posted on Apr, 10 2019 @ 03:25 AM
I just did a quick count of the entries and we're currently sitting at around 50 (FIFTY)!! (This looks like it could be a new RECORD number of
THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting our wee contest thread.
It is very much appreciated.
***MY APOLOGIES FOR THIS BEING SUCH A LONG POST***
With regards to the 50-word limit...
As you can see... a LOT more people tend to get involved, and there are a LOT more entries when we use the 50-word limit. This is a GOOD thing in my
New participants can practice their craft in a supportive, encouraging and safe environment.
Learning what works (and what doesn't) whilst benefitting hugely from the constructive criticism of our more established writers.
They can "earn their stripes" in the form of official ATS Writers' Status too, but it's not really about that.
As I mention in every OP:
" it is more about sharing our creative ideas, encouraging & developing new talent and having Fun! "
The more participants we have... the more creative ideas are shared and the more encouragement and development takes place.
Approximately 90% of our contests are of the more standard "Short Story" format.
This is our preferred format for the vast majority of these contests, BUT it can be quite daunting for inexperienced writers, taking that first step
and trying to write a fully rounded tale for everyone else to read and critique.
I should mention here, that the actual number of non-writer entries drops off markedly when we run the standard "Short Story" format for more than a
few contests in a row.
Given that the main purpose of these things is to encourage, share and develop writing talent whilst having some Fun with it... that seems a real
That is why, on the odd occasion, we mix things up a little bit by holding a contest with a slightly more accessible format.
It allows inexperienced writers an opportunity to get involved without having to craft a full plot, or develop characters and storylines with twists
I get that it's challenging. I get that it can be frustrating. I get that some writers prefer the longer format.
I get it - I really do.
But if we don't mix things up now and then... the contest thread will die off from a lack of entries.
(*Evidenced by NO Valid non-writer entries received in Sept'18 and Not Enough entries on either side of the podium in Nov'18. Followed by a HUGE
number of entries for the word-limited contest in Dec'18.)
On the subject of how votes are cast and the suggestion of it being a popularity contest:
I agree that this can be a problem. I've looked at it extensively in the past and my honest answer is that there is no easy solution that I've
been able to find so far.
For what it's worth... Within the posted Rules for each and every contest, I state:
"Points are awarded by ATS members giving FLAGS to their favourite story threads and STARS to their favourite story posts.
(You can award a Flag and/or star(s) to any stories that you like, but please don't give flags or stars for any other reasons.) "
But, people are people, and some people will automatically S&F their friends posts (or every post) regardless.
I am not aware of any mechanism that would allow us to prevent this.
All I can say is that I (with the help of the ATS Mods/Staff) do my best to keep the contests fresh, challenging and as fair as I possibly can.
I do so with the best intentions and I do so voluntarily (without reward).
If anyone is unhappy with any aspect of the contests, then please get in touch and suggest how we can improve it!
Constructive criticism is always welcome.
In the meantime, let's try and enjoy what (I think) has been a GREAT April contest so far!