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Thoughts of an OG participant

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=31640
Printed Date: 30 Mar 2020 at 8:39pm
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Topic: Thoughts of an OG participant
Posted By: LoboGal26
Subject: Thoughts of an OG participant
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2020 at 1:37pm
Out of curiosity I took a look at the archive for the first NYCM challenge I joined...in 2015. The whole forum for that challenge, rounds 1 and 2, was 26 pages long.

I compare that to the 65-page forum for the *new* microfiction challenge (rounds 1 and 2), or the 70-pager for the last short story challenge, and now understand why I felt overwhelmed as I tried to read and comment on others' stories.  Seems I felt I was only making, and receiving, cursory comments, not the well-thought out, really helpful comments of that first challenge.

Yeah, I realize a large swath of writers, then and now, don't post their work for comment...or that maybe more are posting now. I suspect, though, that the percentages of posters to non-posters is comparably similar.

It's great that NYCM has expanded. They must be thrilled by the growth. As for me, I really miss the collegiate, helpful 'atmosphere' of those old days. I miss that feeling of being connected to the other writers.

It really sucks getting old!!!Wink

(BTW: To our Australian cohorts -- You are in my thoughts and prayers! NSW is one of my favorite places.  Stay safe!)


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Replies:
Posted By: Smith Corona
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2020 at 3:05pm
FF 2016 was my first NYCM. I've done just 4 of their contests over the years but have also noticed the shift. It's a really fun contest but also pretty dang huge by now, so it inevitably feels less personal. I'm stepping back for now to focus on other contests but imagine I'll be back at some point.

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Posted By: taaaylor
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2020 at 6:44pm
ETA: I'm editing out some of the original stuff in this comment. I originally had a disagreement with OP, but she reached out to me privately and we were able to discuss it and work it out. Thanks Lobo <3

I do wish more people posted, but I understand plenty of people are protective of the work they may want to publish. I don't read that as being disengaged from the community, personally. But I respect why you do.

I'm sorry this challenge no longer feels like it has the spirit that originally drew you to it. And I 100% respect feeling as if it is no longer right for you.




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Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2020 at 9:04pm
NOOOOO!!! NOOOOOO!!!!! NOOOOO!!!!!! STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT NOT AGAIN THIS WINTER! I KNOW WINTER'S HARD! I'M ON THE EDGE OF SANITY MYSELF! NO MORE!! NO!! JUST BLAME IT ON WINTER AND TAKE IT BACK!! PLEASE!! 

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Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2020 at 11:36pm
I like the forum now, there are still way more stories to read than in the earlier days, and for the most part people are civil with each other.

When I joined the forums here it was a much different place.  Smaller seemed to breed pack mentality.  Sometimes if you left a feedback that someone did not like then that writer and three or four of their cohorts would attack you on your story page.  The forum discussions would quite often dissolve into litter-box fights where it seemed some thought it was their stage to show off their venom, mobbing was common - and of course there were the pot stirrers, lol.


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Posted By: LoboGal26
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2020 at 11:59am
Originally posted by Suave Suave wrote:

I like the forum now, there are still way more stories to read than in the earlier days, and for the most part people are civil with each other.

When I joined the forums here it was a much different place.  Smaller seemed to breed pack mentality.  Sometimes if you left a feedback that someone did not like then that writer and three or four of their cohorts would attack you on your story page.  The forum discussions would quite often dissolve into litter-box fights where it seemed some thought it was their stage to show off their venom, mobbing was common - and of course there were the pot stirrers, lol.

You know, now that you mention it, I do remember those tit-for-tat fights. I suppose I'm just lamenting the 'simpler' days.


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Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2020 at 12:39pm
Originally posted by LoboGal26 LoboGal26 wrote:

Originally posted by Suave Suave wrote:

I like the forum now, there are still way more stories to read than in the earlier days, and for the most part people are civil with each other.

When I joined the forums here it was a much different place.  Smaller seemed to breed pack mentality.  Sometimes if you left a feedback that someone did not like then that writer and three or four of their cohorts would attack you on your story page.  The forum discussions would quite often dissolve into litter-box fights where it seemed some thought it was their stage to show off their venom, mobbing was common - and of course there were the pot stirrers, lol.

