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Author Topic: 300 Word Flash Fiction Contest!  (Read 42597 times)
SFEley
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« on: January 13, 2007, 04:27:07 PM »

With the aid of an anonymous donor, Escape Pod is presenting a contest for the best SF story of 300 words or less. There are no restrictions on theme, plot, or structure. The goal is simply to present a strong idea-based story in the minimum space possible.

To enter, simply send your name, address, and the title and story to contest@escapepod.org. Please look at our submission guidelines for formatting instructions. This is effectively an Escape Pod story submission; only the selection process is different. Please send a maximum of three stories to us. If you happen to have a trunk full of really short pieces, select your three best.

After you’ve sent your story, I’ll strip your name from it and post it to a members-only area on the Escape Pod forum. Because it won’t be publicly viewable or searchable, it shouldn’t count as ‘published’ by anyone’s guidelines, and you’ll retain all rights to the story. Interested forum members will be able to review the stories and comment on them. On February 1, I’ll create a poll (or a series of polls, if there are too many entries) and invite people to select their favorites.

The highest-rated story will receive an Escape Pod contract to run their story as flash fiction at a rate of $100. That’s five times our standard flash rate.

The second-highest rated story will receive a contract at a rate of $50.

The third-highest rated story will receive a standard flash contract, and so will any others that I, as EP’s editor, think are excellent choices for Escape Pod.

The stories will then be produced in audio and will go out on Escape Pod’s feed, and be made available for any other non-commercial use as specified in our Creative Commons license.

The deadline is January 31, 2007. Anything we receive after that will be forwarded back to our usual submissions process.

Sound like fun? Any questions?

Go to it, and we look forward to seeing your (very short) work!
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tdmca
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2007, 09:47:49 AM »

I understand that your very busy and that the contest has likely only made that worse, but I was wondering if you are sending out confirmations when you recieve the submissions and what the delay is on them.  I submitted a story and I'm curious if it has been received and wondering how I shoudl wait before I query?

Thanks
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SFEley
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2007, 12:05:17 PM »

I understand that your very busy and that the contest has likely only made that worse, but I was wondering if you are sending out confirmations when you recieve the submissions and what the delay is on them.  I submitted a story and I'm curious if it has been received and wondering how I shoudl wait before I query?

I haven't been sending out confirmations that the stories were received; I've only been sending out notices after posting the stories here.  If you sent it to contest@escapepod.org you can trust that it was received.
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JRMurdock
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2007, 04:00:28 PM »

Thanks for the info Steve! You rock. I'm not just saying that. I've been following EP from episode 1 and I've been hooked ever since. And now a contest? It just keeps getting better and better.

Thank you

J.R.
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2007, 10:14:39 PM »

Trick to 300 words I've found...  Use the title to help tell the story.  Having an extra couple words to frame the idea helps a LOT.

Also, Listed this contest over at my usual Haunt the pickle, hope it pulled in some more entries.

http://www.podcastpickle.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=11339&st=0

Maybe with all of this good flash he'll be able to pick up a few dozen and make escape pod bi-weekly, with a flash monday then a regular episode tuesday.
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Laurence Simon
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2007, 10:02:56 AM »

Using the title to set up the story is a good suggestion.

Other ways to save on your word budget-
1) Use well-known historical figures or characters as protagonists.
2) Exploit stereotypes
3) Contractions
4) Get rid of he said/she said after first exchange.
5) Use simple names, switch to first name quickly.
6) Flash Fiction never takes place in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Place names are single words.

Others?
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Lagwolf
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2007, 03:12:36 AM »

Use lots of contractions...especially in dialogue.
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smartbombradio
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2007, 03:18:20 AM »

Use lots of contractions...especially in dialogue.

And when the contractions are less than three words apart, the story is ready to be born.
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Gary
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2007, 08:06:12 PM »

Use lots of contractions...especially in dialogue.

And when the contractions are less than three words apart, the story is ready to be born.

Ouch.
Least you could do is offer some anesthesia before you hit us with another one of those!    Roll Eyes
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billmtracer
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2007, 11:20:13 PM »

I don't think exploiting stereotypes is necessarily a good idea, unless you want your story to be cliché.

