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Contest rule compliance: responsibility.

Printed From: NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting
Category: GENERAL DISCUSSION
Forum Name: Creative Writing Corner
Forum Description: Discuss NYC Midnight Creative Writing Competitions or Creative Writing in general.
URL: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=1597
Printed Date: 21 Jul 2019 at 11:21pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Contest rule compliance: responsibility.
Posted By: abc-xyz
Subject: Contest rule compliance: responsibility.
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 6:22am
All,

This post is for your information only.

I sent the below e-mail message to nycmmm@msn.com on Friday, September 05, 2008 3:41 PM.

Today is Monday, September 08, 2008, 11:20 p.m., and I have not received a response.

---------------------------------------------------------

Administrators of the NYC Midnight flash fiction contest,

I am a professional who does peer review of creative and technical efforts of nationally- and internationally-known people in a specialized field. I am a judge and a jury rolled into one. I am bound by law, as well as ethics defined by my licensure.

If I make a mistake and fail to catch non-compliances, not one, not dozens, not hundreds, but thousands of lives will be at stake, which 20th and 21st century history has proven as fact.

Also, I have half a decade of experience with flash fiction writing, editing, and critiquing. I have published nearly 50 stories in reputable printed and internet magazines. I am not an expert, far from it. However, in my humble opinion, I bring some level of experience to the table.

In the past four weeks, I have read everyone's Forum posts and made a number of notes about their stories which I have kept to myself. Some posts were spot-on regarding compliance with the rules, but a fair number were not. In addition, I made positive and negative constructive comments about story lines (some of which, by the way, were quite good), but these are off-point for this communication.

This morning, I was gravely disappointed when I saw who placed in Challenge #1 of Round #1. [rev. 09/10/08. I was referring to problems/issues with the stories with respect to the fuzzy rules, NOT the (good) *quality* of the stories.]

In the top placing stories [09/08/08 11:10 a.m. rev., based on those that were posted], I found the following non-compliances and problems/issues:
1. Incorrect genres for which the judges should have
    least heavily docked the scores if not disqualified
    the stories,
2. Plots with huge holes/gaps/inconsistencies,
3. Long, flowery run-on sentences that seem atypical of
    flash fiction, some with rambling qualities,
4. Synopses much longer than the two-sentence maximum
    and synopses presented as summaries not log lines,
5. Texts that needed major proofreading, and
6. Presentations which were visually difficult, i.e.,
    indents, line spacing, and other things which were
    jumbled up. First impressions should be
    everything. We shouldn't have to struggle to see
    what's in front of us.

Word count? Some stories may have gone over the 1000 maximum, for which the entries would have been docked 10% in points or disqualified, according to two contradictory rules.

My story's rating? Irrelevant. I have already identified several good markets and will be publishing it exactly as written for this contest in a quality print magazine or ezine. [09/06/08, post-script: Story submitted.]

I have chosen to withdraw from this contest, because I don't know how the playing field was, is, or will be defined. What are the rules? I decline to compete in anything in which the rules are changed without informing me as I go.

I strongly recommend that the judges raise the bar back to at least include and enforce the rules that were posted for this contest. Disqualification of entries is in the rules and it should used for non-compliant stories, until a penalty system for points is developed.

I advise the contest administrators to tighten up the rules either from here on in or for the next contest. All ambiguity, fuzziness, omissions, and contradictions should be addressed.

If you would like me to review and critique revisions in the rules, I would be pleased to do so.

Thank you for reviewing my observations and seriously considering how to implement my recommendations.

Sincerely,


------
p.s. 9/10/2008 -- Still no response.



    
    
    



Replies:
Posted By: alexander
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 6:45am
ummm    ok then....


Posted By: sutekh137
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 7:59am
Just one question -- how can you know the text of all the stories that won?  Not everyone posted?

Also, (and I mean this), I would love to hear your critique of my story in the event you think it falls into one of the "non-compliances" you state.  I would be happy to email you a PDF copy of my story (second place, group 9, challenge 1), and would be happy to read yours and provide feedback.

I will note that while a couple groups had what I thought were glaring misses on ratings, I can't really know for sure how this all worked since we can't see all the stories.  We're pretty far up the "meta" river here -- how can one state with certainty what good judging is?

Thanks,
JoeK


Posted By: stupidmick
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 10:14am
Sounds like some sour grapes to me... Does anyone really care that this person quit the competition?