You know, now that you mention it, I do remember those tit-for-tat fights. I suppose I'm just lamenting the 'simpler' days.


Haha, ya, a lot of the time you did not even need to do the tit to get the tat, someone just needed to think you titted.


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Posted By: The Red Lion
Date Posted: 17 Jan 2020 at 1:17pm
As someone who joined NYCM approximated 1.7 million years ago (but hasn’t been as active in the past couple years), I can definitely see the good and the bad of the old days compared to recently. It used to be a bit more personal for me. There were writers whose opinions I respected and always sought out their stories. Because there are so many more writers now it’s a bit harder to keep track of who they are, but you do have the ability to get so much more feedback. I don’t think the percentage of quality feedback has really changed much, there will always be some who are very thorough and some who just have a few words to say and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve personally never been the most prolific forum contributor just based on the time I’m able to put in, and these days this has led me to focus more on my group than reading a wide range of the stories. I feel incredibly guilty when someone leaves me feedback and I’m unable to return the favor, so I put a strong focus on those as well and rarely get a chance to really dig into much else just based on the crazy number of posts. I’d be curious if others feel similarly.

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Posted By: nod1v1ng
Date Posted: 17 Jan 2020 at 1:33pm
Originally posted by The Red Lion The Red Lion wrote:

There were writers whose opinions I respected and always sought out their stories.

This hasn't changed for me. There are quite a few forumites who I regularly seek out & those who do so in return for me. 

Originally posted by The Red Lion The Red Lion wrote:

I feel incredibly guilty when someone leaves me feedback and I’m unable to return the favor, so I put a strong focus on those as well and rarely get a chance to really dig into much else just based on the crazy number of posts. I’d be curious if others feel similarly.

I always prioritize return reviews. If someone has gone out of their way to read my work, it's my way of saying thank you by returning the favor. If 50 ppl post or 500 ppl post, I never do get around to reading as many pieces as I would like...


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Posted By: MrLipto
Date Posted: 17 Jan 2020 at 2:06pm
Originally posted by The Red Lion The Red Lion wrote:

There were writers whose opinions I respected and always sought out their stories.

Long ago, Random referred to a particular set of writers on here as "the varsity." It was sort of understood who that meant.

I think about that every time I log on to the forum. Probably because I hope to one day be regarded as one of those respected writers whose opinions have value for other members of the community.

Yes, there are a lot of writers on here, more every year. New names, new voices. Hopefully we can forgive one another and ourselves if we don't read and respond to every single one who seems deserving.

After all, that one terrible guy is gone. We're good people on here.


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Posted By: stephenmatlock
Date Posted: 17 Jan 2020 at 4:16pm
I've been around since (checks notes) 2013. I've grown (I hope) as a writer.

It's been harder and harder to be enthusiastic. The scoring debacle in the last contest I entered (multiple pasted identical comments from a judge) and then the incredibly boorish behavior of people who delight in copying stories has just about done me in.

I don't write for profit, it seems. I write for my own pleasure. If I sell a story (which I have not, in two years), then great. It's just hard to feel neighborly when people are waiting to vacuum up the work of others--and then boast about it.


Posted By: taaaylor
Date Posted: 17 Jan 2020 at 4:19pm
Originally posted by stephenmatlock stephenmatlock wrote:

I've been around since (checks notes) 2013. I've grown (I hope) as a writer.

It's been harder and harder to be enthusiastic. The scoring debacle in the last contest I entered (multiple pasted identical comments from a judge) and then the incredibly boorish behavior of people who delight in copying stories has just about done me in.

I don't write for profit, it seems. I write for my own pleasure. If I sell a story (which I have not, in two years), then great. It's just hard to feel neighborly when people are waiting to vacuum up the work of others--and then boast about it.