Stereotypes are lies!
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Rachel Swirsky
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2007, 12:10:07 AM »

"Stereotypes are lies!"

Yeah, to a certain extent, sure.

I suspect the "exploit stereotypes" suggestion was less meant to say "please invoke the fragile-boned blue-eyed little girl to yank everyone's pity chain AGAIN" and more meant to say "come into a situation that has standard narrative edges, so that the reader can fill in the exposition wihtout being expressly given the exposition."

If I say "scientist" "lab" "robot" there's a lot of exposition that you've probably filled in for me in your mind. If I then don't do anything to change or subvert that narrative, though, then I've probably created a dud.
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Steven Saus
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2007, 11:27:46 AM »

Just two notes about the mechanics of things I've noticed:

1)  Next time, require plain-text ASCII submissions (like what Notepad makes).  All word processing programs I know of can save as plain-text, and then you don't have wierd quotation or "carriage-return-means-double-spaced-paragraph" formatting issues.

2)  I have noticed that the fewer comments a story gets, the fewer reads (views?) it gets - far more than by the number of responses.  Maybe this is more visible to me because of the way I've been accessing the forums (stolen moments at work, so I see each contest's "main page" multiple times throughout the day in close succession).  It seems like once there's a comment, the views/reads/whatever will start to climb.  Maybe that's because of the way the software orders things;  I dunno.  I am not saying there's anything inimical about it at all.  I repeat:  I am NOT saying it's intentional, even.  It doesn't appear to have much of an effect on votes that I've noticed, so this is an academic thing, but it might make someone feel slighted.
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SFEley
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2007, 12:00:16 PM »

1)  Next time, require plain-text ASCII submissions (like what Notepad makes).  All word processing programs I know of can save as plain-text, and then you don't have wierd quotation or "carriage-return-means-double-spaced-paragraph" formatting issues.

Yeah, we try to reinforce "Use plain text!" in our guidelines.  Success is limited at best.  A lot of people (including some pretty smart writers) honestly don't know what ASCII is, or understand the difference between plain text and HTML e-mail and why there are two options.  And some popular e-mail programs muddy the waters by making rich e-mail an invisible default, or doing their own character set transformations for cosmetic purposes.  (Such as the dreaded smart quotes.)  Sometimes people do their best and things still come out wrong.

This reduces us to two options.  We can be assholes about it, and bounce back everything that isn't pure 7-bit ASCII until the writers figure out how to educate themselves (and possibly install a different mail client just for us); or we can put up with it as best we can.

We choose the "put up with it" route, because ultimately we're not about character sets.  If an author succeeds in communicating prose, we have what we need.  And it's only in a very few cases where things get confused enough to impair understanding, or where pasting it into the forum software makes changes or carries in characters that some people can't see.  We'll just fix those cases as they arise, because it actually is easier than trying to verify everything.


Quote
2)  I have noticed that the fewer comments a story gets, the fewer reads (views?) it gets - far more than by the number of responses.

Sure.  This is just the way the forum software works.  By default, it sorts them in descending order by most recent response.  Not by posting date.  So the story that was most recently commented upon is going to be at the top of the list; and anyone who's reading them in order is going to read it first. 

Also, when there are new comments, you're going to get that "NEW!" icon by the side of the subject, and many people will get e-mail notifications, and a lot of people who already read the thread are going to read it again. 

It doesn't really correlate to the number of times human eyes were set upon the story prose and human minds thought about that prose for the first time.  If you want to get a better sense for that, look at the number of voters.  I think it's safe to assume that most voters read all the stories before voting.  And those numbers are staying pretty strong.
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Thaurismunths
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2007, 01:59:25 PM »

Hey Steve, do we have a final tally of the entries?
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GoodDamon
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2007, 02:00:50 PM »

I'm assuming the semifinals are for the first rounds of stories where voting has closed?
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Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2007, 02:30:44 PM »

Also, are you going to "out" the authors of the stories that have not moved on to the semifinals?  I'm sure some of them would like to answer the comments the readers provided. 
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SFEley
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2007, 02:31:30 PM »

Hey Steve, do we have a final tally of the entries?

321.

Yeah.  It's a lot.
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GoodDamon
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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2007, 02:38:42 PM »

321.

Yeah.  It's a lot.