Posted By: NinjaHero
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 10:23am
I think we should all care that this person quit the competition. If some of us are playing by the rules and penalizing ourselves, then it matters. This contest is for money, not for free. Fair play is essential.

If it turns out you can skirt your genre and turn in a 2000 word story and win, then what is the point of this contest?


-------------
#1: http://ninjaheroshorts.blogspot.com/ - In with the Cyclone, out with the Cyclone
#2: http://ninjaheroshorts.blogspot.com/ - The Last Trick


Posted By: sutekh137
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 10:31am
I don't disagree, NH, but what proof does the original poster have that this is happening?  I read and critiqued every publicly posted story, and other than a few exceptions, I did not see any glaring problems with judging, and where there were gaps, there were gaps -- I had no way of knowing what won the heats.  In some cases, every one of the top five writers did NOT post their story, so how can anyone say that there was rampant mis-judgment here?  Could we at least have one example?

Not likely, I'm afraid, this sounds more like a hit-and-run.  I hope I am wrong, but the user who posted has no information on their profile, and only has this one post to their name.  If a person really wants to make a difference, then I think he/she sould stick around and communicate that, not just post then leave.  Since that is the case here, I tend to agree more with stupidmick's assessment...  :\

JoeK


Posted By: NinjaHero
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 10:35am
I agree, I would like some examples. But in another thread here we just found out that a second place story had 1021 words. It was a great story and I am sure it came in second because it deserved it.

But my story was a heck of a lot better before I cut out that last 60 words too.

I just think this person has a point. We should know the actual rules. I would hate to think that someone in my heat turned in a 3000 word story and won. They didn't post so I have no idea. But that would seem to be very foul play.


-------------
#1: http://ninjaheroshorts.blogspot.com/ - In with the Cyclone, out with the Cyclone
#2: http://ninjaheroshorts.blogspot.com/ - The Last Trick


Posted By: dadams
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 10:39am
I think abc-xyz has a very good point. The rules SPECIFICALLY state the stories are to be under a thousand words. If I had known it was okay to submit a story of any length, then I wouldn't have edited mine. I don't think it's 'sour grapes', he/she is stating the facts.


Posted By: sutekh137
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 10:46am
True points.

Hurry up and post your story, NH, I want to see what you did with a dramatic beach wheelbarrow!  *laugh*

JoeK


Posted By: mra061818
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 10:47am
I agree...I think that exceeding the word limit should be an automatic disqualification. That may seem like a hard-nosed approach, but the word limit is specifically stated as part of the challenge, and in fact, it's part of the fun for the writers. It's the one variable that is truly quantifiable. The rest is all up to artistic interpretation.


Posted By: NinjaHero
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 10:52am
I agree on the word count, but I am not sure its fair to disqualify people now. The first heat is over. The rules were not clear at all on some of these points. So I wouldn't take back anyone's place.

Perhaps people in the first heat should keep their place, but maybe adjust the people below them. So if the winner of one heat went over 1000 words, maybe second place should get the same number of points as first, if they stayed under. Or something to that effect.

Okay, now I feel like I am whining. Sorry. It doesn't help me anyway. The stories that kicked my butt seemed to be under 1000  :(

I will post later today sutekh, thanks for the interest. Mine is not good.


-------------
#1: http://ninjaheroshorts.blogspot.com/ - In with the Cyclone, out with the Cyclone
#2: http://ninjaheroshorts.blogspot.com/ - The Last Trick


Posted By: sutekh137
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 10:52am
Word count is explicitly part of format (paragraph 18 of the Official Rules PDF), and they state clearly that paragraph 18 (format) is 10% of score.

However, I don't know how far that can go...surely someone writing a 4000 word story should lose more than 10%, given how limiting the word limit is?  I'm not sure...

JoeK


Posted By: mra061818
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 11:11am
Thinking a little bit about how lax interpretation of rules could be such a slippery slope...if writers don't have to strictly adhere to the 1,000-word limit, then what about the deadline? If a few extra words don't matter, then what would be the problem with a writer taking 15 extra minutes to submit? Ermm 


Posted By: writinghappens
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 11:34am
I think I'm going to de-lurk for a bit to add my two cents.

I agree with the sentiment expressed in abc-xyz's post. Although I can't say anything completely for certain, but there are a few instances where people who posted their stories then received high ranks did have discrepancies between their stories and the roles. I hate to single anyone out, but since it has already been mentioned and is the most obvious... the second place winner for group seven has admitted that their story was submitted over the word count, albeit only 21 words.

