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Author Topic: Cafe Doom's Fourth Annual Writing Competition Rules and info  (Read 63632 times)
dracken
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« Reply #120 on: October 31, 2008, 01:04:55 PM »

^Why Betrulove?

In all honesty that's how most slush piles are sorted, that's how readers read in the real world (they pick a magazine, read the first few sentences and then if they are not interested put it down). If a story is not strong enough to survive then it doesn't deserve to survive! I actually think this system is better than many others becuase there are so many people involved that you have a decent chance your story will interest someone.
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Sallyq
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« Reply #121 on: October 31, 2008, 01:33:00 PM »

If you read back through this thread, Betrulove, you'll see that you've just banned Ed from his own competition. grin

I personally favour the idea of all stories being read through in their entirety, since we're not magazine editors, but contestants who've been called upon to judge.

But the fact is that none of us know if that will happen. Some people might only read a half of the entries and pick their favourites. Others might decide by the eenie meeny miney moe system and not read any of the entries at all. There's no way of checking what people have done. I think we just have to trust that everyone will do the right thing. I know Ed will ensure everything is done fairly.
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Grillmeat
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« Reply #122 on: October 31, 2008, 02:02:25 PM »

Draken said:
Quote
In all honesty that's how most slush piles are sorted,

Agreed.
As harsh as that sounds, if you are submitting to any paying market (and even a few "for exposure only markets" I know of) you better have the attention of the editor by the first paragraph or you are done.  There are just too many entries to do it any other way.
Personally, for this competition, I am hoping to read them all but the reality is that with a short turn around to judge and forty stories to read that may be asking a bit much.  If your story is strong from start to finish it will get the read it deserves.   afro
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #123 on: October 31, 2008, 02:28:37 PM »

Exactly.

When I have a mountain of stuff to read and limited time, that first paragraph had better grab me. There's no point in taking forever to wade all the way through something if the opening is a mass of grammatical errors and pleonasms. It had better have something else that is astonishingly good about it, or I'm moving onto the next story, having had a quick skim through to check that things don't improve along the way.

If I come across a brilliant story, on the other hand, I'll read it a few times just for the sheer joy of the writing.

If all the stories entered in this competition are works of rare genius, I'll still be reading them at Christmas. Let's hope there are some real stinkers, or this is going to take a very long time!
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Ed
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« Reply #124 on: October 31, 2008, 02:57:03 PM »

Heh - a stinker or two generally finds its way into the comp. fugly

Re the reading each and every story in its entirety - it would be great if everybody had the time and patience to read every word of every story, but that's just not how it is, and I think one of the great strengths of this competition format is that it gives (especially new) writers a very good insight into what it's like inside the publishing industry - how stories are selected by editors, and how they are received by the reading public.

No doubt, as the voting progresses, you will see a broad spectrum of opinion regarding which are the best stories. Pretty much every story will get at least one vote, which means somebody out there thinks it's a very good story. Some people will no doubt have not read all of the story - they'll have got to the bottom of page one and then lost patience with it, others will have read it all the way through and thought it was crap. This is exactly what your stories go through in the real world, when they find their way to a real editor - some will love your work, others will hate it, and I think that's a very important lesson to learn in the writing game, because the thought of having somebody out there who loves your work is what keeps a lot of people writing, submitting, finding their niche, not giving up.
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« Reply #125 on: October 31, 2008, 03:12:54 PM »

When will the stories be going up, Ed? dance
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Ed
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« Reply #126 on: October 31, 2008, 03:26:01 PM »

I'm aiming to get them posted in about an hour to an hour and a half's time afro
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« Reply #127 on: October 31, 2008, 03:28:28 PM »

Cheers, Ed. I'm switching off for the evening now so I'll print them all out in the morning. I have a long train journey (well long for me anyway) on Sunday so I'm hoping to get a fair few read on the way there and back. dance
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« Reply #128 on: October 31, 2008, 04:40:27 PM »

I take it we've still only got 7 days to read them, Ed?
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #129 on: October 31, 2008, 04:42:07 PM »

I've just skimmed the whole lot and picked my winners.  afro

(not really)
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Ed
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« Reply #130 on: October 31, 2008, 04:50:33 PM »

I take it we've still only got 7 days to read them, Ed?

No, I think as long as there are no strong objections we should extend to ten days. Make your choices by midnight GMT on the 11th November, please smiley
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« Reply #131 on: October 31, 2008, 08:15:11 PM »

I plan on reading through all of the entries. Because I didn't enter, I can't vote but it will be interesting to see how my choices stand up to the final results.  cool
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« Reply #132 on: November 01, 2008, 04:31:48 AM »

I've just skimmed the whole lot and picked my winners.  afro

(not really)

Oh I just looked at the titles and picked mine grin grin grin No, not really either. I read 5 stories last night, but I'm out all day today so I'll have to play catch up tomorrow. If anyone is interested in my method, I'm giving them marks out of ten. I realise that means that quite a few will get the same marks, but then I can start looking at the high scorers to see which ones stay with me.
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« Reply #133 on: November 01, 2008, 04:41:11 AM »

Phew! I've just finished printing them all out. Some intriguing titles.
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It is not the bang that terrifies, but the anticipation of it - Alfred Hitchcock

http://fright-fest.blogspot.com
www.strangemeninpinstripesuits.com
delph_ambi
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« Reply #134 on: November 01, 2008, 04:46:23 AM »

I do the 'marks out of ten' thingy too. Definitely the easiest way.

There are a few of superb titles there, which have induced a bad case of 'title envy'. It will be interesting to see if those stories live up to their promise, or if the best stories will be the quiet, insidious ones, that creep up on you unawares, lulling you into a false sense of security with a mundane title...
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