Holy crap! That means a lot less than half -- 108, to be specific -- have been posted!
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Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er
J.R. Blackwell
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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2007, 04:26:22 PM »

I just want to say what a great idea this is. I love this contest because I get to read some new science fiction each day.

I love short stories and I love huge, long novels, but there is a special place in my heart for flash fiction. I enjoy popping over here and reading these stories. It feels like I'm eating little bits of candy.

The other fun thing about this contest is watching the voting! I know it's silly (especially because none of my stories are up there) but I really enjoy keeping track of my favorates. It gets me coming back to the forums every day. (Okay, maybe more than once a day)

Can anyone tell that I'm avoiding the writing of my thesis now? Is it written on my face?

Good luck to everyone who submitted!
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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2007, 04:39:30 PM »

Can I make a little suggestion, Steve?  Could you change the semifinal round topic to read Semifinal 1 Groups 1-4   

I'm concerned that people who are just reading stories and voting and maybe not paying attention to some of the other comments might think the semi round is for all the groups up.  Just a suggestion.  Since I have a story up, I'm freaking out for votes.  Can you tell?  Can you tell?   Tongue   Grin
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SFEley
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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2007, 05:12:14 PM »

I'm concerned that people who are just reading stories and voting and maybe not paying attention to some of the other comments might think the semi round is for all the groups up.  Just a suggestion.  Since I have a story up, I'm freaking out for votes.  Can you tell?  Can you tell?   Tongue   Grin

Yeah, I'm going to move the "closed" groups around a little bit and hopefully make things clearer.  Along with putting up the author names on the closed stories, and...  Well, there's a lot of work to be done.
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Steven Saus
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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2007, 05:29:56 PM »

This reduces us to two options.  We can be assholes about it, and bounce back everything that isn't pure 7-bit ASCII until the writers figure out how to educate themselves (and possibly install a different mail client just for us); or we can put up with it as best we can.
Quote

Hm.  I wonder if there's a good converter that would be useful for you.  Or would that be more work for you than it's worth?

Quote
2)  I have noticed that the fewer comments a story gets, the fewer reads (views?) it gets - far more than by the number of responses.
It doesn't really correlate to the number of times human eyes were set upon the story prose and human minds thought about that prose for the first time.  If you want to get a better sense for that, look at the number of voters.  I think it's safe to assume that most voters read all the stories before voting.  And those numbers are staying pretty strong.

Thanks;  I appreciate your comments on it.
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slic
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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2007, 06:29:23 PM »

Quote
Hm.  I wonder if there's a good converter that would be useful for you.  Or would that be more work for you than it's worth?
I mentioned this before, but for anyone who missed it - I often paste stuff into Notepad first then copy that and paste it into whatever.   Outlook is a pain in all parts of my body when it comes to taking text from Word or the Web or another email and trying to paste it in - it can take whole minutes and then look like crap. 
Notepad simply ignores all the "extras" and leaves all the ASCII alone.
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GoodDamon
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« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2007, 06:36:36 PM »

Another option is the "Paste Special" or "Paste without formatting" option, which most rich-text enabled applications support.
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Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er
SFEley
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« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2007, 09:20:03 PM »

I mentioned this before, but for anyone who missed it - I often paste stuff into Notepad first then copy that and paste it into whatever.   Outlook is a pain in all parts of my body when it comes to taking text from Word or the Web or another email and trying to paste it in - it can take whole minutes and then look like crap. 
Notepad simply ignores all the "extras" and leaves all the ASCII alone.

This is not a perfect method.  I've gotten one message from an author in this contest who did do the paste-into-Notepad thing, and still had smart quotes in his story that messed up reading for some.  It doesn't seem to do anything about character sets.

I'm personally of the opinion that Outlook is not an e-mail client.  It's an Outlook client, and they grudgingly threw in support for standard Internet e-mail as a side feature in order to "embrace and extend" it.  You may find your problems diminish if you try another e-mail application.
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Birnam Wood
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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2007, 05:19:48 AM »

I mentioned this before, but for anyone who missed it - I often paste stuff into Notepad first then copy that and paste it into whatever.   

This is not a perfect method.  I've gotten one message from an author in this contest who did do the paste-into-Notepad thing, and still had smart quotes in his story that messed up reading for some.  It doesn't seem to do anything about character sets.