The word count one is of particular concern for me. For the first assignment, I wrote my story and it originally came out at around 1700 words. But I edited, and I tightened, and at 1100 words, I had a nice tight story. Unfortunately, the requirement was 1000 words, not 1100. I painfully edited out those last 100 words, and what I was left with was not as good as it was before. The pacing was a bit too rushed at times, and a few small elements that helped move the story along in a more enjoyable and fleshed out fashion had to be cut.

Now, I still placed very well in my group. But the problem is, I don't know for certain if maybe I would've placed better had I submitted my story at 1100 words instead of 1000. Now, I haven't read the other stories that won for that group, and I can't say why the judges ranked the stories the way they did, but because there is unclarity regarding what happens with word counts that exceed 1000, I'll never know for certain if one of the people who placed higher than me had the exact same predicament and chose to leave their story at 1100, so even if they were docked points for going over, they more than made up for it with the better pacing and increased little tidbits to flesh things out. Not only is it not fair to me, it's not fair to the other people in my group who placed higher than me, or the people who placed lower who could be wondering the same thing about mine.

This time when I edited my story for round two, I spent the greatest amount of time not writing my story, not editing for grammar or content, but dealing with the word count. After I cropped it down to 1000 exactly, hours were spent pouring over it seeing a place where I really needed a word added, and looking for a word I could remove in return. The idea of just adding a few more words, even just 21 more words, and forgetting about the word cap was very tempting, though in the end I refrained since I didn't know if maybe the judges in my group (I believe it was mentioned different groups had different judges) might look more harshly at that then the judges for Group 7.

I noticed on the Q&A forum, the one question the admins never respond to no matter how many times it was asked was the question of word count. I have a theory that this is because they deal with these on a case by case basis... for example, the person who placed second in group seven was only over by 21 words, an arguably negligible amount, and perhaps only got a few points docked or was not penalized at all, where maybe if someone submitted something that pushed the boundaries more, by being over by 1300 or something, they would be disqualified for clearly not even trying. But even if this were true, we should know... again, it would've been nice last round to know that me and everyone else could safely toss in ten or so extra words past the max without feeling any danger. Maybe if there was a rule such as in the contest, you can go over the word count max twice (out of a possible four submissions) though you only get fifty words total for both times (so you could be 1043 one time and 1007 the next, but 1043 and 1008 or 1010, 1023, and 1017 would get you disqualified.)

Then again, some of abc-xyz's complaints are more subjective. In terms of formatting, I know if I copy a story from Word to an e-mail or an internet journal, the formatting will change, and sometimes in ugly ways. In terms of incorrect genres, perhaps he is talking about something glaring, or maybe it is something subtle. I sent my story around to a few friends to read and get feedback before I submitted it, and a few felt that my story didn't qualify as horror because there were no monsters, while others thought this wasn't necessary. In terms of long flowery run-on sentences, well... that seems like a weird thing to add to the list, for while it may not be a staple of flash fiction, if someone can make something like that work with their story and can sacrifice the word count to do so, then more power to them.

In the end it's a complicated matter. I mean, if the second place winner discovered that his story deserved second but was DQed over 21 words, I'm sure he would be incredibly upset. I myself would be upset if I was DQed because the judges had a strict "there must be monsters!" mindset and therefore felt my story didn't apply, even though from my interpretation of horror I feel this fits right inside the genre. But at the same time... if there are rules that can be broken, I want to know so I can break them too, in the name of producing a stronger story. It's a competition, and I am going to compete to the best of my ability. I'm hoping I do well again this round so I can go onto the 2nd round, and if I do, I'm again going to have the Word Count Debate in my head wondering which is more important: strict adherence to the rules, or giving my story that little bit of extra "ooomph" that could take it to number 1.


Posted By: writinghappens
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 11:35am
Augh... Looking at what I typed, I guess there's proof that I do have trouble with word counts and reigning it in.  Maybe we should add word counts to forum posts too. :\


Posted By: sutekh137
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 11:40am
wh, I don't mind your sentiment, but please get the facts correct -- I was second place in heat nine, and I was most definitely under 1000 words, you can check yourself at:

http://www.sutekh137.net/fiction/9_The_Tall_Man.pdf - http://www.sutekh137.net/fiction/9_The_Tall_Man.pdf

993 words, by my count...

