Saturday, February 18, 2012

How the upcoming writing contest might work. #writers #authors

This is the second part of a multi-part series devoted to our plans for a writing contest. To read this from the beginning or to see a full list of posts as they are posted, please refer to this page.

Since we are still in the planning stages, be aware that any of the following is subject to change at any moment.

As I mentioned in the first part of this series, we want to sponsor a writing contest with the eventual goal of publishing an ebook collection of short stories based upon a certain theme. I have a theme in mind which I'll hold back until plans are more concrete, but it's open enough to allow lots of room for creativity. The theme will be announced when a submission date is decided upon, which I'm thinking will be at least 4 to 6 weeks later to give people time to write their short story.

The minimum word count will be 5,000 and the max 10,000. If we can collect 10 to 20 good stories, we could publish a full length collection. If someone is interested in writing more than 10,000 words, I might entertain the idea of a cliffhanger. There may be other requirements should this become a reality.

After all submissions are collected, Bec and I will choose which stories will be considered for judging. Since the eventual goal is publishing, this will give us the chance to weed out any that don't meet an uncertain minimum criteria. I say uncertain since we haven't decided how this selection will take place. Ideally we won't have to cut any, but that all depends not only on the quality of writing but also on the content in relation to the contest theme.

The ideal situation for judging will be in teams of three. Each team will read two stories at a time. One story will be voted to continue in the contest, the other one being voted out. This means that each round will cut the remaining stories in half. Another way to think about it is a one strike elimination, which should speed the contest up in case we have an abundance of submissions. If we don't have enough judges, teams of two will work with either me or Bec serving as a tie breaker.

However, since it's my personal goal not to ignore any good material, being cut from the contest or voted out during judging rounds does not mean we wouldn't be interested in further cooperation, be it a second volume if this first collection is successful or through some other arrangement.

There's a good chance a modest cash reward will be available for the winner(s) of the contest. It will depend on how much support we get. In the event that no cash reward becomes available, the only remaining prizes will be promotion and possible selection for publishing.

We need to know how many are interested in helping us with this, so if you are interested and haven't filled out the form from the first post, please do so here.

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