I am thinking that submitting via a form on a secure web page might reduce the formatting problem.  Pasting into my Verizon net mail web page from word I noticed extra character returns which I was able to manually delete.  So, it was doing something like the character set conversion you are looking for.

If people had to submit their stories by posting them, and the field on the web page would convert to ASCII, they could edit it manually.  Give people the ability to save and use a few edit tools prior to formally submitting and it might work really well.  I don't know how effectively it can be done, but it should be at least as effective as notepad and it is something that can be enforced.  This might be harder for longer works, but it seems like it would be a good strategy for any future contests you might do and flash fiction in general.
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slic
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Stephen Lumini


« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2007, 09:49:27 AM »

Quote
I've gotten one message from an author in this contest who did do the paste-into-Notepad thing...
I didn't mean the author, I meant you, Steve.  Once the text leaves Notepad, whatever app/client it is pasted into will "fix" it.  For example, paste something with quotes into Notepad then copy/paste into Word - the Auto Text feature will make them smart quotes.

I meant you take the email, copy/paste it into whatever the MAC equivalent is for Notepad and copy/paste than into the Forum.
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SFEley
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« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2007, 01:14:00 PM »

I didn't mean the author, I meant you, Steve.  Once the text leaves Notepad, whatever app/client it is pasted into will "fix" it.  For example, paste something with quotes into Notepad then copy/paste into Word - the Auto Text feature will make them smart quotes.

<groan>

Putting up a new group every day takes long enough already without having to jump through a text-editor-shaped hoop with every single piece.  I'm already annoyed that we live in a software world ridiculous enough for this problem to manifest; your proposed solution feels like a complete surrender to absurdity.  And it's more work.

I think the current workflow has worked fine:

1.) I will post the stories as they were delivered;

2.) If you can't see quotation marks or apostrophes on any story and you think they should be there, say so and I will exercise my power to bend time and space.  (I.e., I will modify the post to fix it.)

Are there any real, untenable problems with that?  I doubt any author would be thrilled to know that for a few hours, some subset of people were reading their piece wrong, but if you're prompt about reporting the problem, it'll get fixed quickly.
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GoodDamon
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« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2007, 01:39:19 PM »

Like I mentioned elsewhere, I live to copy-edit, so I don't have a problem with flagging missing apostrophes for you.  Grin
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Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er
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« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2007, 02:13:39 PM »

I certainly didn't mean to imply you should do it - just trying to clarify what I meant.  

I agree, the cost-benefit ratio is too small - not enough of them turn up wonky to merit the extra work.

Quote
...your proposed solution feels like a complete surrender to absurdity
Oh, it is, but I have it down to a semi-automatic process that is fairly quick for me.  
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SFEley
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« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2007, 04:37:17 PM »

Yeah, and I'm sorry if I came off snappish.

It's been a somewhat shitty couple of days, for mundane and bureaucratic reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with Escape Pod or these forums.  I've been in a bad mood for a while now, but I try not to carry that over to places like this. 

(And I can't vent at the targets that deserve it, like the Georgia state government, because there's no surface there to find traction.  So I internalize my frustration instead.  Modern life.  Argh.)
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slic
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« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2007, 04:52:11 PM »

No worries. 
To get out my frustrations, I roll up the windows in my car and curse out (or maybe explete at ;-) every driver on the commute home - not road rage, just an innocuous near-continuous torrent of foul language.  I always feel better when I pull into the driveway.
If you don't have a commute (I seem to recall something in an intro/outro about you working from home) then maybe bash a pillow alone in the basement.  Internalizing can lead to combustion - just ask your car.

Is now a good time to wish you an early happy b-day? (I'm not stalking - saw it on the forum calendar ;-)
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Heradel
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« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2007, 05:14:54 PM »

Yeah, while a lot of us are dying to see our work posted (then ruthlessly eviscerated), we all understand that you're human, and that this shouldn't be priority one for you.