I believe the story that was 1021 was second place in the fantasy/pool hall/DVD player heat.


Thanks,
JoeK


Posted By: sutekh137
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 11:42am
And I don't mind the length at all of your post  *smile*  Words are fun!  You make very good points about subjective vs. objective, and the word count think is definitely a tricky thing (as is time of submission, as another person pointed out)...

JoeK


Posted By: writinghappens
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 11:52am
Ack! Sorry. I went back and fixed that. Silly me...


Posted By: dadams
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 11:55am

Writinghappens brings up a good point. Exactly when does NYC plan on responding to the word count issue? The rules need to apply to everyone. And if the rules have been changed, or if they're 'open to interpretation', then shouldn't they let us know?



Posted By: sutekh137
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 12:09pm
In my opinion, they should just add an additional rider to paragraph 18, stating a special caveat for empirical, objective things like word count and time of submission.  Those items, when out of compliance, should be able to begin eating into the remaining 90% of scoring.  I'm not sure about a flat-out disqualification, but it should definitely be able to eat up more than 10% of score.  If they simply stated that working outside of the format and timing parameters could eat into the remaining 90% UP TO AND INCLUDING full disqualification, would that help?  Still too ambiguous?

There are a lot of experienced writers here, what have other online (or offline) contests done with this kind of thing?  Flat DQs?

JoeK


Posted By: studavegga
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 12:10pm
I sent the people in NYCmidnight a private message specifically asking about word count. I was in group 7 and when I heard the second place winner was over 21 words, I was surprised, since I assumed going over the word count would bring someone's placing down.

Apparently, according to the response I got, it's at the discretion of the judge...(so this is kind of a non-answer).

Judges are instructed to deduct points from the overall score for breaking any of the format rules, such as going over the word limit. Different judges may decide that going a few words over the limit might not deserve to be deducted the full 10% of the format score (as stated in the rules). But, we are keeping a close eye on the point deductions and are doing our best to make sure that stories that break the format rules are not awarded the full 10% score for format.

Also, disqualifications are reserved for major rule breaking, such as not including an assigned genre, location or object or submitting a story many hundreds of words over the limit (for example).

-------------
Writer by day, drunk by night


Posted By: linguist
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 12:27pm
I have also observed there seems to be a flagrant disregard for word count. This is my first time at this contest so I very carefully whittled down both stories entered to be less than 1000 words.

I've seen some posters openly (in some cases, gleefully) admit they were over the limit. It seems pretty unevenly handled.

I scored low in my group, but that's because I had a not so good story written hurriedly on the same weekend I got married, so hey, I deserved the score I got.

But if we're not all playing out of the same rulebook...that seems unfair, and as mentioned by another poster, especially if we're paying to enter this little competition.


Posted By: NinjaHero
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 12:37pm
I don't know. I thought the whole point of this contest was to create a complete story 1000 words or less?

I don't like the idea that some groups get judges who ignore rules and the rest of us are stuck with judges who are strict. That is a crappy crap shoot.

Yes I did just say crappy crap shoot. Now we know why my story didn't do better. :)


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#1: http://ninjaheroshorts.blogspot.com/ - In with the Cyclone, out with the Cyclone
#2: http://ninjaheroshorts.blogspot.com/ - The Last Trick


Posted By: abc-xyz
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 1:15pm
First, a response to sutekh137:
I've been a member of this Forum for several months. I chose to post my message on the topic of rule compliance under abc-xyz.

Second...
I never said where my story placed.

---
Third...

For some ideas on how flash fiction is defined, a good starting point is the following:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_fiction - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_fiction
Please see the references noted at the bottom of the web page.

Please note that flash fiction is almost without exception 1000 words or less. Sometimes special word limits are required: 50 (dribble), 55, 100 (drabble), and so on.

For the shorter lengths, word limits are exact, firm, and enforced. That is, a drabble is exactly 100 words, no more, no less, with a title up to 15 words in length.

A number of websites contain information on the shorter forms of flash fiction, including:
http://www.trickster.org/symposium/symp162.html - http://www.trickster.org/symposium/symp162.html

As another start, definitions of genres can be found at the following:
http://www.wikipedia.com - www.wikipedia.com
http://www.freebase.com - http://www.freebase.com (which often refers back to http://www.wikipedia.com - www.wikipedia.com

A fair number of the markets for flash fiction can be found as follows:
http://www.duotrope.com - http://www.duotrope.com
If you type in word length = 1000 with a genre, a list of printed journals and ezines will be presented. Other options will narrow down your search results.

