What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#1
Hello. Duck here. Together with a few others, there have been talks about opening up a writing contest in the next month or two.
For this, we have a few questions for you all.
  • Would you be interested in participating in a user-run contest?
  • Would you prefer for there to be a theme for the contest? (Think of it like what Trash Race did)
  • What rewards would like to see for the winners?
  • In what way would you like to be ranked? (This could be by votes, word-counts, secret panel of judges, overall popularity, etc)
Would love to hear feedback on this.

Updated information can be found on this discord server within a few days: https://discord.gg/SfxD5s2u

Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#3
winners could be chosen by participants only
you can't vote for yourself, but you pick out your top three
three points to your first place pick, 2 points to number two
one point to your third pick, it's easy to to count up too

the best prize i can't think of is to have your work featured
have a list of the top ten, and some views are assured
you could ask Wing to put it in a blog post maybe?
or just have a main forum thread update actively

as for the parameters, i like my 'outline' one
twenty dot jots restricting the plot of everyone
gender, age, magic system, and stuff like that stay free
but the main plot points have to be the same, completely

for example, the lead goes to a magical world
in the middle of a battle, their cheat is unfurled
then they make a friend and decide how to save the day
but the have to use just water magic in some way

i think thirty thousand words minimum should be fine
maybe due forty days after posting the outline?
that's just my suggestion though, this year i can't join in
i'm too busy these days for a new tale to begin ><

Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#4
A theme sounds great, but I'm not sure I'd want it to be too restrictive. Like, all of us writing different version of the same story. I would feel like that is too restrictive, unless the story would end soon after the challenge. I'd find it hard to keep writing a story that's "not my own idea" for very long!

I don't care too much about rewards, exposure and views are enough, maybe we could sprinkle in an author premium but the point isn't in the rewards.

Also it might be important to first collect some "confirmed" writers, who will definitely participate, to be sure the event will take place. (For the trash race, I ended up quitting before posting anything, for example!) Also, it might be a good idea to leave a gap between the Writathon and the new event, and also it's holiday season, to let those hard workers rest a little bit, hmm.

Picking the winners, there's a lot of room for creativity here. We could even do a "tournament bracket" style thing, where stories are pitted against each other and every week people vote to choose their favourite ones? 

But I like the idea of a secret panel of judges even more... And I don't much like the idea of it being just wordcount, it would make this a copy of the writathon, basically. Something totally different could be more fun! 
peoeyesparkle

Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#5
1. That's a solid maybe from me. Time hasn't been kind to my writing schedule of late.
2. Yes. Doesn't have to be too restrictive, but a theme, a hook, a genre- something like that to tie it all together would be nice.
3. ...Free pizza? I dunno, doesn't really need to be a prize in my opinion. You'd get readers. That's good stuff right there.
4. Not word count. Quality stories can be short or long- but they have to be good. Votes, sneaky panel of judges, potpourri contest, all good far as I'm concerned.

Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#6

Ararara Wrote: A theme sounds great, but I'm not sure I'd want it to be too restrictive. Like, all of us writing different version of the same story. I would feel like that is too restrictive, unless the story would end soon after the challenge. I'd find it hard to keep writing a story that's "not my own idea" for very long!

I don't care too much about rewards, exposure and views are enough, maybe we could sprinkle in an author premium but the point isn't in the rewards.

Also it might be important to first collect some "confirmed" writers, who will definitely participate, to be sure the event will take place. (For the trash race, I ended up quitting before posting anything, for example!) Also, it might be a good idea to leave a gap between the Writathon and the new event, and also it's holiday season, to let those hard workers rest a little bit, hmm.

Picking the winners, there's a lot of room for creativity here. We could even do a "tournament bracket" style thing, where stories are pitted against each other and every week people vote to choose their favourite ones? 

But I like the idea of a secret panel of judges even more... And I don't much like the idea of it being just wordcount, it would make this a copy of the writathon, basically. Something totally different could be more fun! 
peoeyesparkle
I think Jan would be best for the competition. Anyways, more talk on the Discord!

Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#7

Dan Wrote: 1. That's a solid maybe from me.  Time hasn't been kind to my writing schedule of late.
2. Yes.  Doesn't have to be too restrictive, but a theme, a hook, a genre- something like that to tie it all together would be nice.
3. ...Free pizza?  I dunno, doesn't really need to be a prize in my opinion.  You'd get readers.  That's good stuff right there.
4. Not word count.  Quality stories can be short or long- but they have to be good.  Votes, sneaky panel of judges, potpourri contest, all good far as I'm concerned.
A massive shout is one of the options. (Where each member/participant shouts out the winner) or maybe a shout list to all the winners? Anyways, join the Discord for more discussion, cause Forrum can be slow. 

Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#8
I think it's a good idea. The timing of it needs to be considered more, but I think it could work really well. Maybe it could be done at various times in the year? One a quarter?

Other thoughts


Dan Wrote: 4. Not word count. Quality stories can be short or long- but they have to be good.

I agree on no word limit, people should be able to participate at their own pace and not have to work hard and potentially burn out to push a certain limit. This competition feels like it is For The People, By The People, so it should be inclusive to reflect that. I think to push that idea further, and if someone hasn't finished their story in the time, it should still be considered. (but obviously the lack of ending should be taken into account in the judging). Maybe a months time limit for each contest though?

I think it ought to be specified when it happens that the judges won't be participating. I know that seems like an obvious thing but it's worth letting people know.
I'm not sure how I feel about anon judges... I can see why but I'm playing Devil's Advocate here, but I wonder what stop gaps there would be to prevent any bias towards judging? Unless there's a certain something being looked for, like a set criteria? I don't know. That needs to be considered and made clear at the start of the contest perhaps.  I suppose if it was a word count like the writathon is then at least that's the clear criteria for success and there's no bias towards it. BUT because the writathon is a word count, it'd be good to have a contest that has a different direction.

The stimulus/theme could be as simple a picture. That way you'd get a variety of stories and genres. I for one don't write LitRPG so I wouldn't be able to get my head round a system, quests and other thingimabobs like that to have to participate towards a particular structure. 

Is there a way where participants sign up before the start of the contest and then be added as admins to the contest page (i.e. fiction page), where the participants have permissions to upload their chapters or parts to their stories as volumes? That way readers have a one go-to-place for participants and all their entries and then can vote for their favourites, if that's a way that it will be judged? 

I think that's all for now in my particular thoughts. I like the idea and it could be something I'd be interested in doing. 



Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#9
I want a word limit, theme, time restriction, and no rewards at all.

Writing contests should be a fun thing for writers, and not invitations for greed, suspicion, and drama. Whenever there is money and fame involved, it brings out the worst in people, and I want to have nothing to do with it.

If you put any reward at all, I'm sure there will be both cheaters and cheater accusations. A circus of review swapping, making alts, telling friends and followers to help out, reporting low ratings, and accusing people of doing the same while bitching about not getting the first place due to "toxicity" and "unfairness". 

Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#10

DrBuller Wrote: Would you be interested in participating in a user-run contest?
Would you prefer for there to be a theme for the contest? (Think of it like what Trash Race did)
What rewards would like to see for the winners?
In what way would you like to be ranked? (This could be by votes, word-counts, secret panel of judges, overall popularity, etc)
I would like to participate! I think a theme makes things easier to digest. Rewards aren't so important, maybe a shoutout or something! Like others have said, readers are pretty good! I think votes or judges would be good. Word count and overall popularity I don't like as rating systems, because then it would be more about having the spare time and marketing skills than good writing.


I agree with what others have said, to leave a little bit of time after writeathon. Maybe January rather than December? :)

Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#12

Kathy Wrote:
DrBuller Wrote: Would you be interested in participating in a user-run contest?
Would you prefer for there to be a theme for the contest? (Think of it like what Trash Race did)
What rewards would like to see for the winners?
In what way would you like to be ranked? (This could be by votes, word-counts, secret panel of judges, overall popularity, etc)
I would like to participate! I think a theme makes things easier to digest. Rewards aren't so important, maybe a shoutout or something! Like others have said, readers are pretty good! I think votes or judges would be good. Word count and overall popularity I don't like as rating systems, because then it would be more about having the spare time and marketing skills than good writing.