Thanks. We appreciate it.
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« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2007, 10:15:10 AM »

I am noticing something on most of the contest groups lists. As you view the group page, it is fairly clear, in many cases, that the stories posted at the top are being read more frequently than stories lower on each of the group lists. Maybe it is just simple fatigue and I have no way of knowing from this is it is having any bearing on the voting. I just thought I would point it out as a curiosity worth looking into.
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SFEley
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« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2007, 11:21:20 AM »

I am noticing something on most of the contest groups lists. As you view the group page, it is fairly clear, in many cases, that the stories posted at the top are being read more frequently than stories lower on each of the group lists. Maybe it is just simple fatigue and I have no way of knowing from this is it is having any bearing on the voting. I just thought I would point it out as a curiosity worth looking into.

It's because the forum software sorts by most recent response by default.  And if someone just left a comment, everyone else is going to read that thread again to see what the comment was. 

I.e., the major correlation is between views and number of comments.  The position on the index page is just a side effect.
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« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2007, 10:20:28 AM »

I don't know wether or not stories at the top of the list are being read more than those at the bottom and I don't really care.  I wrote my story (Kidpower! - which I think is safe to identify because it didn't make the cut) and it was beat out for third place by one vote but I really had a good time with it.

I think that had my story perhaps been better or had a better title I might have gotten more votes and attracted more interest, but I am not gonna beat myself or the judges up over it.  Public opinion is what it is and the job of a successful writer is to write what the most people enjoy.  I didn't - ergo I lost.  No biggie.

*I* think the contest was done as fairly as could be envisioned in a timely manner and I have no complaints about the administration or judging of the contest whatsoever.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have entered.

Thanks again!
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Heradel
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« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2007, 03:40:37 PM »

...
I think that had my story perhaps been better or had a better title I might have gotten more votes and attracted more interest, but I am not gonna beat myself or the judges up over it.  Public opinion is what it is and the job of a successful writer is to write what the most people enjoy.  I didn't - ergo I lost.  No biggie.
...

I take it you don't watch Extras.

I don't think you could get any large group of writers to agree what it is to be successful, but I don't think most of them would use popularity as a major barometer. Not  that it doesn't matter, it does, but I'd argue that if you dilute the material in order to appeal to a larger audience, you've diluted the material.
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slic
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« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2007, 08:12:45 PM »

Quote
...but I don't think most of them would use popularity as a major barometer...
I certainly disagree with that.  Many writers would use commercial success as a very clear barometer of having done a great job. 

Appealing to the lowest common denominator is usually a bad idea, but being popular doesn't mean you've done that.
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Heradel
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« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2007, 09:21:06 PM »

And I'm not saying commercial success shouldn't be used, but are we going to argue that Tom Clancy is the same as Franz Kafka? Clancy has probably outsold Kafka, but I wouldn't argue that means he's more successful.
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Rachel Swirsky
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« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2007, 09:26:31 PM »

I think this is a case where it depends on the writer you're talking about.

For instance, Michael Swanwick advised our Clarion West class to "let Joe Hack write the story for you."

And in my MFA program, people tend to be pretty suspicious of books that have sold well.
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« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2007, 09:43:16 PM »

As a total hack, amateur, writer wanna-be, I would say that success is at least partially defined by what the author is trying to accomplish.  People like Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton (and several others) write books with the intention of having them become best sellers.  When it happens, they are successful. Other people write things because they feel they MUST write them or go insane.  I think for them, if they can take that inner demon and trap him onto the page in form that other people can enjoy, then they have succeeded.  If it ends up on a best seller list, then so much the better.
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slic
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Stephen Lumini


« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2007, 10:44:44 PM »

I read your reply, Heradel, to imply that "intellectual" books are different than entertainment.  Of course they are, text books and comic books are completely different too.  But I think any author wants their writing to be enjoyed/understood, and by more people, the better.  Sure, if I write a story and my kids love it and treasure it forever, I've been successful.  If one of my stories makes it to these finals, I'll be very happy, perhaps even successful - but I'd be happier and very argueably more successful if I sold that same story to an anthology that sold millions and it won a Hugo.

Quote
I don't think you could get any large group of writers to agree what it is to be successful, but I don't think most of them would use popularity as a major barometer.
If you can make good money doing something you love then you are a success (and I don't think anyone writes because they hate doing it).  And one way to make good money is to be a commerical success, and about the only way I can see to be a commerical success is to write something popular.  So, I do think most writer would use populartiy as a barometer of success.

