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Contests & Activities: May 26, 2021 Issue [#10786]

 This week: Generic Genres
  Edited by: Jayne
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

We're taking a quick break from our Spotlight series to discuss some of the ins and outs of The Quill Awards. You might be surprised to find the information is helpful to more than just The Quills!

Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor

When you create an item on WdC, you get to select the genre you're writing in.

You get to select up to three genres, actually.

But you probably don't.

Why not?

The most common reason I hear is, “because the item I wrote is X genre”. While that may be true, ask yourself if it appeals to a wider audience. Is your horror piece also ‘dark’? Maybe your ‘thriller’ piece focuses on some ‘psychology’ aspect? Could your ‘romance’ piece also be about a ‘relationship’? No one is suggesting you be disingenuous with your genre selections. This is about casting a wider, but still relevant, net.

After all, isn’t the point of putting your work out there to get it read? People often search by genre for things to read. A random read may hinge on how an item’s classified. The classification that gets eyeballs on your work might land you a rating, review, email, merit badge, Awardicon, or even a Quill nomination.

One question we frequently receive concerns why some people have so many nominations.

Well...they don’t. They may have several category nominations (short story, long poem, short poem, flash fiction, etc.), and that often happens for prolific writers who present their work in a variety of ways (newsfeed, contest entries, blog links, searchable items). But remember, everyone is limited to two such entries in any category.

So why are those same items seen over and over?


If you select three relevant genres that fall under Quill criteria, you automatically give yourself three extra categories to compete in.

Let’s take a fictional flash fiction prompt about a baker with a top-notch pie recipe who is also secret agent. I’m calling mine Apple Spy. You’re welcome.

Multiple authors may write completely unique pieces based on the scenario above. One may write a serious spy thriller where the pie thing is only a passing joke about their first assignment. Another may write a cosy mystery. A third author writes a story similar to the first author. I write Apple Spy. Someone nominates all four of us for a Flash Fiction Quill.

The first author picks “Thriller” as a genre, and nothing else. This means they’ll be eligible for awards in the overall Flash Fiction category, and the Thriller category. Two chances to win! But they missed out on two more chances!

The second author picks “Mystery”, “Comedy”, and “Other”. They’ll be eligible for awards in the Flash Fiction category, Mystery category, AND Comedy category. Three chances to win! They still missed out on one chance, though.

The third author picks “Thriller”. The piece has dark humour running through it, so they also select “comedy”. There’s also a strong romance subplot, so they choose “romance” as their third genre. They qualify for Flash Fiction, Thriller, Comedy, AND Romance. FOUR CHANCES!

I’m being lazy, or I’m in a rush (deadlines aren’t really my thing) and I click “other”. I never go back and consider who my audience is. At Quill time, I get one chance. Flash Fiction. That’s it.

Again, this is not about randomly assigning genres to pad your chances. In the community, no member likes to be duped into reading a piece labelled “romance” if there’s no significant romance component. This is about carefully choosing who your target readers are and what aspects of your pieces might overlap.

Sometimes you may really only have one genre. But don’t pick a genre and run because it’s less time-consuming. You’re doing yourself a disservice in getting eyes on your work, and should you receive a Quill nomination, you’re essentially declining the opportunity to be considered for the genre categories.

When a genre has low entries, The Quills team does its best to combine a few related genres. The combinations change depending on the genres authors choose. It’s possible two of your choices will end up as one category—but that makes it more important to explore all three options!

For reference, here's the genres the Quills do not use:

Contest Entry

I hope to see you and your three genres at The Quills 2021!

*Activities and contests have their own categories and should be properly identified through their genres. There is also a standalone award for best reviewing.

Editor's Picks

When you see great work, nominate it!

 2021 Nomination Form for Quill Awards  (E)
Nominate someone for a Quill!
#2145930 by Elle - on hiatus

Want to find more contests?

Contest Clues  (E)
List of WdC Contests, Challenges, and Fundraisers. Clues To What's Open, What's Not!
#2221492 by GeminiGem💎

Writing Contests @ Writing.Com  (E)
Writing Contests on Writing.Com are posted here.
#171898 by Writing.Com Support

Submit an item for consideration in this newsletter!

Word from Writing.Com

Have an opinion on what you've read here today? Then send the Editor feedback! Find an item that you think would be perfect for showcasing here? Submit it for consideration in the newsletter!

Don't forget to support our sponsor!

Ask & Answer

If you have questions about the Quills, respond to this newsletter and ask away! I'll answer in the next issue. Don't be shy! If you're wondering about something - someone else probably is, too!
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