories during the window (therefor only one person having to make a window) is the best choice. I thought we had decided this already though.

    -The Scummy-
  24. LordNeo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2004
    star 5
    Two Weeks might work, but I thought this would be a monthly thing.
    Id prefer to have a full month to write and enter my story, and have the winner announced. and repeat it the next month.
  25. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    Exactly. PM the story to the host/sock/whatever before the deadline. After the deadline, the host/sock/whatever PMs the stories to the judges, and they have X days to read/review the stories and send their rankings to the host/sock/whatever, who will tally and post the results.

    Contestants can PM their stories at any time, but the host won't PM them to the judges until after the deadline has passed.

    Also, if the host is a sock, you can ensure a story isn't leaked out by having the host not even open the PMs containing the stories until after the deadline.
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