As you will notice, the word limits in the various markets are either maxima or exact. Submittals with too many words are rejected.

Also, these markets accept stories written in specific genres. Stories written in the wrong genres are rejected. Sure, a genre can be subjective, especially when its crosses borders into another genre, but it needs to have most of its essence of the requested genre.

For me, the fun of flash fiction writing is developing a story per the word count rule. If you do this enough, you'll start thinking in snippets that fit the word length and rarely overshoot by more than 5%. Trimming isn't difficult, because all of us write with extra words in our first drafts. And, again, flash fiction writing tends to have shorter, crisper sentences. The shorter the word limit, the more choppy the style of writing.

Hope that this is helpful in some small way.
    


Posted By: HughDeppman
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 1:34pm

I think the original poster made some excellent points. While I think he may have some understandable disappointment with not placing high (edited because, as OP points out, OP never states where OP placed), it does not seem to me his concerns stem from losing. His points are about more than sour grapes.

NYCMM has put forth specific rules. We, as contestants paying good money that could easily be spent on any other competition, should expect them to abide by those rules. Some of them, like the word counts, are facts, and therefore inexcusable and should be addressed by NYCMM. Just leaving these issues on the table will only put more worms into the can.

Also, I can see what he means about formatting. I don't want to detract anything from any of the writers, because I've seen a lot of fantastic stories. But some of them don't read well, they still placed very high, and I would have thought form would count as heavily as content.

To another poster's comment about not all of the stories being posted, that doesn't mean he didn't read them. Some of the winners didn't post but are happy to share their stories if you request it. If you haven't done this, I encourage you to. This is one tough competition, and for many of the winners, there is a good reason they placed at the top.

As far as objectivity when scoring a story based on content, not form: as someone who is sick of contests but keeps plugging away at them, I've never seen a competition where the judges did not bring personal preferences to the table. I've just learned to accept this will happen. If I disagree with their decisions, at least, like the original poster said, I end up with some often great stories to send to other publishers.

(To anyone that did not score high, I encourage you to do the same. Send those stories to other contests and magazines. Just because they didn't score well doesn't mean they were no good.)

I mean, judges and publishers overlook a golden goose all the time.

For example: The Shining (and its author's previous works) was rejected by many publishers before its release and phenomenal success. The Thirteenth Tale, a runaway bestseller for over a year, earning the author over 1 million pounds as an advance alone, was rejected by countless publishers before finding a home. I'd like to tell all of the publishers that said no to these stories, "WERE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!?!?!"


If it takes another publisher for your story to find success, you may wish to tell NYCMM the same :)



-------------
Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!


Posted By: HughDeppman
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 1:41pm
"If I make a mistake and fail to catch non-compliances, not one, not dozens, not hundreds, but thousands of lives will be at stake, which 20th and 21st century history has proven as fact."

However, looking over the original post again, I have to think pieces of his email, like the above, have something to do with them not responding to his email. Lives at stake? Sure, thousands may be upset their story lost, and they may feel their story didn't receive fair consideration, and they may wish they could have their entry fee back. But lives at stake?!

He makes some great points, but it came across to me like he was playing judge and jury for the issue, which can be immediately off putting.


-------------
Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!


Posted By: abc-xyz
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 1:48pm
.


Posted By: sutekh137
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 1:57pm
HughDepp, IIRC, you were in Subway, and I thought your story should have easily been in the top five.  The Subway heat was one where two of my favorite stories, yours and "Pencils" scored halfway up the ladder, at best.

If most other places make word count an instant disqualifier (when exceeded), I can understand better some of the frustration here...  I'm quite new to this, one longer short story not even placing (no idea where it ended up) to now getting second place in challenge one when I was just hoping for top 5.  I don't know how much is skill and how much is luck (I always feel lucky, though  *smile*).

abc-xyz, I will read the links you gave above, I appreciate it...

JoeK 


Posted By: alexander
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 2:13pm
i feel that if u go over the word count you shouldn't finish in the top ten. that is the one rule that bothers me that writers are ingoring, yet getting away with it.


    


Posted By: Skylark
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 3:15pm
Some of the points made here about the fuzziness of it all are well-founded (I won't go over them again) and I agree.
 
I have to call you out though, abc, on your post beginning "This morning, I was gravely disappointed when I saw who placed in Challenge ..."
 
