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Contests & Activities: June 22, 2022 Issue [#11426]

 This week: 5 Ways to Help Us Help You Stay Current
  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

This week's newsletter will help to clear up some confusion around audience expectations, while also helping other creators keep contest information current. Happy customers on both sides means more exposure for you contest/activity!

If you're thinking of starting a contest or activity, check out this series: "Have I Made Myself Clear?

Word from our sponsor

Amazon's Price: $ 12.99

Letter from the editor

In a previous newsletter, I mentioned the concept of 'aggregators' or 'collectors'. These are the WdC members who use pre-existing contests and activities to either develop activities of their own, or to keep helpful at-a-glance references for those looking for something to do. We should also acknowledge a third type of member: the hunters. Hunters track down items for review, recommendation, and even Quill nominations. Often, they use existing contests to begin their search.

Aggregators, collectors, and hunters all rely on the contest/activity owner to keep their item status current. In fact, after my series on how to set up a contest, the lack of this information was one of the most frequent voiced frustrations. It's not that anyone was angry - quite the opposite. They all want to be able to help, to encourage you and your authors, and to provide free promotion for you. Some of them even feel guilty when they discover a contest that had been in limbo is up and running again - but they had long ago stopped checking in on it.

This is not to say you owe anyone an explanation as to why your contest is on hiatus. And, yes, sometimes life pulls you away from WdC in a hurry and you don't have the opportunity to change descriptions. However, by and large, most of us have the chance to provide some indication that our contests/activities aren't currently running, the schedule is changing, and/or we have an expected return date.

I know there's plenty of reasons to discontinue, pause or alter a contest. I just went through it with "The Quills. It's not easy, and often a little heartbreaking. You can have a lot of guilt, and it can make you simply want to drop the thing and walk away. I've done a newsletter on "Volunteer Burnout - I assure you, it's a real thing. Nobody is faulting you for the change. What the aggregators, collectors, and hunters are asking for is a little clarity. Your authors would probably appreciate it, too.

Those on the other side empathize with you, and you can try to see it from their perspective: they spend a lot of time each month trying to keep on top of things, which itself is a huge time investment. I'm sure we can see how quickly this can become frustrating for them when they hit a wall of contests/activities that just stop, hang in limbo, and provide no clear direction or updates.

So, what's an activity/contest owner to do? Easy - take a moment to make it obvious the contest isn't running. Here are some options:

1. Change your title to include "CLOSED".

         My Awesome Contest - CLOSED

2. Change your description.

         A Daily Poetry Challenge - on hiatus until 10/2021
         A Daily Challenge - now one week a month!
         Currently closed. Watch for our next round! A full week of intense prompts & crazy prizes!

3. Pin a message at the top of the forum entries.


4. Add a message at the VERY TOP of your forum, above EVERYTHING else.

Thank you for the wonderful entries this past year. As of April 2022, I'm pausing the contest. I hope to be back sometime in October, but we'll see how the next few months go. Until next time, keep writing!

5. Make your contest/activity private.

Nobody likes to see a contest completely disappear, but sometimes it's necessary. Maybe it's what you'd prefer - that's nobody's business but your own. However, if you can keep it live - indicating it's not running at the moment - it's usually easier to restart it if doesn't evaporate entirely.

Again, I want to be very clear - you don't owe anyone anything. That being said, you can forgo personal details while still ensuring that your authors, the aggregators, and the hunters check in now and then. That way, if/when you do return to it, it will feel more like a restart than starting from scratch.

Enjoy what you create, share it with others, and keep them informed. It'll do wonders for your contest/activity, community morale and everyone can happily await your return.

Editor's Picks

Horror Writing Contest!   (ASR)
A contest involving writing a horror story. Simple, really.
#2273172 by Steven the Penguin-Hunter

The Contest Challenge  (13+)
Join by entering a contest a month for 12 months--Win Badges! Catching up is allowed!
#2109126 by Schnujo

Personify Writing Contest  (E)
A contest that gives life to inanimate things.
#2268646 by 🌈GERVIC⚧️🏳️‍🌈

Dreamweaver Bar & Grill  (13+)
An idea factory, an inspiration pool, a place where creativity can soar.
#2211862 by Richard's Harvest Begins!

Test Your Poetry  (E)
A "NO PROMPT" monthly poetry contest allows old poetry as well
#2254385 by Perry Ride

Coming Soon:
Promptly Poetry Challenge  (E)
52 weeks + 52 prompts = 52 poems
#2222203 by Lilli ☕️ 🧿

Find contest info here:
Contest Clues  (E)
List of WdC Contests, Challenges, and Fundraisers. Clues To What's Open, What's Closed!
#2221492 by GeminiGem🌻

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

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