Ravel may have grown to hate his creation, Bolero, but he wouldn't not consider it unsuccessful.
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« Reply #42 on: February 06, 2007, 01:30:41 AM »

Personally I'm regretting the use of the word successful, because it's a word that means everything and thus nothing. Personally I think the paragon of writing is someone like Shakespeare whose written something that, though it is a commercial success, is moreover something that will endure. The ability of those plays or of Kafka's novels or TS Elliot's poems to stay relevant long after the authors and their times are dead is my own personal barometer of "success". Granted this fails when the authors have died in recent years or are being pesky and not dying, but I can look for qualities that seem like they will endure. For example, Terry Pratchett's treatment of governments and politics has a bit of a timeless human sheen to them, and the social satire is always as funny as biting.

At one extreme Shakespeare died well off from his writing, at the other, Kafka never publish most of his works and they were only published because a friend of his decided not to honor his promises to Kafka. It's hard to argue that Shakespeare was a more "successful" writer because he made money from his creations.
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« Reply #43 on: February 06, 2007, 01:53:48 AM »

"But I think any author wants their writing to be enjoyed/understood, and by more people, the better. "

FTR, that's not true.
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« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2007, 01:58:22 AM »

OK. I take that back. It is true on a literal level.

However, when we're talking about intellectual or experimental writing, most authors know that their work will only be understood by a slice of the reading population. In order to be understood by more people, they would have to alter their writing goals. So while I think it's true they wish more people appreciated experimental writing (see Ben Marcus, Harper's), they don't want to go to the audience, they want the audience to come to them.

Sometimes obscurity becomes cachet. I'm taking a writing workshop right now with a woman who won the Pulitzer and is reputed to be a genius. Recently, a bunch of us MFA muddlers were completely flummoxed by a very beautiful but puzzling piece written by another student. Our professor declared it perfect in its thematically linked, non-linear, non-explicated splendor. There's a certain prestige in having your writing be understood by the genius.

It's the opposite of Greg Bear's "get their beer money" mindset.
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« Reply #45 on: February 06, 2007, 08:10:07 AM »

Quote
...they don't want to go to the audience, they want the audience to come to them.
Absolutely.  And I agree some authors are more shy or recluse than others and may prefer a smaller audience.  Not everyone wants to be top o' the world.
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GoodDamon
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« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2007, 02:26:53 PM »

It's the opposite of Greg Bear's "get their beer money" mindset.

I want it both ways. Wink
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« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2007, 03:48:42 PM »

It's the opposite of Greg Bear's "get their beer money" mindset.

I want it both ways. Wink

Me too!!!!  Smiley
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« Reply #48 on: February 06, 2007, 03:52:05 PM »

OK, but now we have to think of three writers who get that niche! I call Margaret Atwood's. Wink
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« Reply #49 on: February 06, 2007, 08:59:31 PM »

I think that had my story perhaps been better or had a better title I might have gotten more votes and attracted more interest, but I am not gonna beat myself or the judges up over it.  Public opinion is what it is and the job of a successful writer is to write what the most people enjoy.  I didn't - ergo I lost.  No biggie.

I think I mentioned this elsewhere, but there's not a clear correlation between number of reads and number of votes.  In fact, there's several that had a high number of reads (because of the comment threads, sometimes on exactly how bad the story was) and the fewest number of votes.
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« Reply #50 on: February 06, 2007, 09:29:25 PM »

OK, but now we have to think of three writers who get that niche! I call Margaret Atwood's. Wink

Audrey Niffenegger.  The Time Traveler's Wife.

(Book made me cry, by the way.  Twice.)
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« Reply #51 on: February 06, 2007, 09:37:08 PM »

Oooh. *And* it was small press. Extra points.
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« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2007, 05:24:58 PM »

Hey, can authors post in their own threads and out themselves on "Completed" stories that have not moved on to the semi finals, assuming that those posts in no way give away other stories still in the judging?  Because those stories are "Out" of the contest now and so knowing the author can't sway the voting, and I'm sure a few of us would like to talk to people and figure out how to make them better stories.
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« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2007, 06:22:47 PM »

I've done it, as have a few others with no problems.
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« Reply #54 on: February 07, 2007, 06:25:41 PM »

Hey, can authors post in their own threads and out themselves on "Completed" stories that have not moved on to the semi finals, assuming that those posts in no way give away other stories still in the judging?  Because those stories are "Out" of the contest now and so knowing the author can't sway the voting, and I'm sure a few of us would like to talk to people and figure out how to make them better stories.