We are all competing in this together, and for you to single out a fellow writer for such venom is uncalled-for and unsportsmanlike. 
 
While, for disclosure's sake, I too am disappointed that I didn't place better, and  don't hold out much hope for this round, I have had an absolute blast here. I have been inspired, challenged, and happy to have met you all. I've seen and received some first-rate critiquing from my competitors, and will become an even better writer because of it.  And yes, I am also a professional writer and editor. Trust me, the self-improvement doesn't stop with the royalties checks, or with winning contests. Isn't that why we are all here?
 
I hope that the winner of Round x will not take abc's comments to heart. IMHO that was unfair.
 
My heartiest congratulations to each of the winners.


Posted By: tmoraca
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 3:25pm
Ninja, I let my story slide at 1021 words because I checked the rules... and format comprised 10% of the scoring. Underneath format, word count was listed. Now yes, I took a chance submitting over the defined word limit, and I did post repeatedly asking whether or not going over the word limit would result in a disqualification (to no avail).

One of the caveats of competing in this kind of faceless, internet competition is that things might not be 100% consistent or 100% legitimate. Not to say the rules aren't there for a reason, but I will say I would have placed stories entirely differently based upon what I read. This is an excercise in writing and creativity, and goddammit, it's fun! I had fun when I got second place in the first round, and I had fun when I got in last place in the screenwriting competition earlier this year Confused One thing I know going into these contests is the opportunity for practice, critique from a small anonymous audience, and critiquing other people's (generally) great stories is worth the price of participating alone. Placing and/or winning prizes is just the icing on the cake. I would never, EVER compete in these competitions if I didn't post for review. I just don't see the point. You get twenty times the amount of suggestions, criticism, ideas, reflections upon your work. If you're only here for the money and the prizes, you're in the wrong field. The prizes just add to the (friendly? playful?) competition, and help force us to push ourselves past our own limits.

That said, I understand some of ABC's concerns, but leave the lit. journal expectations with the lit. journals. I came here to practice, refine my skills, and learn. That said, I was able shave my second story to 995 Smile Check it out below!


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Short Story Challenge 2012

Round 2, Group 3, http://forums.nycmidnight.com/r2-g3-what-i-remember_topic6326.html" rel="nofollow - What I Remember


Posted By: alexander
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 3:36pm
...douche...

i just have to say that that word always makes me laugh

you called him a douche
now thats comedy

    


Posted By: NinjaHero
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 3:42pm
Originally posted by tmoraca tmoraca wrote:

Ninja, I let my story slide at 1021 words because I checked the rules... and format comprised 10% of the scoring. Underneath format, word count was listed.

Other than that, this guy's a douche.


I know you did Tim, and I really appreciate you letting us know. I don't think anyone here is trying to attack your story. Your story was awesome. We are just trying to figure out the rules.

I just think everyone wants to know how much they can write. If we are allowed to turn in 1100 word say, we just want to know.

To be really fair you asked in the Q&A forum and they never answered you. So we are more upset that they ignored your question and thereby didn't let any of us know the rule. Sorry your story got dragged into this. :)


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#1: http://ninjaheroshorts.blogspot.com/ - In with the Cyclone, out with the Cyclone
#2: http://ninjaheroshorts.blogspot.com/ - The Last Trick


Posted By: tmoraca
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 3:47pm
Hah, I edited "douche" out and replaced it with a more well thought out response after reading more replies. Alexander, sorry to be a killjoy. I, too, love that word. And I agree, a set standard for overshooting the word count would be miiiighty helpful.


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Short Story Challenge 2012

Round 2, Group 3, http://forums.nycmidnight.com/r2-g3-what-i-remember_topic6326.html" rel="nofollow - What I Remember


Posted By: TBC1228
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 5:18pm
It sounds like abx-xyz went into this contest with different expectations from most of us. This person has already published flash fiction and wanted to see the contest rules cast in stone.

I agree with abc-xyz about the ambiguity in the rules.

In the pdf file, "Official Rules"...
"22. Disqualifications - The LLC reserves the right to disqualify an Entrant or Entered Story that does not comply with these Official Rules and other Contest requirements from time to time communicated by the LLC."

The "reserve the right" thing is the loophole that lets the judges do as they wish regarding story length, genre, synopsis, etc.

Based on what I've read here today, how do I know that the judges are docking us for using too many words or writing in the wrong genre? Worse, how do I know if they are disqualifying us? Are they consistent?

