We're discussing this in the writing group, and also in the community and projects section of the reconstituted Your Pants forum, but I wanted to bring it here because I felt it would get a good hearing. I'm trying to generate interest for a writing contest that doesn't FTBA, and I want to discuss a couple of questions with you guys.These will change, so keep an eye on the OP.
If you are interested in participating in the contest, please follow the following Tumblr.
There should probably be an application process for the judges. Any fool can say, "OMG UR STORY IS AWSOME RIGHT MORE PLEEZE!!!", but what you're most likely looking for is someone who can give constructive criticism and who has a taste in literature and prose most similair to the target audience. Videlicet, while one person might be able to pick what a teenager would like over an adult, another person might be the other way around.
The only solution I can come up with is to either pick one target reading audience (People who like adult-level speculative fiction, people who like teenage-level realistic fiction, et cetera) and tell the prospective writers to write to that audience or go home, or we do the multiple category thing and publish two or three books for half or a third of the price each respectively, or warn the reader that they won't enjoy a good portion of the book. Age categories are unneccesary, but target audience age categories are probably exigent.
I don't know.
Also, there should be a few raffles, possibly instead of the entrance fee, although there can be both. What for? Free copies of the book, possibly, or having your name placed as a character. *shrugs* Just putting some options out there.
As for charities...well, I'd suggest research for some disease. I don't know. There are uncountable deserving causes out there, so it's kind of hard to agree on one.
With regards to the charity point, it may be apt to either A) give all the money to the foundation to decrease worldsuck or B) give it to a charity that helps promote literacy/giving out books or some such thing like that, given the nature of the contest
Oh, and I have a friend who's published a book and looked at Ebooks, along with one who's in the process of publishing. I'll ask them what it costs to publish an Ebook, the difficulty of publishing in print as opposed to electronically, and the like. Anything else I should ask them?
You could ask them if they'd be willing to be a judge. People with literary credentials would really be the ideal people for this kind of thing.
I'll ask one of them. The other is a RL friend, and I'd rather limit the connections between my real name and Fake. If you guys are desperate, I can ask him, but if at all possible I won't.
We'll have to see how things go. At this stage we have five followers on the tumblr, two of which are me and my wife!
has the contest already ended? I'm kind of confused D: BUT I WANT TO PARTICIPATE AND CONTRIBUTEEEEEE
No no! We've only just started discussing it! Did you go to the tumblr?
I wouldn't plan to do age categories just yet at least. I imagine if this kicks off for at least the first year it would have a rather small amount of participation unless you get lucky and The Vlogbrothers decide to help out. Even then, their dominant demographic is slightly older teenagers so if we divided everything up into 0-14 15-18 and 18+ you would end up with one fairly small group, one slightly longer group made up of adults and the gargantuan group that includes 17 year olds. I guess you can divide 16 and 17 year olds up and split it off into two categories that way but then you would still have a youth competition that no one cares about and then the real one. It would be sort of pointless and only complicate things.
As far as judges go depending on the number of entries and the number of qualified individuals who want to judge we may need peripheral judges (or people without any qualifications but who can prove themselves to be literate). The main reason being I wouldn't want to overwork anyone, and while this may not gain so much participation right off the bat we should always plan for the unexpected. As a result there should be peripheral judges that only get to work if the workload is too much for the actual judges to handle.
Here's what I recommend if peripheral judges are need. Assuming we have real judges there should be a voting system. If a story gets enough votes it gets read by the real judge/s. If not the peripheral judges read it and then if they like it they hand it off to the real judge. This way if we only get a single librarian to agree to do this we can still have the competition. Also peripheral judges should be at least a certain age, mainly for life experience partially for other reasons.
Whether or not rounds should be incorporated depends on how many judges we get. I think its enough for now though to only have a single round so there's not so much work involved in judging.
I think I agree with you Abreo about the age thing, that's probably not something we're going to do
Peripherial judges may indeed be needed if things get out of hand. We'll have to see about that one.
What do people think about the chatity we donate to being the "Foundation to decrease Worldsuck"?
This is an idea I have, basicly how it is structured.
October 2nd (the day John Green introduced us to the phrase DFTBA back in Brotherhood 2.0) the contest will open (meaning the prompt will be revealed). Then there will be one month for people to submit their stories (closing Nov 2). Then judging will take place in the one month between November 2nd and December 16th, and on December 17th, just in time for the project for Awesome, the winners will be announced, and the anthology will be released!
That does sound rather tight. The charity works and it sounds like it should be enough time not only to get this contest up and running but also for the judges to judge assuming you get enough for them. So how many people are currently working on this?