Sure.  It's already been happening.  I've been sticking author names on the closed stories when I get to them, but if I'm not doing that fast enough for you, feel free to speak up anyway.
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« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2007, 10:04:11 AM »

They just keep coming and coming right when I think I am catching up another group gets thrown into the mix.  I can't take it any more make it stop......

Actually I'm loving it, and I don't want it to stop, but I do feel like I am walking up the down escalator sometimes.
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« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2007, 05:02:58 PM »

I'm so far behind now... reading wise.

Thank goodness they're only 300 words a pop...
Just can't keep up!!

 Tongue
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« Reply #57 on: February 09, 2007, 05:20:59 PM »

I'm so far behind now... reading wise.

Thank goodness they're only 300 words a pop...
Just can't keep up!!

 Tongue

Bah. Reading's for wimps. I print the stories out and then roll all over them, absorbing the words through an osmotic process involving printer ink. Much faster.

But man, the paper cuts...
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Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er
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« Reply #58 on: February 09, 2007, 06:28:51 PM »

so... tempted... to... turn... this... oh... so... dirty...
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« Reply #59 on: February 09, 2007, 06:54:38 PM »

so... tempted... to... turn... this... oh... so... dirty...

I fought that temptation, but I see no reason why you should.
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« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2007, 12:04:35 PM »

This may have come up already elsewhere, but is there any plan to set up a board for revisions of stories no longer in the running? It seems like a lot of writers and readers have made strong connections here, and if the stories are to have any post-contest life, some kind of follow-up could benefit everyone—more feedback for writers, more fun for readers. And, ideally, NOT more work for Steve and crew.
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« Reply #61 on: February 12, 2007, 02:32:27 PM »

I've seen some postings by Steve and others - the key right now is to wait until the contest is over.  There is definite interest, and already some ideas of what it should entail
--went looking-- the latest info was at COMPLETED > SEMIFINAL 1 > The Fall of Humphrey the Wise by Marshal L. Latham
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« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2007, 02:42:29 PM »

This may have come up already elsewhere, but is there any plan to set up a board for revisions of stories no longer in the running?

Yeah, this has been talked about in the threads to some of the specific stories.  (I can't even remember which ones anymore.)

Short answer: there will be a "workshop" board to critique stories, for those who are interested continuing to do so.  The timeline and the ground rules are still in flux.

I do not see value in dedicating a board to revising and critting these flash stories from the contest, however.  If you want to keep revising and you can find people willing to keep reading it, you can do it in the thread for your story.  But my own feeling is that having the same crowd respond to the same story more than once yields diminishing (and often disappointing) returns.
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Heradel
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« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2007, 12:47:48 PM »

How are the flash pieces that get contracts going to come out? Should we be expecting a glut at the beginning of March or will they be spaced out over several months?
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« Reply #64 on: February 13, 2007, 12:50:34 PM »

How are the flash pieces that get contracts going to come out? Should we be expecting a glut at the beginning of March or will they be spaced out over several months?

Probably the latter, because we have a lot of other flash stories in inventory too.  It's just been a matter of finding time to produce them.  (Ironically, enough of my time has been eaten by this contest that it's had an effect on getting flash out.  I really need to get better at delegating.)
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Heradel
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« Reply #65 on: February 13, 2007, 01:01:03 PM »

Were that there were clones or something.

How many flash pieces do you think you will be buying from the contest?
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« Reply #66 on: February 13, 2007, 02:44:17 PM »

How many flash pieces do you think you will be buying from the contest?

This is the wrong time to ask.  Please.  Let's just get through this, okay?
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« Reply #67 on: January 20, 2009, 09:45:43 AM »

is it possable to read some of these storys now or inly after the feb 1st deadline?Huh if so where?
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #68 on: January 20, 2009, 09:56:40 AM »

is it possable to read some of these storys now or inly after the feb 1st deadline?Huh if so where?

The contest was two years ago.

All of the stories are available for registered users to read.
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