If I screw up, I'd rather be disqualified.    
    


Posted By: sutekh137
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 5:37pm
Then it sounds like you maybe should have taken your $35 elsewhere, TBC?  There's always that choice, and we all had it.  The rules are clearly posted with a Q&A forum for questions.  If people don't like the answers (or don't get answers), and that is bothersome enough, then where does the responsibility lie once someone coughs up their entry fee?

(I mean that as a sincere question...)

JoeK


Posted By: mra061818
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 5:54pm
Originally posted by Skylark Skylark wrote:

 
I have to call you out though, abc, on your post beginning "This morning, I was gravely disappointed when I saw who placed in Challenge ..."
 
We are all competing in this together, and for you to single out a fellow writer for such venom is uncalled-for and unsportsmanlike. 
 
\


Skylark, he/she (abc-xyz) wasn't singling out one person. He said Challenge #1 of Round #1, which meant ALL of the winners in the first challenge...not the winner of the competition in group #1.


Posted By: Skylark
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 6:02pm
MRA, then I got it wrong in that sense, and I apologize.
 
I do stand by the concept that we are all facing the same challenge, and that to express grave disappointment in others' success is unkind.
 
Cheers?


Posted By: HughDeppman
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2008 at 6:19pm
Wow, those links ABC provided are a gold-mine.

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Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!


Posted By: sutekh137
Date Posted: 09 Sep 2008 at 4:55am
I love the "drabble"!  Just makes me laugh!

JoeK


Posted By: mhponce
Date Posted: 09 Sep 2008 at 5:21am
Well, I guess the question has been answered by the email we got.  But how about this.  The judges should read 1,000 words and no more.  And base the story on the first 1,000, like our teachers used to do (or one teacher I had.  You can write more than a page, but I will read only 1 page)...  Just a thought.  It would make this more even.  Because this 10% thing isn't fair really... I have to say I did not read the rules before and I just assumed the 1,000 words was super strict, and that no one would break it... I'm not upset by those who did break it (that was your risk to take, knowing the rules), but when you read the email and it says, "congratulations on submitting a 1,000 word story" then the contest should really enforce the 1,000 word limit...

Yes, I spent the $35 and yes, I can chose not to again, if this bothers me enough... I still enjoyed participating though.  And, this conversation right here sparked the NYC midnight people to do something and get some things straight for next time.  THis is the first of this kind of contest, and they still have things to iron out.  By the 10th year they will have it more controlled, I would imagine.  And we will have helped shape it, with our views. 


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http://onewordafteranother.wordpress.com


Posted By: mra061818
Date Posted: 10 Sep 2008 at 4:38am
Originally posted by alexander alexander wrote:

...douche...

i just have to say that that word always makes me laugh

you called him a douche
now thats comedy

    
 
Can't say that I agree.
Let's not slide into name-calling.
So far, this forum hasn't adopted the nasty tone that the screenwriting forum generally takes. I appreciate that the writer decided better and edited the initial post.
 
 


Posted By: tmoraca
Date Posted: 10 Sep 2008 at 11:10am
I am the "douche" offender. That said, the screenwriting forums get naaaasty!!

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Short Story Challenge 2012

Round 2, Group 3, http://forums.nycmidnight.com/r2-g3-what-i-remember_topic6326.html" rel="nofollow - What I Remember


Posted By: wlbryan
Date Posted: 17 Sep 2008 at 4:20pm
There are a lot of really good points made in this string, and I generally agree - in fact, I think abc-xyz is dead on, although I only think it is about 10% as important as (s)he made it.

NYCMMM should obviously be more communicative. Otherwise, this is the first time they have run this particular contest, so some unforeseen difficulties with the rules are probably to be expected.

Subjectivity in judging is, of course, impossible to avoid. Compliance with genre, for instance, can't really be codified.


Posted By: Mari
Date Posted: 18 Sep 2008 at 5:08am

I like the idea of anything over 1,000 being disqualified.  That way, you can be sure, there won't be any, and everyone will have worked equally hard to be sure of that.  One less thing for judges to worry about.  On the other hand, it really doesn't matter to me.  I'm in this to get inspiration and learn (both happened in abundance in this contest). This has been so much fun.  I'm glad for this string, because now I will go and ask to read the top stories (hadn't considered doing that) and learn even more.  And thanks for the links, I'll check them out too. 




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