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Author Topic: Pod Castle Flash Contest - Rules  (Read 33578 times)
Ocicat
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« on: June 26, 2013, 06:13:31 PM »

GENERAL RULES:

1. This contest is being run by the Podcastle forum moderators: Ocicat and Talia. Neither they nor the Podcastle Editorial team are eligible to submit entries.

2. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners (and perhaps some editor's choices) will receive a contract to be bought and produced as flash fiction pieces for the normal flash fiction rate. Contact will be established with the winning authors at the conclusion of the contest.

3. Stories will be posted anonymously. Authors will be revealed after their story either loses or wins the contest. Please do not try to guess at the authors, at least publically. Those posts will be deleted and the poster will be warned. As an author, please do not try to garner outside support through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. we cannot stop you, but I urge you to just link to the contest in general, not your story. That said, please do tell your friends about this contest and about Escape Artists! We will be keeping an eye on any fishy business, and if we think something is up, action will be taken. It is easy to find cheaters. If we discover that an author has revealed their authorship of a story before it is allowed (in the contest threads or elsewhere), that is grounds for disqualification of the story. The contest is to be won on the merits of the story, not the popularity of the author.

4. As always, constructive discussion is encouraged about all stories posted in this contest. The key word here is constructive. Normal forum rules remain in place. Be civil and respectful. That's our one rule. Rude and unconstructive negativity will be deleted or edited, and the offending poster will be warned. This goes for authors as well. You are free to comment on any story, including your own, but keep it civil and respectful. I reserve the right to kick any author and their stories out of the contest should there be ample reason.

5. Creating multiple accounts to vote for a story will get you banned from the forums and your story kicked from the contest. If you are sharing a computer, living space, or router with someone else who will be voting or creating an account, make sure to message me. Failure to do so may result in various adverse effects such as account deletion and/or banning.

6. In order to encourage more people to participate, the contest forum is currently visible to everyone, including non-forum members. However, once the submissions are closed the contest forum will be hidden and available only to registered members of the forum, and will remain so. This will ensure that the entries are not available to a general audience and prevent them as being considered as published by most markets. If needed for outside publishing purposes, an author can request a story to be deleted. Simply message me on the forums or email eaflash@gmail.com with your concerns.

TIE-BREAKERS

If there is a tie such that it's not clear which stories need to go up to the next round, there will be a tie-breaker poll, where voters will need to decide which of the tied stories will move up. If there is again a tie, then the contest runners will cast the deciding vote. This will be the only circumstance in which they vote.

THE SCHEDULE:

Submissions for the contest will open on July 1st and will close on August 31st. The stories will become available for voting on Sept 4th.
Submissions received before July 1st will be ignored. There is no guarantee that you will even get a notice informing you of an early submission.  Similarly, submissions received after August 31st will also be ignored.

Stories will be posted in sub-forum groups. Group size will be determined by the total number of submissions. Story groups will also be randomized. As such, an early story submission does not necessarily mean an early group number. I will, however, ensure that no two stories from the same author are competing for as long as possible.
Sub-forum groups will include individual threads for each story, as well as a poll thread. These sub-forums will only be visible to registered forum members. We encourage discussion on all of these stories, but please keep it within the designated story threads. Do not discuss contest submissions on areas visible to non-forum members. That means pretty much anywhere but in the threads themselves.

Please read below for information on how and what to submit.

CONTEST SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

In order to be a valid submission to the contest, each story must adhere to the following rules:

1. The story must be no more than 500 words long, not including its title. Do not use the title to skirt around the word count. Word count will be determined using Microsoft Word 2007.  

2. The story must adhere to the general Podcastle submission guidelines. It should be a story with a fantasy element.  Fantasy is a very broad genre, and we have a liberal interpretation of it.  Anything from sword and sorcery to magical realism is fine, but do not submit a straight up science fiction story.  Fantasy stories that are horrific in tone are fine, as are comedy stories and adventure tales.

