Author Topic: Sticky: Guidelines for Writing Challenges on MWC  (Read 8141 times)

Offline DistantSun

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Sticky: Guidelines for Writing Challenges on MWC
« on: February 02, 2015, 02:55:17 PM »
On My Writers Circle we like to challenge our members to keep their writing skills sharp while having a little fun at the same time. Our writing challenges cover three areas - Flash Fiction, Short Story and Poetry.

Each challenge is run by the member who won the previous challenge - that in itself is the only ‘prize’ involved. This member creates a prompt or theme, and chooses limits as to things like writing style, word count, and key words or concepts to include. They also set a submission deadline (as well as a voting deadline, plus the number of votes allowed per person, when the time comes).

Submissions are sent to the member hosting the challenge via private message (pm), and are therefore anonymous, unless you end up winning the challenge or choose to identify yourself later on.

If the situation arises when there is a delay between a submission or voting deadline and the host member posting the voting thread or results, please notify a moderator.

How to set up and run a writing challenge

1. Create your prompt. Decide on a word/verse/style limit, depending on which challenge you’re hosting. Also choose a submission deadline. Don’t forget to remind entrants that word count does not include the title, and that they are to submit their entries to you via pm with the subject line containing the name of the relevant challenge.
    In the spirit of diversity and fair play among entrants, hosts are excluded from entering their own challenges.

2. Post these details in a new thread on the ‘Writing Games and Challenges’ board, and ask for a moderator to ’sticky’ the thread.

3. Promote the competition! You as host are the one responsible for drumming up support amongst our members to submit their entries. You need at least two or three entries to run a challenge. Be creative - humour often helps! There are several ways you can do this:

- Be active on threads like the “Last person to post here wins” or “MWC Red Barren Bar”, and mention the challenge.

- Keep an eye out for new members’ welcome threads on the “Welcome Board” who mention an interest in the style of writing your challenge contains. Say hello and invite them to submit an entry.

- Post a reminder thread in the Coffee Shop, Review My Work or Review My Poetry boards.

- Add a link to the challenge in your profile signature so that the challenge is advertised wherever you post on the site!

- Post updates within your challenge thread to let everyone know when you’ve received entries.

4. What do you do if the deadline arrives and you don’t have enough entries? Try extending the deadline, and work on a little more promotion! If you have to resort to adjusting your prompt to some degree, that is another option.

5. Remember that certain times of year (especially November due to NaNoWriMo and the December/January holiday period for many members) are tough to get people to participate in challenges. You may have to be more diligent with your promotion at this time.

6. Keep an eye on your calendar and be prepared to post a voting thread once the deadline passes. Choose the “Post New Poll” option to create a new thread with a poll at the top. There are fields to add the titles of each entry for the poll (enter them as “Untitled #1, #2” etc if they are submitted without one), and an option to choose a date for the voting to close. If you have any questions about setting this up, ask a moderator for assistance. A mod will need to set the topic as a sticky for you too.
     In addition, poll options are up to the host to decide. These options include the number of votes allowed per user, and the manner in which the results of the poll are revealed.

7. Once again - keep an eye on your calendar. Hosting a challenge is a responsibility, and you owe the entrants the courtesy of sticking to the deadlines you nominated. If you foresee any difficulty being online to make one of these deadlines, notify a moderator.

8. After the voting closes, either announce the winner on the voting thread or post a separate thread to make the announcement.

9. It is helpful if you open a folder on your word program to copy and paste the entries as you receive them rather than having to hunt through your PMs with the time comes to set up the vote.

A short cut for copying the entries from PM is the click "Quote" the highlight and copy. This ensures you have the right name with each story.
Congratulations - your job is now done!

« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 08:43:44 PM by Skylan »
It's good to laugh at yourself once in a while - why let everyone else have all the fun!
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