I must have missed that. I would be interested in seeing what you're talking about :o Is there a user talking about adapting people's stories and trying to sell them? Bit unnerving


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MFC Final: The Roses Smelled of Copper


Posted By: BarbaraFL
Date Posted: 17 Jan 2020 at 5:18pm
Originally posted by stephenmatlock stephenmatlock wrote:

It's been harder and harder to be enthusiastic. The scoring debacle in the last contest I entered (multiple pasted identical comments from a judge) and then the incredibly boorish behavior of people who delight in copying stories has just about done me in.


I saw the judge comments issue, but nothing about someone copying stories - had they been beta readers and they stole them? That is shocking! I don't know how they would have known otherwise unless they saw it before it was submitted?

That is very concerning for sure.

I like the forums but won't be that active in the review for short story purely out of extreme lack of time, probably won't post mine for that reason, but I do like getting people's feedback and giving it. I never feel like I write enough for the reviews. It depends on the contest. For microfiction I really don't give detailed reviews.


Posted By: ursanz
Date Posted: 18 Jan 2020 at 10:37pm
Originally posted by stephenmatlock stephenmatlock wrote:

and then the incredibly boorish behavior of people who delight in copying stories has just about done me in.

Do you have any more information on the copying? I wondered why so few people posted their stories each round - less than 20%. Is there a real concern about work being copied? 


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Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 18 Jan 2020 at 11:02pm
Originally posted by ursanz ursanz wrote:

Originally posted by stephenmatlock stephenmatlock wrote:

and then the incredibly boorish behavior of people who delight in copying stories has just about done me in.

Do you have any more information on the copying? I wondered why so few people posted their stories each round - less than 20%. Is there a real concern about work being copied? 


I am not sure, but he might have been referring to some people that were trying to write homages to successful stories of published works for the contests.  I have not heard of anyone copying these stories, but who knows.


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Posted By: OnyxLily
Date Posted: 18 Jan 2020 at 11:14pm
Originally posted by Suave Suave wrote:

Originally posted by ursanz ursanz wrote:

Originally posted by stephenmatlock stephenmatlock wrote:

and then the incredibly boorish behavior of people who delight in copying stories has just about done me in.

Do you have any more information on the copying? I wondered why so few people posted their stories each round - less than 20%. Is there a real concern about work being copied? 


I am not sure, but he might have been referring to some people that were trying to write homages to successful stories of published works for the contests.  I have not heard of anyone copying these stories, but who knows.

There have been a couple of instances recently where people from NYCM have been on other forums or publications and recognised a story or script being shared, or having been published. The person sharing or publishing was not the person who originally wrote the piece. There's a concern, I think, that some people have copied or downloaded work they've liked from NYCM forums, and attempted to pass them off as their own elsewhere. 


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Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 18 Jan 2020 at 11:30pm
Originally posted by OnyxLily OnyxLily wrote:

Originally posted by Suave Suave wrote:

Originally posted by ursanz ursanz wrote:

Originally posted by stephenmatlock stephenmatlock wrote:

and then the incredibly boorish behavior of people who delight in copying stories has just about done me in.

Do you have any more information on the copying? I wondered why so few people posted their stories each round - less than 20%. Is there a real concern about work being copied? 


I am not sure, but he might have been referring to some people that were trying to write homages to successful stories of published works for the contests.  I have not heard of anyone copying these stories, but who knows.

There have been a couple of instances recently where people from NYCM have been on other forums or publications and recognised a story or script being shared, or having been published. The person sharing or publishing was not the person who originally wrote the piece. There's a concern, I think, that some people have copied or downloaded work they've liked from NYCM forums, and attempted to pass them off as their own elsewhere. 


That I did not know about.  Never heard a thing?  I guess there is no protecting oneself from thieves.


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Posted By: Lookit There
Date Posted: 19 Jan 2020 at 12:09am
I was just remarking to another Forumite on social media earlier today that I remember when there were about 100 groups of 20 writers each. (I *think* my first comp was 2013, maybe 2014, but can't swear to it.) I kind of miss those days, in that reading posts was more manageable, and I don't feel like the judges were stretched so thin that you got ridiculous feedback. (I mostly like my feedback in comps, but it often feels rushed and not thought through - like the constant suggestion of "adding more words" to assignments with a strict word count. Not helpful!)
Now get the hell off my lawn before I shake my old man fist at you!


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