3. The story must be original and previously unpublished. The person submitting the story must be the story's author (or acting for the author with express permission) and hold full publishing rights to the story. A story that is derived from a previous published work in another format (i.e. not a short story) is fine (assuming doing so isn't in violation of copyright, obviously).

If you are not sure whether your story counts as published or not (for example, if an earlier version has appeared on your blog but nowhere else), please write (PM or send a query to eaflash@gmail.com with the subjectline "QUERY") and ask before submitting. Please do not submit stories that have been entries in a previous contest on this forums.

4. The story should be submitted in its final form, as the author intends it to be read by the voting public. We may or may not allow minor typo corrections if those slip in, but as a general rule, we will not allow authors to submit changes to stories, especially not after submissions are closed.

5. Each author may submit up to two stories.

Send submissions to eaflash@gmail.com with "PC FLASH SUBMISSION: Title of Story" in the subject line. I will be using automatic filters in the account so there's a good chance stories submitted with improperly formatted subject lines will be lost.

Included the body of the submission email should be the title, byline (your legal and proper name), an email address we will be able to contact you at in the next few months, and, of course, the text of your story.  DO NOT SEND THE STORY IN AN ATTACHMENT.  The byline will be stripped when the stories are posted in the contest, and will be revealed when either the story fails to advance, or ultimately wins. Feel free to request a pseudonym for the byline, but we will need a legal name if you win for prize purposes.

If you still have questions about how to submit, check out the Podcastle Submission Guidelines.

Further details regarding the voting process will become available as the voting phase grows closer, determined partially by the amount of submissions.

And one last bit of boilerplate: We reserve the right to change the rules depending on circumstances and with notice in this thread, though the democratic intent of the contest shall remain intact.

Please blog, tweet, email, send postcards, telephone, summon demons, and otherwise get the word out.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 12:35:54 PM by Bdoomed » Logged
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 07:13:38 AM »

Woot!
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Cutter McKay
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 12:58:34 PM »

My only complaint is that the contest won't begin until September(!). I'm stoked for this contest. The last two were a blast, and I was thrilled to be in the Finals for the PseudoPod contest. I already have two stories written, trimmed, trimmed again, trimmed some more, (500 words...) and ready to go.

Bring it on.  Wink
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lowky
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from http://lovecraftismissing.com/?page_id=3142


« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 07:28:07 PM »

a question because it's not covered in submissions that I saw, what about poetry? Obviously not really short stuff but longer form poetry?
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Ocicat
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2013, 08:01:35 PM »

I have nothing against it.  If the voters like it it will do well.  If they don't like it - well, you'll know.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2013, 09:06:53 PM »

In the PP contest I don't think any poetry made it to the finals. However, Podcastle contests seem historically to be more favorable to word prose mood pieces.
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Max e^{i pi}
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 02:36:01 AM »

Woohoo!
Now I just need to see if I can cram a 500 word story on the back of a postcard...

Also, if my demon writes the story for me, that counts as acting on the author's behalf with permission, right?
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2013, 09:42:21 AM »

Well the timing is convenient for me--I'll be on paternity leave from mid-July to Labor Day, a stretch where I'll probably be largely absent from the forums, but I'll be back just in time for the reading and voting phase!
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The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2013, 11:40:21 AM »

New market listing for it:
http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/thegrinder/market.aspx?mid=2275

Smiley
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The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
Jec
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2013, 03:58:14 PM »

One story is almost ready.  I think I will have time for two this time.  Cheesy
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DoWhileNot
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2013, 11:04:58 AM »

500 words?  Eeks!

Well, it's good editing practice.
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flintknapper
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2013, 03:45:24 PM »

Dowhilenot, I used to share your opinion but having read all the entries to the pseudopod contest, 500 words is plenty. As it was, it kicked my butt to read them all. I was actually almost hoping that the size would be cut down to 300 words. I think it used to be 300 words in the older contests but I could be wrong.

In some ways, the drabblecast has the right idea. At 100 words a pop, I can sit and read a couple on my break at work without any problems. However, I do enjoy these more substantive flash fiction contests. You can say a lot in 500 words. Last time, I found myself reading the stories into the late hours of the night.