I agree with what others have said, to leave a little bit of time after writeathon. Maybe January rather than December? :)
Yes, January seems to be the best for everyone

Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#13

EnhancedBeing Wrote: I think it's a good idea. The timing of it needs to be considered more, but I think it could work really well. Maybe it could be done at various times in the year? One a quarter?

Other thoughts


Dan Wrote: 4. Not word count. Quality stories can be short or long- but they have to be good.

I agree on no word limit, people should be able to participate at their own pace and not have to work hard and potentially burn out to push a certain limit. This competition feels like it is For The People, By The People, so it should be inclusive to reflect that. I think to push that idea further, and if someone hasn't finished their story in the time, it should still be considered. (but obviously the lack of ending should be taken into account in the judging). Maybe a months time limit for each contest though?

I think it ought to be specified when it happens that the judges won't be participating. I know that seems like an obvious thing but it's worth letting people know.
I'm not sure how I feel about anon judges... I can see why but I'm playing Devil's Advocate here, but I wonder what stop gaps there would be to prevent any bias towards judging? Unless there's a certain something being looked for, like a set criteria? I don't know. That needs to be considered and made clear at the start of the contest perhaps.  I suppose if it was a word count like the writathon is then at least that's the clear criteria for success and there's no bias towards it. BUT because the writathon is a word count, it'd be good to have a contest that has a different direction.

The stimulus/theme could be as simple a picture. That way you'd get a variety of stories and genres. I for one don't write LitRPG so I wouldn't be able to get my head round a system, quests and other thingimabobs like that to have to participate towards a particular structure. 

Is there a way where participants sign up before the start of the contest and then be added as admins to the contest page (i.e. fiction page), where the participants have permissions to upload their chapters or parts to their stories as volumes? That way readers have a one go-to-place for participants and all their entries and then can vote for their favourites, if that's a way that it will be judged? 

I think that's all for now in my particular thoughts. I like the idea and it could be something I'd be interested in doing. 



It is true that having judges would hard, perhaps the criteria should be highest rated/ highest ranked while also accounting for follows. WITH the rule that you can't swap or ask another participant to review you. Reviews must come organically. On the flip side, having everyone review everyone else and then decide the winnerthrough a voting system among all members (I am sure Discord has a bot for that) can be done. It would be high effort though. Something to be discussed


Sake Wrote: I want a word limit, theme, time restriction, and no rewards at all.

Writing contests should be a fun thing for writers, and not invitations for greed, suspicion, and drama. Whenever there is money and fame involved, it brings out the worst in people, and I want to have nothing to do with it.

If you put any reward at all, I'm sure there will be both cheaters and cheater accusations. A circus of review swapping, making alts, telling friends and followers to help out, reporting low ratings, and accusing people of doing the same while bitching about not getting the first place due to "toxicity" and "unfairness".


The above are being discussed. And while it is true that rewards tend to get people cheating, there can be ways in place to prevent that. Like a democratic system for instance. At the end of the day it needs to be discussed. Perhaps join the Discord?

Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#14

Sake Wrote: I want a word limit, theme, time restriction, and no rewards at all.
Word Max and min is understandable 


Theme? Of course

Time restrictions was a given

No rewards tho.. Yeah, pretty sure that is gonna happen. If it turn into user voting, we will be making sure they are valid. Else the judge system can work out pretty well. Others have shown desire towards rewards and they will be met

Re: What would you like to see in a contest run by users?

#20
You all have some great ideas.  The rules would not be a problem.  We could all just vote on them through some poll.  
Maybe organize it so that everyone can have some benefits of entering and completing it.
And, I would consider it a success if:
1.  helps me  write more
2.  brings in new views, followers, comments,

So, how would you market it?  On forum here, through social media?  Through our own pre and post chapter comments?

I really can see how it can work well.  Hope we can move it along.