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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/8512-On-Contests-and-Rules.html
Action/Adventure: September 20, 2017 Issue [#8512]

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 This week: On Contests and Rules
  Edited by: Kittiara
                             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

Contests and challenges have to have rules. Yet, it's not unknown for people to find their work disqualified.

This week's Action/Adventure Newsletter, then, contains tips for both entrants and hosts.


Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor

If you have a sense of adventure, you have probably entered some contests around the site. It is fun and interesting to tackle different challenges, and to measure your skills against other writers. As someone who’s participated in quite a few contests and challenges over the years, and who’s hosted and helped out in a good amount of contests and events, too, here are some tips to help you on your way to success!

Read the rules. Then read them again.

It should go without saying that when you enter a contest or challenge, you read the rules. Sadly, it’s not that uncommon for people to have their entries disqualified. Missed-out word counts or line counts, using too many lines and/or too many words, posting in the wrong place... it all happens. That means that your hard work won’t be rewarded. It’s also sad for the person hosting the contest – their forum might end up messy, and it’s never nice when you think you’ve got a lot of entries only to find that some, which may be great pieces of writing, don’t qualify. Nor is it nice to have to do the actual disqualifying.

If something is unclear, just ask.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You can always email the host or hostess and they will be happy to help you. Entering a contest can be daunting, especially when it’s your first contest or your first go at a particular challenge. It’s far better to ask than to risk being disqualified. Also, it’s difficult for the person running the contest to foresee every possible scenario and every possible question potential entrants might have.

Circumstances might make a difference, too. I’ve run a contest before that attracted only a handful of entrants. Someone really enjoyed the challenge I set and asked if she could submit a second entry. I figured I might as well, and changed the rules to permit multiple entries.

That won’t happen all the time, of course, but if something’s not specifically stated, it’s not a bad thing to ask for a clarification.

Check your entry before submission.

Did you include everything that was asked for? Are you posting in the right place? No matter how much you’ve kept the rules in mind when you wrote your piece, it’s a good idea to double-check before posting.

Some contests allow you to edit your entries until the deadline. In others judging might take place shortly after you have posted. It’s best, then, to ensure your entry is as perfect as you can get it, rather than tell yourself you can always tweak it later. Life can happen, and you might forget to do so.


Some tips for those wishing to host a contest:

When writing your rules, try to make them as straightforward as possible. If you are hosting a short story contest, for example, do you want to set a word count limit? If so, include it. Up to which content rating are you happy to receive items in? Let people know. If you aren’t setting any limits, let them know, too. Are all genres welcome, or only a specific one, or are there any you’d prefer to leave out? Are old entries welcome, or only new ones? How about previously awarded items? Static items, book entries, or both? Is it one entry per person, or are you happy for them to submit more than one piece?

For poetry contests, is there a line count limit? Do you accept both form poetry and free verse? Do you want people to state which form they are using?

Whilst it’s good to spell things out, it’s also good to try to keep your rules as simple as possible. That may sound like a contradiction, but layout can help here. Using bullet points rather than a big block of text makes it easier for potential readers to take in the rules. Explanations can be kept brief and direct.

You’ll find that people might have questions about possibilities you haven’t considered. This happens. Long-running contests tend to receive a tweak here and there over time. One example is that book entries are becoming more popular for people to store their work in, and contests welcoming these are likely to see an increase in entries.

Don’t be afraid to disqualify entries if they do not follow the rules. I know it’s not nice to have to do so. I don’t enjoy doing it. But the rules are there to make the contest fair for everyone, and it’s on the entrants to check them and ask questions where needed.

Whether you’re entering a contest or running one, have fun! Both can be very rewarding experiences. *Smile*


Editor's Picks

Here are some contests for you to explore and enjoy:

The Dialogue 500  (18+)
Dialogues of 500 words or less.
#941862 by W.D.Wilcox

The Humorous Poetry Contest  (18+)
The contest where the rating doesn't matter!~Next round starts July 1st~
#1875093 by Lornda

The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest  (E)
The greatest writing challenge on WDC! PINK FLUFFY RESULTS NOW OUT!!! :)
#2113126 by Robert Edward Baker

Kit'z Higher Ratings Contest  (18+)
A contest for items with a higher content rating.
#887621 by Kittiara

What Have You Learned On Writing.Com?  (13+)
A contest to show off your new skills. For Writing.Com's Birthday Week.
#2093196 by Kittiara

Do you enjoy entering contests? Why not earn some badges as you go along?

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

Do you like to review other people's work? Good! Come get a ticket or two for your hard work!

Spread the Love Raffle  (13+)
Do you like Merit Badges? Write a review and get a ticket!
#2132498 by Kittiara

And would you like a review on your work? Stop by here... but be careful you don't become the Goose!

Duck, Duck, Goose!  (E)
A fundraiser in the style of Duck, Duck, Goose!
#2133386 by Dragyn

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Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

The Action/Adventure Newsletter Team welcomes any and all questions, suggestions, thoughts and feedback, so don't hesitate to write in! *Smile*

Wishing you a week filled with inspiration,

The Action/Adventure Newsletter Team.

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