As for this contest, I was going to submit the Awanyu in that I wrote as a sequel to Giusewa (pseudopod story), but decided to write new stories. I posted the Awanyu over at the drabblecast forums. I am also going to branch out from the southwest so that my stories do not just have ogres or kachinas.. or awanyu for that matter. We will see what though. I got a couple stories written, but I am not feeling any of them right now as fantasy stories.

I made a pact with myself that I am going to comment on every story in the contest this time. Given the broad scope of fantasy, I am actually looking forward to seeing which subgenres are represented the most.   
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DoWhileNot
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2013, 04:17:05 PM »

Yeah, it's true that's an issue.  I just imagined Tolkien trying to write a fantasy story in 500 words and had to laugh.  I did a pretty good job at commenting during the Escape Pod contest, not as good during the Pseudopod contest, and we'll see how things go this time.  With a heavy work load, a long commute, a farm, and a big handful of kids, things can get pretty busy.

This time though, I'm thinking about trying to get my older kids to participate.  I was happy to have them skip pseudopod's stories because there were certainly some kid unfriendly ones there.  Podcastle tends to be a little milder though.

Anyone else have an idea of what ratings we can expect on stories... or maybe have a rating system on them like Podcastle does for it's productions?  G, PG, R, X.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2013, 10:16:39 PM »

Yeah, it's true that's an issue.  I just imagined Tolkien trying to write a fantasy story in 500 words and had to laugh.  I did a pretty good job at commenting during the Escape Pod contest, not as good during the Pseudopod contest, and we'll see how things go this time.  With a heavy work load, a long commute, a farm, and a big handful of kids, things can get pretty busy.

This time though, I'm thinking about trying to get my older kids to participate.  I was happy to have them skip pseudopod's stories because there were certainly some kid unfriendly ones there.  Podcastle tends to be a little milder though.

Anyone else have an idea of what ratings we can expect on stories... or maybe have a rating system on them like Podcastle does for it's productions?  G, PG, R, X.

I wouldn't expect ratings. The mods are going to have enough on their hands as it is without having to pre-screen all the stories to give them ratings.
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evrgrn_monster
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2013, 10:25:10 PM »

Question!

Are we allowed to submit stories we have posted in other forums for critique purposes? Does that count as published like a blog would?
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Ocicat
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« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2013, 04:16:42 AM »

That depends.  If I can google it without being a member of the group, then yes, it counts as published.  If I can't, then it doesn't count as published yet.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2013, 07:40:54 AM »

I wouldn't expect ratings. The mods are going to have enough on their hands as it is without having to pre-screen all the stories to give them ratings.

Yeah.  I think that if you want kids to participate, its got to be your own responsibility to pre-screen them.

That depends.  If I can google it without being a member of the group, then yes, it counts as published.  If I can't, then it doesn't count as published yet.

Which is a good rule of thumb to avoid using up your first publication rights anyway.  If you post a story to a public forum, you've used up your first publication rights, limited drastically the places you might be able to sell it, and limited drastically the pay you could get for it.
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DoWhileNot
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« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2013, 09:56:34 AM »

I wouldn't expect ratings. The mods are going to have enough on their hands as it is without having to pre-screen all the stories to give them ratings.

Yep, agreed.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2013, 12:01:10 PM »

And I have submitted my alotted two entries!  Bring it on!
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The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
DKT
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« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2013, 05:22:44 PM »

Hey all - editor stepping in for a moment. Wow! Excited to see so many responses already!

And many, many thanks to both Talia and Ocicat for being willing to run it. I look forward to reading the stories.

a question because it's not covered in submissions that I saw, what about poetry? Obviously not really short stuff but longer form poetry?


Technically, I guess you could sub poetry to the contest, but I would strongly urge against it. Poetry is not something we buy or run, even the greats that are now in Public Domain. So, I guess if it won, we'd run it, but chances of us buying it if we do buy additional stories is pretty slim.

Poetic prose stories with lush language? That's a whole different ball game Smiley
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